According to a March 14, 2022, article in World magazine by Mary Jackson, “in recent months, medical groups and establishments in multiple countries have called for putting the brakes on hormone and surgical interventions for youth.”
This includes Sweden, where on February 22, the Board of Health and Welfare declared that “‘uncertain science and new knowledge’ had prompted it to recommend restraint in using hormone treatments except in ‘exceptional cases.’ It advised psychological and psychiatric support as the first line of treatment. The board said it could not explain a 1,500 percent increase in gender dysphoria diagnoses among 13- to 17-year-old girls between 2008 and 2018.”
The article goes on to state that “Sweden’s biggest gender identity center, Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, announced last year it would no longer prescribe puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to minors, except in a clinical trial setting. Finland similarly updated its treatment guidelines in 2020 to prioritize psychological help for youth experiencing gender distress.”
Relatedly, on February 28 in France, the National Academy of Medicine “called for medical practitioners to exercise ‘the greatest caution’ in administering puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones to French youth struggling with gender dysphoria.”
This is not a new conversation among European doctors, however. In 2019, England’s 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.”
Furthermore, “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.”
And this April in the U.K., after much waffling, the government announced that “therapy to attempt to change people’s sexuality will be outlawed, but those practices carried out to try to change people’s gender identity will not.”
So, as radical as the government’s stance is in regard to the dangers of so-called “conversion therapy,” it is taking a more cautious stance when it comes to helping people with unwanted gender confusion.
America, however, appears to be going in the opposite direction. Jackson observes, “in the United States, by contrast, the medical establishment continues to promote an ‘affirmation-only’ model of treating childhood gender dysphoria while stifling debate over evidence-based treatments.”
Furthermore, President Biden recently proclaimed the first-ever Trans Day of Visibility after making this an issue in his first State of the Union speech in March. And already in 2021, his administration declared legal war on those states that seek to protect trans-identified kids from life-altering hormone treatments and sex-change surgeries.
On a grassroots level, in February 2021, Amazon banned Ryan Anderson’s important book “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment,” without any possible justification. Previously, in 2020, while not banning Abigail Shrier’s watershed volume, “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters,” Amazon banned Regnery Books, the publisher, from advertising the book on their site.
Talk about stifling the truth and attempting to silence the lambs. Talk about cancel culture raising its head in a concerted way, all with the goal of suppressing the truth about transgenderism.
And what happens to breakaway groups like the American College of Pediatricians that, for years now, have been trying to warn about the dangers of trans-affirming therapies and surgeries for children? They are blasted as frauds and liars in headlines like this: “Fake Medical Organization Publishes Lie-Ridden Manifesto Attacking Transgender Kids.” (Respected medical leaders like Dr. Paul McHugh have long been demonized for rejecting transgender surgery.)
Back in December 2018, Harvard Medical School ran a story titled, “Transforming Transgender Care: $1.5 million gift kick-starts sexual, gender minority health equity initiative.” Harvard was determined to right these perceived wrongs, starting with the training offered in the classrooms of their prestigious medical school.
Why is it, then, that other countries are seeing the light and, within America, individual states are seeing the light (see here for a hostile report), but the overall national atmosphere seems to remain so blindly and aggressively in favor of transitioning children?
There are even voices from within the transgender community sounding the alarm, led by the fearless and outspoken Kellie (“Scott”) Newgent. (See here for her landmark article in Newsweek; see here for our very candid, eye-opening interview on my radio broadcast.) Others now speaking up include Dr. Erica Anderson as well as Dr. Marci Bowers, who performed the sex-change surgery on Jazz Jennings. This is quite ironic given Dr. Bowers’ responses to me back in 2009 on “The Tyra Banks Show.”
Newgent wrote in February 2021, “no long-term studies have been conducted on children who grow up without the benefit of natural puberty. No studies at all have been done on de-transitioners (people who return to identifying as their natal sex). What are the psychological effects? No one has a clue, and researchers are too often shut down by cancel culture for even raising the questions.”
The question, again, is why?
One answer is compassion. People really care about trans-identified kids and want to help them find a better life.
The problem with that answer is that compassion would also listen carefully to the stories of those seeking to detransition, such as Keira Bell. Additionally, compassion would not seek to muzzle people like Newgent. (Kellie told me she frequently gets death threats and death wishes from others in the LGBTQ+ community.) Further, are the healthcare providers in countries like Finland and Sweden lacking compassion when they call for caution? To the contrary, it is compassion, coupled with medical science, that is moving them.
What, then, is driving this radical ideology in the U.S.?
In my view, one answer is the radical ideology itself. This is a cultural battle, a fundamental attack on God creating us male and female, a rebellion against the gender binary. Hence, care for the children is not the ultimate goal (although that may be the case for some). Pushing an ideology is the driving force.
Others point to greed as the motivating factor, as every trans-identified child becomes a potential patient for life, amounting to millions of dollars in hormone prescriptions and surgeries. Never underestimate the power of greed! (Remember 1 Timothy 6:10 (NIV), which states that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”)
Could that be another major contributing factor?
Writing for the New York Times on April 13, Ross Douthat made this prediction: “Within not too short a span of time, not only conservatives but most liberals will recognize that we have been running an experiment on trans-identifying youth without good or certain evidence, inspired by ideological motives rather than scientific rigor, in a way that future generations will regard as a grave medical-political scandal.
“Which means that if you are a liberal who believes as much already, but you don’t feel comfortable saying it, your silence will eventually become your regret.”
Dr. McHugh put it even more sharply in a 2019 interview: “Either the plastic surgeons and the transgender psychiatrists are right and I’m wrong — and if that’s the case, they will have done a lot of good by opposing me, and I will have been a drag on the system —or the opposite. Suppose they’re wrong and I’m right? They will have mutilated thousands of children, and I will look good. Who do you think is sleeping better at night?”
Douthat and McHugh are exactly right, which is why now is the time for Americans, with one voice, to put a stop to this barbaric attack on our children, from the classroom to the hospital and from social media to the courts. Enough is enough, and there is certainly a better way to help these kids find wholeness from the inside out.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. He holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries and is the author of 40 books. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.