If States Followed The Science, They’d Emulate Europe To Protect Kids With Gender Dysphoria

. . .Recent years have seen a “sharp rise” in the number of American youth ages 13 to 17 who say they identify as the opposite sex or as non-binary. This growing population of gender-confused adolescents is nearly double what it was just five years ago.

The sharp rise comes amidst a global and national debate around the correct standard of care for the treatment of gender confusion in minors. Some European countries were using an unproven protocol tried in the Netherlands referred to as “gender-affirming care.” This experimental approach treats children who express discomfort with their sex with drugs (such as puberty blockers and wrong-sex hormones) and surgeries (such as mastectomies). Although there is no evidence that these hormonal and surgical changes to a child’s body produce improved mental health outcomes, there is growing evidence of permanent physical damage, including loss of bone density, greater risk of disease, and infertility.

Recognizing the failure of the “gender-affirming” approach to achieve improved outcomes — and spurred by the lawsuit of a young woman who was prescribed puberty-blocking drugs at just 16 years old — countries such as Sweden, Finland, and England have made a clear U-turn away from some or all of these questionable protocols. After thoroughly reviewing the reliable evidence, these countries concluded that the risks of “gender-affirming care” far outweigh any potential benefits.

Instead, they are returning to psychological and psychiatric care as the starting point for addressing gender confusion in children — a model known as “watchful waiting” — noting that gender dysphoria in teens could be just a “transient phase” which should not be mishandled with radical, life-altering drugs and surgeries.

Nationally in the U.S., however, the “gender-affirming care” model is emphatically pushed as the only acceptable standard of care. Some states rely on recommendations from the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH), which is not a medical organization, but an ideologically driven advocacy group. And prominent medical organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) promote “gender-affirming care” despite the majority of its members supporting more review and discussion, noting the lack of evidence-based science, and raising persuasive findings that gender confusion has been clearly linked to other factors affecting children, including autism and social contagion. (Read more from “If States Followed the Science, They’d Emulate Europe to Protect Kids With Gender Dysphoria” HERE)

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