One of two articles on the complexity of Gender Dysphoria. As always feel free to bypass my commentary and go straight to the journal. You can access the article here. (Cost implications)
For parents, like myself, we often found ourselves stumbling about in a field about which we had no prior knowledge. Research supporting parents, who do not believe in medicalising our children’s distress, is gaining traction. On the day I found this paper the UK National Health Service amended its guidance on Puberty Blockers. It stopped implying/stating blocking pubertal hormonal surges allows a “pause” and are fully reversible. It finally published a more honest response. Its not fully reversible. Many of the consequences are unknown. I’ve blogged about this before Puberty Blockers. Part One & Puberty Blockers: Part Two
Matt Hancock (Minister of State for Health) could do well to take heed of the growing body of research supporting a “watchful waiting” approach to children identifying as “transgender”.
The criteria for “Gender Dysphoria” would see many of our children meet the diagnostic threshold but, as the authors of this paper point out, there is doubt about both its origins and its treatment.
There are many questions about this condition: the surge of referrals to UK Gender Identity clinics, the inversion of the sex ratio in referrals, and growing numbers of de-transitioners. These should raise questions about why the main treatment is “affirmative” . Practitioners, working in this field, risk falling foul of professional bodies which regard attempts to reconcile kids to their biological sex as a kind of “Conversion Therapy”.
This is the model which parent’s are being encouraged to follow. Parent’s resisting incur social sanctions for non-compliance. Yet there is substantial history of children with gender incongruence who desist and re-identify with their biological sex. Thankfully there are more clinicians emerging to question the affirmative orthodoxy.
Historically most children presenting with Gender Dysphoria desisted. We do not have data on the relatively new phenomenon of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD). This is a much contested new clinical presentation covered by the research of Lisa Littman. At the time much effort was made to shut down the discussion of this rapidly emerging phenomenon. You can read about this Here
So lets just look at the dangers of following an affirmative pathway. There are no long term studies that support the effectiveness of this clinical pathway. Let that sink in.
In the U.K. the NHS has only this week stopped claiming that blocking puberty is entirely reversible. Yet data suggests that this is not true and if you research this clinicians have been warning about this for years. Literally. Years.
Furthermore, left unmedicalised, most of these children would desist. 👇
In the context of newly emerged groups of children/teens adopting a trans-identity it seems that there ought to have been some curiosity about this new group. It merited caution about setting this new cohort on a clinical pathway. We didn’t get caution but Tavistock whistleblowers did attempt to raise the alarm. This is from an interview in The Times. Over a year ago now. 👇
There are, however, clinicians that don’t endorse an “affirmation only” stance.
These clinicians take a more holistic approach and carefully explore why the child is bodily disassociative. They are cautious and questioning. Remember that reconciling to your biological sex avoids lifelong dependency on synthetic hormones /surgeries. This should be the gold standard treatment pathway. Therapy first. So why is there a headlong rush to a medical approach?
One argument is that our kids are at elevated risk of suicide, but the data does not support this. Suicide in the Trans Community. Moreover there’s a deafening silence on the post operative suicidal risk which was highlighted by this study Long term follow up of Transsexuals. This study found a suicide risk over 19 times that of the general population.
The authors turn their attention to the ubiquity of the “informed consent” model. The use of this model is often accompanied by arguments about bodily autonomy and places the decision making process in the hands of the child/young person. Attacking the notion of parental consent allows activists to remove the people who can legally slow down a transition. I have spent a lot of time looking at school policies on “transgender” pupils and the subtle, or direct, slurs against non-affirmative parents are common. However if the information is ideologically predicated is the consent freely given?
The paper goes on to question the model even where parents are acquiescent or evangelical about an affirmative approach. 👇
There are now glimmers of hope as organisations beat a tactical retreat from unthinking advocacy of the cult of Gender Identity. Here’s one organisation opting to quietly drop its previous “gender-affirming” stance.
This is quotation, from the paper under discussion, as a less ambiguous stance from the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) in the U.K.,
I decided to take a look at the RCP guidance on transgender treatment, You can read it here: RCP. They are not quite the beacon of hope this quote suggests. Here are two further quotes from their guidance: The RCP have included “gender identity” along with homosexuality as vulnerable to unethical conversion therapy.
They also quote Jo Elsson-Kennedy who is somewhat of a high priestess of affirmative surgery. They also buy into the idea that sex is “assigned at birth”. Whilst it has set out a more nuanced position re transgender children the progressive conversion of Lesbians and Gay males seems to have escaped their notice. The woke are inculcating Gender Dysphoria, in our gay youth, who are responding by retreating into a faux straight, medicalised closet.
All in all a good paper. However the startling omission, for me, is lack of consideration of homosexuality. Many of the parents of proto-homosexual kids notice “gender-variant” behaviour in our children pre-dating the adoption of a “trans-identity”. The existence of femme gay males and butch lesbians would have been a useful reference point in this paper. The phenomenon of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria covers a wide range of presentations. Some had already come out as Lesbian/Gay or Bisexual. Some had autism and , though rarer in young males, some identified themselves as autogynephilic. (This is a phenomenon where a man becomes sexually aroused at the thought of himself as a woman. More than one autogynephile has located the origins of this paraphilia in excessive porn use at a young age).
I will, however , leave the final word to the authors of this paper. A stark warning which, sadly, will come to pass but too late for many post operative young women and men. Bring on the lawsuits. The end of this popular delusion can’t come soon enough.