‘I Helped Pioneer It’: Influential Gender Identity Doctor Sounds Alarm On ‘Dangerous’ Sex Change Treatments For Kids

Not from the story. (CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images)

Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
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Adolescent psychiatrist and gender identity expert Dr. Riittakerttu Kaltiala has come out against so-called “gender-affirming care” in a Monday essay for The Free Press.

Kaltiala, who describes herself as a “pioneer” of irreversible sex change treatments for kids, was appointed in 2011 as the chief psychiatrist to head up a gender identity clinic at Finland’s Tampere University Hospital. Kaltiala has since overseen the medical transition of over 500 adolescents, according to the brief bio in her essay.

“Even so, I had some serious questions about all this,” Kaltiala writes about the pediatric gender clinic’s founding. “We were being told to intervene in healthy, functioning bodies simply on the basis of a young person’s shifting feelings about gender. Adolescence is a complex period in which young people are consolidating their personalities, exploring sexual feelings, and becoming independent of their parents.”

Kaltiala said she was surprised that the patients who flocked to her new clinic were mostly girls with “severe psychiatric conditions.” Many came from difficult family situations and a history of developmental difficulties, while still more were on the autism spectrum. (RELATED: Doctors Are Giving Gender Confused Children ‘Puberty Blockers’ Used To Castrate Sex Offenders)

“Remarkably, few had expressed any gender dysphoria until their sudden announcement of it in adolescence. Now they were coming to us because their parents, usually just mothers, had been told by someone in an LGBT organization that gender identity was their child’s real problem, or the child had seen something online about the benefits of transition,” she writes.

Kaltiala and some colleagues conducted a study out of Finland which challenged the Dutch studies that inspired much of the current medical establishments’ pediatric guidance for gender dysphoric kids. The paper raised “serious questions” about the wisdom of pediatric sex change procedures by looking at the patients Kaltiala saw at her clinic.

The Finnish Heath Authority in 2021 backed psychotherapy, instead of irreversible puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, as the first medical treatment gender dysphoric individuals should receive. (RELATED: ‘We Were Wrong’: Pioneer In Child Gender Dysphoria Treatment Says Trans Medical Industry Is Harming Kids)

“[E]ight years into the opening of the pediatric gender clinic, some previous patients started coming back to tell us they now regretted their transition. Some — called ‘detransitioners’ — wished to return to their birth sex. These were another kind of patient who wasn’t supposed to exist. The authors of the Dutch protocol asserted that rates of regret were miniscule,” Kaltiala writes.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reportedly rejected panels led by Kaltiala which would’ve urged Europe’s medical establishment to move away from advocating for cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers for kids.

A case manager at the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital said in February that doctors rushed children into puberty blockers and irreversible sex-change procedures at the facility. Jamie Reed, who identifies as “queer” and is married to a transgender man, detailed how, in one case, a mother of a 11-year-old “tomboy” brought her daughter in for irreversible sex change treatments. When the girl’s father objected to his daughter’s transition, a judge sided with the mother after a hospital worker testified against him.

Reed’s allegations have prompted an investigation into the clinic by Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, who said in a statement that his office is “thoroughly investigating to make sure children are not harmed by individuals who may be more concerned with a radical social agenda than the health of children.”