May 24, 2024
We've been vindicated by 'fad' study

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A study which finds gender-confused youth mostly grow out of it and a ban on puberty blockers in England are both being hailed as “vindication” by “detransitioners” — people who have gone back to their birth sex after transitioning as teenagers.

Detransitioners told The Post that they were living evidence for a major study in the Netherlands which found that what psychiatrists refer to as “gender dysphoria” — a desire to be the opposite sex — diminishes significantly between adolescence and early adulthood.

And the also backed a report in England where doctors were told to stop prescribing “puberty blocking” hormones after a bombshell audit of the country’s leading gender clinic, the Tavistock in London, found troubled teens were given the drugs without medical evidence that they were safe.

“These revelations are hugely vindicating,” 19-year-old detransitioner Chloe Cole told The Post.

“It’s frustrating that it has taken this long, but I’m thankful that this is finally becoming a mainstream conversation, and people are finally starting to wake up to what we are doing to children.”

In the Dutch study researchers tracked 2,700 children over the course of 15 years. They found that 11% of kids were struggling with their gender in early adolescence.

But by the age of 26, that number plummeted to 4% because, as the researchers note, “gender non-contentedness, while being relatively common during early adolescence, in general decreases with age.”

England’s National Health Service halted the use of puberty blockers for transgender youth. REUTERS
Detransitioners like Chloe Cole are not uncommon, according to a new Dutch study. Jasper Colt-USA TODAY

“This is quite a sophisticated study, and the results don’t surprise me at all,” Dr. Erica Anderson, a clinical psychologist from California who works with gender nonconforming children, told The Post.

A transgender woman herself, Anderson believes medical professionals should exercise caution when it comes to the medicalization of transgender youth and take seriously the possibility that kids may “desist” — the medical term for return — to their birth gender.

“It supports the contention some of us have been making for a while, which is that we shouldn’t assume that all these kids coming forward are going to be persisting in their transgender identity,” she said.

Detransitioner Airiel Salvatore, 34 of Seattle, said he was “not surprised at all” that the study found the majority of gender-questioning kids end up comfortable with their birth gender.

“That totally comports with my experience, given what I observed among a lot of my transgender friends,” Salvatore, who began hormone treatments in 2005 and underwent genital reassignment surgery in 2014 before detransitioning last year, told The Post.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Erica Anderson says the Dutch study is sophisticated.

“Europe seems to be ahead of the curve,” he said. “It seems that here the clinics are more ideologically captured. It’s almost like they don’t want to know the answer because this whole entire thing is really just running on maladaptive empathy.”

Fellow detransitioner Cole — who came out as transgender at 13, had a double mastectomy at 15, and ultimately detransitioned by age 16 — agrees America is also falling behind in realizing the medicalization of trans youth has been a mistake.

So far England, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark have all moved to limit medical intervention in transgender youth.

Airiel Salvatore detransitioned to be a male again at age 34, after nearly two decades of hormone therapy. Courtesy of Airiel Salvatore
Salvatore, who previously identified as a woman, says the gender-affirmative care model is motivated by “maladaptive empathy.” Courtesy of Airiel Salvatore

But in the United States it has become a hot-button culture war issue, with progressive states like New York and California declaring themselves “safe havens” for trans kids seeking treatment.

“The US is more motivated by money and politics, and this has been made into a major political tool, especially by the left,” Cole told The Post.

But the tides are turning — and so far 22 states have limited medical care for transgender youth, according to Human Rights Watch.

Chloe Cole identified as a male until age 16, when she detransitioned. courtesy of Chloe Cole
Cole, now 19, thinks the United States will follow Europe’s lead. courtesy of Chloe Cole

“It’s slower here because our legislation process is not as national as it is in Europe,” Cole said. “But I think it’s inevitable that irreversible medicalization of children is going to be banned in all fifty states and also federally.”

Last week, the National Health Service (NHS) in England halted puberty blockers for children, following a four-year review conducted by independent researcher Dr. Hilary Cass.

“For most young people, a medical pathway will not be the best way to manage their gender-related distress,” Cass wrote in her report.

“For those young people for whom a medical pathway is clinically indicated, it is not enough to provide this without also addressing wider mental health and/or psychosocially challenging problems.”

Marcus Evans, a British psychoanalyst who resigned from his position as the Clinical Director of Adult and Adolescent Services at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust in 2020 over concerns about the medicalization of trans youth, agrees with Cass’s conclusion.

“This is basically confirming all my complaints, but why it’s taken 15 years and loads of affected kids, goodness only knows,” Evans told The Post.

Marcus Evans, the former Clinical Director of Adult and Adolescent Services at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, told The Post: “This is basically confirming all my complaints, but why it’s taken 15 years and loads of affected kids, goodness only knows.” courtesy of Marcus Evans

He says politics blinded his NHS colleagues, causing them to push gender-confused kids through the medicalization process: “Politicization has interfered with ordinary clinical practice. It’s become a culture driven by political ideology rather than clinical thinking.”

But Salvatore, Cole, Evans, and Anderson all agree these revelations out of Europe are initiating a much-needed re-evaluation here in the United States, too.

“I do think we’re at the start of a pendulum swing back,” Salvatore said. “Until recently, stating biological reality could straight up get you canceled.

“But now I think people are coming around to recognizing the lunacy. We’re going to look back on this period with complete fascination about the human psychology at play.”

“It just sucks that so many people had to suffer.”

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