Written by Hudson Crozier
What’s happening: Dr. Susan Bradley, the influential psychologist, and researcher who started a gender clinic in the 1970s, said in an interview that autism is a large factor in children seeking sex changes and that most patients in her clinic were autistic children who weren’t receiving the care they needed. Obsessive or stubborn thinking, feelings of isolation, and other thought patterns that come with autism make children more susceptible to believing they are the opposite sex and need to transition, she argued.
A unique struggle: Bradley noted that autistic children struggle with feeling “different” and often become “less well equipped than your average teen to manage strong feelings.” When suggested that they’re transgender, she said, “all of a sudden, they feel as though that explains all of the trouble all the way along,” she said.
Why it matters: Bradley’s concerns fit a pattern in medical data and other inside perspectives. Studies have shown for years that autistic people are more likely to identify as transgender and vice versa. A whistleblower at a Missouri gender clinic recently alleged that doctors ignored autistic traits in children while pushing sex change procedures to cure their mental issues. Activist Chloe Cole, an autistic woman, is suing multiple doctors for doing the same to her as a child.
Why this is happening: Doctors and medical organizations throughout the West, especially in America, follow an “affirmative” model of gender medicine that discourages searching for any underlying reasons why a child wants to transition. The left contends that waiting to apply permanent solutions like sex changes puts children at risk of suicide. Some health experts have pushed back against this narrative, calling it “exaggerated and hysterical.”