Patterico's Pontifications


“We Told You So” Moment: Britain’s NHS Rethinks Pushing Forward with Gender Transition for Teens

Filed under: General — JVW @ 1:40 pm

[guest post by JVW]

National Review Online points us to The Telegraph, which provides the latest news from our overseas cousins:

Most children who believe that they are transgender are just going through a “phase”, the NHS has said, as it warns that doctors should not encourage them to change their names and pronouns.

NHS England has announced plans for tightening controls on the treatment of under 18s questioning their gender, including a ban on prescribing puberty blockers outside of strict clinical trials.

The services, which will replace the controversial Tavistock clinic, will be led by medical doctors rather than therapists and will consider the impact of other conditions such as autism and mental health issues.

Imagine that: letting people who have studied anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry make this sort of determination over those who have studied Freudian analysis presented through a Foucaultian lens, all washed with the latest craze in LBGTQ theory and systems of hierarchical oppression. The article goes on:

The proposals say that the new clinical approach will for younger children “reflect evidence that in most cases gender incongruence does not persist into adolescence” and doctors should be mindful this might be a “transient phase”.

Instead of encouraging transition, medics should take “a watchful approach” to see how a young person’s conditions develop, the plans state.

When a prepubescent child has already socially transitioned, “the clinical approach has to be mindful of the risks of an inappropriate gender transition and the difficulties that the child may experience in returning to the original gender role upon entering puberty if the gender incongruence does not persist”.

For adolescents, social transition will only be considered when it is necessary for preventing “clinically significant distress” and when a young person “is able to fully comprehend the implications of affirming a social transition”, says NHS England.

It adds that before medics change a young person’s name and pronouns, a teenager should have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria.

In other words, we should go back to considering gender dysphoria as an actual mental illness that might need counseling and treatment, and not the recognition of some sort of metaphysical mistake of biology which becomes obvious and apparent during adolescence. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t treat young people suffering from this malady with a great deal of compassion and understanding; but it does mean that we shouldn’t immediately give in to their adolescent whims or what the academic-left zeitgeist declares is the latest frontier in “social justice.”

I am sure that I have made this point before, but it is not by accident that it is in the UK where scientists are first beginning to question the transgender orthodoxy which heretofore had enjoyed an almost unassailable status among the elite. The Labour Government of Tony Blair nearly twenty years ago passed The Gender Recognition Act of 2004, which allowed adults to legally determine with which sex they would identify, to the point of issuing them new official government documents such as passports. Unsurprisingly, in short order came the calls from gender radicals and their allies to allow youth to make the same determination. One year later, a British pre-teen boy named Jack Green began the process of transitioning into a girl by beginning a regimen of puberty blockers at age twelve and four years later becoming the youngest person in the world at that point to undergo gender-reassignment surgery. Jackie’s mother then stepped forward as a leading advocate for allowing youth to start the process of transitioning, founding a charity to advocate for liberalized laws for gender reassignment for youths, and thus did the floodgates open.

Britain, the pioneering Western state in this social trend, has since come to regret herding confused adolescents into life-altering decisions which culminate in anatomical mutilation. That ought to be an important development to our own reckless and monomaniacal LGBTQ community, yet the same progressive mentality which insists that the U.S. look to Europe’s leadership on the social welfare state or worker protections or modish environmental concerns is quite quick to change the subject when faced with the realization that Britain is souring on their current hobby horse.

The issue of youthful transgenderism has touched my circle of family and friends, and I am willing to bet it has touched many of yours as well. Children suffering from gender dysphoria deserve our patience and love, but sometimes that love means being the wise adult and steering them away from harmful solutions which cannot be undone, no matter how much we want the young ones in our lives to be presently happy and healthy. One thing that ought to be clear in this imbroglio is that important matters like these should not be left to the whims of the activists, no matter how much emotional blackmail they are willing to put forth or how much they are supported by the “experts.”


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