New Study Finds Puberty Blockers Do Not Help Children Overcome Gender Dysphoria

Hello My Pronouns Are
Sharon McCutcheon, Unsplash

A new study by the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) has concluded that not only do puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones fail to aid children suffering from gender dysphoria, but that it it is far more likely that such treatments have an active negative effect on kids’ well-being. It contradicts common arguments that intensive treatments are needed to preserve the mental health of children who identify as transgender. 

The study delved into the existing literature on the subject, which indicates that children who go on puberty blockers are disproportionately likely to suffer from infertility, stunted growth, lower bone density, and heart issues. Meanwhile, children who are treated with cross-sex hormones experience similar problems, though with the notable addition of alterations to brain function.

“Any unbiased, subjective examination of the available studies on the use of gender modifying procedures, chemicals, and surgeries shows there is little proof they help children overcome gender dysphoria,” noted Andrew Brown, a distinguished senior fellow at TPPF. “And because there is no conclusive evidence they work, in many ways, these procedures and off-label use of puberty blockers and sex reassignment surgeries are effectively experiments, using children as test subjects.”

“It is a depraved and unconscionable act on the part of some in the medical field – not to mention radical left wing activists – to lure confused and fearful parents into believing this will help their children,” Brown added. “That’s why the United Kingdom and a number of other European countries who had led the way in promoting these therapies are now pulling back and restricting doctors from performing these procedures.”

“In the U.S., the correct approach taken by some states, such as Arkansas and Tennessee and proposed during the regular session of the 87th Texas Legislature, is to restrict the procedures themselves and subject healthcare providers who perform them to liability,” Brown continued. “That would be an effective, narrowly tailored approach that avoids causing unnecessary harm to children and families.”

The TPPF study builds on previous research by Jay Greene at the Heritage Foundation. In that study, Greene found that “lowering legal barriers to make it easier for minors to undergo cross-sex medical interventions without parental consent does not reduce suicide rates–in fact, it likely leads to higher rates of suicide among young people in states that adopt these changes.”

As with TPPF, Greene concluded that states should “tighten the criteria for receiving cross-sex treatments, including raising the minimum eligibility age.”

Garion Frankel
Garion Frankel is a graduate student at Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service with a concentration in education policy and management. He is a Young Voices contributor, and Chalkboard Review’s breaking news reporter.

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