'We were wrong': Pioneer of child sex change experiments ADMITS kids are harmed by medical 'gender-affirmation'

"The long and short of it is that the decision was made at a time when these kids were just too young to really know how they were going to make this work. And that’s not fair."

Mia Ashton Montreal QC

A Canadian psychiatrist who was one of the early pioneers of the pediatric sex change medical experiment has spoken out against gender-affirming care and the use of puberty blockers and hormones for minors in an interview with the Daily Caller.

Dr. Susan Bradley, formerly of Toronto’s Clarke Institute, brought puberty blockers to Canada in 2005 when the treatment protocol was still in its experimental phase. Bradley had been running a pediatric gender clinic in the city since 1975, but prior to embarking on this reckless medical experiment, the clinic had only offered talk therapy to the minuscule number of youth it treated for gender-related issues.

Bradley, who is now retired and in her eighties, said she feels regret that the clinic participated in the puberty blockers experiment because she now believes the drugs help to cement a child’s gender confusion into the mind making it unlikely that the child will outgrow it. She is also concerned about the side effects of the drugs.

“We were wrong,” she told the Daily Caller. “They’re not as reversible as we always thought, and they have longer term effects on kids’ growth and development, including making them sterile and quite a number of things affecting their bone growth.”

“We thought that it was relatively safe, and endocrinologists said they’re reversible, and that we didn’t have to worry about it. I had this skepticism in the back of my mind all the time that maybe we were actually colluding and not helping them. And I think that’s proven correct in that, once these kids get started at any age on puberty blockers, nearly all of them continue to want to go to cross sex hormones,” said Bradley.

This phenomenon has been observed all over the world. In the past, most children would desist and become comfortable with their birth sex after puberty, but since the medical world adopted the affirmation approach, involving social transition, puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, almost all children continue to identify as transgender as they grow. Proponents of child sex changes argue that this is proof that the treatment pathway is necessary, but others, like Bradley, suggest that it is the treatment pathway itself that is causing the persistence in the transgender identity.

At their conception, puberty blockers were marketed as a fully reversible pause to give the child time to figure things out, but experts have since argued that they are a start switch for further medical transition, and the list of side effects is growing. From bone density and cognitive developments issues, to a rare but serious swelling of the brain, the drugs are no longer considered to be safe and fully reversible.

Before her retirement, Bradley had a long and distinguished career in the field of gender medicine. She opened the Clarke Institute of Toronto’s Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) in 1975, and she went on to become the head of Child Psychiatry at the Hospital for Sick Children and the psychiatrist-in-chief and head of the Division of Child Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.

According to Joseph Burgo, vice director of Genspect, Bradley’s opinion has the potential to change minds on this controversial politicised medical treatment.

“An opinion from someone like Dr. Bradley has enormous potential to influence debate because she is what Cass Sunstein has called a ‘surprising validator,'” Burgo told the Daily Caller. “It’s human nature to dismiss even well-reasoned arguments and credible evidence from those who are readily identified as on the other side, as ‘them’ — say, Republicans, or well-known ‘transphobes.’ But Dr. Bradley is a pioneer in the field and politically unaligned.”

“She does not argue that puberty blockers are never appropriate. Instead, she urges a cautious exploratory approach to gender distress based upon her decades of experience,” Burgo added. “When a professional who might have been expected to align with one side (affirmative care) issues a nuanced opinion and urges caution, it can help members of the public not to takes side against her, to polarize and dismiss her opinions, but instead to open their minds to alternative points of view. Surprising validators like Dr. Bradley can soften divisions and promote dialog even more than well-balanced presentations with arguments from both sides can do.”

While Bradley believes undergoing a medical sex change can be beneficial for some people, she questions how success is measured. She gave the example of a female patient who transitioned to live as a male, married and seemed happy and satisfied, but who later pursued the very risky and costly phalloplasty surgery, which involves a surgeon stripping the skin and flesh from a patient’s forearm or thigh and using it to create a non-functional appendage resembling a penis.

Bradley feels this was an indication that her patient, who seemed content and appeared very masculine, was never fully satisfied and was instead always pursuing further bodily improvements.

Bradley spoke of another patient who had transtioned to live as a woman only to transition back after starting a relationship with another man. Bradley says this caused her to reflect upon whether transition is really just about seeking acceptance for some patients.

“It made me realize that what we’re really talking about is acceptance that they need; we all need somebody who loves us,” she said. “And so it’s very complicated. There are people who make this work. But there are an awful lot of people who end up feeling that this hasn’t solved their problems with who they are and what they are … the long and short of it is that the decision was made at a time when these kids were just too young to really know how they were going to make this work. And that’s not fair.”

Bradley co-authored research showing that 87.8 percent of the boys referred to her clinic for gender-related distress eventually found comfort and desisted, meaning they stopped identifying as girls and accepted their male bodies.

Bradley has come to believe that most children who experience gender dysphoria are actually on the autism spectrum or suffering from borderline personality disorder, which she believes should be classified as part of the autism spectrum.

Autistic adolescents are prone to rigid and obsessive thinking and are more likely to experience body image issues. This puts them at particular risk of being seduced by gender identity ideology and more vulnerable to becoming convinced that they are members of the opposite sex and that a medical sex change will solve all their problems.

“You have to put yourself in the place of a 12 year old or a 13 year old, who is thinking, ‘This is my way to get normal,'” Bradley said. “These kids are not faring well with the current affirmative approach. I don’t know that any kids actually could, given the capacity of a 10 or 12, or even 14 or 15 year old to understand the complexity of the decision that they’re making on their long term sexual and life function. It just doesn’t make sense.”

After Bradley’s retirement, the Gender Identity Clinic was shut down after pressure from trans activists who accused the service of being transphobic for not affirming the transgender identities of the children it treated.

Stella O’Malley, a psychotherapist and founder of Genspect, is one of many experts to voice grave concerns about the gender-affirming model of care pushed by trans activists.

“Blocking the sexual development of children is a highly authoritarian intervention. Children are asexual, and so they can’t understand the impact of impaired sexual functioning,” O’Malley told the Daily Caller. “We are roughly 10 years into this large-scale experiment and already we have reports on issues with cognitive development, bone mineral density, and fertility. All the up-to-date evidence shows that puberty blockers are neither safe nor reversible.”


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