The Democrats' big lie about puberty-blockers being harmless and helpful
From the moment we're born (and earlier), our bodies are constantly changing. The initial changes, from baby to toddler to child, occur when we lack the self-awareness to be taken aback by the process. Indeed, there are only two times in life when we are intensely aware of the changes — and, often, find them disturbing. The first is when we go through puberty, and the second is when age finally catches up with us.
In both cases, people may fight back against those changes. We know all about Hollywood stars and the fight against aging. It's the adolescent changes that matter. The changes can be disturbing and even dismaying. Boys' voices can squeak embarrassingly, and they like to hold a notebook in front of their crotches. Girls get boobs (which boys stare at); hips; and painful, messy, inconvenient periods.
We used to sympathize with adolescents and assure them that this was normal and they'd outgrow it. Nowadays, though, as often as not, they're told that they're probably transgender. And no, that's not me saying that. It's being said in a video from a company called AMAZE Org, which claims to provide age-appropriate sex education for children:
Note specifically the bit beginning at 45 seconds:
After some discussion and counseling, you may be referred to an endocrinologist. Endocrinologists specialize in hormones, and they are the most likely to prescribe puberty blockers for someone who wants them. Puberty blockers are medications that will stop your body from changing. They are usually given as an injection or an implant. They block the production of hormones to stop or delay the physical changes of puberty. The effects of the medication are only temporary, so if a person stops using puberty blockers, the physical changes of puberty will begin again. (Emphasis mine.)
The promise is that puberty-blockers will improve a confused child's mental health and do so without any ill effects. The opposite is true.
News broke on Thursday that the University of Washington is under fire for misrepresenting "the results of a study of the effects of puberty blockers on transgender and nonbinary teens in an attempt to suggest their mental health improved thanks to such treatment." That was a lie:
The study, "Mental Health Outcomes in Transgender and Nonbinary Youths Receiving Gender-Affirming Care," sought to find out whether the use of puberty blockers, also known as "gender affirming medicine," helped the mental health of transgender or nonbinary teens.
According to materials accompanying the February release of the study in JAMA Network Open, the students who received gender affirming medicine had significantly better mental health outcomes at the end of the study than they did at the beginning.
The news release accompanying the study's publication boasted that "UW Medicine researchers recently found that gender-affirming care for transgender and nonbinary adolescents caused rates of depression to plummet."
But Singal, an independent watchdog who investigated the study's numbers, didn't find data within the study to back up those claims.
"The kids who took puberty blockers or hormones experienced no statistically significant mental health improvement during the study," Singal writes. "The claim that they did improve, which was presented to the public in the study itself, in publicity materials, and on social media (repeatedly) by one of the authors, is false." (Emphasis added.)
Image: Promoting puberty-blockers to children. YouTube screen grab.
In addition to the lie about the mental health benefits from puberty-blockers, the AMAZE Org video implies that they have no long-term effects on the body. "The effects of the medication are only temporary," claims the video. In fact, the effects are profound and permanent:
But a long-term study by the United Kingdom's leading facility for treating gender-dysphoric children found otherwise. Contrary to common beliefs about puberty-blocking drugs, the majority of children who take them do not resume puberty.
In a Dec. 2 preprint of the study from the Tavistock and Portman National Health Service Foundation Trust, all but one child treated for gender dysphoria with puberty-blocking drugs went on to take cross-sex hormones to alter their sex characteristics permanently. The study also showed that children's bone density and normal growth flatlined with puberty blockers as compared to their peers, and participants reported no improvement in their psychological well-being.
This misinformation would be bad under any circumstances. What makes it worse is that these videos set the new standard for "sex education" about kids (the birds and the bees are passé) and AMAZE Org is one of the standard-bearers. The above video has had almost 500,000 views. More popular videos (e.g., about masturbation and condoms) have millions of views, as well as almost a million for "Sexual Orientations Explained," almost 800,000 for "My Friend is Transgender," and "over 600,000 for "Gender Identity: Being Female, Male, Transgender or Genderfluid."
Schools are steering children to these videos. For example, one proposed lesson plan under New Jersey's new curricula for sex education requires students to watch the above video about "puberty and transgender youth." Not only are children being taught to embrace a mental illness (gender dysphoria), but they're also being fed damaging misinformation along the way.
Parents must get involved in their children's education. They can no longer assume that their most precious possessions are being taught reading, writing, and arithmetic. Instead, they must assume the worst, monitor everything that occurs in class, and be prepared to push back, even if that means running for a seat on the school board themselves.