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And tying penises to women, doesn’t make a man a woman, nor a woman a man.

Andrew Bolt has made some rightly alarmed comments about an Australian court that pretends to help a confused 17 year old girl by ruling she is entitled to have her breasts cut off.

This article from the Sydney Morning Herald tells the story of two people who, confused about their gender as teens, demanded gender re-assignment surgery. Both regretted that decision deeply, and came to feel lasting anger towards the people who allowed their mutilation to proceed.

Teenagers have not yet fully developed their identity, their sense of responsibility, their ability to assess risk and long term consequences. That is why we have laws prohibiting them from drinking, from having sex, from gambling. These laws protect them from abuse, from outcomes and harm which they may not have the ability to foresee.

Yet a court can say that those same teenagers have the right to decide about irreversible mutilating surgery which leaves them neither male nor female.

The Desire for a Sex Change, an article by Dr Richard Fitzgibbons, draws on medical and psychiatric research and catholic theology to explain why gender re-assignment surgery has not been and cannot be a satisfactory solution to what is a psychological problem.

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