We are in the midst of a transgender moral panic. Where only a decade ago, very few people sought what used to be called a sex change, today the numbers of people seeking to “transition” is becoming a flood.
It is one thing when adults decide to radically alter their bodies. But it is quite another to promote these radical “gender-affirming care” in children. And yet, the American medical establishment and the Biden administration state that the science in this regard is “settled” and that immediate affirmation is the only humane approach to treating children with gender dysphoria, interventions that can include puberty blocking, cross hormone therapy, and serious surgeries such as mastectomies.
But is it settled science? Recently, the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, and Finland have hit the brakes on immediate gender affirmation in children—to the point that the UK closed down its largest gender clinic as unsafe for patients. The NHS also concluded that instead of encouraging transition in minors, medics should take “a watchful approach” and that doctors have “to be mindful of the risks of an inappropriate gender transition and the difficulties that the child may experience in returning to the original gender role.”
Such returns are known as “de-transitioning,” a phenomenon that receives far too little attention in the United States. But Wesley’s guest in this episode of Humanize is doing something about that. Jennifer Lahl directed, wrote, and co-produced an important documentary, The Detransition Diaries: Saving Our Sisters.
Catherine Saxbe, who is board certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, wrote of the film: “In The Detransition Diaries, We follow several women unmasking a medical system that failed to treat the significant mental health problems which led them to seek radical gender transformation via hormones and amputations, but did not provide the happiness and self-acceptance they sought and were sold.”
Lahl founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Her writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR.