Doctor Claims Top Trans Group Pushes Hormones on Kids

WPATH logo | Image by WPATH

One of the top transgender advocacy groups is facing criticism for using purportedly flimsy research to push hormone usage on children.

The World Professional Association of Transgender Healthcare (WPATH) is widely cited by medical organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to advocate for minors’ use of hormone inhibitors. However, the group was slammed on Tuesday in a study looking at children who identify as transgender.

“The World Professional Association of Transgender Healthcare (WPATH) has been highly influential in directing international practice, although its guidelines were found by the University of York’s appraisal to lack developmental rigour and transparency,” Dr. Hilary Cass, a pediatrician, wrote in the highly-anticipated Cass Review issued by England’s National Health Service.

Cass wrote that a more “holistic assessment” should be considered at gender clinics for children who struggle with mental health issues, as reported by The Dallas Express. She concluded, “For the majority of young people, a medical pathway may not be the best way to achieve this.”

National Health Service (NHS) England announced in March that children would no longer be offered hormone inhibitors at taxpayer-funded NHS gender identity clinics.

WPATH did not respond to a request for comment.

Dr. Rachel Levine, a transgender pediatrician and the assistant secretary for health in the Biden administration, is a member of WPATH. Levine and AAP did not respond to a request for comment on whether they are still back at WPATH.

“Rather than relying on a few cherry-picked reports to make a political argument, WPATH assesses the full state of the science and provides substantive, rigorously analyzed, peer-reviewed recommendations to the medical community on how best to care for patients who are transgender or gender non-binary,” Levine said in 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

WPATH is often cited in court cases for expertise on transgender issues, as reported by CNN. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in its decision to uphold Tennessee’s ban on transgender hormone usage by minors, stated that WPATH uses “limited data” on the “long-term physical, psychological, and neurodevelopmental outcomes.”

This concern was exacerbated in March when Environmental Progress published leaks from WPATH that revealed members privately expressing concerns about the potentially lifelong negative effects of hormone inhibitors, transgender hormone usage, and sex-altering surgeries for minors. Still, members asserted that they regularly performed transgender surgeries on children as young as 14 years old. They further recommended surgeries for transgender minors before they finished high school.

The files revealed that WPATH members endorsed “de-gendering” surgeries for non-binary patients and even “bi-genital” surgeries to construct a second set of genitalia, as reported by the New York Post.

“Before they perform gender-affirming surgery, physicians typically require a referral from a mental health professional who can attest that a patient has thought the decision through, and in the past obtaining such a referral was more challenging than it is today. For example, until the mid-1990s, people who sought genital surgery were often turned down if they exhibited symptoms of severe anxiety or depression, which were seen as signs of mental instability,” wrote clinical psychologist Walter Bockting in support of such procedures, per Columbia Magazine. “Now we know that feeling an incongruence between one’s gender identity and sex assigned at birth can contribute to mood disorders and that it is often appropriate to provide a person gender-affirming care at the same time that you’re treating them for other mental health conditions.”

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