The New York Times printed a 2,867-word, six-photo, two-correction, one-video story on Tuesday celebrating the mutilation of 18-year-old teenage boys who have decided they want to live as women, despite biological reality.
There is no law that prevents doctors from removing or otherwise altering the reproductive organs of teenagers. The age minimum is essentially governed by insurers (and Medicaid), which generally refuse to pay for the practice on children under the age of 18.
Gay rights groups, such as Empire State Pride Agenda (“New York’s statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) civil rights and advocacy group”), are fighting to convince or force insurers and government insurance administrators to cover the radical practice for children. It’s easier to start then, gay rights groups argue, because the transition into an adult male or female is easier.
In the epic-length story, the human interest focus is on Katherine Boone, a male teenager from Cazenovia, N.Y., who now, thanks to cosmetic surgery, appears on the exterior to be a female teenager.
Boone, who was born a boy with the name Caden, first encountered the concepts of transgenderism and gender dysphoria while surfing the Internet — then self-diagnosed.
At 16, Boone chose the name Katherine and began identifying as a lesbian and receiving hormone injections to boost female appearance.
The Times interviewed Norman Spack, who is both a doctor at Boston Children’s Hospital and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. Spack explained that he first heard about Dutch doctors using hormone injections and puberty blockers on early adolescent children about 15 years ago.
“I was salivating,” he told the newspaper. “I said we had to do this.”
In its 2,867 words, the Times establishes little basis for Spack’s salivation. He has treated around 200 children since 2007, though, and the drugs (unapproved by the Food and Drug Administration) are very expensive, he noted.
The Paper of Record does not indicate how much money Spack has received for providing the services over which he was “salivating.”
Another doctor, Syracuse, N.Y.-area endocrinologist Irene Sills, suggested that teenagers are well-suited for medical treatments which will eventually alter their reproductive organs permanently.
“At 16 or 17, you are going to have such an easier life with this,” Sills assured the Times.
The Times devotes 110 — or 3.84 percent — of its 2,867 words to an interview with Johns Hopkins University Medical School psychiatry professor Paul McHugh, a skeptic of sex reassignment surgery for minors.
“We’re talking about children with a future ahead of them,” said McHugh, who was part of a group of professors that shut down a transgender surgery unit at John Hopkins more than three decades ago.
In a widely cited op-ed at The Wall Street Journal from a year ago, McHugh argued that transgender people of all ages suffer from a mental disorder as well as confusion and false assumptions related to the disorder.
“Other kinds of disordered assumptions are held by those who suffer from anorexia and bulimia nervosa, where the assumption that departs from physical reality is the belief by the dangerously thin that they are overweight,” McHugh observed.
“When children who reported transgender feelings were tracked without medical or surgical treatment at both Vanderbilt University and London’s Portman Clinic, 70%-80% of them spontaneously lost those feelings,” the psychiatrist also explained. “Some 25% did have persisting feelings; what differentiates those individuals remains to be discerned.”
McHugh also noted that Johns Hopkins shut down its sex reassignment center because, though patients called themselves “satisfied,” they ended up just as depressed and psychologically troubled as they had been prior to cosmetic surgery.
Most troublingly, suicide rates for people who had undergone surgical reassignment were dramatically higher than they were for “the comparable nontransgender population.”
Meanwhile Boone, the teenager whom the Times has extensively interviewed, promised “zero regrets” about the expensive, prolonged, invasive and permanent surgery.
“It’s a grand relief that something that’s been such a bother to her is finally gone,” Boone’s cheery father added.