Pediatrician Advocates Gender-Neutral Terms for Body Parts
Dr. Ilana Sherer, a pediatrician from California, has urged child doctors to adopt more gender-neutral language when discussing body parts.
She made this call during a presentation at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition.
Her proposals include using terms like ‘front hole’ for the vagina, ‘outie’ for the penis, ‘d*ck’ for the clitoris, and ‘chest’ or ‘chesticles’ for breasts.
While some in the medical community support such terminology to create an inclusive space, others raise concerns about confusing public health messaging.
Medical Language and Communication
Dr. Leonora Regenstreif, a family physician, emphasizes the importance of using clinical, anatomical language in medical practice.
She believes that while kids might giggle at certain terms, it’s crucial to maintain respectful and appropriate terminology.
She suggests that questions related to a patient’s health, modified for their age, can be sufficient, such as asking about sexual activity when needed.
AAP’s Position on LGBTQ Care and Terminology
The AAP has issued guidance in recent years regarding LGBTQ care and terminology.
It advises doctors treating transgender patients to use words chosen by the patient for body parts.
However, this guidance is not binding but often adopted as best practices by healthcare providers.
It’s important to note that Dr. Sherer’s recommendations were made during her presentation and have not been officially adopted by the AAP.
Political Battleground Surrounding Transgender Healthcare
The medical care of transgender patients has become a contentious political issue, with various states enacting legislation restricting gender-affirming care for trans children.
Concerns include the age of patients making life-changing decisions, potential risks, and the lack of long-term safety data.
The debate continues amid efforts to protect the rights and healthcare access of transgender individuals.
Conclusion and Reaction to Dr. Sherer’s Proposals
Dr. Sherer’s call for gender-neutral terminology in pediatric medicine has sparked discussions about the balance between inclusive language and maintaining clarity in healthcare.
While some support her ideas, others argue for the use of established clinical terms.
The AAP has not commented on Dr. Sherer’s presentation, and the debate around medical language continues in the healthcare community and beyond.