“We believe that the care of gender dysphoric children must be based on robust medical evidence which can withstand scientific scrutiny. As yet this quality of evidence is lacking in the treatment of children and young people. There is no evidence to support the use of the affirmation and social transition approach in schools; conversely, emerging evidence suggests that we may be encouraging children towards irreversible medical interventions they may later regret.”
“There are a large number of unanswered questions that include the age at start, reversibility; adverse events, long term effects on mental health, quality of life, bone mineral density, osteoporosis in later life and cognition.”
We believe that the debate is disproportionately dominated by political campaigning groups which promote transition as a cure for all forms of gender non-conformity… The experimental ‘affirmation’ approach advocated by these groups fails to take into account the fluid and changing nature of immature and developing identities, together with the susceptibility of children and young people to suggestion and influence from online sources as well as the peer group and trusted adults in positions of authority.
At the Tavistock Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), the only NHS clinic for gender non-conforming children and young people in the UK, referrals have risen from 72 in 2009-10 to 2,590 in 2018-19.2 Whilst some professionals attribute this rise to increasingly liberal social attitudes, clinics are seeing young people who are intensely distressed and who demand medical intervention. At the same time, there is little research and no consensus on the causes of this phenomenon.
The results of a detransition and reidentification survey of 203 females (2016) suggest that medical transition is not a cure for underlying trauma or mental health issues. 65% of respondents received no counselling at all before transitioning and only 6% felt they had received adequate counselling.