The number of children being referred to so-called gender identity clinics in the United Kingdom has quadrupled in the past five years, according to newly released data, with children as young as 3 being encouraged to question their gender identity.
Experts, who spoke to The Telegraph about the spike, said the increase is, in part, due to the focus on transgender issues in schools, which they believe encourages children to doubt their identity.
“Research suggests that just 1 percent of the population experience gender issues. Although the number of transgender children is small, it is growing rapidly,” Dr. Joanna Williams, a university lecturer and author of “Women vs. Feminism,” told the news outlet, adding that children are being forced to “unlearn” the difference between girls and boys in their school environments.
“Children — encouraged by their experiences at school — are beginning to question their gender identity at ever younger ages,” she continued. “In doing more than just supporting transgender children, and instead sowing confusion about gender identity, schools do neither boys nor girls any favors.”
According to statistics from the Gender Identity Development Service, which were first obtained by The Telegraph, 84 children between the ages of 3-7 were referred to the clinic in 2016. By contrast, only 20 received similar referrals in 2012-13.
Furthermore, the number of children under the age of 10 who received a referral increased from 36 in 2012-13 to 165 in 2016. In total, 2,016 children, between the ages of 3 and 18, received referrals to gender identity clinics in 2016 — a stunning increase from the 314 total referrals issued five years ago.
After undergoing a six-month psycho-social assessment by a clinician, GIDS offers children action plans for how to begin transitioning, which can include prescribing hormone blockers to children who have already started puberty.
Children can only be referred to GIDS by a general practitioner or by the child and adolescent mental health service, The Telegraph reported.
“It has become an industry, people are making a career out of encouraging children to question gender at an age when they need to be left to be children,” said Chris McGovern, former adviser to the Department of Education. “When teachers raise these issues, children can become confused or unhappy and traumatized by it.
“In a sense,” he continued, “we are imposing adult concerns on children. Schools feel under huge pressures to comply with a politically correct agenda.”
Williams, who agrees with McGovern, said schools are “encouraging even the youngest children to question whether they are really a boy or a girl.”
Dr. Polly Carmichael, director of GIDS and a National Health Service psychologist, has a different view, though. She believes it is “good” that children are being introduced to transgender issues because, in her opinion, “it can never be negative if schools are being thoughtful and offering opportunities to discuss topical issues.”
This comes not long after American College of Pediatrics President Michelle Cretella, M.D., warned in an op-ed for The Daily Signal that thrusting transgender ideology onto children can result in “large scale child abuse.”
“Transgender ideology is not just infecting our laws,” she wrote last week. “It is intruding into the lives of the most innocent among us — children — and with the apparent growing support of the professional medical community.”
And last month, feminist activist Camille Paglia described prescribing puberty blockers to transgender children is “a criminal violation of human rights.”
“Furthermore, I condemn the escalating prescription of puberty blockers (whose long-term effects are unknown) for children,” she said, later adding that “it is certainly ironic how liberals who posture as defenders of science when it comes to global warming (a sentimental myth unsupported by evidence) flee all reference to biology when it comes to gender.”
Ultimately, Paglia concluded that, biologically, “sex changes are impossible.”