"Hannah is a 14-year-old girl, clad in leggings and an oversize T-shirt, with long brown hair that she curls around a finger... she was also born a boy."
That is the opening line from an OpEd published in The NY Times Sunday Review touting the use of hormone-blocking and cross-sex hormone therapy on children allegedly suffering from gender dysphoria. Doctors, you see, are no longer shackled by arcane thinking that says kids should simply be allowed to be kids.
"Over the past few years, it has become clear that if we support these children in their transgender identities instead of trying to change them, they thrive instead of struggling with anxiety and depression," the article states.
With this in mind, medical professionals have thrown off the yoke of ignorance and are now more inclined than ever to prescribe powerful, hormone-blocking or soon, cross-sex hormone therapy to adolescents (despite the lack of scientific studies documenting the long-term implications of these medical interventions) who exhibit gender-identity issues.
Hannah is using a puberty-blocking implant and getting ready to embark on the path of developing a female body by starting estrogen. Ten years ago most doctors would have called this malpractice. New data has now made it the protocol for thousands of American children.
No, doctors had it right the first time. Malpractice is the way to go.
Sadly, it's quite the opposite and worse than pushing the use of hormone-blocking therapy to delay the onset of puberty, the article posits that medical professionals may soon skip this step all together and go straight to prescribing cross-sex hormones to children as young as 14:
"A review of recent studies suggests we could start cross-sex hormones as early as 14, so that transgender kids don’t suffer the stigma of starting puberty years after their classmates."
So, in order to save kids the hassle of being made fun of by other kids, doctors will administer cross-sex hormones as early as 14, regardless the consequences? Not only is this reasoning completely frivolous it is also anathema to the core tenets of the Hippocratic Oath sworn by every medical doctor. Below are a few additional excerpts from the Times article:
Being transgender doesn’t affect Hannah much. She is a straight-A student and auditioning for her school’s production of “Annie.” She’s both embarrassed and excited to talk about the two boys who asked her out this year. [...]
Taking her red cheeks as a sign to change the subject, we switch back to medicine. I feel around her bicep, where a hard rod just beneath her skin releases a drug that turns off the brain cells that would otherwise kick off puberty. The implant has been in place for two years, preventing the process that would have deepened her voice and given her an Adam’s apple. She has been happy with the blocker, but is ready to move on.
“I’m tired of being the only girl in my grade who looks like a little kid,” she says.
She has a point. A review of recent studies suggests we could start cross-sex hormones as early as 14, so that transgender kids don’t suffer the stigma of starting puberty years after their classmates.
As I talk to Hannah, I can’t help thinking how different things would have been just 10 years ago.
Back then, a doctor may have based her treatment on a 2002 manual for the treatment of “gender identity disorder in young boys.” The manual recommends a range of behavioral interventions to force-fit a child into traditional gender roles. They include keeping the child away from typically feminine activities like gymnastics, scheduling more play dates with boys and encouraging “letting go” of the boy by the mother. The hope was that early treatment would “diminish the risk of a continuation of gender identity disorder into adulthood” — in other words, make children stop being transgender. Transgender youth during this time suffered high rates of depression and anxiety. By young adulthood, nearly half had attempted suicide.
Fortunately, most doctors no longer think this way. In 2012, Dr. Diane Ehrensaft from the University of California, San Francisco, proposed “true gender self child therapy,” in which even the youngest children are allowed to explore their gender identity, with all outcomes (transgender or not) being treated as equally desirable.
The article asserts that Hannah did undergo a year-long psychological evaluation, but in all honesty, what 12 or 13 or 14-year-old boy or girl isn't mutable in terms of his or her own identity?
Did you know precisely who you were or what you wanted at that age, or even younger? Were you in a position, at that age, to make life-altering decisions that have permanent consequences?
Meanwhile numerous scientific studies underscore that those seeking gender transition are often no happier after they've undergone extensive medical intervention. Suicide rates, depression and self-harm are prevalent in the community both pre and post-transition treatment.
A study conducted through Cincinnati Children's Hospital reveals that "30 percent of transgender youth report a history of at least one suicide attempt, and nearly 42 percent report a history of self-injury, such as cutting."
"Our study provides further evidence for the at-risk nature of transgender youth and emphasizes that mental health providers and physicians working with this population need to be aware of these challenges," said Claire Peterson, PhD, a psychologist and lead author of the study.
"Dissatisfaction with one's appearance and the drive to look different from one's sex assigned at birth is central to gender dysphoria -- the feeling that your gender identity is different from that at birth."
The critical issue here is that Western society glorifies transgenderism despite its negative aspects, thereby influencing impressionable youths who don't know any better. That in itself is not just irresponsible -- it should be criminal.