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Opinion |  How trans children became political football

I am concerned about the huge explosion of young women wanting to make the transition and also the growing number of women who seem to de-transition (revert to their original gender), as they regret taking steps that have, in some cases irrevocably altered their body, and took away their fertility.

Jk rowling

In 2018, the academic journal PLOS One published a study that hypothesized the existence of ‘rapidly progressive gender dysphoria’, a condition that causes children to suddenly identify as transgender due to being transgender. peer influence. This conception of trans identity as a “social contagion” has been widely adopted by Abigail Shrier, writer for the Wall Street Journal, and JK Rowling, who has likened gender-affirming medical care to “a new kind of therapy. conversion”.

But the study, which PLOS One corrected and apologized for, was heavily criticized as being methodologically flawed and ideologically motivated, and the condition is not a term recognized by any major professional association. The number of people identifying as transgender has increased in recent years – to 1.8% for Gen Z, from 1.2% for Gen Y – but many researchers say the increase reflects growing awareness of transgender identity, both in society in general and in the medical field. profession, as well as better access to healthcare.

No one denies, however, that some people reverse their transition, or “de-transition”, for various reasons. Estimates of the proportion of people in transition range from less than 0.5% to 13%. (Numbers may vary depending on the type of transition, which may or may not involve puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, or surgery, with the latter option almost always being reserved for adults.)

Not all or even most transition stories are unhappy, as Dr. Jack Turban, a researcher in child and adolescent psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine, explained. But a small number of people in transition have regrets. In Britain, a legal fight over whether minors could meaningfully consent to puberty blockers revolved around the story of Keira Bell, who began her medical transition at age 16 and underwent a double mastectomy in 20 years to realize later that she was not trans. “I was an unhappy girl who needed help,” she writes in Persuasion. “Instead, I was treated as an experience.”

People disagree on how to balance the well-documented benefits of gender-sensitive care with the risks of medical intervention. Some experts, for example, have expressed concern that puberty blockers are not as medically benign as they sometimes are: in some cases, they can limit the claiming surgery options. kind or cause serious skeletal problems when taken for several years, which can occur. when children start puberty at a very young age.

But banning gender-specific care, like Arkansas has done, is a decision medical experts say will do profound harm. When trans children receive gender-affirming health care, it reduces their risk for self-harm, depression and suicide, which 30% to 51% of trans teens attempt to do.

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