Dr. Margaret Moon, a rare voice of reason in the trans cacophony

Note: This post is centered around an NBC Dateline broadcast in 2012 which featured the transition of a 9-year-old child from male to female, encouraged and facilitated by medical professionals. My intent in writing this post is not to in any way blame or criticize any child, but to shine the spotlight on the choices made by adults who are responsible for the welfare of children. A link to the Dateline episode can be found later in this post, along with transcript excerpts.

Only one medical professional in the story voiced a word of caution, Dr. Margaret Moon of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.  Why aren’t we hearing from Dr. Moon, and others like her, anymore?


Update: Here is just one example, out of Australia, demonstrating how the docile Western media hawks the dominant trans message without even a hint of doubt. The article, dated May 21, 2015, featuring one of the burgeoning number of young women who want to medically transition to men, trumpets the urgent message that waiting lists for government-funded hormones and surgery for children ages 5-18 is a horrible injustice:

The waiting list for a transgender support service at the Royal Children’s Hospital has blown out beyond a year, prompting calls for urgent action to help vulnerable children.

Surging demand has increased pressure on the hospital’s gender dysphoria service in recent years, with young people now forced to wait up to 14 months for a first appointment.

The service works with transgender children, adolescents and their families. The term transgender broadly applies to people whose gender identity is at odds with their biological sex.

The unit sees young people between 5 and 18 years old.

Transgender Victoria executive director Sally Goldner said being told to wait for services could be devastating for children.

“The services available need to be expanded urgently,” she said.

Ms Goldner said being forced to wait for the help they needed was particularly problematic for children about to reach puberty.

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/surge-in-demand-sees-one-year-waits-for-childrens-transgender-clinic-20150521-gh61rj

(Because, obviously, puberty is a tragedy for these kids. They need to be on blockers followed immediately by cross-sex hormones, rendering them permanently sterile.)


With the bandwagon packed full of MDs and psychotherapists cheering on the transitioning of children and adolescents (and duly praised on a near daily basis by the fawning mainstream media), only a few professionals counsel caution. We so desperately need their voices to counter the deafening unison chorus of “Puberty blockers are good! Early transition is best!” “Infertility? Who cares?”

The proponents of childhood transition have a big podium, a PowerPoint presentation at the ready, and easy answers to such monumental, life-altering questions as: Should an 11-year-old, whose judgment, ability to weigh consequences, impulse control, and self awareness will not be developed for a decade or more, be entrusted to make the decision to be sterile for the rest of their lives? On what basis?

Just how big is the podium owned and operated by the pediatric transition gang? Well, here’s one example: People like Jenn Burleton, executive director of TransActive Gender Center in Portland (featured in two of my other posts on breast binding, and in a recent post on GenderTrender), are participating in pediatric Grand Rounds at hospitals. Grand Rounds are important events; they typically involve many doctors and other providers, and are considered major learning opportunities. Here is a clip of Burleton presenting at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon as part of monthly Grand Rounds in April 2011.

[Hat tip: GenderTrender who first posted this video]

What does Burleton (who has no medical background) have to say at the Grand Rounds podium? Among other things, Burleton says (twice) that most of the kids TransActive “serves” are under age 10. Burleton also reports, quite breezily, that when asked, these kids say they are happy with the “tradeoff” between starting cross-sex hormones immediately after puberty blockers, versus having their own biological children in the future. They choose infertility. And Burleton claims these youngsters “understand” what this means.

Is anyone in the medical profession raising questions about this practice? One MD who has sounded a warning in the not-distant past is Dr. Margaret Moon, a pediatrician and bioethicist at Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. Dr. Moon was interviewed by NBC Dateline in July 2012 as part of the program “Living a Transgender Childhood,” about a young boy named Joey Romero who was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and began his transition to “Josie” at the age of 9, with the help of Dr. Johanna Olson,  a gender specialist at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. As Dr. Olson’s bio page says, she is considered a “national expert” on giving puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to pubescent children. You might even call her a trailblazer, since, counter to recommended clinical guidelines, she sometimes takes kids straight from blockers to cross-sex hormones at age 13 or younger, which permanently sterilizes them; ova and sperm cannot develop in a person who has never experienced the puberty natural to their biological sex.

As documented on the Dateline episode, Olson promises Joey/Josie and his mother, Vanessa, that he won’t have to wait until age 16 to receive cross-sex hormones, which up until recently, was the youngest an adolescent could be to qualify  for this treatment.

Predictably, NBC Dateline gave plenty of airtime to Dr. Olson, and very little to Dr. Moon. To her credit, Hoda Kotb, the journalist reporting the story, did attempt to push back at times during the broadcast, but Dr. Olson quickly shut her up (as so many others have been similarly gagged) by playing the suicide card.

[Lest anyone unfamiliar with my blog think I don’t care about teen suicide, I have written about it here, and frequently on Tumblr. The blog http://www.transgenderreality.com has also documented the “transition or die” narrative that has gone viral on social media, influencing many young people to threaten self harm if they aren’t allow to medically transition immediately]

There were a few follow-up stories in the mainstream press briefly mentioning Dr. Moon immediately after the NBC show aired, but in the nearly three years since then, no reporter seems to have bothered to ask her to say more about any continuing concerns she might have regarding the gathering tidal wave of childhood transition. In the old days, when journalists were watchdogs, this would have been considered professionally shoddy. After all, an expanding and controversial medical trend deserves to be treated with some balance in the press, but it appears that this duty has been largely handed off to bloggers in the 21st century.

I suspect that Dr. Moon, like psychiatrist Dr. Paul McHugh, who  founded the Johns Hopkins sex reassignment clinic, then subsequently shut it down in 1979, is likely being ignored because trans activists have successfully branded her as “transphobic.” Dr. Moon had the audacity to apply her clinical judgment as a pediatrician, and her sense of basic morality as a bioethicist,  to try to slow down the careening-out-of-control pediatric transition bandwagon. McHugh wrote an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal in June 2014, explaining that the sex resassignment clinic was shut down at Hopkins because he and his colleagues realized that those seeking the treatment suffered from mental disorders that were not alleviated by the surgeries and hormones. For this, McHugh is persona-non-grata in the transgender world.

The Hopkins Bioethics institute helpfully posted clips from the Dateline episode featuring the few instances Dr. Moon is shown expressing her very reasonable concerns about the sterilization of children. They also published their media contact information. But in the intervening 3 years, I haven’t been able to find a single news story quoting Dr. Moon.

The NBC Dateline clips on the Hopkins page are here:

http://bioethicsbulletin.org/archive/jhu-bioethicist-margaret-moon-on-dateline-nbc

In her brief cameo appearances, Dr. Moon says drugs that delay puberty, as Hoda Kotb reports, “may be helpful in some extreme cases. But that second step—giving opposite sex hormones is alarming.”

Dr. Moon: Any change you make that’s irreversible is harder to justify when a child is young…We have lots of very well intentioned people looking at the same data and coming away with very different ideas.

Kotb: Is this an overdiagnosis issue?

Dr. Moon: Potentially. Yes, potentially an overdiagnosis issue.

What does Dr. Moon think now, 3 years later? Has overdiagnosis gone from potential to reality?

The segment showing Olson interviewing 9-year-old Joey/Josie is eerie.

“I just want to get surgery right now,” the child says.

Olson : Let’s say you could wake up and have whatever you wanted on your body. No penis. You want a vagina and breasts…I made you giggle! Would that be a yes? Yeah. I hear ya.

Yes, Joey/Josie did giggle. The child nodded slightly at the leading question. A 9-year-old giggles (like many would) when an adult talks about genitals. And the producers at NBC Dateline thought that was the defining, newsworthy moment between doctor and pediatric patient?

But at that first visit, Olson didn’t prescribe the blockers. Joey/Josie was too young. Not because Dr. Olson thought the child wasn’t transgender.  Not because Dr. Olson thought a child that young might not be certain. It’s just that little Joey/Josie was nowhere near starting puberty (so there was nothing to block yet).  Says Mom: “When she realizes she’s not going to walk out the door with breasts, she’s going to be really disappointed.”

In a one of her brief appearances, Dr. Moon brings up the decades-old evidence that trans activists and their media acolytes seem not to have heard of–despite the fact that even the World Professional Organization for Transgender Health (WPATH) itself acknowledges this evidence in its latest Standards of Care on page 11.

Kotb: The few studies that do exist suggest young kids with gender identity problems often grow out of them.

Dr. Moon: Those kids who start as children, who say, I’m in the wrong body, end up by the time they’re in middle adolescence actually fairly comfortable with their own gender.

At one point, we see Kotb gamely using her common sense: “To me, it seems ridiculous to have a child at 12, 13, 14 deciding whether they want to have biological children when they’re 20, 30, or 40.”

Then Olson goes there, delivering the coup-de-grace: Sterility or death! “Well, they make the decision to kill themselves  at 12 and 13. That’s a pretty powerful decision. We take an oath: Do no harm. If doing nothing is doing harm, we have to do something.”

Here we have an authority figure–a doctor–saying that the only “something” you can do to prevent a dysphoric 12-year-old from committing suicide is to sentence them to lifelong drugs, surgeries….and sterility.

In Clip 2 on the Hopkins page, the NBC producers and editors introduce a note of tension.

Kotb: Had Vanessa’s unwavering support of Josie’s transition pushed her too far, too fast?

Mom/Vanessa: The thought of her making such a huge decision in her life, all based on what she thought I wanted, that would be…that would be traumatic for me.

Traumatic for you? How about for Joey/Josie, who might realize at age 30 that he actually wanted to be a dad, after all, but was permanently sterilized by the adults who diagnosed him as a child?

Another cameo of Dr. Moon:

Kotb: Dr. Moon, who opposes opposite sex hormone treatment for children Josie’s age says most 9 and 10 year olds are not mature enough to participate in life-altering medical decisions.

Dr. Moon: They’re not sure of who they are. And they can’t really offer their parent that sort of reassurance.

A voice of reason. How did we get to the point where a young child must reassure his parents that he really, really, really isn’t going to change his mind later? Ever?

Kotb: Even Dr. Olson says there is no exact science that can determine who is truly transgender.

Olson: What’s missing in the data right now is: these exact characteristics mean for sure this person is going to be a trans adolescent and adult. We don’t have that data.

That should be the show stopper—right there. We don’t have the data. We STILL don’t, three years later. We do have data (which NO ONE on the show discussed) that most “gender nonconforming” kids outgrow their dysphoria and  grow up to be gay or lesbian, happy in the only bodies they will ever have. But that doesn’t seem to matter here.

What does seem to matter is that Joey as a 3 year old had tantrums and trouble sleeping. The doctors and journalists find it significant that Joey seemed to prefer his sister’s toys and clothes—a younger sister who was adopted into the family. “If we’d go into the store,” Mom says, “Joey would head over to the little girl’s section.”  No one—the journalist, mom–brings up the possibility that some of Joey’s behaviors could be attributed to feeling upset or threatened when a younger, female sibling appears and takes some of the attention away. Any family with more than one child is aware of this dynamic. But it’s not even touched upon here.

Joey’s pediatrician was on the bandwagon from the get-go:

Kotb: The doctor noticed the way 6-year-old Joey was playing with his toy.

Mom: Joey lifted his shirt and started breast feeding the doll, and the doctor said, “I think your child may have gender identity disorder.” And I was like, what? And the doctor said, you know, like transgender.

”[I had to rewind the video at this point to listen again. Could a doctor really have said this about a little child playing make-believe-Mommy at age 6?]

Kotb: Vanessa learned more about the condition from online support groups. So she decided to try something radical: Buy her child a new girl wardrobe.

[Where have we heard this before? The child had a “condition.” And confirmation of that “condition” came from Internet “experts” and chat groups. ]

Mom: Joey started saying, “You can’t say he anymore, you have to say she.” So we had to correct our pronouns.

[They had to “correct” their pronouns.]

But Dateline caught a moment of doubt. This segment must be watched, if nothing else, to see the expressions on the child’s face during this conversation between mother and 10-year-old child.

Kotb: Estrogen treatment is irreversible and will make Josie sterile, but Josie and her mother never doubted it was the right thing. Until an unexpected conversation happened.

Mom: On the inside, are you a boy or a girl?

Joey/Josie: Maybe I’m a boy inside, and a girl outside.”

Mom: If you wanted to grow up to be a man, you could. Would you tell me?

Joey/Josie: Sometimes I think I’m a boy, sort of, but I wanna be a girl….would you let me be a boy?

Mom: Of course. I love you no matter what..Sometimes I think you’re afraid to tell me what you really want.,

[Mom is hanging on every word Joey/Josie says, expecting the child, age 10, to be able to predict his future thoughts and feelings;  to understand and decide in advance who he will be, whether he should give up the chance to reproduce as an adult; what it means to choose to be subjected to lifelong medical and surgical interventions ]

Mom: I’m just kind of surprised by the answers you’re giving me.


We see Joey/Josie and Dr. Olson meet again, when the child is 11. The first signs of puberty are evident, we learn, from the doctor’s exam.: “You are in the perfect place to start on blockers.” Olson promises to give Joey/Josie estrogen in 2 years. “Around 13,” Olson says. “But you’re not gonna have to wait until you’re 16 to start. You know that. “

Mom: A lot of times it strikes me that if this had happened 20 years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to give her blockers. She would have had to go through male puberty. That terrifies me. I don’t know that she would have survived male puberty.

Again with the only options being death vs. the terrible fate of accepting one’s own body. Maybe 20 years ago, Joey would have been encouraged to be himself and just grow up, without an implant in his arm dispensing pituitary-freezing, off-label drugs. Allowed to just be a kid and see what happened,  without diagnoses and medical intervention. Just a thought.

The Dateline episode ends with Joey/Josie reading aloud from his vision of a future as a woman: “As an adult, my hair will be very long, blonde, wavy, and super pretty. I’m going to marry a boy. I want to be a mommy. I’m going to be very beautiful.”

And there we have it.  Lots of gorgeous blonde hair.


I would like to highlight the other therapists, scientists, and doctors who dare–or have dared in the recent past—to question the headlong rush to the transitioning of gender nonconforming children and teens.  Since mainstream journalists seem intent on ignoring these questioning professionals, let’s give them some more exposure here. Suggestions, anyone? Please tell us about them in the comments to this post.

Meanwhile:

Paging Dr. Margaret Moon. Dr. Moon, are you out there? Urgent page for Dr. Moon: We have an emergency.

Advertisements

21 thoughts on “Dr. Margaret Moon, a rare voice of reason in the trans cacophony

  1. Thank you, I watched the special on Josie Romero as well and also thought the behavior had coincided with the arrival of the adopted sister. The adopted sister also looked a lot more like dad than Joey did (I’m assuming Joey was not the dads biological son, but had raised him from a very early age) as they were both Asian. I don’t think Joey/Josie had any peers at the time it was filmed and I just found myself feeling so sad for all of them.

    Like

    • Sorry, reading back I hope that my comment isn’t construed as offensive – I was merely pointing out that dad and sister are both Asian and Joey doesn’t appear to be. I don’t think it matters at all, but it could have mattered to a three year old sibling or it just could have been jealousy typical of any sibling relationship.

      Like

  2. One expects scientists and doctors, the “creme de la creme” of the intellectual world, to maintain rational discourse and objectivity when tackling complex issues that impact so many lives. Yet, we see it time and again…instead of offering a safe place for all voices to be heard, respected and acknowledged, researchers squelch any dissent that contradicts their “truth”. Ironic that those who should know better and have so much influence are so threatened by opinions different from their own.

    I find it amazing that adults, and I use that term loosely, don’t recognize blackmail. When children don’t get their way and have their wants instantly gratified, they get angry, make threats and throw temper tantrums. We all did it as kids, but today’s children have the ultimate weapon….if I don’t get what I want, I’ll kill myself. This threat emasculates the adults and effectively stifles all healthy conversation. The children are in charge. Terrifying. I wonder what we’ll say to them when they later regret their completely irreversible decision?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, and when a child or teen threatens self harm for **any** other reason, responsible adults don’t jump to appease and give the child exactly what they want. Only the claim of transgender is responded to like this. It’s a giant red flag, but hardly anyone is waving it. And the entire mainstream media is cowed. I have been reading many of the celebratory stories about trans kids, and I don’t think I’ve read a one that doesn’t play the suicide card. Journalists should be ashamed of themselves for not even mentioning the emotional blackmail angle. It’s not like it’s a new concept.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Ah, yankeedragon …. The kids (for the most part) would not be making such threats if this notion were not being planted into their heads by the insistent drumbeat adult noise. IMO.

    Northwestern University bioethicist Alice Dreger has written on the ethics of early transition. Highly vilified and controversial voice. She is obviously influenced by Ken Zucker of Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (also vilified).
    http://www.childrensmercy.org/content/uploadedFiles/Gender%20Identity%20Disorder%20in%20Childhood%20%20Inconclusive%20Advice%20to%20parents.pdf

    Recently posted a link elsewhere here on more recent and similar writing of anthropologist, medical doctor, and professor of sexuality, women’s and gender studies Sahar Sadjadi (then in grad school at Columbia, now on faculty at Amherst College). Sadjadi makes what (to me) seem like some very trenchant comments about the exoticizing of gender-nonconforming kids, and asks pertinent questions about what the ethical response would be if any other population group of children were involved.
    http://www.mediafire.com/view/dezb0u4rin1y5bp/sadjadi-2013.pdf

    Both of them would share the views on transing of children/adolescents expressed in your blog, 4thwave, and I really appreciate what you’re trying to do. Though I think it is largely futile. I don’t think this tide is going to turn until some high-profile lawsuits are filed regarding off-label use of Lupron, sterilization of minors who can’t give informed consent, or early surgeries/hormone administration. It’s going to take some time for these kids to grow up and make noise on their own behalf, and it’s going require them to be willing to push back against the decisions other adults (including their parents) made for them. It’ll be difficult and not pretty, you know? Maybe some parents will join them in these putative lawsuits, down the line. (And maybe a lot of the kids will be just thrilled and happy and living their lives in their adopted genders, and there won’t be major health effects to file suits about. Given the history of the use of hormone administration, I’m not super-optimistic, however.)

    Unless and until lawsuits happen, the “transition early or kids will die” theme is going to trump these fairly abstract notions of “future health risk” and “unproven brain sex science” and “inability to procreate.” (Not to mention the even more abstract notions of eliminating gay men and lesbians via transing of kids.) Olson, Spack, and their pediatric- gender-clinic spinoffs in major metros have significant momentum, and the media is so fascinated with the “transkids.” And a lot of psychs and medical doctors are sensitive to being attacked as transphobic; they have asses to cover and careers and families to try to protect, just like anybody else. (Paul McHugh of Johns Hopkins is also widely vilified but I guess he doesn’t mind; he’s an old guy, you know? Career behind him now.)

    On a related note: here is some good writing by a parent about the phenomenon of “child bipolar” — a diagnosis that was also widely covered by the major media after the 1999 publication of the popular book “The Bipolar Child.” This book made many parents believe that their behavior-disordered kids must really have early-onset bipolar disorder despite not meeting the typical manic/depressed cycle. In many cases, the theory led to kids being treated with off-label uses of heavy antipsychotic drugs such as Risperdal. (These are not risk-free drugs; for instance, Risperdal is implicated in side effects such as diabetes and gynecomastia.)
    http://bipolar.about.com/od/children/a/cobpd_debate.htm

    Now, a decade later, lawsuits aplenty have been filed. Not surprisingly, the professional psych community kind of backed off the craze. DSM-V doesn’t recognize the Paplos model of child bipolar diagnosis but created a new category, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. It is “Intended to address issues of over-diagnosis and over-treatment of bipolar disorder in children,” according to the APA.

    We are in the middle of a story here. Alas.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Puzzled, thanks so much for this detailed comment and the great links. I know about Zucker and Dreger, but hadn’t heard of Sadjadi. I agree with all you’ve written here, including that we still haven’t hit “Peak Trans” and the narrative is on the ascendent.

      Still, we bloggers and commenters are planting the seed. I also think it would be possible that more mainstream journalists gain the courage to report more on the critics you and I have mentioned. Because after all, the way most people get their information is via the press. That’s what’s adding fuel to the fire. As as been mentioned elsewhere, most articles I’ve read on the trans trend have long comment threads with people saying they disagree with the craziness. Comments usually run 10 to 1 against, so the public would be receptive, very receptive, to the critical message we are sharing.

      I also think shining the light on organizations like TransActive is productive. There are plenty of parents who would be horrified at what they are promoting, but most are unaware of it, outside the supportive trans community.

      Please keep on writing and sharing here, and do you have your own blog too?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Will do. Very appreciative of your work. No stomach for being a lightning rod — real life’s stressful enough, long story — so I’m not a blogger. Commenting, I can do. You go.

        And yes, re some of the leaders of the trans movement/narrative. Not such nice people, when you drill down. (Not everyone. I’m sure there are also some rational, well-meaning people. But … yeah. You don’t have to dig too deeply to find some smelly stuff. I wish more ppl would take the time.)

        Like

  4. “Mom: A lot of times it strikes me that if this had happened 20 years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to give her blockers. She would have had to go through male puberty. That terrifies me. I don’t know that she would have survived male puberty.”

    I try to be understanding of parents. After all, kids don’t come with operating manuals. But this, seriously?? Did this mom think transgender stuff just started recently? Setting aside for the moment the pediatrician’s staggeringly stupid “diagnosis” of transgenderism based on toy preference, this is so wrong. Puberty ain’t a cakewalk for any parent of any child. Having a child going through puberty requires active parenting: engagement, understanding, patience, discipline, priorities, etc. Puberty is defined by kids being unhappy about their bodies. This mom just sterilized her child for nothing.

    Frankly, if any parent thinks their child is despondent to the point of suicide the correct response is to get psychiatric help for the depression, not give in to whatever the child wants. I get that parents often have to rely on “experts” but if the doc was recommending removal of a kidney wouldn’t you get a second opinion?

    I agree with puzzled, that this will likely require a lot of time and some high-profile lawsuits to bring this train to a stop. I wish there was a way to push institutional questioning of the trans narrative through medical school bioethics programs or something. But at this time, the trans backlash would be awful.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “I try to be understanding of parents.”

      Does that mean you understand why they don’t educate themselves about the horrible consquences of puberty blocking gnrh antagonists? They just have to use google. Are too dense or don’t they care?

      Like

  5. Sorry, one more comment.. Do you remember the part where the mum was telling (I think she was takking to Dr. Olson) about how her child had been prescribed SEVENTEEN DIFFERENT MEDICATIONS for behavioral issues? I don’t have children, but I feel I can say with confidence that anybody putting a three or four year old on that much medication is pretty clearly serving a master, and it ain’t the Hippocratic oath. I absolutely do not understand how this was allowed, although I don’t think she was exaggerating, I don’t think I could maintain trust in a system that would medicate a toddler to that extent. Any thoughts?

    Like

    • Yes, that struck me too. And of course, they used the extreme medication regimen only to bolster their point that the meds didn’t “work,” and clearly they had found the solution to the child’s chronic behavioral issues in the magic bullet: transition.

      And apart from the question of whether it is ethical to dose a small child with that many drugs, this kid clearly had lots and lots of issues–NONE of which were discussed except the possibility that he had “gender dysphoria.” That’s what’s so sinister about this whole thing. Even though there is a body of research showing that many transgender children (and adults) present with comorbid problems–depression, personality disorders, autism spectrum–no one talks about treating these other problems. Medical transition is seen as the answer to fix everything. A 15-minute Google search reveals these comorbidities in published research.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Was he a toddler at the time? I didn’t watch the entire show. I will say that with a Dx such as ADHD, it’s not that hard to cycle through trials of that many meds; lots of times PDocs and families will just try a bunch of things sequentially to see what works, if anything. Seems crazy but … ask me how I know, sigh. My kid was not a toddler at the time — she was probably 10 by the time we were investigating this, after a lot of tough years — and there was no point where she was on more than two drugs at a time. But because there is a lot of variation among drugs, even drugs in the same class such as stimulants or SSRI antidepressants, I can see how this could happen. I’m trying to remember how many different things we tried looking for a helpful Rx, which we did finally find (one drug and not a very strong one at that), but I am sure there were eight or nine different things. Sequentially. Not simultaneously.

        In any case, I wonder if Joey/Josie had any early life trauma? I wonder if he is an adoptee, or what the background is. More and more brain research indicates that prenatal stress in the mother and early-life trauma of any kind –neglect, abuse, change of caregivers, illness, whatever it is — has a profound affect on limbic system development. This is the part of the brain involved in self preservation/survival and emotional control. Kids who have tough starts in life can present with some pretty severe behavioral issues and it can be difficult to tease out why that is. It takes a smart clinician and some painful-to-cultivate parenting skills to help a kid like this on the path to maturation and healing. The magic bullet of a pharm solution is so appealing but … in many cases that’s not a fix. (And certainly it doesn’t make for sexy TV, the patient work of dealing with a psych situation like this. So the media aren’t so interested.)

        I don’t know this child’s situation and can only speak to my own, in terms of the challenges of raising a kid who acts out in extreme ways. (My kid’s a lot better, at 16, but it’s been a very long road.) If I were that parent, that interchange about “what if I’m a boy inside, would you let me be a boy?” would have been the MOST ENORMOUS red flag and … I would have stopped the trans train, I think, right there. What these parents need to hear is that the choice is not, in fact “transition early or suicide.” Too many parents are only hearing that message, which is patently not correct. The “buy time with blockers” notion is a farce, IMO, because … once you get to that point, everyone is invested and reinforcing the plan toward transition. Trans is already the kid’s story at that point. It’d take an unusually strong kid to say “yeah, I’m sorry, I really didn’t want that, actually.”

        Liked by 3 people

      • Absolutely! That part of the program was when all my alarms went off too. And even though, obviously, this was a convo semi-staged for TV, you could see the uncertainty in the kid. How the hell does a 10-year-old know what they want to be at 40? None of us did! And even if we thought we did (“I want to be a train conductor, Mommy”) we weren’t talking about permanent, irreversible changes to our bodies and brains. And yeah, what the trans activists don’t ever admit is that the **very act of supporting a young child** in insisting they are the opposite sex has an impact on whether they fully transition later. The activists keep insisting that only the “truly transgender” will go on to surgery and cross-sex hormones, as if going through childhood being told, yes, Joey, you are really Josie, has no influence on the later choice. It’s a huge flaw in the reasoning, and should be the block in the Jenga tower that brings the whole thing crashing down.
        And in this particular story, you can see how much the kid is looking for guidance from the adults around him. Throughout human history, that’s the way things have worked: The adults guide the young. But it’s been turned on its head, with activists saying the kids need to lead the rush into medical transition–and any parent who won’t do that is abetting suicide and is a child abuser.
        It would be laughable if not so common, but I have had people on Tumblr saying they want to find my address so they can report me to Child Protective Services. It’s absurd, of course, because it’s not abusive to refuse to send my child to plastic surgeons or start injecting her with testosterone. But if things keep going the way they are, it may well be seen that way in the future.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much for this, GallusMag. So great to see an MD in a major media publication–the LA Times–actually advise caution before rushing to medical intervention AND state that most gender dysphoric kids grow out of it.

      He even takes on President Obama, and tells his readers that helping kids be comfortable in their own bodies is NOT on par with anti-gay conversion therapy. Bravo to the good doctor.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Co author Bailey is a lightning rod due to his controversial ‘Man Who Would Be Queen’ book and explorations of autogynephilia. I don’t know the lead author but it’s certainly ironic that he and early transing advocate Johanna Olsen are both in L.A.

        I hope this op Ed is widely distributed.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. “The proponents of childhood transition have a big podium, a PowerPoint presentation at the ready, and easy answers to such monumental, life-altering questions as: Should an 11-year-old, whose judgment, ability to weigh consequences, impulse control, and self awareness will not be developed for a decade or more, be entrusted to make the decision to be sterile for the rest of their lives? On what basis?”

    Interestingly, it seems that the minimum age for sterility via transition is much lower than for sterility by simple sterilization.
    I have heard from women who wanted to get sterilised for contraception purposes, that doctors will tell them to wait because they could change their minds. Adult women over the age of 21.

    Like

  7. Pingback: Kingpins of pediatric transition confess: We have no idea what we’re doingunf | 4thWaveNow

  8. “Privilege is when you think that something’s not a problem
    because it’s not a problem for you personally”
    — David Gaider

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s