NSW child, 4, identifies as transgender as data reveals growing referrals for gender dysphoria
A four-year-old who identifies as transgender has begun to transition before their first day at school, hoping to complete the full transformation by 2017.
While the child is the youngest on Australian record to to change their gender, the New South Wales government has revealed "hundreds" of other children are being referred to the state's hospitals for gender dysphoria.
According to the Daily Telegraph, children who are being referred to hospitals for gender dysphoria are as young as three years old.
The four-year-old is reportedly being supported throughout the transition by the education department, and is part of the Safe Schools program.
Deputy Secretary of School Operations Gregory Prior said there were "a number" of NSW students in similar circumstances.
"Without breaching privacy, we have a four-year-old who is transitioning to kindergarten next year who has identified as transgender," Mr Prior said at a budget estimates hearing, which delved into the Safe Schools program.
“The Safe Schools is only one resource that can be used from a variety of resources in how we would support that family, student and school to accommodate a child going through transition.”
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The education department would not reveal further details of the four year old’s case, including the child’s birth gender.
According to News Corp, data from the Westmead Children Hospital stated that referrals for gender dysphoria have tripled.
The report said another major hospital in Melbourne had 250 children who were being assisted by the gender dysphoria unit. A decade ago it had just one.
The topic has divided opinions among child psychology and gender dysphoria experts.
Some have argued it is appropriate for young kids to begin gender transitions, while others insisted four years old was "simply too young".
Transgender advocate Catherine McGregor told the Daily Telegraph that children were usually correct when they identified themselves as cross-gender.
However, psyhcologist Michael Carr-Gregg said up to 2.7 per cent of children fit that category.
Clinical psychologist Rose Cantali said she and other psychologists would consider four years old too young to begin any sort of gender transition.