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Puberty blocker ruling won’t cure Scotland’s gender problem

Trans rights activists protest in Edinburgh last year. Credit: Getty

April 19, 2024 - 7:00am

So it turns out that Scottish children are no more suitable for medical experimentation than English ones. Yesterday NHS Scotland responded to the Cass Review by pausing the prescription of puberty blockers for gender-confused children and — in a move that goes further than its English counterpart — halting cross-sex hormones for under-18s.

This is a tremendous relief and, to some of us, a surprise. As Dr Hilary Cass noted, evidence-based care for vulnerable children has been disrupted by those who prefer “a social justice model”. Being in favour of the sterilisation of autistic and gay children — or “protecting trans kids”, as it’s been known — has long been a way to advertise one’s right-side-of-history credentials. It has also, in the eyes of certain Scottish politicians, been a way to indicate that one’s own country is young, progressive, and forward-looking, rather than mired in stuffy old principles such as “child safeguarding”.

It would have been a tragedy if, yet again, adults were permitted to sacrifice the health and future wellbeing of children for the sake of their own egos. Even so, the announcement on the Sandyford Gender Service website leaves a lot to be desired. There’s no shame, no apology, seemingly no awareness that if you are indeed lacking “evidence of safety and long-term impact” for the therapies you have already been prescribing, you are complicit in doing harm. The language is oh-so-neutral.

Apparently, none of this means practitioners are not “committed to providing the best possible clinical care”. It’s just pure coincidence that even someone like me, with no medical qualifications, suspected that there was a problem years ago. There are only so many videos of homophobic mothers describing the “fixing” of their children that a person can tolerate (let’s be honest: it should only take one).

There is progress here, certainly. Thanks to this belated return to ethical standards, some children who would have been harmed will be able to grow and thrive. Right now, however, many of them will not want to. The thought of being “forced” to go through the “wrong” puberty must be terrifying them. If the adults around you have spent most of your life affirming your own sense of wrongness, then how could the Sandyford decision seem anything other than barbaric? You’ve been told — by organisations visiting your school, by books in your school library, by teachers, parents and doctors — that the way you feel and behave is incompatible with the sex you have been “assigned”. Why, then, should anyone be barring your only escape?

The problem is not just that evidence-based medicine was abandoned in favour of cultural trends. Any return to basic standards has to go hand-in-hand with a serious critique of the culture. On the same day the Sandyford decision was announced, it was reported that “LGBT champions” are visiting primary schools in Scotland to teach children as young as four about gender identity. That is, to teach them that if they are gender non-conforming they may in fact be the opposite sex — there is no real “championing” of LGB in this entire enterprise.

It is not possible to reform “gender medicine” without addressing the incoherence, bigotry and cruelty of this ideology. Gender-variant children have always existed, usually growing up to be lesbian or gay. The “trans child” was constructed to validate trans-identified adult men and appease homophobic parents, before being championed by individuals more interested in appearing cutting-edge than engaging in the poorly-rewarded, unglamorous work of putting children first.

It is too late for those who were complicit to say they didn’t know. Now we must create an environment in which children bullied into fearing their own physical development can start to feel safe again. It’s time for the bullies to get out of the classroom and off the bookshelves. Back off and let these children grow.


Victoria Smith is a writer and creator of the Glosswitch newsletter.

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Simon James
Simon James
1 month ago

I agree, and we merely require the complete overthrow of the Liberal progress narrative in order to make this happen.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon James

Exactly, so let’s accept this as a small victory, and keep pressing. The trans insanity is just one part of a bigger, ongoing worldwide project to eliminate the individual and subject us to the dictates of the transhumanists. Katharine Maher’s public pronouncements spell it out very clearly. Massive civil disobedience is needed.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
1 month ago
Reply to  Studio Largo

You have the trans insanity.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon James

No such thing is involved. I am supposing your mother won the Derby?

Robert White
Robert White
1 month ago

This is telling it like it is: ‘Being in favour of the sterilisation of autistic and gay children — or “protecting trans kids”, as it’s been known — has long been a way to advertise one’s right-side-of-history credentials.’
In 20 years’ time people will be just as appalled by this whole saga as we rightly are today at the scandal of tests being performed on haemophiliac children, with terrible consequences for them.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert White

In 20 years time people will be as appalled by the likes of you as they are now, at those who wanted the “Whites Only” signs to stay up, and I trust you will look to my other comments and replies here to know why.

2 plus 2 equals 4
2 plus 2 equals 4
1 month ago

There should be a full public enquiry as to how a clinical pathway for children involving hormone blockers and amputation of healthy body parts, for which there was no credible evidence base and, apparently, no attempt at longitudinal follow up was introduced and allowed to run for years.

Xaven Taner
Xaven Taner
1 month ago

Well that would certainly be a effective way of kicking the whole thing into the long grass. How about we opt for something more radical, show trials? Or something like a people’s tribunal, where those who advocated for this stuff get to try and convince ordinary folks that they shouldn’t be tarred and feathered.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
1 month ago
Reply to  Xaven Taner

Uhuh. Sure.

Simon Phillips
Simon Phillips
1 month ago

I suspect that will only happen once the upcoming blizzard of lawsuits have been dealt with and the monetary cost of this madness has been realised.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon Phillips

What blizzard? It’s still only the bare handful consistent with only about 1 in 10 “regretters” or “false positives” feeling strongly enough about it to sue, so, about 1 in 500,000 people at most. Really only less than 20 I know of in the whole Western world.
That does not a blizzard or “backlash” make.
The UK has a population of about 67.6 million. You need about 1,500 in such suits just to have the <1% who are false positives for recommended medical gender transition to all be in on it. If I recall you have less than 10.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
1 month ago

Here’s the funny thing — not one word you said about it is true, and Hillary Cass herself agrees with me. I suggest you read, flow the links in, and digest my lead comment here today beginning with:

It turns out even Cass feels there is no such thing about it as “experimentation” to blockers or gender affirming care.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
1 month ago

We now live in a world of bullying dressed up as inclusivity and anti-‘oppression ‘.

Just look at the behaviour of some Muslim parents at that school where they started ostentatiously praying in the playground. Apparently they’ve had bricks through the windows, threats to the head and teachers, and a petition has been got up to get rid of probably the best school head in London. All in the name of diversity and equality, naturally.

Look at antifa, look at the ecological maniacs. Look at the ‘hate-crime’ legislation.

As a society, if we’re not to be doomed, we seriously need to grow back some b******s (not the transwomen obvs – they’ve already got them).

El Uro
El Uro
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

It’s a war, and we not started this war.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
1 month ago

So glad Scotland has seen the light – the cold wet miserable weather there clearly has not rotted all their brains, just those of their politicians.
Also good to see the finger of responsibility being pointed at those organisations like Stonewall who have been pushing this poison in schools. Cass put the blame on social media, which was most certainly an amplifier of the effect, but the ideology was germinated in PHSE lessons.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

We’ll see. Cass is herself repudiating what you are claiming her report says.

Charlie Two
Charlie Two
1 month ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Liar liar pants on fire. if she was ‘repudiating’ why has she been waned by the police about not travelling on public transport? more of the ‘nice people’ proving that any designated turf has to “suck my c@~k and shut up or else”.

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago

The Victim Hierarchy Complex will move into its “don’t make me cut myself” phase when it runs out of new victims.

Penny Rose
Penny Rose
1 month ago

Very well put. Thank you.

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
1 month ago

We’ve gone from “pray the gay away” to “spay the gay away.” Not an improvement.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
1 month ago

There is no such thing involved. You have repeated a myth, a lie.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 month ago

Look at the picture accompanying this article: those children are screaming in support of their own abuse and mutilation. Yep, fully informed decision makers.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
1 month ago

You are such that desire for those children to be abused and mutilated. Cass herself even agrees — now — that that is a fair assessment of you.
She does not want to go down in history as the next and worse Wakefield.

R MS
R MS
1 month ago

“It’s time for the bullies to get out of the classroom and off the bookshelves. Back off and let these children grow.”
They won’t. They have already made that crystal clear. This is a cult and cultists are not amenable to rational persuasion. Ever. We need to understand that and act accordingly.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
1 month ago
Reply to  R MS

The cult are those who want to abuse transgender children, pretending they are made not born.
You are in the cult.

Charlie Two
Charlie Two
1 month ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

“You are in the cult”.

Says every cultist ever.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 month ago

Those poor individuals in the photo. Kind of feel sorry for them. But not enough to pass laws that allow the genital mutilation of children.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
1 month ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Uhuh. Cass has just spoiled all your dreams of you succeeding in abusing those children for the sake of your moral vanity on her account.
https://www.erininthemorning.com/p/dr-cass-backpedals-from-review-hrt

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
1 month ago

It turns out even Cass feels there is no such thing about it as “experimentation” to blockers or gender affirming care.
https://www.erininthemorning.com/p/dr-cass-backpedals-from-review-hrt
Having committed the fraud of emitting the eponymously named report, she wants now to salvage her reputation from being worse than Andrew Wakefields’.

In the data the Cass Review examined, the most common age that trans young people were being initially prescribed puberty suppressing hormones was 15. Dr. Cass’s view is that this is too late to have the intended benefits of suppressing the effects of puberty and was caused by the previous NHS policy of requiring a trans young person to be on puberty suppressing hormones for a year before accessing gender affirming hormones. The Cass Review Report recommends that a different approach is needed, with puberty suppressing hormones and gender affirming hormones being available to young people at different ages and developmental stages alongside a wider range of gender affirming healthcare based on individual need.

Italicized emphasis mine.
Also such gems as

– Dr. Cass agrees that it is inappropriate & not possible to conduct a ‘double-blind’ study”

– The Cass Review Report does not conclude that puberty suppressing hormones are an unsafe treatment