Campaigners have criticised Nicola Sturgeon’s plan to allow people to change their gender at the age of 16, claiming the move could ‘open the floodgates’ to teenagers requesting irreversible gender reassignment surgery.
The Scottish Government has said it intends to bring forward the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill within the next year. The draft law would introduce a new and easier system for obtaining legal gender recognition in Scotland and could reduce the age at which someone can apply for a gender recognition certificate from 18 to 16.
Statistics obtained by the For Women Scotland campaign group showed there were at least 51 cases over a six year period where trans males under the age of 18 had been approved for double mastectomies.
Those people were referred to NHS hospitals in England for assessment on ‘specialist chest reconstruction’. The campaign group has expressed concerns that lowering the age limit for certificates to 16 could result in more young people requesting surgery which they could later regret.
Trina Budge, director of For Women Scotland, told The Telegraph that England and other countries were ‘sensibly rolling back on invasive and non-reversible treatments’ for young trans people.