Sex-Change Treatment for Kids

As a mother she remembers the day it all changed, a shopping trip for shoes for her four year old son, Nick. Her son told her he felt like a little girl. They don't call their now-eight year old Nick anymore. And as a parent she is not alone. An increasing number of pre-adolescent children are vocal about their confusion over gender identity. And that's spurred a debate over when doctors might consider the use of puberty blocking and/or sex changing hormones. Today, we share one child's story and the wider dilemma on hormones.



Three of The Current

Sex-Change Treatment for Kids - Mother/Author

At an age when most children struggle to tie their shoes, some kids struggle with far knottier problems. A report in the medical journal Pediatrics argues many young children are confused over their gender identity. It says some of these kids could benefit greatly from treatments such as hormone therapy. It's a treatment that's typically used on much older people. But some doctors believe it may help children too young to be burdened by this much stress.

Our next guest knows how difficult it can be to have a young child who feels trapped in the wrong body. Jennifer Carr is the author of Be Who You Are and the mother of child named Hope. Jennifer Carr is her pen name and we have agreed to keep her real name private in order to protect her child's privacy.

Sex-Change Treatment for Kids - Psychiatrist

Our next guest believes many gender-confused children are ignored and desperately need proper treatment. Dr. Scott Leibowitz co-authored the report in the medical journal Pediactrics. He is a psychiatrist at the Children's Hospital Boston and an instructor in psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School. He was in Boston.

Sex-Change Treatment for Kids - CAMH, Gender Identity Service

Some doctors advise more caution when dealing with children confused about their gender. Dr. Kenneth Zucker is the Head of Gender Identity Service and the Psychologist-in-Chief at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and he was in Toronto.

This segment was produced The Current's Shannon Higgins.

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