Volume 19, Issue 1, Spring 2019
Paul W. Hruz, MD
Experimental Approaches to Alleviating Gender Dysphoria in Children
Clinical guidelines now recommend hormonal and surgical interventions together with social affirmation for children who experience a gender identity that is discordant with their biological sex. However, fundamental questions regarding the safety, efficacy, and ethics of these approaches remain unanswered. There is an urgent need for high-quality research to establish the overall risks and benefits of the current treatment paradigm. While acknowledging the complexity of the problem, competing interests, and logistical challenges, ethical imperatives and acceptable boundaries for scientific investigation can be set by considering the ultimate good of both the individual person and society as a whole. Within established guidelines for human experimentation, alternative approaches to treatment of gender dysphoria in children can be explored without compromising the dignity and bodily integrity of affected individuals.