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Explosive Rise in Teens Seeking Sex Change Rocks Sweden

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The number of teenage girls seeking sex reassignment treatment has increased by an avalanche-like 1,900 percent. Many of the patients suffer from additional diagnoses, such as self-harm, autism, or anorexia. Despite the lack of research and negative feedback from “regretters”, the patients still get prescribed their treatment.

In recent years, Sweden has seen spike in gender dysphoria, a diagnosis that occurs when the biological sex and the assigned gender don’t match, national broadcaster SVT reported.

While people with this diagnosis were few and far between only a decade ago, a new patient group emerged in recent years — teenage girls who feel they are boys and seek sex correction. Rapid-onset gender dysphoria is often accompanied by other issues, such as self-harm, autism, or anorexia.

In 2008, only 28 girls aged 10-19 received care for gender dysphoria, according to the National Board of Health and Welfare. In 2017, 536 girls in the same age bracket sought treatment, a staggering 1,900 percent increase.

“So far, we have about 650 cases. This is interesting, because at the beginning we had maybe five, ten cases a year. In recent years, though, there’s been a huge spike in referrals, almost 200 a year”, said Anders Rydelius, senior physician and professor of children and adolescent psychiatry on the Kid team at the Karolinska University Hospital, the largest children’s reception for “gender-confirming” treatment in Sweden.

At the same time, many youngsters who have undergone gender reassignment have rued their decision only to discover that the transition is irreversible. SVT described instances of the Karolinska University Hospital surgically removing the breasts of girls as young as 14. The so-called “regretters” are subsequently offered trauma treatment at the Lundström reception in Västra Götaland. In the past two years, the clinic has seen patients even under 16 years of age.

According to Lennart Fällberg, the head of unit at the Lundström reception, accepting gender reassignment with surgery and hormone treatment is difficult for everyone. For a 16-year-old, who is still developing, such a crucial decision is all the harder, he suggested. Fällberg cited the lack of research on this topic, stressing the impossibility to predict how the situation will play out in the future and calling the situation “ethical stress”.

“This group of young people who only started coming in 2013, and there is not much research how you will feel in the longer term. Many of them have only been in treatment for a few years and there is no one who can say anything about it now”, Lennart Fällberg told SVT.

Anne Waehre, a senior physician at the children’s gender clinic at Norway’s Rikshospitalet, which has witnessed the same increase as in Sweden, called the treatment of teenage girls “experimental”.

“You do not know how they will feel in the long run, there is no research on how it goes”, Waehre told SVT.

“Mika”, one of the many “regretters”, came to have second thoughts about her gender correction after testosterone treatment. While it “felt good at first”, she admitted, it didn’t solve the problems. In retrospect, she called it “sick” and described her generation as “guinea pigs” for a lack of science.

At the same time, bitterness is also rising among parents, who feel their children are being offered subpar treatment.

“We don’t believe they have anything else to offer beyond hormone treatment and planned surgery”, “Sofie”, a mother of a teenage girl, told SVT.

Swedish teenagers who believe they suffer from gender dysphoria are free to seek treatment. The so-called investigation time takes about half a year. Then they receive hormones and puberty blockers, the same medication that is used for chemical castration of adult men. They are then scheduled for an operation.

From the 1970s to 2010, only 15 people or 2.2 percent of the patients regretted their gender correction. However, there is no data on “regretters” in the recent avalanche-like increase.

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Sweden to double wind energy production in next four years

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The contribution of wind energy is scheduled to grow from 17TWh in 2018 to 35 TWh in 2022, taking wind’s share from 12 percent to 25 percent of total power produced.

Charlotte Unger, chief executive of the Swedish Wind Energy Association trade body said the pro-renewable policy decisions had been driving growth.

“Sweden has the best regulatory regime for wind power projects from a European perspective, and therefore production costs the least here,” she told Swedish state broadcaster SVT. “Investors have confidence in wind power in Sweden, and that’s because of the policies that exist.”

The largest new wind farm is the giant Markbyygden project outside Piteå, which is expected to supply 10TWh per year as it comes online in stages from this year, making it one of Europe’s largest wind farms.

Other major projects are the Överturingen wind farm in Västernorrland, Åskälen in Jämtland, and Valhalla in Gävleborg.

The new farms will make up for the shutdown of two reactors at the Ringhals nuclear power station in 2019 and 2020.

Because the majority of the new wind power projects are in the northern counties of Norrland, Västerbotten and Jämtland, the shift will require Sweden’s state-owned grid operator Svenska Kraftnät to rapidly improve capacity, especially in central Sweden.

But Niclas Damsgaard, the grid company’s senior market strategist, said he believed the company would be able to keep pace with the growth.

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Sweden: Gap opens between men, women on sustainable fund choices

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Swedish fund investors are increasingly opting to put their money into sustainable funds, particularly female investors, according to data published by the Swedish Investment Fund Association.

And according to the investors surveyed, the key reason for investing in sustainable funds is to avoid certain types of companies or industries

he results were obtained from Swedes selecting funds either within the country’s pension system, or for their private savings.

The gender skew is apparent: some 42% of women surveyed said they had invested in a sustainable fund, versus 25% of men – however, there has been an increase in both customer segments, as last year the respective figures were 29% for women and 20% for men. This year some 33% overall said they were invested in a sustainable fund.

Men are far more likely to know that they are not invested in such a fund, the data further suggests: some 62% said they did not. More women were uncertain: some 29% said they ‘do not know’ if they are invested in such a fund.

Gustav Sjöholm, savings economist at the Association, said: “The interest in investing in sustainable funds has increased, more for women than for men. Of note is that the gender differences are increasing and that this year there are more men answering ‘no’ compared to last year.”

Reasons why

On the question as to what is the primary reason why investors select a sustainable fund, about half, 49% of respondents said it was because they wish to avoid investing in a certain type of company or industry. This has gained some 5% since last year.

More men than women said the primary reason for such investments were because they believed they would have a positive effect and provide higher return. However, across both men and women the share of those who believe a sustainable fund can give higher return has fallen by some 6% to 10%.

What is the primary reason you selected a sustainable fund? (2018) Total Men Women
I believe it will give higher return 10% (16%) 15% (23%) 7% (10%)
I believe my investment will have a positive impact on the environment, working conditions, human rights, etc 38% (35%) 43% (38%) 35% (33%)
I don’t want to invest money into a certain type of copmany/sector/industry that I feel is ‘unethical’ 49% (44%) 40% (33%) 55% (53%)
Other 1% (1%) 2% (2%) 1% (-)
Don’t know 2% (4%) 1% (5%) 2% (3%)

 

Sjöholm added: “This year there are more selecting a sustainable fund either to avoid or to actively choose certain companies and industries. There are however fewer who believe that sustainability effects return positively. If that is right or not is too early to tell, but in line with society developing increasingly toward sustainability it is not unreasonable to believe that sustainability and good return can go hand in hand.”

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Sweden is planning to create overnight train services to mainland Europe

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The government announced at the weekend that it would invest SEK 50 million (US $5.3million) into creating new night links to major European destinations. The first step will be researching what routes would be most popular and sourcing transport companies who could run them.

Sweden’s Green party is currently in coalition and sleeper trains are seen as an efficient way of encouraging a more climate-friendly way to travel. In a press release they explained it had many benefits including “in order to cope with the climate, build a strong society and to achieve the goal of becoming the world’s fossil-free welfare country.”

Films like ‘North by Northwest’ helped romanticise train travel. Photo by MGM Studios/Archive Photos/Getty

You can already travel between Sweden and Norway by train and a tunnel link between Denmark and Germany is expected to create more options but that isn’t scheduled to open until 2028. This new investment is hoped to speed up the process at adding new rail links.

The move may also help the recent mixed fortunes of overnight rail travel in Europe. Just a few years ago, both France’s SNCF and Germany’s Deutsche Bahn closed several sleeper services from major cities, with the blame mainly resting on the rise of low-cost air travel. Yet as worries about aircraft carbon emissions rise – and air travel loses what glamour it had left – consumers are increasingly turning back to the train for a more leisurely form of travel.

In 2018, Austrian Federal Railways – who had taken over some of Deutsche Bahn’s closed routes – announced they were commissioning a new fleet of trains specifically for overnight travel after passenger numbers and profits rose. Meanwhile, luxury overnight services continue to be popular with many premium services adding new routes or upgrading their trains.

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