“Would you rather have a dead daughter or a living son?”
That’s the question that transgender activists and “gender-affirming” therapists and doctors often throw over parents’ heads when they refuse to allow their gender-dysphoric child to take experimental puberty blockers and drugs. long-term cross-sex hormones.
An expert panel spoke about the dangers posed by this “either/or” dichotomy at an event, “The Effect of Access to Puberty Blockers and Cross-Sex Hormones on Suicide Rates in Young People “, at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday. (The Daily Signal is the medium of the Heritage Foundation.)
Speakers discussed the significance of Heritage’s recently released groundbreaking study “Puberty Blockers, Cross-Sex Hormones, and Youth Suicide,” which examined the rising youth suicide rate in states that allow dysphoric minors to take cross-sex hormones and puberty. blockers without parental consent.
The study’s findings on suicide rates among dysphoric youth run counter to the narrative of transgender activists.
Jay Greene, senior researcher at the Center for Education Policy at Heritage and author of the study, spoke about the imperative to investigate the effects of the widespread availability of puberty blockers. He called for clinical trials to determine if puberty blockers and long-term use of cross-sex hormones are safe for children.
Jay Richards, director of the DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family at Heritage, and Virginia Gentles, director of the Independent Women’s Forum’s Education Freedom Center, joined Greene on the panel, which was moderated by Ryan Anderson, president of Ethics and Public Policy Center.
“We’re in the midst of a pandemic of rapid-onset gender dysphoria,” Richards said, calling puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones a “pathway to sterilization.”
Speakers noted that transgender activists and doctors often play the suicide card to coerce parents into letting their child take these experimental drugs.
“What would lead us to put our children on the path to sterilization? Ask any parent, and they’ll say, child suicide,” Richards said. “It’s the only thing that would overcome our natural aversion to the sterilization route.”
Speakers also noted the “social contagion” aspect of the increased use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones in children. Greene said the Google search trend for “puberty blockers” before 2007 was zero, but increased between 2015 and 2020 when puberty blockers became more widely available for young children.
Gentles said one of the most concerning aspects of the study findings is how parents’ role in their child’s life is being usurped by medical, educational and government institutions that actively conceal health information. from children to parents.
“Parents know that a risky regimen of puberty blockers, hormones and surgeries won’t bring their children the peace and joy they so desperately need,” Gentles said. She added that people who make experimental but irreversible medical decisions for children on behalf of parents have insufficient knowledge to intervene.
“The pernicious assumption behind this horrible question is that parents don’t have their children’s best interests at heart and the experts know best,” Gentles said. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
The Heritage study contradicts the narrative that ‘gender-affirming care’ is necessary and ‘saving’ in many circumstances, finding that ‘increasing minors’ access to transgender interventions is associated with a significant increase suicide rate among teenagers.
By encouraging minors to “pause” puberty, doctors and transgender activists inevitably force these children to take cross-sex hormones and permanently mutilate their bodies, which only worsen gender dysphoria, despair and suicidal thoughts, the very things they claim to work. versus.
Richards noted that 98% of children who take puberty blockers end up taking cross-sex hormones as well.
The Heritage study found that the 33 states with legal provisions allowing children to receive health care without parental consent had 1.6 more suicides per 100,000 tweens and young adults aged 12 to 23 than 17 states without such provisions. This represents a 14% increase in the state’s average suicide rate among the same ages from 1999 to 2020.
Greene’s research has provided several public policy suggestions designed to keep young children struggling with gender dysphoria safe and secure parental involvement and consent.
“States should also enact parental rights bills that affirm that parents have primary responsibility for the education and health of their children, and that require schools to obtain parental permission before administering services. health care to students, including medication and gender counseling for underage students. 18,” the report reads.
“These vulnerable children deserve their parents’ involvement and deserve their parents’ support to reach adulthood safely,” Gentles said. “It’s time to stop cruelly manipulating children with bigoted slogans, and it’s time to turn away from propaganda centered around suicide threats.”
Richards noted that for children who express gender dysphoria, “watchful waiting” often seems like the best course of action. “For most kids, puberty is a cure for gender dysphoria,” he said.
Speakers said the Heritage study not only underscores the urgency of clinical studies of the long-term effects of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, but also the need for states to recognize the implication parents in medical decisions concerning minor children.
Additionally, speakers encouraged parents to fight for involvement in their children’s lives and to speak out in the face of bullying and emotional manipulation by transgender activists.
“Point of [transgender activists’] message is to scare parents. They don’t have to be afraid. They should not be isolated. They don’t have to be silent,” Gentles said. “Hope is more powerful than fear.”
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