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R4 Today programme have an item on later about children and gender dysphoria.

(161 Posts)
Iris65 Wed 01-Nov-17 07:00:56

Looking forward to hearing this.

Iris65 Wed 01-Nov-17 07:43:45

Excellent, measured and informative. Great stuff! Will post link to whole programme with time that the interview occurred.

IfYouGoDownToTheWoodsToday Wed 01-Nov-17 07:46:09

Just listened.
Ageee it was excellent! The first time I’ve heard a discussion about this and not wanted to scream in frustration.

JigglyTuff Wed 01-Nov-17 07:46:32

It was excellent wasn’t it?

Iris65 Wed 01-Nov-17 08:02:11

Opened with a brief interview with a young woman who had bought testosterone over the internet and had been injecting herself. She now had regrets because of the long term negative effects.

Lord Robert Winston (LRW) began by talking about the risk of children being treated too early because we haven't defined the problem. He made the point that prenatal hormones affect cognition and that we don’t understand the fundamentals. He went on to say that until we do we are taking a blunderbuss approach.

John Humphries (JH) asked How should parent react?

LRW answered that we need to be very gentle and involve experts.

JH turned to Professor Gary Butler (PGB) and asked what the extent of the problem is.

PGB. This is incredibly rare and seems to be around 1 in 20,000. However this is increasing but remains very rare. He then said there are two ranges, one group have gender dysphoria right from start (as soon as they can express themselves); but recently the biggest proportion is occurring at puberty. There are many factors and we have not untangled them yet.

LRW: The danger is that the brain redefining itself at puberty, going theough a period of sorting out identity (not just gender). Went on to say that there are real risks with gender reassignment: 40% of those who have vaginal construction have long term complications. Recent research shows that 23% of those who have their breasts removed are uncomfortable with having had it done. And of course infertility is a major risk. Many can feel quite badly damaged after this type of surgery. He considers this to be a warning sign.

PGB: Have to be terribly careful when working with this group. Help needs to be supportive, and educational. The focus in his clinic is on long term exploration of why and how children have these feelings. Clinic called gender identity development for this reason. He went on to say that only 1 in 20 of people seem in their clinic have gender reassignment. The more common treatment is hormonal puberty pause.

LRW: Puberty pause can have long term effects on reproductive function.

PGB: Vast majority consider fertility options, but what can be done depends on post code.

LRW: freezing eggs very unsuccessful, freezing sperm damaged, GR is not not reversible step.

JH: Are we moving too fast?

PGB: We are experiencing a flood of young people at the moment.

Iris65 Wed 01-Nov-17 08:04:49

I now expect Lord Robert Winston to be targeted by trans activists.

badbadhusky Wed 01-Nov-17 08:09:31

That sounds like a more evidence-based, thoughtful interview, particularly about long term consequences, than a lot of what has been broadcast before.

hipsterfun Wed 01-Nov-17 08:10:26

I’m sure he’ll give them short shrift.

Lottapianos Wed 01-Nov-17 08:10:59

Sounds entirely sane, thoughtful and rational. Exactly what we need more of in this debate

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Wed 01-Nov-17 08:12:20

It was good, wasn't it! We need more of this.

birdsdestiny Wed 01-Nov-17 08:17:19

This is the second programme recently on radio 4 that has looked at this issue in a measured way.

SolidarityGdansk Wed 01-Nov-17 08:28:03

At the risk of derailing....

I once went to a talk delivered by LRW when I was in my mid 30s single and childless.

He showed a slide with the fertility drop during a woman’s 30s and pulled no punches about why you can’t delay motherhood. I left very upset. (I went on to have kids by IVF in my early 40s)

Having heard him talk. I can imagine that he will show little tolerance for any intervention that reduces fertility.

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Wed 01-Nov-17 08:30:47

One day (I hope) some doctors and therapists are going to be facing malpractice lawsuits/being struck off. Don't read the text on attached image if you are squeamish (just saw it on Twitter). This makes me so angry.

Datun Wed 01-Nov-17 08:41:41



If you deliberately give a child drugs to stop their genitals developing, why is there such a surprise when it turns out there’s not enough material to create the facsimile of a vagina?

But, in a way, far worse than that, is the lack of sexual function.

It’s like cutting off a child’s leg and then being surprised that they can’t walk.

It’s that stupid.


Thanks for writing all that out.

QuentinSummers Wed 01-Nov-17 09:08:31

gaspode thats awful. Poor child sad

JigglyTuff Wed 01-Nov-17 09:19:27

A video of Jazz Jennings is doing the rounds of Twitter which is pretty much the same. The surgeon is talking about taking skin from Jazz’s torso to construct the new vagina and his face is heartbreaking

Datun Wed 01-Nov-17 09:27:24


So the whole point of creating a neo vagina from his torso is for aesthetics? He can’t have an orgasm from something created out of his torso.

Dear god.

Am I the only one who can’t help feeling that this is going to be explode in a heartbreaking, bloody mess very soon.

This kid and his entire family rely on the income that is generated from his condition.

He can’t just opt out.

And he is the poster child for everything trans. The advert. The best marketing tool they have.

The more I read about this kid, the more disgusted I am by these hateful people who promote child abuse.

BluthsFrozenBananas Wed 01-Nov-17 09:32:28

Gaspode, that is just heart breaking. The fact that this poor young person will go through life sterile and never enjoying a full loving relationship with another person as a result of a choice made in childhood is awful.

I’m interested in where the figure of one in 20,000 came from. Is that just the figure for children seeking treatment, because it feels to me that the figure is much higher than that right now.

I have two trans children in my wider circle, one presenting from very young and the other ‘coming out’ in their teens. I don’t know 40,000 children and I live in a very average place.

I know the plural of anecdote isn’t data, but most people I know either know or know of a trans child or teen in their community. The phenomenon of teenage girls claiming to be boys is well known enough for it to have been mentioned in last years Outnumbered Christmas special, and mentioned in such a way that it assumed a good portion of the audience would recognise it as a current teen trend.

hackmum Wed 01-Nov-17 09:37:59

I agree that in a few years' time there'll be a slew of lawsuits against the NHS and private doctors, and everyone will go: "How did we allow this to happen"?

It's so infuriating. It's like people who sort of knew about Jimmy Savile and yet didn't know at the same time.

Terrylene Wed 01-Nov-17 09:45:58

Thank you for writing it out, Iris. I no longer listen to Today (although I magically managed to catch their last half hour broadcast on the Gender free future confused on a brief, random visit!)

Hopefully having Robert Winston on will wake a few people up. He has done those programmes on children growing up and will carry weight with parents of teens these days as their children will be at that age. It also opens the way for proper debate without the #nodebate rubbish.

I hope CIN put their brains on and stop funding mermaids. You would think they would have learned something with saville and kids company and use their brains a bit hmm

JigglyTuff Wed 01-Nov-17 09:46:16

Link to the programme. Piece starts an hour and 35 minutes from the start

Will see if I can find the Jazz clip too

nauticant Wed 01-Nov-17 09:53:40

Here's the source of that snippet on twitter:

It is a difficult read and full of harrowing details. However, if you can stomach reading it, you will see that things might be more complicated than "puberty blockers means no sex reassignment surgery".

My main take away is that a variety of non-hormonal and non-surgical therapies must be available to give trans kids the option not to go down the drugs or the drugs and SRS routes.

JigglyTuff Wed 01-Nov-17 09:54:00

Terrylene Wed 01-Nov-17 09:54:34 For a bit of light relief, I have been reading this twitter feed. You will recognise the style ....

JigglyTuff Wed 01-Nov-17 09:54:48

Thanks Nauticant. That’s what I was looking for!

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