What Parents Should Know About Giving Hormones To Trans Kids

What Parents Should Know About Giving Hormones To Trans Kids

Medical guidelines advise against doing what many U.S. doctors are to kids who feel like the opposite gender: Giving them life-altering hormones early.
Walt Heyer

The United States Endocrine Society says that cross-gender hormones should not be used on kids under the age of 16. The standards in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Australia agree. The reason is simple: Cross-sex hormones have irreversible effects on fertility. Cross-gender hormone treatments can sterilize kids—not even Dr. Frankenstein would do that.

So I was shocked to learn that physicians administer cross-gender hormones to kids under the recommended age of 16 and many gender specialists believe “it is best to slowly initiate cross-gender hormones at the same time that the patient’s peers are entering puberty, typically around age 12-14.”

Johanna Olson, medical director of the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital Center for Trans Youth Health and Development, in a message directed to medical students, said that she has been “skipping the blockers” and placing children twelve years old and even younger directly on cross-gender hormones.

The blockers she references are hormone blockers, which suspend the natural development of puberty. The idea is to give trans kids more time before the natural course of puberty occurs, with its gender-specific alterations to the body. Blockers are routinely considered to be the first course of treatment for trans-kids of puberty age because if you stop the blockers, puberty resumes.

Hormones Have Irreversible Effects

But cross-gender hormones are another matter. Taking cross-gender hormones is the first step in medical transitioning. As a transgender adult who was a trans kid, I know transitioning has consequences. I know that adults can’t fully anticipate the long-term effects, much less little kids. It’s a case of short-term gain with long-term pain. That’s reality.

Lisa Brinkmann, a clinical psychologist specializing in gender issues in Dublin, Ireland, says about cross-gender hormones, “We are talking about changes that impact the kids’ reproductive systems for a lifetime. We have to be sure it’s the right thing to do. Cross-sex hormones have irreversible effects on fertility. There’s no going back.”

Most Kids Will Grow Out of Gender Dysphoria

A September 2014 report from the Hastings Center by Jack Drescher and Jack Pula says a diagnosis of gender dysphoria in childhood “does not inevitably continue into adulthood” the majority of the time. The majority of trans kids will not choose to transition as adults.

No one can objectively provide proof that the kids they are treating with hormones are really transgender.

The same physicians who suggest administering cross-gender hormones to kids at age 12 to 14 also say that they have no sure way to identify which kids will become transgender adults. No one can objectively provide proof that the kids they are treating with hormones are really transgender. The entire basis for treatment is what the kids say.

Gender dysphoria has been theorized to be a consequence of differences in the brain, but studies don’t find any. A recent study at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, says; “The present data do not support the notion that brains of male to female transgenders are feminized.” The study could not find a difference in the brains between heterosexual men and that of male to female transsexuals. The brains in trans boys are no different than non-trans boys.

Normal Kids Are At Risk

With no test to tell which kids will become transgender adults, but knowing that a majority will not, it is highly likely that doctors are administering powerful hormones with irreversible effects to normal boys and girls.

Treating the psychological or psychiatric disorder is the answer, not changing genders.

My concern for trans kids is forged from my own life as a child transgender. I was told that because my strong feelings of being a girl on the inside had persisted for so long that I needed to alter my external appearance to match, from man to woman. Because I was desperate for relief, I followed all the recommendations for someone with gender dysphoria and underwent the transition. I successfully lived and worked as a female for eight years. But after eight years, the male came back.

My biological sex had never changed, no matter how many procedures I underwent or how many hormones I took. My life was never the same and my body was forever mutilated. People say to me now, “Too bad. It was your choice. You should have made a more informed decision.”

Through my website, SexChangeRegret.com, I hear from people with similar experiences as mine, and in every case, the gender dysphoria is a result of childhood developmental issues. Treating the psychological or psychiatric disorder is the answer, not changing genders.

It is crazy to routinely experiment on kids at any age when it carries the risk of irreversible changes and could lead to regrettable outcomes as an adult.

Walt Heyer is an accomplished author and public speaker with a passion for mentoring individuals whose lives have been torn apart by unnecessary gender-change surgery.

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