The consequences of same-sex marriage and its accompanying radical ideologies continue to plague the United Kingdom: the number of children referred for gender treatments has skyrocketed in recent years, according to a specialist UK gender clinic.
The graph below illustrates the dramatic rise in referrals to the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) based in Leeds, which is run by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.
It is all too easy to dismiss the figures as a result of increased awareness and acceptance of transgenderism. According to Dr Polly Carmichael, a psychologist and the Director of GIDS:
“There is no single explanation for the increase in referral figures, but we do know in recent years that there has been significant progress towards the acceptance and recognition of transgender and gender diverse people in our society. There is also greater knowledge about specialist gender clinics and the pathways into them, and an increased awareness of the possibilities around physical treatments for younger adolescents.
Dr Carmichael is correct in saying that there are multiple explanations for the figures. However, one commentary on the website Transgender Trend truly nails the real explanation:
It is the media which has facilitated the speedy public ‘acceptance and recognition’ of not just ‘transgender and gender diverse people’ but the completely new belief that children are ‘transgender,’ together with the idea that invasive medical intervention is a necessity. The press has a big influence on people’s views, including parents, teachers and all adults in a child’s life, and it plays a pivotal role in normalising and creating acceptance of ideas within society as a whole. Whether individual people believe that some children are ‘transgender’ and that “physical treatments for younger adolescents” is a good idea is largely dependent on a societal consensus created in large part by the way the media reports it.
A media analysis conducted on the site showed that 42% of articles published between April 2016 and March 2017 which related to “transgender kids” highlighted medical options available to kids looking to transition. In contrast, less than 5% warned readers that “gender transitioning” is a life-long commitment, is accompanied by risks of sterility, and that the long-term health effects of “gender transitions” are unknown. The analysis demonstrates that while the media is happy to play its part in the normalisation of ‘trans kids,’ honest reporting of known risks of transition have been scarce.
What this comparison reveals most starkly is that the caution expressed by clinicians in the articles about gender clinics is not making its way over into other news stories; there is very little note of caution in the child transition stories and none at all in the reports on schools even though there was some outrage about school policies and teaching materials. It is not, therefore, that editors are unaware of at least some of the risks and questions around diagnosing and treating children as ‘transgender’ but that they choose largely to minimise them and continue to publish cheer-leading child transition stories as if the issue is settled.
It is clear that the risks of promoting transgenderism are routinely being ignored.
At Marriage Alliance we have pointed out how programs such as Safe Schools are contributing to media coverage and media saturation and on this issue. The effects are clearly illustrated in the UK. Even medical practitioners in the field are speaking out on the issue.
Gender theory programs are contributing to these higher numbers of referrals for gender treatment. As long as they exist, we will persistently continue to speak up and inform the public that gender theory is far from harmless.