Florida demands American Academy of Pediatrics give evidence for their support of child sex changes

Judge Carl J. Nichols has ordered that the American Academy of Pediatrics hand over documents that provide scientific evidence to back up its support of the "gender-affirming care" model.

Mia Ashton Montreal QC

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has been ordered to provide the state of Florida with evidence explaining why it supports child sex changes and documentation showing the process the medical association went through in order to reach that stance.

The District Court ruling comes as part of the legal action against the state of Florida brought by four plaintiffs and backed by the AAP that seeks to overturn Gov. Ron DeSantis's ban on Medicaid funding for child sex changes.

In pledging its support for the four minors who identify as transgender that have launched a legal challenge to the ban, the spotlight has now turned on the AAP, which now needs to provide scientific evidence to back up its support of so-called "gender-affirming care," reports the Daily Caller.

Judge Carl J. Nichols ordered the AAP to hand over information on the total number of its members, documentation relating to how it establishes new guidelines and policy positions, as well as any guidelines or policy positions on gender-affirming care, including how these guidelines or policies were drawn up. All this information must be provided to the state of Florida by Feb 2.

Furthermore, Nichols ordered that all official communications that took place within the AAP regarding its policies and guidelines on gender-affirming care be provided.

The AAP released a position statement in 2018 endorsing the affirmative model of care for children and adolescents who identify as members of the opposite sex. This model requires that clinicians immediately affirm a child’s self-declared transgender identity and pushes for early medical intervention. The alternative model of care, known as watchful waiting, that focuses on psychotherapeutic support is considered outdated and even conversion therapy under the affirmative model.

In 2019, Canadian sexologist James Cantor was so alarmed by the AAP’s position statement that he published a scathing rebuttal debunking it point by point, in which he argued that the "AAP told neither the truth nor the whole truth, committing sins of commission and omission, asserting claims easily falsified by anyone caring to do any fact-checking at all."

Foreseeing the malpractice lawsuits that were likely to result from the position statement written by an activist-led sub-committee, Cantor wrote his paper in such a way that it could be used in a courtroom. 

"AAP is advocating for something far in excess of mainstream practice and medical consensus. Problems do not constitute merely a misquote, a misinterpretation of an ambiguous statement, or a missing sentence or two. Rather, the AAP statement is a systematic exclusion and misrepresentation of entire literatures. Not only did AAP fail to provide extraordinary evidence, it failed to provide evidence at all. Indeed, AAP’s recommendations are despite the existing evidence," Cantor concluded.

Last year, five members of the AAP submitted a resolution requesting that the professional association perform a thorough systematic review of the available evidence for gender-affirming care, but the AAP took the unusual approach of enacting a new rule preventing members from supporting the resolution or contributing to the discussion. 

This led Genspect, an advocacy group campaigning for evidence-based care for youth suffering from gender distress, to accuse the AAP of "preemptively suppressing debate by not allowing comments."


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