Psychiatrists highlight polarising views

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) has released guidelines and recommendations for dealing with patients suffering from gender dysphoria. RANZCP acknowledges that this is an under-researched area, lacking data and comprehensive studies, resulting in conflicting opinions on the issue.

There are polarised views and mixed evidence regarding treatment options for people presenting with gender identity concerns, especially children and young people. It is important to understand the different factors, complexities, theories, and research relating to Gender Dysphoria.

 Comprehensive assessment is crucial. Assessment and treatment should be evidence-informed, fully explore the patient’s gender identity, the context in which this has arisen, other features of mental illness and a thorough assessment of personal and family history.

Gender Dysphoria is an emerging field of research and, at present, there is a paucity of evidence. Better evidence in relation to outcomes, especially for children and adolescents is required.

The recommendations include thorough examination of a person’s gender identity in light

of “the biopsychosocial context from which this has emerged.” They also recommend further well-funded research into the implications of surgical and medical interventions.

Binary spokeswoman, Kirralie Smith, said comprehensive studies are needed.

“Radical activism surrounding gender dysphoria has tainted the best possible health practices, especially for children,” she said.

“Studies by academics have been thwarted or censored for fear of hurt feelings or cancellation.

“Our society owes it to the children to engage in rigorous and thorough studies to determine the best outcome for children instead of rushing into potentially harmful, experimental and irreversible medical and surgical treatments.”