A Finnish professor named Riittakerttu Kaltiala recently advised Finland's government not to lower the age to change one's gender below the age of 18. Kaltiala, says that the vast majority of children, who likely suffer from other mental health issues, will grow out of their gender confusion by adulthood.
Finnish outlet Helsingen Sonomat recently interviewed Kaltiala, professor of youth psychology at Tampere University, who said that for children "the construction of identity is just underway and the final outcome of the development is not known, not even for the young person."
Kaltiala has studied gender ideology since 2011, even meeting the vast majority of patients that are admitted to another clinic in Helsinki. According to the professor, four out of five children who identify as the opposite sex will grow out of it.
As well, three out of four patients also have serious mental health problems, according to the professor. Learning difficulties, developmental problems, and issues of child protection contribute to the issue.
Additionally, Kaltiala says that the idea that transgender youth should have hormone treatment and gender confirmation as a means to prevent self-harm is a myth.
"It's purposeful disinformation, the spreading of which is irresponsible," says Kaltiala, adding that suicidal behavior is a result of accompanying psychiatric disorders.
Stating that this type of gender confusion has been known about for a long time, Kaltiala says that it is best to give the child peace of mind while monitoring the situation, treating anxiety as it develops.
"Acceptance is saying that you are a boy who feels like you are a girl. It's okay and you can be who you are and let's see what happens when you grow up," Kaltiala says.
The psychologist believes that affirming a child's perceived gender by changing their legal status pushes them in that particular direction, saying "it's a message in the direction that this is the right path for you."
A sign that transgenderism may be permanent, the professor notes, is when a child identifies with the opposite sex very early in life, and strengthens that identity during puberty. While their gender expression should not necessarily be restrained, Kaltiala says, it should not be confirmed either.
"The young person tries out different identities and is prone to suggestion. In one situation he feels that he is one and in another another. It's normal in adolescence," she explains.
"Youth development tasks are not promoted by supporting and guiding the youth's self-expression from the outside," says Kaltiala.
The professor says that since 2015, the number of children identifying as the opposite gender has increased tenfold.
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