On Saturday, The Daily Caller posted an article about Dr. Susan Bradley, a Canadian psychiatrist and pioneer in child gender dysphoria treatment. The Doctor was interviewed by The Daily Caller and stated that she now opposes the popular model of affirming children’s transgender identities and putting them on puberty blockers–something she once supported.
The article reports:
Bradley started a pediatric gender clinic in 1975 aimed at treating children with gender dysphoria — a deep sense of discomfort with one’s body and biological sex — in which she offered a therapy-focused approach; most patients outgrew their feelings of being transgender over time, she told the DCNF. Around 2005, the clinic began prescribing puberty blockers to gender-dysphoric children as a way to alleviate their distress, a model which has since become widely adopted by medical establishments around the world, including in the U.S.
Bradley, who is now in her early eighties, expressed regret that the clinic had participated in the administration of puberty blockers for gender dysphoria, which she now believes can cement a child’s sense of confusion out of which they would likely otherwise grow. She also expressed concern about the drugs’ side effects.
“We were wrong,” she said. “They’re not as reversible as we always thought, and they have longer term effects on kids’ growth and development, including making them sterile and quite a number of things affecting their bone growth.”
The article notes:
Bradley believes transitioning is beneficial for some adults and says some patients consider it the best thing they’ve ever done for themselves, but that the metrics of success, even in terms of patient satisfaction, are complicated. One of her patients transitioned from female to male, married a woman who had been a childhood friend and seemed happy and satisfied, but later in life pursued a very costly phalloplasty surgery; despite appearing “very masculine,” the patient was never fully satisfied and was always pursuing further bodily improvements, according to Bradley.
Another patient Bradley worked with transitioned from male to female but eventually told the psychiatrist he was no longer trans and was in a relationship with another man. This made Bradley question if transitioning was really just about seeking acceptance for some patients.
The article concludes:
Advocates for medical gender transitions for children argue that puberty blockers can diminish the distress a gender dysphoric child experiences as a result of puberty and can reduce the need for later surgeries or hormonal interventions by preventing the acquisition of some traits associated with their biological sex, such as a deep voice in a male patient.
“Anxiety drains away,” Dr. Norman Spack, a leader in the push for puberty blocker use in gender dysphoric patients, told The New York Times. “You can see these kids being so relieved.”
The Center for Addiction and Mental Health, formerly the Clarke Institute of Toronto, did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
There is stress involved in growing up. Learning how to deal with that stress is part of growing up. Dealing with that stress results in adults who know how to handle stress. We have done our children a great disservice by trying to protect them from stress.