Dr Nicola Williams, from Fair Play for Women has said trans campaign groups are “exploiting a natural need in children to be part of a tribe” as the number of referrals of children looking for “gender identity” support each year has risen from 97 in 2009/10 to 2,519 in 2017/18.
Figures published in September by the Gender Identity Development Service, an NHS group that supports children experiencing “difficulties in the development of their gender identity”, show that the number of girls receiving referrals increased from 40 to 1,806, while the number of boys rose from 56 to 713.
The figures do not show how many children received treatment, or how many of those transitioned, having received hormone treatment or surgery.
Dr Williams told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “This is a child protection issue really. To me when I look at this, it is a toxic triangle.
“There are three parts that feed into each other, which make this so dangerous.
“There are these well-funded transgender charities who are actually promoting the idea of being trans to children.
“These are very well-funded groups, funded by governments and places like the National Lottery. They have a lot of money and a lot of influence.
“There is a ready-made market for these groups. They are exploiting a natural need in children to be part of a tribe.
“Children want to belong. The problem with this is that this is a route with life-long medication and permanent damage to their bodies.
“The problem is that children might not get out unscathed from this.
“The third thing that is so dangerous and why it is allowed to happen, is because the responsible adults are encouraging it.
“Doctors, schools, social services, are all affirming these ideas to children.”
Girls 'probably want to be boys'
Affirmation is when a transgender person receives social recognition of gender identity.
Dr Williams added that affirmation does not allow “responsible adults” to ask questions.
“This is the problem with the idea of affirmation, because the responsible adults like teachers won’t be asking the children deeper questions,” she said.
“They will be scared to do that in case they get sacked.”
She added: “There are so many reasons why a child might wonder if they are trans. The early sexualisation of girls that they are confronted with now, it is tough to be a girl.
“No wonder girls probably want to be boys.”