One of Finland’s leading experts in the field of gender medicine believes that the “transition or suicide” discourse pushed by trans activists who advocate for child sex changes is “purposeful disinformation” and “irresponsible.”
Dr. Riitta Kaltiala, chief psychiatrist at Finland's Tampere U gender clinic, made the comments during a recent interview with one of the country’s top newspapers. Suggesting that children and adolescents will commit suicide if not given access to experimental sex-change procedures “is purposeful disinformation, the dissemination of which is irresponsible," said Kaltiala.
Kaltiala added that prior to gender clinics offering sex-change procedures to children, the suicide rate among this vulnerable cohort was extremely low, and pointed to a long-term Swedish study that found the rate of completed suicides to be high among people who have undergone medical sex change.
“It is therefore not justified to tell the parents of young people experiencing transgenderism that the young person is at risk of suicide without correctional treatments and that the danger can be prevented with gender reassignment treatments,” Kaltiala concluded. “A balance of the mind does not come from making others do and see what you want.”
Leor Sapir, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute who has previously debunked the transition-or-suicide narrative, agrees that there’s no evidence to support such claims.
Sapir took to Twitter Monday to respond to claims made by prominent US trans activists Erin Reed and Alejandra Caraballo that gender-confused children are committing suicide because of the bans on child sex change surgeries and drugs currently being debated in numerous states.
“‘Give them hormones or they'll kill themselves’ is a perfect example of what the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention calls a ‘simplistic explanation’ for suicide. It warns that such explanations can themselves fuel suicidal behavior,” tweeted Sapir in response.
It has long been known that suicide is socially contagious, so all suicide prevention guidelines advise extreme caution when reporting on suicide. According to the CDC, the likelihood of suicide contagion is increased when public figures and media present simplistic explanations.
“Suicide is never the result of a single factor or event, but rather results from a complex interaction of many factors.” reads the guidance. “Public officials and media should carefully explain that the final precipitating event was not the only cause of a given suicide.”
Sapir explains that while children who believe themselves to be transgender are at a higher risk for suicide and suicidality, that risk remains extremely low. He also points out that there is no evidence of a suicide epidemic amongst so-called trans kids before affirmation and medical sex changes were available.
“Moreover, most kids seeking transition services have co-occurring mental health problems which are themselves risk factors for suicide/suicidality (e.g., autism, bipolar, depression), and which are very often diagnosed *before* any gender issues arise,” Sapir added.
Sapir cites one US study that found 71 percent of trans-identified males and 75 percent of trans-identified females had received a prior mental health diagnosis, a Finnish study showing similar figures, and a UK study of the Tavistock gender clinic that found over half of patients had a pre-existing diagnosis of ADHD or autism, both known risk factors for suicidal thoughts.
“If ‘trans kids are suicidal,’ that might be because autistic kids, who have higher rates of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, are more likely to identify as trans. Correlation/causation,” suggests Sapir.
According to Sapir, research showing high rates of suicidality among youth who identify as transgender is “misleading” because it compares trans-identified youth to non-trans-identified youth, when the “latter group doesn’t have the same mental health profiles.”
“It’s an apples-to-oranges comparison,” he astutely points out.
“An apples-to-apples comparison would be between trans ID youth and non-trans-ID youth *with* similar mental health profiles,” said Sapir, before going on to cite a study of youth in Canada, the Netherlands and the UK, that did just that and found very little difference in suicidality between the two groups.
“It found that suicidality was more common among females with trans ID than males, and, more importantly, that when matched with clinically referred (but *not* trans-ID) teens, the disparities in suicidal thoughts and behavior diminished considerably,” said Sapir.
For the Canadian cohort of the study, trans-identified females and non-trans-identified females were found to have the same rates of suicidality.
Nations such as Finland, Sweden, and England that have performed systematic reviews of the evidence for so-called gender-affirming care, including examining the claim that it reduces suicidality, have all reached the same conclusion: the evidence is very low quality.
These findings have resulted in each country putting the brakes on the child-sex-change medical experiment and reverting back to a more cautious psychotherapeutic approach to the treatment of these children and adolescents.
“In sum, suicidal behavior and thoughts ARE elevated among trans ID-ing youth, but the evidence that it's BECAUSE OF "unaffirmed" gender and therefore manageable ONLY THROUGH hormones & surgeries simply isn't there. Affirm or suicide" is a classic correlation/causation fallacy,” concluded Sapir.
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