“Typical Age” For Gender Reassignment Surgery Now 8 Years Old…

Eight?   Eight Years Old?   “Typical”?   Seriously….  I must be living in a cave or something because that headline just about knocked me off my chair.   Eight?  What have I missed along the path of such significance where I can honestly say I have no cognitive reference to understand this?  

CHICAGO (AP) — A small but growing number of teens and even younger children who think they were born the wrong sex are getting support from parents and from doctors who give them sex-changing treatments, according to reports in the medical journal Pediatrics.

It’s an issue that raises ethical questions, and some experts urge caution in treating children with puberty-blocking drugs and hormones.  An 8-year-old second-grader in Los Angeles is a typical patient. Born a girl, the child announced at 18 months, “I a boy” and has stuck with that belief. The family was shocked but now refers to the child as a boy and is watching for the first signs of puberty to begin treatment, his mother told The Associated Press.

Pediatricians need to know these kids exist and deserve treatment, said Dr. Norman Spack, author of one of three reports published Monday and director of one of the nation’s first gender identity medical clinics, at Children’s Hospital Boston.

“If you open the doors, these are the kids who come. They’re out there. They’re in your practices,” Spack said in an interview.

Switching gender roles and occasionally pretending to be the opposite sex is common in young children. But these kids are different. They feel certain they were born with the wrong bodies.

Some are labeled with “gender identity disorder,” a psychiatric diagnosis. But Spack is among doctors who think that’s a misnomer. Emerging research suggests they may have brain differences more similar to the opposite sex.

Spack said by some estimates, 1 in 10,000 children have the condition.

Offering sex-changing treatment to kids younger than 18 raises ethical concerns, and their parents’ motives need to be closely examined, said Dr. Margaret Moon, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ bioethics committee. She was not involved in any of the reports.

Some kids may get a psychiatric diagnosis when they are just hugely uncomfortable with narrowly defined gender roles; or some may be gay and are coerced into treatment by parents more comfortable with a sex change than having a homosexual child, said Moon, who teaches at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.

It’s harmful “to have an irreversible treatment too early,” Moon said.

Doctors who provide the treatment say withholding it would be more harmful.

These children sometimes resort to self-mutilation to try to change their anatomy; the other two journal reports note that some face verbal and physical abuse and are prone to stress, depression and suicide attempts. Spack said those problems typically disappear in kids who’ve had treatment and are allowed to live as the opposite sex.

Guidelines from the Endocrine Society endorse transgender hormone treatment but say it should not be given before puberty begins. At that point, the guidelines recommend puberty-blocking drugs until age 16, then lifelong sex-changing hormones with monitoring for potential health risks. Mental health professionals should be involved in the process, the guidelines say. The group’s members are doctors who treat hormonal conditions.

Those guidelines, along with YouTube videos by sex-changing teens and other media attention, have helped raise awareness about treatment and led more families to seek help, Spack said.

His report details a fourfold increase in patients at the Boston hospital. His Gender Management Service clinic, which opened at the hospital in 2007, averages about 19 patients each year, compared with about four per year treated for gender issues at the hospital in the late 1990s.

The report details 97 girls and boys treated between 1998 and 2010; the youngest was 4 years old. Kids that young and their families get psychological counseling and are monitored until the first signs of puberty emerge, usually around age 11 or 12. Then children are given puberty-blocking drugs, in monthly $1,000 injections or implants imbedded in the arm.

In another Pediatrics report, a Texas doctor says he’s also provided sex-changing treatment to an increasing number of children; so has a clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where the 8-year-old is a patient.

The drugs used by the clinics are approved for delaying puberty in kids who start maturing too soon. The drugs’ effects are reversible, and Spack said they’ve caused no complications in his patients. The idea is to give these children time to mature emotionally and make sure they want to proceed with a permanent sex change. Only 1 of the 97 opted out of permanent treatment, Spack said.

Kids will more easily pass as the opposite gender, and require less drastic treatment later, if drug treatment starts early, Spack said. For example, boys switching to girls will develop breasts and girls transitioning to boys will be flat-chested if puberty is blocked and sex-hormones started soon enough, Spack said.

Sex hormones, especially in high doses when used long-term, can have serious side effects, including blood clots and cancer. Spack said he uses low, safer doses but that patients should be monitored.

Gender-reassignment surgery, which may include removing or creating penises, is only done by a handful of U.S. doctors, on patients at least 18 years old, Spack said. His clinic has worked with local surgeons who’ve done breast removal surgery on girls at age 16, but that surgery can be relatively minor, or avoided, if puberty is halted in time, he said.

The mother of the Los Angeles 8-year-old says he’s eager to begin treatment.

When the child was told he could get shots to block breast development, “he was so excited,” the mother said.

He also knows he’ll eventually be taking testosterone shots for life but surgery right now is uncertain.

The child attends a public school where classmates don’t know he is biologically a girl. For that reason, his mother requested anonymity.

She said she explained about having a girl’s anatomy but he rejected that, refused to wear dresses, and has insisted on using a boy’s name since preschool.

The mother first thought it was a phase, then that her child might be a lesbian, and sought a therapist’s help to confirm her suspicion. That’s when she first heard the term “gender identity disorder” and learned it’s often not something kids outgrow.

Accepting his identity has been difficult for both parents, the woman said. Private schools refused to enroll him as a boy, and the family’s pediatrician refused to go along with their request to treat him like a boy. They found a physician who would, Dr. Jo Olson, medical director of a transgender clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Olson said the journal reports should help persuade more doctors to offer these kids sex-changing treatment or refer them to specialists who will.

“It would be so nice to move this out of the world of mental health, and into the medical world,” Olson said.  (read more)

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17 Responses to “Typical Age” For Gender Reassignment Surgery Now 8 Years Old…

  1. barnslayer says:

    Look here kid everyone either gets a sex change or gets put on Ritalin. Take a few minutes to decide.

    Like

    • GM Car Of The Future says:

      I can see it now…
      A&E Presents: “Toddlers and Trannies” 9 pm ET

      Like

      • GFCandinthatorder says:

        Confusion! The devil loves it.
        Hey, BTW, when was the last time annual 8 year old was “certain” of anything? I mean who has the wisdom here?
        What a bunch of idiots man has become . What is the “real agenda” here? And if you can’t see the fire it is because you got all the smoke in your eyes.

        Like

        • Absolutely true. When was the last time a 16 year old was “certain” of their identity enough to mutilate themselves like this? Or a 30 year old? Hell, I’M not old enough to make that kind of decision for myself. Poor, confused parents.

          Like

  2. Brooklyn says:

    Unfortunately, there is another whole sad side to this story, Doc. As you may have realized by now, I worked in the belly of the beast with every type of mudda raper, father banger, male/female hocker and every Tom turned Tootsie known to man. Our unit back then was called ‘Public Morals’, but had to update that name to ‘Clothes’ when we realized the public don’t gots none – morals that is. Our ‘clients’ were some of the most perverted, sickest people you’d ever care to – avoid.

    Fast forward this to 2012, here in the parish family of our local Catholic Church is a ‘woman’ who once worked in the neighborhood as a man; but not only is he/she just praying in the pews with the rest of the congregation, Tootsie is a lector and Eucharistic Minister for everyone’s wonder – in drag…! Welcome to the NEW Church…

    BTW: I think I’ll go back to bed now and try to get up again in a better mood…

    Like

  3. G8rmom7 says:

    Boy am I glad I didn’t have insane parents as a kid. I was a huge tomboy and would take great pleasure when the boys let me play football with them, because they had no idea I was a girl. At that age, I don’t think I would have wanted the physical pain of surgery to be a boy…but if were easy, and my parents were there saying it was a “good idea” who knows? *shutter*

    Like

    • Brooklyn says:

      Good for you, Mom. My wife just told me to shut down this conversation… Old bad memories, not so much playing football…:(

      Like

    • barnslayer says:

      When I was living in Queens, NY all we played was army. Running/hiding all over the place and sh00ting each other. (Boy if only paintball and airsoft existed back then!) By the time we moved to the greenery of Nassau County I was 9. Didn’t know squat about sports but had a working knowledge of combat tactics. It came in handy during snowball and pinecone fights. Gym class and after school games got me up to speed in a year or so.

      Like

  4. Patriot Dreamer says:

    The demoralization of America continues. Just like Yuri Bezmenov warned us.

    Like

  5. NeeNee says:

    I think this is a deliberate news plant by the left, citing this Pediatrics Medical Journal report which admits that “a small number but growing number ” of cases exist. Yeah, like from one to two! Cooking statistics is number one in the liberal playbook.

    Our grandson went through a stage when he was 5 years old. His mom caught him almost every afternoon at naptime with a scarf draped over his head, and taking on a feminine personnae. It was freaky, since he affected a high-pitched voice and announced he was “Lila.” He would carry on a 5-minute conversation using this voice. My other daughter told me about it and was quite concerned since, coincidently, my mother had a sister, Lila, who died back in the 1950’s. Although we don’t believe in re-incarnation, it was truly a Twilight Zone experience. When I asked Jack’s mom about it, she denied ever reading a book with a Lila character or ever telling Jack about his great-grandma’s sister. In short, once Jack started school this whole thing just disappeared. Using Pediatrics logic, he should have been a candidate for gender re-assignment!

    GFC, I’m with you . . . Satan loves all this twisted, perverted stuff. Reminds me of Rabbi Lappan Glenn Beck had on a few weeks ago. He posited that all this sexual immorality is the domain of the ancient god Baal, from the Old Testament. Back in Sunday School, we pronounced it “bale,” whereas Lappan said, “Bah-al”. But Lappan is firmly convinced that Satan is allowing Baal to wreak sexual havoc in our society today.

    Like

  6. G8rmom7 says:

    On a semi-related note my almost five year old son was on YouTube yesterday (under my supervision) watching videos relating to Legoland (where he hopes to go for his birthday)…those videos led him to some videos featuring various toy cars, toy trains and toy boats. I stepped away for a short while to go work on the laundry and my husband came to find me to tell me he was looking at some “exercise videos” with ladies in tight clothes bending over and such. By the time I got to him, he had on some Spanish language video with very well-endowed females (fully clothed thankfully) and it looked well…anyway, as soon as he saw me, he started crying knowing that he was doing something wrong.

    But when my husband came up to him to see what he was watching he just yelled at him to go away…as if he didn’t want my husband joining in on the fun. LOL

    Anyway, I had a good little discussion with him about right and wrong, and he just begged me not to tell God or Santa about it. I told him they already knew and would forgive him but that he needed to learn to follow his gut when God tell him something is wrong or right. He’s only 5 so I still have some work to do.

    But no worries about his sexual instincts…so far he is ALL boy.

    Like

  7. F.D.R. in Hell says:

    Ben (Dr. Spock) is down here and says, “This is caused by high levels of rBGH in milk.
    You can thank Monsanto for the growing number of little shemales and trannytikes.”

    What the Hell is he talking about? And how did he get beamed down here from The Enterprise?

    Like

  8. This one is FOUR years old.

    With his blonde pigtails and purple tutu, Zach Avery, now five, has been living as a girl for more than a year – after he first refused to live as a boy when he turned three. Little Zach was just three when he began refusing to live as a boy, instead choosing to wear pink dresses and ribbons in his long, blonde hair – because he has Gender Identity Disorder (GID). And the primary school he attends in Essex has even changed the kids’ toilets to gender-neutral Unisex in support of Zach since his official diagnosis last year, aged four. Zach is one of the youngest in Britain ever to be diagnosed with GID – meaning he feels like he’s a girl trapped in a boy’s body.

    Mum Theresa Avery, 32, said Zach used to be a ‘normal’ little boy who loved Thomas the Tank Engine, but suddenly at the end of 2010, he decided he wanted to live as a girl.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/9093108/Five-year-old-boy-lives-as-girl-in-youngest-case-of-Gender-Identity-Disorder.html

    Like

  9. Liz Church says:

    No-one has surgery at 8 years old. No-one has medication at 8 years old. A diagnosis can be made at 8 years old after which the child will merely be observed to see how they progress. Hormone blockers are available to delay the start of puberty by just a couple of years to give the adolescent a bit more breathing space and time to mature a little before making such momentous decisions. Stop getting your knickers in a twist over something you haven’t researched. Mountain out of a molehill.

    Like

  10. stellap says:

    Well, it’s good to know that at least they don’t do surgery on kids who are 8; they wait until puberty begins, which is still too young.

    Like

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