Delaying puberty for sexually confused kids

I’m not actually sure what to make of this.  Is it a smart way to prevent life-changing impulse surgeries or is it another socialist medicine throwaway for the cause of the day?

Hat tip:  Sadie

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  • Charles Martel

    Yikes! That a kid can seriously think he or she is the wrong sex (not “gender”—why did we ever let the ninnies in the academy destroy such a useful word?) tells me that the kid has serious psychological problems. That the parents of said kid would allow him/her to undergo mutilation rather than whisking the kid to a shrink makes me cringe. What parent in his right mind would give into his child’s psychosis?

    Johns Hopkins, which was an early pioneer in mutilative surgery, eventually abandoned offering the procedure once doctors there realized they were looking at seriously disturbed people. The follow-ups of patients who underwent genital mutilation overwhelmingly showed that gutting their privates and dosing themselves with opposite-sex hormones did little to settle their inner conflicts or relieve their grave dissatisfaction with life.

  • Michael Adams

    What Hammer said!
    Six-years old is a bit late for that sort of thinking, although it’s pretty common at four.  Still, I have been saying for forty years, even when I was a Democrat, that it’s awfully strange that we send someone with cancer to a shrink to get used to dying, and someone with sexual confusion to a surgeon for a dichectomy. . The patient’s not the only sicko in that room.

  • e-girl

    My mother was commenting the other day, while going through photos, that I was always different.  I was one of the fortunate ones who had the support of my family when the time came to transition and have surgery.  Perhaps my having a congenital urinary tract defect found in girls might explain some of why my brain did not match my body.  Had I been born more recently, it is likely that I would have received treatment sooner, quite possibly in the form of puberty blocking drugs.  This would not have been a decision to be made lightly, however it would have made life easier.  Those drugs have the added benefit that, were someone on course to make a mistake, they can be withdrawn and physical development continues.
    The comments about Johns Hopkins are out of date.  The recent research shows a very high level of satisfaction with the results for both trans men and trans women.  Furthermore, the stream of brain research is showing that transsexual people really do have brains that are mismatched for their biology.  Related to this is the issue of intersex conditions:  a large proportion of people who are transsexual have some physical intersex condition.
    Also, the remark about impulsive decisions isn’t right, either.  To have surgery, one must see a shrink to be screened for other conditions and usually a second opinion is required.  Depending upon where you have the surgery, you must have lived in as who you’ll be for at least a year, sometimes two (often referred to as the Real Life Test, RLT).  That said, there are people who have gone to shrinks and lied to get approval for surgery – those people regret their perfidy.  As with most things in life, you have to live the results of your decisions.  For myself, I am extremely happy with the results.
    I have heard it said that there are some people, who upon starting cross hormone therapy, realise that they have made a mistake.  In the case of a misguided male, he will find that anti-androgens and oestrogen very quickly kill sex drive, for example.  That and the RLT do weed out most of the confused or pretenders.
    As for the age at which someone knows that they have this problem, that knowledge usually begins early.  In my case, it was from the age of 5.  These days, there is more openness about these matters and that will hopefully prevent much suffering.  That said, it is a decision that has to be made by the individual, and that requires some level of maturity to comprehend the consequences of transition, hormones and surgery.  If the puberty blocking drugs are used to buy the time needed for that awareness to develop, then good.  However, we should not allow the _idea_ of being trans to become trendy or fashionable.  It’s a serious matter, but also quite real.
    I should also point out that cheap comments and snide remarks about “mutilative surgery” or attempting to confuse a real condition with a lifestyle choice are not helpful.  Those attitudes have driven too many people to suicide, caused too many families to reject their offspring and provided motivation for too many assaults and murders for them to be considered even remotely funny or smart.  I know people who have suffered all of those things because of ignorance which is too often willful.
    Finally, the fashionable grouping of transsexual and intersexed people with gays, lesbians, bisexuals, crossdressers and people who find playing with gender under the awful acronym GLBTIQ and whatever other letters they care to add has been extremely detrimental to us.  Quite apart from confusing medical conditions with other matters, the gay and lesbian lobbies have captured the ears of legislators, spoken for us (without our consent and in misleading ways) and then traded off our rights to secure their agenda.  In many ways, the lot of transsexual people in the USA and elsewhere has become worse since the gay lobby came along.  Fortunately, things are better here in Australia.

    • Bookworm

      e-girl: I think your last paragraph explains your second to last paragraph. You’re describing a medical condition/birth defect (and I hope you don’t read that last descriptor as derogatory). For truly transgendered people, the exquisitely complex chemistry and physical wiring that make up a person’s sex and sexuality got mis-coded in utero. The snideness some express here arises because, as you point out in your last paragraph, the political LGBT community has co-opted genuinely transgendered people, and made them a political cause celebre, rather than a biological and medical concern.

      If you read this blog regularly, you’ll discover that I, and many of my readers, are essentially libertarians: do what you will with your private life. What we reject is the intense politicization of gay sexuality. We reject the attempt to co-opt education, when children are malleable and values are being set. (And as I always say, while I truly am not homophobic, there is no doubt that homosexuals have higher rates of depression, suicide, partner beating and sexually transmitted diseases, even in places where they are very accepted, such as LA, SF and NY, and that’s not the life I hope for my children.) Likewise, we reject the mindless political leftism that gays embrace, which sees them siding with the Islamists who routinely kill them, rather than the West, and the Jews/Israelis, who espouse a “live and let live” attitude.

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment, which reminds us that there is, as there always has been, a difference between biology and politics — and that those who blur the lines sometimes do so at the (or other’s) peril.

  • Cheesestick

    e-girl Those attitudes have driven too many people to suicide, caused too many families to reject their offspring and provided motivation for too many assaults and murders for them to be considered even remotely funny or smart.  I know people who have suffered all of those things because of ignorance which is too often willful.
    Blaming others for gay & trans people’s suicides and assaults and murders is not helpful either.  I’m not sure why people who are either gay or trans (and yes, I understand what you are saying about the difference) are allowed to struggle and be confused about the condition they find themselves in, but activists expect that person’s parents, family, friends and school mates to be completely enlightened and supportive and know exactly the right things to say.  Because god help me if I, a straight person, vocalizes any observation of these conditions that is anything less than jubilant approval and fluffy rainbows and unicorns, somewhere a gay person will commit suicide…and it will be all my fault.
    It would be better to simply acknowledge that these are very painful and confusing issues to deal with for everyone involved; the person confronting it as well as people who know & care about them.   And these problems kids have are not limited to just these issues as nearly every issue, from so & so didn’t say hi to you today to failing a test at school, can cause teens to have an overly dramatic reaction and act out in ways that are harmful to themselves.
    That’s part of what makes me apprehensive about dealing with such a heavy issue in the teen years.  You might be able to stop their body from making physical changes whilst they think about it, but where is the drug that is going to convert their brain into the adult brain that is needed to think about it?
    That said, I absolutely agree with your last paragraph.  That’s certainly not the first time I have heard that sentiment.  I’m not sure what the answer is to that though.  The gay activists are quite aggressive in grabbing every possible tool to advance their agenda regardless of who it hurts.  We see fewer people by the day who are willing to stand up to them and their bullying.  (Due in part to not wanting to be accused of causing suicides or violent assaults.)

  • Ymarsakar

    the surgery, you must have lived in as who you’ll be for at least a year, sometimes two (often referred to as the Real Life Test, RLT).

    That’s a good point. Test trials such as do indeed produce first hand experience and that experience can be positive or regretfully negative.

    The GLBT lobbyists are accruing power to themselves and it is always at the expense of the victims they call their members. It is the same for black activists. It is the same for Islamic activists. It is the same for the activists of union jobs and the “poor”.

    This is the nature of the Leftist alliance. That regardless of the particular ideology or victim group you are dealing with, the methods are horribly the same.

    It is also true that male and female brains simply think differently. They are wired differently.