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TAMPERE, Finland (ChurchMilitant.com) - An internationally respected expert on pediatric gender medicine proclaims most children who experience gender confusion will outgrow it.
Dr. Riittakerttu Kaltiala, professor of adolescent psychiatry at Tampere University, has encountered hundreds of children with gender dysphoria during her time at Finland's largest pediatric gender clinic. She affirms the medical community has known for a long time that certain children will at some point strongly identify as the opposite sex — but the feelings aren't permanent.
Four out of five children who identify as the opposite sex, according to Dr. Kaltiala, will feel differently after puberty. "That's why it's wise to monitor the situation, give the child peace of mind and treat the family's anxiety and possible related problems," she said.
Children who exhibit gender dysphoria often have other underlying mental problems, or sometimes developmental or learning challenges that need to be addressed, remarked Kaltiala in a recent interview. She further revealed three out of four of her patients have serious mental health issues.
A significant contributing factor to gender dysphoria's explosive growth is that impressionable adolescents begin to be influenced by media and social media platforms. Kaltiala explained these outlets suggest "a gender discrepancy" is the root cause of kids' struggles, which would resolve if others would see them as the "correct" gender. But the renowned psychiatrist refutes that, saying, "The balance of the mind does not come from making others do and see what you want."
In the United States, transgenderism among youth is growing at an alarming rate, with many major medical associations aiding it. Last week, an independent news service reported:
Even when it comes to patients under the age of 18, all major medical organizations back evidence-based gender-affirming care like therapy and medication that temporarily stops puberty. That includes the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Endocrine Society, among others.
The article went on to purport "[t]he scientific consensus is clear" when it comes to medical intervention for gender-confused people and that "it reduces suicidality and promotes well-being for transgender people." This assertion is echoed by many LGBT organizations and activists around the globe. But according to Dr. Kaltiala, it simply isn't true. She calls it "purposeful disinformation that is irresponsible to spread."
"Mentally healthy young people who experience their gender in a way that differs from their biological body are not automatically suicidal," according to Kaltiala.
The media often ignores statistics that show adults who've undergone hormone treatments and so-called sex reassignment surgeries for the purpose of transitioning are at an increased risk for suicide.
As Church Militant previously reported, ex-transgender Walt Heyer warned the U.S. Supreme Court in 2019 that transgender ideology is dangerous. Citing a clinical study in a brief submitted to the high court, Heyer and other former transgendered people said that following reassignment surgery, people experienced a three times higher-than-average rate of psychiatric hospitalization, a sharp increase in mortality and criminal convictions and a 19-fold increased risk for suicide.
Heyer told Church Militant, "Forty-one percent are known, who identify as transgender, are known to attempt suicide. Then, if they're younger, the ages 10 to 24, 50% of that population are known to attempt suicide."
Chloe Cole, a self-described tomboy with body image issues, reveals she readily accepted gender identity ideology introduced to her through social media. Her parents sought professional help for her when, at age 12, she began expressing a desire to be a boy. Chloe reports doctors told her parents they could either support their daughter's transition or be complicit in her suicide. Scared, they listened to the "medical professionals" and allowed the young girl to proceed with puberty blockers at age 13 and a mastectomy at age 15 — decisions soon regretted.
Today, Chloe mourns the loss of her ability to someday breastfeed her future children, adding "[A]t an age where everybody really naturally is prone to making some pretty rash decisions, I was allowed to make one that was permanent under the guidance of adults, medical professionals."
Dr. Kaltiala says when she began working at Tampere University in 2011, problems related to gender identity in young people were still rare, and those that existed were mostly among boys. Since 2015, she says the number of patients has increased tenfold, and nearly all of her patients are biological girls who became confused about their gender in their teen years.
No one really knows what will happen to these children who are forever placed on hormone-altering drugs. Last fall, Reuters reported:
Puberty blockers and sex hormones do not have U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for children's gender care. No clinical trials have established their safety for such off-label use. The drugs' long-term effects on fertility and sexual function remain unclear. And in 2016, the FDA ordered makers of puberty blockers to add a warning about psychiatric problems to the drugs' label after the agency received several reports of suicidal thoughts in children who were taking them.
This report aligns with a Finnish study that showed the psychological well-being of many minors who received hormonal treatment worsened. Dr. Kaltiala does not recommend any physical treatments for gender dysphoria before adulthood.
Last week, following months of debate, Finnish lawmakers passed an amendment that will soon allow people who have not had a psychiatric evaluation to legally "change their gender" by self-declaration. While the law applies to those 18 and older, much debate centered on extending the law to minors.
With many governments and medical officials clearing the way for gender-confused young people to permanently alter their bodies and futures, concerned adults are seeking more voices of reason. One rising up from the cacophony is Dr. Kaltiala. She reminds parents to calmly acknowledge their children's feelings without attempting to find "quick solutions to remove all their pain that comes with youth."
She insists children have a special right to care and protection, saying, "That's why they also can't immediately get everything they want right now."