Attending the launch of a charity in Swanage recently, I was asked by two women where I stood on the issue of men and women being able to decide their gender more easily.

Scotland’s imminent and controversial Gender Recognition Bill has re-ignited this debate.

It will allow people to change their birth certificates legally, removing the need for medical diagnosis and evidence.

This so-called ‘simplification’ will mean that a fully equipped male can identify as a woman, gaining access to female-only spaces such as single sex wards, prisons and lavatories.

This is an unwelcome development for many women, not least those I met in Swanage, who find it threatening.

As a father and grandfather, I share their concerns.

I believe that biological sex is a matter of fact, not an opinion.

Notably, author JK Rowling has made a stand, defending women’s rights to define themselves and protect same-sex spaces.

This has been interpreted by extremist ideologues as transphobia, though Rowling, along with many eminent academics and scientists, is refusing to marginalise an entire sex without any basis in science.

Their reward is threats, abuse and ‘cancellation’. Women’s sports are suffering too, with female athletes outperformed by testosterone-fuelled, trans women.

The inbuilt physical advantages of being born male remain overwhelming, despite testing and hormone treatment.

Women are now demanding separate trans sports.

This thorny topic is tying politicians in knots, with Labour’s shadow women’s minister, Annaliese Dodds, unable to define a woman in a recent interview.

If men and women want to self-identify as the opposite sex that is their right, but that does not mean trampling on the rights of others.

Otherwise, the long term ramifications are profound.