Since 2018, at least ten girls aged between 10 and 14 have gone under the knife in Switzerland to have their healthy breasts surgically removed within the so-called gender affirmative care. The number of young women aged 15 to 19 who have undergone “torsoplasty” to achieve a masculine-looking chest in Switzerland is said to be at least 58, a Swiss association has revealed. Three boys under 18, according to the data published by AMQG, have had their penis amputated during the same period.
AMQG, a Swiss association advocating for a “measured approach towards gender-questioning youth,” has obtained the publicly available figures on “gender affirming surgeries” from the Swiss Federal Office of Statistics. According to the association’s press release, these statistics do not represent the real number of Swiss trans-identifying children and youth operated on, as they “do not include outpatient treatments or operations performed in private clinics.”
Gender surgeries seem on the rise in the Swiss young adult population as well. In the under-25 age group, according to AMQG, the number of “gender-affirming” double mastectomies has increased by more than 11,000% over the last six years. The number of “sex change” operations on men under 25, meaning penile and scrotal amputations and neo-vaginal constructions, have also “increased dramatically.”
According to the website of a Swiss plastic surgeon, double mastectomies for gender-confused girls with residence in Switzerland are covered by health insurance. Non-Swiss residents can access the surgeries for a fee. Posts made on transgender forums suggest the price of a mastectomy by a Zurich-based Dr. med. Britta von Stumberg can climb up to USD 20.000 (CHF 18.000). The surgeon, specializing in “masculinizing” mastectomies, has achieved international fame, the AMQG has revealed. Videos of young patients recommending her exceeded one million views on TikTok.`
In 2022, Switzerland joined other 4 European countries in establishing gender self-identification. Since then, anyone aged 16 or more has been able to change legal sex by self-declaration at a civil registry office. Under 16s are allowed to do so with their guardian’s consent.
However, no national guidance exists on “gender affirming surgeries.” According to the AMQG press release, member states of the Swiss confederation (cantons) refer to the recommendations drawn up by The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), an American non-profit.
In 2022, WPATH had first established minimum age requirements for cross-sex hormones and “gender affirmation surgeries.” But, “very short time after the document went public, a major unexpected ‘correction’ was issued,” Genspect claims. According to the organization, the correction removed all minimum age requirements.
In their press release, AMQG highlighted the fact that Swiss society is largely in denial about gender surgeries being performed on children and youth. In May 2022, a spokesperson of an influential Geneva association "supporting trans kids," Le Refuge, claimed there were no children given gender surgeries in Switzerland.
"There are no children who undergo surgery, nor teenagers and pre-teens. Sexual reassignments or torsoplasties are done when they come of age, or even after. It is quite rare that they are done before. So there's no topic around that," she stated.
The website of another Swiss organization advocating for “gender affirming care” for children and youth, Agnodice, claims the only possible intervention from the age 14 onwards is a mastectomy, and that genital surgery is performed from the age of 18.
Speaking to 4W, Stéphane Mitchell, Vice President of AMQG described their motivation for publishing the data: "We want the debate to be based on facts and figures. What the data shows is that children and teenagers are being mutilated in Swiss hospitals. We will continue to monitor the figures to see if the recent Self-ID law is catching on."
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