Pediatricians Challenge Gender-Affirming Interventions for Youth – Examining Studies and Cautions

Pediatricians Challenge Gender-Affirming Interventions for Youth – Examining Studies and Cautions

Pediatricians have raised concerns over the effectiveness and potential harms of gender-affirming interventions for youth, citing studies that question the psychological well-being and long-term impact of such interventions.

Study on ‘Transgender’ Children and Psychological Well-being:

The pediatricians referenced an early study that compared 73 ‘transgender’ children aged 3–12 with gender-matched controls, including siblings.

Parental reports indicated similar rates of depression in both groups, with slight increases in anxiety observed among children identifying as transgender.

Importantly, the study did not provide evidence supporting the psychological benefits of social ‘transitioning.’

The examination of the study sheds light on the comparable mental health outcomes and the absence of clear benefits from social transitioning.

Cautions Against Puberty Blockers and Cross-Sex Hormones:

The pediatricians cautioned against the use of hormone therapy to prevent puberty, emphasizing that it has shown no significant benefits for gender incongruent youth.

They highlighted a study involving 20,619 transgender adults, indicating high suicide ideation rates regardless of puberty blocker use.

The doctors also cited international studies suggesting that cross-sex hormones offer little mental health benefit and may increase the use of psychiatric services.

The cautionary statements regarding puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones underscore potential risks and question their efficacy.

NHS Review and Unknown Long-Term Safety:

Referencing the National Health Service (NHS) in England, the pediatric group pointed to a systematic review of cross-sex hormone treatment for gender dysphoria.

The NHS concluded that potential benefits must be weighed against the largely unknown long-term safety profile in children and adolescents with gender dysphoria.

The mention of the NHS review adds a global perspective and highlights the cautious approach even in established healthcare systems.

Positive Outcomes and Embracing Biological Sex:

Contrary to gender-affirming interventions, the pediatricians cited studies indicating that many adolescents who underwent hormonal or surgical transitions later embraced their biological sex.

A University of Toronto study showed that the majority of boys referred for gender dysphoria had their dysphoria resolve, emphasizing the importance of addressing mental health, adverse childhood events, and family dysfunction.

The focus on positive outcomes and the embrace of biological sex provides a balanced perspective on potential alternatives to gender-affirming interventions.

Conclusion:

The pediatricians concluded by emphasizing the need to address mental illness, adverse childhood events, and family dysfunction in gender-dysphoric youth.

They advocate for reassurance to embrace biological sex as gender identity and caution against the potentially harmful consequences of ‘transgender-affirming’ interventions.

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