Gender Transition for Minors: What Does the Research Say?

Gender Transition for Minors: What Does the Research Say?

Even while many nations pump the brakes on radical transgender ideology and healthcare practices, Americans at both the state and federal level continue to push culture-wide affirmation, social transition of minors, hormone therapies, and harmful surgeries. Advocates frequently claim that so-called and misnamed “gender-affirming” treatments—including surgery—“save lives,” that gender dysphoria is a permanent condition even among minors, and that regret by those who undergo such treatments are minimal or non-existent.  

Increasingly, research suggests otherwise. Until recently, activists were able to hide behind a very limited number of studies, some of which even seemed to confirm what those activists wanted to hear. No more. With a 900% increase in young people claiming gender dysphoria, the amount of data in recent years has sharply increased.  

The data is overwhelming. Contrary to what is consistently filling our newsfeeds, there is a disturbing lack of evidence that intervening in a child’s gender development produces beneficial results of any kind. More than that, many studies are showing a strong potential for lasting harm.  

Last month, Dr. Stan Weed with the Institute for Research and Evaluation produced an invaluable paper on the subject, entitled “Transgender Research: Five Things Every Parent and Policy-Maker Should Know.” In it, Weed summarizes dozens of studies from around the world on five of the most hotly debated transgender talking points. For example, about the benefits and harms of cross-sex medical treatment for minors, the highly respected British Medical Journal concluded:  

Puberty blockers are being used in the context of profound scientific ignorance…There are a large number of unanswered questions that include the age at start, reversibility; adverse events, long term effects on mental health, quality of life, bone mineral density, osteoporosis in later life and cognition…The current evidence base does not support informed decision making and safe practice in children. 

On whether medical transition improves rates of suicidal ideation for trans-identifying youth, one group of researchers observed:  

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