A ‘seminal’ study supporting pediatric ‘gender affirming care’ gets debunked

The American medical establishment’s push to get children claiming gender dysphoria into programs that give them puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgery, turns out to have been based primarily on two studies out of Holland (“the Dutch studies”). However, a new peer-reviewed article rips apart the Dutch studies, arguing that they suffer from a high risk of bias, incomplete evidence regarding the risks to the children’s health, and a limited relationship to the type of children presenting at “gender” clinics nowadays. In other words, there is no basis to justify sterilizing and mutilating American children—but our healthcare system is still invested in these practices.

One of the things I’ve been arguing for years is that, when it comes to pediatric “gender-affirming” care, there are no studies that address the core question: Is there such a thing as being “transgender”—that is not really being your DNA-encoded biological gender? Despite my not being in the medical field or working in a “gender identity” field, my sense that there was important scientific information missing turns out to have been accurate.

This month, there appeared in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy a peer-reviewed article entitled “The Myth of ‘Reliable Research’ in Pediatric Gender Medicine: A critical evaluation of the Dutch Studies—and research that has followed.” To toot my own horn very loudly, the article says that almost all pediatric “transgender” treatment policies since 2004 have been based on two articles out of Holland, one published in 2004 and one published in 2011. Both are based on empirical conclusions from case studies done in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Image: “Drag kid”  (i.e., a boy dressed as a girl) by Alexander Grey (cropped). Unsplash License.

The article is quite long, although it’s written in language that any layman can understand. It can be summed up very simply: The people behind the Dutch study, which advocated for the kind of sterilizing and mutilating treatment performed on young children that we routinely see every day in America, were relying on an incredibly small sample of people already committed to their gender dysphoria. Moreover, the study shed participants who might not have benefitted from the treatment and ignored the physical downsides of treatment (e.g., sterility, cancer, bone problems, etc.). I won’t rehash it here. If you want the short version, The Daily Wire does a good job.

The one thing that really stood out in the article critiquing the Dutch studies was this paragraph:

Examining the Dutch research from today’s vantage point, their gender-transitioning of youth is most consistent with the “innovative practice” framework. This framework allows clinicians to implement untested but promising interventions for a condition which, if left untreated, might have dire outcomes; when existing treatment options seem ineffective; and when the number of affected patients is small…. The number of adolescents suffering from gender dysphoria in the 1990s was exceedingly small. Evidence was starting to demonstrate that gender reassignment undertaken in adulthood failed to resolve trans people’s mental health problems…. The Dutch clinicians hoped that the “less positive results among adults”…would be remedied with early adolescent gender transition. In this context, the methodological deficiencies in the foundational Dutch research ought not to be viewed as a failure. It was never their goal to generate reliable reproducible research.

In other words, all the horrors inflicted on children are because, having discovered that adults with gender dysphoria didn’t get better with “sex change” hormones and surgery, scientists ignored the obvious, which is that gender dysphoria has nothing to do with the body and everything to do with the mind. Instead, they decided that mutilating younger children might be the answer. And based on their cherry-picked, biased, limited evidence, they sparked a First World trend.

But here’s something interesting from the critique of the Dutch studies:

This highly politicized and fallacious narrative, crafted and promoted by clinician-advocates, has failed to withstand scientific scrutiny internationally, with public health authorities in Sweden, Finland, and most recently England doing a U-turn on pediatric gender transitions in the last 24 months (COHERE (Council for Choices in Health Care), 2020; Socialstyrelsen [National Board of Health and Welfare], 2022; National Health Service (NHS), 2022a).

There is no such u-turn in the U.S.

I can posit two reasons for the resistance to remedying this decades’ long mistake in America:

1. Money. There is huge money in pediatric “gender” treatment, especially because state governments are forcing insurance companies to pay for surgeries and hormone treatments that run to about $1.3 billion per year. (The Biden administration is trying to make this nationwide.)

2. Politics. Democrats need transgenderism as a way of achieving control over America’s children. This is why there is such a huge fight in America’s schools. Children who are detached from their own bodies can also be detached from their families, and their lifelong healthcare will make them dependent on the state for funding.

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