The Academy recalled the many adverse effects of hormonal and surgical treatments at a time when the number of demands for ‘transitioning’ is an ‘epidemic-like phenomenon.’
Life Site News –
The French Academy of Medicine, an independent but official medical society, warned of the dangers of prescribing puberty blockers for children and teenagers and of taking irreversible steps such as surgical treatment to allow them to “transition.”
The statement published late last month did not go as far as to question treating “gender transidentity,” which it defined as “the strong sense, for more than 6 months, of identification with a gender different from that assigned at birth. This feeling can cause a significant and prolonged suffering, which can lead to a risk of suicide.”
However, it was worried enough about what is being done to children and adolescents to recall the many adverse effects of hormonal and surgical treatments at a time when it sees the number of demands for “transitioning” as an “epidemic-like phenomenon.” The Academy particularly warned against the “addictive character” of social networks that can lead youngsters to become uncomfortable with their own identity.
“Great medical caution must be taken in children and adolescents, given the vulnerability, particularly psychological, of this population and the many undesirable effects, and even serious complications, that some of the available therapies can cause. In this respect, it is important to recall the recent decision (May 2021) of the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm to ban the use of hormone blockers,” the statement said.
The Académie nationale de médecine quoted several examples around the world of the “very strong increase” of young people asking physicians to recognize the “disharmony” between their so-called “assigned gender” and their “identification” with the other sex. For instance, “in 2003, the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne had diagnosed gender dysphoria in only one child, while today it treats nearly 200.”
The statement noted that the “overuse of social networks” and “greater social acceptability” of what is now casually called “transidentity” could be responsible for this situation, but it also stressed the “epidemic-like” spread of the “malaise,” leading to “the appearance of cases or even clusters in the immediate surroundings” of young people who present themselves as being “transgender.” In other words, it’s contagious on the psychological level.
“The medical demand is accompanied by an increasing supply of care, in the form of consultations or treatment in specialized clinics, because of the distress it causes rather than a mental illness per se,” the Academy wrote, adding that psychiatry, endocrinology, gynecology and finally surgery are wont to become involved if the discomfort persists.
In France, the use of hormone blockers or the administration of hormones of the opposite sex is legal at any age, provided the child or adolescent has obtained parental authorization. But the Academy recalled that “the greatest reserve is required in their use, given the side effects such as impact on growth, bone fragility, risk of sterility, emotional and intellectual consequences and, for girls, symptoms reminiscent of menopause.”
“As for surgical treatments, in particular mastectomy, which is authorized in France from the age of 14, and those involving the external genitalia (vulva, penis), their irreversible nature must be emphasized,” the Academy added.
It cautiously encouraged the world of doctors and medical counselors to start by questioning the reality of the “malaise” when asked to offer care: “It is essential to provide, first of all, a medical and psychological support to these children or adolescents, but also to their parents, especially since there is no test to distinguish a ‘structural’ gender dysphoria from transient dysphoria in adolescence. Moreover, the risk of over-diagnosis is real, as shown by the increasing number of transgender young adults wishing to ‘detransition.’ It is therefore advisable to extend as much as possible the psychological support phase.”
The Academy’s five recommendations reflect both the Academy’s concerns for youngsters who risk grave and lasting harm through hormonal or surgical “care” for “gender transidentity,” and its fear of appearing to negate the condition:
- A psychological support as long as possible for children and adolescents expressing a desire to transition and their parents;
- In the event of a persistent desire for transition, a careful decision about medical treatment with hormone blockers or hormones of the opposite sex within the framework of Multi-disciplinary Consultation Meetings;
- The introduction of an appropriate clinical training in medical studies to inform and guide young people and their families;
- The promotion of clinical and biological as well as ethical research, which is still too rare in France on this subject.
- The vigilance of parents in response to their children’s questions on transidentity or their malaise, underlining the addictive character of excessive consultation of social networks which is both harmful to the psychological development of young people and responsible, for a very important part, of the growing sense of gender incongruence.