Storm of criticism about German puberty blocker advise


Central Europe


Screenshot of the "Rainbow portal", where the German government advised young people to take puberty blockers. Photo Regenbogenportal.de

Not sure about your gender yet? Take puberty blockers to have some more time to think. That is what the German government advises. The statement led to a storm of criticism.

With its so-called rainbow portal, the German government aims to provide children and young people with information on gender diversity. On one webpage, the text reads: "Am I transgender?" followed by details on puberty blockers.

Currently, the website reads that children can ask their physician about options for puberty blockers. However, earlier, the government outright advised children to take puberty blockers before they reached puberty. "This gives you more time to think. And you can think in peace: Which body suits me?" The text said, according to PRO.

The use of puberty blockers, however, is not without risk, Neue Zürcher Zeitung states. The drugs cause a lowering in sex hormones, which influences physical development.

The Ministry of Family Affairs insists that the tips on the website are not recommendations. "Puberty blockers can only be prescribed after careful medical indication based on scientific guidelines by specialists", it wrote in a statement. According to the Ministry, the article on the Rainbow Portal provides information in "age-appropriate, easy-to-understand language on which questions affected children, young people and parents should seek advice."

Yet, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung points out that the website consistently addresses the child on the subject of young and transgender. The question "Do I have to be either a boy or a girl?", for example, is answered by "No, you don't have to decide. Many people are not only male and not only female. You can be both."

Storm of critique

The one particular statement on the website about puberty blockers caused a storm of critique on social media. Using the hashtag #Pubertyblocker, social media users attacked the sense and the nonsense or harm of puberty blockers, PRO writes.

"That's crazy. Should it not be a fake: the federal government recommends puberty blockers to very young, insecure people", CDU MP Julia Klöckner tweeted. She received many emotional reactions and revised her statement, adding that the "type of address" of the presentation on the website "ultimately showed that the dealing with the topic was not so appropriate."

Also, Marc Henrichmann, another CDU MP, argues that child welfare is at risk when a government presents the use of puberty blockers this way and "trivialises medications that have a lifelong effect."

However, some social media users say that the disputed statement was already published on the website during the rule of the last government, which was led by CDU leader Angela Merkel.


The German government responded to the indignation by changing the text on the website. "To prevent misunderstandings, the text now has been adapted by the editors so that it is clear that only doctors decide whether it is necessary to take puberty blockers", the Ministry announced in a press release. However, the website still reads: "We have tips for you", followed by the mention of puberty blockers.



Subscribe for an update, and receive a documentary and e-book for free.

Choose your subscriptions*

You may subscribe to multiple lists.