Skip to content
Breaking News Alert Soaring Gas Prices Reach New Record High For 12th Day Straight

Portland Children’s Hospital Instructs Kids To Bind Their Genitals And Solicit Sex Shops

medical tape and ace bandages
Image CreditMax Pixel

A Portland hospital advises young boys to squash their developing genitals and refers them to a sex shop for ‘gender-affirming items.’

Share

Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland has been teaching “safe tucking” and “chest binding” to minors confused about their sex, even referring them to a local sex shop as a resource. Chest binding means putting pressure on breasts to hide them, and tucking means similarly treating male genitals.

Doernbecher, a division of Oregon Health and Science University, operates a “gender clinic” for “transgender and gender-nonconforming children and teens.” The “clinic” provides puberty suppression, hormones, and genital mutilation (under the name “gender-affirming surgery”) to children confused about their sex. 

Teaching Kids to Tie Up Their Organs

The hospital’s “Safe Tucking” handout describes ways for boys confused about their biology to hide their healthy organs. “Tucking can reduce any concerns you have about your body, how your clothes fit and how safe you feel in public,” the handout reads.

Doernbecher advises youth to use tight underwear — or even tape — to hide their genitalia. “There are two main ways to tuck: with tape and without. You might find that simply wearing tight underwear smooths things out enough,” the handout continues.

The hospital even goes so far as to instruct boys on “putting your testicles inside your body.”

“This part of tucking is not for everyone. … But if you want to try it, here are the steps,” the handout says, before proceeding to describe this process. I’ll refrain from discussing further details for the reader’s sake, but Doernbecher offers a diagram of the process for children. While the hospital gives confused boys instructions on how to hide their genitalia, it acknowledges several side effects, including urinary tract infections and loss of circulation. 

Doernbecher also offers a handout entitled “About Chest Binding.” This handout describes ways for girls confused about their sex to hide their feminine biology.

“Chest binding can help people of any gender feel more comfortable with the way their chest looks and feels,” the handout reads.

The hospital instructs girls on ways to measure their chests for binding, in order to flatten their breasts. At the same time, however, Doernbecher acknowledges the potential health complications, noting that improper binding “can keep you from breathing normally, make fluid build up in your lungs and even cause serious injuries, such as broken ribs.”

Giving Kids Sex Shop Recommendations

If that wasn’t enough, Doernbecher refers minors to sex shops as resources. In instructing boys where to find “tucking clothing,” the hospital boasted that one shop, Origami Customs, has been featured by Planned Parenthood. The business aims to be “anti-capitalist,” according to its website.

Origami Customs is “a company that offers people of any size, shape, age, ability and gender expression a safe way to have customized items that meet their needs,” the site says. “While we can’t say that any company is truly anti-capitalist, we are trying our hardest to find a better way to be.”

Doernbecher also refers children to a local sex shop called “SheBop.”

“SheBop is a sex-positive shop in Portland. They sell gender-affirming clothing items as well as sex toys, videos and more,” the “tucking” handout originally read. (Since I originally took a screenshot of the page on March 17, the references to sex toys and videos appear to have been quietly removed.)

SheBop advocates for “equity in the adult industry,” according to the shop’s website.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to sex education or pleasure,” the website reads. “We are working to decenter whiteness — in our hiring practices, education program, product selection, and beyond. We recognize there is more to equity than dildo skin tones.”

SheBop is officially only open to adults, but Doernbecher recommended children contact the shop outside of business hours.

“The shop is for people age 18 and older, but they offer appointments before or after hours for younger shoppers. You can schedule an appointment by calling them or emailing,” the handout originally noted. (The language has since been changed to note the need for a parent or guardian and a consent form.)

Damaging Kids’ Minds and Bodies

The handout’s recommendations potentially violate state law, as ORS 167.075 and ORS 167.080 prohibit “exhibiting an obscene performance to a minor” and “displaying obscene materials to minors.” I reached out to the Doernbecher Gender Clinic and SheBop for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Doctors usually begin taking steps to repress children’s biological sex around puberty, according to the hospital’s website. “Medical treatment usually doesn’t begin until puberty. This is commonly age 10 or 11,” the website says. “We are happy to meet with you and your child before that, though.”

The United Kingdom’s High Court affirmed the obvious in December 2020: Children do not have the capacity to appropriately weigh gender transition treatment. “There is no age appropriate way to explain to many of these children what losing their fertility or full sexual function may mean to them in later years,” the High Court said, in a decision that was later appealed.

Youth who describe themselves as transgender also face higher risks of depression, self-harm, anxiety, suicidal ideation, or attempting suicide by two to three times, according to a study published by the National Institutes of Health.