Spain’s lawmakers, who recently approved radical pro-gender transitioning legislation, are coming under fire. The newly approved laws permit minors 12-14 years old to change their gender (with court authorization) legally and those 14-16 to “do so without psychological or other medical evaluation,” according to a report in Fox News.
Dr. Erica Anderson, a clinical psychologist, who identifies as a transgender woman, has more than four decades of clinical experience and has served on the board of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, expressed concerns regarding the new laws.
In an interview with Fox News, Anderson objected to the fact that legally youth older than 16 can commit to life-altering procedures without parental consent. Dr. Anderson said, “That’s pretty young.”
Anderson, who practices clinical psychology in Berkeley, California, added, “I’m concerned that many young people are sort of caught up in the excitement about sexual and gender minority labels and might be adopting ideas about themselves that may not last.”
Anderson expressed concern that young people are “going to use such labels to make decisions for themselves.”
During the interview, Anderson noted that the U.K. Parliament blocked a similar law activists proposed in January in Scotland. The Guardian reported the controversy surrounding the proposed legislation led to the surprise and abrupt resignation of Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon.
Sturgeon supported the legislation, which included a provision for trans criminals to be housed in women’s prisons, despite a highly publicized rape case involving a trans individual.
Regarding Spain’s low age limit for legal gender transitions, Anderson said: “I think Spain is trying to be progressive and remove barriers for gender-variant people.”
Anderson expressed support for Spain’s laws “in principle,” but the therapist’s professional assessment is that Spain has set the age limit too low. Anderson added that the ruling would lead to “some [negative and] unexpected consequences.”
“I haven’t talked to anybody in Spain, so I don’t know what their expectation is, whether this is going to be very easy to implement and there won’t be any controversies,” Anderson said. “But I’d be very surprised if it didn’t cause some other challenges that maybe they haven’t contemplated.”
Fox News noted that Anderson has previously expressed concerns that “children are being pushed too early into a transgender identity.”
Fox also noted that Anderson “filed an amicus brief in November against the school district in Montgomery County, Maryland, over its policy that permits teachers to hide a student’s gender identity from parents.”
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