A 5-year-old child with large dark eyes, full lips and a button nose stares out from the front page of the Washington Post Sunday edition. "Transgender at Five" declares the provocative headline. The child's hair is being cut in a close boy's cut by her father.
We learn from the article that "Tyler," who was born "Kathryn," began insisting that she was a boy at the age of 2. "'I am a boy' became a constant theme in struggles over clothing, bathing, swimming, eating, playing, breathing." The child's parents, at first uneasy and later accepting of their girl's desire to be a boy, agreed to raise her as a boy. Starting at age 4, she began to wear boys' clothes, was permitted to choose a boy's name for herself, and has been introduced to family, friends, teachers, and congregants at church as a boy.
Let's stipulate, for the sake of argument, that something called "gender dysphoria" -- with which Tyler was diagnosed at age 4 -- does exist. Let's further agree, again for the sake of argument, that the proper treatment of this condition is choosing to live as the other sex, with all that such a radical decision implies. Is there any reasonable way to conclude that something as drastic as attempting to change one's sexual identity can be undertaken by a 4-year-old?
"Parents who ignore or deny these problems," warns the Post, "can make life miserable for their kids, who can become depressed or suicidal, psychiatrists say." How many psychiatrists? The very most that can be said is that the practice of treating children for what is sometimes called "gender identity disorder" is highly controversial in the psychiatric world. Some psychiatrists want to change the name to "gender incongruence" to remove the word "disorder." Others, such as Dr. Paul McHugh, professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, think the whole idea of treating children for this condition is unwise. "We shouldn't be mucking around with nature," he told Fox News. "We can't assume what the outcome will be."
Apparently, hormone blockers are being prescribed more and more for children with "GID." The hormones postpone puberty indefinitely and, the Post explains, "give the kids more time to decide who they are and whether switching genders is the answer to their problems." McHugh calls giving hormone blockers to children "child abuse." Some young people are having "gender reassignment" surgery as young as age 16.
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