Parents to delay child's puberty?
If you could delay the onset of your child's puberty, would you? One set of parents is definitely considering it. Their eleven-year-old son, Armand, was born a male but was convinced that he is indeed a girl. Armand's case is not isolated. As we know from so many recent headlines, many youth from teens and tweeners to elementary and lower school aged children are questioning their gender and their identity.
Armand's parents could tell something was up from the time he was two years old when he refused to take off a Minnie Mouse dress. The problems did not go away, even when Armand was five and an in-house only rule was instated by his parents to compromise with what they didn't fully understand. Gender identity crisis obviously goes far beyond a preference for what type of clothing one wears, however. Her parents took her to many doctors and ended up with many failed attempts to diagnose the reason for his uncontrollable tantrums before settling on gender identity disorder.
Armand seemed to know what was going on the whole time, though. He'd say as much that he was a girl or that he wanted to be one. A psychologist finally uncovered the truth and told Armand's parents he would most likely grow up to be transgendered. This was a partial relief to Armand's parents, as now they knew the cause of his anger and frustration.
Then, what to do next? Armand's parents learned about the possibility of delaying his puberty to keep him from developing sexually. Monthly, hormone blockers are delivered to the child (normally aged between ten and thirteen) via injection. Around age sixteen, the then-teens are offered the option of stopping the injections to allow the onset of puberty. By that age, many of the physical attributes associated with men or women are not distinguishable in the teen, allowing those who were born female to appear more male, and vice versa.
Much controversy surrounds the treatment. Some believe at an early age children's gender identities are in a constant state of flux and that it's too hard for them to truly determine who they are or want to be as that is likely to change.
Pic of universal gender symbol by lazzarello.