Has the idea of transgendered children been taken too far? In this Globe editorial, it talks about how due to the more public knowledge of gender identity disorder, kids are being diagnosed with it when they really shouldn't be. Instead of seeing as a phase like most experts, parents and doctors view it as gender identity disorder instead of just a phase and begin the life-altering surgeries and treatments when it may in fact just ruin their lives. Most experts recommend just telling your son or daughter they are boy/girl and it will pass.
These days, parents who don’t like the slow-and-careful answer can shop for another one. Ms. Dreger is highly critical of what she calls the “hasty clinics,” which are happy to help a kid transition right away. “Parents don’t like uncertainty,” she says. “They’d rather be told, ‘Here’s the diagnosis, and it’s all gonna turn out fine.’” Teenagers can find fast help, too. Plenty of doctors are happy to help them out with hormone treatments just for the asking.Has the diagnosis of gender identity disorder in children been taken too far? I say if it is starting to harm children and scapegoat real issues it has indeed gone too far.And in the hotly politicized world of gender politics, that makes him, in many people’s eyes, a dangerous reactionary. They argue that a child’s identity must be honoured, and that treatment should start sooner rather than later. They equate the watch-and-wait approach with the widely discredited practice of reparative therapy, which was a failed effort to turn gay kids straight. With the advent of powerful new drugs that delay puberty, the stakes in this debate are even higher. Start them early on puberty-blocking drugs, and their eventual transition will be easier. But which kids? What if you’re pushing them on a path they don’t need to go down? At what point do you start taking life-altering decisions for a child that will have enormous physical, social and emotional consequences?