03:54 GMT +330 March 2017
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    Participants carry a rainbow flag during the Gay Pride Parade on August 2, 2014, in Stockholm

    Boy or Girl? More Young Swedes Unsure of Their Gender, Seek Medical Assistance

    © AFP 2017/ JONATHAN NACKSTRAND
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    Apparently, more young Swedes are unhappy with their gender, as the number of Swedish adolescents who seek healthcare to make a gender identity investigation is increasing. The unexpected surge has left scientists puzzled and raised previously unexplored legal issues.

    According to child psychiatrist Louise Frisén, the Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital has seen a 100% yearly increase in children and adolescents who are unsure of their gender and looking for medical assistance. In 2012, the Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital saw only four referrals of this kind, as opposed to 116 cases in 2015. This year, the number of gender identity investigations is expected to increase to at least 200.

    Contrary to the common misconception, the Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital often experiences very confident young people who appear sure of their cause, Frisén told Swedish national broadcaster SVT.

    "It is so incredibly painful to live in a body one fails to recognize as his or her own. It should not be forgotten that it is also associated with mental illness and a very high suicide risk in case of failure to get access to gender-affirmative therapy," Frisén told SVT.

    The upsurge in gender identity investigations has raised important issues that have been seldom encountered before. Since this group is prone to mental illness, it is important that they receive medical help in good time. However, in Sweden it is not permitted to prescribe sex hormones until the age of 16. Consequently, one must wait until 18 to be able to undergo surgery and legally change gender.

    Until now, the vast majority of young people seeking gender identity investigation post-puberty have ultimately chosen to change their sex. With the rising trend, however, baffled researchers are finding it harder to reach a conclusion. Likewise, the reasons for the upsurge also remain a mystery.

    "More young people may be coming now, because awareness has increased and now they dare. Besides, other community trends may be the reason. More and more people are exploring their gender identity as part of their personality development," Frisén said.

    Curiously, more girls are instigating gender identity investigations than boys. In 2015, 94 girls, as opposed to 22 boys started the process.

    LGBT rights in Sweden have long been regarded as some of the most liberal in Europe and in the world. Same-sex sexual activity was legalized in 1944, whereas homosexuality was declassified as a mental illness in 1979. Sweden also became the first country in the world to allow transgender persons to change their legal gender after sex reassignment surgery in 1972, the same year that transvestism was declassified as an illness. After allowing same-sex couples to register for partnership benefits in 1995, Sweden legalized same-sex marriage countrywide in 2009. Since 2003, gay and lesbian couples can adopt children, and lesbian couples have had equal access to in vitro fertilization and assisted insemination since 2005.

    Swede's all-encompassing support of feminism, LGBT rights and gender neutrality has affected language use. In recent years, gender-specific pronouns 'han' and 'hon' ('he' and 'she') have been largely replaced by the gender-neutral 'hen,' which sparked a controversy among conservative Swedes. Today, this "newspeak" is widely used in Swedish media. The most controversial aspect of the use of ‘hen' is among young children, especially in public schools. The gender-neutral pronoun was championed by preschool Egalia in Stockholm, which specializes in gender-neutral pedagogy.

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    Tags:
    gender equality, LGBT, Sveriges Television, Scandinavia, Sweden
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    • avatar
      jas
      have been largely replaced by the gender-neutral 'hen,'
      ---
      Exactly. This is what Putin wants to prevent by law. LGBT promotes transsexual and homosexual behaviors. It has nothing to do with equal rights. The so-called LGBT community promotes abnormal sexual preference.
    • avatar
      topolcats
      Sweden is a rather absurd culture and annoying population in which I have to deal with in Thailand, where they all seem to congregate!
    • avatar
      michael
      There needs to be a wider review of the changes happening within the (entire human) population from a biological standpoint, then to consider the alterations to the individual's worldview - influences such as through language, media, entertainment etc.
    • Ann
      "It is so incredibly painful to live in a body one fails to recognize as his or her own." -- One could say the same exact thing about newly disabled people. I am disabled from an accidental injury to my spine. After just 7 short years, I don't recognize my misshapen, unresponsive body, either...but I'm trapped in it just the same, Why is nobody as understanding and aggressive about remedying the pain suffered by people like? Surgery COULD fix me and many of us, but our insurance won't pay for it...but they will pay to change some confused kid's genitalia?

      So much for "social justice."
    • avatar
      espenskrdal
      Leftist agenda gone too far. They keep pushing the limits farther and farther to the left, and this will eventually lead to a backlash at some point in the future. When that happens, Sweden will become the most conservative, rightwing country in Western-Europe. This is why i always prefer the middle ground in politics - neither too far to the left, nor to far to the right.
    • avatar
      maxxus
      Only an insane adult culture would sell confusion to its children.
    • American Socialist
      population control as championed by Bill Gates and most Elitists.
      - Japanese people hate sex
      - Swedes are unsure of their sexual identity
    • avatar
      rmukarutabanain reply tomaxxus(Show commentHide comment)
      maxxus, How come none of these Swedish "educators" see nothing wrong with mutilating their children - first, by subjecting them to "Equalia" education system, then, when they properly confused by 18, cut them up and pump them chock full of hormones?
      And none of them are able to understand the impact of these crimes on their society?
    • avatar
      goldcamshaft
      ..and the same is going to happen in the americas and western europe.
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