Dr. Kenneth Zucker, a psychologist with 30 years of experience running the largest Canadian childhood gender clinic, believes that transgender children may actually just be suffering from autism.
The psychologist says that a child suffering from gender dysphoria, or transgenderism, may be wrongly convincing themselves that they are their opposite biological gender due to fixation—a common quality associated with autism—on their gender.
"It is possible that kids who have a tendency to get obsessed or fixated on something may latch on to gender,” says Zucker. “Just because kids are saying something doesn't necessarily mean you accept it, or that it's true, or that it could be in the best interests of the child.”
Zucker has also linked the high association of trans children who suffer from autism to support his claim.
“Latest figures show that the number of children under 10 in Britain being referred to the NHS over transgender feelings has quadrupled in five years,” notes The Telegraph. Zucker claims such children are “seven times more likely to be on the autistic spectrum.”
The psychologist makes his controversial claim on the BBC 2 documentary Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best?, set to air on Thursday night. The film examines opposing viewpoints surrounding gender dysphoria in children, a disorder growing at an alarming rate. The documentary has received blow-back from ardent transgender activists who want to ban the film from airing until it is reviewed by “experts;” a Change.org petition has been created, garnering over 10,000 signatures advocating for the censorship.
Besides linking autism to gender dysphoria, Zucker has been critical of the idea that we must appease the illness and allow children to “transition” to their opposite sex. In fact, the psychologist claims he was booted from the children’s trans clinic in Toronto for voicing such a dissenting view.
As reported at The Daily Wire this month, the American College of Pediatricians has estimated that 75-95 percent of children with gender dysphoria grow out of such sexual confusion before adulthood. This reinforces the notion that allowing children to "transition" at a young age could do far more harm than good.
Transgender activist and Mermaids Chief Executive Susie Green thinks Zucker’s view and the BBC 2 documentary in totality are moving transgenderism “backwards.”
“We are trying to move away from the perception of it being perceived as a psychological ailment, and this just goes backwards," Green told The Guardian.
“We’ve had real concern that this is going to cause them to be targeted, because it supports this idea of trans children being mentally disturbed or that they can be cured. Parents are very afraid,” she added.
In response to criticism, the BBC 2 has defended the documentary, releasing the following statement:
“With a rise in the number of children being referred to gender clinics, this programme sensitively presents different views from experts and parents on gender dysphoria in children.
For more than 30 years Dr Kenneth Zucker ran Canada’s biggest child gender clinic and was considered a recognised authority on childhood gender dysphoria until he lost his job. He believes he was fired for challenging the gender affirmative approach.
This documentary examines Zucker’s methods, but it also includes significant contributions from his critics and supporters of gender affirmation, including transgender activists in Canada and leading medical experts as well as parents with differing experiences of gender dysphoria and gender reassignment.”