The Daily Signal 20 June 2017
Family First Comment: The bottom line for Hruz, Mayer, and McHugh is that “we frequently hear from neuroscientists that the adolescent brain is too immature to make reliably rational decisions, but we are supposed to expect emotionally troubled adolescents to make decisions about their gender identities and about serious medical treatments at the age of 12 or younger.” This new article in The New Atlantis should make all of us pause before embracing radical medical treatments for children.
Increasingly, gender therapists and physicians argue that children as young as nine should be given puberty-blocking drugs if they experience gender dysphoria.
But a new article by three medical experts reveals that there is little scientific evidence to support such a radical procedure.
The article, “Growing Pains: Problems with Puberty Suppression in Treating Gender Dysphoria,” published Tuesday in The New Atlantis, discusses over 50 peer-reviewed studies on gender dysphoria in children.
It is co-authored by Dr. Paul W. Hruz, a professor at Washington University School of Medicine; Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer, a scholar in residence at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a professor at Arizona State University; and Dr. Paul R. McHugh, university distinguished service professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Last year, Mayer and McHugh published an extensive report on sexuality and gender in general. Now, working with Hruz, an expert on pediatrics, they focus on children.
As I explain in my forthcoming book, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment,” the best biology, psychology, and philosophy all support an understanding of sex as a bodily reality, and of gender as a social manifestation of bodily sex.
Biology isn’t bigotry, and we need a sober and honest assessment of the human costs of getting human nature wrong. This is especially true with children.
And yet, pediatric gender clinics—and therapeutic interventions on children—are on the rise. In the past 10 years, dozens of pediatric gender clinics have sprung up throughout the United States.
In 2007, Boston Children’s Hospital “became the first major program in the United States to focus on transgender children and adolescents,” as its own website brags.
Seven years later, 33 gender clinics had opened their doors to our nation’s children, telling parents that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones may be the only way to prevent teen suicides.
Never mind that according to the best studies—the ones that even transgender activists themselves cite—80 to 95 percent of children with gender dysphoria will come to identify with and embrace their bodily sex.
Never mind that 41 percent of people who identify as transgender will attempt suicide at some point in their lives, compared to 4.6 percent of the general population.
Never mind that people who have had transition surgery are 19 times more likely than average to die by suicide.
These statistics should stop us in our tracks. Clearly, we must work to find ways to effectively prevent these suicides and address the underlying causes. We certainly shouldn’t be encouraging children to “transition.”
The sad reality is that while the number of pediatric gender clinics is growing, very little is known about gender identity in children—and many therapies amount to little more than experimentation on minors.
Professional standards of care are being promulgated that state children should receive puberty-blocking drugs at as young as age 9, and cross-sex hormones at age 16—but there have been no controlled clinical trials on puberty blocking for gender dysphoria, and the Food and Drug Administration has not approved these drugs for treatment of gender dysphoria.
Meanwhile, despite claims by advocates, there is no evidence that puberty blocking is “reversible,” nor that it is harmless. Most concerning of all is that these treatments run the risk that children may persist in their gender dysphoria.
Blocking Puberty Could Cause Children to Persist in Gender Dysphoria
In their new article, Hruz, Mayer, and McHugh explain that transgender-affirming treatments of children “may drive some children to persist in identifying as transgender when they might otherwise have, as they grow older, found their gender to be aligned with their sex.”
As the doctors note, “Gender identity for children is elastic (that is, it can change over time) and plastic (that is, it can be shaped by forces like parental approval and social conditions).”
As a result, if “the increasing use of gender-affirming care does cause children to persist with their identification as the opposite sex, then many children who would otherwise not need ongoing medical treatment would be exposed to hormonal and surgical interventions.”
Whereas 80 to 95 percent of children with gender dysphoria will come to identify with and embrace their biological sex, none of the children placed on puberty blockers in the Dutch clinic that pioneered this treatment came to identify with their biological sex. All of them persisted in their transgender identity.
READ MORE: http://dailysignal.com/2017/06/20/new-paper-says-puberty-blockers-arent-answer-gender-confusion/