The numbers of children dealing with gender dysphoria is off the charts. The result? A recent report out of the UK indicated over one-third of children on puberty blockers were experiencing worsened mental health. LifeSiteNews.com has reported on disturbing new data from the Canadian Institute for Health showing hundreds of minor girls from Canada have had their breasts removed in the past 5 years under the guise of treatment for gender confusion. The Washington Free Beacon reported that Planned Parenthood is helping teenagers transition after nothing more than a 30 minute consult, doling out prescriptions for estrogen and testosterone, including to special needs children.
In response, the American College of Pediatricians has launched a new biological integrity initiative with the goal of exposing the dangers of transgender procedures on children.
With more on this issue, Jim welcomed Dr. Jill Simons. Dr. Simons is executive director of the American College of Pediatricians. She is a Board-Certified Pediatrician and is in private practice in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and also a professional staff member of Children’s Minnesota and Mercy Hospital. She served as Chairman of Pediatrics for Mercy and Unity Hospitals from 2005-2008 and helped establish the hospital’s NICU and pediatric trauma programs and was voted Top Doc by Mpls. St. Paul Magazine in 2010. She is also Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and has been a member of the Section on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics as well as the section on Bioethics. Dr. Simons is also a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
What is gender dysphoria? Dr. Simons noted this is a “catch all” phrase that refers to a person that is uncomfortable being the sex that they are. She believes social media is contributing to this problem, but the underlying problem for those suffering from gender dysphoria is mental health. Specifically, this can include anxiety, depression, poor self-esteem, abuse, or they may suffer from autism. In short, they’re looking for answers as to why they feel the way they do and want to find a group that they can fit into.
Included in such a discussion are the various medical interventions that are often utilized. One of them is puberty blockers. These are drugs used to treat medical conditions where puberty begins early (precocious puberty). Today, however, these blockers are being used to block the normal onset of puberty in order to keep the child in an immature state. The problem is that there are dangers to using these medications on the skeletal and muscle structures but Dr. Simons indicated that we really don’t know all the effects that will take place when puberty is put on hold for long periods of time. Also if a child is put on such drugs before entering puberty and then placed on opposite sex hormones in high doses, they will never develop functional sexual organs. They’ll be infertile.
Speaking of cross sex hormones, these can result in osteoporosis, diabetes, cancer, there’s a risk for heart disease and other side effects.
Dr. Simons sees even earlier interventions such as dressing as the opposite sex and/or adopting a different name or using certain pronouns as harmful. She believes they set the child on a “conveyor belt” that is hard to leave. It sets the child on a pathway where eventually that’s not enough which leads to puberty blockers, cross sex hormones and eventually surgery.
She concluded the first quarter hour by telling listeners that there are good studies showing that if children are supported properly through normal puberty and provided counseling if they need it for underlying health problems, gender dysphoria will resolve itself in up to 88% of girls and 98% of boys.
There’s much more to learn about this important topic, and listeners brought their questions and concerns to the discussion as well.