News and Commentary

American Academy Of Pediatrics Blocks Group Opposing Surgical Interventions On Kids

"Everything’s been decided and there’s no debate."
Kids swinging on swing set
Annie Otzen/GettImages

Last Friday, at an international consortium run by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the powers-that-be told the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine, a group that opposes the use of hormonal and surgical interventions as first-line treatment for young people with gender dysphoria, that they could not set up an information booth at the event.

As Abigail Shrier, the author of the best-selling “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters,” wrote in The Wall Street Journal:

SEGM’s members object to the widespread use of “affirmative care” protocols, which mandate that adolescent and even pediatric patients who claim to have gender dysphoria—severe discomfort with their biological sex—receive immediate “affirmation” from their physicians. These young people are then frequently encouraged along a path of rapid “transition” via hormone treatments and surgery.

Shrier noted that various European hospitals had expressed doubts about pediatric hormone treatments, citing the U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the Karolinska Hospital of Sweden, (which Shrier pointed out is affiliated with the institute that awards the Nobel Prize in medicine), and Finland’s national gender program.

“The so-called Dutch protocol, a widely adopted standard of care that has been used to justify starting gender-dysphoric minors as young as 8 on puberty blockers, is based on a study of a narrow population: children with severe gender dysphoria since early childhood and no other mental-health comorbidities,” Shrier wrote, adding, “The protocol is now being applied to a wildly different demographic—teenage girls who seem to have had no prior history of dysphoria, and who have high rates of anxiety and depression.”

Pediatrician Julia Mason told Shrier that the AAP is “working very hard to give an appearance that everything’s been decided and there’s no debate. The growing numbers of detransitioners suggests that [pediatricians] don’t really know what we’re doing in this case.”

Another SEGM researcher commented, “When the home of the Nobel Prize in medicine stops transitioning children as a matter of general practice, and pulls it back into tightly controlled research settings, is this not a wake-up call for the rest of the world?”

“The AAP initially granted SEGM a booth and then, without explanation, sent an email stating that it had changed its mind. SEGM’s appeal was rejected without explanation,” Shrier reported. “The AAP didn’t respond to an email requesting comment.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics writes:

The AAP recommends taking a “gender-affirming,” nonjudgmental approach that helps children feel safe in a society that too often marginalizes or stigmatizes those seen as different. The gender-affirming model strengthens family resiliency and takes the emphasis off heightened concerns over gender while allowing children the freedom to focus on academics, relationship-building and other typical developmental tasks.

They also write:

Some children have a gender identity that is different from their gender assigned at birth, and many have interests and hobbies that may align with the other gender. Some children, as the American Academy of Pediatrics explains, do not identify with either gender. They may feel like they are somewhere in between or have no gender. It is natural for parents to ask if it is “just a phase.” But, there is no easy answer.

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