The German Position on treatment of gender variant youngsters

There have been media articles in Germany, the UK and the USA about Kim, a 14 year old German adolescent, with profound and persistent gender dysphoria (male to female), who is undergoing endocrine intervention to suspend puberty. This appears not to be an isolated case.

When Kim turned 12 and puberty started, there was some anxiety and panic at the prospect of the male puberty process continuing. There were concerns that the lower voice and facial hair growth that come along with male puberty could have been traumatic for her. She was increasingly distressed at becoming like other adult transsexuals, with big hands and deep voices, who she thought looked ridiculous when they dress like women.

In accordance with German law, two independent psychiatrists were consulted on the case; they considered Kim’s situation so profound that both recommended that treatment should proceed.

One of those psychiatrists was Dr Bernd Meyenburg, the head of the clinic for children with identity disturbances at Frankfurt University. He has studied transsexualism since the 1970s. He now allows young patients to enter hormone treatment early, before puberty complicates a sex change. “They simply suffer less,” he said.

Dr. Achim Wösthof, the pediatric endocrinologist who oversees Kim’s endocrine treatment, is affiliated with the Endokrinologikum Center in Hamburg.

At age 16, Kim underwent gender confirmation surgery. World’s youngest sex-change operation — Daily Telegraph, February 4, 2009

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