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'No, it's f*cking not'! How on earth can Vox think this doctor's take on transgender kids is remotely 'okay'?

We’ve come to expect pretty terrible takes from the Smartest Thinkers™ at Vox, but this one has got to be one of the worst takes yet:


Vox gave oxygen to this garbage from Dr. Jack Turban, who specializes in “the mental health of transgender and gender diverse youth.” Turban concludes:

Gender-affirming hormones like estrogen and testosterone are bigger decisions. They are generally not prescribed until a patient is 16 (though they can be prescribed as early as 14 in select clear-cut cases). They will cause body changes that are not easily reversed, like body fat redistribution and changes in body hair. Adolescents should be counseled extensively before starting these medications.

Parents should also remember, however, that these changes are mostly cosmetic. The potential benefits from gender-affirming hormones (improved mental health) will usually outweigh the low risk of an adolescent later changing their mind and regretting cosmetic changes. This risk-benefit analysis should be carefully discussed in therapy before these drugs are started.

Every decision in medicine involves weighing risks and benefits. Lipitor, a medicine doctors use to prevent stroke, also increases the risk of rhabdomyolysis, a condition of muscle breakdown that can damage the kidneys. However, the potential benefit of preventing stroke far outweighs the potential risk of this unlikely event.

The same is true for transgender youth and gender-affirming care. Will a small number change their mindsabout medically transitioning? Yes. Does this mean we should withhold a treatment that has a high likelihood to provide a big mental health benefit? No.


An adult choosing to take a medication Lipitor to treat high cholesterol is not even remotely the same as a teen taking estrogen or testosterone to treat gender dysphoria. The fact that a physician is even attempting to make that argument is deeply troubling. These aren’t just “cosmetic” changes we’re talking about here. Whatever happened to “first do no harm”?

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