We call for an enquiry into the medicalisation of children with gender dysphorias

Children under 18 should not be given puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, or gender reassignment surgery in order to change the appearance of their biological

The Party is calling on the incoming Government to enact legislation that would prevent the harm being done to children by the unregulated and widely promoted transgender practices occurring right now.

A first step could be a full enquiry into the medicalisation of children with gender dysphoria.

It is a fact that some people behave in ways that do not conform to the gender expectations established in society, rejecting some or all stereotypical gender role behaviours is gender non-conformity, and this is to be respected.

Where the Women’s Rights Party draws the line is with medical interventions such as puberty blockers, which are prescribed for children experiencing what is termed ‘gender distress’ or ‘dysphoria’.

A Terrible Trap

Otago University researcher Charlotte Paul outlined in the December issue of North and South how once children start down a path of puberty blocker medication, they invariably progress to lifetime use of cross-sex hormones.

In her article titled “A Terrible Trap”, Dr Paul wrote that while many countries were reviewing and restricting the use of puberty blockers and hormones, New Zealand is becoming more of an outlier in our increasing use of these medications.

“In 2022, 416 young people aged 12-17 were taking puberty blocking hormones, compared with 48 in 2011, the first year of use for gender dysphoria.”

– Charlotte Paul

This figure 11 times the use in England.

the principle of “informed consent” has serious limitations in relation to children as, for example, it is not possible for children to comprehend the full long-term negative effects of reduced sexual function and infertility.

But it doesn’t end there. Next is the surgery; in female-born young women, this can mean a double mastectomy, euphemistically called “top surgery”. “Bottom surgery” is available for both female-born women, as well as males and can cause major, life-long health problems, sterility and lack of sexual pleasure.

Dr Paul warns against laws to regulate medical practice; instead calling on our health agencies, the Health and Disabilities Commission, the Medical Council and the Ministry of Health, to show leadership and to take action.

The Women’s Rights Party also sees a role for politicians to legislate a ban on prescribing of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for children under
18 who present with gender dysphoria. The Party also calls for restriction of gender reassignment surgery until over the age of 18.

Psychological support, not hormones, are increasingly recognised internationally as the appropriate treatment for adolescents who suffer gender distress who may also have mental health conditions, or autism. Others may be lesbian or gay.

It is not hard to foresee in future a Royal Commission that seeks to lay blame and provide compensation for the harm currently being done to children and young people by clinicians.

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