Breaking Campus News. Launching Media Careers.
‘Gender-affirming therapy’ is not beneficial, pediatrics group concludes

Treat gender confusion with therapy, not drugs and ‘affirmation,’ doctor says

“Gender-affirming therapy” is not beneficial, a pediatrics group concluded.

The American College of Pediatricians issued a policy statement on “gender identity” and “biological sex” after reviewing existing literature.

The medical group “cannot condone the social affirmation, medical intervention, or surgical mutilation of children and adolescents identifying as transgender or gender nonconforming.”

“Rather, intensive psychotherapy for the individual and family to determine and hopefully treat the underlying etiology of their gender incongruence should be pursued,” the medical professionals wrote.

Contrary to claims someone can change their sex, ACPeds “affirms the medical fact that the sex of an individual is based upon biology and not upon thoughts or feelings.”

Dr. Jane Anderson, vice president of the group and lead author of the statement, provided further comments to The College Fix via a media statement. She taught pediatrics at the University of California San Francisco.

The Fix asked how policymakers, such as legislators, public health officials, and schools could use the report.

She said, “none of the so-called ‘gender affirming’ interventions, including social affirmation, puberty blockers, cross sex hormones, and surgical procedures – either in isolation or in combination – improve the mental health and well-being of adolescents who identify as ‘transgender.’”

“There is no good evidence that those interventions prevent suicides in adolescents seeking them.” Anderson said. “They may actually increase that risk.”

The Fix asked what a good public health reason would be to restrict these procedures even if there were reliable studies showing they were safe or improved mental health.

Anderson said this would be a hypothetical question because there are not any studies that demonstrate safety or improved mental health.

“It is important to note that appropriate and expeditious medical care often depends upon knowing an individual’s biological sex,” Anderson said.

Anderson provided a case report of a late diagnosed ectopic pregnancy.

“There has already been a case report of a biological female presenting as a male whose ectopic pregnancy was not diagnosed quickly because of her altered appearance,” she said.

Anderson also provided a USA Today article, where a woman changed her appearance and had a stillborn child.

“Males and females may respond differently to drug treatment protocols,” Dr. Anderson said.

She provided a website, The Foundation for Gender-Specific Medicine, that works to provide accurate information about this topic. ACPeds also maintains resources at biologicalintegrity.org.

The Fix asked why policymakers, including courts, appear to be ruling in favor of transgender drugs and surgeries being easily available.

“The promoters of transgender ideology appear to be compassionate and argue that without the so-called ‘gender affirming’ interventions, the adolescents will suffer emotional and physical pain, and will be more likely to commit suicide,” she said.

“So the policy makers and courts are reluctant to act against this false narrative,” Anderson said. “However, the scientific research, especially from European countries, does not support this approach.”

She referenced a BMJ Mental Health study on gender clinics and suicide.

“The most recent longitudinal study from Finland that followed over 2,000 adolescents seeking care in their gender clinics found that when psychiatric treatment needs were controlled for, gender identity with or without so-called ‘gender affirming’ interventions did not increase or decrease suicide risk compared to population controls,” Anderson said, citing the study.

‘Gender confusion’ is often preceded by depression, anxiety

“The more compassionate approach is to treat the underlying mental health issues, including depression and anxiety and past adverse childhood events, that often precede the onset of gender confusion,” Anderson said.

The Fix asked what parents of gender dysphoric children should do to help them be comfortable in their true sex, not imagined one and if there are specific programs the ACPeds can recommend that have been helpful in dealing with gender-dysphoria.

Anderson said, “gender affirming interventions are dangerous.”

“Social affirmation, often viewed as harmless, is an active confirmation that the adolescent’s delusion of ‘being born in the wrong body’ is, in fact, accurate,” she said.

Anderson said research shows that puberty blockers are more likely to be used by people who receive social affirmation.

“So social affirmation should be avoided,” Anderson said. “It is their true sex, not their false sexual (gender) identity, that should be affirmed.”

“Parents should also seek mental health therapy for those adolescents who are struggling with sexual identity,” Anderson said.

Anderson provided more information from two studies: “A Follow-Up Study of Boys With Gender Identity Disorder” and “Endocrine Treatment of Gender-Dysphoric/Gender-Incongruent Persons: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline.”

“In some studies, over 50% of adolescents presenting to gender clinics suffered from depression, anxiety or other mental health diagnoses,” Anderson said. “Other studies reveal these adolescents are more likely to have experienced traumatic events in their childhood. These all should be addressed by mental health professionals.”

“Adolescents should be allowed to experience natural puberty during which time sex hormones influence the developing brain,” Anderson said. “This normal process, in combination with appropriate counseling, will often be sufficient to allow the adolescents to feel comfortable with their biological sex at the end of puberty.”

“In the best studies available, up to 85% of children and adolescents with gender incongruence will go on to feel comfortable with their biological sex if allowed to progress through normal puberty.”

MORE: SCOTUS denies emergency request for campus drag show

IMAGE: Alexander Grey/Pexels

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Please join the conversation about our stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, MeWe, Rumble, Gab, Minds and Gettr.

About the Author
College Fix contributor MJ Cadman is a graduate student at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she is studying theology.