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Transgenderism's lies have a cost

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 6/15/2022 Kaylee McGhee White
Transgender woman covered with the transgender flag and holding a flag in the hand for defending her rights © Provided by Washington Examiner Transgender woman covered with the transgender flag and holding a flag in the hand for defending her rights

The Heritage Foundation has published a lengthy report on “gender-affirming care,” i.e. hormonal and medical interventions for gender-confused persons, and its effect on suicide rates. The study found that, contrary to what gender ideologues claim, providing children and adolescents with easy access to puberty blockers and other cross-sex treatments does not reduce these youths’ chances of suicide. In fact, such interventions might actually increase the likeliness of suicidal thoughts and attempts among young adults, according to the report.

The study is important for a number of reasons. First, it offers a good summary of the many methodological problems with past studies that endorsed gender-affirming care for minors. Most, if not all, of these past studies, for example, relied upon surveys of trans-identifying patients recruited by LGBT activist organizations, and few included gender-dysphoric patients whose problems were resolved without medical intervention. That’s a major problem, considering more than 70% of all minors who struggle with gender dysphoria end up growing out of it naturally.

Moreover, not one study that supported gender-affirming care could point to a statistically significant control group against which to test its findings. For example, one of the most frequently cited studies by gender ideologues, the Tordoff study, attempted to provide a control group of children who were not given access to medical intervention, only to have 80% of the control patients leave before the study had ended. As independent journalist Jesse Singal noted, the study’s authors “offer no explanation” as to why the vast majority of their untreated control group left prematurely and “little reason for us to trust that any observed differences between the groups are attributable to accessing [gender-affirming care] rather than any of a host of other potential confounding factors.”

Another flaw in pro-medical intervention studies is that they fail to account for the fact that gender-confused persons seeking medical and hormonal treatment have to be deemed “psychologically stable” first. In other words, those suffering from suicidal thoughts are more likely to be denied treatment in the first place on account of their mental state. And past studies made no attempt to determine whether suicidal patients who were denied care were suicidal beforehand or whether their suicidal ideation was directly the result of being denied care.

Heritage’s study goes on to argue that giving gender-confused children and young adults access to hormonal and medical intervention actually worsens their mental health. In states with provisions granting minors access to these interventions without parental consent, suicide rates among young people are 14% higher than in states where consent is required or these interventions are banned altogether, the report found.

To be sure, Heritage’s study isn’t perfect as far as methodology goes. But no study on this issue will be as long as our top medical and academic institutions refuse to subject cross-sex treatments to large-scale, randomized, controlled trials.

Heritage’s study, however, is still much more reliable than anything else that’s come before it, simply because it’s rooted in common sense. Gender ideology holding that a person can switch genders and become something they are not is an impossible premise for which there is no solution. It is physically impossible for a man to become a woman — all he can hope to do is look a little bit more like one. So to sell “gender reassignment” procedures and hormonal treatment as the be-all-end-all solution to gender dysphoria is to sell a lie.

Gender ideologues are deluding young adults into believing that these treatments will take away the anxiety and confusion they feel. But no matter how many procedures one undergoes, no matter how many rounds of hormonal therapy are prescribed, the fact remains that a woman will always be a woman, and a man will always be a man. No wonder, then, that gender-confused persons who undergo experimental interventions in the hopes that this reality will have changed are struck by despair and hopelessness when they realize it has not.

The effort to deny biological reality is doing irreversible harm to people’s bodies and minds. It is not compassionate — it’s cruel. And as Heritage’s study shows, its consequences are all too often fatal.

Kaylee McGhee White is the deputy editor of Restoring America for the Washington Examiner and a visiting fellow at the Independent Women's Forum.


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Tags: Transgender Issues, Beltway Confidential, Opinion, Opinion, Gender Issues

Original Author: Kaylee McGhee White

Original Location: Transgenderism's lies have a cost

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1800-273-TALK (8255), text "help" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to


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