The NHS clinic for transgender children has reported a huge increase in the number of children that are being referred to them for hormonal treatments. An employee of the clinic, Dr. Bernadette Wren, raised the flag after fertility expert, Prof. Robert Winston reached the conclusion that a high number of adult transgender individuals become infertile after undergoing gender conversion surgeries.
Dr. Wren revealed that young children begin puberty inhibiting hormone treatments as early as 11, which is a worrisome practice. She claimed that, while it is normal for younger children to be gender fluid, many of them will not continue with the same conviction later in their lives. Therefore, according to Dr. Wren, schools should be more cautious before allowing gender-fluid children to change their habits in pursue of a potentially temporary phase, and especially not without the approval of their parents. In this purpose, Dr. Bernadette Wren advised schools to refrain from immediately encouraging children who are uncertain of their sex to switch to the opposite gender in order to avoid creating a false belief in the child’s mind.
Last year, the number of children who were referred to the GIDS clinic, which is the only clinic in England and Wales that prescribes hormone treatments to children in the purpose of stimulating the development of opposite sexual features, was twenty times higher than in 2009, with more than half of the referrals representing children with ages ranging from three to six years old.
What is more worrying is that 10 percent of the children referred to the GIDS clinic will give up undergoing their treatments. This should lead to the conclusion that the criteria based on which these treatments are prescribed should be reconsidered to include preliminary monitoring of the children, over longer periods of time, in order to eliminate the risk of subjecting children to gender conversion treatments when they actually do not wish to go through it.