Act Now on Child Sex-Change Surge

We are concerned about the role of Mermaids UK, a lobbying organisation that promotes the uncritical affirmation of children’s self-declared gender identity and the use of powerful cancer drugs to halt puberty, followed by the administration of cross-sex hormones.

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As professionals, academics, teachers and parents, we are anxious about the 25-fold increase in referrals of children to the NHS gender identity development service since 2009.

We fear that the “born in the wrong body” ideology causes gender-non-conforming children to believe they need unnecessary medical treatments that lead to lifelong medication, infertility and risks to health. We call for a full public inquiry into the reasons for the upsurge as an urgent matter of child protection.

We are concerned about the role of Mermaids UK, a lobbying organisation that promotes the uncritical affirmation of children’s self-declared gender identity and the use of powerful cancer drugs to halt puberty, followed by the administration of cross-sex hormones. The long-term prognosis for children placed on this novel and previously untested regime is unknown.

We therefore welcome the decision by the Big Lottery Fund to review the proposed £500,000 grant to Mermaids, and we further call for an open and transparent examination of the medical and social scientific evidence for the claims of Mermaids.


Dr Sophie Allen, Lecturer in Philosophy, Keele University; Dr Michael Biggs, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Oxford; Julie Bindel, Justice for Women; Dr Heather Brunskell Evans, social theorist; Stephanie Davies-Arai, Transgender Trend; Kristina Harrison, HCP and transsexual; Dr Debbie Hayton, teacher and transsexual; Dr Jane Clare Jones, philosopher; Rae Kelcou, Intersex advocate; Dr Andy Lewis; Dr Susan Matthews; Lisa Marchiano, psychotherapist; Lily Maynard, writer and blogger; Prof Michele Moore, University of Oxford; Stella O Malley, psychotherapist; Councillor Louise Paine; Julia Robertson, author; Prof Kathleen Stock, University of Sussex; Melissa Symes, solicitor and transsexual; Helen Watts, former leader at Girl Guiding UK; Dr Nicola Williams, Fair Play for Women; Robert Withers, psychotherapist.

* This letter from myself and 21 others was published by The Sunday Times on 23 December 2018: Act Now on Child Sex-Change Surge (7th letter on the page)

Author: Debbie Hayton

Physics teacher and trade unionist.

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