I recently wrote about research findings that gay and lesbian youth are typically older than their heterosexual counterparts when they first act upon and realize their sexual orientation. While same-sex attracted girls, in particular, reach this milestone between 19-early 20s, the current trend is to “socially transition,” then puberty block, and finally move on to cross sex hormones at age 16.
It’s easy to see that many of these teens are being set up to short-circuit the natural discovery of their sexual orientation. But is that the only potential problem with social transition and puberty blocking—the preemptive conversion of likely gay and lesbian youth to transgender?
Not by a longshot. There are so many important things that happen at puberty which are critically important to the maturation necessary to make informed decisions about major life changes (you know–things like sterility, loss of breasts, and a permanently deepened voice) that a developmental psychologist or cognitive scientist could write a doctoral dissertation about the subject.
In fact, many have; the research and clinical literature going back to the mid-20th century is chock-a-block with replicated studies, clinical observations, and meta-analyses. More recently, we have MRI and fMRI studies corroborating earlier observations.
What we don’t have, at least not yet, are the PhD theses showing how the experimental “treatments” currently being implemented by pediatric endocrinologists and gender specialists—many of whom have no professional background in child or adolescent psychology—fly in the face of that large body of literature.
I have spent hundreds of hours poring over the literature on gender dysphoria and pediatric transition. But in all the studies and papers I’ve read, I have not seen mention of the vast body of extant knowledge about child and adolescent psychology. It’s as if these gender specialists just started from scratch.
What exactly are they ignoring? Well, for starters, there’s the work of Erik Erikson, a preeminent child and adolescent psychology expert of the 20th century. You can’t read the scholarly or clinical literature on pediatric psychology without finding a reference to Erikson’s work; in fact, much of the current knowledge in the field is built upon his fundamental insights. A blog post is not adequate to even summarize it, but his bedrock finding about the psychological journey of adolescence is this: Developing an identity takes place in stages, culminating in an integrated adult personality; and “identity work”—including an identity crisis—is critical to healthy adult psychological functioning.
Adolescent psychology expert James Marcia was another foundational thinker who built upon Erikson’s framework:
… two distinct parts form an adolescent’s identity: crisis (i.e., a time when one’s values and choices are being reevaluated) and commitment. He defined a crisis as a time of upheaval where old values or choices are being reexamined. The end outcome of a crisis leads to a commitment made to a certain role or value.
But we don’t need a study, a theory, or someone with a PhD after their name to prove this to us, do we? Any adult who has lived through that time of life called “adolescence” can attest to the fact that questioning, and trying on and discarding different ways of being, go with the territory. And it’s a rough time. How many adults would willingly relive the fraught and tumultuous days of middle and high school? Every psychologist (until the Age of the Trans Child) has agreed: it’s not supposed to be an easy ride. In fact, without the essential but painful work of adolescence, a person will not reach their adult potential: “unable to achieve an integrated adult identity, either because they have failed to resolve the identity crisis or because they have experienced no crisis. ”
Contrast this long-accepted understanding of adolescence with the approach taken by today’s gender specialists. Instead of helping children weather the natural and not necessarily comfortable process of cognitive and emotional development, they concretize and freeze in place the certainties of childhood, in what should be a time for exploration, not stasis.
It would be one thing if these gender clinics were really in the business of helping a child expand or explore different gender identities, without medical interference. But we know that they support and encourage “transition” from one sex to the other, with all the permanent physical changes that entails. In terms of adolescent psychological development, once these kids have taken the irrevocable step of moving from blockers to cross sex hormones, they have been denied the opportunity to go through an identity crisis. So, a 16-year-old girl who has lost her fertility and her breasts, and who has already committed to a permanent testosterone-deepened voice and increased body hair — how easy will it be for her to experience James Marcia’s “time of upheaval where old values or choices are being reexamined?” That adolescent girl has been cheated of that stage of life. And when did we, as a society, decide that was a good thing?
The media stories and anecdotes from gender clinics are all the same: The kids are uncomfortable, so they and their parents seek relief. Then, according to everyone, the treatment “works” because the kids are happy. For how long? No one knows.
Be that as it may, an identity crisis isn’t supposed to be resolved in preschool, or kindergarten, or even middle or high school: It is the work and the challenge of adolescence, not complete until late adolescence.
Adolescence has long been characterized as a time when individuals begin to explore and examine psychological characteristics of the self in order to discover who they really are, and how they fit in the social world in which they live. Especially since Erikson’s (1968) theory of the adolescent identity crisis was introduced, scholars have viewed adolescence as a time of self-exploration. In general, research has supported Erikson’s model, with one important exception: the timetable. It now appears that, at least in contemporary society, the bulk of identity “work” occurs late in adolescence, and perhaps not even until young adulthood.
“Late in adolescence”—after the time when most “trans” youth have moved on from puberty blockers to cross-sex hormones, thus bypassing the period when they would have been able to explore possibilities in their original bodies—including, but not limited to, their sexual orientation and other essential aspects of their identities and personalities.
The insights of the earlier child development experts have been corroborated by advanced visualization technologies, such as MRI and fMRI, which have revolutionized our understanding of the human brain and psychological development. In recent years, we have come to understand that full maturation occurs much later than previously thought.
Recent research has shown that human brain circuitry is not mature until the early 20s (some would add, “if ever”). Among the last connections to be fully established are the links between the prefrontal cortex, seat of judgment and problem-solving, and the emotional centers in the limbic system, especially the amygdala. These links are critical for emotional learning and high-level self-regulation.
Beginning at puberty, the brain is reshaped. Neurons (gray matter) and synapses (junctions between neurons) proliferate in the cerebral cortex and are then gradually pruned throughout adolescence. Eventually, more than 40% of all synapses are eliminated, largely in the frontal lobes. Meanwhile, the white insulating coat of myelin on the axons that carry signals between nerve cells continues to accumulate, gradually improving the precision and efficiency of neuronal communication — a process not completed until the early 20s.
In addition to reading research studies, I spend a fair bit of time reading the blogs, tweets, and social media writings of trans-identified teens. While most teens are pretty self-absorbed, with these kids, I am always struck by the depth of self-involvement, the extreme obsession with looks and appearance, and the constant focus on getting what they want, when they want it.
What is conspicuously absent in the narratives of many of these teens is another key aspect of pubertal maturation: self reflection and awareness. Concrete, literalist thinking is a hallmark of childhood. So a preadolescent frozen at Tanner Stage 2 of pubertal development (when blockers normally begin to be administered) may still think literally and concretely: “I am a boy.” Instead of: “Maybe I think I’m a boy because I like trucks and hate girly clothes. Maybe there’s a reason I think I’m a boy, but I’m really not.” The name for such higher level reflection, or “thinking about thinking,” is metacognition.
So when these young people, frozen at an earlier stage of cognitive development, are asked at age 15 or 16, “Are you SURE you’re really a boy?” why would any of them say “no”? And in fact, in the small number of studies that have looked at kids who have been socially transitioned and puberty blocked, none of them have failed to move on to cross sex hormones. Is this because they are “truly trans” and their clinicians have godlike diagnostic skills, with zero—zero!—false positives? Or is it because the very act of endorsing and reifying their self-proclaimed concretized self-images has helped them persist in those self-perceptions?
No adolescent withdrew from puberty suppression, and all started cross-sex hormone treatment, the first step of actual gender reassignment.
It’s not just metacognitive and abstract thinking that develops slowly, reaching fruition in late adolescence. As I wrote about in this post, executive function—the ability to make decisions, plan, and think of future consequences (like, “do I want to have children of my own, ever”?) doesn’t begin to consolidate until the mid-20s.
Then there’s social maturity and a more nuanced understanding of how to interact with one’s peers. Who doesn’t remember the awkwardness, the trying-to-fit-in, seasick self-consciousness of adolescence? Social development takes place in concert with one’s peers, along with the slow dawning of self-reflection. A socially transitioned, puberty-blocked 14-year-old who has avoided the rigors of hormone-fueled social issues won’t understand any of this. How will that lack of experience inform their decision to continue on to cross sex hormones?
We previously investigated how the ability to understand social emotional scenarios using mixed emotions varied across puberty in girls aged 9–16 (Burnett et al., 2011). There was a change between early and late puberty in the number of emotional responses that participants gave in social emotion scenarios, with girls in late puberty attributing a wider combination of emotions in social scenarios than their peers in early puberty
… Our findings of puberty-related changes in neural activation, together with those shown in other recent fMRI studies using different ‘social’ tasks as described in the introduction, suggest that aspects of functional brain development in adolescence, like these behavioral changes, may be more closely linked to the physical and hormonal changes of puberty than chronological age.
As the authors note, social intelligence—a more nuanced understanding of “social emotion” scenarios—develops as a result of the release of hormones, not chronological age. This is so obvious it hardly seems worth studying (or proving on a functional MRI study). Yet gender specialists talk as if the brain develops separately from the body; as if hormones are only important for secondary sexual characteristics. They are constantly reassuring skeptics that blocking puberty gives these incredibly immature kids the time to figure out if this is really what they want—without the benefit of the cognitive, emotional, and social maturation processes that comes with the secretion of pubertal hormones.
I’ve touched upon only a few facets of adolescent cognitive-emotional development in this post. The literature in this area is vast, still accumulating, and spans decades and millions of pages of writing. Contemporary cognitive scientists like Russell Viner, Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and Jay Giedd are continuing to add to the body of knowledge. But their work on adolescent psychology and brain development is not referenced in the media or in the writings of trans activists or pediatric gender specialists. In point of fact, what little peer-reviewed research there is in the field of “gender identity” is going in the exact opposite direction of the rest of developmental psychology and cognitive science—towards a reification of rigid, unchanging identity and decision-making “agency” for younger and younger children; while the replicated research of developmental psychology and neuroscience is moving toward an understanding of neuroplasticity, the necessity of undergoing an identity crisis, and a later age for brain maturation than was previously thought.
Cognitive scientist Jay Giedd:
One of the most exciting discoveries from recent neuroscience research is how incredibly plastic the human brain is. For a long time, we used to think that the brain, because it’s already 95 percent of adult size by age six, things were largely set in place early in life. … [There was the] saying. “Give me your child, and by the age of five, I can make him a priest or a thief or a scholar.”
[There was] this notion that things were largely set at fairly early ages. And now we realize that isn’t true; that even throughout childhood and even the teen years, there’s enormous capacity for change. We think that this capacity for change is very empowering for teens. …
Instead of respecting this “enormous capacity for change,” gender specialists are tampering with the endocrine system, freezing gender dysphoric children in a state of suspended development—and then expecting these psychologically and emotionally immature children to make permanent decisions about their future as adults. It’s a huge clinical gamble. What it amounts to is hoping for the best.
But is anyone preparing for the worst?
I first heard about adolescent neural pruning a couple-three years ago, from a commenter on GT and it shocked me. She pointed out that it’s an unknown, what the effects of postponing this pubertal process might be. I would call this brain damage, medically inflicted brain damage, and that intentional.
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Reblogged this on There Are So Many Things Wrong With This and commented:
The endocrine system is very complex with a lot of feedback loops keeping our hormones at appropriate levels. And sex hormones have more functions than just producing secondary sex characteristics.
Why do these “gender” doctors (who have a great deal more education and experience than I) not see that introducing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to a still-developing child could have serious negative consequences? Why is so much importance placed on stopping the “wrong” puberty or initiating the “right” puberty? Is it all about secondary sex characteristics? The ability to pass? If so, it seems like such a superficial goal. There should be concern about the overall quality of life, not just appearances.
I really fear for these kids because they are guinea pigs. The doctors are prescribing these drugs off-label and can’t possibly comprehend the potential risks involved. They may feel strongly that it is for the best interests of these children. But as we know from history, it wouldn’t be the first (or likely the last time) that the medical profession has promoted harmful practices.
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Well put. I would add they’re also doing all of this extraordinarily risky, unethically bizarre stuff on the basis of a belief in an innate and fixed ‘gender identity’ that really seems to exist on a metaphysical plane. It has to be the most important thing. And it is something that’s completely not scientifically verifiable. And it is not going to be, because it is imaginary. These gender doctors have decided to believe in it’s a realness, it’s preeminent importance, and it’s ability to control All Other Things. They use it like a talisman to convince themselves it all come out all right in the end. 😣
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The blockers put a stop to further hormone activated brain reorganization, typical physical and sexual development (and the expression of those resulting attractions dependent upon it), and the social transition puts a stop to the experience of developing and relating socially as their own natal sex. How is any child under these circumstances even supposed to have a chance to make an informed decision when they have no experience with what they’re supposed to be choosing between? They end up being socialized neither boy nor girl, but as something different from either and with maturity levels artificially reduced by this process.
This is no way to go. Why are endocrinologists establishing treatment protocols for what are obviously issues of psychological development?
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It won’t be long before it becomes apparent that using puberty blockers in children who are misdiagnosed as “transgender” will result in severely negative consequences and poor health outcomes in addition to sterility. I hope that this level of medical negligence is determined to be a human rights abuse before any more healthy bodies are destroyed.
Children who persist into adulthood to identify as “transgender” will experience long-term negative side-effects as well (from hormone blockers, hormone use and/or complications from surgeries) but it will be the patients who were misdiagnosed who will emerge first to file law-suits.
Have we not learned anything from the past? I honestly cannot believe that this level of irresponsibility regarding medical ethics is being tolerated, especially since it affects children. The hormone blockers are not FDA approved. There are NO long-term studies to prove that treatment is safe, or effective … despite the fact that the risks are written out very clearly in the pharmaceutical warnings that accompany the prescriptions. Ironically, (confident?) Doctors require an informed letter of consent and a release of liability form before administering treatment – even when treating minors.
Many young people may be presenting as “transgender” because they do not yet have the frontal lobe development to comprehend the ways in which physical anatomy, sexual orientation, gender expression and societal pressure to conform to cultural “norms” influence personal identity. Many adults have difficulty sorting all of this out (as those who have desisted from “transgender transition” back to natal sex demonstrate.)
Young people are influenced by dominant societal gender stereotypes that define being strong, athletic, tough, analytical and practical in their choice of clothing and hair-cut etc., equates to being “male” or that being sensitive, gentle, nurturing and fashion-conscious etc., equates to being “female.” And let’s face it, many kids would prefer to be “normal” than to deal with bullying for being “gay.” To make matters worse, children and teens soak in photo-shopped media images on television, on-line, in magazines, newspapers and “Reality” shows like “I am Jazz” (age 14) that depict a celebrated and flawless medical solution for gender questioning youth.
But the hidden reality behind the scenes of “reality shows” is that hormone blockers will not help a female body sprout testicles and a penis, nor will they help height and other gender specific structural issues, nor will they will make it possible for a male body to grow ovaries and a uterus. Transgender children will eventually become adolescents and young adults who will have to take very dangerous hormones for the rest of their lives (which looking at the lives of trans-adults will be shorter than average – perhaps, considerably shorter.)
Many class action law-suits have been successfully launched against incompetent medical practitioners in the past. (For example: Patients and Parents succeeded in ending the “false memory syndrome” abuses in the 90’s that targeted children presenting with traumatic histories – many of these children were diagnosed with severe dissociative disorders. Ironically, the diagnosis of “dissociative disorders” dropped dramatically after this law-suit and coincided with rise in the diagnosis of “transgenderism”. One can’t help but wonder if a percentage of children and adolescents diagnosed as transgender are actually suffering from a severe dissociative disorder.
A person does not have to be a lawyer to see the medical negligence train barreling down the tracks. Incompetent mental health providers and medical professionals have caused harm to patients throughout history and have successfully been held accountable in many instances. There is a reason that Hormone blockers and hormones are not FDA approved for the treatment of transgenderism. Shit – There is a reason that Doctors no longer recommend Estrogen HRT for natal women – the health risks have proven to be too high. And as far as Testosterone, look at the cancer rates in body-builders and other athletes who have abused steroids. Natal men are already beginning to file law suits similar to those that were filed by women treated with HRT. One has only to look at recent history to see that the long-term use of artificial hormones leads to negative health outcomes.
Remember, it is the Psychiatrists and psychologists who supported lobotomies. And what about their using shock therapy to cure homosexuality and autism? All of this feels like a bad science fiction story and this reminds me of the cloning experiments done on animals. It was so exciting and irresistible to scientists to clone sheep (and even dogs) but these animals suffered tremendously before they died. No one talks about that now.
I hope that groups can organize to act as swiftly as possible before too many children’s lives are sacrificed in these “experiments.” And when voices are well organized and raised – remember, law-suits speak the loudest.
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The fanatics like a Johanna Olsen 🙄 desperately want the trans-train to keep barreling down the tracks. In order to do that they need to avoid the situation of people diagnosed in childhood as trans and then turn out not to be but were treated with drugs. Their solution instead of being really careful is to just pretend no one ever is ever miss diagnosed, no false positives. No desisters. So they are talking themselves into doing what they wanted to do despite the fact that there’s that niggling feeling that maybe there’s something wrong with this. But they cover it over by doubling down.
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This is a very powerful post. It’s so important to see that the hormone blockers not only stop the secondary sex development (the obvious visual effect), but more importantly the “cognitive, social and emotional maturation processes” (the more subtle effects). Let’s not forget the skeletal and muscular maturation, too. Just think, a child that starts out on hormone blockers, then proceeds to cross-sex hormones will NEVER have a way back to their original natural sex. It’s already past the time and you cannot unwind and go back. This really hit me when I saw a person in their 20’s (I think) who had done just that. You can watch the interview of this person and see for yourself what a sad situation this must be: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9NglPM3vKE
I don’t think I actually watched the whole video, it disturbed me. And the thing is that these poor people kind of have to accept their lot because, face it, what else can they do? There’s no way back! Look at his/her facial expressions to see how really messed up they must feel inside.
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It made me sad to watch this as well. Everyone has to find their own way. People live with all kinds of health issues – and I do think that people who transition in childhood and desist in adulthood can go on to live productive and happy lives. It is just frustrating to see them go through such difficult challenges so early in life (when it could have been avoided if they had received proper care form a competent practitioner.) I hope that those who desist in adulthood can find each other and organize to help prevent future abuse … perhaps they can launch a petition to change legislation and protect the next generation of gender “non-conforming” children from suffering what that they have endured due to medical negligence. Regarding a class action law-suit – it is not about the money – money won’t change the damage done but perhaps negligent practitioners wiliest their licenses and this will be a statement to other practitioners that playing guessing games by experimenting on children is not an option.
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I remember watching the PBS Frontline episode “Growing up Trans” and being very struck by Isaac – the person in that interview – speaking at the end. They also have an interesting article up on the Frontline site – http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/what-makes-you-your-gender/ – I’m not sure if the whole video is still available.
It was very striking that after an hour’s worth of heartbreaking stories about kids *needing* puberty blockers and hormones in order to continue their lives, they focused in on Isaac’s story, the “I didn’t have a natural puberty and I wonder now if I missed something.” Nothing brought tears to my eyes more than that sense of loss – and this was when I was very supportive of the idea of transition as a solution.
It made me, even at the time, very curious about desisting and alternatives to transition, and I’m grateful such a large media outlet such as PBS covered that side of the story, even a little. The intelligent perception, the analysis, that those who have gone through this are putting into it is something that needs to be heard, whether on Youtube or blogs or television – wherever. And it does seem to me that there are more and more speaking out.
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Isaac looked sad even back then – I hope this young adult has support to recover and move forward to enjoy a full and happy life.
Good points, thissoftspace.
BTW, I left additional notes on my bio post – with suggestions for dealing with PTSD symptoms.
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Sadly, it’s only a matter of time till we start seeing the negative effects of these puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones on young kids. I really hope it doesn’t take as long as it did to discontinue certain other medical misadventures of the past, like twilight sleep and lobotomies. It’s so disturbing to see self-identified trans people on YouTube excitedly interviewing girls as young as 16 who’ve already had a double mastectomy. This isn’t like changing your religion, getting a bad tattoo, or marrying the wrong person. Those other choices can all be reversed, in various ways, if you change your mind down the line. Removing healthy body parts and stunting your brain development with drugs can’t.
I quit using Elidel cream for my eczema when I found out it has a black box warning and very negative potential side effects, as well as being the subject of a lawsuit. I didn’t even start using the even stronger Protopic that was pushed on me by the inept physician’s assistant when the Elidel didn’t work very well. I knew Protopic had a black box warning too. But I was an adult, and able to do this research on my own and to make my own decisions. Children rely on their parents to protect them and make the best decisions for them. I wonder if any or many of these parents of supposed trans kids even discuss potential side effects before excitedly making their self-indulgent YouTube videos about surprising their kids with hormones as a birthday present.
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I feel that while some parents may be negligent or in some other ways mentally unstable, most care very much for their children and are intelligent parents who want to do what is best for their children. The problem is that transgenderism is portrayed in such an alarmist way, as if the parents don’t act fast to get their kids on hormone blockers and on the path to surgery and “HRT”, they will surely jump of a bridge.
Gender “non-conformity” is not Leukemia! (For gawd’s-sake.)
Can you imagine if parents of gay kids felt like they had to go out and introduce their child as my “Gay son” or “Lesbian daughter” and make sure their child had their first sexual experience before they turned 18 so that the kid could be secure in their sexuality and not go off and kill themselves?
But as you said Carrie-Anne – this is even more serious. The changes are in great part, irreversible.
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It just kills me that they call it “HRT”. It’s such obvious auto propaganda. They’re not replacing something! They’re adding something weird. And wrong for their bodies.
I love “it’s not leukemia”. And especially your analogy about the parents of a gay kid. LOL! 😂 “Here’s my gay son who’s gay. And it’s so great that he’s gay. He’s going to have a gay life. And it’s just gonna be so great ‘n’ gay!” Yeah supportive parents of gay kids don’t to do that. They just get on with life.
I haven’t watched any of those YouTube videos. Either pro transition or the de-transitioning ones. It’s all just to horrifyingly sad.
But that’s the dichotomy the parents are presented: Do this or your kid will be at an extremely elevated risk of suicide. (And also: Do this, and the world will applaud you for your openness, progressiveness, and deep parental love.)
This is the message the pros offer, and increasingly, it’s all parents will hear, unless they’re out here digging deeper, reading 4thwave or some such, or they happen to find a rare therapist who doesn’t subscribe to the ‘self-diagnosis’ method of assessing putative ‘transkids.’ (If they’re in a state where a therapist even has the legal right to suggest any exploration of why the kid feels they must be The Other. In my state, therapists can’t do that.)
Look, y’all, I’m not one to throw terms like ‘evil’ around. But this is … an evil business. Giving kids the idea that their bodies are wrong and require urgent, extreme fixes or they’ll be doomed to sorrow and death, suggesting to them in preschool that they should be thinking about gender and selecting from some list of terms beyond ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ … this is not a benign business. These mental ‘health’ theories and treatment experiments seem to recur with depressing regularity, and they’re eventually all walked back, but not till a lot of lives are messed up.
Evil masquerading as something good, something positive and progressive and freeing and righteous and necessary — that is a powerful paradigm. Facts about hormone-mediated brain development don’t seem very sexy by comparison. Not even to the professionals who should remember what they learned in med school.
I’m grateful for the resistance movement, such as it is — the patient digging and intelligent, fierce writing of 4thwave; the gutsy sharing of others’ stories (here and elsewhere); and especially the voices of detransers who refuse to be silenced despite extreme pressure to shut up and pretend their lived experiences are irrelevant. I’m grateful for the nymag journalist poking around in the CAMH/Zucker fiasco and publishing material that reveals how sociopolitically motivated (rather than evidence-based) the entire treatment paradigm has become.
Grownups get to do what they want to with their bodies, for good or for ill. Kids have to rely on the protection of responsible adults, who in this case seem to be in woefully short supply.
My kid will ultimately do what my kid does. When my kid is an adult. Meanwhile, my kid is welcome to wear so-called ‘boy’s clothes’ and short hair, to play video games and enjoy so-called ‘boy’s toys’ and reject every girly trapping there is. But permanent body modifications any more risky than ear piercing and tats? A name change that attempts to kill the person she’s always previously known herself to be, and substitute a teen dream of a problem-free life as a constructed guy?
Not on my watch.
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Me, too, puzzled.
You know what else is just malpractice? Trying to help a kid with a diagnosed mental disorder which features major cognitive distortions while all the paid people who are supposed to be helping her identify her flawed and twisted thinking are calling her her made-up name and pretending she’s a boy.
Cognitive dissonance much, mental health care pros? My kid is kicking her sister in the head while in a bipolar rage and then telling us that we’re killing her because we’re, you know, trying to keep her safe and also our other children. But, yeah, let’s feed her delusions. Way to go.
Heaven help her when she turns 18. She is flunking out of school because any attempt to educate her she sees as “nagging.” Not a single member of the family trusts her. I found out that the girlfriend she had who broke up with her and then an entire circle of friends dropped her? It wasn’t because the girlfriend lied about her — it was because my daughter threatened to beat the girl up for breaking up with her.
My kid has a mental illness which screws up development in all facets of her personality. She has no idea who she is because she’s in such internal pain living in a mixed and heightened state of depression and anxiety. She wants control and she’ll do anything to get it. She isn’t doing it intentionally, but that doesn’t change how her terrible rages land or how much they hurt or the long-term damage they’re causing.
The “helping profession” is doing the lion’s share of fucking up my family.
From a well-researched piece by the Globe and Mail, published yesterday: “By closing the clinic, CAMH also walked away from a $1-million grant that had been awarded to Dr. Zucker and his team to study the effect of hormone blockers on teenagers.”
I wonder, was that just collateral damage, or part of the reason that the clinic was closed down: to keep this research from being conducted?
When I read about this, this family immediately came to mind http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/17/transgender-parents_n_6489850.html A trans man married to a trans woman and their 2 biological kids. The husband, who had both babies, says it was difficult and really uncomfortable (newsflash, pregnancy is like that for everyone) but it was totally worth it. Puberty blockers would’ve destroyed their chance. The notion that parents just selfishly want grandkids is a low blow. I didn’t think much about kids when I was young, definitely did not want any in my early 20s but when I was ready it was the greatest joy of my life. These kids may never want kids but they shouldn’t have the choice taken away before they understand it.
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I have tried to search for the original sources of the elevated suicide risks and find that you have one paper citing another and they all seem to lead back to
Clements-Nolle K, Marx R, Katz M. Attempted suicide among transgender persons: the influence of gender-based discrimination and victimization. J Homosex. 2006;51(3):53–69
But according to the abstract Clements only has self reported suicide attempts which can be orders of magnitude out with respect to actual suicides, and does not compare the suicide risks of those undergoing transgender medical intervention with the risks posed to those who do not undergo this intervention.
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