In a move that could put psychiatrists in trouble with the law, their peak body this week became the first to refuse to recognise the so-called gender-affirming model of treatment for children confused about their gender.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists declined to endorse genderaffirming care as the key intervention for children who believe they may be transgender, highlighting an increasingly cautious approach in some European countries amid a lack of evidence for the medical pathway.
But in Queensland, the ACT and Victoria, it is against the law for medical practitioners and counsellors (and in Victoria – parents) to decline to steer a child towards experimental gender change treatments.
The Victorian Change and Suppression Act, which is supported by both Labor and Liberal, jails medical practitioners and parents who dissuade children from heading down the so-called affirmation path.
This makes the RANZCP decision brave but it is doubtful any of their members will be prosecuted as the wheels are clearly falling off the idea of gender fluidity pushed so successfully by LGBTIQA+ political activists over the past 10 years.
The RANZCP position statement notes that European countries are moving in the opposite direction to Australia and it recognises the harms caused to children by London’s Tavistock child gender clinic which was closed after a review.
In Australia, Labor and Liberal politicians continue to protect child gender clinics which chemically castrate and sometimes physically mutilate children who think changing gender is the answer to their problems.
Peter Dutton’s Liberal leadership in the Senate has consistently sided with Labor and the Greens to block attempts this year to set up inquiries into Australia’s child gender clinics, despite the UK’s Cass Review recommending Tavistock’s closure.
Andrew Amos, an academic psychiatrist at the James Cook University, told the Australian:
In my opinion, it is unconscionable that gender-affirming medical-based care has grown rapidly across Australia in the last decade despite the reality that we simply don’t know how many kids change their minds.
This is particularly damaging because medical/surgical transition require lifelong care, with potentially catastrophic effects of detransitioning later in life.
Lyle Shelton is National Director of the Family First Party. He started his career as a rural journalist before being elected as a member of the Toowoomba City Council and serving the Australian Christian Lobby for 10 years, half of that decade as ACL's Managing Director. He was a Director and spokesman for the Coalition for Marriage during the 2017 postal survey campaign which resulted in the legal undefinition of marriage. He also blogs here.
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