9 thoughts on “Many transgender people regret sex change operations

  1. Thanks so much for posting. It’s sad that this point of view is being hushed up. People should really have opposing viewpoints when making such a drastic decision. So interesting that those who advocate sex change would want people to choose that without full info. I have to wonder why this agenda is pushed on people.

  2. Transgender surgery is hardly the only phenomenon where a fair number of people make a momentous, difficult-to-reverse decision only to discover that the grass is no greener on the other side of the fence.

  3. This post comes at an interesting time. I have recently been brought to explore the issues of gender identity, transgenderism, and intersex conditions more closely. One part of my exploration has been the ways in which various religious traditions conceptualize and explain these phenomena.

    So, I don’t find this article particularly objective, accurate, or helpful. There are points where the evidence cited contradicts the primary thesis, which I take to be not so much that many individuals later regret sex change surgeries, but that the existence of this regret is somehow covered up. As a Mental Health Counselor who works with transgender individuals, I don’t find this claim of cover-up credible. There is significant information about regret available in the professional literature and in the Standards of Care provided by WPATH. In fact, a major purpose of those standards of care is to reduce the likelihood of such regret, not by convincing the individual that surgery is necessary or good, but by ensuring that they understand it it not the only option to reduce distress and encouraging them to explore other less-permanent options prior to considering such procedures.

    Finally, regarding the helpfulness of the article: Several comments in the article seem to support a view that transgenderism is not a real condition. In this view, distress from Gender Dysphoria, or the feeling of being a gender not congruent with assigned sex, can simply be dismissed. In my experience, the conservative Christian position on Transgenderism (i.e. that biological sex is determined by God in an infallible process) is not consistent with the position of the LDS Church. While “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” contains an affirmation that gender is an essential characteristic of mortal and eternal identity, it does not further spell out the implications of this statement. In contrast to the definitive authority often claimed in other religious traditions, the Church and it’s leaders have been very quiet on the issue of transgender and intersex conditions. Church leaders are instructed to counsel members against elective transsexual operations. Beyond this guidance, no other official statements or positions have been offered.

    Likely, leaders of the Church are acutely aware that any declaration of biological gender being infallible would be logically inconsistent. The stark reality is that some people are born with either anomalies in chromosomal sex or non-standard sexual anatomy. The frequency of these conditions may be as rare as one in 2,000 or closer to one in 150; with the variation largely due to disagreements about which conditions count as intersex. In intersex conditions, there is a genuine question about the sex or gender of the individual. The fact that many of these conditions are not visibly detectable compounds the ambiguity that can surround gender.

    In conclusion, I appreciate the reality that surgery is absolutely not a “cure-all” nor even always helpful for transgender individuals. However, that doesn’t mean that it is always wrong or harmful. I am grateful for inspired leaders who don’t have to claim absolute answers when they don’t have them. I also value approaches that attempt to improve understanding, compassion, and authentic engagement with challenging issues. A great example is North Star International’s blog: Northern Lights. With November being Transgender Awareness Month, they have some great information and personal experiences. http://ldslights.org/tag/transgender/

  4. Kevin
    there is a militant faction out there that would like this lifestyle made completely normal no big deal

  5. Kevin L.,

    I think the distinction between gender dysphoria and intersex conditions is one that ought not to be muddied.

    The Brethren have indeed been fairly clear that true intersex conditions require a very thoughtful and compassionate approach and that cut and dried rules are not necessarily helpful.

    The Brethren have also been fairly clear that gender dysphoria is a challenge that is not to be addressed by sex reassignment. I have not had access to CHI for some time, but in the day, elective sexual reassignment surgery was one of two sins for which church discipline was mandatory.

  6. My husband and I talked extensively about what we would do were we to bear a child that was a hermaphrodite. As it happened, that was not one of the abnormalities our children presented with.

    I am reminded of a fellow who came to one of the brethren (possibly Brigham Young), asking a miracle that would restore his missing leg. Brigham considered, then told the man that it would be better to go through mortality with one leg than eternity with three.

    Though it seems apparent that restoring a person’s leg is out of the question, I have been party to circumstances where smaller but more deadly physical problems went away.

    When it comes to feeling one is the wrong gender, there are various potential causes that have nothing to do with what one will be happy with in eternity. The persons I have interacted with directly who have altered their gender had circumstances causing the dysphoria that appeared to have much to do with cultural gender roles rather than the ability to have sex as a member of the opposite gender. In those cases, much can be done to alter how one interacts with the culture, rather than surgically modifying one’s sexual organs.

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