Wednesday, August 7, 2013

8.7.13 Puberty Blockers and the Destruction of Children

Trigger warning: child abuse

Today is the time to address a topic that I haven't yet touched on, but hope to explore more as time goes on.  Knowing the reasons why on earth parents would do this to their children might help us put a stop to it.

The topic today is puberty-suppressing drugs for minors.  The Childrens Hospital of Boston has a very biased pro-big pharmaceuticals approach to dealing with gender non-conforming children.  In this post, I will review their "Frequently Asked Questions" section with some common sense. I will also be raising my own concerns about the highly questionable nature of this "treatment."

On the Childrens Hospital website, they offer a brief explanation of things we all should have learned about already in basic high school biology class.
"During puberty, the pituitary gland—a tiny gland at the bottom of the brain—releases hormones called gonadotrophins that stimulate the gonads to mature. In boys, gonadotrophins stimulate the testes, so that they start producing testosterone and sperm. In girls, they stimulate the ovaries to begin producing estrogen and ultimately to ovulate."
 So far, so good. This answer points out that young boys will develop natural hormonal changes and will get everything a boys puberty entails.  Ditto for young girls.  No problems here. Next!
"Children's transgender patients, all of whom have been previously screened by psychotherapists skilled in evaluation of gender identity, are counseled and evaluated by a Gender Management Service (GeMS) Clinic psychologist. Following an established international research protocol, patients undergo a series of psychological and medical tests in order to assess whether they have persistent clinical symptoms of transgenderism that interfere with their psychosocial functioning and put them at serious risk for self-harm. Patients are considered eligible for medical intervention when they fulfill the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders-IV criteria for gender identity disorder, have suffered from lifelong extreme gender dysphoria, are psychologically stable and live in a supportive environment.
Children's offers reversible medical intervention to a select group of at-risk transgender patients in order to suppress their production of estrogen or testosterone, but only after these patients have entered puberty. This reversible treatment gives patients time to reach an age when they can decide, with their families, whether to begin cross-sex hormone therapy. Cross-sex hormone therapy consists of testosterone for genetic females and estrogen for genetic males. If they decide not to transition to the opposite sex, pubertal suppression will be discontinued, genetic puberty will resume, and patients will mature into the gender/sex they were born as."
 So, here we have some "psychotherapists skilled in evaluation of gender identity."  Now, these are likely to not be the same quacks who prescribed shock therapy, lobotomies, etc for gays and lesbians back not too far long ago in history, but it does sound like we have a new wave of doctors who are eager to stunt the naturally occurring development of children - sounds legit.  What tools do doctors use to assess whether a child is "psychologically stable" I wonder?  Isn't the threat of self-harm enough of a diagnostic to assess that a child has no idea the type of self-harm they're signing up for with gender reassignment "treatment?" Could there possibly be more going on that would lead to children hating their bodies and hating the way society treats them as gender non-conforming boys and girls?  Dysphoria can be rooted in a variety of reasons - just because a baby butch hates her breasts and vagina doesn't mean she is actually a boy.  A lot of women hate their breasts and vaginas - a lot of the reasons why is because of porn culture.  Try growing up in a capitalist patriarchal society and NOT  hate parts of your body.  If you manage to do this your whole life without fail, well then congratulations, you're a privileged white able-bodied male!

Doctors really need to start figuring out how to help gender non-conforming children be able to deal with their own emotions and how to face and change society.  Parents and teachers should be on board battling rampant pornification of women.  They should also be on-board helping their vulnerable children figure out that most people hate their bodies but that it is revolutionary and brave to accept their bodies even with their so-called "flaws."  Parents should also be prepared to act like adults and explain to their children that just because little Johnny likes playing Princess doesn't make him a girl.  Young girls who wear plaid, jeans, and no makeup shouldn't be told they're "masculine."  Children internalize messages that suggest they are trans when they are not and they start believing the lies.  There is nothing at all abnormal about having interests that go against the grain of patriarchy.  It doesn't facilitate the need to change these kids.

"Children’s Hospital Boston doctors use drugs called GnRH analogues to temporarily suppress puberty. These drugs block the release of gonadotrophins thereby halting production of sex steroid hormones from the testes and ovaries. GnRH analogues have been used for many decades to assist in reproductive treatment for women and to stop precocious (early) puberty in children, and have not been shown to cause any major side effects."
 So, according to medical professionals (who never cause harm) *sarcasm intended*, these drugs haven't been shown to have any major side-effects.  What is their source of this information?  Especially considering that the evidence in this particular field is very limited and therefore not generalizable to the public.  Why are we using children as human testing experiments?
"Transgender youth, whether male or female, may be at serious risk for self-harm and often engage in life-threatening behaviors related to their transgender identity. Patients sense that they are "trapped in the wrong body" and many experience verbal or physical abuse as a result of their gender expression. Many transgender youth report having seriously thought about taking their lives. Over 25 percent of the transgender youth who participated in a recent study had actually attempted suicide."
As I have hinted at previously, suicide is not often just a one-sided issue.  The reasoning behind suicidal thoughts and attempts are often multi-faceted and are cumulative.  The fact that a gender non-conforming child would have suicidal thoughts is no doubt serious, but it's likely going to be a multitude of factors informing their self-harm.

Then, there is this study by TransActive (which only had ONE pediatrician involved with the research and ONE family practitioner - the rest are all trans advocates).  Needless to say this research is going to biased in favor of perpetuating the trans narrative and for benefiting the already bulging wallets of pharmaceutical corporations and wealthy plastic surgeons.  These children on beta blockers are not actively transitioning, however it is obvious that the medical establishment is grooming them for that path under the guise of "giving the patient and the patient's family time to decide whether the child should transition." Are these the same doctors who force parents to choose a sex for their intersex babies? From the study:
"More studies are needed to determine if discontinuing cross-sex hormones later in life would significantly increase risks of osteoporosis and bone fractures."
So, we don't actually know if puberty blockers will screw up a kid for the rest of his or her life.  I'm not really sure what else to say here except that pro-trans doctors are selling it, and families are buying it - hook, line, and sinker.

In addition to the highly questionable and worrisome medical practice itself, I have some concerns specific to the lives of these children once on puberty blockers.

1. Trans people are pushing very hard for the "right" of trans people to use locker rooms and bathrooms that do NOT correspond with their birth sex.

Now, imagine this:

You're a minor who is FTM.  So, you're anatomically female and possibly on puberty blockers. So, according to the "TransActive" piece, you're also going to look physically smaller and weaker due to a delayed growth spurt and lack of growth plate fusion.  You might have the rallying support of trans communities behind you.  Your school finally bends to trans activist pressure and allows you access to the boys locker rooms and bathrooms.  So, you're in a locker room one day and the bullies who usually target "that geek from math class" decide you're much better to target.  You're naked.  Your vagina is showing.  What the fuck do you think is going to happen next?  This isn't hard to figure out, but I can spell it out: gang rape or other physical assault.  How on earth is this a safe situation for young girls? We can't even help young boys who are targeted with violence in locker I guess young girls get to be the scapegoat.

2. My next concern about these puberty blockers stem from a group of people who I think are the most depraved and disgusting human subjects in existence: child molesters.  Again, what do you think is going to happen to a young woman who is on puberty blockers and cannot get pregnant?  Often the only thing sadly that stops a child molester from going "all the way" is because a girl can get pregnant and the baby can be used as physical evidence of abuse in court.  How delighted old perverts would be at the prospect of a teenager who physically still resembles a child and won't have evidence of abuse?  Do we EVER think about the well-being of children?  Let us also consider that a big reason for body dysphoria is rape or other types of physical abuse and emotional belittling.  FTMs often try to escape this crap BY TRANSITIONING.  It's time we took the safety of these vulnerable women seriously - for their sake and not for the sake of corrupt men.

By not addressing the problems of patriarchy and instead encouraging children to transition we are reinforcing the patriarchy.  The headline of Dirtywhiteboi67's blog is "Change Society - Not Your Body."  I couldn't state it better myself.


Orla Hegarty said...

Excellent post.

Also, think of homophobic parents who wish to "cure" their gender non-conforming child by medically transitioning them to the more conforming gender. Drug use and surgery can help 'pray the gay away'.

The situation is quite serious. And in Ontario, Canada, taxpayers are funding it with our free health care! Big pharma is laughing all the way to their shareholders pocketbooks.

Anonymous said...

beta blockers are blood pressure medications, they block beta adrenoreceptors. this has nothing to do with trans hrt or gnrh agonists or "puberty blockers".

also, above orla is wrong, ontario does not have a pharmacare programme. i live there.

i really have no interest in, nor do i think there's any looming centralised trans agenda that wants people to transition if they don't want to. ideally puberty blockers are used to enhance a young person's available choices, while preserving fertility options. i am critical of the fact that trans people aren't given better fertility options and that it often isn't even discussed. this makes me critical of medical practices not trans people. i am also for example, critical of hospitals here that out of laziness not giving a shit about patients' fertility enough to schedule more complicated and i gather more expensive surgeries, doing total hysterectomies and not giving other options for fibroids. i blame shitty medical practices. i don't blame women or trans men.

Anonymous said...

I've read of some instances (sorry, can't remember where) where puberty was delayed for teen boys who felt they were trans and then, having been given time to think about it, realised they were gay and were trying to justify their attraction to men by identifying as being female. It's so sad that the level of prejudice against gay men is still so high but in these instances, at least using puberty blocking medication put a pause in a process which may have lead to much more pain.

Anonymous said...

GnRH agonists are the same class of drugs that are used for advanced prostate cancer and endometriosis. They block the hormones that stimulate tumor growth and the growth of endometrial tissue. They are also used for precocious puberty which is NOT the same thing as a label of transgender. At least with precocious puberty (puberty when kids normally don't undergo puberty) there is a medical reason for treatment. Kids that start puberty too early can have an initial spurt of growth, but end up shorter than their peers. For precocious puberty, GnRH agonists are never followed up with cross gender hormones.

Lupron is a nasty drug, and there have been complaints about its use. It's one of the GnRH agonists that have been given to "gender dysphoric" 12 year old kids.

If the GnRH agonists are followed up by cross gender hormones at age 16, these children are infertile. Infertility is an issue with GnRH agonists. The sterilization of healthy children is usually viewed as a human rights abuse. It's amazing what people can do all in the name of "gender identity"

This is more information on GnRH agonists. Think about this carefully. A normal part of human development, adolescence, is being intentionally delayed because of a psycholgoical diagnosis.

Anonymous said...

The prefrontal cortex, sometimes called the judgment center of the brain, isn't fully developed until the early to mid twenties. These children do not have the capacity to make informed decisions. Kids can't vote until they are 18, or drink until they are 21. However, parents can intentionally sterilize their children because of a questionable and subjective psychological diagnosis. Moreover, studies that go back decades show that many of these children outgrow their "gender dysphoria". There is no way to predict which children will outgrow it, and which children won't.

dokutou-mekki said...

I agree that it's highly unethical and thank you for calling that out. Many children with GID eventually get over it and grow up to be gay or lesbian and a big reason for it in the first place is societal homophobia. With the exception of precocious puberty, I do not think it's ethical to give children drugs like this, especially when the long term side-effects are not known. Plus, at least with precocious puberty, there is a medical reason and cross-sex hormones are not given.

This whole thing just reminds me of how fairly recently gays and lesbians were given rather horrific treatments to "cure" them. Are we really going back?