Like so many toxic movements, gender ideology relies on fear to control people. Its activists have convinced our institutions that anything but full-blown acceptance of transgenderism will lead to a number of adverse effects, including increased suicide rates among children and young adults who weren’t “affirmed.”
This is how they’re able to justify giving puberty blockers to children and performing irreversible “gender reassignment” procedures on adolescents who are too young to know any better. They claim such experimental treatments are the only way to save a gender-confused teenager’s life, and they can cite several scientific studies that seemingly support their case.
A closer look at these studies, however, reveals that they don’t even come close to supporting the medical interventions that everyone from the American Academy of Pediatrics to the American Psychiatric Association has endorsed.
Independent journalist Jesse Singal took a deep dive into each of the six studies most frequently cited by gender ideologues. For example, one of these studies, conducted by Ph.D. student Diana Torduff and her colleagues and published in February, claims that gender-confused children who were given access to puberty blockers or hormones finished the study with dramatically decreased rates of depression and suicidal thoughts. The problem with this research, as Singal explains, is straightforward: Not one of the children involved actually experienced statistically significant mental health improvement, as the authors claimed.
Moreover, the study failed to offer a serious control group. Singal writes:
“Overall, according to the researchers’ data, 12/69 (17.4%) of the kids who were treated left the study, while 28/35 (80%) of the kids who weren’t treated left it.” The authors offer no explanation as to why this was the case, no explanation why some kids went on blockers or hormones and others didn’t, and little reason for us to trust that any observed differences between the groups are attributable to accessing GAM rather than any of a host of other potential confounding factors.
The same can be said for almost every single one of the other studies Singal looked at. Far from offering concrete evidence in support of the experimental medical interventions that gender ideologues claim are necessary, these studies offer data that is unreliable at best and outright dishonest at worst. From Singal:
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that, upon actually examining these studies rather than skimming abstracts or headlines, it’s impossible to reach the conclusion that there’s “no controversy” here. Whenever professional researchers — folks who are much smarter and better resourced than I am — have taken more ambitious, comprehensive looks at the evidence for youth gender medicine, they’ve found exactly the same thing I found in this mini-exercise: methodologically weak studies with mixed findings.
In fact, the best studies on this topic actually prove the exact opposite of what gender ideologues claim. An extensive study from Sweden, for example, followed hundreds of gender-confused persons over the course of 30 years and found that those who underwent a medical transition were 20 times more likely to commit suicide than those who didn’t.
Another review, conducted in Britain, of more than 100 follow-up studies of those who medically transitioned found that “none of the studies provides conclusive evidence that gender reassignment is beneficial for patients.”
So why is it that the most prestigious academic and medical institutions in the world are advocating invasive medical treatments and procedures, the long-term effects of which are still being determined, and for which there is little to no evidence? The answer is simple: They care much more about the politics behind gender ideology than they do about the science. And they don’t care at all what it will cost the children, young adults, and parents who get caught up in gender ideology’s lies.