A study by the Heritage Foundation reveals a higher likelihood of youth suicide in states that allow minors to receive puberty blockers for gender-affirmation without parental consent than otherwise.
The study, authored by Dr. Jay Greene, comes as a response to a growing number of lawmakers attempting to make puberty blockers for minors without parental consent more easily accessible nationwide.
Many proponents of puberty-blocking treatments for minors have equated the astronomical suicide rates among transgender youth and adults to the difficulty of access to treatments, but the bombshell study by Heritage shows conflicting data.
"The claim that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones prevent suicides is being used by the Biden administration and state policymakers to ease access to those drugs," the study's author told The Post Millennial.
"It turns out that the science behind this claim is extremely weak and when the evidence is examined properly, it shows that making cross-sex treatments more widely available increases youth suicide rates rather than reducing them."
The Heritage study notes that puberty-blocking treatments did not even exist in the United States before 2007 and were “extremely rare before 2010.” Prior to 2010, a number of states had provisions allowing access to medical treatments for minors without parental consent, typically to aide minors suffering from homelessness.
As the popularity of puberty-blocking hormone treatments for minors expanded in 2010 and onward, so did the youth suicide rates in the states that had loopholes for minors to access medical treatments without parental consent.
The study notes the startling difference in their study stating, “Before 2010, these two groups of states did not differ in their youth suicide rates. Starting in 2010, when puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones became widely available, elevated suicide rates in states where minors can more easily access those medical interventions became observable.”
Heritage also highlights an analysis of Google Trends to note the stark increase in interest and popularity of puberty-blocking in 2015 and onward, further contributing to an increase in youth suicide rates in states with lax parental consent laws for medical treatments of minors.
“In 2015, the estimated increase in suicide rates in states with easier access accelerates. By 2020, there are about 1.6 more suicides per 100,000 people ages 12 to 23 in states that have a policy allowing minors to access health care without parental consent than in states without such a policy,” the study states.
“The average state suicide rate in this age group between 1999 and 2020 was 11.1, making an additional 1.6 suicides per 100,000 an increase of 14 percent in the suicide rate.”
According to the study, the data for these states in recent years is even more alarming stating, “By 2020, there are about 3.5 more suicides per 100,000 people ages 12 to 23 in states with easier access than in states without an access provision.”
The study concludes by suggesting that the solution to the higher youth suicide rates in by closing the loopholes that allow parents to be taken out of the treatment rooms and barring those under 18 from receiving gender-affirming treatments:
“States should instead adopt parental bills of rights that affirm the fact that parents have primary responsibility for their children’s education and health, and that require school officials and health professionals to receive permission from parents before administering health services, including medication and 'gender-affirming' counseling, to children under 18. States should also tighten the criteria for receiving cross-sex treatments, including raising the minimum eligibility age.”
States across America have been taking incredibly varied approaches to the treatment of gender dysphoric children and teens in recent months. The Heritage study notes one new law out of California, AB-1184, which "prevents insurance companies from notifying parents if children on their policies receive 'sensitive services,' which were defined to include gender-affirming care." Meanwhile, Texas has been taking quite the opposite approach, with the Texas Attorney General declaring sex-change operations and puberty blockers for minors are "child abuse."
The issue of giving puberty blockers to minors is one of international proportions, with countries around the world facing backlash against lax guidelines for children receiving gender-affirming medical treatment. At some hospitals in the UK, doctors are being directed to give puberty blockers to minors before they are even seen by a doctor due to “high demand.” In stark contrast, Sweden has banned puberty-blocking treatments for minors suffering from gender dysphoria, citing concern over the long-term effects.
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