Remember the James Younger custody battle in Texas late last year? A jury ruled that the seven-year-old boy’s mother could get the boy hormone therapy devised to help him transition into a female. All of this was against the will of the boy’s father, who contended that James was being forced into identifying as a girl by his activist mother.
Thankfully, the judge went against the jury’s ruling and disallowed the treatment. But stories like this motivated Idaho State Rep. Christy Zito (R-Hammett) to introduce House Bill 465, legislation that would protect children struggling with gender dysphoria from irreversible “treatments” intended to facilitate their gender transition.
Rep. Zito’s legislation would forbid mutilation of a child’s genitals for the purpose of “affirming” the child’s incorrect perception of their sex. Such procedures—which cause permanent sterility—include castration, hysterectomies, vaginoplasty, and the removal of the ovaries.
The legislation would also prohibit giving children cross-sex hormones that result in irreversible infertility and prevent normal biological development during puberty. Not incidentally, studies are indicating that these hormone therapies may be associated with serious long-term side effects.
Sex reassignment surgical procedures and hormone therapies cause permanent and irreparable harm to the minds, bodies, and reproductive organs of children. When clinical studies show that up to 94 percent of boys and 88 percent of girls overcome their gender dysphoria and accept their biological sex by the time they reach adulthood, it is essential that medical professionals don’t do harm to these children by making irreversible changes to their reproductive systems.
Furthermore, about two-thirds of gender dysphoric individuals suffer from other mental disorders, especially depression, specific phobia, and adjustment disorder. Many have experienced abuse and turmoil in their personal relationships and circumstances. This explains why children who transition to the other gender don’t experience a lasting increase in mental wellbeing. These kids need psychological and psychiatric help, not surgical removal of healthy body organs and treatments that cause infertility.
Children lack the life-experience and capacity for critical thinking necessary to make life-changing decisions that will cause serious health problems. That’s why society protects minors from getting tattoos, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and doing drugs. We have a moral obligation to extend those protections to medically unnecessary surgeries and hormone therapies that cause irreversible infertility and sterility.