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Old February 16 2014, 11:17 PM   #1
sonak
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Interesting article on transgender kids

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...ticle16897043/


I hope this link works. Anyway, I thought this article was pretty good. I have found it interesting before that in most cases of diagnosing or treating psychological conditions for a young child, the attitude is to be cautious in treatment and avoid quick conclusions, yet regarding gender dysphoria there's sometimes an encouragement to act on a diagnosis no matter that early childhood conditions are highly influenced by environmental, family, or situational dynamics. (that was an awkward run-on sentence)

I've read similar articles on ADHD in children, that it may be over-diagnosed and that environmental or other underlying mental or physical issues may be conflated with it.
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Old February 17 2014, 01:03 AM   #2
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Re: Interesting article on transgender kids

I've long had some concerns about labeling a child as transgender. It seems a bit overzealous and in someways irresponsible to do so.

Children don't have a sufficient sense of self and how they will relate to the world inorder to know one way or another.

Even high school seems too soon.
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Old February 17 2014, 10:02 AM   #3
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Re: Interesting article on transgender kids

I would say that the ideal solution is to let the child grow up and express their inherent identity however they choose in a diagnosis- and judgement-free environment, without forcing any labels on them. Then they can choose their own label when they feel comfortable doing so, which is a decision made by them and no-one else (if at all).

After all, I certainly knew I was both gay and a boy long before high school. I see no reason why a transgender child wouldn't know, instinctively, what gender they identify with by that age. I could see that the disconnect between gender identity and physical sex could cause them a little longer to come to a conclusion, but not that long. A boy knows he's a boy and a girl knows she's a girl at a very young age.

Which is not to say that when they do choose a label or an identity, it's set in stone and can't ever be changed again. Things might change or they might not, which is why not labelling is important because then you only have to change the label anyway.

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Old February 17 2014, 10:31 AM   #4
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Re: Interesting article on transgender kids

Yeah, that's kind of silly that a child wouldn't know at such a young age, at least to some degree. Children are highly intelligent, and what they lack in knowledge, they make up for in observational awareness.
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Old February 17 2014, 10:40 AM   #5
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Re: Interesting article on transgender kids

I would think mental maturity would be a factor like the brain doesn't mature till 25?

ETA: I wouldn't recommend reassignment surgery until after 25.
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Old February 17 2014, 10:56 AM   #6
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Re: Interesting article on transgender kids

TayLaLaLa wrote: View Post
I would think mental maturity would be a factor like the brain doesn't mature till 25?

ETA: I wouldn't recommend reassignment surgery until after 25.
Oh my, no. If we went by mental maturity, teens who come out as gay would be ignored. Young adults under 25 would be told they couldn't possibly know their orientation, so no, 25 would definitely not be the marker we would want.

A child that may have gender dysphoria shouldn't be immediately diagnosed as such, but neither should they be dismissed. I believe a child would wait until they are old enough to make an informed decision, but I also believe they should be free to dress, and behave, in whatever way makes them feel more comfortable. It is their body, and their mind, and they will have the best knowledge of how the two are interacting.

Articles that talk about us "going too far" usually piss me off, because more often than not the author is merely drumming up attention. It's like an article entitled "Gay kids: Are we forcing our opinions on them?" Gender dysphoria is a serious issue, and pop-culting it doesn't do anything but disservice for the child, and confusion for the parents.
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Old February 17 2014, 11:10 AM   #7
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Re: Interesting article on transgender kids

J. Allen wrote: View Post
TayLaLaLa wrote: View Post
I would think mental maturity would be a factor like the brain doesn't mature till 25?

ETA: I wouldn't recommend reassignment surgery until after 25.
Oh my, no. If we went by mental maturity, teens who come out as gay would be ignored. Young adults under 25 would be told they couldn't possibly know their orientation, so no, 25 would definitely not be the marker we would want.

A child that may have gender dysphoria shouldn't be immediately diagnosed as such, but neither should they be dismissed. I believe a child would wait until they are old enough to make an informed decision, but I also believe they should be free to dress, and behave, in whatever way makes them feel more comfortable. It is their body, and their mind, and they will have the best knowledge of how the two are interacting.

Articles that talk about us "going too far" usually piss me off, because more often than not the author is merely drumming up attention. It's like an article entitled "Gay kids: Are we forcing our opinions on them?" Gender dysphoria is a serious issue, and pop-culting it doesn't do anything but disservice for the child, and confusion for the parents.
But the point of this article is that people are rushing to judgement and then making decisions that have long lasting physical implications. Giving kids hormones or hormone blockers because you or they think that they are transgender is alarming. Letting them do or act how they see fit is one thing, making potentially permanent changes to their body is much more of a problem.
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Old February 17 2014, 11:12 AM   #8
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Re: Interesting article on transgender kids

I agree with you J. I don't know what my point was? I mean I would want my child to not want to do something before they are ready...mentally, physically and emotionally.
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Old February 17 2014, 11:21 AM   #9
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Re: Interesting article on transgender kids

Gotham Central wrote: View Post
But the point of this article is that people are rushing to judgement and then making decisions that have long lasting physical implications. Giving kids hormones or hormone blockers because you or they think that they are transgender is alarming. Letting them do or act how they see fit is one thing, making potentially permanent changes to their body is much more of a problem.
I'm not sure I accept the premise that the doctors are rushing to judgment. Parents? Sure, parents can jump the gun out of a sense of fear, or concern, but most doctors, I imagine, don't just hand out diagnoses like they're candy.

TayLaLaLa wrote: View Post
I agree with you J. I don't know what my point was? I mean I would want my child to not want to do something before they are ready...mentally, physically and emotionally.
I understand that, and agree. I'm a big fan of stepping back and letting a child set their course early on. They can always change it later, and in the meantime, they get to discover themselves in a healthier way than simply assigning them gender roles.

Now, I'm not saying that there aren't doctors out there willing to make a fast buck, but I do feel most are excellent gatekeepers, and simply will not allow parents to push their child in any direction he or she is not ready to go.
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Old February 17 2014, 11:51 AM   #10
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Re: Interesting article on transgender kids

I just would want my child to be happy but there seems to be an army of people who are against that.
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Old February 17 2014, 12:17 PM   #11
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Re: Interesting article on transgender kids

You can't make rash decisions. Wait until the child is a permanently traumatized adult or has committed suicide. Then you'd know.

Even if they are wrong, all it takes is to take their word for it and let them be who they feel they are. There's no harm done by doing it. Any permanent procedures don't come until much later, when you will know. And there's plenty of time for them to change their mind. And the chance of them hurting themselves by being who they feel (i.e. know) they are? Much smaller than you'd hurt them by forcing them into something they are not.

And, yes, kids do know.
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Old February 17 2014, 03:30 PM   #12
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Re: Interesting article on transgender kids

sonak wrote: View Post
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...ticle16897043/

I hope this link works. Anyway, I thought this article was pretty good. I have found it interesting before that in most cases of diagnosing or treating psychological conditions for a young child, the attitude is to be cautious in treatment and avoid quick conclusions, yet regarding gender dysphoria there's sometimes an encouragement to act on a diagnosis no matter that early childhood conditions are highly influenced by environmental, family, or situational dynamics. (that was an awkward run-on sentence)

I've read similar articles on ADHD in children, that it may be over-diagnosed and that environmental or other underlying mental or physical issues may be conflated with it.
I think there's a real danger that people can misdiagnose articles with no scientific data whatsoever and a question mark in the title, which is a Faux News inspired trick that serves to create doubt without relying on hard facts, as anything other than terrible reporting that amounts to little more than concern trolling.

Apparently the author is incapable of distinguishing between children showing possible signs of or expressing interest in learning more about gender dysphoria based on their own feelings and what they've learned from TV and the internet, and a psychologist making a professional diagnosis.

She also doesn't seem to grasp (with the breathtakingly obtuse comment below) that the reason there may be a jump in diagnoses might be because we've lessened the stigma attached to transgenderism somewhat, and because more psychologists, teachers, parents and so forth now have a greater understanding of what to look for, and don't try and repress the behavior as often. She seems to think it's a bunch of kids being misdiagnosed; again, based off the completely scientific "I see it a lot more now" method, or numbers that have nothing to do with actual diagnosed cases.

A condition that used to be vanishingly rare, perhaps one in 10,000 children or less, now seems common.
And then there's this:

Disturbingly, data on long-term outcomes for transgender kids are scarce.
That seems like it would be a good launching point for an article on how there needs to be more long-term studies done, but instead, she's used baseless "Won't someone think of the children?" fear-baiting to seed doubt about what psychologists are doing without presenting any actual data to back up her argument. And it is an argument, all titular question marks posing the article as being from a neutral viewpoint aside.

Curious why you didn't start this thread in TNZ, though, sonak, since that's where you started your last thread about transgenderism? I mean, it's allowed here too, but it just seems strange that you'd start the one there and now this one here.
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Old February 17 2014, 03:58 PM   #13
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Re: Interesting article on transgender kids

There seems to be a lot of resistance here to making diagnoses, which seems well-meaning but is in fact very damaging and counterproductive. It's not like a diagnosis is a scarlet letter that brands your kid for life as some kind of freak (although society sure goes out of its way to make trans people feel that way.)

In the US, the big reason you need a diagnosis is to get accommodation in the school system. If you're DMAB (defined male at birth) but identify as a girl, many schools will not let you dress as a girl, nor use the girls' bathroom unless you have an actual diagnosis, in which case they are bound by the Americans with Disabilities Act and can get in deep federal shit for refusing. Without a diagnosis, you really have no recourse.

No one's talking about giving prepubescent kids hormones because that's just not how it's done.

I know and have been friends with quite a few trans people and virtually reported feeling dysphoria from a very young age. Even those who took 20+ years to figure out their identity knew something was "off" from when they were very young.

It's certainly worth catching early, because transition becomes more and more difficult the older you are when you begin. It might be less of an issue if we were less hung up on how kids expressed gender in the first place. I'd be in favor of unisex bathrooms pretty much everywhere, at least as an option if we don't want to do away with segregated ones altogether.

By the way, the best estimates I could find show an incidents of transgenderism at 0.25-1% of the population, but bear in mind that recognizing it is a relatively new phenomenon, and in addition to being transgender you have identities such as genderqueer/non-binary, and I'm not sure anyone tracks those well at this point. In any case, 1% is 70 million people worldwide, and over 3 million Americans, which means your odds of running into a trans person in your daily life are a lot higher than you think.
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Old February 17 2014, 04:32 PM   #14
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Re: Interesting article on transgender kids

sonak wrote: View Post
Anyway, I thought this article was pretty good.
It's an opinion piece. You can tell because it's filed under Opinion, but the baiting title should be giveaway enough.

Being an opinion piece means that it reflects the opinion of the author.
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Old February 17 2014, 05:20 PM   #15
sonak
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Re: Interesting article on transgender kids

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...ticle16897043/

I hope this link works. Anyway, I thought this article was pretty good. I have found it interesting before that in most cases of diagnosing or treating psychological conditions for a young child, the attitude is to be cautious in treatment and avoid quick conclusions, yet regarding gender dysphoria there's sometimes an encouragement to act on a diagnosis no matter that early childhood conditions are highly influenced by environmental, family, or situational dynamics. (that was an awkward run-on sentence)

I've read similar articles on ADHD in children, that it may be over-diagnosed and that environmental or other underlying mental or physical issues may be conflated with it.
I think there's a real danger that people can misdiagnose articles with no scientific data whatsoever and a question mark in the title, which is a Faux News inspired trick that serves to create doubt without relying on hard facts, as anything other than terrible reporting that amounts to little more than concern trolling.

Apparently the author is incapable of distinguishing between children showing possible signs of or expressing interest in learning more about gender dysphoria based on their own feelings and what they've learned from TV and the internet, and a psychologist making a professional diagnosis.

She also doesn't seem to grasp (with the breathtakingly obtuse comment below) that the reason there may be a jump in diagnoses might be because we've lessened the stigma attached to transgenderism somewhat, and because more psychologists, teachers, parents and so forth now have a greater understanding of what to look for, and don't try and repress the behavior as often. She seems to think it's a bunch of kids being misdiagnosed; again, based off the completely scientific "I see it a lot more now" method, or numbers that have nothing to do with actual diagnosed cases.

A condition that used to be vanishingly rare, perhaps one in 10,000 children or less, now seems common.
And then there's this:

Disturbingly, data on long-term outcomes for transgender kids are scarce.
That seems like it would be a good launching point for an article on how there needs to be more long-term studies done, but instead, she's used baseless "Won't someone think of the children?" fear-baiting to seed doubt about what psychologists are doing without presenting any actual data to back up her argument. And it is an argument, all titular question marks posing the article as being from a neutral viewpoint aside.

Curious why you didn't start this thread in TNZ, though, sonak, since that's where you started your last thread about transgenderism? I mean, it's allowed here too, but it just seems strange that you'd start the one there and now this one here.


Honestly LOB, I was about to start it in TNZ, but I didn't want it to become the mess that the last one did. I wanted to be as cautious as possible even in starting THIS thread, but I figured that since MISC has rules that TNZ doesn't, this thread would hopefully become the good discussion that I had hoped the other thread would be. I find this topic to be an interesting one and much as I enjoy TNZ for its more relaxed standards, I really wanted the thread to be focused on the issue and not get into fights and insults.
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