Young patients at a children’s hospital in Oregon are being advised on ways to help them present as if the opposite sex.
The Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland advises children and teens confused about their gender to hide their genitals or bind their chests, and promotes the use of puberty blockers.
The hospital, part of the Oregon Health and Science University, is considered one of the top hospitals in the state.
Affirming health care
Boys receive guidance on ‘tucking’ to make “the genital area look smoother and flatter”. The guidance further explains how to achieve this by using tight-fitting underwear or adhesive tape.
Step-by-step instructions, including diagrams, explain how to hide their testicles inside their bodies.
Gender-confused girls are advised on methods of chest binding to “feel more comfortable”.
People with ovaries
In another handout, boys are described as “people with testicles”, while girls are “people with ovaries”.
They are told that puberty blockers can prevent the stress caused by “going through puberty that does not match your gender identity”.
It initially claims: “Puberty blockers do not cause permanent changes to the body”, but later admits, “Researchers have not finished studying how safe puberty blockers are in the long-term”.
During a High Court case in the UK in 2020 experts warned of the long-term risks of the drugs, including infertility, reduced bone density, and potentially harming brain development. They explained that medics are failing to warn children and their parents about these risks.
Current NHS guidance on puberty blockers states that “little is known about the long term side effects”. Until 2020, it asserted that the drugs’ effects were “fully reversible”.