According to the most recent data released by the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) at the U.K.’s Tavistock Centre, child and adolescent referrals have doubled compared to the previous year. GIDS now estimates 5,000+ children and adolescents sought gender-related services in 2021-2022, a 112% increase from 2020-2021.
GIDS saw a slight dip during the pandemic from 2020-2021 with 2,401 new referrals compared to recent years of 2,750+ referrals. The gender clinic initially reported in June their 2021-2022 data approximated 3,585 new patients, but an additional 1,500 referrals were later included in a July press release.
“Referrals to our Gender Identity Development Service stood at over 3,500. In addition, the referral support service set up by NHS England for GP referrals recorded over 1,500 referrals,” reads the press statement.
The Society for Evidence Based Gender Medicine (SEGM), an international group of over 100 clinicians and researchers, released a new graph on Thursday to illustrate the steep increase.
GIDS is reporting exponentially more cases of unknown sex. Furthermore, the additional 1500+ referrals are from a different source, and SEGM’s chart states that it does not currently have the age and sex breakdown of those cases. “The lack of quality data on the sex of referrals is concerning since it obscures the trend that has been observed since 2012-13, when adolescent females first began to comprise the majority of GIDS referrals,” said SEGM.
“Our stacked area chart also shows that adolescent females 12-17 continue to dominate the referral activity at 1759 cases,” said SEGM. “But a new trend is also emerging: increasing numbers of referrals are not recorded by natal sex. In 2021-22, a total of 779 referrals were of unknown sex.”
It is unclear why data on natal sex was not recorded. One possibility is that researchers left this data out of their report because they did not distinguish between a patient’s sex and self-reported “gender identity,” rendering the data meaningless. Another possibility is that sex was not recorded because of the belief held by many gender activists that males and females are meaningless “social constructs.” However, simple incompetence cannot be entirely ruled out.
SEGM also tweeted that because GIDs had to rely on a new referral service (Arden & GEM) to handle gender-related child and adolescent referrals, it “speaks to the degree of overwhelm faced by GIDS” regarding the skyrocketing trend.
“While these data are UK-specific, other Western countries are likely experiencing similar trends. It’s vital to investigate the cause of the sharp rise in gender dysphoria in youth, in order to identify safe and effective treatment approaches that prioritize long-term health,” SEGM wrote on Twitter.
In July, Britain’s National Health Service announced their plans to close down the Gender Identity and Development Service (GIDS) at the Tavistock Centre in London in spring of 2023. According to a report, employees were pressured to adopt an “unquestioning affirmative approach.” As a consequence, once children and young people were identified as having “gender-related distress,” their other mental health needs could “sometimes be overlooked.”