The rapid rise in referrals for gender dysphoria among children has led the Equalities Minister to demand an inquiry to determine what is behind it.
Penny Mordaunt MP is keen to understand why there has been a 4,400 per cent rise in the number of girls being referred for treatments in the past nine years.
Government officials will look into potential causes, including the influence of social media and the promotion of transgender issues in schools.
A source from the Government Equalities Office noted “a substantial increase” in the number of girls being referred to the NHS, saying: “Little is known, however, about why this is and what are the long-term impacts.”
Education experts say that promoting transgenderism issues in school and encouraging children to question their gender has “sown confusion” in children’s minds.
Dr Joanna Williams has said that schools are “encouraging even the youngest children to question whether they are really a boy or a girl”.
Last year, the NHS received referrals for 45 children who were aged six or under, with the youngest just four years old.
While younger children are not usually given drugs, 800 children, some as young as ten, were given drugs to stall the onset of puberty, and some even started hormone treatments to begin changing sex.
Many doctors are concerned that drug treatment is being offered too readily with little known about the side effects of the hormone treatments.
These can include infertility and osteoporosis.
Dr Lucy Griffin, consultant psychiatrist at Bristol Royal Infirmary said she was “extremely worried” about the long-term effects the treatments could have.
The Government is currently consulting on how to streamline the process of ‘changing sex’, and is considering allowing people to legally ‘self-identify’ their gender.