Prepubescent teenagers with gender dysphoria should receive puberty-blocking drugs as treatment, argues Jack Turban in an op-ed published Saturday in The New York Times.
Entitled, “Hannah Is a Girl. Doctors Finally Treat Her Like One,” Turban’s editorial highlights the story of Hannah (a 14-year-old boy originally named Jonah); he describes Hannah as a girl, referring to the boy with feminine pronouns.
Hannah has a puberty-blocking implant in her bicep, described as “a hard rod just beneath her skin [that] releases a drug that turns off the brain cells that would otherwise kick off puberty … preventing the process that would have deepened her voice and given her an Adam’s apple.”
Turban praises the change in attitudes among many medical professionals regarding treatments for gender dysphoric children, noting that such puberty-blocking treatments can be made available to teenagers as young as 14.
Treatments seeking to end gender dysphoria among transgender persons, suggests Turban, are ineffective and cruel. He argues that perceptions of gender among transgender persons should not be changed, but affirmed.
Medical practitioners, argues Turban, should view all possible outcomes of gender perceptions as “equally desirable.” It is not necessarily preferable, he suggests, for a male to wish to be a boy or a man.
Turban claims a 2017 study (conducted between 2015 and 2016) at the University of Washington of sixty-three “transgender youth” offers evidence that “social transition” - such as Hannah’s name change from Jonah, his wearing of dresses and joining the girls’ bunks at summer camp - lowered levels of anxiety and depression among those studied.
To counteract risks of sterility associated with post-pubescent “cross-sex” hormone treatments, Turban notes that transgender teenagers are given the option to freeze their sperm or eggs should they choose to somehow have children in the future.
Cosmetic surgery to construct physiques of the opposite sex is described by Turban as “gender-affirming surgery.”
Without any detail, Hannah’s future dating and love life are speculated upon. Acting as if heterosexual men of sound mind will become romantically involved with her son, Hannah’s mother hopes “the world will make progress.”
Turban concludes that it would be “insane” not to offer puberty-blocking treatments to transgender teenagers.
At no point does Turban describe gender dysphoria or transgenderism as a mental illness.
The New York Times describes Turban as a "research fellow at Yale School of Medicine, where he lectures on the treatment of transgender and gender-nonconforming youth.” Turban’s profile at Yale University notes that he is currently studying to become a “child and adolescent psychiatrist.”
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