The Gender Conundrum.

Should we artificially delay puberty for kids who don't identify with their biological sex?

Illustration for TIME by James Worrell

It's a parent's nightmare dilemma: experts say there's a fifty-fifty chance your child will attempt suicide before age 20. Should you opt for an experimental medical treatment that might prevent it? Parents of children whom experts call gender variant are faced with just that question. If a child doesn't identify with his or her biological sex, the onset of puberty, says Laura Amato, a youth-suicide counselor who runs an online transgender support group, can make that child feel like "part of a real-life horror story ... because the wrong parts are changing."

No reliable data exist on how many U.S. children...

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