A group of Saudi women have had sex changes after developing a psychological complex due to life in a patriarchal Muslim society, according to reports.

Saudi Arabia’s psychology expert Mohamed Abdelmawjoud was quoted in the Al Watan paper as saying the operations took place over a year with no disruption from authorities.

The paper includes a quote from an interior ministry official who says cases like this are looked at by religious authorities and sometimes psychologists, but rarely end up with an arrest, Reuters news agency says.

Saudi Arabia adheres to the stern type of Islamic law that proscribes women should be covered in public and are banned from driving or going out without being accompanied by a male.