Notes on a medical scandal
We may never know how many children in Britain have been damaged by thoughtless, if well-intentioned, gender-affirming medicine
In 1998, Dutch clinicians revealed the existence of “B”, a “female-to-male transexual” who, at the age of 13, had her puberty blocked by drugs prescribed by a paediatric endocrinologist and who was now, at the age of 16, demanding sex reassignment surgery. As Hannah Barnes relates in “Time to Think: The Inside Story of the Collapse of the Tavistock’s Gender Service for Children”, “This was the first known case of a young person having their puberty blocked before 16 for the purposes of treating gender-related distress”.
“When” as the Dutch put it, “no psychological obstacles remained” B was deemed eligible for cross-sex hormones as a precursor to sex-change surgery. Aged 18, B began taking hormones and subsequently had her breasts and ovaries removed. A year later, the Dutch reported that B reported “no gender dysphoria at all” and “never felt any regrets about his decision and had never contemplated to live as a girl”.
By the turn of the century, B’s experience had become a prototype…