Children and Adolescents
Globally, the mainstream of treatment for transgender people adopts the affirmative approach. Simply speaking, to transgender children (including those who feel anxious about their own genders), this approach holds an affirmative attitude toward their feelings; at the same time, to prevent these children from hurting themselves or even committing suicides, it gives them puberty blockers and hormone medicines as soon as it can.
However, the causes of gender dysphoria are complicated and the syndromes may stop developing till those children become adults. Also, gender reassignment treatment may not cure every patient’s gender dysphoria.
After the affirmative approach was adopted, the number of patients of gender dysphoria increased rapidly. The underage people received their gender reassignment treatment without a proper evaluation. The number of people who stopped their transitions (aka detrans) were growing. However, the effects produced by gender reassignment treatment are irreversible and permanent.
In TAPCPR’s 2018 Forum, a psychiatrist, Mu-Hong Chen, has encouraged that gender care can be offered to 2-year-old kids. He also has suggested that HRT can be offered to underage people.
The psychiatrist, Zhi-Yun Xu, has been collaborating with Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR) for a long time. (Xu is an attending physician of MOHW’s Kinmen Hospital and adjunct attending physician of NTU Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry. He is an ex-Dean of TTHA.) Xu admitted that he gave puberty blockers to a 5th grade student who had gender dysphoria.
Source: “Gender Dysphoria in Children and Adolescents—Literature Review”
Source: The Agenda of 2019 Seminar on Adolescent Medicine
Taiwan FactCheck Center says Ministry of Education does not encourage children to undergo medical transition but also says its Sports Administration is following FINA's before-12-year-old restriction
On 8 Nov. 2022, Taiwan FactCheck Center responded to a piece of news—“The Ministry of Education advertises gender reassignment surgeries for children below 12! Our boys are encouraged to cut off their genitals!” It said that the Ministry of Education did not encourage minors to undergo medical transition. It explained that it was the Sports Administration (of the Ministry of Education) has followed the FINA’s transgender policy excluding the boys who do not undergo medical transition before 12. It also said that the Department of Medical Affairs of the Ministry of Health and Welfare bans minors from receiving bottom surgeries except for medical necessity. In its conclusion, the news is a rumor targeting the gender equality policy allowing trans athletes to compete in women’s sports.
In fact, in “The Pilot Project: Trans student athletes’ participation in 2023 National University and College Athletic Games (NUCAG) “, the Sports Administration has clearly stated that all the relevant regulations will be consistent with the ones of international federations. Apparently, its regulation (allowing the boys who undergo medical transition before 12 to participate in women’s sports) will more or less give legitimacy to medical transition for minors.
Does the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association (TTHA) know what "puberty blockers" are?
The Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association (TTHA) argued on its Facebook page that “puberty blockers” are harmless by quoting the WPATH’s 2022 handbook. It claimed that trans children should be provided with those kinds of medicines to “postpone/ suppress” puberty. It explained that by doing so, trans children could have more time to think about their gender identities or avoid irreversible physical development (especially for their primary sexual characteristics) which would cause lifelong anxieties about their bodies. It promoted the use of puberty blockers as an important therapy for trans-identified children.
The TTHA also noted that using puberty blockers requires interdisciplinary medical professionals’ rigorous evaluation and guardians’ informed consent with the Ministry of Health and Welfare beginning to make relevant regulations. It condemned that anti-trans groups should not stop health professionals from providing this puberty suppression therapy otherwise trans children will be deprived of their rights to medical care.
Nevertheless, according to the Reuters and New York Times, the number of American teenagers diagnosed with gender dysphoria has surged in the past 15 years while reports about the influences of puberty blockers and sex hormones on children are still hard to find. Further, puberty blockers and sex hormones do not have U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for children’s gender care. Lack of long-term evaluation leads to the result that parents are stressed by gender clinics and children are pushed to undergo medical transition. In recent years, the governments like Finland and Sweden began to restrict the use of such medicine after more and more detrans teenagers appeared. Those governments realized that medical transition did not help and could even cause other physical and mental problems for the children diagnosed with gender dysphoria.