This approach theoretically allows the child and adolescent patients more time to decide whether they want to make the change. This physician alleges that those whom he labels as transgender children are deeply troubled by a lack of understanding of their feelings and have a high level of suicide attempts. He told the "Boston Globe" that he has never seen any patient make a suicide attempt after they’ve started hormonal treatment.
While this physician is accurate in his interpretation of the literature that children with GID and transgender ideation are deeply troubled, his claims of a high level of suicide attempts in children with GID is not substantially supported by that same literature. What is supported is that most children who are treated for their feelings of being of the opposite sex improve remarkably and experience a resolution of their serious emotional and behavioral pain and conflicts. All children with cross-gender feelings should be evaluated for GID before any hormonal treatment is considered. This pediatrician also fails to consider the potentially serious side effects attributable to taking these hormones in childhood.
A future article will address the research compiled by Dr. Fitzgibbons showing the greatly increased risks of physical and psychological harm among adults with SSA, as well as the success of programs like Courage to help those with SSA avoid these risks.
Susan E. Willsis spirituality editor of Aleteia’s English language edition.