A new book from the Civitas think tank is calling on the UK and Scottish Governments to impose a moratorium on all plans to reform gender recognition laws.
The Corrosive Impact of Transgender Ideology, by Joanna Williams, former Director of the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Kent, argues that public institutions have been captivated by an "ideology of transgenderism" that is failing to defend the sex-based rights of women or protect children in society.
She raises concerns about free speech and restrictions being imposed on critical discussion "in the name of preventing offence".
"In less than two decades 'transgender' has gone from a term representing individuals and little used outside of specialist communities, to signifying a powerful political ideology driving significant social change," she writes.
"At the level of the individual, this shift has occurred through the separation of gender from sex, before bringing biology back in via a brain-based sense of 'gender-identity'.
"This return to biology allows for the formation of a distinct identity group, one that can stake a claim to being persecuted, and depends upon continual validation and confirmation from an external audience.
"All critical discussion is a threat to this public validation and it is often effectively curtailed."
She goes on to argue that institutions that should be guiding society have relinquished their moral authority to trans activists.
"That transgenderism has moved from niche to mainstream tells us more about the rest of society than it does about transgender individuals," she writes.
"People in positions of power within the realms of media, education, academia, police, social work, medicine, law, and local and national government have been prepared to coalesce behind the demands of a tiny transgender community.
"Previously authoritative institutions now lack confidence in their own ability to lead and look to the transgender community as a victimised group that can act as a source of moral authority."
The book's publication follows the Government's climbdown on reforms to the Gender Recognition Act that would have made it easier for people to change their legal gender.
Recently, the Crown Prosecution Service withdrew its hate crime guidance for schools following a legal challenge. The guidance had warned schools they could face legal action if they did not allow transgender pupils to use the toilets and changing rooms of their chosen gender.
In April, a High Court judge gave the go ahead for a legal challenge against Oxfordshire County Council's transgender guidance which told schools that children should be able to use toilets, changing rooms and school trip accommodation according to the gender they identify with. It also stated that parents did not need to be informed if their child was questioning their gender identity.
In her book, Williams says no child should be permitted to "socially transition" at school without the permission of their parents.
She is also critical of prescribing of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to anyone under the age of 18, saying that this should be immediately prohibited.
Equalities minister Liz Truss recently said children must be "protected" from irreversible medical transition treatment.