Gender Dysphoria: Looked after Children. Part 3. U.K. GIDS

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This post is based on a 2019 paper which looks at referrals to the U.K. Gender Clinic, GIDS, based at the Tavistock. The focus is on Adopted & Looked After Children (LACs). The full paper is included below. You can also access it via the link below:

Gender Dysphoria in LAC kids

Gender Dysphoria in looked-after and adopted young people in a gender identity development service – Tom Matthews, Victoria Holt, Senem Sahin, Amelia Taylor, David Griksaitis, 2019

Data Source:

The paper is from 2019 but uses data covering Tavistock patients during 2009 to 2011. It is unclear why the data doesn’t extend beyond this date. It may be significant that the data was extracted from clinical notes and, possibly, the researchers were required to harvest it manually. There appears to be a paucity of data collection, within GIDs, on the vulnerable groups referred to their service. Lack of ready access to data is frequently used as a reason to justify lack of compliance with Freedom of Information Requests. The law allows an organisation to deny an FOI if there is deemed to be an excessive amount of hours required to extract the data. GIDs have used this exemption multiple times on their FOI log. If you are familiar with the Keira Bell case you will recall the Judges who expressed surprise multiple times that data was not readily available.

If you are not familiar with the Keira Bell case I cover it below:

Kiera Bell: Judicial Review

Vulnerable Children & GIDS. 

The researchers note the high rate of GIDS referrals from Looked after (LAC) and adopted children. They note that LACs make up 0.58% of the general population but 4.9% of GIDs referrals. Adopted children account for another 3.8% of referrals.  The data, therefore, illustrates a significant over-representation of these groups in the GIDs patient population. 

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It is worth noting that children living with grandparents are counted in the category of children living with their biological family (YPBF). In my experience every child I know, who is living with grandparents, has some trauma in their background, often related to bereavement or alcohol/drug dependent parents. I would have preferred to see disaggregated data on this group of children. The children from disrupted family backgrounds are therefore under-estimated in the population defined by the researchers.

Below is a clip from the David Taylor report which raised concerns about GIDs back in 2005. The David Taylor report was eventually released 15 years later folllowing an information request. The GIDS service, at the Tavistock, resisted publication and they only capitulated when they lost an appeal to the Freedom of Information Commissioner. David Taylor also noted the GIDs referrals from vulnerable children with troubled backgrounds. Child abuse, multiple caregivers or otherwise deprived or injurious upbringings are more likely to present with Gender Identity Issues. This is not new information. (I have a copy of the Taylor report and intend to do a piece on it, shortly)

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Adolescence is a time of profound identity exploration. This can be a difficult time even for adolescents within a stable family context. What Gender Identity Ideologues demand is that we affirm a “gender identity”, in children/teenagers as if it were a concrete, stable identity. They further argue that this represents an “authentic” self which nevertheless needs the administration of life altering medications/surgeries. At the same time we are told to bear the concept of “gender fluidity” in mind which instructs us to recognise that gender identity is subject to change.

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Gender fluidity allows the ideology to account for the emergence of middle aged males who claim a female Gender Identity at a late stage. Many of these men are heterosexual fathers and often emerge from male dominated professions. There seems to be a preponderance of,ex-army, late transitioners which is an interesting phenomenon. Blanchard’s theory of autogynephilia seems to best describe these males. A midlife crisis, where Barry becomes Belinda, is a phenomenon with little in common with “transgender children“. However gender dysphoric children distract from the sexual motivations of adult males, validate their inner woman and serve as the equivalent of “beards” for AGP males.

I know! Sometimes I wish I did not know any of this stuff too.

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Homosexuality

Another glaring omission from this data is the absence of any figures on how many are proto-gay kids. Coyly the researchers avoid the word “homosexual” and, instead talk about diverse sexual identities.

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Co-morbidity in referrals to GIDS.

Another feature of children referred to Gender Identity Services is a higher than expected rate of autistic children. Children who had experienced bullying and were self-harming are also noted. Data from Finland shows extremely high rates of co-morbid psychiatric conditions. A whopping 68% were found to have had prior engagement with psychiatric services for reasons other then their Gender Dysphoria.

The research also looks at rates of referral to endocrinologists between the different groups. The Looked after group, who obtained a diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria, had the highest rates. At the same time they had the lowest rates of meeting the threshold for a diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria.

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Parents of adopted children show the greatest reluctance to embark on medications and are described as exhibiting nervousness about how they would be perceived. The report authors’ perspective is that a lack of parental advocacy, for LAC/Adopted children is impeding treatment for Gender Dysphoria, for children not residing with their biological family.

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Their preferred solution is to improve access to diagnosis/treatment by accelerating pre-treatment counselling. It is recommended that more frequent appointments may be necessary to ensure that LAC children are not disadvantaged. I share the concern about the lack of parental advocacy but from a diametrically opposed viewpoint. Parents have a key role in protecting their children from irreversible medical decisions they may come to regret. In Canada a father has recently been imprisoned after refusing to remain silent about the fact his teenage daughter has been put on testosterone and is on a path to double mastectomy. (I will cover that case in a later blog)

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The GIDS based research illustrates a huge over-representation from children already identified as a vulnerable group. It is notable that the data in this paper is from 2009-11 and before the huge surge in referrals we have seen in recent years. Research in Finland produced an even higher figure (13%) for referrals in this group.

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After I published my first piece I was sent a link to the Irish article, posted below, which raised similar issues re the profile of children referred to Gender Identity Services.

Irish Referrals for Gender Dysphoria

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Transgender Equality Inquiry 

The issue of looked after children has appeared in submissions to the Parliament’s Transgender Equality Inquiry.  Susie Green, of the controversial charity Mermaids, issued a typically hyperbolic statement: 

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Bernadette Wren, of the Tavistock, issued a more moderate statement but implies that Looked After Children may not find their way to GIDs services and that Social Workers need to be confident in making sure they know what these children are entitled to…

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Its time we started looking more critically about the idea of an innate gender identity and why this belief system has gained so much traction in (very)recent history. Children in care/ adopted children are among the most vulnerable in our society. There is little doubt in my mind that we are witnessing social engineering and the unintended (?) consequence is negatively impacting vulnerable children/teens. Foster children and those adopted are another group that needs safeguarding.

Once again we are seeing of issues of vulnerability in the children/teenagers harvested by Gender Identity Ideology.

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Kiera Bell: Judicial Review

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This Judicial Review was brought by Keira Bell and a parent of an autistic girl, identified as Mrs A. Applications to “intervene” in the case were brought by Mermaids, Stonewall and Transgender Trend. Only the latter were accepted by the Judges. Mermaids and Stonewall were not added to the case because the evidence they presented was not accepted, as relevant, by the by court.

You can read the full judgement here.

Bell-v-Tavistock-Judgment

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Since 2011 the Gender Identity Service , in the U.K., commonly called GIDs or The Tavistock, has been prescribing puberty lockers to children as young as 10. This was originally agreed, by the Health Regulation Authority (HRA) as a research project. The first ethics approval panel rejected the project so the Tavistock submitted to a different Ethics approval panel, who did accept it. There is a complex back story to how this experiment was launched. You can read more about this on an earlier blog:

Michael Biggs: 👇

TAVISTOCK 4 : Michael Biggs  

In this court case one of the patients from the Tavistock challenges the treatment she was given. Crucially the court considers the impact of the treatment, in both the short and long term, the evidence base for this treatment and whether these young patients can give informed consent.

One of the key issues is the lack of evidence supporting this controversial treatment. Nine years on and, by the time of this court case, the findings of this research study had still not been published! Below the Director of GIDs argued that they were about to publish the research which was too late for the Court case. Why would you not prioritise this research paper to ensure the court case had the evidence? Surely you would have expedited it if you were so certain it would support your case?

More than once the judge expresses surprise at the lack of data provided by GIDS.

Furthermore the Court, below, highlighted the dramatic rate of increase in referrals to GIDs and the change in the demographic. The lack of curiosity about this change is astounding.

It had not, however, entirely escaped the notice of GIDs. Here is Bernadette Wren, ex head of psychology at the Tavistock , speaking on this issue to the Women’s and Equalities Committee, on Transgender Equality. A social revolution that many have fought for! I wonder how many realised it would result in our young Lesbians medicalising themselves to the point of sterility? Or our gay sons retreating into faux-straight, medicalised closets? Some revolution!

The court also noted the proportion of autistic kids who are seduced by Gender Identity Ideology. This is why Mrs A is also part of this court case, her daughter is autistic. Once again the court expresses surprise at the lack of data available, from the Tavistock.

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But the literature is available at the high number of referrals from neuro atypical children. It is so well known that Autistic charities have commented on its prevalence.

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Once again we see the unexpected prevalence of autistic females. 👆 Indeed it is such a well known feature that Gender Identity Ideologues like Jo Elsson-Kennedy had this to say in a, now deleted, interview. This clip is taken from a transcript of the podcast by the controversial clinic (Gender GP) run by suspended General Practitioner Helen Webberley:

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Here 👆 Olssen-Kennedy makes the extraordinary claim that symptoms of autism disappear when the Gender Dysphoria is treated.

In the full judicial transcript document the court elaborates the way Gender Dysphoria is diagnosed. I won’t reproduce here but it is a list based on how a young person deviates from sex stereotypes. I fit much of that criteria myself. How much more pronounced will Gender non-conformity be in a proto-Gay kid who may otherwise grow up as a Butch Lesbian or Femme Gay male?

These are the side effects of the treatment, Fertility and, for males, stunted genitalia high will impact on sexual function. Remember we are asking 10 year olds to sign up to this.

The Tavistock did have service users who spoke well of the Tavistock and their treatment. However these were the judges observations on the witnesses. It is extraordinary that GIDs thought their witnesses would strengthen their case.

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On the contrary a neuroscientist called into question the ability of even teenagers to consent to these treatments and highlighted the lack of impulse control which is evident before brain maturation. Notably many commentators locate brain maturation at age 25 but certainly it has not been completed by age 18! In the United Kingdom double mastectomies are available from age 17 and sexual reassignment surgery from age 18. What makes this even more alarming is that children not allowed to experience puberty may be arrested in the development of cognitive development and lag behind their peers in respect of brain maturation.

Another plank of the case was the court’s rejection of the idea that puberty blockers provide a pause for young children to be relieved from the development of sexual characteristic and time to resolve their Gender Dysphoria. The court highlights the almost inevitability of puberty blockers to be followed by cross-sex hormones. Therefore consent for one needs to encompass the cross sex hormones.

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The full document deals with the issues of Gillick competence with reference to many other legal judgements. Many lobby groups have tried to argue this legal case throws into question rights to contraception or abortion and to smear Gender Critical arguments on this basis. This is smoke and mirrors. It is rare to find any gender critical feminists who are against the right to control fertility. We do, however, oppose the eradication of fertility in minors. This is quite a different argument.

It is worth reminding people that these children will be dependent on pharmaceutical companies for the remainder of their lives. Does #BigPharma have a vested interest in creating life long patients? Are we monetising the confusion of children, and teenagers, who have been inculcated with Gender Dysphoria by the Gender Industrial complex?

The Tavistock have won the right to appeal against the initial judgment. Mermaids and Stonewall have, once again, not been granted the right to intervene in the case. However the Endocrinology society, in the United States have been allowed to intervene as has Brook, who you may remember as a Pregnancy Advisory Service. They are now expanding their remit and cover issues around “Gender”.

You can read about Brook’s belief about “Gender” : Here

These clips should give you a clue about the stance taken by Brook. Accessed on 16th February 2021. 

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As you can see they have not quite got around to updating their guidance on #PubertyBlockers. Here they describe it as merely a suspension which can be resumed if the person changes their mind. As noted above near 100% progress to Cross-Sex Hormones.

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And, of course, they signpost these troubled teens to GIDs.

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This incoherent ideology has captured, seemingly, all the charities operating in the U.K.  Brook would appear to be another one willing to squander its legacy in the alter of Gender Identity Ideology. 

If you are able to support my work you can do so below. 

Researching Gender Identity Ideology and its impact on Women and our Gay Youth.

£5.00

Tavistock 5: Marcus Evans

This is one of a series of blogs on The Tavistock, the UK’s Main Gender Identity Service. Based at the Tavistock NHS Trust, in London, it is often abbreviated as simply GIDs.   Marcus is an ex-employee of the Tavistock and an important voice in this debate. You can find him on twitter Here  The paper is an excellent reference point.  Open access and with comprehensive references to all sources. Great reading list for the curious.

Link to the paper here

Given the history of silencing research in this field here is the download  Freedom to think- the need for thorough assessment and treatment of gender dysphoric children | BJPsych Bulletin | Cambridge Core

If you have read any of my earlier pieces you will already know there’s been an unprecedented rise in referrals to GIDs /Tavistock. There has also been a change in the sex of the referrals. The proportions have completely inverted, from 75% male to 75% female. In addition there is an increase  in teenage onset cases. This has been termed: Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria, and is a recent phenomenon.  The changing nature of the referral population, numerically, by sex and teenage onset should have raised serious questions about treatment protocols. Yet in 2011 the Tavistock actually accelerated the pace of earlier medicalisation.

Affirmation Only.

The predominant treatment is to “affirm”. This means it is now unacceptable to question your own /  any child. This, despite the fact that we know, left alone, most would desist from a trans-identity.

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Practitioners are expected to support the child’s self-identification and not to explore or question it. Affirmation is a nice, positive sounding word and it has become the mainstream treatment protocol.  The affirmative approach, as explained below, sets these children on a path to irreversible medical interventions. In the UK this can happen for children as young as 10 years old.

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The political ideology under-pinning this approach is a belief that children can ,literally, be  Born in the Wrong Body (sex) for their Gender Identity.  Gender is an internal sense of self so only the child can determine the truth of their condition. This makes the child the ultimate arbiter of their authentic self. Parents are expected to affirm their child’s Gender Identity based on their child’s  self-assessment.

Memorandum of Understanding/Conversion Therapy

This article, however, makes it clear that there  are dissenting voices, and organisations, who are not wholeheartedly on board with Affirmation as the right pathway or at least not as the only one. Many organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding which treats  questioning of Gender Identity as akin to Gay Conversion Therapy.  However the Royal College of Psychiatrists declined to sign the MOU when the definition was expanded in 2015. 👇

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The government are currently consulting on a new bill to ban Conversion Therapy. Whether, or not, it uses the expanded definition will be crucial for the rights of children labelled “Transgender”.  Most people will look no further than Gay Rights and assume that, of course, it should be outlawed. However, for all the reasons I have covered in previous blogs, affirming a Gender Identity in young children/teenagers may literally be Gay Conversion Therapy.  The Woke Gay Conversion Therapy?

E5247CD0-EF8D-48A1-93D0-C4F72D679810A growing number of parents are expressing concern about the treatment of their children with Gender Dysphoria.  30%  are estimated to be on the autistic spectrum and with other co-morbidities.   Many are simply gay males and Lesbians.  The parent’s, referred to here 👈actually managed to get a letter published in the Guardian.  They also raised concerns about on-line grooming of their children into the tenets of Transgender Identity. In the UK there are now two groups of Parents who are questioning the current approach to their Gender Dysphoric children.  Bayswater Support Group: Twitter here and  Our Duty  here.   (Both groups have other on-line forums and real life meet ups for parents to reach out for support).

Professionals are also becoming more vocal in questioning the medical approaches. Carl Heneghan pulls no punches in this reference to Puberty Blockers.

6935208B-8307-432C-B608-2E9F95E3C741 I can’t stress this point enough.  Once your child starts down this path they rarely go back and they will be dependent on cross-sex hormones for life to maintain this “identity”.  Tragically some of the women, and men, who have de-transitioned are still dependent on synthetic hormones, for their own sex, because they had ovaries/testes removed.

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👈Here are two more organisations calling out the dearth of evidence based research, under-pinning the treatment of these children/teenagers.  The House of Lords seems to have more dissenters and Lord Winston has written/spoken on this topic,  from his own experience, in dealing with consequent fertility issues. 4386234B-C264-4ACA-AEA5-D85E0474E0B7

A high rate of complications and loss of fertility.  A reminder that the hippocratic oath requires Physicians to Do No Harm.  The existence of an unelected chamber has always been a source of concern, for me, but elected politicians seem, almost universally, cowed into submission. It seems we do need some people ,not bound to the electorate/ lobby groups, to voice these uncomfortable truths.  The House of Commons remain is largely silent on this issue.  Silence is complicity. A salutary lesson.

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Here Bernadette Wren, of GIDs makes a startling, and actually quite frightening,  admission: given that the GIDs protocol remains Affirmative. 👇. Must we wait an entire generation to discover we have been unwise

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Professor Donal Shea is another dissenting voice.B9ACB57C-43EE-45B2-9C4B-EEF57088F207

The NHS is based on the WPATH standards of care. Professor Shea & Dr Paul Moran regard them as harmful and clinically unsafe. Let that sink in.

De-Transitioners/Regret

The Tavistock experiment has been running for nearly 10 years. We are starting to see a new wave of people with regret but, here is some detail about regret from the 1980’s.  I rarely see Trans Activists/Trans Allies demanding evidence based research, or long term follow-up studies. I would suggest this is where there is a role for activists. Demand better research and long term follow up studies.

The more vocal trans-activists seem mostly preoccupied with rapid access to  treatment and the removal of safeguards which they call “gatekeeping”.  That alone should set off alarm bells for clinicians.  I cannot imagine anything worse than finding you had taken a healthy body, and destroyed sexual function,  only for your patient to regret it. 👇

6D5ABED5-DE4D-47B0-810C-E712E51F402EWatching Jazz Jennings , a 16 year old male, ask if an orgasm was like a sneeze here should have been a wake up call for the cheerleading parents.  In Sweden there is a male who has obtaining permission to end his own life, after regretting surgery and realising he was simply a Gay Male.  A Belgian Female was also euthanised after regretting their surgery. here

Informed Consent?

Disturbingly here is a claim that discussion of post surgery sexual function was actually a taboo subject at the Tavistock. Especially with the younger cohort who, let me remind you,  are making these decisions as young as 10.

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Why is this area of treatment operating outside the realms of normal practice?

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Anyone who doubts that this is happening can listen to Tavistock practitioners openly discussing the question of children and fertility in my earlier pieces. Parents have direct experience of the cavalier disregard for the long term consequences in our children. They express a fervent wish to change “gender” but these  kids/teens have absolutely no concept of the long term implications.  They have an entirely superficial understanding about what thy are signing up to.  Sadly, it appears, so do some clinicians.

Anger, regret, and impact on women.

Even if someone is expected to benefit from transition some counselling around the reality of the inescapability of your sex would seem to be in order. Yes there may be people who regret this decision and direct their anger inwards.  At the same time there seem to be people fiercely committed to their “transition” but utterly unrealistic about sex based reality. This group seem to direct their anger outwards, at their target sex. I am talking of the male transitioners.  It is disturbing, watching the violent, even rape, rhetoric, hurled at women on social media (& in real life). Even more terrifying is that our politicians seem to be wilfully blind to this phenomenon.  What if you are not just admitting any males into female spaces but a particularly dangerous section who hate and envy women?

Adolescence.

More people should be saying this.  I have seen youtubers, now de-transitioned, who genuinely didn’t know that nearly every woman has a terrible time with the onset of puberty and emerging womanhood.  How soon this knowledge is lost when young girls are cut off from the wisdom of older women?

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29AF0667-FF10-4F0B-839B-A5FBF4718FCAYet instead of working to, therapeutically, resolve this “splitting” we are shutting this down. Only medical pathways are seen as appropriate.  Clinicians are branded transphobic for a therapeutic  approach.

Parents are alienated from their children who are groomed to see any obstacle in their path as an act of hatred/bigotry. 👇

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De-transitioners are now speaking out about their time in the Trans community.  They  confirm parental reports about our alienation. They also expose the tactics used to game the system and overcome gate-keeping , by learning a script.

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Even if children don’t desist counselling can teach them about the wider societal implications of rejecting your biological sex.  It is an inescapable fact that a female will still need cervical cancer screening, and a male prostate cancer checks. Yet activists push for the eradication of any sex markers and even new NHS Identity numbers. This de-couple pre-and post transition medical history. This is evidence of an ideological belief / psychological compulsion which is undermining safe practice.

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So why is there such utter and total capitulation to an incoherent ideology?

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The answer is fear! Not an unrealistic paranoid reaction but a rational response to the consequences of speaking out.  Ken Zucker and James Caspian are two high profile victims of the silencing.  Urge caution, or wish to study the phenomenon of regret, and you will find powerful forces ranged against you.

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Heaven forfend if you wish to research Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria.  

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I have written about the silencing of Michael Bailey over his book: The Man Who Would be Queen, which also covers Lisa Littman here.  Another paper, which posited an alternative hypothesis to Born in the Wrong Body, was also completely pulled after activists put pressure on the journal.  I cover this here

It is a chilling atmosphere in which to try to serve these children and young adults.

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The closing down of debate and discussion about this surge in Transgender Identities is creating a dogmatic adherence to Affirmation/Medicalisation which is already wreaking great harm on our youth and some adults.

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Having revealed that there are dissenting voices and organisations, despite efforts to shut them down, Marcus makes a final recommendation.  A truly independent service able to withstand the pressure from lobby Groups. Less rigidity in treatment protocols. A new regulator with appropriate oversight.

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This needs to be addressed quickly because there won’t be enough alibis to go round.

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