Genspect, an advocacy group that strives for an evidence-based approach to gender distress, released a statement in response to a new rule that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has adopted that would prevent pediatricians from weighing in on resolution #27, a formal request to reevaluate their 2018 policy.
That AAP policy fully endorses "gender-affirmation" care, while rejecting other forms of treatment for minors experiencing gender distress, including the more cautious "watchful waiting" approach. The gender-affirmation model prevents medical professionals from questioning a child’s self-reported transgender identity, and from exploring possible underlying factors causing their dysphoria. The standard protocol for gender affirmation is administering puberty blockers, followed by cross-sex hormones and then surgery, if desired.
Genspect describes themselves on their website as "an international alliance of professional groups, parents, trans people, detransitioners, and others who advocate for a better model of care than the current 'affirmative' approach."
"We are very concerned that the AAP is currently representing only one set of views on how best to help our children thrive—namely both social (names, pronouns, etc.) and medical transition (puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, surgeries), which the AAP refers to as "affirmative care,'" writes Genspect.
Resolution 27, submitted by five AAP pediatrician members in March of this year, requested a thorough and systematic evaluation of the available evidence to update their 2018 AAP position. Genspect expressed their disappointment with the AAP’s new rule that prevents pediatricians from contributing to the discussion, and accuses the AAP of "preemptively suppressing debate by not allowing comments," a rule they say that did not exist last year.
Genspect and their supporters say they have identified numerous ethical problems with the AAP’s 2018 policy statement. Dr. James Cantor, Director of the Toronto Sexuality Centre, and associate professor of the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, wrote a rebuttal to the policy statement, finding that the references AAP cited outright contradicted their own conclusions.
In a thread accompanying a link to their letter, Genspect tweeted, "It's appalling that the AAP adopted 'gender affirmation,' a radical, invasive and controversial approach to managing gender dysphoria, without conducting its own systematic review of the evidence in pediatric gender medicine. Our kids deserve better!"
Genspect concludes their letter by asking the AAP to open up comments on Resolution 27, a decision that can be voted on in their upcoming Annual Leadership Conference in August. "We look forward to being included in the vital discussions about medical care for gender dysphoric youth, which will shape our children’s entire lives, their physical and mental health, and their ability to have children of their own."
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