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Gender

Teens cannot decide alone whether to change sex

Protesters outside BBC Broadcasting House. Hollie Adams/Getty

There has been a “breakthrough” in the trans debate here in the US, says Andrew Sullivan in The Weekly Dish. In a first for the mainstream media, The New York Times has conceded that there is a growing divide among medical professionals over whether teenagers who undergo irreversible sex change surgery should first be screened for mental health issues. It’s astonishing this isn’t a given already. Some of the puberty blockers and other drugs used for these procedures can lead to “irreversible fertility loss”, along with “neurological damage, bone-density loss, and a permanent inability to experience sexual pleasure”. And their effects are almost never reversed. “In what other field of medicine do patients diagnose themselves, and that alone is justification for dramatic, irreversible medication?”

It’s unclear how many American teenagers are transitioning. But in the UK, the number of adolescents actively seeking to change sex has risen 3,200% in a decade. The trans movement insists that questioning this increase – especially given the seemingly growing number of people trying to “detransition” back to their original sex – is basically a hate crime. It’s nothing of the sort. The inclusion of trans people in society is a “moral duty” – people with gender dysphoria “often suffer terribly” and are (rightly) protected from discrimination by law. But that doesn’t mean we should let children “make decisions they simply do not have the capacity to make”. Making that distinction isn’t hate. “It’s just sanity.”

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