A study by the Heritage Foundation reveals a higher likelihood of youth suicide in states that allow minors to receive puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones without parental consent – an outcome that contradicts what the “gender-affirming” crowd is fear-mongering to parents.
Research has shown the vast majority of children who express signs of gender dysphoria experience a resolution of the problem without medical intervention, but Heritage Senior Research Fellow Jay Greene, PhD, notes in his study, released Tuesday, that data indicating adolescents with gender confusion suffer from a high rate of suicide have been “invoked” by LGBTQ activist organizations, media, and even the White House, “to assert that cross-sex medical interventions reduce the risk of suicide.”
My new study released today by @Heritage finds that easing access to puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones has actually increased youth suicide rates, contrary to the claims of the Biden admin, advocates, and flawed prior research. 1/ https://t.co/XM4o4ioeOA
— Jay P. Greene (@jaypgreene) June 13, 2022
Lawmakers and those making policy that allows easier access to life-altering puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for children and teens, have marketed their policy proposals based on “poorly executed” studies that purport to show such “gender-affirming” treatments actually reduce the risk of suicide, when the opposite is true, Greene asserts.
“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,” the researcher states in his summary, and adds:
States should instead adopt parental bills of rights that affirm the fact that parents have primary responsibility for their children’s education and health, and that require school officials and health professionals to receive permission from parents before administering health services, including medication and “gender-affirming” counseling, to children under 18. States should also tighten the criteria for receiving cross-sex treatments, including raising the minimum eligibility age.
The video below features a Heritage Foundation-sponsored panel discussion about the effects of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones on youth suicide:
Greene explains that, until recently, puberty blockers and sex hormones have been used to treat only medical issues such as “precocious puberty,” in which very young children begin puberty quite early, or for treatment of insufficient production of hormones of their biological sex.
Randomized experiments for use of these drugs on children and teens with gender confusion were not conducted, however – a situation, Greene says, that leaves “only a handful of studies” to scrutinize their effects, “and all these studies use inferior correlational research designs.”
Greene notes use of puberty-blocking drugs for youth expanded in 2010 and onward, as did the higher suicide rates among young people in states that allowed minors to have easier access to these drugs without consent of their parents:
In the past several years, the suicide rate among those ages 12 to 23 has become significantly higher in states that have a provision that allows minors to receive routine health care without parental consent than in states without such a provision. Before 2010, these two groups of states did not differ in their youth suicide rates. Starting in 2010, when puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones became widely available, elevated suicide rates in states where minors can more easily access those medical interventions became observable.
[INSERT “CHART 2” from email]
“Rather than being protective against suicide, this pattern indicates that easier access by minors to cross-sex medical interventions without parental consent is associated with higher risk of suicide,” he asserts.
Greene’s concerns about the call for “gender-affirming” treatments for minors, based on “research” concluding delaying transgender drugs until adulthood is likely to lead to even higher suicide rates among gender-confused youth, are readily affirmed by a recent interview National Public Radio (NPR) conducted with transgender U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Rachel (born Richard) Levine.
The Biden health official claimed there is “no argument among medical professionals – pediatricians, pediatric endocrinologists, adolescent medicine physicians, adolescent psychiatrists, psychologists, et cetera – about the value and the importance of gender-affirming care,” which includes puberty-blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries, such as elective double mastectomies, for young people.
“Trans youth in particular are being hounded in public and driven to deaths of despair at an alarming rate,” Levine told NPR “in prepared remarks” at the end of April.
Condemning state legislation intended to curb child gender transition, Levine quoted LGBTQ activist organization the Trevor Project for statistics:
Fifty-two percent of all transgender and nonbinary young people in the U.S. seriously contemplated killing themselves in 2020. Think about how many of them thought it was better to die than to put up with any more harassment, scapegoating and intentional abuse.
Levine continued with the activist transgender claim that the concept of binary – male and female – sex is “much more complicated.”
“There’s chromosomal sex, there are [primary] sex characteristics, secondary sexual characteristics,” Levine went on. “Of course, there are individuals as part of our LGBTQ+ community who are intersex. And so it is multi-dimensional.”
“Gender is really that self-concept in terms of your gender that is also multidimensional,” the Biden health official touted. “There are sex roles, which have changed tremendously in our society over the last 50 to 70 years. And then there’s sexual orientation – whom one is attracted to and wants to have intimate relations with – and that is also multidimensional. We want to educate people about those somewhat complex features and help them understand our rainbow family.”
A recent wide-ranging poll from Summit Ministries and conducted by McLaughlin and Associates found that, among 1,000 likely general election voters, nearly two-thirds believe transgenderism is not healthy, while 72 percent say schools should not teach elementary school-age children about sexual identity and sexual behavior.
The Daily Mail also reported recently on a blog post at Transgender Trend by an anonymous veteran child psychologist who stated she has seen an increase in the number of young patients claiming to be transgender since the COVID-19 lockdowns.
“In many cases, she said, youngsters now coming to see her with mental anguish or suicidal thoughts had been allowed to transition from one gender to another at a young age, sometimes even at five or six,” the Daily Mail report noted.
The psychologist explained that parents often feel a sense of relief when they encourage their “trans” child to engage in social transition.
“They feel they’ve found the solution – and they are scared of what might happen to their child as they grow older, because they’ve been told that the consequences of not transitioning a child are disaster,” she wrote. “Usually suicide.”
“There really is little evidence for this,” however, the psychologist asserted.
– – –
Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]