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Ellen Friedrichs

Should Transgender Teens Be Allowed to Have Sex Reassignment Surgery?

By August 2, 2009

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Last October, a few days after she turned 16, a German teen named, Kim Petras had sex reassignment surgery. Born Tim, (Kim who has a career as a pop star in her native country), is thought to be the youngest person ever to have this surgery.

But is it too young? At first glance many would argue that it is. (In fact, until her surgery, German law, like many across the world, required that individuals be at least 18-years-old before sex reassignment surgery. Kim's situation changed that). It is often assumed that young people may not be mature enough to make permanent decisions about their bodies or that kids are too young to identify as transgender. However, many trans people report having known they were born into the wrong body from their earliest days.

Many professionals actually support earlier interventions for trans kids, and studies have found that adolescents who started hormone therapy as teens, had fewer psychological problems than people who started transitioning in adulthood.

Still, situations like Kim's are rare, and most trans teens who want surgery end up having to wait far after their eighteenth birthdays to obtain it.

What do you think. Should trans teens be able to have sex reassignment surgery before they are 18?

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Image (c) Kim Petras

August 3, 2009 at 12:45 pm
(1) LindaMarie says:

The answer I have is “yes” with Parental consent.
Once the teen is out of the Parental consent box..
They can have the decision to make,without Parent consent ~but go through Therapy before making that decission.

August 3, 2009 at 4:05 pm
(2) Tori says:

Absolutely, with parental consent, and after review and approval of a psychologist/psychiatrist

August 3, 2009 at 4:19 pm
(3) Claire says:

Surgeons did it for decades on infants without so much as informed consent from the parents… why not on teens who request it?

August 4, 2009 at 2:51 am
(4) Nancy says:

At least allow the teens to hold off on puberty. Giving a testosterone agonist to MtoF teens will forestall beards and voice lowering; giving an estrogen agonist to FtoM teens will prevent menstruation and so allow height to keep going instead of stopping so soon and delay hip widening. Later decisions for full SRS will be much easier, or their birth gender puberty can resume if they so choose.

August 13, 2009 at 2:08 am
(5) carolyn says:

I am transsexual myself. If I had been allowed to transition in my teens, I would have save a lot of pain and hurt to myself and others.

I am ALL for it!!! Finally the times are changing.

January 2, 2010 at 11:43 am
(6) Kat Kristen says:

Yes they should. Opposing it with unsubstantiated ‘theories’ and other cultural tricks of the trade simply causes more stress for all concerned.

April 1, 2010 at 3:33 pm
(7) Britt says:

Yes! So people like don’t have to suffer in a body we don’t belong in. I feel like I’m going miserable and mad, waiting for two more years just to get the sex change I need. I HATE being a female and it’s killing me, it depresses the hell out of me, I’m 16 too, and I would love to have that sex change right about now, I’d be ready any day, now I have to wait til I’m 18, as I reach there, I’m making sure to get it right away, because I can’t wait anymore. I’ve been thinking of it since I was 12 and everyday even up to this day, people say I’d grow out of it, but I’m two years close to 18 and I’m 16 now, I first thought of this at 12, now I know what I need and how much it’ll cost, I know I won’t grow out of it

October 27, 2010 at 10:27 am
(8) tim goley says:

I believe that most children know when they are three or four (or earlier) whether they are male or female. If the child and the parents want the surgery, it should be done. I believe the postponing of the surgery is most often a result of preserving the status-quo in society rather than reflective of any real concern for those involved in transgender situations. Gender is clearly an important identifier of who we are; how long should one have to wait to be who they know themselves to be in their mind and heart?

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