Gender Dysphoria and Puberty Blockers

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Categories: Gospel and Culture

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Good Morning and Welcome to this week’s Gospel and Culture update, by Alan Vink
Gender Dysphoria and Puberty Blockers
Tuesday 30th August 2022

Gender Dysphoria

According to the literature on Human Development, it is true that a small percentage of perfectly normal and healthy children may experience a short period during their pre-pubescent years or early teen years of some uncertainty perhaps even confusion about their biological sex. It rarely lasts longer than a few months. With the loving care and support of parents who understand that this sometimes is a young person’s experience and respond accordingly it very rarely progresses to Gender Dysphoria.

The DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) estimates that about 0.005% to 0.014% of people assigned male at birth and 0.002% to 0.003% of people assigned female at birth are diagnosable with gender dysphoria. Clearly this is a very very small number of people.

Puberty Blockers

GnRH Analogues is the most common medication used to block the onset of puberty. These drugs have been used on children since the 1980s for slowing down puberty if it happens too early or too quickly. A very small %age of children can start pubertal changes as early as 9 years of age. Currently, there’s sufficient evidence to show the drugs are safe and well-tolerated in children with early puberty. So traditionally there use was for genuine therapeutic reasons.

However, as we now know that has all changed in the last 10 years or so. Now children who are experiencing so called ‘gender dysphoria’ are often prescribed this medication. It has become the first medical intervention toward ‘transitioning’.

POV. Firstly, from my reading the term ‘Gender Dysphoria’ needs to be very carefully used. The better phrase is perhaps, gender uncertainty, if we need a term at all. Gender Dysphoria on the other hand according to psychiatrists and the DSM-5 is a mental health issue. It is also interesting to note that the medical literature almost always recommends, even insists, that a mental health expert is involved in any medical treatment of a young person for whom gender uncertainty persists.

2. The Bible is clear. The two ideas of sex and gender should NOT be separated as is the case amongst progressives these days. In other words according to God’s good creation sex and gender are one of the same. God has made us male or female. Any exception to this is sad but no different to any other birth abnormality.

3. This immutable truth that God has made us male and female should be taught in age appropriate ways and within a pastoral context in every church in NZ.

4. Children and young people who are having ongoing struggles with their sexual identity deserve kindness, empathy and support coupled with medical care from doctors who believe that people are ultimately the happiest when they are true to the person God has created them to be. God makes NO mistakes. Thankfully, there are plenty of such doctors in NZ.

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