Transgenderism, which normalizes mental illness about sexuality, has taken a sleeping nation by storm. What not too long ago was categorized as a mental disorder by every psychiatrist and psychologist has now been redefined as a perfectly normal alternative to, well, normal sexuality.
Nineteen states have made it a crime for a mental health professional to help a confused teenager adopt a healthy and time-tested view of his own sexuality. But no amount of redefining words can change the tragic reality that among those who have completed the wholly imaginary transition from male to female (or the reverse) the rate of attempted suicide is a heartbreaking and astonishing 41%, nine times higher than the national average.
(A study from Sweden — a nation known for its “affirmation” of transgender individuals — showed that gender-affirming treatment actually does not reduce the suicide rate for these patients. “In fact, their rate of completed suicide was found to be 19 times the rate for the general population.”)
Accompanying this twisted embrace of sexual perversity is egregious and grotesque medical malpractice. It is now standard operating procedures to put mixed-up teenagers on puberty blockers, drugs which stop a teen’s perfectly normal sexual maturation. These puberty blockers are actually forms of chemical castration, which is a great idea if we want to inject it into pedophiles, but is criminal when injected in a healthy 13-year-old.
Worse, these puberty blockers are sold to desperate parents and a gullible public as “reversible.” According to the Washington Post, “hormone treatment, which can be used to delay puberty, is reversible.” The idea, of course, is that a teen can try using powerful drugs to delay puberty, and if he doesn’t like it, just do a little reverse engineering and go right back to the way he was.
The problem – and shame on the Washington Post for not admitting it – is that this claim is a bald-faced lie.
A major part of the problem in this approach to teenage sexuality is that it is so bizarre, so novel, and so previously unthinkable that there are no long-term studies at all to verify this course of treatment is either harmless or reversible.
Endocrinologist Dr. William Malone says bluntly that puberty suppression is “frequently called reversible but it’s not.”
Said Dr. Malone, “Normal bone density development and pelvic development is interfered with and probably brain development too. Almost all children placed on puberty blockers go on to cross-sex hormones—meaning puberty blockers solidify and sometimes intensify dysphoria,” which of course makes the problem measurably worse.
The standard of care for gender dysphoria (a lack of comfort with one’s own sexual identity) has always been supportive counseling. That is, helping a biological male accept his male sexual identity and learn to embrace it, rather than taking an experimental and unproven lurch into brain-altering drugs.
To make things inexcusably worse, there are ten studies in the medical literature that show that 85% of adolescents with gender dysphoria grow out of it by early adulthood without drugs or surgery.
Since there are no long-term studies of puberty blockers in treating gender dysphoria, “no one can say blockers are completely reversible and without harm,” according to Dr. Michelle Cretella of the American College of Pediatricians.
One of the commonly prescribed drugs is Lupron, which the Food and Drug Administration links to thousands of deaths, even when it is used under FDA approved conditions. Lupron, effectively castrates children of both sexes, chemically turning boys into eunuchs and sending girls into early-onset menopause. Between 2013 and June 2019, the FDA recorded 41,213 adverse events, including 6,379 deaths and 25,645 “serious” reactions in patients who took Lupron.
Using Lupron for treating gender dysphoria is an off-label, use which means such a use has no FDA approval. Many girls who use Lupron for FDA approved treatments develop osteoporosis in their twenties because of its impact on development of bone density.
The harm caused is not incidental. Dr. Cretella says,
“They are absolutely harming kids with blockers because they rob them of the very developmental period during which the vast majority come to embrace their biologic sex. Even if a child comes off blockers, we can never give back the period of normal physical/psychosocial development that was stolen from them.”
The mindless and simplistic approach of just throwing drugs at the problem ignores the sad reality that perhaps 75% of gender-confused adolescents are already undergoing psychiatric treatment for other psychological problems, including autism.
In one study from the UK, 62.5% of the girls had been diagnosed with at least one mental health disorder prior to the onset of their gender confusion. Many had already attempted to harm themselves or had experienced major trauma of some kind.
Disturbingly, peer contagion seems to be a major factor in this epidemic. There are “cluster outbreaks” of gender dysphoria among teens who are in the same social media circles, some of whom become more popular when they come out to their friends as gender dysphoric. This kind of peer synergism also occurs with depression, eating disorders, and drug use.
The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a position statement in conjunction with the noted hotbed of objective scientific research, the Human Rights Campaign. Fewer than 0.05 percent of the AAPs 65,000 members had any input into its position on blockers.
There is simply no professional consensus at all on medical treatment for adolescents who struggle with gender dysphoria. The Endocrine Society, which supports puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for kids, admits that 68% of its own transgender guidelines are of “very low” or “low” quality. None of its guidelines – as in zero, zip, nada, zilch – are supported by high-quality evidence and research.
The American College of Pediatricians has compiled significant research on the effects of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones on children. Complications related to the drug’s use include malignant tumors, cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and blood clots, suicidal behavior and other psychological disorders, brittle bones and painful joints, and even sterility.
Dr. Michael Laidlaw says the scientifically unsupported guidelines are nothing more than institutionalized and diabolical pathways toward childhood sterilization, since the majority of children who start on puberty blockers go on to wrong-sex hormones, and then on to sex reassignment surgery. All who went the cross-sex hormonal route are infertile, and those who had reassignment surgery were sterilized.
Since children have no capacity to comprehend these long-term consequences, the use of this drug in gender-confused children is manifestly unethical since children cannot possibly give informed consent.
Said Dr. Laidlaw:
“I think it’s very obvious that the Surgeon General needs to step in and become seriously involved in an investigation as to why drugs like Lupron, which are obviously extraordinarily risky, are being used off label to arrest the normal development of thousands of healthy adolescent bodies. If this were any other (non-politicized) situation and this sort of harm was occurring, the doctors and pharmaceutical manufacturers behind it would be investigated immediately, and it would be all over the press.”
Not to put too fine a point on it, putting teens on puberty blockers is a blatant form of child abuse. South Dakota has banned the practice, and it’s time for 49 states to follow.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)
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