A scientifically unproven experiment on children suffering from gender dysphoria at a NHS gender clinic in the U.K. has led to as many as 18 resignations from clinicians.
"They believe that some gay children struggling with their sexuality are being wrongly diagnosed as 'transgender' by the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) clinic," reports The Times of London. "All five former staff were responsible for deciding which trans-identifying youngsters should be given hormone blockers to halt their sexual development. The vast majority of those who begin blockers go on to irreversible cross-sex hormones once they reach 16."
Over the past decade, the number of children referred to the clinic has skyrocketed from just 94 in 2010 to a whopping 2,519 just last year. At the clinic, treatment can begin at an age as young as three. Often, the children are subjected to the experiment without proper assessment from an expert as to the nature of their gender confusion, according to some NHS specialists.
"I felt for the last two years what kept me in the job was the sense there was a huge number of children in danger. I was there to protect children from being damaged," one clinician told The Times.
"This experimental treatment is being done on not only children, but [on] very vulnerable children," said another.
The five clinicians that spoke with The Times pointed the blame at transgender advocacy charities like "Mermaids" for making the false claim that gender transitioning in children will suddenly cure them of their dysphoria and concomitant emotional distress. For reasons political, not medical, the clinicians claim they were often put under intense pressure to subject children to the experiment — despite the lack of a proper medical assessment.
"The specialists expressed concern that many children decided they wanted to change gender after suffering homophobic bullying," reports The Times. "Yet these young people were still referred down the route of hormone treatment, they claimed, without clinicians always exploring the possibility they may simply be gay. One clinician said that she feared the use of hormone therapy for such children could result in a scandal."
Children who have already started puberty can be given hormone blockers, which completely stops the body's development in its tracks. Though the blockers can be reversed, little is known on the effect they have on the brain.
The GIDS clinic has denied all accusations, saying their service respects each and every individual case.
In the United States, Dr. Michelle Cretella, M.D., F.C.P., president of the American College of Pediatricians, has denounced gender transitioning in children as child abuse.
"When it comes to what is causing rising numbers of people to identify as transgender, all teenagers go through a phase known as ‘gender formation," Cretella said at a talk in Rhode Island last year. "During this time, she says, a certain number are susceptible to 'marketing' that they are 'trapped in the wrong body.'"
Cretella has also written that biological sex goes all the way back to a human being's conception and that sexuality is an unchangeable binary.
"Biological sex is not assigned," she wrote. "Sex is determined at conception by our DNA and is stamped into every cell of our bodies. Human sexuality is binary. You either have a normal Y chromosome, and develop into a male, or you don’t, and you will develop into a female. There are at least 6,500 genetic differences between men and women. Hormones and surgery cannot change this."