After Assistant Secretary of Health Rachel Levine claimed in recent weeks that “there is no argument” among medical professionals who specialize in children and adolescents regarding gender-affirming care, several doctors and therapists have pushed back big time.
According to Fox News Digital, several medical pros who spoke to the outlet said they have seen gender dysphoria rates spike among young people in recent years, but many of their colleagues won’t speak out publicly against the ideology spreading transgender ‘normality’ because they know they’ll experience personal and professional retaliation.
Medical professionals took issue with Levine’s blanket claim, including the Florida Department of Health. Citing peer-reviewed studies as well as a “lack of conclusive evidence, and the potential for long-term, irreversible effects,” Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo released a fact sheet on April 20 advising against the HHS’s list of treatment options for children and adolescents experiencing gender dysphoria.
Levine, the highest-ranking transgender individual in the Biden administration, turned heads last month after she claimed during an interview with NPR that “there is no argument among medical professionals – pediatricians, pediatric endocrinologists, adolescent medicine physicians, adolescent psychiatrists, psychologists, etc. – about the value and the importance of gender-affirming care.”
Definitions posted in the form of a fact sheet on the Department of Health and Human Services’ — where Levine works — in March describe “gender-affirming care” as including social affirmation at any age, puberty blockers as youngsters reach it, and cross-sex hormone therapies beginning during early adolescence. As for irreversible surgery, that is “typically used in adulthood or a case-by-case basis in adolescence,” the department’s fact sheet says.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, Ladapo’s office said the surgeon general said Florida’s guidance and fact sheet speak for themselves, noting that “the burden of proof to support the outlandish claims made on NPR falls on Dr. Levine.”
The Florida fact sheet notes:
Systematic reviews on hormonal treatment for young people show a trend of low-quality evidence, small sample sizes, and medium to high risk of bias. A paper published in the International Review of Psychiatry states that 80% of those seeking clinical care will lose their desire to identify with the non-birth sex. One review concludes that “hormonal treatments for transgender adolescents can achieve their intended physical effects, but evidence regarding their psychosocial and cognitive impact is generally lacking.”
According to the Merck Manual, “gender dysphoria is characterized by a strong, persistent cross-gender identification associated with anxiety, depression, irritability, and often a wish to live as a gender different from the one associated with the sex assigned at birth.”
“They’re trying to make it seem that the evidence base is a done deal and is settled science, and that’s just simply not the case,” Dr. William Malone, an Idaho-based assistant clinical professor of endocrinology, told Fox News. He is a member of the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine (SEGM), an international group of more than 100 clinicians and researchers concerned about what they call the “lack of quality evidence for the use of hormonal and surgical interventions as first-line treatment for young people with gender dysphoria.”
He added: “And so the language that they’re using does not reflect the actual medical evidence.”
Dr. Miriam Grossman, a child and adolescent psychiatrist who has treated young people for nearly 40 years and written extensively about gender ideology, added that Levine is misleading Americans.
“There is a complete lack of high-quality, long-term data that these medical interventions actually help, and it is very disturbing to me as a fellow physician that Dr. Levine is arrogantly announcing that all pediatricians, all physicians and therapists agree with her position,” said Grossman, who has called the steadily rising rates of gender dysphoria among young people as “a psychic epidemic.”
“I attribute it to the gender ideology, which has made its way into our schools, into our entertainment industry, into the social media platforms,” she said. “Children who have various emotional issues are being led to believe that being transgender is going to solve their emotional issues.”