Medical professionals in the US and UK are sounding the alarm about the growing use of “hormonal and surgical interventions” for children who are confused about their gender identity, saying that more studies are required.
Members of the conservative childrens’ advocacy group the American College of Pediatricians (ACP) wrote a letter on Monday to the Surgeon General of the United States, warning about the effects of gender-reassignment surgeries and hormonal drugs on minors, saying such interventions have “not undergone long-term study.”
The ACP called the issue a “grave public health concern” and said that the drastic methods have become the new “standard of care” in lieu of “ethical psychotherapy” for children and teens who present with gender dysphoria (GD).
The ACP letter cites research which claims that 61-98 percent of youth affected by GD will “outgrow” it “if allowed to progress through natural puberty.”
The group also laments that healthcare professionals are “increasingly prohibited from investigating psychosocial factors” which may have led to GD symptoms and fear being penalized or accused of discrimination.
The warnings are coming from both sides of the pond. Earlier this month, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) cautioned that there is a lack of “robust evidence” about the long-term effects of puberty-blockers and hormonal drugs.
In a 12-page position paper, the RCGP complained that family doctors were under pressure to provide gender dysphoria services that “lie outside the remit” of their generalist expertise. The paper advises that more research is needed on the pros and cons of medical treatment vs. a less dramatic “wait and see” approach.