This paper is an update of the paper Children and young people seeking and obtaining treatment for gender dysphoria in Australia: Trends by state over time (2014-2019) (Kenny, 2019) presented to the Forum at the NSW Parliament in 2019 covering the years 2014-2018. This current paper includes data from 2019 from the same four clinics in NSW, Queensland, Victoria, and Western Australia. It also includes, for the first time, data from South Australia, although the only information available was for numbers of children seeking treatment and receiving puberty blockers in the years 2015-2018.
Attempts to provide accurate information regarding the true numbers of young people presenting to GD clinics and the proportion of those undergoing stage 1 and stage 2 treatment remains challenging. We are dependent on the information provided to us by the gender clinics themselves under freedom of information. The form in which the data are presented is often incomplete and ambiguous. Accordingly, the figures presented herein need to be treated with caution although it is hoped that they represent a reasonably true reflection of actual practice in Australia. As previously, it is most difficult to estimate the number of young people proceeding to stage 2 cross hormone treatment because after treatment provided by the GD clinics, many young people are referred to private endocrinologists to undertake stage 2 treatment. The Children’s Hospital Westmead Gender Clinic, Sydney refers all young people seeking stage 2 treatment to private endocrinologists so the figures presented on this portion of the population will represent a significant underestimation of the total numbers commencing stage 2 treatment.
The aim of this update is to include all available data from the clinics for the year 2019 and to analyse whether the addition of the 2019 data resulted in static or changing trends in the numbers presenting and seeking treatment for gender dysphoria.