'Gender affirming therapy' does not help youth mental health: American College of Pediatricians

"...no long-term evidence that mental health concerns are decreased or alleviated after ‘gender-affirming therapy.’”


On Wednesday, the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) said "There is no long-term evidence that mental health concerns are decreased or alleviated after ‘gender-affirming therapy,’” after it reviewed more than 60 studies on the effectiveness of sex changes on minors.

In a statement, The ACPeds revealed, "Adolescents who have a gender identity not congruent with their biological sex have an increased incidence of mental health issues, including depression and suicidal ideation."

"Both before and after “gender-affirming therapy” (GAT), adolescents who have gender-identity incongruence are at higher risk for psychopathology than their peers who identify with their biological sex," the statement continued. Previous adverse childhood experiences may play a major role in that psychopathology and needs to be explored in helping these patients."

The statement noted that "There are no long-term studies demonstrating benefits nor studies evaluating risks associated with the medical and surgical interventions provided to these adolescents" and that "Many individuals who have been treated with “GAT” later regret those interventions and seek to align their gender identity with their sex"

"Because of the risks of social, medical, and surgical interventions, many European countries are now cautioning against these interventions while encouraging mental health therapy," the ACPeds added.

The statement went on to express concern about parents and healthcare professionals who support sex changes in children. They said those who support this are "contributing to increased depression by appearing to validate to the children that "something is wrong with their body and biological sex.'"

The ACPeds have been one of the few American medical organizations that have spoken out against performing sex changes on minors. In a previous statement, they challenged the notion that puberty blockers are "fully reversible." They noted that the drug Lupron has "been associated with and may be the cause of many serious permanent side effects including osteoporosis, mood disorders, seizures, cognitive impairment and, when combined with cross-sex hormones, sterility."

It was revealed last year that a maker of a puberty-blocking drug funded the Dutch investigative report that resulted in the "Dutch protocol" being the recommended standard for treating gender-questioning adolescents, starting with puberty blockers and switching to cross-sex hormones at the age of 16 years old.

In recent years, countries like Sweden, Finland, and England have shifted away from the "gender affirmation care" model and backed a psychotherapeutic approach to treating young people.

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