Which to believe

Jo Bartosch on Mermaids in 2020:

Mermaids advertises itself simply as a support service for children, young people and families. But there is a political dimension to it. Its recommendations to government include: the right of children to take legal action, without parental consent, against schools which do not refer to them by their chosen names and pronouns; the provision of hormone-replacement therapy for children under 16; and the fast-tracking of appointments and physical interventions for pubescent young people.

I assume “appointments” in that last clause means medical consultations.

It is understandable that a child who knows him or herself to be different might latch on to the idea that he or she really is the opposite sex. At secondary school, Green’s child Jackie wore a girls’ uniform and long hair. After Jackie was bullied, and became depressed, Green turned online for support and found a US-based doctor, who was willing to prescribe drugs to delay puberty – so-called puberty-blockers, or hormone-blockers, which were unavailable for off-label use in the UK at the time. According to Green, the treatment was both ‘life-changing and life-saving’, and she unequivocally stands by her position, arguing that ‘medical intervention is very important, especially for teenagers who are already in puberty’.

Which is odd given the fact that Susie Green doesn’t know that medical intervention is the best thing for all teenagers who claim to be trans, not just now but for the next fifty or seventy years as well. She can’t know that, because it’s too new. Teenagers want and think they need a lot of things that they won’t want or think they need when they’re 25 or 35 or 50. It’s bizarrely reckless for Green to be so confident about such an extreme remedy with such a tiny evidence base.

[T]he safety of such drugs has been questioned by experts, including Oxford professor Michael Biggs who, following his investigation into the use of blockers by the NHS Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), revealed that far from alleviating distress, ‘puberty-blockers exacerbated gender dysphoria’. After a year of treatment, reported Biggs, there was ‘a significant increase’ in patients who had been born female self-reporting that they ‘deliberately try to hurt or kill’ themselves.

Ok but other than that

Philip Pullman today:

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