In the last ten years, the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), a transgender clinic run by the National Health Service (NHS), has treated more than 70 youngsters, all of whom were three or four years old. Protesters contend that the minors should never have been considered for a psychological evaluation when they were so young.
Health service administrators are now contemplating setting a new minimum age of seven for prospective patients on the basis that younger children lack the language skills to adequately express their desire to identify as the opposite sex to medical professionals.
Government officials are also working to curb the teaching of controversial gender identity ideologies in schools. Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch has said that it is detrimental to educate youngsters that they might be born in the incorrect body.
It is “quite common” and “generally not symptomatic of gender incongruence” for young boys to play with girls’ toys or clothing, according to a recent NHS England consultation.
No lower age restriction was imposed on referrals to the GIDS clinic in north London, managed by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, since 1989. However, not all of these referrals were accepted or resulted in treatment.
From 136 in 2010–11 to 3,585 in 2021–22, the trust-produced statistics reveal an astounding increase in the number of young people seen there during the previous decade.
According to Stephanie Davies-Arai of the advocacy organization Transgender Trend, gender clinics are unnecessary for youngsters. Regrettably, some parents now express concern that their gender-non-conforming kid could have been “conceived in the wrong body” and might benefit from therapy. The new minimum age of seven may seem like a step in the right direction, but she cautioned that parents may have “socially transitioned” their children for years by the time they reach that age, leading them to believe they are the other sex when they visit the clinic.
“Tragically, their parents would not have known that the clinic was using treatment approaches biased towards affirmation and unsupported by rigorous evidence,” said Conservative MP Nick Fletcher, a prominent opponent of students’ rights to change their names, pronouns, and classroom uniforms.