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Children's Hospital Boston Launches Sex Change Program For Kids

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posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 08:42 AM
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reply to post by Rasobasi420
 


Good point. While I'm well aware of the difference between hormone blockers and hormones themselves, most readers probably know next to nothing about it.

However, I don't believe it is even about if it is safe or not, Rasobasi... many of those who criticize this are mostly focused on hating that such things like gender change takes place at all, and also that children should never be allowed to make such a decision.

By their will, it will be so! Well, they'd like it to be.




posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 11:29 PM
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reply to post by TheColdDragon
It would appear that we are in agreement at least as much as we are opposed on this issue. I see our main point of contention as being a differing amount of faith in the morals of Dr. Spack. Neither of us want to see a child harmed, in any way.


I do know there are some twisted people who are obsessed with having had a daughter or a son. A good friend of mine was mistreated and abused as a child because she wasn't a boy and her mother hated girls.


As I know people who claim similar abuses. I say 'claim' only because I cannot verify their experiences, but I do believe them. Such treatment is child abuse. And part of my concern with this issue is that such people will find a way to use this technique to get what they wanted.

Bear in mind that should this be successful, more doctors than Dr. Spack will soon have similar clinics across the country. Even if your faith in him is justified, what about the others? At some point, there will no doubt be abuse. Also, have you considered that experimental treatments for children with different diseases (the one I am remembering is for cancer) have been mandated by judges against the wishes of the parent and the child? A few years ago I would have considered this argument as a stretch, but in today's climate, not so much. I simply see a major potential for abuse.


Imagine you woke up as someone you didn't want to be. Imagine you were in spiritual pain every day you woke up. Imagine that persisting indefinitely. Making a mistake about what body you belong in is exactly as painful as being stuck in the wrong one.


I cannot. The concept is too strange to me. I accept my body as my body. That includes aches and all.


But just because I cannot understand something does not mean I dismiss it. What I would like to see happen with this is more along the lines of identifying a problem early and being ready at adulthood to take any corrective measures once the child is no longer a child. That would remove any concerns I have about mis-diagnosis or mis-treatment at the hands of a doctor, and place those responsibilities solely in the hand of the individual who feels the need for the treatment. Then I cannot argue that such treatments are dangerous precedents, only silly.
Also, more study can be given to making sure the diagnosis techniques used are actually accurate.


If you progressively saw your body decaying from some incurable disease, your skin turning scaly or some such... and knew it affected how everyone in the world looked at you and perceived you, would you not feel terrified of what was happening to you?


Yes, I probably would. But worse than what you described would be to be given a 'treatment' that made me feel better for a short time, but later made the problem even worse.


It is one thing to claim abhorrance to the sensibilities and culture of the day, it is another thing to realize that by eliminating the option you are ensuring that someone, somewhere gets murdered because some guys decide that the girl who looks too much like a dude needs to be murdered for hitting on their friend.

and it's happened. Do some research in the matter. I am all for caution and oversight for this hospital, and some level of scrutiny concerning their practices... but I am also for such hospitals existing to give options to people.

I would hope you would as well, if only to alleviate the suffering of people poorly misunderstood and feared.


I assume you know the answer to the last question, as evidenced by the sensibilities you have shown to my point of view. Of course I wish to alleviate suffering, regardless of the source.

And I do understand that many people have been physically harmed. That is a terrible thing. But I do not understand how this treatment would remove that particular aspect of the suffering.

Suppose a boy realizes he wants to be a girl. He is obviously going to be teased at school, picked on, bullied, etc. for wanting to dress/act feminine. Now this treatment, if I understand it correctly, will at some point prevent him from growing as tall and allow him to develop breasts. Yet physically he still has male 'plumbing'. No hormone or chemical can change that, only render it impotent. He is still going to be surrounded by boys who are undergoing that Biblical flood of testosterone we call puberty. I can see this causing more incentive for harm than anything. We have gone beyond someone who just 'acts like a girl' to someone who 'thinks they are a girl', 'with hooters'. Do you really believe this will prevent attacks? I'd say just the opposite.

TheRedneck



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 04:47 AM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


I think one of the main points of contention is perhaps a lack of common knowledge concerning the situations and effects of hormone therapy.

The longer you wait to take hormone therapy, the less effective it is in changing your body. This is particularly true about males taking female hormones, as female to male transsexuals tend to have a much easier time of it (Gaining muscle and bone structure is easier than trying to shrink and realign bones and muscles, which isn't possible for MTF transexuals).

You'd like to see them wait until adulthood, when puberty has already set their bodies in a fashion that may be terrifying to them... and that damage will never be UNdone, it can only be mitigated by expensive elective surgeries... surgeries that will not be paid for by insurance.

Provided there are boys who want to be girls, the best time to implement such a strategy is prior to puberty having a significant affect on their physical development. While it is true that their peers may treat them differently and that the threat to their safety is higher, it actually reduces the likelihood of that thread after puberty by making the male a passably recognizable female...

by making them indistinguishable from a real female, they can live a far better and less discriminatory life.

As for the possibility of other clinics opening concerning this particular topic... I should certainly hope so. That some doctor's may practice bad medicine is no reason to forbid their time of medicine from being practiced responsibly.

Otherwise, we'd have no doctors at all. There will always be abusers who hurt other people, and they should be held responsible for that. Yet the entire practice shouldn't be held responsible.

It is very easy for people who don't know any transsexuals to state, "I think they should wait until adulthood before doing anything about it," Without realizing that in the eyes of a lot of transsexuals, Adulthood is far too late for anything and they'd have to live with ridicule and scrutiny until some ignorant homophobe killed them for confusing their sexuality.



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 04:51 AM
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This is just sick. Let kids be kids. Don't even try to orient them sexually while they are so young! I have known girls and guys who thought they were gay, but after trying the fields they find they were just curious. Geez, don't folks remember what coming into your sexuality was like? It is confusing enough without crap like this!



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 10:04 AM
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reply to post by TheColdDragon
 

You have presented a well-thought-out argument and made many good points. But I am afraid I still have to disagree. I simply see too much possibility for abuse.

Should an adult attempt such treatment, they are ultimately responsible for their actions. An adult is capable (or should be anyway) of making well-informed decisions that affect their lives, and in the name of freedom, no one should be able to take that from them. A child, however, is not a small adult. You have pointed out yourself several possible instances where children could be coerced into accepting treatment.

I suppose I look at this from the point of view of someone who does not know any trans-gendered people, that is true. As I pointed out in the last post, I simply have no possible way to imagine what such a life would be. The concept is totally alien to me. You are apparently able to look at this from the point of view of someone who is in need of the treatment discussed. Therefore, we see different views of the same issue. In essence, you see where it could help, and I see where it could hurt.

I must stand by my original take on the issue. This is so ripe for abuse, and so potentially harmful to a child, it has to be wrong. Again, from Hippocrates, "[i/]DO NO HARM". There is much harm lying in wait for children in Boston.

I wonder if anyone has considered psychological help for these children? The mind is much more malleable than the body. So, and forgive me if I am somehow showing my ignorance here, if there is a sexual disagreement between the mind and the body, why not change the one that is easiest to change? That would appear to be a more sound principle than stopping puberty through drugs, introducing hormone therapy to change body characteristics, and later on perform surgery.

At least with psychological treatment, there is no additional threat from 'mundanes'...

TheRedneck



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 11:12 AM
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Originally posted by TheColdDragon


It is very easy for people who don't know any transsexuals to state, "I think they should wait until adulthood before doing anything about it," Without realizing that in the eyes of a lot of transsexuals, Adulthood is far too late for anything and they'd have to live with ridicule and scrutiny until some ignorant homophobe killed them for confusing their sexuality.



They are children and cannot make this decision. People change drastically when they become adults. Change them to females and they dont now at that point in there limited experience that the men that are straight do not want a woman that was born a man. The homosexuals don't want a woman they want a man with a penis. They end up in no mans land.

You yourself cant even make an informed decision on this and you expect a 10 year old to make that decision? Most people in there mid twenties are unable to make a valid decision like that let alone a child. If they can decide to become a female then they should be able to drink alcohol and vote. Those too things are minuscule decisions compared to altering your gender.

Think please. Look up the life people have that do the full sex change. They always wish they would have kept there penis because they find they end up alone because what they have others don't want.

Check out this interview with a man that had a full sex change. Its very verbally graphic and not suited for children.

sad transgender



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 11:41 AM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
I wonder if anyone has considered psychological help for these children? The mind is much more malleable than the body. So, and forgive me if I am somehow showing my ignorance here, if there is a sexual disagreement between the mind and the body, why not change the one that is easiest to change? That would appear to be a more sound principle than stopping puberty through drugs, introducing hormone therapy to change body characteristics, and later on perform surgery.

At least with psychological treatment, there is no additional threat from 'mundanes'...

TheRedneck




I feel the need to keep pointing this out. Of course psychological help is the first option. From my earlier post.

Originally posted by Rasobasi420

From the OP article


The effects of these puberty-blocking drugs are reversible; that is, patients can later change their minds. Unfortunately, this is not the case with hormones. Therefore, Spack prescribes estrogen and testosterone to only a few teenagers - after months of consultation with the patient, his or her caregivers, and psychiatrists. When kids take this step, they are rewriting their own future: The hormones have a powerful, pervasive effect, changing their height, breast development, and the pitch of their voices.


The initial program is reversible. Then, only after an extended period of consultation with parents, the teenager AND their psychiatrist. That means it's not left only in Dr. Spack's hands, but also with an outside psychiatrist. There are many levels of redundancy that would prevent the child from making a rash decision, and the parents from making an uninformed decision. And, Dr. Spack won't perform any permanent change without a psychiatrist agreeing.


This is not always something that can be fixed by asking about people's relationships with their mother. And, since the option is completely reversible there shouldn't be any issue with it.

And please don't misunderstand my sympathy for those who need this procedure with my own sexual confusion. I'm pretty secure in who I am, and only wish that others can be as well.



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 11:44 AM
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reply to post by LoneGunMan
 


There are also many who are very happy with their decision. Some are confused, like in all orientations.

And don't confuse transgendered with homosexual or bisexual. In most cases they are heterosexual, but they happen to be in the wrong body.



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 12:00 PM
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reply to post by Rasobasi420
 

Hello Rasa, and I'm sorry if I seemed to be overlooking you. I have read your earlier posts, but I had nothing major to add.


This is not always something that can be fixed by asking about people's relationships with their mother. And, since the option is completely reversible there shouldn't be any issue with it.

Oh, please tell me that this was said tongue-in-cheek. There is much much more to psychiatry than asking someone about an earlier relationship with parents.


And please don't misunderstand my sympathy for those who need this procedure with my own sexual confusion. I'm pretty secure in who I am, and only wish that others can be as well.

If I have given you the impression anywhere on ATS that I am concerned with your sexuality, please forgive me. I am not, and have no intention of becoming so concerned. That is your business, and I share your last sentiment.

Now as to your main argument:
I do understand that this treatment is done is stages, the first of which are said to be reversible. But what good will that do for anyone who supposedly 'needs' this treatment? As I see it, this is like a drug dealer offering a few hits off a joint to get someone's interest. "No charge, no obligation, just try it. You might like it."

Of course they like it. Children seem to like new things, new experiences. So while maybe a few will get some lasting benefit, others may simply be extremely curious. And psychiatrists, doctors, and parents can be fooled by a child who is dead-set on getting what they want, especially when the adults' minds are clouded with thoughts of profit, worry, or fame... or even a misplaced yearning to 'help'.

So now what happens to that child who has taken the therapy? He/she loses out on a portion of their puberty, something we have absolutely no data on as far as future effects, then they reverse the therapy. A few years later, they have abnormal sex drive, no sex drive, or are even more confused about their sexuality than when they came in for treatment.

Or perhaps the child decides that he/she is happier with their new identity. Now we go to phase two, the hormones. this is not reversible, so what happens when that child realizes things aren't proceeding as well as they once thought it would? There's no going back at this point, and the result is to live in limbo or go through with the complete operation and hope someone they later choose to mate with doesn't find out or is one of those rare individuals who don't care.

Now, sure, this is speculation. But I don't think it is unreasonable speculation. This is uncharted territory at best, and to move through it as though we know every outcome, every possibility, is to risk our children's lives and futures in a way that is at least grossly negligent. At most, it is criminal.

TheRedneck



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 02:44 PM
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This should not even be debatable. Where has this world gone...mad? We are talking about children!!!!!

Oh yeah and Redneck kudos for you above post.



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 05:25 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck

Oh, please tell me that this was said tongue-in-cheek. There is much much more to psychiatry than asking someone about an earlier relationship with parents.


Of course it was. Psychiatry is a science and should be respected. But using therapy to simply convince a transgendered individual that they're not really transgendered is useless. This is not talking about fakers, but the real deal.



If I have given you the impression anywhere on ATS that I am concerned with your sexuality, please forgive me. I am not, and have no intention of becoming so concerned. That is your business, and I share your last sentiment.


From an earlier post, you implied that an individual arguing that those who are transgendered deserve recognition and respect were themselves transgendered. That is not always the case, and I didn't want you to mistake sympathy with empathy.


Now as to your main argument:
I do understand that this treatment is done is stages, the first of which are said to be reversible. But what good will that do for anyone who supposedly 'needs' this treatment? As I see it, this is like a drug dealer offering a few hits off a joint to get someone's interest. "No charge, no obligation, just try it. You might like it."


Extremely unlikely. Especially when there are multiple parties, including a psychiatrist, parent and physician involved.


And psychiatrists, doctors, and parents can be fooled by a child who is dead-set on getting what they want, especially when the adults' minds are clouded with thoughts of profit, worry, or fame... or even a misplaced yearning to 'help'.


Parents may be fooled, sure. They're not always that bright. But I think you're giving psychiatrists and physicians too little credit. After months of therapy even a rookie psychiatrist can identify genuine transgendered individuals from a faker. It's their job. And even the most dead-set child couldn't fool a trained psychiatrist, and that is the primary person who would need to agree with this procedure.



posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 10:57 AM
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reply to post by Rasobasi420
 


From an earlier post, you implied that an individual arguing that those who are transgendered deserve recognition and respect were themselves transgendered.


I believe you may be confusing me with someone else. No matter; I do not judge one's sexuality. I am not qualified nor inclined to do so.


Parents may be fooled, sure. They're not always that bright. But I think you're giving psychiatrists and physicians too little credit. After months of therapy even a rookie psychiatrist can identify genuine transgendered individuals from a faker. It's their job. And even the most dead-set child couldn't fool a trained psychiatrist, and that is the primary person who would need to agree with this procedure.


A little snippet about another problem with psychiatry: From www.childprotectionreform.org... :

Undoubtedly, the increasing number of reports has saved thousands of children from harm. However, there have been some rather disturbing side-effects. In 1975, 35 percent of all child abuse reports were unsubstantiated--a percentage that, although high, was perhaps understandable given the Mondale Act's emphasis on bringing even suspicions of abuse into the open. But by 1993, the percentage of unsubstantiated reports had reached 66%. And in divorce cases, many experts estimate that between 75 and 80 percent of allegations of child abuse are completely false.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Now, as I understand it, a child psychiatrist is required in such a case to ascertain the truthfulness of the allegations made by the child. According to this, that is far from accurate. Is there any reason you would expect a psychiatrist to be any more perfect in the case of possible transgendering than in possible abuse?

I should also say that my concern is not in the psychiatrists themselves as much as it is in the science of psychiatry, which is far from advanced at present. I do not say it should be abandoned, only that it should be viewed as a young, uncertain discipline until it can be advanced.

Although I have made this point many times before,I will make it again, for emphasis: We are dealing with a scientific field of which we have precious little knowledge, and the possibility of abuse is tremendously high. We should not give this treatment a status it does not merit by legitimizing it through an open clinic geared towards children.

TheRedneck



posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 11:39 AM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


I think I was referring to a post that you made in response to Cold Dragon. You said that he could see the effects of this process from the point of view of a transgendered person and I interpreted that as you implying that he was transgendered.

Aside from that, the article you posted doesn't mention psychiatrists being fooled by children, but rather that child abuse reports were unsubstantiated. The people being fooled in your article are child protective service workers who are rarely psychiatrists.

That's the big point. With the multiple levels of redundancy there's not much chance of any kid 'fooling' the physician (who has worked with transgendered teenagers for years) the psychiatrist (who is trained for decades to understand teenage psychology) and the parent (who is probably only looking out for the best interest of the child).

And all of this is over something as simple as the delay of puberty. Not a big deal.



posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 11:43 AM
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Its really funny that i got part of my penis cut off without any say in the matter (circumcision) but these kids are not allowed to chose this for them selfs?

I think if its what they want/need then im all for it. At least they have some say in the matter..



posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 12:09 PM
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reply to post by Rasobasi420
 

You appear to have much more faith in the psychiatrists and physicists of the world than I. To date, I have yet to see a doctor do much more than charge money for failure. Perhaps you have had better results from them.

A parent may well have the best interests of the child at heart. I would hope they do. But there are some parents who simply want the kid to shut up and act right, or who got a daughter when they really, really wanted a son. I'm sorry to say that happens, and while I fervently despise it, I have to consider it in this light. Even if the parents do not fall into either of these categories, and even if there is a problem with the child, their initial concern may well be to believe whatever the doctor says. After all, he's the professional.

He can also be the worst kind of capitalist, ready to sell out the future well-being of a child for a stack of green paper. Sorry, but this happens, and if Dr. Spack is not that shallow, what about the next clinic? Or the next?

Again, too much room for abuse, and the stakes are too high. Experimental, under close scrutiny is one thing, but an open clinic is not a good idea at this time.

TheRedneck



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