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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Looked After Children & Gender Dysphoria. 2

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Wallace Wong 

Wallace Wong is a Gender Identity Specialist based in Vancouver. He boasts that, of the 1000 children in his care, 500 are children from the looked after system. That is children who are, in some way, wards of the state. Wallace Wong works for the Ministry of Children and Families and also has a private practice.

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He arrived at his current career path after noticing how many “transwomen” were impacted by the HIV/AIDs crisis. He initially began working with adults but soon noticed that the age of those with “Gender Identity” confusion was becoming increasingly younger.

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You can listen to the full audio at this site. I imagine that many of you may diverge from their larger aims (as do I) however, given the dearth of coverage in other media outlets I will link to their research. This is the only way to honour my commitment to provide primary sources, where possible. The link is below.

Wallace Wong

The clips in my piece were included in the vimeo embedded in the above link. I have listened to it, in its entirety, and can attest to the accuracy of the transcribing. It is a long presentation and I can’t do justice to all of the issues it raises but below is a brief overview.

Wong argues that we must not confuse gender incongruence/roles with being Transgender but most of the examples supplied are of boys who like “girly” things. Expect lots of references to princesses and pretty things. He dismisses research showing high rates of desistance in children who, historically, claimed a trans-identity. He argues that “gender” is innate and quotes some research about hard-wired neurological causes based on MRI scans proving #LadyBrain. He also quotes some self-reported adherence to sex stereotypical behaviour, typically associated with the opposite sex. I suspect Wallace has not heard of the, Shakespearean, quote “the wish was father to the thought” (Henry IV, Part II). We are treathing retrospective wish fulfilment as if it is peer reviewed evidence. Laverne Cox & Caitlin Jenner are wheeled out to confirm the idea that children know they are trans age three. Caitlin, you may remember managed to father five children and win Olympic medals during his male life. Laughably, at one point a video commentator appears to think the existence of Facebook “genders” has some sort of evidential significance.

He is also at pains to dismiss any concern that confusion could arise between emerging homosexuality and a proto transkid. Similarly he argues that high rates of autism can be expected because both autistic traits and transgender traits are biologically determined. High rates of co-morbid mental health issues are to be expected, he argues, because being transgender is hard.

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Below Dr Wallace seems keen that we should know he is seeing patients as young as 3. He also makes it clear about the fast pace of this change and the fact that research has not kept pace with this development.

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Below is where Wong makes the startling admission that 50% (500 out of his 1000 referrals) are from the Ministry of Children and families. This means they are somewhere in the care system and commonly referred to as “Looked After Children”. Dr Wallace doesn’t appear to have much professional curiosity about the exponential growth in “transkids” over this period.

Jenn Smith (also based in Vancouver) is a male who expresses “feminine” and ascribes this to his experience within the care system. Jenn argues that children in care are particularly vulnerable to “identity” issues which also extend to “gender identity”. It was Jenn Smith who first made me consider this aspect of the debate.

You can catch up with Jenn Smith on his YouTube channel and here Jenn Talks specifically about this issue here:

Jenn Smith: Foster Kids

Listening to Jenn Smith talk it is hard not to be concerned about an estimated figure of one in ten LAC (Looked After Children) identifing as transgender. This is contrasted with an estimated figure of one in 200 of children residing with their birth families. Another disturbing dimension is whether the indigenous children, over-represented in LAC settings, are also being medicalised as “transgender”. This has dangerous echoes of the scandal of sterilisation of indigenous peoples which is a stain on Canada’s history. If they are included in this population, of transkids, that is a damning indictment of those tasked with the welfare of children in British Columbia.

Wong does identify the dangers of social contagion in his presentation. I suspect this is now such an obvious phenomenon he feels obliged to address it. He prefaces the quotes below with some arguments that the internet has allowed “trans children” to develop an awareness of their identity and find acceptance, and knowledge, in on-line communities. Below, he at least acknowledges the dangers of kids, particularly those “on the spectrum” (referring to Autism I assume) to be swept along with trans-ideation.

Astonishingly he acknowledges that 20% of Transgender kids are autistic but this is simply dismissed because autistic kids and transgender kids are “born this way“. This is not an uncommon feature of arguments from Gender Identity proponents. Once you embrace the belief of an innate gender identity you can find evidence everywhere and fit facts to confirm your hypothesis. Conversely if, like me, you are a sceptic the ideology has more holes than a string vest.

He introduces videos throughout his presentation and one is a parent whose child came out to them at three years of age. I have not included the parent’s quote but suffice to say, like a lot of these tales, it is a boy who likes pink and sparkly things. We are told that her original therapist counselled a watch and wait approach and quoted an 80% figure for expectations of desistance. The same presentation proceeds to rubbish a study based in the Netherlands which supported this observation.

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What the audience are not told is that there was only one Gender Identity clinic in the Netherlands so the researchers made the, entirely reasonable, assumption that loss to follow up could reasonably be correlated with desistance. The alternative was that the child had been taken abroad, and paid for treatment, rather than access the free treatment within the Netherlands.

Wong also rubbishes another study which found that most of the boys grew up to be gay. The unfortunately named “Sissy boys” were identified for their Gender non-conforming presentation. Here Wong argues that the study was flawed because they did not use boys who said they were actually girls. It does not seem to have occured to Wong that it was the 1970’s. Identifying as the other sex was not a social norm at the time. It is the near ubiquity of teaching about Gender Identity in our schools (especially in Canada) that has left a generation thinking you can choose your sex.

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Wong then utters this statement which shows he is utterly disregarding any research that suggests he may be making an egregious error. To much laughter he dismisses any caution with this facile statement. Apparently, if the 80% is correct he is lucky enough to be seeing the 20% who would persist. Crassly he also argues that some of those kids may not appear in the figures because they will have committed suicide. As I have said, many times, there is just no evidence for this epidemic of transgender suicides in adolescents. Wong may feel blessed and lucky but it was bad luck for any child who walked into his office.

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All of which takes me to the more egregious aspect of the advice Wong is dishing out. The question of how to overcome barriers to access to Gender Identity treatment was raised. Wong requests that this part of his presentation is not taped and then, after a side swipe at the gate-keeping goverment, he advises: “Pull a stunt. Suicide, every time, they will give you what you need

 This series is looking at the vulnerability of Children in Care; who have no parents to speak up for them.  Not all the parents in Vancover are absent.  It was also Vancouver who imprisoned a father who opposed the provision of testosterone for his  teenage daughter and refused to remain silent. It would be interesting to see who was the Gender Identity Specialist involved in that case.  Is there a connection? 

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I could not say but I certainly want to do a series on parents caught up in this nightmare.

If you can support my work it will be appreciated.  Below is one way to do so until we get more media outlets willing to cover the issues I cover on my blog.  Only if it is affordable and regardless my content will remain free. 

My next piece will be on the percentage of kids in care referred to GIDs, in the U.K. Are the researchers concerned that these, vulnerable, kids have no parents to question the medical interventions proposed? Or. Are they worried children in care are not being treated fast enough? Watch this space. 

Researching Gender Identity Ideology and its impact on Women and our Gay Youth. Support is always appreciated (I have no income) but I would be equally happy if you contributed to a relevant legal case, a crowdfunder for Lesbian and Gay News or Safe Schools Alliance

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Looked After Children & Gender Dysphoria 1

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The first alarm bells rung for me when this court case was heard. Lancashire County Council tried to withdraw the case but the foster parents involved insisted it went ahead. The parents argued a public airing was the only way to to remove any slur on their reputation. I am grateful for their stance because it has allowed us to see the arguments played out in public.

Here is a link to the source for the legal judgement and a PDF copy.

Foster Parents and GIDS

Lancashire County Council v TP & Ors(Permission to Withdraw Care Proceedings) [2019] EWFC 30 (09 May 2019)

It’s a complex judgement involving multiple interested parties; hence the number of legal representatives. The concerns centre on two of the children, one biological and one fostered, though wider issues were raised about the other 3 foster children in the family. The case raises concerns in respect of medical diagnoses, hospital visits and the role of the parents. I will, however, only focus on the issue of Gender Dysphoria. The extract below gives a flavour of the concerns raised:

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Notwithstanding the judgement, which found in the parents favour, some witnesses expressed concern about the precipitate nature of the social transition of the two male children. Identified only as H & R, one is a biological child and another a foster child. So, they  not biologically related. Already, by age 7, R is socially transitioned and has had a formal name change. H was socially transitioned at age 4.  The parents are confident  this is a permanent state of affairs. 👇

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Furthermore, the court case reveals, the couple had an earlier foster placement who also had “Gender Identity” issues. The case notes that a number of the foster children had development or health issues. In the interests of balance it is important to remember these children had been removed from parental homes and suffered neglect / abuse prior to their arrival in this family setting.

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One of the concerns was raised by an anonymous party who is described as a member of the extended family. The Local Authority received this referral which expressed concern about three members of the same family, presenting with Gender Dysphoria. Only two of the children remain in the care of this family and it is not clear whether the previous child had been treated, medically or otherwise, for their gender Identity issues.

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It is also noted that contact had been made with the Tavistock (the U.Ks main Gender Identity Development Service) who had, in turn, referred them to Mermaids for additional support. Below are details of another case which sheds further light on the role of the judiciary in these complex cases.

The case of J (A Minor)

Mermaids is a UK charity who campaign on the issue of “transkids” and provide networking /support for parents and their children. It is worth noting that Mermaids also appeared in an earlier judgement, which they hotly contested. There were a number of similiarity in that case and the Judge, in that case made a series of criticisms about the parent, the Local Authority and the social workers involved in the case. In that case the mother lost custody of her male child. I include a transcript and some excerpts from that case below.

J (A Minor), Re [2016] EWHC 2430 (Fam) (21 October 2016)

Here is a sample of the judges criticisms in that case.  These concerns were not negligible.  Failure in safeguarding, naivety and professional arrogance. 👇 Damning! 

Below is an ipso ruling over a complaint, from Mermaids, about press coverage of the above case. This is also worth reading.

Mermaids v The Times

The Times made a number of points and one of them was based on a facebook post made by Mermaids. In the post they expressed outrage the judge was alleged to have ordered the parents to cease engagement with the charity. Below are two excerpts from the Ipso ruling. Not the clean bill of health they may have been hoping for…😳

Back to the Lancashire case. 

The court heard from a previous report, echoing that of Lisa North, who described the parents (CP & TP) as “highly manipulative people” and expressed concern that the Gender Identity issues were the result of the parent’s behaviour and part of a pattern of seeking medical diagnoses.

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Ms Sayer, quoted below assigns more benign motivations to CP’s attitude to the Gender Dysphoria diagnosis. Nevertheless she expresses concern about how they could revert to their “assigned gender” after being socially transitioned.

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The court next heard from an expert in the field of Gender Dysphoria. Dr Pasterski is one of a handful of experts who appear regularly in these court cases. One of the difficulties for the judicial system is a reliance on people who work in this field and, by definition, believe that Gender Identity is innate.

Dr Pasterski is familiar to me as she made an appearance in an earlier court case. This case was of a thrice married man, with seven children, and a conviction for obtaining explosives with intent to endanger life, who nevertheless manages to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate. (Remember this case when people argue how difficult it is to get legal recognition. In this case a single judge overturned the decision of the Gender Recognition Panel)

You can read about that case here: 👇

Ms Jay

Here is an excerpt, from the judicial transcript in the Ms Jay case, in which the Gender Recognition Panel cast doubt on the reliability of Dr Pasterski’s evidence. 

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Dr Pasterski is introduced, in the Lancashire case, with an emphasis on her 23 years of experience as a chartered psychologist and a gender identity specialist. I imagine the judge placed great weight on her testimony.  Here Dr Pasterski rubbishes well established data on the number of children who desist from a trans-identity.  She does this  using the argument that anyone who desists from a trans identity was wrongly diagnosed. De-transitioners commonly face this argument.  Despite having an actual diagnosis of “Gender Dysphoria”, from the Tavistock, it is frequently argued Keira Bell was not really “transgender”.  The same people insist any diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria  is so reliable it can be used to justify early intervention.  Both these things cannot be true.  Dr Pasterski also dismisses the idea of extensive co-morbidities in this demographic. I wish the Judge had asked for evidence of this because it contradicts all the research I have undertaken. (Something I will cover later in this series, specifically in relation to Foster Children).

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During the case we also learn the family fostered a child from June 2004 to 2007 and this child also had “gender identitiy issues”. We don’t discover if this child had persisted, or where they are now, or whether they left simply due to reaching age of majority.

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Dr Pasterski refrains from commenting on the third child but dismisses concerns about the likelihood of their being two (which as we know was really three) children with a diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria, in one family. Pasterski emphasises that the condition has a basis in neurological or biological functioning and claims she has seen multiple cases in one family. This is a claim which could have done with more interrogation. Firstly the evidence for a neurological or biological basis for an innate Gender Identity is by no means settled science. (There are numerous articles debunking this claim which I cover elsewhere on this blog but the common element seems to be the concept of neuroplasticity.) Secondly it seems important to note that these three children were not biologically related all they have in common is the environment in which they are being brought up.

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So, what prompted the School to make a referral to Children’s Services? There were concerns of fabricated and induced illness in respect of four children in the care of CP and TP and a reported concern about a casual reference to “here’s another one for the Tavistock” by TP.

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In the final analysis the judgement determined that the children should remain in the care of these foster parents. A successful defence was mounted in relation to the hospital visits. These, it was argued, could be attributed to hyper vigilance, especially because at least one child had pre-existing conditions. The other incidents were designated as not more than a normal rates of accidents. Gender Identity experts dismissed concerns about why there would be two ( in reality there were three) foster placements who developed Gender Identity Issues.

This court case has been covered many times before, hence I have not, previously, included it on my blog. I cover it now because it will form part one of a series on “Looked After Children”. I will be looking at research based on GIDs data. I will also look at British Columbia (Canada). I will also cover published guidance given to foster carers. Since I indicated I would be covering this, my in-box is filling up with useful research and first hand accounts. I am being sent replies indicating this is a problem in Brazil, Australia and the United States and that it is a particular issue in indigenous communities.

My content remains open and free but if you can support me it would be appreciated. Please only do so if you can afford and don’t choose me over legal cases if funds are in short supply when divvying up the #WomanTax.

Researching Gender Identity Ideology and its impact on Women and our Gay Youth. Support is always appreciated (I have no income) but I would be equally happy if you contributed to a relevant legal case, a crowdfunder for Lesbian and Gay News or Safe Schools Alliance

£10.00