American medical associations are doubling down on their support of so-called gender-affirming care for children even as lawsuits mount and European countries reverse course. America’s public reckoning with the harms inflicted on kids by pediatric gender medicine ticks closer by the day, and indeed several studies published in recent weeks bring the tragic and profound risks into sharper focus.
A study headed by Finnish researcher Riittakerttu Kaltiala examines the psychiatric needs of gender-dysphoric individuals in Finland. The researchers observe that the dysphoric population was substantially more likely than age-matched peers to have received specialist-level psychiatric contact before their first visit to a gender clinic. Worryingly, mental-health needs intensify after they begin the process of medical transition. Whereas 15 percent of patients who underwent gender-reassignment interventions had received psychiatric treatment before visiting a gender clinic, 53 percent had psychiatric contact after their first visit.
“Experts” profess certainty that “gender-affirming care” alleviates mental-health distress. They arrive at this conclusion through deeply flawed studies that rely on patient self-reports of mental health. But other clinical indicators suggest that medical transition in fact exacerbates mental-health distress. A 2021 study found that prescriptions for psychotropic medications increased after kids initiated medical transition. A 2011 study from Sweden meanwhile found that those who underwent sex-reassignment surgery had an appreciably lower life expectancy than the general population, in part due to an increased incidence of suicide.
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