Treatment Harm in Gender Medicine

A recent article from the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, Iatrogenic Harm in Gender Medicine,1“iatrogenic” – relating to illness caused by medical examination or treatment. clarifies the risks of Transgenderism.

The author wants us to consider “the increasing number of young detransitioners.”

Published June 19,2023. Author Sarah C. J. Jorgensen.

Although transition regret and detransition are often dismissed as rare, the increasing number of young detransitioners who have come forward in recent years to publicly share their experiences suggests that there are cracks in the gender-affirmation model of care that can no longer be ignored. In this commentary, I argue that the medical community must find ways to have more open discussions and commit to research and clinical collaboration so that regret and detransition really are vanishingly rare outcomes. Moving forward, we must recognize detransitioners as survivors of iatrogenic harm and provide them with the personalized medicine and supports they require.

Many proponents of youth gender transition downplay regret as vanishingly rare (Astor, Citation2023; Coleman et al., Citation2022; McNamara, Lepore, & Alstott, Citation2022; Respaut, Terhune, & Conlin, Citation2022), and it’s easy to understand why: if young people can be mistaken about their gender identity and regret their decision to transition, then the diagnostic approach endorsed by many gender-affirming clinicians, which is based upon the premise that young people “know who they are,” (Ehrensaft, Citation2016, p.114) and adults should “[follow] their lead” (Ehrensaft, Citation2016, p. 54), is clearly failing some patients. The processes of differential diagnosis and clinical assessment that clinicians perform in all other patient encounters have been recast as unnecessary “gatekeeping” under the gender-affirming care model (Amengual, Kunstman, Lloyd, Janssen, & Wescott, Citation2022; Ashley, Citation2019; Cass, Citation2022). Many detransitioners report not receiving sufficient exploration of psychological and emotional problems before being offered hormones or surgery (Gribble, Bewley, & Dahlen, Citation2023; Littman, Citation2021; Pullen Sansfaçon et al., Citation2023; Vandenbussche, Citation2022). “Minority stress,” (i.e., the theory that external forces, such as sigma and discrimination related to gender non-conformity, are the drivers of co-occurring mental health problems) is often evoked to explain away self-harm, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and even autism (Coleman et al., Citation2022; Kingsbury, Hammond, Johnstone, & Colman, Citation2022; Rood et al., Citation2016; Turban & van Schalkwyk, Citation2018), despite evidence demonstrating high rates of mental illness and neurodiversity before the onset of gender-incongruence 

Source: Taylor & Francis Online

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