New Zealand Case Raises Questions Regarding Autonomy for Transgendered Children

In New Zealand, parents of a seven-year-old, who was born biologically female but identifies as male, have been criticized for their decision to consider allowing the child to begin using puberty blockers. The puberty blockers would make the child’s transition to becoming male easier later in life, and Claudia MacKay, president of Agender New Zealand, claims that the effects of the blockers are reversible. However, the head of the Philosophy Department at the University at Aukland, Tim Dare, questions whether a seven-year-old is capable of understanding the consequences of such a decision. He claims further that the parents should not make this decision alone, and should involve medical professionals. The parents are concerned that if the child is forced to go through puberty he could be psychologically damaged. Yet, some psychologists claim that gender confusion in children is common and some children grow out of it after puberty.

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