Department of Defense (DoD) doctors published a report urging that children in military families who experience gender confusion be subjected to experimental “transition” procedures and suggesting that kids as young as seven years old be allowed to make life-altering decisions regarding cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers.
The group of military doctors said that they were motivated to author their report because some states have begun to limit or ban such procedures for kids. They said this represents a “crisis” in so-called “gender-affirming care” for minors.
The authors noted that some of these states are home to large military bases with large populations of military families with kids.
“These current legislative efforts, along with efforts to exclude gender identity from legal discrimination protections, restrict sports participation, and regulate bathroom use” harm gender-confused youth, they allege, while ignoring the damaging impact that inflicting gender ideology has had on children forced to compete against and use school restrooms and locker rooms with members of the opposite sex.
The report, “Caring for Military-Affiliated Transgender and Gender-Diverse Youths: A Call for Protections,” published in the most recent edition of the American Journal of Public Health, falsely claims that “[g]ender-affirming health care, such as puberty suppression and affirming hormones, mitigates” risks of “suicidal ideation or self-harm” for gender-confused minors and “optimizes patient-oriented outcomes.”
Written in an authoritative tone, the report is, in reality, a one-sided opinion piece attempting to eliminate legitimate objections to highly dangerous transgender procedures.
Buried in a link to the article is a disclaimer stating that the opinions and assertions expressed are those of the authors and are not to be construed as reflecting the views of Uniformed Services University (USU), the Department of the Air Force, the Department of the Army, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.
In fact, the article admits that 53% of military-affiliated physicians in the Military Health System said: “they would not prescribe gender-affirming hormones.”
The doctors chastise healthcare providers who hold off on administering gender-bending drugs to kids, based on research that has shown that most minors do, in fact, grow out of their gender confusion.
“Some well-intentioned military-affiliated clinicians may not be aware that a ‘watchful waiting’ approach has a different risk profile than a gender-affirmative approach (which allows for gender identity exploration), and that ‘conversion therapy’ is unethical, harmful, and generally illegal,” they argue. “Patients may face ‘gatekeeping’ and major delays in care, including protracted and pathologizing psychiatric evaluations that question patient motives.”
“These laws also assume that [gender-confused] adolescents and their parents are incapable of understanding the risks and benefits of gender-affirming medical care and then deciding what is in the youth’s best interest,” they insist. “Prior research has found that children can begin participating in their medical decision-making as early as age seven years with gradual increases in a decision-making capacity, and adolescents prefer shared decision-making.”
In contradiction to the claims of this small cohort of military doctors, some medical professionals have predicted that there will soon be “a transition regret crisis.”
“We’re just told that if someone tells you they identify in this way, that’s the end of the story,” family therapist Stephanie Winn told Fox News in October. “Don’t ask any questions, just affirm, just agree, and then usher them along this path of medicalization.”
“In the left-of-center media, puberty-blockers, cross-sex hormones and (less frequently) surgeries are hailed as ‘medically necessary’ and suicide-preventing measures for teens in distress, supposedly over having been wrongly ‘assigned’ their sex at birth,” noted the Manhattan Institute’s Leor Sapir late last year. “Skeptics of these interventions are denounced as cruel deniers of life-saving medicine to youth at high risk of suicide. Meantime, alternatives to drugs and surgeries (e.g., psychotherapy) are denigrated as harmful ‘conversion therapy,’ setting the stage for a nocebo (harmful) effect on those who receive psychotherapy but not drugs.”
In effect, gender-affirming doctors and their allies in the media are creating a problem for which only they have a solution. If around 2 percent of teenagers today identify as trans and even half have gender dysphoria, and if, as we sometimes hear, around 40 percent of those with dysphoria are at serious risk for suicide, we would expect to have seen a shocking epidemic of teenage suicides in the years before gender-affirming care was on offer. That didn’t happen. Thus, assuming gender-affirming doctors and researchers are right about their predictions over youth suicide, it’s at least possible, and perhaps likely, that the cause of this danger is the promise, not the denial, of these drugs and surgeries.
“Gender transition” procedures for minors that involve the chemical and physical mutilation of children are “nothing short of child abuse,” said Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) in a letter to the acting director of the National Institutes of Health.
“Our children are the very future of our civilization, and they must be protected at all costs.”