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Shoddy Science Behind Transgender Therapies for Children

Even though transgenderism is in vogue, medical experts say much of today’s fascination with gender change therapy for children is rooted in ideology rather than sound science.

CNA/EWTN News is reporting on a panel of experts who on Gender Dysphoria in Children at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC on October 11.

Dr. Paul Hruz, associate professor of Pediatrics, Endocrinology, Cell Biology and Physiology at the Washington University of Medicine said that the decision not to offer hormonal therapy to children suffering from gender dysphoria is not a negative judgement on a child but rather a matter of providing the best medical healthcare.

This is because forgoing gender therapy means "they’re not exposed to all these harms that we know they will experience if they move forward” with hormone treatments for which there are no randomized controlled trials or consistent findings.

“The reality is there is no science to back this drastic change,” he said.

He voiced serious concerns about treating young people with intense and potentially dangerous off-label hormone therapy, without subjecting the regimen to rigorous scientific testing, CNA reports.

This falls short of the scientific standards used to evaluate other treatments, he said. “We search for the truth by testing it with experimental evidence.”

Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians, agreed and noted that there has never been any long-term study on hormone repression drugs, and their impact on children. However, we do know that there is a risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease as well as growth disruption associated with the kind of hormone therapies that are used for cross-sex treatment.

She also criticized claims that affirming a child’s perceived gender leads to better outcomes for the child.

“Those studies are extremely short term,” she said, and consisted of small study groups and poorly designed controls.

She also points to evidence of former hormone therapy patients who change their minds in early adulthood and want to go back to their biological sex. At age 28 or so, they end up saying, “Oh my gosh, what was done to me?”

Dr. Allan Josephson, professor and division chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Louisville in Kentucky who said relying on hormonal therapies for gender confused children too often stunts what should be a full investigation into the underlying causes of the dysphoria.

For example, he treated one patient whose gender dysphoria stemmed from deep wounds caused by childhood abuse.

“When doctors see pain or distress we try to find the cause of it and map out a treatment. We don’t try to ignore it,” Dr. Josephson told the panel.

The underlying causes of gender dysphoria needs to be both diagnosed and then treated. As he pointed out, people who identify as “trans” have more mental disorders than the general population with one study showing that over 60 percent have more than one mental disorder.

Even though the mainstream media likes to blame these disorders on anti-trans bias in society, Josephson wholeheartedly disagreed.

“Stigma is not enough, to explain all the mental health problems,” he said.

Unfortunatley for the children who are being swept up in this latest ideological phenomenon, there is very little data that tracks the outcome in adults who underwent these therapies in childhood.

As Dr. Hruz confirmed, “The evidence behind this new treatment paradigm is slim to none.”

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