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Doctor Who Pioneered Transgender Treatments For Children Speaks Out

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A Finnish psychiatrist, Dr. Riittakerttu Kaltiala, who previously led a gender clinic for youth, is now warning about the dangers of medicalizing gender-distressed children.

She expressed concerns about the “affirming” model of transgender treatment and the risks of affirming children’s new gender identities without thorough evaluation.

Kaltiala observed that many of the patients at the clinic had severe psychiatric conditions, family issues, and were on the autism spectrum.

She noticed that the lives of the young people receiving hormone treatments were deteriorating, leading to social isolation.

Kaltiala also criticized American medical societies, particularly the American Academy of Pediatrics, for promoting the “affirming” model.

“I had some serious questions about all this,” Kaltiala said of the “affirming” model being used.

“We were being told to intervene in healthy, functioning bodies simply on the basis of a young person’s shifting feelings about gender,” Kaltiala wrote.

“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 said.

Not long after the clinic started offering the gender treatments, Kaltiala noted that the “miracle we had been promised was not happening.”

“What we were seeing was just the opposite,” Kaltiala said. “The young people we were treating were not thriving. Instead, their lives were deteriorating.”

She emphasized the need for caution and individualized approaches in treating gender dysphoria.

“I have been particularly concerned about American medical societies, who as a group continue to assert that children know their ‘authentic’ selves, and a child who declares a transgender identity should be affirmed and started on treatment,” she added.

“When medical professionals start saying they have one answer that applies everywhere, or that they have a cure for all of life’s pains, that should be a warning to us all that something has gone very wrong,” she wrote.

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