A spokesperson for the American College of Pediatrics says a new study of transgender youth is leaving a false impression of the best way to deal with their confusion.
A University of Texas study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health suggests the remedy is to coddle the youngsters and affirm their chosen gender identity to reduce the impact of their lifestyle on their mental health as well as the suicide rate. But Dr. Michelle Cretella of the American College of Pediatricians suggests that is backward thinking.
"When you have a toddler or a teenager and they throw a tantrum, what happens when we give in to them? They get happy, right? And happy does not always mean healthy or optimal for the child," she submits.
The researchers only examined 129 young transgenders ages 15-21 before reaching their conclusions, and Dr. Cretella says examination of much, much larger studies of transgender adults who have undergone mutilation surgeries shows those adults are likewise happier in the short-term.
"It's like a honeymoon period," she compares. "But when you get ten years out from surgery, all the mental health problems that they had before escalate."
And after following those individuals out 30 years, the suicide rate is almost 20 times greater than that of the normal population.
So Dr. Cretella suggests lying to youngsters who identify as transgender and affirming their gender confusion does not produce the good results the Texas study claims. She also contends that what transgenders need regardless of age is counseling from trained mental health professionals to resolve the underlying issues that have caused their confusion.