Other countries should learn from a transgender verdict in England

The high court ruled that children cannot give informed consent to treatment that may render them sterile

What should you do if a 12-year-old girl says: “I am a boy”? If the answer were simple or obvious, the question would not be so explosively controversial. A good place to start, if you are a parent, is to affirm that you love the child. It should go without saying, too, that no child should be bound by gender stereotypes. Boys can wear dresses; girls can play with cars, or become plumbers. The question gets much harder, however, when children say they hate their body and want a different one. Gender dysphoria (a feeling of alienation from one’s natal sex) is real, and the proportion of children and adolescents diagnosed with it in rich countries is rising for reasons that are poorly understood (see article). One school of thought, which has spread rapidly, is that you should agree with youngsters who identify as transgender, and offer them medical interventions, if they ask for them, to help their bodies match what they regard as their true selves.

Les mer i The Economist