This, from Dr. Debrah Soh, is a very big deal:[A] new paper published by a prestigious journal, the Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, urges greater caution regarding the use of puberty blockers. The paper was written in response to an editorial published by the journal earlier this year. That editorial opposed recent initiatives banning gender-affirming care in children under 18.
In April, Arkansas became the first state to enact such a ban, with similar bills being considered in states such as Tennessee and Texas. Considering that most children with gender dysphoria desist and no longer feel gender dysphoric by puberty, it would make sense to delay any decisions regarding transition until the child reaches an appropriate age. This includes a social transition, which is associated with the medical transition.
As argued in the latest Lancet Child & Adolescent Health paper, more research needs to be done to determine the best treatment course for these youth, particularly those for whom gender dysphoria only became present after puberty. This is a newer, less understood population. The paper thus marks a critical point in this discussion, a legitimization of the uneasiness many feel regarding this topic. Because gender has become so hotly politicized, any scientific paper posing a threat to accepted narratives will typically be retracted, subjected to an additional round of peer review and a correction, or, more likely, rejected from publication to begin with.
Despite this, skepticism continues to emerge worldwide and has started to bear out in policy. In 2020, the English High Court ruled that children under 16 are unlikely to be able to consent to treatment involving puberty blockers. Sweden and Finland now prioritize psychological interventions for gender dysphoric minors. As a result of writing my book, The End of Gender, I have, perhaps predictably, been added to various organizational hate lists and have had my book, in some instances, removed from sale . But I have also received countless messages of support from people from all walks of life who are gravely concerned about these children.
Masculine women and feminine men deserve as much support and acceptance as adults who are transgender. In a similar vein, gender-atypical children should not be pushed to conform to regressive ideas of what it means to be “female” or “male.” They deserve careful, thorough consideration and apolitical scientific inquiry.
Could the tide be turning?