As the Biden administration’s highest-ranking transgender official called for Big Tech to censor “misinformation” about such procedures for children, a new study reveals there is now medical evidence for the effectiveness of so-called “gender-affirming care.”
This week, a video emerged on Twitter of Dr. Rachel Levine, a man who transitioned to becoming a woman and who serves as assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, giving a speech to the Federation of State Medical Boards, which gathered in New Orleans in May.
During Levine’s comments, the doctor said, “Health professionals have a critical role to play. They must continue and expand their work to address health misinformation directly with their patients.”
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Levine added this went “beyond” COVID-19. It also included the “substantial misinformation that is directly impacting health equity in our nation, and that is the health equity of sexual and gender minorities.”
“There is substantial misinformation about gender-affirming care for transgender and gender diverse individuals,” said Levine. “We are in this nation facing an onslaught of anti-LGBTQI+ actions at the state levels across the United States, and they are dangerous to public health.”
”The positive value of gender-affirming care for youth and adults is not in scientific or medical dispute,” Levine continued.
“We need to get our voices in the public eye. We know how effective our medical community can be. … We need to use our clinicians’ voice to collectively advocate for our tech companies to create a healthier, cleaner information environment.”
Thus, Levine said, the medical community must use the “high degree of trust” the public has in it to advocate for “gender-affirming care” for children.
Except, just as those comments surfaced this week, a British group called Sex Matters disputed the scientific or medical evidence for transitioning children.
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According to Breitbart News on Tuesday, Sex Matters found that the “‘gender-affirming’ model of care for teenagers is based on evidence that falls apart under examination.”
In the executive summary of its findings, the group noted, “Researchers and clinicians often argue that gender-questioning teenagers need puberty blockers and hormone treatment because their mental health will suffer without them. But all long-term studies showing mental-health benefits from these treatments have serious limitations. A re-analysis of their data shows these benefits to be no greater than the placebo effect.”
“Meanwhile, there is strong evidence that this medical pathway causes physical harm,” Sex Matters continued.
“It can lead to infertility and loss of future sexual function; among multiple side effects, bone health suffers. These might be justifiable if the mental-health benefits were significant. They aren’t, though. Perhaps there are some teenagers for whom the cost-benefit analysis works out — but we have no evidence to tell us which ones, or under what circumstances. We do know that the physical impacts are significant, and the mental-health improvements minimal.”
Sex Matters, in its statement, added, “In the gender-affirming care literature, reports of mental-health benefits tend to get recycled. Few papers look at the original studies through a critical lens.”
In contrast, the group noted in the abstract of its study, “Separate evidence from medical trials suggests the placebo effect on mental health outcomes is large and significant.”
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Sex Matters added, “Findings [supporting gender-affirming care] are inflated and limitations overlooked. A fresh analysis of the evidence base is urgently needed, in which the studies are reviewed and re-interpreted to remove unjustified claims of benefit. This should be a priority for clinics, universities, funders, and journals.”
The group went on, to say that the “supposed benefits of social transition also give way under scrutiny.” Social transition typically involves institutions, including schools and, for that matter, the HHS, recognizing a child’s newly claimed name or the use of “preferred pronouns.”
These institutions, said Sex Matters, should not ignore the possibility that instead of helping a child are actually allowing gender dysphoria to persist.
They “should rethink,” Sex matters argued, because “it is anything but kind to act in ways that prolong children’s distress.”
Rather, society should consider a “supportive waiting” approach until the science that Levine says is beyond dispute is actually adjudicated outside the left-wing echo chamber.
“There is a lot of evidence to support it in mental-health research,” the group noted, adding that “its major benefits are that it has little potential to cause harm and a lot of promise for alleviating distress. … It means accepting gender non-conformity. It means helping children to reconnect with their bodies and to form stronger relationships with those around them.”
“None of this is easy,” Sex Matters acknowledged. “Families of gender-distressed children will need a great deal of help.”
“But if the institutions that form the backdrop to teenagers’ lives – their schools, their healthcare settings, their clubs – set aside shoddy research and avoid facilitating distress, it will be possible to find a path to something better.”