History is replete with medical scandals. Frontal lobotomies to treat mental illness. Forced sterilization to control “undesirable” populations. The infamous Tuskegee Experiment. Indefensible, unethical medical procedures were performed for years. Why did it take so long to stop them?
History is repeating itself.
There is a growing epidemic of young people who believe they were born in the wrong body. Recent US surveys reveal that 2-3% of high school and middle school students now identify as transgender.
These young people are often prescribed risky hormonal treatments. Puberty-blocking drugs are routinely given to pre-pubescent children. Girls as young as 12 are injected with testosterone, while teen boys are treated with feminizing hormones.
Not a single long-term study supports such risky medical interventions. These hormonal treatments on children are experimental. The medical literature on the health effects of hormonal interventions “in the pediatric/adolescent population is completely lacking.” The drugs used are based on low-quality evidence, or no evidence at all.
No one knows the full extent of the medical or psychological impact of these life-altering surgeries. The only long-term follow-up study found substantially higher rates of overall mortality, suicide, suicide attempts, and psychiatric hospitalizations among adults who surgically transitioned. We simply don’t know the future outcomes for children.
What explains the rapid increase in “transgender identities” among children? Has society simply become more accepting, or is something else going on? Research points to many underlying factors: mental health issues, autism, ADHD, trauma, and sexual confusion. Evidence shows this is fueled by peer and media influences and spread by social contagion, in real life and online.
The medical harms are serious. Hormonal treatments impact bone health, fertility, sexual function,cardiovascular health, and brain development. The health consequences may be irreversible. The full extent of the harms to young developing brains and bodies are unknown.
Parental consent is not informed, but coerced. Parents are told that these treatments are well-studied, safe, and necessary. They are warned that if they do not consent to medical treatment, their child will be at higher risk of suicide. But there is no evidence to support this claim. In Oregon, parental consent is irrelevant: the lawallows 15-year olds to receive state-subsidized hormonal treatments and surgeries without parental knowledge.
Feelings and identities change. No one can predict who might regret these medical interventions that compromise health, fertility, and sexual function. But many people already do. The harms they have suffered are irreversible.
Why are children’s unprovable identities quickly medicalized on the basis of feelings that are likely to change with maturity?
Why are serious medical interventions performed on children without a single long-term study to support them?
How can young people meaningfully consent to medical interventions that impact their future health, sexual function, and fertility?
Why is this medical protocol endorsed by medical associations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics?
The Kelsey Coalition is calling for an end to this identity-based medical experiment on children as we work to protect young people from psychological and medical harms. Please join us.
Our name and our mission are inspired by the courageous Dr. Frances Kelsey…read more