Mermaids trustee resigns 'after giving speech at conference hosted by organisation that promotes services to paedophiles'

Mermaids trustee resigns 'after giving speech at conference hosted by organisation that promotes services to paedophiles'

A trustee of transgender children's charity Mermaids last night sensationally quit after it emerged he had spoken at an 'academic' conference hosted by an organisation that promotes services to paedophiles.

Dr Jacob Breslow, who at the time was a PhD student in gender research at the London School of Economics, presented his research at an event in Baltimore for the American-based B4U-ACT in 2011.

B4U-ACT lists its aims as supporting and promoting 'a science-informed understanding about people in our communities with an attraction to children or adolescents' on its own website.

Dr Breslow's presentation, titled Sexual Alignment: Critiquing Sexual Orientation, The Pedophile, and the DSM V, appears to criticise societal understanding of paedophiles. 

The research, which still has extracts appearing online, promises 'major revisions on how paedophilia is defined, diagnosed and understood' and says it will approach the topic through 'queer and feminist lenses'. 

His presentation, in parts, also adopts the controversial phrase 'minor attracted persons', which is used by some people instead of paedophile. 

B4U-ACT describes itself as a group with a 'unique collaborative effort between minor-attracted people and mental health professionals to promote communication and understanding between the two groups'.

It hosted a 'scientific symposium' in Maryland in August 2011, with concern raised over how paedophilia was addressed by American academic journals at the time.

Dr Breslow, who works for LSE's Department of Gender Studies, was made a trustee of Mermaids in July 2022.

Mermaids has also received some £500,000 in National Lottery funding and more than £20,000 in government grants over the years, including being hired by the Department for Education to provide training on 'gender identity' in schools.

In 2020 it emerged that charity staff had carried out training in 40 schools across the UK, in which they used a graph to explain the 'gender spectrum' showing a Barbie on one side and a GI Joe on the other, and various options in between. 

Mermaids was last week facing scrutiny from regulators after they were accused of giving chest-flattening devices to young girls against their parents' wishes.