Young children who are encouraged by their parents to change their gender will hit a “wall of reality” at puberty, an expert warns.
DailyMail.com reports Bernadette Wren, the British National Health Service’s top psychologist for transgender children, noted a major increase in parents pushing children as young as 3 to change gender without consulting specialists.
Some children, she said, are starting school with a new name and a new gender identity because their parents have supervised a “social transitioning,” but the teachers haven’t even been told.
In the United Kingdom, the number of referrals to the sole clinic for transgender children has almost doubled in the last four years. During 2018, 2,590 children were referred to the Gender Identity Development Service, including 10 who were only 3 or 4.
Wren is head of clinical psychology at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. She said, according to DailyMail.com, parents are researching the subject “online and taking advice from internet forums and transgender lobby groups.”
Wren told of 5-year-old Billie, who became Ellie at the direction of his parents, largely because “he was always at his happiest when he could wear a dress.”
While the clinic experts suggested a “watchful waiting period” for the family, the parents jumped into action and “the child is formally known as Ellie at school and in other settings and is now ‘unequivocally related to as a girl,'” DailyMail.com reported.
The parents expect the clinic to provide hormone blockers when he turns 12.
Wren believes changing gender prior to puberty “can lead to problems when the child is hit by a ‘wall of reality’ as their body starts to change,” DailyMail.com said.
“Some families think the social transition means it is all going to be fine, but it is much more complicated,” she said.
There are implications for society as well.
Polly Carmichael, director of the Gender Identity Development Service, GIDS, said some families “will talk about it being a hate crime if you get the pronoun wrong with a very young child who has made a social transition.”
The Christian Institute pointed out that activist groups, such as Mermaids, “demand that a child’s assertion that they were born in ‘the wrong body’ is affirmed from an early an age as possible.”
It also noted GIDS “came under fire earlier this year when it was accused of hiding bad results of research of its experimental use of puberty-blocking drugs.”
The report said the Tavistock clinic claimed the effects of the drugs are “reversible” and that the results “have been positive.”
Yet the clinic’s own unpublished study revealed “a significant increase” in the number of adolescents who said they “deliberately try to hurt or kill themselves.”