WORRIES ABOUT the use of puberty blockers, which are prescribed to some children to prevent the development of secondary sex characteristics (like breasts and facial hair) have been mounting in much of the rich world. Some countries have scaled back their use. Not America. Doctors who work in transgender clinics routinely claim that prescribing such drugs is conservative, because their effects are largely reversible, and compassionate, because they save children with gender dysphoria (the feeling of being in the wrong body) from enormous distress.
That may be beginning to change. Last week Abigail Shrier, a writer, published interviews in “Common Sense With Bari Weiss”, a newsletter, with two transgender health-care professionals who suggested that some doctors were irresponsible in the way they treated children. The women, both trans, are on the board of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), which endorses the use of blockers early in puberty in some cases. Though blockers are often described as operating like a pause button, most children prescribed them go on to cross-sex hormones. This combination can have irreversible consequences, including sterility and the inability to orgasm.