Not positive I am using the right term. Children who identify as the opposite sex.
I realize many children are just born this way but I wonder if a significant percentage of these children are influenced by other biological factors. I know with animals it is very important for them to play animals games children do the same thing when given the opportunity. Has modern society changed the way humans stimulate hormones in our childhood?
I think transgender is probably the more accurate term?
I would not discount changes in hormone stimulation changing the expression of transgender identity, given what we are now learning about the myriad ways modern chemicals affect us and the expression of our genes. However, I think this tendency has always existed, and it’s possible that it is just more accepted now; there are examples littered throughout history, such as one colonial governor of New York (though of course it’s controversial):
If you want a couple anecdotal examples, my daughter attends a Catholic girls’ school. This year has seen the transition of a high school freshman and a sixth grader. Despite now identifying as male, they will be allowed to continue attending.
I don’t really know exactly what I am implying beyond the idea that children’s play and interaction patterns have changed significantly. Another issue is passive bullying, in other words a child might feel defeated before he ever has a chance to really start interacting. These is pretty solid evidence that hormones are affected by our position in a group or society. I really don’t know what is having the most dramatic effect but I do have a feeling that something has changed that is affecting children’s hormonal balance.
I realize a lot more children and parents have opened up to the idea of transgender but it also seems to be a lot more common today than it was decades earlier.
Thanks for posting that, it confirms my suspicions. My biggest concern has been are some parents jumping on this bandwagon too early to get some kind of special identity for themselves as a parent of a transgender, it sure appears this way.
Right now at this moment in history these things are in the forefront of cultural change.
The reason is emphatically NOT that cisgender white males are suddenly interested in changing their views, or indeed in thinking about any of these at all. It’s for another reason, and I am going to allow you to think about what that reason is.
Why is it a concern that people are more open to the idea? The major negative impact from being transgender seems to be people’s reactions to it. A reduction in negative reactions is surely a positive.
Yes, some kids may explore the idea before changing their minds, who would not have done so when even considering the possibility was more stigmatised, but why is that a concern? Where is the actual harm? Do you have any evidence that parents are pushing their kids into a trans identity, or is this actually parents listening to their kids more and kids thereby feeling safer exploring their own identity?
Can you explain why this is a concern to you? (Do you really think “parent of a transgender child” is a goal for parents?)
This shows a lack of understanding of what happens when a child expresses gender dysphoria. There is a long process of therapy and medical evaluation before any steps are taken. Medical professionals and parents fully realize that kids and teens can make spontaneous, poorly thought out decisions, and there are a lot of safeguards to manage this.
I doubt that a parent who would allow their child to take puberty blockers, or a clinician who would even consider them, is opposed to the idea of transgendered children, although I have no hard figures.
What long-term consequences are caused by puberty blockers? How do they compare to the long-term consequences of not taking them and going through puberty as a sex that does not correlate to the person’s gender?
The whole purpose of taking puberty blockers is to reduce long-term consequences like reassignment surgeries, and to allow kids more time to make a real choice. Removing that option is forcing them to go through something that is not fully reversible. And no-one is forcing their kids to take them. C’mon.
The Atlantic recently published an interesting article about transgender children.
It draws no conclusions but it does discuss the fluidity of gender identity in young people, some of the nuances and pros/cons of the affirming care approach, and some of the controversy around desistance.
You asked for who might be concerned who wasn’t already opposed to the idea of transgender children, and I gave you some examples. :shrugs:
Puberty blockers haven’t been used for long enough to know the long-term effects. Using them to treat transgender children is considered an off-label use, and not approved as such by the FDA.
To be fair, we also don’t know the long-term effects if they are used on the large majority of children who change their mind about being transgender. So it is hard to know which approach would be erring on the side of caution.
Writer, researcher, and trans activist Julia Serrano on the concept of detransitioning, medical treatment for children with non-standard gender identities, and some of the problems with “what if the kid isn’t really trans?” think pieces like the Atlantic article Motorgirl linked to.
Speaking of, here’s her blog post on her interactions with the author of that Atlantic piece, Jesse Singal.