Many transgender people choose to medically transition, undergoing procedures such as hormone therapy and face/chest/genital surgery. For those who choose to medically transition, these procedures can alleviate gender dysphoria and increase quality of life. There are some risks to medically transitioning, such as complications or wanting to detransition in the future. Transgender adults are capable of assessing these risks and comparing them to the potential social and mental health risks of not transitioning. On the other hand, letting transgender children and adolescents medically transition has been a controversial topic. Though trans minors generally only have access to puberty blockers and hormone treatments (minors are not allowed to get genital surgery, and other surgical interventions are rare), choosing to undergo these treatments is still a big decision with possible risks. Yet, the health benefits of medical transition for some trans people are undeniable.
No, transgender children and adolescents should not medically transitionShow moreShow less
There are risks and potentially irreversible consequences from medically transitioning. Children and adolescents are too young to make this decision.
There are many decisions that we don’t allow minors to make based on their lack of emotional and cognitive maturity. Making the choice to transition is life-altering and can have irreversible physical consequences. Children and adolescents are too young to make such big decisions, especially since younger people are more prone to changing their desires and identities than adults.
Medically transitioning can cause a variety of potentially irreversible physical changes, including changes in vocal pitch, body hair, breast development, and other physical characteristics. Thus, deciding to medically transition is a huge decision for a minor to make. On the topic of allowing minors to medically transition, the American Psychological Association has pointed out that children and adolescents frequently become “intensely focused on their immediate desires.” Adults, on the other hand, generally have the cognitive and emotional maturity to think more about their long-term desires and possible long-term consequences of their decisions, instead of acting on impulse to fulfill immediate desires. Thus, the American Psychological Association warns that children and adolescents may not be cognitively and emotionally developed enough to responsibly make life-altering decisions.