We are concerned about a culture that normalises and grooms children into see in transgender as a positive choice. Too often this grooming start too early, for example through the introduction of ‘drag story time’ presented to very young children at libraries, at which men present in crude stereotyping of women. This encourages children to think that these ridiculous caricatures are ok. It also encourages them to believe that changing gender is unproblematic.
The increasing proliferation of trans characters on screen in film and TV leads children to believe that it is something normative and that anyone can change their biological sex, and that transitioning is something to emulate.
Discussion of the great dangers and challenges of transitioning are left out of these narratives.
The Safe Schools program has the praiseworthy aim of preventing bullying of students who appear ‘different’. Children who do not conform to stereotypically girl or boy behaviour, or are confused about their sexuality, are often marginalised by their peers and bullied into making them feel uncomfortable in their own bodies. Insecurity is something that is common to young people dealing with adolescence.
However, the Safe Schools program places too much emphasis on children who want to transition, such as adopting gender neutral pronouns, and it seems less concerned with making all children feel content with their own bodies and sexuality.
The Change or Suppression (Conversion) Therapies Act 2020
This Victorian Act has made it far too difficult (even potentially illegal) for therapists and teachers to do other than affirm young people who say they want to transition. It does not allow them to address any of the many psychological factors that might influence children to make a life changing decision to transition. For example if they merely suggest to the child that they might in fact be lesbian or gay, but simply afraid of the social stigma associated with being non-heterosexual, professionals can be reported for attempting ‘conversion’ of the child away from being transexual. Further details of this legislation can be found here.
The Royal Children’s Hospital Gender Service
This service provides advice and treatment for children with gender dysphoria and in 2020 treated 400 children.
According to their website children are provided with an initial assessment, followed by four sessions with a psychiatrist or psychologist.
After minimal counselling this clinic may provide young people with puberty blockers and later with hormone treatments. Hormone therapy can start out as early as age 15.
The RCH insists that the effects of puberty blockers are reversible but the long term effects on bone density and the heart have not been researched.
We are greatly concerned about the long term dangers of such treatments, that we believe can be harmful to young people’s future health. Despite claims to the contrary, there is very little peer reviewed scientific evidence that supports transitioning as a good health outcome.
A UK report by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) commissioned by the National Health Service of Britain, released in 2021, found that there was very little evidence to date about the long term health effects of such treatment.
In the Bell vs Tavistock judgment (2020) the UK High Court decided that gender transition treatments were experimental and of unproven benefit and might in fact be physically harmful.
We would argue that young children, especially those in distress about body image etc., are not in a position to give informed consent to drastic medical treatments which can result, for example, in lifelong infertility and loss of sexual function.
This is clearly a social experiment that endangers children.
There are a disturbingly high number of young people with mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, who want to transition. Girls with autism are highly disproportionately represented in the numbers of transitioners.
Trans activists routinely claim that those seeking to transition must be affirmed because they are at a higher risk of suicide. Parents are often advised to affirm the wishes of their children for this reason. However our research shows that there is very little evidence (i.e. proper scientific studies by independent researchers) of increased risk of suicide.
There has been a very rapid and disproportionate increase in young girls wishing to transition. The Royal Children’s Hospital Gender Service does not provide a breakdown of the numbers of girls presenting with gender dysphoria. The UK Tavistock Gender Identity Development Service statistics reveal that the number of girls seeking their support increased from 32 girls in 2009 to 1740 in 2019.
It is important that therapists, teachers and parents question why so many young girls wish to become male. There may be underlying mental health issues such as eating disorders or anxiety. Surely this should be addressed before assuming that transitioning will ‘cure’ the problem.
Many young lesbians, who are attracted to other girls, encounter homophobia and feel that they would be more socially accepted if they presented as male.
Young women face huge pressures and don’t feel safe in a world that is dominated by men. Some think that by changing their gender identity that will become part of the patriarchy and be safe from harassment.
An increasing number of young people are rethinking their decision to transition, either because they have worked out they are really lesbian or gay and/or that transitioning has not solved their problems. They often face hostility from the trans activists. Most regret the changes to their bodies.
It is a tragedy that these young detransitioners will often be left with the long term effects of hormone therapy and may have undergone irreversible surgery.
A Concerning Legal Issue
We are concerned that children will be enabled to legally change their nominal sex without their parent’s consent at an age where they cannot conceivably understand the long term consequences (such as infertility, premature osteoporosis, lack of sexual functioning, etc.)
The transgender suicide myth An article from the excellent website of the UK based group Transgender Trend
When sons become daughters. (Quillette April 2021)
An excellent talk on how children are being impacted (A Women's Place UK 2018)
Fully Informed. A New Zealand group concerned about the effect of puberty blockers on children