The number of teenagers believing the lie they can change sex is increasing.
A special report from Reuters found that a gender imbalance emerges among trans teens seeking treatment, with the number of girls believing the lie that they can be boys between 2.5 and 7.1 times greater than boys believing they can become girls.
The question yet to be answered, is how much does social media and peer contagions influence this rapid increase in children seeking false pathways out of depression, autism and other mental health issues?
Corey Basch, a professor of public health at William Paterson University in New Jersey who researches health communication and teens’ use of social media, said she fears that some adolescents are susceptible to making faulty self-diagnoses without adequate input from medical professionals.
“Teens are so incredibly vulnerable to information overload and being pushed in one direction,” Basch said.
“They could be lacking the analytical skills to question who is giving this advice and if their advice is valid.”
This phenomenon is happening in most western nations. Unfortunately, many teens are not just socially transitioning (changing names and donning costumes for hairstyles), an increasing number are seeking out medicalised pathways.
This includes the use of puberty blockers which can do irreversible harm such as leave the drug user infertile and without any sexual function. Even more devastating are the number of girls undergoing double mastectomies in an attempt to appear masculine.
In October, researchers at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine published a paper showing a 389% increase in gender-affirming chest surgeries performed nationally from 2016 to 2019 on patients under age 18. The total of 1,130 procedures during the period, nearly all of them for chest masculinization, represents a weighted estimate based on records from more than 2,000 U.S. medical facilities. Likewise, at least 776 chest masculinization surgeries were performed on patients ages 13 to 17 with a gender dysphoria diagnosis over the past three years, according to U.S. insurance claims analyzed for Reuters by health technology company Komodo Health Inc. This is probably an undercount because it does not include procedures paid for out of pocket.
An urgent inquiry into the trend is required. Girls are seemingly far more vulnerable to trans activism than boys.
For example, at Amsterdam University Medical Center’s gender clinic, a pioneer in adolescent gender care, the proportions flipped. From 1989 to 2005, 59% of its adolescent patients were assigned male at birth, the Dutch clinic reported in a 2015 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Since 2016, about 75% of the clinic’s patients have been youths who were assigned female at birth.
Some health practitioners like Dr Erica Anderson, a clinical psychologist, transgender woman and former board member of WPATH, are beginning to question the affirmation-only models that leave permanent and irreversible scars.
For all children, experts say, adolescence is a search for identity, when they try on various personas, appearances and interests and move beyond family to seek validation from peers. Anderson, who treats transgender and gender-questioning youth in her private practice in Berkeley, California, said she’s concerned that medically transitioning has become the default choice for too many girls who are uncomfortable with their bodies, struggling to fit in socially or dealing with mental health issues.
“Kids do try things on and not everything sticks. They experiment,” she said. “I do not believe that we have an obligation to accept at face value everything a young person says to us.”
Binary spokeswoman Kirralie Smith says this is why a Royal Commission into gender clinics is urgently needed.
“It is crucial, for the sake of children’s health and wellbeing, to stop the current affirmation only treatments and investigate alternatives,” she said.
“The ‘watchful waiting’ approach, while addressing underlying issues such as autism, trauma and other mental health issues, must be considered.
“Too many young people, especially girls, are buying the lie they can change their sex and solve their problems.
“They can’t change sex and there are better ways to work through problems than irreversible medication and surgeries that can cause even worse health issues.”
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