Children as young as 12 are to be allowed drugs to block puberty while they decide whether to have a sex change, it has been revealed. The monthly injection suspends the onset of adulthood so that young people confused about their gender can be sure of any decision before they take on too many masculine or feminine features.Is this an attempt at a cure, or merely a stall to allow the kid to work out the issues before they start cutting?
To take part, they will have to meet strict eligibility criteria including having full support from their parents, the existence of long-standing gender identity issues, an ability by the child to give formal consent and an absence of other mental health problems.So it would appear that a majority of kids that seem confused early on work it out (even in the absence of this treatment), but if they continue to be have gender identity problems after puberty it's probably for real. Does putting puberty off help, or just does it delay the time of reckoning?
Those chosen will go through a series of psychological and medical assessments before receiving the blockers. As a result, they will stop producing the hormones which tell the sex glands to make oestrogen or testosterone. Boys will be prevented from developing male traits such as facial hair, deeper voices and Adam's apples and girls will not develop breasts or menstruate.
But Dr Carmichael said that only around 10 to 20 per cent of prepubescent children with GID went onto have a sex change. Around 80 per cent in late puberty were likely to have the operation.
It's tempting to make jokes out of this, but I'm sure it's not comical for the families involved.