Medical Tuesday Blog
Why is gender transformation such an issue?
Dr. Rosen: We’re seeing a lot of publicity on people changing their genders. There are articles in the WSJ, The Atlantic, as well as in our professional organizations. The pediatricians are on both sides of the fence with the AAP supporting it and the ACP supporting the family default position.
Dr. Edwards: I think the pediatricians as a whole have been more socialistic oriented, sometimes mislabeled as progressive. The progressives have assumed that name because they think they are more innovative—more open to new ideas which may not even be defined as progress.
Dr. Milton: You probably hit the nail on the head. They think they are progressive, but in reality, are willing to try anything new which may be fatally regressive.
Dr. Ruth: I think the lay public is totally turned off by the very concept of changing one’s gender. And we as physicians should know that the urogenital anatomy is not that readily switched.
Dr. Michelle: The very idea that a boy dressed as a girl can walk into a girl’s bathroom or dressing room is totally repulsive to me.
Dr. Yancy: Some of the collateral problems are just beginning to surface. It has already been seen that the boys who have transitioned to girls are winning all of the girls’ sports. Not only winning them, but coming in at first, second, and sometimes third place. This essentially excludes girls from girl type sports. That will be a women’s issue when they fully understand the boy/girl genetic differences which will persist despite all that horrendous surgery.
Dr. Sam: I can’t conceive of any male wanting to become a female. I have seen many tomboys but this is just a phase in normal girl adolescence. Most girls outgrow this tendency. Even if they don’t, it’s not a big issue. Strong muscular girls and women are seen in jobs we formerly thought were men’s jobs like construction, mechanics, and even engineering.
Dr. Dave: This social engineering is really getting out of hand. Now girls have invaded the boy scouts. Boys have a need to develop with other boys and I think the same goes for girls.
Dr. Patricia: That should be so obvious. I think the girls’ scouts would feel uncomfortable with boys on an outing or camping trip. There are many body needs that can’t be shared or observed by the opposite sex outside of marriage. Boys, maybe not, but girls definitely.
Dr. Kaleb: In some countries with little restroom facilities, these private needs are not always very private. But there is a feeling of gender privacy even in those less developed countries.
Dr. Joseph, Ret: I’m glad that I’m retired, not only from a rapidly changing profession which has its own challenges, but also from a rapidly changing society which many of my generation find difficult to accept or even understand.
Dr. Yancy: The few female-to-male transition patients in my practice have had second feelings when they found out that their hormonally enlarged clitoris, did not have a urethra and so they had to sit to urinate just as they had always done when they were female. They couldn’t use a male urinal and this sometimes became noticeable and sometimes led to fierce discrimination. I think they would have been better off by becoming lesbian. In fact, that might be more socially acceptable than being trans.
Dr. Milton: I think that would be the resolution if I had patients that felt like they were the opposite sex trapped in their bodies. How about becoming a homosexual and dress in the normal pattern for your sex and not try to change? I think you would be more acceptable in society.
Dr. Rosen: A number of transgender patients have regretted the gender transformation they made during their adolescence. We are now seeing children suing family members. Since these major operations will require parental approval, will we see an opening for lawsuits from transgender people against their parents for signing the operative permits?
Dr. Edwards: Or are we opening another surgical opportunity in sex transformation surgery? Could this come back and bite the surgeon?
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