Kids rush to change sex


The Sunday Times - - News - REGINA TITELIUS Health Re­porter

THE num­ber of WA chil­dren seek­ing to tran­si­tion to the op­po­site sex has jumped more than 350 per cent in four years.

Perth Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal’s gen­der di­ver­sity ser­vice re­ceived 121 re­fer­rals for chil­dren aged un­der 18 in 2017-18 and cur­rently has 207 pa­tients in the ser­vice.

This com­pares to 116 re­fer­rals in 2016-17 and 105 in 2015-16. The steady in­crease over the past three years com­pares with just 26 re­fer­rals in 2014-15.

About two-thirds of cur­rent re­fer­rals are birth-as­signed fe­males and about one-third are birth-as­signed males.

At the mo­ment, there are 43 chil­dren re­ceiv­ing stage one hor­monal treat­ment, which in­volves pu­berty sup­pres­sion and re­versible treat­ment, while 30 chil­dren are re­ceiv­ing stage two cross-sex hor­mone, oe­stro­gen and testos­terone treat­ment.

The ris­ing num­ber of trans­gen­der chil­dren comes as the WA’s Law Re­form Com­mis­sion rec­om­mends an over­haul of the State’s gen­der re­as­sign­ment laws.

As re­vealed by The Sun­day

Times last month, the com­mis­sion has rec­om­mended a baby’s sex clas­si­fi­ca­tion no longer ap­pears on birth cer­tifi­cates.

Un­der the changes, peo­ple would no longer have to un­dergo a med­i­cal pro­ce­dure to have their gen­der iden­tity of­fi­cially recog­nised. In­stead they would just ap­ply for a “proof of gen­der’ or “proof of sex” cer­tifi­cate.

There would be three cat­e­gories on th­ese cer­tifi­cates — male, fe­male and a new cat­e­gory of “non-bi­nary”. Un­der the rec­om­men­da­tions, mi­nors aged 12 or over could seek a cer­tifi­cate to for­mally change their gen­der.

If they didn’t have per­mis­sion of both par­ents, the Fam­ily Court would de­cide.

Moves to change gen­der clas­si­fi­ca­tion laws come amid so­cial me­dia back­lash to a re­cent tweet by Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son that said: “We do not need ‘gen­der whis­per­ers’ in our schools. Let kids be kids.”

Mr Mor­ri­son was re­spond­ing to moves by schools to in­vite spe­cial­ist con­sul­tants to of­fer sup­port to trans­gen­der stu­dents and their fam­i­lies.

WA’s Gen­der Re­as­sign­ment Board’s lat­est an­nual report shows there were 34 new ap­pli­ca­tions last year, com­pared with just six in 2007-08.

A spokes­woman for the Child and Ado­les­cent Health Ser­vice said PCH’s gen­der di­ver­sity ser­vice pro­vided “as­sess­ment and care of chil­dren and ado­les­cents ex­pe­ri­enc­ing gen­der di­ver­sity is­sues”.

“Any child or young per­son up to the age of 18, who lives in WA, can be re­ferred to the GDS for con­sul­ta­tion about con­cerns re­gard­ing their gen­der iden­tity, gen­der non-con­form­ing be­hav­iour or gen­der dys­pho­ria,” the spokes­woman said.

“Gen­der dys­pho­ria refers to the dis­tress that a per­son may ex­pe­ri­ence when their gen­der iden­tity does not align with the sex as­signed to them at birth.”

She said the ser­vice started mid­way through the 2014-15 fi­nan­cial year and only pro­vided ser­vices in­ter­mit­tently.

We do not need ‘gen­der whis­per­ers’ in our schools. Let kids be kids.

Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son

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