The silence on puberty blockers has finally been broken in Italy too prescribed for girls and boys with gender non-conforming behaviour. It broke down especially thanks to the efforts of radical feminists, parents' groups and Italian psychoanalysts who have written to the government (see here).
The debate also made it to TV, with two recent episodes of Fourth Republic with contributions from Italian and foreign experts, from feminists Marina Terragni (here, 1'46'') and Monica Ricci Sargentini, to oncologist Maura Massimino, who heads the Paediatric Oncology Division at the Tumour Institute in Milan (here).
Among the main problems with 'gender dysphoria' diagnoses is that of comorbidities, or psychological disorders - very frequently theautism- and the traumas that in most cases accompany this sudden sense of 'incongruence' with one's gender. The whole aggravated by the influence of social networks, on which the trans industry works a lot.
US psychologist Jon Haidt, who has been working for years on the effect of social networks on the mental health of children and adolescents, published the results of his research in a paper entitled 'Mood disorders in adolescents since 2010: A collaborative review' (full text here), with the collaboration of Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego University, and Zach Rausch, researcher.
The study highlights how around 2012 in the United States and Great Britain there was a sharp increase in mental disorders in adolescents, starting with depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but also self-harm and attempted suicide.
Around the same time, there was also a sharp increase in the number of minors -particularly girls- coming to clinics for alleged 'gender dysphoria'. (the phenomenon has also been noted in the Netherlands, see here).
Scholars have also highlighted the variations according to gender: land girls suffer more than boys from internalised disorders such as anxiety and depression and have more frequently self-defeating behaviour non-fatal. Boys, on the other hand, tend to externalise their disorders with criminal behaviour, violence, drug use, etc., and have a higher suicide rate.
It can therefore be assumed that the increase of gender dysphoria in girls may be related to the internalisation of the maturing discomfort towards one's female body, an unease that is emphasised today more than in the past by social networks that promote as models hyper-sexualised and unnatural bodies, often modified by surgery and filters.
The imagery behind these models is undoubtedly that of the pornography -available even to girls and children, anytime and anywhere thanks to the Internet- that shows the female body inevitably subjugated to male domination. Faced with this apparently unique fate the girls try to escape as if from a burning house, and the same societies offer them the 'solution' of the transition (Marina Terragni explained the two sides of the FtoM and MtoF transition here).
The document also states that American boys today have different problems from girls, that 'seem to be related to being sucked in by their screens: video games, porn, online radicalisation, with terrible outcomes that seem more related to lack of growth than to internalised disorders'.
The data also show that it is the youngest adolescents, those in the 10 to 14 age group, who suffer most from the effects of social networks: rates of self-harm and suicide are highest among young children.
Likewise the effects of social media can also be traced back to the increase in requests for treatment for alleged 'gender dysphoria' which in most cases would resolve itself once puberty is over, as the data and testimonies of the and of the detransitioner.
This generation pays the price of having been affected earlier, at an early stage of its development, by the unsustainable patterns and wild, deceptive marketing of social.
The problem must be addressed with solutions that preserve the health and bodies of girls and boys, who must not be consigned to a future of lifelong medicalisation.
Here the text by Jon Haidt