• Sun, Jan 24 2010

Sex Change: How Young Is Too Young?

If your teen came to you and said that he or she felt that their sex was wrong, that they identified more with the opposite sex, how do you think you would handle it? Of course, such a question isn’t fair because it’s highly unlikely there weren’t any signs earlier in the child’s life.

chirurgThere have been stories in the news about children trying to attend school as a member of the opposite sex. Parents of these children have been both attacked and praised for their decisions to allow their cross-gendered children to live in the way they feel is right for them. But allowing a child to live as a member of the opposite sex and allowing him or her to have gender reassignment surgery are two different things. One is not permanent, the other is.

So, that begs the question, if you were supportive of your child’s need to change sex, how young would be too young to have a sex change operation?  21? 18? 16? Before puberty?

A family in the United Kingdom has made that decision for their child who will be having surgery to complete a transition into being a girl. The teen, who is 16 years old, has been granted permission by the National Health Trust, who pays for medical and surgical care in the UK, to have the surgery costs covered.

There will likely be a hue and a cry from some people because the UK, as with other countries that have socialized medicine, is struggling with rising healthcare costs and more people needing the care. Some people may feel that if the surgery is privately funded, then “to each his or her own,” but when public money is used, that’s a different matter.

According to this Telegraph article, Teenager set to become Britain’s youngest sex-change patient, this quote likely says it all:

“I know people might say horrible things like the money could be better spent on other things. But this is my life, and it won’t be worth living unless I have that operation.”

What do you think?

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