Studies Suggest Gender Uncertainty May Subject Children To Trauma, Abuse.

USA Today (2/21, Healy) reports, “Children whose activity choices, interests and pretend play don’t conform to expected gender roles face an increased risk of abuse and future trauma,” according to a study published online Feb. 20 in the journal Pediatrics. “One in 10 kids display gender non-conformity before age 11 and, on average, are more likely to experience physical, psychological and sexual abuse and experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by early adulthood,” the study of “nearly 9,000 young adults” found, with abuse “perpetrated mostly by parents or other adults in the home,” the study authors explained.

Pointing out an opposite viewpoint, the AP (2/20, Tanner) reported, “Offering sex-changing treatment to kids younger than 18 raises ethical concerns, and their parents’ motives need to be closely examined, said Dr. Margaret Moon, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ bioethics committee,” who was not involved in the study. “Some kids may get a psychiatric diagnosis when they are just hugely uncomfortable with narrowly defined gender roles; or some may be gay and are coerced into treatment by parents more comfortable with a sex change than having a homosexual child, said Moon, who teaches at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.” She stated that it’s “harmful ‘to have an irreversible treatment too early.'”

According to MedPage Today (2/21, Walsh), a second study published in the same journal found that “among children and teens evaluated for medical intervention to suppress puberty or for hormone therapy, 44% had been given a psychiatric diagnosis — most often depression — and 21% reported self-mutilation.” MedPage Today adds, “In 2009, guidelines on the treatment of adolescents with this disorder were published by the Endocrine Society, recommending delay of puberty with reversible gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs at Tanner stages 1-2 in eligible adolescents.” The study authors wrote, “This fully reversible treatment allowed patients time until age 16 to decide, in consultation with health professionals and their families, whether to begin hormone treatment that would allow them to transition physically.” Also covering the story are CBS News /WebMD (2/20, Mann) and HealthDay (2/21, Esposito).

Now Chicago, before that LA where the LA County jail was the largest mental institution in the US. – TEA

Related Links:

— “Gender Uncertainty Risky for Kids,”Nancy Walsh , MedPage Today,February 20, 2012.

Posted in In The News.