“Trust the experts.” That’s the refrain every time elected officials or medical boards question the wisdom of providing life-altering treatments to children who believe they suffer from gender dysphoria. The phrase is deliberately designed to squash dissent, yet a new report from the Manhattan Institute proves that the experts literally don’t know what they’re talking about.
Manhattan Institute scholar Leor Sapir examined the transgender care guidelines released by prominent medical associations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and supportive statements from groups like the American Medical Association (AMA). His findings should concern everyone who’s been told to listen to these groups:
“None of these organizations have done systematic reviews of the evidence, a method of review designed to prevent cherry-picking of studies and biased analysis.”
It gets worse:
“The AAP’s position is based on a single non-peer-reviewed policy statement published in 2018 in its own journal, Pediatrics. A peer-reviewed fact-check of that article revealed that it completely misrepresents the research and omits all the studies that undermine the affirmative model.”
This leads to a follow-up question: Has anyone done a thorough review of the evidence? Yes, and as Sapir shows, they reached the opposite conclusion:
“Sweden, Finland, the U.K., and Florida have done systematic reviews, and all four reached the same conclusion: there is no evidence that the benefits of hormones for treating gender-related distress in youth outweighs the risks.”
Not only that, Sweden, Finland, and the U.K. have all taken steps to limit the gender-affirming treatments that children can receive. That makes sense, given the evidence.
Sadly, America is heading in the opposite direction, driven by the most prominent and powerful medical associations. Clearly, policymakers should stop listening to groups like the AAP and the AMA, among others. They are pushing an unscientific ideological agenda on our country’s children – and policymakers should end it, not enable it.
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