Going down the transgendered path is not only not a sure “cure” for gender dysphoria, it is actually very risky to mental health. Research has shown that those who live as the opposite sex into adulthood are especially affected by the high rate of mental health problems that affect non-heterosexuals. Transgendered people have a lifetime suicide rate more than eight times higher than the general population. For adults who have had sex-reassignment surgery, the figure jumps to a staggering 19 times.
The lack of social acceptance of those living as the opposite sex and rejection from their families (social stress) are often cited as the reason transgender people suffer so disproportionately from mental health problems and suicide. Scientific research, however, does not show that stigma and prejudice can account for these disparities.
The mother suing in Minnesota may not have all this research at her fingertips. But she may know some of the risks her child is running by choosing the hormones and surgery to treat his gender dysphoria. Her son will have to take high-dose estrogen for life to develop breasts, a high voice, and other secondary female characteristics. This drug significantly increases the risk of blood clots, stroke, dementia, invasive breast cancer, and heart attack. Genital amputation, of course, is not reversible, and cosmetic repairs are just that: repairs. Infertility, which to a 17-year-old boy may not seem like a big deal, is irreversible.