The controversy surrounding gender transition procedures for minors has sparked concerns regarding the speed and certainty with which these procedures are being carried out. Stories from individuals who underwent such procedures at a young age and later detransitioned have raised questions about the need for greater caution when it comes to hormone treatments and surgical procedures for young individuals who may be struggling with anxiety, depression, or uncertainty regarding their gender identities.
Highlighting Key Cases: Lovdahl and Cole
One of the key cases that shed light on this issue is that of Kayla Lovdahl, who is currently suing her former doctors and hospitals for allegedly pushing her into transitioning at the age of 13 after a short evaluation of only 75 minutes. According to the lawsuit, Lovdahl started taking puberty blockers and testosterone at 12 and underwent a double mastectomy at 13. Unfortunately, Lovdahl began detransitioning at 17, but the irreversible changes to her body were already in place.
Another case worth mentioning is that of Chloe Cole, who began the process of detransitioning at 16. Cole had been on puberty blockers for years and had a double mastectomy at 15. Both Lovdahl and Cole now actively speak out against transition procedures for children.
Examining Statistics and International Trends
Data suggests that between 63% and 94% of children who question their gender identity eventually grow out of it. Critics argue that subjecting children to irreversible surgical procedures is irresponsible in light of these figures. Adolescents’ self-perceptions are extremely malleable and prone to change.
In response to these concerns, several European countries are reevaluating their approach to pediatric gender-affirming care. For instance, Britain and Sweden have restricted the use of puberty blockers to children enrolled in clinical trials. Finland has implemented stricter requirements, such as six months of psychotherapy and the support of family members, before a minor can access hormonal treatments. Health organizations in France and Norway are also advocating for a more cautious approach to gender-related care for minors.
A Call for the U.S. to Follow Suit
The editorial concludes by calling on the United States to follow the example set by these European nations. It emphasizes that this is not a matter of partisanship but rather a moral issue, highlighting the lack of strong evidence supporting the claims that puberty blockers and surgery for children can save lives or improve mental health. Parents are urged to intervene and prevent their children from making irreversible decisions before they are old enough to fully comprehend the long-term consequences. Likewise, doctors who continue to advocate for these treatments despite the growing body of cautionary evidence should be held accountable.