Therapists fear losing their jobs if they attempt to help a child explore why they may feel they were ‘born in the wrong body’, a child protection officer (CPO) has said.
The anonymous officer said therapists can only affirm a patient’s confusion “or face being found guilty of ‘conversion therapy’”.
The admission comes as concerns grow that teenage girls are turning to transgenderism as a coping mechanism in the same way many have with anorexia and self-harm.
We should at least be allowed to ask: ‘Are you sure?’
The CPO said: “If I have concerns about a child who says they identify as transgender, I can’t pass it on, as I could be labelled a bigot.
“But I have spoken off the record to GPs, education psychologists and social workers, and many of us are questioning why so many young women are doing this to their bodies.
“We should at least be allowed to ask: ‘Are you sure?’ It is a growing issue that needs to be addressed in a fair and balanced way.”
With the rapid rise of young people seeking treatment for gender dysphoria, academics are trying to determine the reason behind the rise.
Psychologist Dr Lesley Prince says parents need to be more aware of rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD) – the phenomenon whereby children who have never expressed confusion about gender suddenly decide they want to ‘change sex’.
She said that huge numbers of children who go through gender dysphoria grow out of it following adolescence.
“But these days there’s a perceived trendiness behind transgenderism and a lot of cheerleading, too.”
Founder of Transgender Trend Stephanie Davies-Arai said:”While anorexia or anxiety used to grip girls with body-image or self-esteem problems, these days switching gender could be seen as the latest coping mechanism.
“There has been increased sexualisation of teenage girls, they don’t feel comfortable in their bodies and therefore they want to do something to alter it.
“In the past it was by eating less or cutting themselves, but now it seems the trend to transition.”
She agreed that the one-sided online presentation is a driving force, adding: “Medical transition is presented as ‘cool’ and 100% positive.”
4,400 per cent rise
Last month Equalities Minister Penny Mordaunt called for an investigation into the causes behind the sudden rise in girls seeking to ‘change sex’.
In the past nine years there has been a 4,400 per cent rise in the number of girls being referred for treatments.
Government officials will look into potential causes, including the influence of social media and the promotion of transgender issues in schools.