The number of children in the UK and Ireland being referred for specialist help because they are confused about their gender has risen by more than 2,000 per cent in eight years. Almost 2,000 children were seen by doctors last year, some as young as three.
Specialists attributed the increase in part to an increased willingness in society to accept gender diversity, with prominent transgender celebrities such as Caitlyn Jenner emboldening children to raise their concerns. They warned, however, of potential difficulties maintaining staff recruitment in line with rising demand.
According to data released by the Gender Identity Development Service, commissioned by NHS England, 1,986 people under 18 were referred and accepted for specialist treatment in the past year, compared with 94 in 2009-10. The youngest were aged just three, with seven children that age referred since 2009. The most common age at referral was 16, accounting for 24 per cent of all cases since 2009.
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