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Ethics – Gender identity warning

December 2017

It is extremely rare for children to have true gender identity concerns, a lead clinician at a gender identity clinic for children has stated.

According to Professor Gary Butler, clinical lead at the UK Gender Identity Development service, only ‘one child born in every 20,000’ experiences transsexual feelings.

He made the comments during a debate on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, in which concerns were raised over the disproportionate media coverage and government-led push of transsexual ideology, given the rarity of gender questioning among children.

During the debate, Lord Robert Winston, emeritus professor of fertility studies at Imperial College London, warned that scientists don’t understand the cause of transsexual feelings.

He spoke of the dangers of a ‘blunderbuss’ approach by doctors. He told the programme, ‘The results are horrendous in such a big proportion of cases’. Lord Winston also warned of the long-term damage that can be caused from hormone treatment and surgery, not least of which was the effect on reproduction.