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GIDS Find Rise in Gender Identity Referrals

Posted on 19.02.2016


Recent years have seen a large rise in the number of NHS referrals for children with gender identity issues.

According to GIDS (The Gender Identity Development Service), 969 under-18s in the UK were referred to the NHS between 2015 and 2016, which has increased from only 94 from between 2009 and 2010. Almost 200 of the under-18s most recently recorded were under 12 years old. The records also show that one three-year old and three four-year-olds were referred to GIDS.

Many of these statistics have been revealed following a recent case in Nottinghamshire, where a five-year-old boy came back to school identifying as a little girl. The child’s parents received professional support after making the difficult decision to help their son to become who he really felt he was and the school sent letters to classmates’ homes explaining the situation.

The Gender Identity Development Service receives most referrals from GPs, paediatricians, schools, and mental health services. Director, Polly Carmichael, supports the claim that gender transitions are becoming more frequent amongst younger children but stated there is no right or wrong approach.

GIDS have said that the rise in referrals could be because awareness of gender identity issues and acceptance of them has increased.

Bernard Reed of the Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES) explained that young people still suffer in silence when it comes to gender issues. GIRES is a charity working to help those struggling with gender identity to improve their quality of life.

Reed said: ‘There are several hundred cases each year and they are quite often referred for medical support. But because society is often not supportive in such cases, usually these young people do not seek publicity.’

Source: BBC News


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