In Oregon, 15-year-old kids can’t drive, smoke, get tattooed, donate blood, or go to tanning beds. But, since January, they legally can get a sex-change operation paid for by the state, without their parents’ consent or knowledge.
A spokeswoman for the Oregon Health Plan, the state’s Medicaid program, explained that the legal age of consent for medical treatment is 15. That varies by state. But this decision was made by the Health Evidence Review Commission, appointed by the governor. With no public debate or notice, they authorized coverage of cross-sex hormone therapy, puberty-suppressing drugs, and gender-reassignment surgery for teens with gender dysphoria, formerly known as gender identity disorder.
The American Psychiatric Association classifies it as a mental disorder when someone identifies himself or herself as the opposite of their birth sex. True gender dysphoria is extremely rare, affecting only one of every 20,000 males, and one of every 50,000 females. A 2008 study published in the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Journal noted that “most children with gender dysphoria will not remain gender dysphoric after puberty.”