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Friday, February 24, 2012

It's madness to tell a five-year-old boy who likes tutus that he has a 'gender identity disorder'

You would expect at least the Sun, the most irreverent newspaper in Britain, to have a dig at the idea of Gender Identity Disorder and the fashion for allowing boys as young as five to live as girls (and vice versa).

But no. Yesterday's paper not only treated with great sympathy the Essex-based parents who have allowed their five-year-old son Zach to live as a girl; it also published a helpline number for a transgender group called Mermaids, so that "if you are a parent whose child has gender identity issues, you can get information and advice". When even the Sun refuses to raise one of its trademark smirks in response to a story about a five-year-old boy living as a girl, you know this is a thoroughly PC-ed, increasingly uncritical nation.

That is what the current crazy talk about an epidemic of Gender Identity Disorder (GID) really deserves from us – an unbelieving smirk. What is happening is that, across Britain, boys and girls are being medically diagnosed as "disordered" for displaying what is in fact perfectly normal behaviour. Apparently 165 children have been diagnosed with GID in Britain over the past year, seven of them aged five or under. God help them. Girls acting tomboyishly or boys experimenting with dolls is not a psychological disorder – it is all part and parcel of growing up, of experimenting with roles and just having a laugh.

For doctors to tell a five-year-old boy like Zach that he has a disorder, and for his school to play along with this psycho-charade by setting up "gender-neutral toilets" for him, strikes me as being the height of irresponsibility. It is the medicalisation of childish antics, so that preferring a Barbie to a GI Joe comes to be seen as the external expression of internal mental anguish about gender and identity. Read More