Top transgender medics issue stark warning against gender reassignment surgeries in kids
Dr Marci Bowers and Dr Erica Anderson say New York Times rejected their op-ed on the dangerous trends among transgender teens
Transgender women and two of the world's top surgeons for gender reassignment procedures - Dr Marci Bowers and Dr Erica Anderson - have expressed their concern about some of the trends among transitioning kids. They have revealed there's been a dangerous uptick in the percentage of kids who are being given puberty blockers and undergoing surgery, and have described the rise in these procedures as deeply worrying.
For those who are new to the subject, puberty blockers as the name suggests are drugs that would aid in halting puberty among individuals who identify as trans as well as those who are still exploring their options. These drugs block testosterone and estrogen which are hormones that contribute to puberty-related changes occurring in an individual's body. These blockers will stop the development of breasts and getting periods among individuals assigned female at birth. For those assigned male at birth, these blockers will stop facial hair growth and deepening of the voice. This helps young people to decide on how and when they would like to transition. The most commonly used blocker is the Gonadotropic-releasing hormone, according to multiple reports.
Early puberty blockage not good
Bowers and Anderson spoke out in Bari Weiss's Substack newsletter, Common Sense, against some of the trends for transgender youngsters, including administering blockers which they say if given too young can cause irreversible consequences for a person who might change their mind later. Bowers, a renowned vaginoplasty specialist who operated on reality star Jazz Jennings said she is "not a fan" of putting children in the early stages of puberty on blockers. This is a technique doctors use when young people are questioning their gender, a method that can help maintain more feminine looks for boys.
"I think there was naivete on the part of pediatric endocrinologists who were proponents of early [puberty] blockage thinking that just this magic can happen, that surgeons can do anything," Bowers said adding that the World Professional Association for Transgender Health could be intolerant of dissenting opinions. "There are definitely people who are trying to keep out anyone who doesn't absolutely buy the party line that everything should be affirming, and that there's no room for dissent. I think that's a mistake," Bowers said.
NYT rejected op-ed on treatment risks
Anderson said the New York Times rejected their op-ed which warned about the risks of treatment, saying the story was "outside out coverage priorities right now." Bowers also cited the example of Jennings who started taking blockers at 11 and how her surgery which was performed at age 17 turned out to be complicated because of her underdeveloped penis. Bowers said the surgery could have been a simpler process had Jennings not been on blockers.
Gender Dysphoria can be a phase people can outgrow
Bowers said nearly seven in 10 children who were earlier diagnosed with gender dysphoria outgrew the phase and went on to be gay adults. She said the "watchful waiting" has now been replaced by "affirmative care" and she worries that these procedures could leave people sexually dysfunctional. "The idea all sounded good in the very beginning. Believe me, we're doing some magnificent surgeries on these kids, and they're so determined, and I'm so proud of so many of them and their parents. They've been great. But honestly, I can't sit here and tell you that they have better — or even as good — results. They're not as functional. I worry about their reproductive rights later. I worry about their sexual health later and ability to find intimacy," Bowers said.
Anderson added she fears people undergoing surgeries would regret their decisions later. "It is my considered opinion that due to some of the - let's see, how to say it? what word to choose? - due to some of the, I'll call it just 'sloppy,' sloppy healthcare work, that we're going to have more young adults who will regret having gone through this process," she told Common Sense. "And that is going to earn me a lot of criticism from some colleagues, but given what I see - and I'm sorry, but it's my actual experience as a psychologist treating gender-variant youth - I'm worried that decisions will be made that will later be regretted by those making them," Anderson said. She warned of the "abject failure to evaluate the mental health of someone historically in current time, and to prepare them for making such a life-changing decision," and expressed concern about "rushing people through medicalization."