By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
The ******* parents of an 11 year-old boy are allowing him to undergo sex change therapy because they claim the child has always wanted to be a girl.
The Daily Mail is reporting that Pauline Moreno and Debra Lobel are allowing their son Thomas to undergo hormone blocking treatment in Berkeley, California which will prevent him from undergoing puberty as a boy. A hormone-suppressant, implanted in his upper left arm, will prevent him from developing broad shoulders, a deep voice and facial hair. Later therapy will enable him to grow ******* and other feminine characteristics.
Moreno and Lobel, who were “married” in a commitment ceremony in 1991 and have other adopted children, claim that one of the first things Thomas told them when he began communicating was, “I am a girl.” Apparently, the boy has a speech impediment and used sign language at the age of three to tell this to his ******* parents. By age seven, he was threatening genital mutilation on himself and psychiatrists diagnosed him with having gender identity disorder. By the age of eight, he started “transitioning” from boy to girl.
The couple admitted that their decision to allow Thomas to transition into “Tammy” caused intense criticism from family and friends, even though they insist it had nothing to do with their *******ism.
“Everybody was angry with us. ‘How could you be doing this? You might be ruining his whole life!’” Moreno told the Mail.
She went on to cite a statistic from the Youth Suicide Prevention Program which found that over 50 percent of transgender youth will attempt suicide at least once before their 20th birthday.
“The protocol now is to transition these children as soon as you can make a diagnosis, because otherwise they end up being not one thing or the other… because they experienced puberty,” Moreno said.
However, this is not the consensus of opinion in the medical community where the treatment of gender identity disorder (GID) or gender dysphoria, is far from established science. Many experts say children have better outcomes if parents try to steer them toward their biological gender rather than encourage a sex change. This is because studies have shown that as many as half of the children who originally thought they wanted to be the opposite sex changed their mind by the time they reached adulthood.
” . . . (T)he follow-up studies I’ve done, and others too, show [that] a substantial majority of kids seen for GID in childhood show desistance — that is, when they’re older they don’t want to be the other sex,” said Psychologist Ken Zucker, a gender identity specialist who works at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada.
Speaking to NPR in 2008, Zucker said: “We just published a study of 25 girls we first saw in childhood and found that only 12 percent seem to have persistent gender dysphoria when they’re older. We find similar rates of persistence in boys.”
He describes therapists who support a child’s early transition to the opposite sex as “liberal essentialist.”
“On the surface, the approach comes across as very humanistic, liberal, accepting, tolerant of diversity. But I think the hidden assumption is that they believe the child’s cross-gender identity is entirely caused by biological factors. That’s why I call them essentialists. Liberals have always been critical of biological reductionism, but here they embrace it. I think that conceptual approach is astonishingly naive and simplistic, and I think it’s wrong.”
But Moreno and Lobel said their son experienced a radical change in his personality when the transitioning began and he was allowed to start dressing as a girl. Thomas went from being detached and “in his own world” to being a giggly and outgoing kid.
The couple says they live in an area of California where “lots of alternative lifestyles are in place” and they have plenty of support for what they’re doing. When they’re worshiping in their local synagogue, people come over to “Tammy” to tell him how pretty he looks.
Thomas’ parents say if he decides to change his mind about becoming a girl, he can always stop taking the drugs, which will enable him to undergo male puberty at a later stage. However, studies have shown that the drugs used in these procedures can cause fertility problems later in life.
In addition to these issues, author and pro-life attorney Wesley Smith is concerned about the ethics of experimenting on children in this way. ”It is my understanding that this approach has not been approved by the FDA [Food and Drug Administration]. To me, that means it is experimental, meaning that it hasn’t gone through the usual safety and research processes leading to FDA approval, meaning it should be considered unethical to experiment on human beings in this manner.”
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