The trans-kid honeymoon is sweet—while it lasts

I recently received comments from two readers (here and here) regarding a 2014 Dutch survey study of 55 young transgender adults (average age 20). The study, which reported overall positive psychological outcomes after medical transition, surveyed youth who had been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, after which they had received puberty blockers, then cross-sex hormone treatments, and finally SRS surgery. The average length of time from first pre-treatment assessment to post-surgery was 6 years.

RESULTS:
After gender reassignment, in young adulthood, the GD was
alleviated and psychological functioning had steadily improved. Well-
being was similar to or better than same-age young adults from
the general population. Improvements in psychological functioning

were positively correlated with postsurgical subjective well-being.

These findings would likely reassure parents and others who have ushered children down the medical transition road. And frankly, anyone who has watched even a few YouTube teen transition vlogs would not find these results particularly surprising. For these kids, it must be an exhilarating experience, to feel they can escape their dissatisfaction with sex-role stereotypes and/or physical characteristics, and embark upon the long-awaited transformation into the opposite sex.  The speed with which the metamorphosis happens—with many young people “passing” as the opposite sex after only a few months of hormone treatment–is  downright magical.

No doubt, at least some of these people will go on to live happy, long lives with no regrets. But it’s likely some will begin to question (at what age? 30? 40? 50? 60?) whether giving up their fertility; permanently altering their bodies; and facing a lifelong regimen of injections and medical monitoring were ultimately worth the price.

Here is one young woman who has begun to raise a few questions. In a recent video entitled “Gender Troubles” (uploaded 6 years after she first decided to “transition,” and after 4 years of videos on her channel that mostly celebrated that choice), she acknowledges what she values about her “transition,” while sharing her realization that things are not quite as simple as they originally seemed to her younger self:

 When I decided to go on hormones…it seemed like the most logical choice for me. I was in a very bad place emotionally…I hated myself a lot. I hated my body. I didn’t identify with it….and I felt very separate from my body. And finding YouTube videos of other people who were transitioning and finding out it was an option to do so kind of deeply affected me. It was very difficult to resist those changes….to resist taking hormones, to see those changes in myself, especially because feeling so disconnected from myself it seemed like the best idea….and you don’t often see other narratives out there, on YouTube, about gender…

…. I struggled with the changes, how I felt about them, how it made me feel and why. At first I accepted them. It was exciting. It was euphoric. It was certainly a ride. And I really liked seeing myself with more muscle, I liked my voice deepening, the hair that was growing…

… My parents were really cool with it. They were not cool with me being a lesbian at all…. [now] they didn’t have to say “I have a lesbian daughter. I have a son who’s straight”….My family was supportive of my transition, so we became a lot closer because of that…

…As time went on, I really felt like…I didn’t identify with the changes I was seeing…I didn’t like the fact that these changes weren’t natural. Part of it felt like I was burying a piece of myself…

…The other night, I cried, because I realized I really want to be able to get pregnant. And I really want to be able to breastfeed. … Maybe it’s me getting older, the internal clock…ultimately I don’t regret getting top surgery…but there are elements where I miss having them….only about 15% of the time. But I can’t deny that this happens…

…There’s a lot more that happens besides achieving a male body or a more masculine body….a lot of things change and you don’t realize it. I don’t think I realized it as much until  …  a year or two off hormones. Things started kind of affecting me…

…When I was transitioning I was really caught up in the thrill of it, the excitement of it, the endorphins that went along with it…[but now]  I’ve been thinking about things I wasn’t before.

Transition regret videos aside, even if we restrict our focus to the 55 subjects in the Dutch research study cited above–young people who (so far) are reporting largely positive benefits from their transition–there is more nuance to this study than first meets the eye. 4thWaveNow contributor fightingunreality delves into some of the study’s unexamined implications in the post below.

As you read fightingunreality’s analysis, consider whether survey studies like this one might be subject to the  “interpersonal expectancy ” of researchers and “supportive” parents. The interpersonal expectancy effect is also known as self-fulfilling prophecy, or the Pygmalian effect, extensively studied by preeminent psychological researcher Robert Rosenthal:

 …the tendency for experimenters to obtain results they expect, not simply because they have correctly anticipated nature’s response, but rather because they have helped to shape that response through their expectations. When behavioral researchers expect certain results from their human or animal subjects, they appear unwittingly to treat them in such a way as to increase the probability that they will respond as expected

In more recent years….research has been extended from experiments, to teachers, employers, and therapists whose expectations for their…patients might also come to serve as interpersonal self-fulfilling prophecies.


Analysis of the 2014 Dutch study (available in full at the link, and introduced above),

by fightingunreality

Any discussion of the “outcomes” for those children chosen for the experimental use of puberty-blocking drugs would be remiss without first addressing the ethics of what has been done.

First, this study is about young people, many of whom initially presented to the clinic as prepubescent children. Children’s understanding of gender is primarily comprised of the simplistic social stereotypes through which they have learned to perceive the meaning of biological sex, and which they lack the certainty of identity to resist. Developmentally unable to fully comprehend abstract concepts, they have little understanding of the social forces which inform and compel both them and the adults to behave in certain manners deemed to be “appropriate” on the basis of sex. The vast majority of these children were socially transitioned by their parents prior to their arrival at the clinic, thereby disrupting the chance that they may have had to experience a typical childhood.

hormone graph 2

Because 85% of the fathers and 95% of the mothers were supportive of their children’s desire to live as the other gender, and since virtually all of the children were living for all intents and purposes as socially transitioned, we can assume, with little doubt, that these parents subscribed to the idea of sex-based gender roles for their children akin to those we have seen in the plethora of news stories of (mostly) moms citing wrong toys and early color preferences as indications that their children were different.

Since none of these child-transition studies (this Dutch study being no exception) report the extent to which parents enforce traditional gender roles, we have no real sense of the degree of their influence on these children or how much they might affect the kids’ willingness to defy them in order to express their non-traditional likes and dislikes– without the expressed belief that they are in fact, a different sex. Is it only a coincidence that 94% of the males in this study were either same-sex attracted or bisexual (87.9% SSA, 6.1% BI) or that 100% of the females (89.2 SSA, 10.8% BI) had same sex attractions? Are we really expected to believe that social and parental attitudes in regards to homosexuality play no part in either the formation of the children’s understandings of what constitutes “feeling like the other sex,” or, more importantly, the acceptability to parents of what, in effect, becomes medicalized gay conversion therapy?

Since the stated protocol by these researchers is to provide a six-months to a year “diagnostic phase,” this means that prior to the first assessment for this particular study, they had already been living as cross-gendered for at least that amount of time, plus the previously acknowledged but unspecified duration of social transition. During the actual diagnostic phase, all of them “officially transitioned” –including name changes. Since the youngest, at the time just prior to the administration of hormone blockers, was 11.1 years old, that means this child had been living cross-gendered since a minimum age of 10.6 years old –in addition to the time prior to arriving at the clinic. What can such a child actually know about what it means to live as his or her own natal sex?

Given the willingness, as noted in the study, of peers and parents to promote and solidify by reinforcement these children’s sense of being wrong-bodied, it is hard to see how such children could establish a basis by which they could reasonably fully comprehend–let alone reevaluate–their child-based understanding of gender and gender roles. As has been noted in previous posts on this blog, identity formation throughout childhood and adolescence is both malleable and fluid. It is impossible to believe that the interventions by both the parents and the clinicians did not directly interfere with these children’s identity development. How does a child who has basically reordered their family’s lives by their insistence that they are actually the other sex back down from such claims? How do they tell their friends? We are not talking about adults, here, after all. By the time these children reached the point of choosing to delay their puberty, they had been living as the other gender for years –in some instances possibly half of their young lives. By the time it came to choose whether or not to imbibe cross-sex hormones, it is no surprise that none of these children chose to revert to living as their own sex: they had been socialized trans.

It’s interesting to note from the information in this paper that during the time between starting hormone blockers and their choice to be put on cross-sex hormones, these kids –especially the girls –actually experienced greater levels of “gender dysphoria.” I think it’s important to ask ourselves why that is. These kids were not facing the risk of further development of secondary sexual characteristics. They were living as their chosen gender. Why wouldn’t they be at least somewhat relieved of their dysphoria? Since levels of such dysphoria consist of self-assessment, this worsening could merely reflect the child’s desire to fully transition along with the knowledge that admitting a decreasing level of dysphoria might threaten the willingness of the clinicians to advance their transitions. That is one possibility. The other more likely possibility is that living as fully socially transitioned children, their awareness of not physically “matching” their chosen gender while assuming that role actually worsens the sense of being wrong-bodied. In other words, telling someone that you are actually a boy or a girl when you clearly are not increases self-awareness of and discomfort with your actual sex.

As was articulated in a BBC documentary by a gay Iranian who was pressured into transition, prior to transitioning he often heard, “He’s so girly. He’s so feminine.” After the surgery, whenever [he] wanted to feel like a woman or behave like a woman, everybody would say “look, she’s like a man. She’s manly.” This phenomenon can readily be applied to children who may have been considered like the other sex prior to living akin to that sex, but become seemingly less like the other sex when attempting to assume that role. The very fact that they are attempting to live as the other gender may very well increase the dysphoria that assuming such a role is meant to lessen. Is it a wonder that 100% of the children that comprised this cohort chose to go on to cross-sex hormones?

The gender specialists promoting these studies want us to believe that the use of hormone blockers provides extra time without the stressful development of secondary sexual characteristics. They’d like us to believe that the children are being given a sort of “time-out” to consider their choices and become more mature before committing to irreversible changes, but is that really the case? The hormones required for adolescent brain reorganization and development are not released when a child has received GnRh agonists. Physical development typical for teenagers is prevented, setting the children even farther apart from their peers, and sexual and romantic involvements –a key factor in desistance –are avoided.

Ultimately, 100% of the children who chose to utilize hormone blockers in this study went on to fully transition. In fact, virtually all children inducted for such therapy demonstrate 100% persistence rates despite that fact that even today, major proponents of this therapy (such as Johanna Olson-Kennedy and Robert Garofalo, in their 2016 paper detailing research priorities on gender identity development and biopsychosocial outcomes) acknowledge that “Clinically useful information for predicting individual psychosexual development pathways is lacking.” They do not have reliable information on who will or will not desist. Are we really expected to believe that these hormone blocker advocates are exceptionally lucky in their selection process when they themselves profess such uncertainty and bemoan the lack of adequate research? Or should such absolute rates of persistence be setting off alarm bells to those of us concerned with the practice of funneling children into a pipeline that flows in only one direction: towards lifelong medicalization with unknown long-term consequences?

Because of the extraordinary persistence rates of children infused with hormone blockers, it’s obvious that hormone blockers do not allow these children extra time. The choice to participate in this protocol becomes the decision to transition, because it prevents the aspects of maturation necessary for desistance from ever occurring. The one thing it does do, however, is to make it seem safer to interfere with the children’s natural course of development. Parents are assured that the effects of blockers are reversible, and the moral burden of placing young children in the position of making adult decisions is put aside.   As a result, even more children are being swept up by this 21st century version of reparative therapy. Altogether, we will never know the number of children who would have desisted had they been allowed to develop without social and medical intervention. This is a travesty.

As far as the “positive outcomes” this study purports, there are numerous problems. First, in order to understand this study, we must consider the selection process detailed in a previous paper by the same authors.  The 70 children chosen for this study were selected from an original cohort of 111 (out of 196 children arriving at the UV hospital seeking treatment for GD) eligible for hormone blockers, after having been “thoroughly screened after a comprehensive psychological evaluation with many sessions over a longer period of time” and found “eligible for puberty suppression and cross-sex hormones.” It was a group chosen on the basis of their likelihood of coping with the transition process. They had “no psychosocial problems interfering with assessment or treatment,” and “adequate” (in the case of this cohort, very high) “family or other support,” and what the researchers described as “good comprehension of the impact of medical interventions.” (We can only guess what that could mean, given the fact that pre-adolescents and adolescents do not have the frontal lobe development to fully project themselves into the future.) Altogether, they seem very unlike the average children and adolescents who are currently being inducted into this process of life-long medicalization either in regard to screening or support and ongoing therapy, which the study notes was provided to them for an average of 6 years “after first presenting at the clinic.”

Fifteen of the cohort of 55 had “some missing data” which we are assured resulted in “no significant differences” on the pre-treatment tests.   I think, too, that when considering the outcomes of these children, it would be remiss to ignore the 15 members of the original cohort of 70 who did not participate in follow up: six had not met the one year gender reassignment surgery anniversary for this study and were, therefore, excluded. Two refused to complete the assessment, and two did not return their questionnaires. (Why?) Three had health problems which prevented them from undergoing gender reassignment surgery, one “dropped out of care” (no clarification) and 1 died from complications from surgery. (How does one weigh such a loss against “positive outcomes?”)

Given the fact that all of these children had what is in essence a “gender obsession” since childhood and had been socially transitioned for years, it comes as no surprise that they experienced relief at finally accomplishing their goals. The kids as a whole did overall demonstrate better functioning than at their initial assessment –possibly from the counselling and special attention they were getting –but “it cannot be ruled out that it relates instead or as well to the benefits that accrue from being validated and accepted for treatment.” They were getting what they wanted, after all. Research has shown that gender non-conforming children and adolescents are at higher risk for PTSD due to abuse and bullying because of being different, and the prospect of “fitting in” provided by merely initiating action towards this goal certainly provides a degree of psychological relief- regardless of the actual physical changes that have yet to take place. This is evidenced by the “significant quadratic effect” that commences immediately upon initiation of cross-sex hormones, well before significant physiological effects of the hormones could possibly have occurred.

Would body image and psychological well-being have improved in these children had they been allowed to experience a natural childhood and identity formation without medical intervention? It is well known in the field of child development that children go through a period of significant peer gender enforcement which corresponds with their concrete thinking and familial socialization which certainly affects the self-image of those who fail to conform. This rigidity begins to relax at around 8 to 10 years –after some of the children in this study have already been socially transitioned due to the discomfort this rigidity has created. Would they have come to a more nuanced understanding of gender roles had they made it past this stage? We –and they –will never know. Logically, children have been shown to be more accepted by members of the sex with which they share interests, rather than those whose similarities are based solely on sex, and gender enforcement prior to adolescence tends to be enacted by members of the same sex. Is it any wonder that children tend to “identify” with those who seemingly accept them and share common interests? Would a more mature understanding of abstract concepts assist them in accepting their own bodies without conforming to artificial gender roles as it did for many of us who matured without the alluring possibility of appearing to actually change sex?

As adolescence progresses, criticism is most likely directed by male peers who are not known for impulse control or empathy. Certainly those of us who have been on the receiving end of such mockery can attest to the resulting social stigma and humiliations we suffered in light of it due to our vulnerability at that age and the fact that we were insecure in our own identities and lacking the self-assurance that maturity brings. It has been demonstrated that peer and social disapproval for gender non-conformity peaks in the adolescent years and gradually decreases throughout young adulthood and adulthood. Not only do we mature, but the peers responsible for the harassment mature, as well. The insults decrease. As gay rights activists in the past often said, in an attempt to help bullied gay and lesbian children, “it really does get better.”

Unfortunately, none of the children in this study will ever know whether this would have been the case for them, because they left behind in childhood the bodies which they very well may have come to accept in the absence of such criticism. In a study in which there is no viable way to create a control group with which to compare these children, there’s no way of knowing how well they would have fared with just the extensive psychotherapy alone, nor of desistance which may have taken place without these prolonged social and medical interventions which prevented the maturation and social and sexual experience that would have occurred otherwise.

As a gender non-conforming adult, I am occasionally harassed by what are typically groups of two or three teen boys out to impress their friends. Because I am an adult with a fully-formed sense of self, my identity is not threatened as are those of the children who have not yet discovered, through experience and physical development, who they really are or can be. Sadly, the ultimate result of medicalized disruption of identity formation –which would have included their whole selves, bodies included –creates an identity which is dependent upon exogenous substances, conscious gendered performance, and the willingness of others to deny their own perception in order to validate it. As such, the identity is not sustainable without significant degrees of external support, and remains more highly vulnerable to what are perceived as being threats to self when it is not validated.   As a result, they may be “at increased risk for the development of narcissistic disorders…as a consequence of the inevitable difficulties they face in having their cross-gender feelings and identities affirmed by others.” (Note: While the linked study is not specifically of children, it seems to me children subjected to early medical transition would also be at some risk of narcissism, given the confluence of factors brought to bear upon them.)

Perhaps the greatest hindrance to accurately critiquing this study is related to the ages and the timing of this so-called “long-term” study: it was completed after only a minimum of one year after gender reassignment surgery. These now young adults had barely any life-experience living as fully transitioned persons. They were still in the honeymoon phase of what had become a fully supported childhood desire. A significant portion of them were still living at home with their supportive parents and attending school. Their lives as fully transitioned adults were just beginning, and the difficulties of navigating sexual relationships and the hardships that entails for those not of their natal sex were in their infancy. They were many years away from the rise in suicidality noted in a Swedish long-term study of adult transgendered persons, which began to rise around 8-10 years after transition.

Because of the failure of the Dutch authors to denote significant variables among these youths (as I’ve outlined in this post), their study inspires more questions than it provides answers.   Have these children been harmed by the parental and medical reification of childhood fantasy and desire? We have primarily their own self-reports to rely on –the reports of young adults who never were given the opportunity to experience childhood or adolescence as one would experience their own actual sex. They have nothing with which they can compare their current experienced “gender.” They will not know what it’s like to have sex in their natural bodies, nor be loved as such. Certainly, as partially formed adults (remember- maturation takes place concurrently with hormonal action and resulting brain development and theirs was delayed), they had not reached fully adult status at the time of their self-assessment. We do not know how the difficulties of living as transgendered people will affect them. We do not know if the long-term effects of injecting artificial cross-sex hormones will damage them physically (or mentally). We will never know whether they might have resolved their gender dysphoria, as others have, and pressed on through life, because they were never given the chance to find out.

Their childhood fantasies were to become a different sex. What they have been given, instead, is the means of promoting that illusion—and the reality of becoming a life-long medical patient.

 

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28 thoughts on “The trans-kid honeymoon is sweet—while it lasts

  1. “… My parents were really cool with it. They were not cool with me being a lesbian at all…. [now] they didn’t have to say “I have a lesbian daughter. I have a son who’s straight”….My family was supportive of my transition, so we became a lot closer because of that…”
    This is so heartbreaking!

    Liked by 13 people

  2. I am the ex-wife of a transgender sufferer.
    Please read the article by Anne A. Lawrence on the development of narcissistic disorders entitled “Shame and Narcissistic Rage in Autogynephilic Transsexualism”. I observed this type of manipulative and angry (“rage”) narcissistic behaviour of increasing severity in my husband for the 14 years of my “marriage”. I put this word in inverted commas because it was, as I now know, a marriage in my mind only. For him it was a sham marriage, a means to obtaining his financial freedom on divorce.

    Liked by 6 people

    • I want to make it clear that the reference to that paper –in the context of childhood GD –was intended only to underscore one of the difficulties of that occurs as a result of attempting to maintain an identity which is dependent upon external validation. (I was torn about including it for fear of unintentionally suggesting that AGP was a significant factor in this context, but found that the quoted excerpt best summed up the concept that I was trying to communicate)

      You have my sympathies with regard to your experience. The lack of support for women such as yourself is yet another failure of the psychiatric community in relation to the overarching category of ‘transgenderism.’

      Liked by 3 people

      • This Dutch survey crops up regularly in the popular press wherever there is an article about raising transgender children, so it is good to have such an excellent analysis to refer to. Knowing that it was originally a study of 70 children; 15 of whom dropped out for various reasons, including one who died post -surgery, certainly puts the results in a different light.

        Re your point about narcissism I wonder if reference to another study may be more helpful? (I think Anne Lawrence’s piece is too specific to a well defined instance of narcissistic rage in adult autogynephiles.) I did find a paper from 2015 on the ”Origins of Narcissism in Children” by an international group of psychologists (interestingly some from Holland) which I feel could be applied to what happens when very young, pre-pubertal, children have their childhood fantasies of being in the wrong sex affirmed. 565 children aged between 7 and 11 and their parents were questioned at 6 month intervals over 2 years.

        http://www.pnas.org/content/112/12/3659.full.pdf

        The report demonstrates that narcissism in children is cultivated by parental overvaluation rather than by a lack of parental warmth. The child internalizes the parent’s inflated view that their child is more special and more entitled than others. Despite this narcissists are not necessarily satisfied with themselves as a person, i.e. they do not have high self esteem. In the discussion of the results this sentence leapt off the page…….”These findings are consistent with the view that children come to see themselves as they believe to be seen by significant others, as if they learn to see themselves through others eyes.”

        By affirming a very young child’s belief that they are the ”wrong” sex; by lavishing time and special attention on this aspect of their behaviour are these children being raised to be narcissists? Given that ”narcissism is partly rooted in early socialisation experiences” it may be something that gender therapists ought to be examining. I’m not sure that is likely to happen

        Liked by 4 people

    • Una, I really do feel for you in your situation. I don’t know what help or support you had; and there is very little on-line. If you haven’t already found it ,there is an excellent post with many comments and advice from women in your position here………….
      /gendertrender.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/so-your-husband-is-becoming-a-woman-advice-from-women-whove-been-there/
      Wishing you all the best.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Also, you can look back to the research done at Johns Hopkins when they were trying to determine if they should continue doing reassignment surgery. There was, by then, decades of research showing that people who had gone through transition and reassignment were having no improvement in their psychological and interpersonal functioning. And, they still had a very high suicide rate.

    McHugh thought that this showed that performing surgery was unethical because it wasn’t actually changing anything. I think it also points to the fact that, by loosening the professional gatekeeping, a lot of people are self-diagnosing, which is why we’re seeing this social contagion and much higher rates of people identifying in this manner. Magical and instant transformation seem to have a real allure for a lot of people and especially people who have mental illness and very disordered thinking.

    Liked by 8 people

    • Heartbreaking isn’t it …

      To quote:

      “good comprehension of the impact of medical interventions.” (We can only guess what that could mean, given the fact that pre-adolescents and adolescents do not have the frontal lobe development to fully project themselves into the future.)

      No one knows the long term health effects … we know that it is very likely that they will have serious problems from the use of synthetic hormones – (this is evident from what we have seen in other populations who have used synthetic hormones on a long term basis). There is no possibly way that a child (or an adult) can have a “good comprehension” of the risks because the risks are UNKNOWN. There are no long term studies to let us see how these patients will be doing in 10 years or more.

      And to have 1 out of 100 (or is it more like 1 out of 70 treated) patients DIE??!! This is insane and would not be acceptable in the treatment of any other non-life threatening condition. I out of 100? What are the rates for suicide in gender questioning youths?

      There is no “control group”. There is no inclusion that counts children who are considered “gender non-conforming” but had supportive families who were loving and accepting yet opposed “transition” or who insisted that the child wait until they were older to make decisions about hormones and surgeries.

      This would be like planting 100 plants, spraying them with pesticides and boasting how wonderful the fruit was but ignoring the toxic residue. No one compares the fruit of 100 organic plants that were raised by a skilled organic farmer. We just get offered one batch of crappy apples. There is no way to compare results for quality, safety, (environmental) impact or health (short or long term).

      Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly!

      I wonder if they died on the table from a blood clot. That’s an intrinsic danger of any surgery. Which does not make it any better. Especially given that these people did not need to have the surgery.🙁

      Or if it was some internal rupture after the surgery was done. Something that happened because this surgery really doesn’t work that well. ⚰

      Like

  4. What strikes me immediately is that the kids in this study received a psychological evaluation before they transitioned, which is NOT part of the care protocols for American trans kids today. So this study is describing a population of trans kids who apparently don’t also have bipolar disorder, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, major depression, etc.

    Also, the kids in the study were gender defiant from an early age (i.e. the Jazz Jennings “type” of trans kid). These aren’t the once-gender-conforming girls who baffle their parents by suddenly announcing they’re trans during or after puberty, nor are they the heterosexual boys who start cross-dressing as teenagers because they get off on wearing ladies’ clothing.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. Pingback: The trans-kid honeymoon is sweet—while it lasts – Critiquing Transgender Doctrine & Gender Identity Politics

  6. It is difficult to obtain clear numbers on the actual suicides that occur before and after “transition”. I am trying to get solid numbers but the definitions of who is counted as “transgender” is very vague. Often, terms like “gender non-conforming” are used interchangeably and at times the blanket term of LGBT is used. The best estimate that I have found is that 41% attempt suicide at some point in there lives with 20% actually ending their lives by suicide. The statistics seem to be higher for transgender people who identify as “transwomen” but I cannot find details pertaining to the age of the people of where they were at in “transition”. I am finding that “minority stress” is sited repeatedly. Suicides often result after a person has become homeless, or has been the victim of violent crime. The suicide rates are higher for people who have been rejected by their families. The risks are higher for persons who suffer from mental health conditions. The risks drop as a person gains higher levels of education. Some claims are made in some articles that “passing” as the sex that the person identities with reduces suicide risk, but other studies (John Hopkins and the 2011 Swedish Study) contradict this finding, stating that suicide risks remain high after transition.

    It is quite frustrating to see that definitions of who is considered “transgender” is not clear at all. Also, I can find no studies that include a “control group” of persons who are considered “gender non-conforming” and come from loving homes that support the self-expression of one’s identity yet are encouraged to hold off on hormones or pursuing surgeries until adulthood.

    There are huge holes in these studies and claims in articles often do not site sources.

    Statistics are useless if the data is incomplete.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What was done to these children makes me so sad. I would like to believe that these doctors know what they are doing and that their patients will do well long term. But, I’ve read so many stories of regret from adults who were thoroughly convinced that they were transgender–some of them for decades. And, I know from personal experience that doctors are human and can make bad judgement calls just like anyone.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I received this anonymous comment on my Tumblr blog today, in reference to the Dutch study examined by fightingunreality:

    “So we have 55 happy kids, 1 dead kid, 1 who dropped out of treatment, 2 who refused to do the follow-up and 2 who didn’t complete the questionnaire. On what planet is this treatment a success? One kid is DEAD. I have never read about this in any news story. Why not? Shouldn’t we parents know this? Shouldn’t our kids know this? This treatment sucks. Therapists should be trying to find something better. ”

    See my full response to the comment here:

    http://goo.gl/i5pbrt

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I feel so sorry for these vulnerable young people, who at this point seem almost like puppets for the leaders of the transactivist movement. How could we ever get to a point, in only about five years, where many people now consider it awesome to block puberty and give cross-sex hormones to patients whose brains haven’t even finished developing yet? Of course they all stayed the course, since everyone around them fed the fantasy of them being the opposite sex, and never just let nature take its course the way it was always done. We need to go back to only approving transition for full adults, at least 25 or 30, and then only as an extreme last resort, if years of psychiatric counseling haven’t taken away these feelings. I believe there’s a legitimate, TINY minority of people in such circumstances, but they at least used to be about 0.3% of the population. No one with an iota of critical thinking can honestly see nothing fishy about the giant overnight explosion, particularly that 930% increase in alleged transkids in Britain alone over just six years. Even the huge increase in the C-section rate isn’t that extreme!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Yes–you summed it ALL up. You can’t even rent a car until you’re 25 years old. Does anyone think the rental car companies are just setting that age arbitrarily, out of spite? Why do under 25s have a higher accident rate? Because their frontal lobes aren’t fully developed. They make decisions impulsively, they don’t think about future consequences (injury/death) when they speed or drive wrecklessly. The part of their brains that concerns immediate reward is more active than in adults. It’s a no-brainer (pun semi-intended). The dots are so easy to connect: the media onslaught/social media explosion of transitioners is leading to social contagion and popularization of transgenderism, which then leads to an explosion of new cases. If, as you say, this was still limited to a tiny fraction of the population, I don’t think any of us would be raising the alarm. If the activists would **leave the kids alone** and stop advocating for early medical intervention, this blog wouldn’t even exist. That the activists and gender specialists dismiss our alarm only magnifies our concerns.

      Liked by 4 people

      • It’s good to see someone bring critical analysis to this study.

        People who challenge the transgender narrative are routinely censored and are often barred from speaking out (even when carefully and very respectfully expressing countering views and when presenting solid facts). Many public forums will censor/delete views that are perceived as challenging or controversial. Often these posts are dismissed as “transphobic” even when questions simply ask for better science.

        For instance, I was told by a TED “moderator” that they do not support comments that are unsupportive of the speaker. I think that it is likely that TED receives biased reports (or complaints) regarding posts by those who do not welcome differing opinions. It seems that public forums generally respond by deleting comments that raise concerns or are perceived to be problematic. So, essentially, many public forums that profess “neutrality” show artificially inflated positivity and support for people like Spack by silencing those who introduce differing perspectives (as when I questioned the medical ethics of the Spack’s practice).

        Interestingly, one can look up Transgender on TED talks and see that more balanced conversations on the subject of gender had been supported in the past and that only recently, has a cluster of TED talks arisen that is clearly “pro-transition.” I suspect that trans-activists pressure public forums like TED to support their platform and to suppress other perspectives.

        Liked by 4 people

      • It looks to me here way on the outside that this whole “transgender kids” thing is part of a long-term effort by pedophiles to get the age of consent lowered or eliminated. Originally, they tried a bolder “frontal” approach, but society wasn’t quite ready for that! So, now they’re pushing it based on “self-determination.” After all, who isn’t in favor of self-determination? If they can get society to agree that very young kids can decide what gender they are, the next step is the “self-determination” that they ought to be permitted to have sex with adults “if they want.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think there may be **some** activists who are actually coming from that place or grooming children, but I believe many of them earnestly believe that gender identity is innate and all they are doing is protecting these kids from “bigotry” and conversion therapy. That said, I have heard more than once the term “adultism” used to describe any attempt to question the “agency” of even very young children to make permanent, life-changing decisions. Activists tend to fall back on the argument that puberty blockers are theoretically “fully reversible.” They consistently fail to admit that 100% of kids put on puberty blockers have gone on to cross-sex hormones according to published studies and in the anecdotal reports from gender clinics. Until the pediatric transition wave in the last decade, no one questioned the idea that kids are impressionable, prone to imitate and go along with what trusted adults said and did; in other words, it used to be non-controversial to say that kids are subject to socialization and that their identities are fluid and changing well into the 20s.

        And yes–where do we draw the line when we talk about kids having agency and self-determination? Why indeed, if kids can know at 5 years old who they will be at 40, why can’t they know they can handle drinking a beer, smoking a cigarette, getting a tatoo, voting, and any number of other things we currently restrict to age 18 or 21? It’s because it was unquestioned until very recently that younger people didn’t have the maturity and judgment to do those things responsibly. Yet the media celebrates 14-year-old girls getting mastectomies, 15-year-olds sterilizing themselves (as they can with no parental input in the state of Oregon right now). The illogic in all of this–all in the name of making sure these kids will “pass” better as transgender adults–is really depressing and puzzling.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Carrie-Anne, you’re right that 930% increase in the UK is alarming. Why should such a huge increase be happening now when all things trans are rarely out of the news? I certainly think that this needs looking into before decisions are made regarding policy changes in terms of access to cross hormone therapy and surgery at ever younger ages.

      These figures need putting in context, and it is worth remembering that these are figures for REFFERAL to the only Gender Identity Service in the UK for young people based in London. When Dr Bernadette Wren, Head of Psychology and Associate Director of the Gender Identity Development Service, gave evidence to the UK Transgender Equality Inquiry back in September 2015 she had this to say……”On our recent figures, 17% of people who are referred never show up, and another 17% come for a bit and then do not come again.” So that’s over a third who fall out very early on. Which begs the question why are these kids going to their doctors and being referred in the first place?

      Dr Wren also said…. ”We have a small proportion of people who start on physical intervention and then back off. A typical situation might be where they go from 16 to 17, perhaps start their first sexual relationship and then have a different relationship to the body.”

      Even so, numbers are on the increase. Is lowering the age limit to 16 as has been proposed by the inquiry committee the right one.? The trans activists of Mermaids and GIRES certainly think so.

      Liked by 3 people

      • It seems ironic, but trends are actually quite common in psychiatry. As a diagnosis becomes more common, it is more likely to be given to a patient by a practitioner. Also, as the media makes the condition more publicly known, the media in essence “promotes” the condition (almost as if promoting a brand). It as if the disorder becomes contagious with a type of frenzy that is akin to what once was described as mass “hysteria”.

        The phenomenon known as “Suicide Contagion” is another example of how dysfunction can spread throughout a society. I was reading some information on a PFLAG site and they discussed the importance of not glamorizing a suicide and of being very careful when considering a “memorial” like planting a tree. Such a memorial is a reminder not only of the person who has committed suicide but it also a reminder of the suicide itself. The four young people who identified as transgender and ran into traffic in 2015, in San Diego (at different times through the year) are an examples of this disturbing behavior.

        The “Leelah’s Law” proposal (that was born out of the suicide note left by a young person who identified as transgender and was forced to participate in “Reparative Therapy”) is another example of an attempt to honor a person who has committed suicide by linking the suicide to a meaningful memorial. Yet, in a strange twist of irony, the outcome of changing legislation so severely that it prohibits discussion questioning the roots of gender dysphoria have in effect created the possibility that some gender questioning Gay and Lesbian youths will inevitably be caught int the net of hormone blockers and transition. For LGB youth, “transition” serves as “reparative therapy” in that these interventions are completely inappropriate for them and cause irreversible harm and severe trauma. Undoubtedly, the permanent physical changes that result from transitioning the wrong individual’s will lead to more suffering and higher suicide risks.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. You held up ThePrincelyGoblin as an example of someone that was transitioning that had some doubts. I assumed the person had completed surgical transition and was having doubts, but in reality, he had only been on Testosterone. He only expressed a little bit of doubt and you seemed to run with it. I don’t know if you have followed-up by watching more of his videos, but he went off Testosterone for 3 years to sort out if this is what he really wanted. The video you used to support your views was removed. He is now back on Testerone and really happy with his decision and by Feb 9, 2017 was looking toward getting a hysterectomy if insurance will cover it.
    Published on Sep 21, 2016
    Soooo I am back on T. Surprised?
    Best. Decision. Ever.

    Like

    • Yes, readers. Watch the video Ken linked. Then watch this more recent one by ThePrincelyGoblin (linked below) and draw your own conclusions about what happiness means–and whether the skeptical parents on this site are correct in being concerned about medical transition.

      Like

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