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June 20 2017

Hormone therapy is a horrible risk for kids

via New York Post
by Naomi Schaefer Riley

Bathroom signs are temporary, but hormones are forever.

That seems to be the implication of a new paper called “Growing Pains: Problems with Puberty Suppression in Treating Gender Dysphoria,” published in the journal The New Atlantis this week.

Paul Hruz of the Washington University Medical School and Lawrence Mayer and Paul McHugh of Johns Hopkins Medical School looked at the recent use of hormones to treat children who feel that they should be members of the opposite sex and concluded that this experimental treatment, which is becoming commonplace in medicine, could have serious long-term effects on children.

According to an analysis by UCLA last year, about 1.4 million people in the United States identify as transgender, a growing number of whom are children. And there’s no doubt the number of children diagnosed with “gender dysphoria” — described by clinicians as “incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender” — has been on the rise.

A gender identity clinic for children in the United Kingdom, for instance, received 94 referrals in 2009-10 and 1,986 referrals in 2016-17 — a 2,000 percent increase. Referrals for children under the age of 6 went from six to 32 in the same time period.

Bathroom signs are temporary, but hormones are forever.

That seems to be the implication of a new paper called “Growing Pains: Problems with Puberty Suppression in Treating Gender Dysphoria,” published in the journal The New Atlantis this week.

Paul Hruz of the Washington University Medical School and Lawrence Mayer and Paul McHugh of Johns Hopkins Medical School looked at the recent use of hormones to treat children who feel that they should be members of the opposite sex and concluded that this experimental treatment, which is becoming commonplace in medicine, could have serious long-term effects on children.

According to an analysis by UCLA last year, about 1.4 million people in the United States identify as transgender, a growing number of whom are children. And there’s no doubt the number of children diagnosed with “gender dysphoria” — described by clinicians as “incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender” — has been on the rise.

A gender identity clinic for children in the United Kingdom, for instance, received 94 referrals in 2009-10 and 1,986 referrals in 2016-17 — a 2,000 percent increase. Referrals for children under the age of 6 went from six to 32 in the same time period.

Proponents of such treatments like to tout the fact that they’re “reversible,” but once the process of puberty is disrupted or stopped because of a medical intervention, it’s not at all clear that if the treatment is stopped, things will proceed as they would have otherwise, according to the report: “There are virtually no published reports, even case studies, of adolescents withdrawing from puberty-suppressing drugs and then resuming the normal pubertal development typical for their sex.”

And the fact that few withdraw from this treatment may simply indicate that “these treatments increase the likelihood that the patients’ cross-gender identification will persist.”

Indeed, the use of these drugs to treat gender dysphoria is entirely “off label,” meaning parents who would never feed their children food that wasn’t tested by the FDA or give them toys that weren’t approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission are signing their kids up to receive drugs that are purely experimental at this stage.

Children can’t consent to this. How can parents agree to this on their behalf?

As a society, we can continue to debate policies for locker rooms and restrooms. We can talk about the extent to which religious institutions should be forced to hire transgender employees. If we make a mistake on those, it can be fixed. But when it comes to ensuring that children are able to be healthy and happy, adopting radical and experimental medical treatments will be awfully hard to undo.

Naomi Schaefer Riley is a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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