On Fox & Friends, Canadian psychology professor and "alt-right" darling Jordan Peterson pushed the anti-trans myth that "children as young as 3 or 4 can now decide what gender they are and then undergo the appropriate surgical and biological alterations." However, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health's (WPATH) standards of health care for transgender and gender nonconforming people state that genital surgery "should not be carried out until (i) patients reach the legal age of majority in a given country, and (ii) patients have lived continuously for at least 12 months in the gender role that is congruent with their gender identity." The standards note that chest surgery for female-to-male patients "could be carried out earlier, preferably after ample time of living in the desired gender role and after one year of testosterone treatment."
The age of majority in most most states is 18 years old, and experts and practitioners in the field of gender affirmation surgery say that they generally practice the surgery on patients who are at least that age, though they sometimes perform breast removal on teenagers as young as 16. According to BuzzFeed, kids typically start puberty blockers, which "essentially hit pause on the physical changes that would occur during puberty" and are reversible, at "the very first signs of puberty -- usually in the ballpark of 14 or 15 years old." For instance, in a 2015 study, the average age in which patients started puberty blockers was 12.5 years old, and in some cases, this was followed by hormone therapy at an average age of 16.5. Rather than making "surgical and biological alterations," trans kids ages 3 or 4 would instead undergo social transitions, meaning they would begin styling, dressing, or otherwise living in congruence with their gender identity. Additionally, not all transgender people need or want transition-related surgeries. Aside from pushing misinformation about trans kids, Mic reported that "the mess of ideologies associated with the alt-right revere Peterson." From the February 6 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
BRIAN KILMEADE (HOST): People are even talking about deciding what gender they want to be as youngsters.
JORDAN PETERSON: Yeah. Well that's happening all over. It's an absolute epidemic. And we've decided that children as young as 3 or 4 can now decide what gender they are and then undergo the appropriate surgical and biological alterations to bring their morphology in keeping with that. And it's a mistake of epic proportions and we are going to pay for it in a big way.