Transsexual attractions and sexual reassignment surgery: Risks and potential risks

P Fitzgibbons, R.

Linacre Quarterly 82(4): 337-350


ISSN/ISBN: 0024-3639
PMID: 26997675
DOI: 10.1080/00243639.2015.1125574
Accession: 059162624

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Transsexual issues and sexual reassignment surgery (SRS) are receiving a great deal of attention and support in the media, schools, and government. Given the early age at which youth seek treatment for transsexual attractions (TSA) and gender dysphoria and given the serious risks associated with such treatment, it is essential that family and youth be advised about these risks and alternative treatment options. Physicians and mental-health professionals have a professional responsibility to know and communicate the serious risks, in particular risk of suicide, that are associated with SRS; the spontaneous resolution of TSA in youth; the psychological conflicts that have been identified in such patients and in their parents; the successful treatment of conflicts associated TSA and the regrets of those who have been through SRS. SRS and gender theory are also viewed from the faith perspective of Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Lay summary: Transsexuals and sex-change operations are receiving a great deal of attention. Young people may seek treatment for transsexual attractions at an early age even though these attractions may go away on their own. Psychological conflicts have been identified in these patients and their parents and may be successfully treated. There are serious risks associated with sex change. They include the risk of depressive illness and suicide. Physicians and mental-health professionals should know these risks and the regrets of those who have been through sex-change operations. These patients and their families also should be informed of other treatment options.