Why Are More Children Identifying As Transgender & Being Offered Medical Treatment?


    by Arjun Walia, The Pulse:

    Research is suggesting there are a lot of complications that come with treatments associated with transitioning. Should we be prescribing them so readily to our youth?

    First off, let me say that I hold no ill will against transgender people, or anyone for that matter. I believe everybody should be treated with love, respect and understanding. It’s completely fine for anybody to be whatever they desire. Who or what someone chooses to be should not impede on their access to the same rights and freedoms that everybody else has. But we should be able to have discussions, like the one below, while simultaneously pushing for equality and inclusion.

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    When I was very young, maybe about four or five years old, I used to watch my mother put on makeup, and I wanted to try doing the same thing. It wasn’t the only thing I imitated as a child, I was naturally curious and it’s not uncommon for children to do this.

    For a short period of time, I used to try taping her earrings to my ears and sometimes even tried putting on her makeup and lipstick. At that time it was fun pretending to be a girl. I laugh when I think about it now, and I remember my parents doing the same when I did this in the past.

    But times have changed, and in some cases if a child were to do this today they might be encouraged to ‘play that role,’ so to speak. Parents may sit down with the child and ask if he wants to be a girl, and if it were me at that age, at that time and in that moment, I could have said yes. I wouldn’t have truly understood what they were asking.

    Who knows, maybe some parents today would encourage the child (if it was a male like me) to continue dressing like a girl, and ‘being a girl,’ whatever that means. Perhaps they may even go as far as being taken to a doctor and offered medical treatment like hormone blockers that could affect that child for the rest of its life.

    I bring up this topic because more adolescents these days, with no prior history of gender dysphoria, are presenting themselves at gender clinics.

    What Is Happening?

    Gender dysphoria is defined as the distress caused by a discrepancy between a person’s gender identity and the one assigned to them at birth. I would imagine this is very different from what I did and experienced as a child. I don’t ever remember being confused about my gender, or feeling like I was confused.

    A 2022 analysis of insurance claims by Komodo Health found that approximately 18,000 US minors started taking puberty blockers or hormones from 2017 to 2021. The numbers are increasing every single year.

    Surveys that have attempted to measure prevalence of this phenomenon have found that approximately 2% of high school aged teens identify as “transgender.”

    In 2021, approximately 42,000 children and teenagers across the US received a diagnosis of “gender dysphoria.” This is more than triple the number in 2017, and we are likely to see the same trends when data from 2022 and beyond is released.

    Overall, the analysis found that at least 121,882 children ages 6 to 17 were diagnosed with gender dysphoria from 2017 through 2021. In the US, the number of private clinics that focus on providing hormones and surgeries has grown from just a few a decades ago to more than 100.

    The Problems With Treatments

    As with other medical treatments, there are health related complications that come with these medications and treatments. Medical treatments can include puberty blockers, sex hormones, and surgeries.

    There are those, for example, who refer to themselves as “detransitioners” or “retransitioners.” Some of these people claim that early treatment has caused them harm. We will get to a few examples later in the article. We do know that long term research on these treatments is severely lacking.

    Two recent studies (see here and here) suggest that as many as 20-30% of patients may discontinue hormone treatment within a few years due to various medical complications.

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