I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss a topic that gets too much of the wrong publicity and inaccurate messaging: gender dysphoria. Adolescence is a time of emotional upheaval and lability. Teens struggle with the formation of their emerging identity and independence. They are more influenced by their peers at this stage, and yet continue to need and desire adult guidance. Adolescence is a tumultuous yet exhilarating time of development and discovery. It can also be fraught with confusion and insecurity. All of which is normal.
Gender dysphoria is currently trending among adolescent boys and girls. It is a real issue, but it is usually not the only issue that an individual is dealing with. Given that teens are developing physically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally, there are many different factors in the life of every individual that have a role in how they navigate these challenges.
I’m with the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine (https://segm.org) whose “objectives include evaluating current interventions for gender dysphoria, providing balanced evidence summaries, promoting the development of effective and supportive psychosocial approaches for the care of young people with gender dysphoria and generating good, answerable questions for research.”
“Young people with gender dysphoria deserve respect, compassion, and high quality care. Please join us in our mission to promote evidence-based care for children, adolescents, and young adults that prioritizes life (i.e. measures of mortality), quality of life, long-term outcomes, and fully informed consent. SEGM is free from political, ideological, religious, or financial influences.”
There are of course books written about adolescent development and psychology. I don’t presume to have all the answers, but I do promise to listen and guide and seek what’s best for the teen and family together regarding their identity and formation. If you or someone you know is struggling in this area, please do get in touch with us at RHSMC.