The number of children wanting a sex change in 2012 saw an increase of 50 per cent compared to the previous year, according to The Times newspaper.
This comes as the Royal College of Psychiatrists urged services to work better so that children can have the operation quickly when they turn 18.
It came in guidelines for treating adults who are seeking a sex change.
Figures reported in The Times show that last year 208 children were referred to specialist clinics, up from 139 in the previous year.
But research shows that a high number of people who undergo sex change surgery go on to commit suicide.
Professor Chris Hyde, a medical professor from the University of Exeter, said that though his findings were from a decade ago it is “likely” the same issues remain today.
He said: “While no doubt great care is taken to ensure that appropriate patients undergo gender reassignment, there’s still a large number of people who have the surgery but remain traumatised – often to the point of committing suicide.”
Some suggest the transsexual suicide rate is as high as 31 per cent.
And it was reported last year that Britain’s youngest sex swap patient decided to revert back to living as a man having taken hormone injections to make him look like a woman.
The 18-year-old was scheduled to go through with a sex change at the beginning of this year.
Professor Kevan Wylie, who led the development of the new guidelines, said there has been a “seismic shift in attitudes” towards sex change therapy.
He said: “Among adolescents there are an increasing number of referrals because the internet and social media mean people are aware of and understand their symptoms and are then looking for help.”
He said most clinics are increasingly seeing young people, and the issue is “more prevalent than people perceive it to be”.
Prof Wylie said there is “quite a lot of evidence that people do well if they transition early because they can get on with their life.
Earlier this month, press in Belgium reported on a woman who ended her life after her sex change did not meet expectations.
Nancy Verhelst, known as Nathan, was euthanised under the grounds of “unbearable psychological suffering”.
A transsexual has been helped to die by doctors in Belgium, after a series of failed sex-change operations.
Nathan Verhelst, born a woman, asked for help to end his life on grounds of psychological suffering. He died in a Brussels hospital on Monday.
Two doctors concluded he did not have temporary depression. His case received scant media coverage.
Belgium legalised euthanasia in 2002. There were 52 cases of euthanasia on psychological grounds last year.
“He died in all serenity,” doctor Wim Distlemans told the Belgian newspaper, Het Laatste Nieuws.
Nathan Verhelst, 44, was born Nancy into a family of three boys. The newspaper, which said it had spoken to him on the eve of his death, reported that he had been rejected by his parents who had wanted another son.
He had three operations to change sex between 2009 and 2012.
“The first time I saw myself in the mirror I felt an aversion for my new body,” he was quoted as saying.
The hospital said there was an “extremely rigorous procedure” in place before any patient was put to death. “When we have a case which is… complicated, we ask ourselves more questions in order to be certain about the diagnosis,” Dr Jean-Michel Thomas said.
We need to offer cogent, rational arguments against non-discrimination laws that would de-segregate single-sex personal facilities.
California Governor Jerry Brown recently garnered headlines for signing a bill requiring all public schools to permit students to use the restrooms, locker rooms, and other personal facilities that correspond with their “gender identity.” The purpose of the law is to ensure that transgender Californians can use facilities corresponding to the sex they perceive themselves to be, rather than the one they appear to be.
Conservatives must resist two temptations in considering this development. First, we can’t dismiss the bathroom bill as a ridiculous “Left Coast” idiosyncrasy concocted by “Governor Moonbeam” and his crazy cabal of unreconstructed hippies. Second, we cannot and ought not assume that we can rely on disgust, discomfort, or any other visceral reaction to carry the day in opposing such progressive legislative innovations. Efforts to remove gender distinctions from public facilities are national and serious, and should be treated as such.
The Supreme Court of Maine is considering whether, under the state’s new gender identity non-discrimination law, a fifth-grade boy who identifies as a girl can be permitted to use a staff restroom but not the girls’ restroom. In Colorado, state courts have already ruled that a six-year-old boy who identifies as a girl must be permitted to use girls’ facilities. And in Washington state, a state college says it is powerless to prohibit a 45-year-old man who identifies as a woman to parade around locker rooms used by young girls’ swim teams because, per a spokeswoman, “gender identity is one of the protected things in discrimination law in this state.”
In my home state of Pennsylvania, official legal guidance published by the city of Philadelphia on its gender identity ordinance declares that discomfort with sharing personal facilities with those of the opposite biological sex stems from “unsubstantiated fears and discriminatory attitudes” that employers are bound by law to attempt to “eliminate.” And legislators from both parties have signed onto a bill—HB/SB 300—in the Pennsylvania legislature that would effectively expand this concept statewide.
None of these jurisdictions has a law exactly like California’s. Which is to say: California’s “bathroom bill” is not a unique innovation, but merely the codification of the necessary implications of sexual orientation/gender identity (SOGI) non-discrimination statutes all over the country.
Proponents of bills like Pennsylvania’s HB/SB 300 and the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) forswear the implications of these measures for use of personal facilities, focusing instead on issues of employment and workplace discrimination. But not only have these bills led to the de-gendering of personal facilities as a matter of fact, they must do so as a matter of principle, no matter what pragmatic proponents argue.
Under the logic of measures like ENDA, strictly sex-segregated personal facilities represent invidious discrimination because they deny “gender-non-conforming” individuals a right that most take for granted—the use of personal facilities in accordance with one’s “gender identity.” Simply placing the words “gender identity” and “gender expression”—the inward/psychic and outward/physical manifestations of gender, respectively—into discrimination law enshrines these concepts in our jurisprudence, where they will be invoked to eliminate perceived discrimination of all kinds.
To be clear, the scandal here is not that legislation like ENDA introduces the distinction between sex and gender into our law. We could affirm that gender is distinct from sex, and even that its contours are complex, fluid, and partially socially-construed, without affirming the radical view that our biology is irrelevant to our gender.
Conservatives embark on a fool’s errand when they try to argue that our—or any—particular social understanding of manhood and womanhood represents the essential nature of our being as gendered creatures. Pinkness does not inhere in womanliness. More seriously, neither courage, nor fortitude, nor any other virtues inhere exclusively in manliness as opposed to womanliness.
We can say all of this without saying that our socially- and personally-constructed gender constitutes our essential identity exclusive of our biological sex. And it is precisely this idea—that sex is irrelevant to gender, and that gender is “who we are”—that is smuggled into our law when the phrases “gender identity” and “gender expression” are placed there.
We are told, though, that biological sex cannot really matter because it doesn’t really exist, at least in the traditionally understood male-female binary. This binary is undermined, even more than by transgender individuals, by intersex and hermaphroditic people who are born with mixed or ambiguous genitalia and/or chromosomal structures. Gender, then, must be an internal, chosen identity—not a collection of macro or micro physical traits.
But does the existence of congenital blindness mean that humans are not sighted creatures? It is not insulting or demeaning to blind persons to say that humans are sighted by nature; it is a fact of our species. Do intersexuality and hermaphroditism mean that humans are not by nature male and female? No; they mean that some people are afflicted with abnormal sexual and reproductive capacities, in a similar way that blind people have abnormal human capacity for sight.
These afflictions, as with any other, call for care and compassion, not for trying to redefine the human species. They are a reminder, also, that we are all imperfect, physically and morally, and require the compassion of our fellow men.
Just as same-sex marriage redefines the most fundamental human relationship, enshrining “gender identity” into law redefines human sexuality itself. And, whether proponents of such legislation say so or not, this redefinition will reach public personal facilities from elementary schools to nursing homes.
For many Americans, understanding this eventuality would be enough to turn them against adding “gender identity” to our legal lexicon. But we err if we think visceral discomfort with sharing restrooms will win the day, just as many erred in thinking visceral discomfort with homosexuality made same-sex marriage unlikely. The laws are changing just slowly enough not to raise wide alarm in our apathetic society, and when they do change it is with an air of progressive inevitability (abetted by the media) that subtly suffocates opposition.
We must argue, then, for why we have sex-segregated personal facilities to begin with. Are they a holdover from a bygone era, like facilities segregated by race, or legal employment discrimination against women? Or are there reasons beyond the fact that it has always been this way?
The various activities that take place in restrooms and locker rooms implicate the distinct physical differences between men and women. In most other public places—offices, restaurants, sidewalks—these differences don’t matter. Men and women require no particular accommodation in virtue of their sex in these places; it is often illegal to treat men and women substantially differently precisely because the differences between them are irrelevant.
Sex-segregated personal facilities exist because there are some very particular ways in which men and women remain different, and always will be different. We need not go into detail to observe that men and women have different experiences in restrooms, locker rooms, and other sex-segregated places because of the differences in their anatomy. Separating the sexes in these facilities allows for distinct physical accommodations proper to the needs of men and women, but more importantly it allows for camaraderie among those who share the whole life experience of manhood or womanhood—among those who are the same. Advice, help, humor—there are some things that only those of the same sex can fully understand and appreciate, and which would not only be awkward but senseless to discuss with someone of the opposite sex (other than, perhaps, a spouse).
Secondarily, these personal facilities also implicate parts of the body that are particularly sexual in nature, even if nudity is not present. Personal facilities are sex-segregated in order to reduce their sexual nature. Healthy and professional non-sexual relationships between men and women depend on banishing the specter of sexuality from public facilities—even placing to one side the threat of harassment and general boorishness.
That visceral discomfort many feel when confronted with the idea of sharing personal facilities with those of the opposite biological sex can thus be explained rationally, and not just as the unreasonable result of social conditioning. And we must make the argument, for without it, as with marriage, those who feel this discomfort but do not understand it will be cowed into thinking that they’re the unwitting products of a grand scheme of disenlightenment, and will sheepishly acquiesce in the march of progress.
The de-gendering of personal facilities is the next logical step in the introduction of radical theories of gender into public policy. Governor Brown has explicitly codified this step, and probably knows exactly what he’s doing, but across the country at the state and federal level legislators are lining up behind “non-discrimination” legislation with no understanding of its meaning or repercussions. We must take these efforts seriously and offer cogent, rational arguments against them. Relying on disgust and discomfort would be like building a sandcastle as the tide rolls in.
Brandon McGinley is the field director of the Western region for the Pennsylvania Family Institute.
Transgender people and their advocates are asking society to take these internal gender identities seriously, and to respect their right to make a transition. They’re calling it “the next civil rights frontier.” Sixteen states have passed laws that ban discrimination against transgender people in housing and employment. In August, California enacted the nation’s first law allowing transgender K-12 schoolchildren to pick which bathroom and locker room they use, and whether to play on boys’ or girls’ sports teams. But advocates say the fight for acceptance has just begun. As an example, they point to the derision that greeted the recent announcement by Bradley Manning, a U.S. soldier convicted of leaking secret documents to WikiLeaks, that he was transgender and would henceforth identify himself as Chelsea. The Army said it would not provide Manning with the hormone therapy she’s requested, and she will be jailed with male inmates at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
‘Heather Clements taught theology at Azusa Pacific University for 15 years, but this past year, he began referring to himself as H. Adam Ackley…. He also said that his insurance was denied when he sought hormone treatment and “top surgery” for his chest area. “They’re giving me privacy to transition but denying medical treatment to do that,” said Ackley, who is 47, has two children and is in the process of getting a divorce.
Prof. Robert Gagnon, Associate Professor of New Testament, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, comments:
‘A Christian Post reporter asked me about transsexualism in general, to which I responded:
The writers of Scripture viewed any attempts at overriding one’s birth-sex as abhorrent, a sacrilege against the structures of maleness or femaleness created by God, and ultimately a rebellion against the Creator who made our bodies. Paul includes in his list of offenders who will not inherit the kingdom of God a group called the “malakoi,” which literally means “soft men” and refers to men who actively feminize themselves to attract male sex partners. Their attempt to become women could range from adopting female-like hairstyles, dress, make-up, and mannerisms to the surgical extreme of castration.
These figures were well known in the ancient Near East and Greco-Roman and went under various names (assinnus, kurgarrûs, or kulu’us; the galli). They resemble the group of men referred to in Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomistic History as the qedeshîm, literally, “holy (sanctified, consecrated) men” (Deut 23:17-18; 1 Kings 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; 2 Kings 23:7; cf. Job 36:14). Their attempts at transforming their masculinity into femininity, as well as engaging in homosexual practice, are labeled an “abomination” by Deuteronomy (23:18) and the Deuteronomistic Historian (1 Kings 14:21-24). Indeed, Deuteronomic law treats even cross-dressing as an “abomination” (22:5).
Yes, Jesus compared “eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs because of the kingdom of heaven” with “eunuchs who were born so from the womb of their mother” and “eunuchs who were made eunuchs by humans” (Matt 19:12). The comparison, though, assumes that neither the born-eunuchs nor the made-eunuchs (i.e., those castrated against their will) are having sexual relations, since that is the defining feature of the “eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs because of the kingdom of heaven.” Moreover, neither the born-eunuchs or made-eunuchs have made themselves eunuchs. The only group that Jesus speaks of as “making themselves eunuchs” is that group that does so only in a metaphorical sense, for they do not mar their body or seek to change their sex in any way. Rather, they only forego marriage between a man and a woman, the one permitted venue for sexual relations, in order to maximize their efforts at proclaiming the kingdom of God (Paul makes a similar point in 1 Cor 7:32-35). So there is no justification in these texts for ordaining persons who actively seek to change their own sex.
Paul’s remark in Gal 3:28 that “there is no ‘male and female’” was applied by Paul to the status of women before God, not as a basis for eliminating sexual differentiation or legitimizing attempts to change one’s sex. When applied to the area of sexual intercourse “no ‘male and female’” meant no sex whatsoever, complete sexual asceticism. Jesus taught that in the kingdom of God people will be neither married nor given in marriage. Until that time, in this age, sexual activity must pay heed to one’s birth sex by entering only into a union with the sex or gender opposite to one’s own birth sex.
Transsexuality is in some respects an even more extreme version of the problem of homosexual practice. It is an explicit denial of the integrity of one’s own sex and an overt attempt at marring the sacred image of maleness or femaleness stamped by God on our bodies. Whereas those engaged in homosexual practice dishonor their bodies by treating them as only half intact in relation to their own sex, persons who seek to adopt a gender identity opposite to their birth sex make a total rejection of their birth sex.
There is some evidence that, for at least some persons who embrace a gender identity at odds with their birth sex, a part of that part of the brain identified with sexual functioning may resemble the other sex. Yet other parts of sex-differentiated features of the brain still conform to one’s birth sex, as does one’s chromosomes, genitalia and other external features, and hormones. Moreover, there is no conclusive evidence that any sex-incongruent features of the brain are 100% congenitally determined or operate on a behaviorally deterministic model. Attempts to erase one’s birth sex have a quasi-gnostic feel: the dominant features of the body do not matter.’
Californians jolted by the mental image of children sharing lavatories and locker rooms with opposite-sex classmates are campaigning to repeal the nation’s first law requiring schools to accommodate transgender pupils.
The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, requires all schools receiving state funds to let children choose between boys’ or girls’ bathrooms, for instance, and participate in sex-segregated sports teams based on their gender identity rather than their biological sex.
For centuries Cambridge students have worn their distinctive graduation robes to receive their degrees from the ancient university.
But now the sight of graduates in their academic dress could be a little different after it rewrote its traditional dress code to avoid upsetting transgender students.
From October, male students will be allowed to wear skirts to pick up their degree certificates while female students will be able to choose to wear men’s suits and white bow ties.
Cambridge graduation day: Students have traditionally worn graduation robes over dark suits with a white shirt and white bow tie for men, and demure black dresses , suits or skirts with white shirts for women
Under the old rules, men had to wear dark suits with a white shirt, white bow tie and academic bands with black shoes and dark socks when they attended graduation.
Women could either wear a black dress , suit or skirt with a white shirt and smart shoes. They were also asked to cover their legs and arms.
The dress codes were strictly enforced and students who broke the rules could be refused graduation.
But the centuries old rules based on gender will be dropped when the new academic year starts in October.
Students will still be required to dress smartly for their graduations, but they will have the freedom to choose what clothes they wear underneath their academic gowns and hoods.
The reforms have been introduced after a campaign by the student union’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender group.
The group said that the requirement for graduates to dress in the clothes traditionally associated with their sex was ‘distressing’ for some students.
Charlie Bell, President of the Cambridge University Student Union LGBT+ group, said: ‘After a number of discussions at CUSU LGBT+, we decided it was time to act to ask the university to remove the gendered nature of their advice for graduation dress.
‘This has now been done through the Council, and I am delighted at how easy it has been, and how helpful the university has been throughout.
‘It’s a pleasure, at times like this, to belong to a university which not only talks the talk about equalities, but walks the walk too. I hope the colleges follow suit and that the gender label for graduation becomes truly something of the past.’
Their 16-year-old daughter comes home from public school in tears of humiliation to tell them that several boys from the football team shared her locker room while changing for a physical education class that day.
The parents call the school and are told their daughter is correct and the scenario is perfectly legal.
So the parents call the parents of the football players, who say they weren’t even aware that their sons had declared to the school that they now identified as females.
Some parents were so stunned by word that this is not a hormone-infused, teen boy’s fantasy that they checked online rumor sites, such as Snopes, according to Karen England of Capitol Resource Institute.
England’s group is working on a newly launched initiative that will need the signatures of some 500,000 voters to be on the next statewide ballot.
SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed legislation allowing students in California schools to compete on sports teams and use facilities, including restrooms, based on their gender identity, regardless of whether they are listed as male or female in official campus records.
The legislation is aimed at all sex-segregated school programs and facilities, allowing girls who identify themselves as boys to join boys’ teams and vice versa.