Puberty blockers

No-one transitions on a whim. It is so difficult to transition that anyone who does probably is trans. That includes children.

There are 12.4m children aged 0-15 in the UK, and 1.4m 16-17 year olds. So 800 children on puberty blockers is a tiny fraction. Help, help, the sky is falling! cries the Daily Mail. They reported the fact, and sensationalised it- “Huge growth”- from what? Is not 800 out of 12.4m a tiny number? Then they interviewed and photographed a 17 year old trans woman who said puberty blockers saved her life, as she would have been suicidal suffering male pubertal changes. And then they started quoting transphobes. A spokeswoman for the Grassroots Conservatives campaign, who could be assumed to have no expertise whatsoever, said, This drastic notion that we should change our gender should be a last resort, as if a handful in a hundred thousand showed mass poisoning of children, or even the possibility that anyone who had the treatment did not need it. The children are diagnosed with life long gender dysphoria. The doctors predict that these are the children who will never regret their decision.

A woman speaking for Transgender Trend, a parents’ group speaking against transition, said These kids are not old enough to make life-changing decisions as if they were not diagnosed by doctors who were clear the treatment was appropriate. A doctor said the treatment relieved suffering, and three doctors said it was unsupported by rigorous scientific evidence, as if control groups could ever be ethical.

The treatment is puberty suppression. It gives children and families more time to make the final decision to transition surgically, before puberty changes the child’s body to appear irrevocably of the gender assigned at birth.

There were 2016 referrals of children and adolescents aged 3-18 in 2016 (yes, it is an odd coincidence). Children may remain under the care of the clinic for several years. Help, help, the sky is falling! said the Daily Telegraph. Chris McGovern, chair of the Campaign for Real Education so not obviously a medical expert called this a “politically correct agenda”. The Telegraph blames feminists! Feminists were attempting to reshape school policies on gender… children were being forced to “unlearn” the difference between boys and girls. If children did not know the difference, they would not know they wanted to transition. Liberating children from rigid gender roles would reduce the pressure to transition.

I feel that not all children who are trans will have been able to convince their parents, even if they have had the courage or desperation to try. I feel the children who are referred will be the strongest-minded and most certain trans children. And only a minority of those referred get any treatment. They are encouraged to transition and live in role, including at school, but most do not get puberty blockers, leave alone surgery.

Before puberty blockers, trans girls have their sperm frozen so that they might have children later in life. The Daily Mail opposes this. Storage costs £300 a year, and the Mail says the money should be spent on people with sympathetic health problems, not these weirdos. The article put “trans girls” in scare quotes, and referred to them as boys who believe they are female.

“Shouldn’t be allowed at all” was one of the highest rated comments. Consider the hostility to transition! No parent would accept it unless completely convinced. The barriers to a child’s transition are so great that children who do are trans.

I feel that schools which prevented gender indoctrination and permitted children to experiment with gender would produce more balanced adults. I am ambivalent about transition in children. What if it is wrong for them? I understand the worries- but surely all those involved are doing their best, for the best interests of the child.

10 thoughts on “Puberty blockers

  1. 2016 referrals in 2016? A coincidence? No! At this rate, there will be 2017 referrals in 2017. No wonder the Daily Mail is alarmed!

    Put on your tin foil hat, and watch out for those Transgenerators!

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  2. We’ve been having these sort of debates here in Australia. Even prominent transwomen (in particular)m apparently don’t think that young children should be able to get hormone treatment or puberty blockers.

    I often ask myself (as someone who is cis), how old are children when they realise their trans, or might be trans. I always thought it was extremely young (before primary school – three or four). And cis people say that trans children don’t know at that age.

    Also, a few times in Australia (once was meant to be on 60 Minutes), are children who identified as trans, but claimed that they realised they were cis. How common is this?

    This has become another culture war between the far left and far right here. I can only imagine that trans kids are the casualties of it all. Like the LGBTQ+ community being casualties of the (sometimes) hostile same – sex marriage debate.

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    • The answer is to let children express their gender as they wish, and experiment, and play. The enforcement of gender stereotypes is so harsh that children as young as three know what is “wrong” gender behaviour. If the only thing children can do to be themselves is to assert they are trans, then some will. Rigid stereotypes harm everyone.

      The Mail photographed and interviewed a girl who said hormone blockers had saved her life. I feel 800 is a small number relative to the number oppressed by gender, and is possibly appropriate. The NHS will only treat the most extreme cases.

      Liked by 2 people

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