The problem with transgenderism is that there is no scientific evidence to support it. The usual standards for medical therapy, such as proof of effect, absence of complication in bench studies, animal experiments and human trials are absent. Instead, the procedures that supposedly change an individual into another sex have been based on “clinical consensus”, which is the opinion of the “experts”, those who are performing the procedures
The mainstream narrative on transgenderism is that it is well-studied, and that there is academic consensus on its effectiveness. In reality, the literature is fraught with study design problems, including convenience sampling, lack of controls, cross-sectional design, small sample size, short study lengths, and enormously high drop-out rates among participants. Very few studies on transition escape these issues.
There have been numerous cases from around the world of authorities subjecting children to gender re-assignment contrary to their parents’ wishes. In fact, an article published in the Journal of Medical Ethics in the British Medical Journal (December 2019) included an article entitled “Medically assisted gender affirmation: when children and parents disagree”. The authors of this article give priority to the autonomy of transgendered youths over their parents’ wishes. In order to remove a child from the parents’ control, the authors recommended dealing with uncooperative parents by accusing them of “neglect” for refusing the procedure.
Another strategy used by some physicians to overcome parental objection is to interview a child separately from the parents. This may be well-intentioned by a physician who, for example, wants to determine a pattern of child abuse. However, the separation of parents from the child for medical interviews can also be used by physicians to encourage an abortion, birth control and premature sexual activity, or transgenderism. Further, it is not uncommon for physicians to suggest to uncooperative parents that their child may possibly commit suicide if the transgender process is not commenced — “better a transitioned child than a dead child” is their argument. There is little evidence to support this. However, there is much evidence from different parts of the world that establishes an increased risk of suicide in later years following the completion of the transition process.
Recently, two papers were published in medical journals attempting to show that children are less suicidal if they are allowed to be transgendered. An investigation of the data in these papers showed that they were based on the recruitment of people from LGBTQ organizations, who responded to an online survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality. The authors of this survey were all trans activists and none were scientists or physicians.
An important factor in this controversial issue is that children’s distress about their gender, in 88% of cases, are resolved without transition, and the children come to accept their biological sex. This occurs by a self-correcting process involving time, growing maturity, and sometimes psychotherapy.
Another important fact about children claiming they were born in the wrong sex is that they also seem to have a high incidence of other psychiatric problems, such as autism, depression and anxiety disorders. Instead of dealing with these underlying problems, these children are being diagnosed with a gender disorder and prescribed puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgery to mimic their desired sex. This quick assessment of patients by the UK’s Tavistock Gender Clinic, Britain’s only state funded gender identity clinic, is currently being argued before the British courts. That clinic has lost 35 psychologists and a psychiatric nurse in the past three years, who quit the clinic because of the failure to properly assess the child’s problems before commencing transgender medical intervention. In the Netherlands, physicians do not begin treatment until two years after referral, but in Canada, a minor child can be prescribed puberty blockers and other treatments after a 15 minute interview. This should give Canadians pause, regardless of which side of the issue they are on.
There is no medical definition of transgenderism. No blood tests, genetic testing or brain imaging scans can confirm or deny the condition. Yet medical professionals are prescribing harmful puberty blockers and performing harmful surgeries, such as hysterectomies, double mastectomies and penis removal, on confused children. These procedures sterilize the patients for life, and require them to have a lifetime of medication to maintain their desired sex.
A puberty blocker is a treatment that works on the brain to stop the eventual release of estrogen or testosterone (the sex hormones that increase during puberty) in order to prevent the development of sex characteristics. Puberty, however, is more than a process of genital maturation. It is also a critical time for bone, pelvis, brain and psychosocial development. All these processes are adversely affected by puberty blockers and these effects may not be readily reversible.
It is noted that the U.S. Pediatric Endocrine Society insists that the effects of puberty blocking medications are reversible, even though there is no scientific evidence to validate this claim. No long term, rigorous studies to establish the absence of harm have been undertaken.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Pediatric Endocrine Society has been taken over by ideologues, as have some other medical associations, such as the American Psychological Association (APA), and, as a result, ideology supersedes scientific evidence. It is significant that the Pediatric Endocrine Society has been endorsed by the organization, World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), which was launched, among others, by the notorious sexologist, Alfred Kinsey, to push a political agenda for gender ideology. The guidelines published by the Endocrine Society are essentially a rubber stamp version of the WPATH guidelines on transgenderism.
The Good News about Transgenderism
The medical profession and various governments around the world are finally becoming concerned about this developing trend to permit children, who are not even old enough to drive a car, to consent to treatment by surgery and hormones to allegedly become a member of the opposite sex.
Examples of this long overdue investigation of these unscientific procedures include:
- In 2016, the National Health Service in the UK commissioned a report by independent experts to investigate puberty suppressants and cross-sex hormones. This report is to be released this year.
- Seven Swedish physicians demanded, in March 2019, an independent inquiry into transgender treatment. They claim that the young patients often suffer from self-harming, eating disorders, mental trauma, depression and emotional instability, which, along with autism, may be the main underlying problems. Sweden’s Board of Health and Welfare ordered a reassessment of the evidence on transgenderism procedures. This report is due on March 31, 2020.
- Australian health minister Greg Hunt has requested the Royal Australasian College of Physicians to undertake a full review of treatment for gender dysphoria in youth. The report is to be based on “objective evidence” only.
- In July 2019, the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, the Catholic Medical Association, and the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice, called on the Surgeon General of the United States to issue a call to action by medical practitioners on transgenderism treatment and to issue a warning or advisory regarding these medical interventions being carried out on children.
- In 2017, the U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) launched a prospective study of 400 transgender adolescents. It is the first study to examine the effects of drugs that block puberty until a teenager’s body and mind are mature enough to begin cross-sex hormone treatment.
- Concerns about transgender treatment of children have been raised independently by physicians and specialists in Ireland, U.S., Australia and England.
It is gratifying that the medical community is starting to push back against the transgender wave that has swept through the medical community in the last few years. Hopefully, this will stop the scandal of the social experiment on vulnerable children who cannot understand the consequences of this medical treatment.