A veritable nuclear bomb has exploded in the world of transgender medicine.
Britain’s National Health Service announced on Thursday that it was closing and radically overhauling its gender identity clinic for young people because it had “rushed children into life-changing treatment”, reports The Times of London.
The decision to decentralize and completely redo the clinic is sure to send shockwaves through the United States, where a significant number of young people of this generation have transitioned to other genders, entering a lifelong treatment pathway. on puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgery.
Gender dysphoria – the distress felt when a person’s gender expression does not match their identity, and often a medical diagnosis required to undergo gender confirmation procedures – was only a few decades ago a diagnosis rare in the United States, mostly seen in very young boys.
Today, some 300,000 young Americans between the ages of 13 and 17 identify as transgender, according to a report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.
The majority of these young patients are teenagers.
A nation backs down on ‘affirmative care’
The UK’s NHS decision to decentralize its London clinic to treat gender dysphoria in young people and replace it with regional centers in existing children’s hospitals appears to be a step back from the ‘affirmative care’ which had become the norm in England and the United States.
Affirmative care is a clinical approach to gender dysphoria in which the clinician validates a patient’s expressed gender identity, regardless of age, and often transitions them quickly to drug treatment to arrest puberty and later to start cross-sex hormones. Eventually, treatment may include surgery, such as a double mastectomy.
In Arizona:Ban on surgeries for trans minors hurts, say advocates
Critics of positive care in the US and Britain, including some of the leading voices in gender medicine who are transgender themselves, have begun to argue that positive care has misdiagnosed some young people as gender dysphoric, when in fact they have serious mental health issues that go unaddressed.
In England, the National Health Service will now move forward with regional clinics that offer more “holistic care with strong links to mental health services”, reports the Times.
Pediatrician Dr Hilary Cass, who is leading the review at the UK’s Tavistock Gender Identity Development Service or GIDS Clinic, determined that the clinic failed to treat children under 18. She called for “a radical overhaul of the way the NHS treats young people who are questioning their gender identity”, reports the Times.
The Guardian (UK) reports that decentralizing the London clinic will also solve the problem of overstretched staff and long waiting lists of patients who are on hold for up to two years.
The number of referrals to the service rose from 138 in 2010-11 to 2,383 in 2020-21, reports The Guardian.
US should keep tabs on Britain
Americans would be well advised to watch what is happening in Western Europe as it likely foreshadows what will happen in our country.
One of the problems with discussing the issue in the United States has been fierce pushback from transgender activists, the medical community, academia, and the mainstream media. They all promoted and even celebrated youth gender transition without asking the necessary tough questions.
Some worked to crush dissent.
In 2018, Lisa Littman, a physician, researcher and then assistant professor at Brown University’s School of Public Health, noted the startling increase in the number of young women identifying as transgender. She published an article describing the phenomenon as “social and peer contagion” which she called “rapid onset gender dysphoria”, possibly caused by “social influences, parent-child conflict and mechanisms unsuitable adaptations”.
The backlash was fierce, as “transgender ideologues attempted to silence her,” the Wall Street Journal reported. She was forced to revise her published article, but noted in the revision that “the Results section is unchanged in the updated version of the article.”
In Britain, the silence of dissenting opinions has been oppressive. Some 35 staff members have resigned from the Gender Identity Development Service over a lack of “credible research”, feminist, author and investigative journalist Julie Bindel reported on news commentary site Unherd.
One of these doctors told Bindel:
“As the demand for under-18s grew, it became clear that these young girls, in particular, had very serious psychological issues, but were almost instantly branded as ‘gender dysphoric’. This diagnosis is everything. what is needed to be approved for testosterone and subsequent surgery Many of us who quit because of this are really, really worried about where this is going.
When clinicians raised these issues, they were accused of being “transphobic”, reports The Times of London.
Senior doctor says it’s gone ‘too far’
In April, Erica Anderson, a psychologist who until recently headed America’s leading gender medicine professional organization, told the Los Angeles Times that the childhood transition had “gone too far “.
Anderson, who is a transgender woman, said: ‘Now we’ve gotten to the point where kids are showing up at clinics whose parents are saying, ‘This just doesn’t make sense.
“To say categorically that there can be no social influence in the formation of gender identity flies in the face of reality,” she added. “Teenagers influence each other.”
Now that the NHS has dropped its bombshell on its own transgender clinic, perhaps we can have a more honest discussion in America about why so many teenage girls, against all historical trends, suddenly chose a path to blockers. puberty, cross-sex hormones and double mastectomies.
We can start with the American media finally doing their job and asking tough questions of a rapidly growing segment of American medicine that has thrived on the skyrocketing gender dysphoria among most teenage girls.
Phil Boas is an editorial columnist for The Arizona Republic. Email him at [email protected]