A ten-year-old boy has been given the go-ahead by an Australian court to have sex change treatment.
The boy, known only as Jamie, had been dressing as a girl for the past two years, and had been allowed to use the girls’ toilets at school.
Judge Linda Dessau, who has a history of approving sex change procedures for youngsters in Australia, said she had to make a quick decision so the boy could start treatment before puberty develops further.
But critics of sex change operations say that gender dysphoria is a psychiatric problem, not a physical one, and radical physical surgery does more harm than good.
In November the BBC documented the tragic story of a baby boy in Canada whose parents were persuaded by an academic, Dr John Money, to raise him as a girl.
Dr Money believed that gender was a result of social constructions rather than nature so baby Bruce became ‘Brenda’, but when he reached puberty he discovered his true sex. He became deeply depressed and later committed suicide.
Doctors from the NHS Portman Clinic – an internationally acclaimed centre – have stated in the past, “what many patients find is that they are left with a mutilated body, but the internal conflicts remain”.
Many transsexuals regret their decision to live in the opposite sex. A Home Office report on transsexualism said: “Many people revert to their biological sex after living for some time in the opposite sex”.
Last year a man who underwent sex change surgery to look like a woman – then changed back – said the NHS should halt all sex change operations.
Charles Kane, who spent £100,000 on operations to make him look like a woman, says he needed counselling, not surgery.
“Based on my own experiences, I believe sex-change operations should not be allowed, and certainly not on the NHS”, he says.
Mr Kane says: “People who think they are a woman trapped in a male body are, in my opinion, completely deluded. I certainly was.
“I needed counselling, not a sex-change operation.”
He adds: “In many ways I see myself as a victim of the medical profession.”