On the Science of Changing Sex

Transsexual Teens In UK Gender Dysphora Treatment

Posted in Editorial, Transgender Youth by Kay Brown on August 20, 2022

In a spate of recent UK media there was a wild accusation that a “thousand” youths were suing the National Health Service for wrongly pushing them into transsexual medical treatments. But there is a serious problem with this statement. That number, a thousand, is roughly the TOTAL number of transsexual teens that have been treated in the UK from 2008 through 2021. Are ALL of them suing the NHS? No, the story is disinformation generated by a transphobic propagandists under the rubric of the “Big Lie” theory, that the bigger the lie, the more believable it is. In truth, very few teens would be unhappy with receiving treatment and most would be very grateful. (Though the may grumble about aspects of the hoops they had to clear to get it.)

I’m a US citizen living in California, so I have zero direct experience with the UK NHS and their gender dysphoria treatment system. But as I understand it, to get treatment, one must jump through multiple hoops, first convincing a (potentially transphobic) skeptical General Practitioner (GP) to provide a referral to the Gender Identity Service (GIDS). The GIDS does a psych and history evaluation and may or may not provide a referral to the Endocrine Service which may or may not then provide puberty blockers (PB) or cross-sex Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).

If you were to believe the propaganda, you would be think that the NHS hands out HRT like candy on Halloween. They do not. Further, the real numbers from these clinics show that the number of teens treated is NOT indicative of an “epidemic” of gender dysphoria. Far from it.

We need to review some stats. The current population of the entire UK is a bit over 67 million people. The long time historical estimate of actual transsexuals, those who experience gender dysphoria, seek medical treatment, and live full time as the opposite sex is known to be less than one in ten thousand (<1:10,000). That includes those that seek treatment as adults. So, the maximum number of people we expect in the NHS system receiving HRT and later Sex Reassignment Surgery for gender dysphoria would be less than 7,000 people TOTAL. So, we expect, that the number of transsexual teens would be some lower number. And that is exactly what we see.

Consider the recent paper published in the British Medical Journals by Butler, et al. In it we learn that the NHS Gender Identity Services referred only 1,151 teens for evaluation between 2008 and 2021 inclusive. Of that only 1089 had known outcomes. Of those, 32 did NOT receive hormonal medical treatment, likely realizing that they weren’t actually gender dysphoric when confronted with the reality of what that really meant. (That is, they we likely falsely claiming to be “trans”, which has become a very popular fad among teens and young people such that there are likely over 500 people falsely claiming to be “trans” or “non-binary” for every actual transsexual.) Of the remaining 1,057 teens, 58 (5.5%) later elected to cease medical treatments leaving 999 that continued into adulthood.

Again, this is NOT indicative of a sudden epidemic of gender dysphoria among teens. In fact, it is perfectly in keeping with the number we expect from decades of clinical experience. Most especially, these numbers put the lie to the assertion that a thousand youths are planning to sue the NHS for medical malpractice. It also gives us an insight into the relative stability of gender dysphoria and of transsexual identities in teenagers, that so called “desistence” occurs before puberty onset.

Further Reading:

How Many Transfolk Are There, Really?

Lost In The Crowd – The recent phenomena of young people falsely claiming to be “trans” or “non-binary”

Age Of Innocence – Clinical evidence that “desistence” occurs before puberty onset.

Reference:

Butler G, Adu-Gyamfi K, Clarkson K, et al., “Discharge outcome analysis of 1089 transgender young people referred to paediatric endocrine clinics in England 2008–2021” Archives of Disease in Childhood (2022) doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2022-324302

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