The Coalition for Marriage has called for doctors to stop experimenting on children with hormones and for educators to stop experimenting on children with gender-bending programmes like Safe Schools. 

Last night’s 60 Minutes episode featured the moving story of Patrick Mitchell, a boy who wanted to be a girl and was started on hormones that made him grow breasts, but as he went through puberty he changed his mind and has reverted to living as a boy.

"Patrick is typical of children with gender confusion, because he got over his confusion around puberty ” Coalition for Marriage spokesman Dr David van Gend said.

“We know from multiple studies that around three quarters of children who, like Patrick, think they are the wrong sex will change their mind once their body starts changing at puberty.[i]

A world authority on gender dysphoria, Professor Paul McHugh, notes, ‘When children who reported transgender feelings were tracked without medical or surgical treatment at both Vanderbilt University and London's Portman Clinic, 70%-80% of them spontaneously lost those feelings.”[ii]

“Why then would any doctor or court consider giving dangerous hormones to children before the age of puberty, when most of them will get over their confusion?” Dr van Gend asked.

The Coalition for Marriage's comments come following last night’s 60 Minutes episode and reports last week of a proposal to exclude the Family Court's oversight so that children as young as 11 could start hormone treatment to change their sex without court oversight.[iii]

"Our children are victims of a dangerous ideological fad”, Dr van Gend said.

“Professor of paediatrics in Sydney, John Whitehall, had it right on the 60 Minutes program when he said that this treatment for children was  ‘experimental’."

“We are experimenting with children by subjecting them to gender ideology in the so-called Safe Schools programme[iv] that tells kids that gender is a spectrum from trans-girl to genderqueer to agender to brother boy, and that students can wear whatever uniform they are comfortable with”, Dr van Gend said.

The sudden rise in cases of children wanting to change gender has coincided with the introduction of Safe Schools and other programmes. In Victoria alone, from six cases a year prior to Safe Schools the Melbourne Children’s Hospital now sees 250 a year.[v]

“This epidemic is not medical but psychological”, Dr van Gend said. “It is what you would expect when authority figures tell vulnerable children, “Only you know whether you are a boy or a girl. No one can tell you.” (The Gender Fairy,[vi] Jo Hirst & Roz Ward)) and “It’s a total lie that all guys have dicks, that all girls have vaginas” (OMG I’mTrans,[vii] Minus18, Victorian Government funded).

"With the possibility of a change in the marriage law and the likelihood that, in its wake, radical gender ideology programs will become more widespread in schools, there is a great need for more doctors like Professor Whitehall to stand for kids and stand for science,” Dr van Gend said.

 “Where is the AMA on this?” Dr van Gend asked.  “Given their recent activism on same-sex marriage will they cave to ideology once more and abandon children to dangerous and unnecessary hormone treatment, or will they insist on objective evidence and the principle of ‘first do no harm’?”

“Australian parents should be very concerned if this gender ideology is not thrown out of our classrooms and kept out of our Marriage Act. In Canada, which has genderless marriage laws, one State recently passed laws that could remove children from parents who do not agree with gender reassignment for their child.[viii]

 “If we care for our kids, we will say ‘no’ to gender ideology wherever it rears its ugly head: in the classroom, in activist medical clinics and in the Marriage Act”, Dr van Gend concluded.

[i] Korte A. et al., “Gender identity disorders in childhood and adolescence: currently debated concepts and treatment strategies,” Dtsch Arztebl Int. 105, no.48 (November 2008): 834,

Cantor, J., “Do trans-kids stay trans when they grow up?” Sexology Today website, January 11, 2016

De Cuypere G., Knudson G. et al., WPATH consensus process regarding transgender and transsexual-related diagnoses in ICD-11 (World Professional Association for Transgender Health, May 31, 2013), 55,

[ii] McHugh P., “Transgender Surgery isn’t the Solution,” Wall St Journal, June 12, 2014,


[v] Legge, K., “Transgender children: what’s behind the spike in numbers?” The Australian, July 18, 2015, accessed August 20, 2016,


[vii] Fink M. et al., eds., OMG I'm Trans (MINUS18, 2015), 6, accessed June 19, 2016, p.24