Do you agree with gender medical sex change in puberty?

Katherine - posted on 02/20/2012 ( 13 moms have responded )

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What do you think? Should medical intervention in the form of hormonal treatment occur before puberty? Should this be a mental health issue or a medical issue? Both?





I kind of think this is a bit over the top. I mean I know some kids feel like they're a different gender BUT at puberty?

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Denikka - posted on 02/21/2012

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I absolutely agree with some kind of hormonal intervention before puberty.

Many people who feel they have been born into the wrong gender know it from very early in their lives. And by early, I mean 5 and younger at times.

The thing is, when you go through puberty, your body changes and those changes are not reversible. Broader shoulders, a stronger jawline, etc for male bodies, hips and curves for female bodies.

At the very least, I think that there should be a hormonal stop to puberty. Depending on how old the child is (around 16 is what I would personally be comfortable with), I think that starting on the gender appropriate hormones is a great idea.



What these people feel is not a phase. It's ingrained and usually recognized on some level at a very young age. I agree with waiting for surgery. Absolutely. That is a BIIIIG decision and should only be made by an adult.

But with the hormones, how I look at it is this:

Children's bodies are fairly neutral looking. It is difficult enough feeling that you are in the wrong body when you can easily hide your physical gender. At least you can look *right* on the outside.

After puberty, there are generally some pretty obvious changes that make it MUCH harder to hide your physical gender. So not only do you feel that you're the wrong gender, you also feel like you look like the wrong gender. And it's an issue that goes much deeper than clothes.

I have heard multiple stories of males in female bodies mutilating their breasts when they start to develop during puberty. It is so offensive to them that their bodies would (for lack of a better word) betray them like that.

I have also heard stories of females in male bodies talking about or wanting to cut their penis off. Some going as far as mutilation.



If some hormones would help my child be who they wanted to be, I would absolutely do it. And depending on the situation, I would also consider surgery in a transgender situation. Not before about 16, and I would expect them to be fully aware of everything involved, but I would support them.



Kids aren't given these hormones just because. It's a long, difficult process to begin and there is plenty of screening along the way.

As for whether it's a medical issue or a mental health issue, I would say medical. Just like a tumor or parasitic twin is a medical issue. There are body parts that don't belong on that body and they cause some pretty extreme mental anguish at times.

I don't see much difference advocating for surgery for a child with sever burns, not life saving surgeries but skin grafts etc, to make them look more normal, or advocating for conjoined twins to be separated, or advocating for children with pituitary problems (giant children) to have hormonal interventions or any number of other surgeries or medical interventions that are performed on children, not to SAVE their lives, but to improve the quality of their lives.

Jodi - posted on 02/26/2012

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Actually, puberty is the BEST time to do it if there is an obvious indication that they are the wrong gender. And they DO know at this point. Usually it wouldn't be surgery at this age, but they would take suppressant hormones, etc.



At this age, it is far less traumatic as a whole for a child if they already know, and far less complicated later on when they have the actual physical sex change. For a boy should be a girl, it suppresses the deepening of the voice, the growth of hair in regions girls don't develop (and also, I believe, stops the prominent Adam's Apple), while in a girl who should be a boy, it suppresses the growth of breasts and periods. I think, if a child is this way inclined, and as long as they understand the implications, it is important.



Given I've had children this age, I can honestly say that they WOULD understand what they were doing as long as they had the right counselling, and the right support from parents. I can't imagine any child this age would take such a decision lightly. By the age of 11 or 12 they are capable of abstract thinking, and if they have felt uncomfortable in their birth gender for so long, I would go so far as to say they are possibly a little more able to make a decision on this issue than most.

Denikka - posted on 02/23/2012

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By your logic, that means that a teenager can't possibly know that they're gay either. It may not have the physical long term differences, but it's similar.

What about children who know, from 4, 5, 6 that they're in the wrong body. It's not a choice. It's who they are. Something, somewhere screwed up and they got the wrong body. They're trying to fix the situation.

And as I mentioned before, this isn't something that's done willy nilly. There is a LONG and intense process to go through before they will even consider gender reassignment and begin hormones. And included in that process is a mental evaluation.

From a physical standpoint, before puberty is the best time to do something like this. You're going from a neutral body, a blank canvas if you will. On that body, hormones can paint whatever picture you want, male or female. After puberty, it's more like painting over another picture, there's always some bleed through, it's never quite as good, no matter how *almost* perfect it seems.

From a mental/psychological standpoint, it's better to do it before puberty. There isn't that mental anguish of having your body betray you by going through the *wrong* puberty.

From a social standpoint, it's easier. It's much easier to have kids accept that Darla is now David than it is to try to explain that to your work place. The earlier the change is accepted, the easier it is for the person going though it.



As I mentioned before, I see it no different from a burn victim receiving surgery to make them look more normal. In a way, these people could be looked at as disfigured by their gender. They are merely looking to feel better about themselves and to be normal in their own eyes.

I think that until a person sees the anguish that transgendered kids go through, it's not fair to make judgements on how they get to feel normal.

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Allison - posted on 02/26/2012

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to me a child understanding on an intellectual level is not the same thing as understanding on an emotional level. I would have my doubts on any doctor who would decide that this is a good idea. I would hope a doctor would say hey your going to have to wait until your at least eighteen



Like i said at that age if a kid wants to start living as the opposite of sex of sex fine but no actual messing with the body. I understand what your saying about how its best to stop the developement of these parts but is it really? i mean you are all talking about the emotional and the mental but i havent seen you all actually mention the physical side effects of the hormones. the hormones do have extra side effects.



And Denikka i'm sorry i got overly upset it was one of them days yesterday.

Denikka - posted on 02/25/2012

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I was not in any way referring to the physical pain that a burn victim goes through is comparable. I apologize, that WAS a bad comparison.

I was referring to the emotional trauma that a transgendered person goes through. To a boy, growing breasts during puberty IS a traumatic experience. For a girl, having a penis IS traumatic. To them, it's MORE than an inconvenience. To them, they ARE disfigured. And just like anyone else, they want to be normal.

Hormone therapies CAN be reversed. You can stop treatment and revert back to your gender. As I mentioned previously, I would be against surgery until the person reaches adulthood, but I am absolutely FOR hormone therapies. A young body is more neutral. After puberty, there are things that cannot be reversed.

I wish a transgendered person would find this thread and give a more personal, first hand perspective. Until you actually live it, you really can't understand.

Allison - posted on 02/25/2012

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children may know but their little bodies are going threw so much already that the last thing an ethical dr or good parent should do is add to it by adding or suppressing hormones. wait till puberty is over then take the hormones.



To me comparing someone with horrible burn wounds all over and a person who wants to change genders is wrong. i cant even say how bad i think that comparison is. a person who is traumaticlly scared cant be compared to someone who was born with the wrong body parts.



i think unless its a cancer or other fatal disease that hormone therapy should be held off until the child is eighteen and puberty is essentially over. futher more i dont think most preteens or teens have the maturity physically or mentally and definately not emotionally to make that kind of decision. i dont think most people in thier early twenties are mature enough to make that decision. if at thirteen with exception of the hormones and surgery a person wants to start living as the opposite of sex fine. but no physical change should be done until thier bodies are done changing and they are mature enough to really fully comprehend whats going to happen, the consequence and the pain (physical) that will follow.



the fact that you honestly think a child burnned in a very traumatic way who is maimed for life with or with out surgery should be compared to a kid who besides feeling not right in thier body is entirely healthy makes me worry. they are not in any way comparable. the person who wants a sex change is not disfigured to a point where being outside hurts. or to a point where they cant move certain parts of thier body because they were melted together or because it was burned off. I would love you to tell my friend joel that his ear which was burned so bad that it was essentially melted to his head when he was six and he has been through six surgeries to be get reconstructed and still doesnt look right that some one who wants a sex change has been in the same boat. no one stares at them because of something that they cant change. they can change how they look nearlly effortlessly, they can change the tone of thier voice a burn victim cant. how sad that you appear to think they are in the same catagory

Casey - posted on 02/23/2012

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I completely agree with Denikka. Children KNOW. Its not a choice, As a parent you would know also. I don't think it would be a situation that starts at 12 years of age, it is apparent usually in children as young as 3 who don't understand why they don't have the right body parts. Read about this girl

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-...

Katherine - posted on 02/22/2012

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I agree Michelle. And I DON'T agree with what they are starting to do. I'm all about gender reassignment but not in puberty. They barely REALLY know who they are.

Michelle - posted on 02/22/2012

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We change far too much at puberty to be making decisions like that. Kids are just starting the process of figuring out who they are and you can't exactly take it back once you do it. That's an adult decision to be made about themselves as an adult period.

Katherine - posted on 02/21/2012

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At the age of 25 when their sutures heal. Well maybe that's extreme....

Tina - posted on 02/21/2012

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Exactly. I think it would be a form of child abuse. Until a person is fully developed these decisions shouldn't be made. When a person is a legal adult they can make that decision.

Tina - posted on 02/21/2012

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I don't think so because our body and mind go through alot of stages. Where we try to learn who we are and what we like and these things can change. It's taken me a long time to work out who I am. I definately don't think this decision should be made so young.

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