In recent news, the Norwegian Board of Health has released a major report outlining their conclusions concerning the rising trend of children identifying with the opposite gender. The board has stated that it believes this phenomenon is an issue of “social contagion” rather than a result of sexual orientation. It has also suggested that the growing number of teenage girls identifying as male after puberty is still an area that remains under-studied.
In light of these findings, the board has outlined several rules and regulations surrounding treatments for minors aiming to transition genders. These practices, according to the report, such as the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and transition-related surgery, would be reserved only for research contexts and no longer provided in medical settings.
This announcement serves as a major step forward in the arena of gender identity health care. While teen girls are increasingly looking for treatment that changes them from female to male, Norway has now taken a precautionary stance by creating a safer environment for minors. With Norway drawing back some of its child sex-change procedures, it now joins the United Kingdom, Finland, and Sweden in safeguarding children from lifelong complications.
The social contagion study was carried out by Drs. Anette Stokland Moss and Kari Veiseth and included interviews with 600 individuals who identified as transgender, non-binary, or gender non-conforming. While the interviewees were not asked specifically about social media, it is believed that social media played a large role in the rise of those identifying themselves as transgender in Norway. Additionally, the report found that those who had transitioned at a younger age were more likely to be dissatisfied with the results.
This highlights an important point for those considering gender transitioning—the decision should not be taken lightly. Even though the medical industry may provide solutions to those looking to make physical changes to their bodies, these treatments could lead to negative consequences further down the line.
However, it is unclear how these revelations will play into legislation across countries that are currently dealing with this phenomenon. It is likely that Norway’s move will have an impact on other countries in Europe, but there is still a long way to go before any real change can be seen. It is also possible that countries outside of Europe will take note of the situation and use it to inform their own decisions.
Ultimately, this report serves as a reminder that we should approach gender transitioning with careful consideration and due caution. The decision to transition genders should always be made with the intention of improving quality of life without compromising long-term health. By taking this stance, we can ensure that those who are considering gender transitioning receive the best possible care and support.