Two biological males who have undergone surgical castration and medical gender transition are sounding the alarm on the increase in children and teens identifying as transgender and the unalterable effects of the drastic decisions made at such young ages. Both speak about the extreme effect of social media and peer pressure on today's children and teens who seek these unalterable, permanent, and often destructive life choices.
An LA psychologist, who underwent medical procedures such as castration and facial feminization surgery, has facilitated hundreds of teens to medically and socially transition to live as the opposite sex told the Los Angeles Times that the practice has "gone too far."
Corrina Cohn, writing in the Washington Post, speaks about their regret at having undergone castration at the age of 19, and the creation of an opening to simulate a vagina. Cohn describes in detail "What I wish I’d known when I was 19 and had sex reassignment surgery."
Dr. Erica Anderson, a biological male who underwent their own gender transition well into adulthood at the age of 58, has fielded torrents of emails from parents who are concerned that their children are being pressured to undergo the dangerous medical procedures that have come to be known as "gender affirmative care."
The gender industry has taken such hold of the public conversation on the concept of children and teens who are gender-nonconforming that President Joe Biden issued a missive to all American parents to "affirm" their children. His administration has claimed that if parents don't do this, their children will die.
Anderson, 71, has begun questioning the medical gender transition of children and teens after having facilitated that process for hundreds of teens. Now Anderson believes that some children and teens are being unduly influenced and experiencing peer pressure to undergo transition.
Anderson believes that many children and teens do not receive adequate psychological care prior to starting down a medical path that leads to sterility and the loss of sexual function.
"I think it's gone too far," Anderson said. "For a while, we were all happy that society was becoming more accepting and more families than ever were embracing children that were gender variant. Now it's got to the point where there are kids presenting at clinics whose parents say 'This just doesn't make sense.'"
In 2018, Anderson told the Washington Post that "A fair number of kids are getting into it because it's trendy," and said further that "in our haste to be supportive, we are missing that element."
"To flatly say there couldn't be any social influence information of gender identity flies in the face of reality. Teenagers influence each other."
Anderson said that many teens present as transgender or gender non-conforming around the age when puberty hits, and that there's been many who showed no signs at all prior to that. This is a red flag to Anderson.
And it turns out that there is remarkably little data on how many children and teens have been encouraged to pursue medical gender transition. It's simply not tracked. The drug used to block puberty, Lupron, is used off-label to prevent natural puberty in children and teens. It has been used to chemically castrate sex offenders, and is not FDA approved for use in kids.
There are no long-term studies on the effects of prescribing cross-sex hormones to teens, though there are substantial medical issues with prolonged use of testosterone in girls and estrogen in boys. Bone density issues, organ atrophy, and permanent changes to their voice, hair growth, and secondary sex characteristics are only some of the issues faced by adults who began medical gender transition while minors and grew up to regret and try to reverse the effects.
In an op ed from Corinna Cohn in the Washington Post, Cohn discusses their own medical gender transition at the age of 19. Cohn, a male, underwent surgical castration and the creation of an opening where Cohn's penis once was.
Cohn did this against parents' wishes, and prior to having a first sexual experience. Now grown Cohn has no sex life, no relationships of physical intimacy, and has accepted that the desire to transition was the result of actually being a gay man.
"In terms of my priorities and interests today, that younger incarnation of myself might as well have been a different person — yet that was the person who committed me to a lifetime set apart from my peers," Cohn writes.
"I once believed that I would be more successful finding love as a woman than as a man, but in truth, few straight men are interested in having a physical relationship with a person who was born the same sex as them. In high school, when I experienced crushes on my male classmates, I believed that the only way those feelings could be requited was if I altered my body," Cohn writes, noting that in reality, they were likely not trans, but simply a gay man.
"The sacrifices I made seemed irrelevant to the teenager I was," Cohn writes, "someone with gender dysphoria, yes, but also anxiety and depression. The most severe cause of dread came from my own body. I was not prepared for puberty, nor for the strong sexual drive typical for my age and sex."
Cohn is sure that their choices at the age of 19 were not fully informed by the realities of adult life, and is now unable to have children, does not have an intimate, sexual relationship or partner, and will be a medical patient for the rest of their life.
"I must choose between the risks of taking exogenous estrogen, which include venous thromboembolism and stroke, or the risks of taking nothing, which includes degeneration of bone health. In either case, my risk of dementia is higher, a side effect of eschewing testosterone," Cohn writes.
Cohn was a virgin when, at the age of 19, Cohn underwent surgical castration.
"I mistakenly believed that this made my choice more serious and authentic. I chose an irreversible change before I’d even begun to understand my sexuality. The surgeon deemed my operation a good outcome, but intercourse never became pleasurable. When I tell friends, they’re saddened by the loss, but it’s abstract to me — I cannot grieve the absence of a thing I’ve never had," Cohn writes.
Cohn, like Anderson, sounds the alarm on the effects of social media and peer pressure on children and teens who seek to become the opposite sex. For Cohn, it has become clear that there is no medical way to become the opposite sex.
"What advice would I pass on to young people seeking transition?" Cohn posits. "Learning to fit in your body is a common struggle. Fad diets, body-shaping clothing and cosmetic surgery are all signs that countless millions of people at some point have a hard time accepting their own reflection. The prospect of sex can be intimidating. But sex is essential in healthy relationships. Give it a chance before permanently altering your body."
"Most of all, slow down. You may yet decide to make the change. But if you explore the world by inhabiting your body as it is, perhaps you’ll find that you love it more than you thought possible," Cohn concludes.
The gender industry would do well to heed the words of those who have undergone transition and have found, on the other side, that their bodies have been irrevocably altered and that the promise of transition, to live fully as the opposite sex was not actually possible.
Anderson and Cohn both insist that, for the good of children and teens, the gender industry should slow down and should not rush children and teens into making permanent life decisions before they've even had a chance to live it.