Ladyboys and castration
The Bangkok Post today.
Young boys warned not to seek early castration
Eighteen-year-old ladyboy Elle has always dreamed of having a sex-change operation, which, he believes, would be the most precious present he could give himself as it will make him a true female, both physically and mentally.
Standing 170 centimetres tall and weighing 48 kilogrammes, many times Elle has been encouraged to enter beauty pageants. Some of his friends even recommended he get himself castrated, something which has become a fad among young transvestites in Thailand.
They told him the operation costs only 5,000 baht and would make his skin more radiant.
But Elle is scared of having it done after seeing a video clip and reading information about castration, which is heavily advertised on the internet.
Elle said he would rather not think about castration or sex-change operations until getting his bachelor's degree.
Elle might be making the right decision as the Medical Council of Thailand has just issued a warning against castration, saying that such surgery is unethical and could damage hormone growth and physical development.
The warning came after Natee Teerarojjanapongs, the leader of the Gay Political Group of Thailand, called on the council to take action against clinics performing castrations on young ladyboys.
Castration is the removal or destruction of one or both testicles. It is considered a step towards a sex-change. However, it is also a standard treatment for several varieties of cancer.
Mr Natee said he received many complaints from the parents of ladyboys who were keen to have their testes removed, possibly due to the influence of widespread advertisements on the internet which claimed it was inexpensive and the result was similar to a sex-change operation.
''It's a totally wrong perception that castration will make boys more feminine or soften their skin. In fact, it will lead to damage of bone mass and muscle,'' he said. ''From my experience, these youngsters should wait until they are mature enough to thoroughly consider the pros and cons of such an operation before deciding to do it.''
A 50-year-old representative of a homosexual group also asked the Medical Council to explain to the public the impact of castration on growth hormones and physical development. He hopes minors would give up the idea of having the operation until they are mature enough.
Amnat Kusalanant, the council's secretary-general, said a team of inspectors have already investigated clinics suspected of performing castrations.
Any doctor performing the surgery on boys aged below 18 without parental consent could have their medical certificates temporarily revoked. The owners of clinics performing the operation could also face a one-year jail term and a maximum fine of 20,000 baht.
However, the council might not be able to take legal action against doctors or clinics castrating transvestites aged over 18 who have the consent of their parents. "
Any thoughts anyone?