Government probe into why so many girls want to be boys: Investigation ordered after number of 'transitioning referrals' increases by four thousand per cent
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- Psychologists and behavioural experts will explore why this is increasing
- Some girls think that modern life is 'easier to bear' if they become boys
- Children referred for gender treatement has risen from 97 to 2,519 in eight years
An urgent investigation has been launched into why soaring numbers of girls aged as young as four want to change gender – and whether social media is to blame.
Equalities Minister Penny Mordaunt has ordered officials to discover the reasons why the number of girls being referred for 'transitioning' treatment has increased by 4,415 per cent.
Psychologists and behavioural experts will explore why – in the words of one source – some girls think that modern life is 'easier to bear' if they become boys.
Official figures show the number of children referred for gender treatment – including hormone injections – has risen from 97 in 2009/10 to 2,519 in 2017/18. But by far the steepest rise has come among girls: up from 40 to 1,806.
Trans boy with 300,000 Youtube followers
Alex Bertie built up a following of 300,000 on YouTube during his transitioning from female to male – adding to fears that social media may be influencing young people who want to change sex.
Growing up in Dorset, Alex appeared to be a typical tomboy: sporting long blonde hair, but playing with toy cars and video games. As a 13-year-old girl she fell in love with another girl, leading to bullying. Yet it was only at 15 that Alex – now 22 – determined to change sex after being sent to an LGBT group called Over the Rainbow. There, the youngster was given information about how to transition on the NHS.
He subsequently had sex change hormone therapy with testosterone and an operation to reduce both breasts.
In videos he tells his fans that the results of the treatment have been ‘pretty amazing’.
A total of 45 of the children were aged six or under, with the youngest ones being just four.
Last night, a source in the Government Equalities Office, which handles policies on 'women, sexual orientation and transgender equality', said: 'There has been a substantial increase in the number of individuals assigned female at birth being referred to the NHS. There is evidence that this trend is happening in other countries as well.
Little is known, however, about why this is and what are the long-term impacts.'
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Another source said: 'Is it, to put it crudely, that young girls simply think modern life would be easier to bear if they were boys?' Some therapists believe the rise is linked to the same mental health crisis among girls which has led to an epidemic of self-harm, with social media perpetuating hyper-sexualised ideals of what it means to be a woman.
The Mail on Sunday disclosed last month that almost two thirds of children and teenagers who say they want to change sex have been diagnosed with serious mental health disorders before expressing the desire to transition.
A total of 63 per cent have had 'one or more diagnoses of a psychiatric disorder or neurodevelopmental disability' before announcing they wanted to change gender. Almost half had self-harmed and 50 per cent had suffered a traumatic event in their lives, such as being bullied or suffering sexual abuse.
The MoS has revealed the fears of a leading doctor that the health of hundreds of children is being put at risk by sex-change drugs doled out on the NHS.
Dr Lucy Griffin, a consultant psychiatrist at Bristol Royal Infirmary, said she was 'extremely worried' about the long-term effects the medication was having on adolescents.
She warned that medicines being given to teens to help them change gender can render them infertile, cause osteoporosis and result in sexual dysfunction.
The medicines include 'puberty blocker' drugs, which halt the onset of adulthood, and 'cross sex hormones' which start the physical process of changing sex.
Last year 800 children in England who were unhappy being the sex they were born were given puberty blocking injections, including some as young as ten.
The debate comes against the backdrop a row between feminists and transgender activists over whether transgender women – who were born male – should be placed in the same category as biological females.