US medical industry led by activists, not science, in field of gender transition for minors

A new study shows the US is allowing trans activism to dictate how it treats children and adolescents who believe themselves to be transgender, while doctors in Europe are following a more scientific and evidence-based approach.

Mia Ashton Montreal QC

A new study shows that the United States is allowing trans activism to dictate how it treats children and adolescents who believe themselves to be transgender, while doctors in Europe are following a more scientific and evidence-based approach to caring for these vulnerable young people.

The study is published by Do No Harm, a newly formed group of physicians, healthcare professionals, medical students, patients, and policymakers seeking to protect healthcare from radical ideology. After analyzing the legal requirements for sex-change-related treatments in Europe and the US, the group concluded that “[e]xtreme gender ideology drives the United States to provide transgender medical care to younger children, while Europe goes a safer and more scientific route.”

The report found that children and adolescents in the US have easier access to puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and so-called gender-affirming surgeries than their European counterparts, and highlights the recent change of course back to psychotherapy that many European nations have embarked upon after systematic reviews found the evidence for treating children with puberty blockers and hormones to be of very low quality.

Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, chairman of Do No Harm, says that the U.S. is facing a real dilemma because a number of the leading medical organizations have given their overwhelming support to the gender-affirming model of care, despite there being no good quality evidence to justify such invasive treatments.

“The leading medical organizations made a commitment to [gender-affirming care], and I don't think they understood what they were committing to,” Goldfarb told The Post Millennial. “They didn't understand the literature. They didn't read it carefully enough, or assess it carefully enough. Now, I think there probably are real regrets out there, but it's very hard for these organizations to shift in midstream.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a position statement in 2018 in support of gender-affirming care for minors so riddled with inaccuracies that Canadian sexologist James Cantor debunked it point by point in a scathing rebuttal published in 2019. Cantor concluded 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.”

Goldfarb went on to say that the guidelines produced by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) are “not based on evidence,” and the Dutch studies upon which the entire affirmative care protocol is based are “very flawed.”

The new report found clinics that use WPATH guidance impose few or no other limitations to receiving hormonal or physical treatment. WPATH recently removed all lower age recommendations from its guidelines as a way to ensure healthcare providers avoid being sued, and also added eunuch as a valid gender identity for children. This led one Swedish expert to conclude that the group is “an obviously activist organization.”

Goldfarb believes those pushing the transition-or-suicide myth are also politically motivated.

“This idea that suicide is much more prevalent amongst children that have not gone through so-called gender-affirming care, I think the literature is just awful, and it doesn't really support it,” said Goldfarb. “I think the people who are arguing for the validity of all this are really being activists. This isn't rigorous scientific assessment.”

Goldfarb stressed that his group is not opposed to adults having access to gender-affirming care.

“We specifically have no problem with adults transitioning. This is about children. We have no hate for transgender people. We think they should be able to live their lives. We just think that for children, it is not the time to start down this path until they're sure that this is the right thing for them,” he said.

“The United States needs to follow the science in this area and not follow the activists,” said Goldfarb.

Nations that are following the science include Sweden, Finland, England, and France. The report notes that the “concern that children are too quickly referred for gender-affirming medical treatment has arisen in several European countries. Given questions about the wisdom and judgment of children to make life-altering and permanent decisions about their health, officials have revised policies and guidance about gender-affirming care.”

Both Sweden and Finland now only offer medical interventions such as puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to minors in exceptional cases, and only in the strictest of research settings. England is expected to follow suit in the coming months upon completion of its independent review of the country’s pediatric gender service. 

According to the report, the National Academy of Medicine in France now warns medical practitioners that the growing cases of transgender identity in young people are often socially-mediated and that great caution in treatment is needed. Clinicians are also told that it is not possible to distinguish a durable trans identity from a passing phase of an adolescent’s development, meaning irreversible interventions come with a high risk of regret.

Meanwhile, in the US, no major medical organization has reversed its guidance. Some states, however, have issued their own guidance to prohibit minors’ access to sex reassignment interventions. For example, treatment is banned in Florida following November 2022 guidance issued by the Florida Board of Medicine and the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine.


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