“Gender dysphoria”—and “gender dysphoria in children”—made their debut as formal diagnoses in the 2013 edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA’s) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5); the revised manual also added an “optional ‘post-transition’ specifier to indicate when a particular individual’s gender transition is complete.”1 The APA thereby jettisoned the term “gender identity disorder,” which had prevailed since 1994 and had in turn ended fourteen years of use of the “transsexualism” diagnosis. Underscoring the relative recency of gender-related diagnoses, prior to 1980, the DSM made no reference to gender identity at all.1
The refashioned diagnostic language set the stage for the proliferation of “gender clinics” in North America, which have gone from two or three in the mid-1990s2 to over four hundred.3 This rapidly expanding market dangles the promise of a medical fix for gender dysphoria through drugs and procedures euphemistically referred to as “gender-confirming surgery.”4 Researchers reported a fourfold increase in this type of surgical procedure from 2000 to 2014,5 and in the 2016–2017 year alone, “transgender” surgeries increased by a whopping 155 percent—the largest increase of any type of plastic surgery that year.4
If the “two clear trends” related to individuals who self-identify as transgender or “gender non-binary” (TGNB) persist—namely, growth in the proportion of individuals claiming such labels and “a higher proportion of TGNB identities among the younger generations”4—then the upward trend in surgeries and pharmaceutical interventions is likely to continue. A 2016 survey of Minnesota ninth and eleventh graders is suggestive, with an unprecedentedly large proportion of students self-reporting “transgender and gender nonconforming” identities—twenty-seven per thousand, versus an estimated seven per thousand for eighteen- to twenty-four-year-olds.6 Describing the study’s high prevalence as an “outlier,” some researchers nevertheless speculate that it could be “indicative of future trends.”4
Broken down by sex, the 2016–2017 surgical tsunami revealed that far more girls and women now choose to tamper with the body they were born with compared to boys and men—that year, there was an astonishing 289 percent increase in “female-to-male” procedures versus a 41 percent increase for “male-to-female.”4 Prior to 2012, scientific literature on the phenomenon in girls did not exist, but the situation shifted dramatically over the next decade. Describing the present state of affairs, Abigail Shrier, author of the book Irreversible Damage, notes, “For the first time in medical history, natal girls are not only present among those so identifying [as “transgender”]—they constitute the majority.”7
“PUBERTY BLOCKERS”: A COMMON FIRST STEP
A common first step among children and preteens diagnosed with gender dysphoria are gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs—dangerously and disingenuously referred to as “puberty blockers.” GnRH analogs suppress the release of sex hormones, including testosterone and estrogen.8 In boys who take them, the drugs will “decrease the growth of facial and body hair, prevent voice deepening, and limit the growth of genitalia,” as well as prevent erections; in girls, the drugs’ impacts include limiting or stopping breast development and halting menstruation.8
Lupron is the undisputed GnRH analog market leader. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially approved it to treat prostate cancer and conditions such as endometriosis9 and uterine fibroids, but the regulatory agency also permits Lupron’s use for a condition dubbed “precocious puberty” (puberty before age eight in girls and age nine in boys). The drug’s pediatric website trumpets the tagline, “over 25 years of providing the suppression they need,”10 but in reality, Lupron has been disastrous for this and other approved uses.11 Prescribing Lupron or other GnRH analogs for gender dysphoria is an off-label application. In 2020, Utah Representative Brad Daw—concerned about the 10,960 percent increase over a five-year period in Utah minors going through “female-to-male” medical transition—introduced a bill that would have required the state health department to at least “study the effects of hormone therapy and other medical treatment on transgender minors,” but the bill failed in a resounding fifty-five to seventeen vote.12
Lupron also has a colorful history of use as a “chemical castration” agent for sex offenders13 and, weirdly, is a component of infertility treatments, even though it is contraindicated during pregnancy due to the risk of fetal harm.14 Fertility clinics use the GnRH analog to switch off the pituitary in women undergoing in vitro fertilization, with the rationale that it allows doctors to “take over control” of the woman’s ovulation cycle.15
Registered nurse Lynne Millican, who was given Lupron for infertility, became an activist and founded the Lupron Victims Hub16 after the drug disabled her and destroyed her career, leaving her with impaired gastrointestinal functioning, chronic lymphadenopathy, severe osteoporosis, a “dissolving” jaw, muscle and nerve pain, chronic fatigue and memory problems.11
Millican’s experience is far from unique. According to a Kaiser Health News investigation, many adults, especially women, report that taking Lupron as a kid “ruined their lives or left them crippled.”17 As of September 2022, the FDA—which has ignored numerous petitions calling for Lupron’s recall—had received more than thirty-one thousand reports linking the drug to serious adverse events, including death.18 In mid-2022, the FDA belatedly added warnings to Lupron and other GnRH analogs of an increased risk of “pseudotumor cerebri,” also called “idiopathic intracranial hypertension”19—a “dangerous surge of spinal fluid pressure in the brain” that can cause problems such as permanent vision loss.20 Scarcely reassuring for the masses of young people taking Lupron or other GnRH analogs, the drugs are also notorious for causing heart and bone problems as well as mental health issues. (“Emotional lability” is listed as a possible psychiatric side effect.21) There is suggestive evidence that GnRH analogs affect cognitive functioning, with two studies pointing to a “substantial” drop in IQ scores.22
The corporate track record of Lupron’s manufacturers is hardly comforting. In 2001, Lupron’s then-manufacturer TAP Pharmaceuticals (a joint venture between Abbott Laboratories and Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical) paid what was at the time the highest criminal and civil fine ever—eight hundred seventy-five million dollars—after admitting to fraudulent marketing and violations of the False Claims Act.23 Currently, the drug belongs to the portfolio of AbbVie (an Abbott Labs spin-off), which not only successfully fended off a major lawsuit24 but has resorted to a range of unsavory tactics to mask or downplay the drug’s risks.23
Given the overwhelming demand for “puberty blockers,”25 it’s a safe bet that the American kids and parents clamoring for them know little of the drugs’ dangers and believe the falsehood that the chemical intervention is “safe, effective and completely reversible.”20 On the contrary, retired U.S. endocrinologist and OB/GYN Dr. David Redwine, who reviewed extensive in-house data from the manufacturers, found information in one of the earliest studies—never published—that over 62 percent of endometriosis patients given Lupron “had not regained baseline estrogen levels by one year after stopping Lupron.”26 In Britain, the National Health Service (NHS), which has offered puberty blockers to children as young as nine or ten,27 now admits the drugs’ long-term effects are unknown and no longer describes them, as it previously did, as “fully reversible.”20
“Puberty blockers” tend to be a gateway drug, leading children, sometimes starting as young as twelve,28 to begin more powerful hormone therapy—estrogen for gender-dysphoric boys, testosterone for gender-dysphoric girls. Shrier cites a clinical trial in which “100 percent of children put on puberty blockers proceeded to cross-sex hormones.” In the UK, researchers at Tavistock’s Gender Identity Development Service describe cross-sex hormonal treatment as “a main aspect of [the] gender dysphoria health care pathway.”29
As explained in a 2016 report in Translational Andrology and Urology, the medical establishment has become dramatically more permissive when it comes to green-lighting hormone therapy. In the past, guidelines developed by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and the Endocrine Society recommended that individuals try out a one-year “social transition” before starting hormone therapy.30 That is no longer the case—now, both organizations “recommend that patients transition socially and with medical therapy at the same time.”
In the U.S., Planned Parenthood is one of the leading dispensers of cross-sex hormones, doling them out “like candy”—sometimes at the very first appointment—in hundreds of clinics across the nation.31 A report in The Federalist describes Planned Parenthood’s seeding of a “school-to-clinic” pipeline through its role as a sex education contractor—where its curricula emphasize “gender fluidity and transition”—and through its operation of school-based “wellbeing centers.”31 The Federalist also notes Planned Parenthood’s historical willingness to provide “sensitive care” to minors without parental consent, and points out that transitioning without parental knowledge is more likely in states that have deemed “gender-affirming care” to be “medically necessary.”
In September 2022, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a “transgender sanctuary” bill likely to encourage transgender medical tourism by minors from out of state; the governor characterized laws passed by other states to protect minors from irreversible medical interventions as “an act of hate.”32 Groups protesting the new California law pronounced it “drastic overreach”—amounting to “a massive exemption to all existing laws on child custody and on the respect for other states’ jurisdictions”—and also suggested it “creates a very dangerous incentive for children to run away from their homes and other states if they have a disagreement with their parents over the issue of gender distress.”33
Cross-sex hormone therapy has two fundamental goals: to suppress or minimize the individual’s innate secondary sex characteristics, and to promote the development of sex characteristics of the opposite sex—or, as gender clinics prefer to phrase it, characteristics “consistent with the individual’s gender identity.”34 However, while this strategy is put forth as a remedy for mental distress,29 it has far less rosy physical and emotional implications. Shrier points out that the youth who proceed from “puberty blockers” to cross-sex hormones are “almost guaranteed” to end up infertile, with sexual development and the potential for orgasm perhaps “foreclosed for good.”
Among the facts generally unknown to youth who embark on cross-sex hormone treatment is the “dirty little secret” that the hormones are addictive, altering the brain and “distort[ing] one’s ability to make decisions.”35 Among girls, testosterone—trendily referred to as “T” and, according to Shrier, administered at dosages “ten to forty times greater than their bodies would normally bear”—can initially feel like a “joyride.” As Shrier evocatively describes the initial experience, “[I]n the place of mental sharpness, [testosterone] offers the compensatory gifts of mood elevation and a satisfying spurt of heedlessness. A newfound sense of bravado, but also punchiness, descends.” Body and facial hair emerge after only a few months; over time, other physical changes set in, including voice deepening, development of acne and possibly male-pattern baldness, rounding of the nose, squaring of the jaw and enlargement of the clitoris potentially “to the size of a baby carrot.” In large part, these changes are permanent.
In the grips of the initial “euphoria,” girls may not mind the short-term memory loss or increased moodiness, irritability and aggression, but as time goes on, they discover other discomforts: vaginal atrophy, muscle aches, cramping and sweating. Most alarmingly, for both “female-to-male” and “male-to-female” individuals, cross-sex hormones come with a heightened risk of mortality-increasing adverse events such as cancer,36,37 blood clots38 and cardiovascular problems.39
Expressing worry about the rush to prescribe cross-sex hormones, in 2016 a UK expert advocated a more cautious wait-and-see approach, stating, “If you wait until puberty has got a little way along, a fair proportion of the children change the clinical presentation and feel more like straightforward lesbian and gay kids. They don’t seek social role change any more and will end up with no need for lifelong medical intervention, surgery and with no loss of natural fertility should they want children.”28
TOP TO BOTTOM
The popularity of surgical interventions—both “top” (chest) and “bottom” (genitals)—has skyrocketed alongside pharmaceutical therapies. In 2021, market researchers at Grand View Research reported a “U.S. sex reassignment surgery market size. . . valued at USD 1.9 billion” and predicted a compound annual growth rate of 11 percent by 2030.40 According to a 2019 study, “top” surgery—occurring at rates reported between 8 and 25 percent—is about twice as frequent as genital surgery (reported for 4 to 13 percent) for “female-to-male” and “male-to-female” populations combined.4 A survey assessing “gender-affirming chest surgeries” among twelve- to seventeen-year-old adolescents found that the procedures jumped by 389 percent from 2016 to 2019, nearly all of them mastectomies (98.6 percent).41
The Grand View Research report noted the dominance of the “female-to-male” market segment, in part thanks to “continuous innovations in metoidioplasty [the surgical creation of a “neophallus”], phalloplasty [a method of creating a “penis” using large skin grafts], scrotoplasty [creation of a “scrotum”], and chest reconstructing.” Another “advanced and innovative surgical solution” the analysts expect to contribute to market growth is a procedure that reduces the size of the Adam’s apple (called a “tracheal shave” or “chondrolaryngoplasty”). As proponents of this and other forms of “facial feminization” surgery enthuse, “the brow lift, scalp advancement, nose reshaping, temporomandibular joint shave, and cheek implants are all possible.”42
Among “lower surgeries,” according to Healthline, metoidioplasty is a “routinely performed” procedure, with four possible options as to how to carry it out.43 The first, called a “simple release,” frees the clitoris from surrounding tissue but leaves the urethra and vagina alone. A “full metoidioplasty,” in contrast, not only releases the clitoris but additionally uses a tissue graft from inside the cheek “to link the urethra with the neophallus”; if so desired, full metoidioplasty can also involve removal of the vagina (vaginectomy) and insertion of scrotal implants. A third alternative is “ring metoidioplasty,” where the skin graft comes from the inside of the vaginal wall, rather than the cheek, and is “combined with the labia majora in order to connect the urethra and the neophallus.” (Healthline touts one advantage of this option—only having to heal “at one site as opposed to two.”) Finally, “Centurion metoidioplasty” releases and uses ligaments that run up the labia “to surround the new penis, creating extra girth.”
As extensively detailed by Johns Hopkins Medicine, phalloplasty uses a large skin graft from the arm, leg or torso—including “the skin, fat, nerves, arteries and veins”—to create a “penis.”44 Commenting on size, Johns Hopkins helpfully notes that thinner patients “will have a penis with less girth,” while fatter patients with more graftable tissue to spare will end up with a “thicker penis.” The hospital’s comprehensive definition of phalloplasty also includes potential surgery to lengthen the urethra; create a tip for the “penis”; install testicular implants and create a “scrotum” to protect them; remove the vagina, uterus and ovaries; and place erectile implants. The choice of procedures will be dictated by the patient’s wishes regarding “penis” function—with emphasis on urethral lengthening if standing urination is important, the choice of a skin graft site “with good nerve innervation” if sensation is at the top of the list, and implantation of an erectile prosthetic if penetrative sex and maintaining an erection are the priority.
On the list of pre-phalloplasty topics “to discuss with your physician,” Johns Hopkins recommends reviewing the patient’s desire for a hysterectomy. Although traditional hysterectomies have been declining, there are indications that hospitals are interested in reversing that trend by branching out into “gender-affirming” hysterectomies, including in minors.45 Hysterectomy is not a low-risk procedure, however, and as described by Children’s Health Defense, the risks “are especially pronounced for women who have their reproductive organ(s) removed at younger ages.”45 Nevertheless, according to one study, 14 percent of those undergoing a “female-to-male” transition have had a hysterectomy, and another 57 percent “want one in the future.”4
For those aiming for a “male-to-female” metamorphosis, procedures may include removal of the testicles (orchiectomy) and “penile inversion vaginoplasty” (PIV), in which the penis and scrotum are “disassembled” and then “reassembled” into a vulva and vagina, “creating aesthetically feminine, sensate external genitalia, and a vagina capable of receptive intercourse” as well as “gender-congruent urinary function, that is, seated urination.”46 Preparation for PIV typically includes “scrotal-perineal hair removal”;46 clinicians warn that “failure to perform preoperative or intraoperative hair removal can. . . result in a hairball, which can be a nidus [breeding ground] for debris and infection.”47
In Irreversible Damage and in a 2019 article Shrier wrote for the Wall Street Journal, she compares the prevalence of “rapid onset gender dysphoria” in girls (a term coined by social scientist Lisa Littman48) to “social contagions” such as cutting and bulimia, but draws attention to one key difference: this particular social contagion “gets full support from the medical community.”49 And one of the driving reasons for this support, as health care institutions barely take the trouble to dissemble, is that body-altering drugs and surgeries are good for the financial bottom line.
A September 2022 article in the Tennessee Star spells out this point, quoting the physician who helped persuade Vanderbilt University to open a transgender clinic in 2018; as the doctor emphasized in a talk that year, “These surgeries make a lot of money”—also noting that because the procedures are complex and labor-intensive, lucrative follow-up is guaranteed.50 In October 2022, the Vanderbilt clinic responded to scrutiny by some of Tennessee’s lawmakers by announcing it was temporarily “pausing” the surgeries for minors.51 Around the same time, Tennessee’s attorney general announced his intention to investigate allegations of illegal conduct at the clinic.52
Many studies confirm the fact that increased insurance coverage for “gender-confirming surgery” is contributing to more demand for the procedures.4 Over the 2 016–2019 period, the Nationwide Ambulatory Surgery Sample survey found that the vast majority of adolescents who had “gender-affirming chest surgeries” indeed had insurance coverage for the procedure, either private (61 percent) or public (17 percent).41 According to the survey, the median cost of “top” surgery, adjusted for inflation, was about thirty thousand dollars. In 2017, Newsweek estimated that the cost of “female-to-male” procedures could be as high as fifty thousand dollars.53
Government support is helping drive the market. The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) established coverage specifically for “transgender” care, and the Biden administration has announced expanded coverage for “gender-affirming care” for federal employees and their families beginning in 2023.54 However, Grand View Research notes that private insurers are also increasingly willing to cover removal of organs like the testicles, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries.40 One-fourth of Fortune 500 companies “offer transition-related care to employees,” including through major insurers like Blue Cross Blue Shield and Aetna.54 This “improving reimbursement scenario” is, according to the market research firm, “anticipated to positively impact the market growth during the forecast period.”
In the face of the enthusiastic and monolithic media coverage of “transgenderism,” individuals who change their minds—called “detransitioners”—get short shrift, but their numbers are reportedly increasing. In 2017, a Serbian urologist told Newsweek he was encountering increased requests for “reversal” surgeries, particularly among natal males “who want their male genitalia back.”53 One such man, who went through “male-to-female” surgery and then “opted to become a man again,” commented, “I don’t think there’s anyone born transsexual. Areas of their human brain get altered by female hormones.”
A growing number of young women are also going public with their regret, sharing their “cautionary tale” so that other girls will think twice. Describing her rapid trajectory, a seventeen-year-old named Chloe told a media outlet how she decided she was transgender when she was twelve—a decision heavily shaped by trans “influencers” she found online—then began taking “puberty blockers” and testosterone at age thirteen, underwent a double mastectomy at age fifteen and regretted all of these decisions by age sixteen.55 Although surveys highlight rates of regret ranging from 1 to 11 percent, detransitioners—who often experience intense ostracism for their reversal decisions—“claim that the numbers are much higher and that people are afraid to speak out.”56 Tucker Carlson of Fox News predicts that a decade from now, “there will be thousands of vocal victims.”57
Detransitioners and a growing number of experts increasingly point out that gender dysphoria may be the wrong diagnosis—and hormones and surgery the wrong solutions. As a clinical psychologist who underwent “male-to-female” transition puts it, “doctors may be defaulting to medicalization as a remedy for other personal or mental-health factors.”55 Among the “transgender” and “gender-diverse” teens who participated in the Nationwide Ambulatory Surgery Sample for the 2016–2019 period, psychiatric comorbidities were common, with more than one in five (21 percent) reporting anxiety and 16 percent reporting depression.41 After going public, a UK detransitioner described being in communication with hundreds of young people, nineteen and twenty years old, “who have had full gender reassignment surgery who wish they hadn’t, and their dysphoria hasn’t been relieved, they don’t feel better for it.”56
Questions about whether surgery has become a panacea are not even new. A Swedish study that conducted long-term follow-up, from 1973 through 2003, of “transsexual” persons who underwent sex reassignment surgery reported that after the surgery, the risks of mortality, suicidal behavior and psychiatric morbidity were considerably higher than for the general population58—in a word, the surgically altered individuals’ experience was one of “lifelong mental unrest.”59
Tucker Carlson has described gender ideology as “incoherent,” but notes that those who dare to say something about it immediately get attacked for being “on the other side.”57 Nevertheless, many prominent figures have dissented from the medicalized orthodoxy, particularly when it comes to “puberty blockers.” For example, Dr. Redwine, an expert on Lupron’s failure as an endometriosis drug, has expressed the opinion that Lupron’s off-label use for gender dysphoria is “controversial and seems questionable.” 60 Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, describes as “unethical experimentation” the use of Lupron in “gender-confused children” who have “no capacity to comprehend [the drug’s] long-term consequences.” For boys who take Lupron, Orient says, “It does not turn a male child into a female child, only into a eunuch who will lose his full potential for growth and strength.”61 In the UK, Dr. David Bell, who retired after emerging as a whistleblower at the Tavistock Centre’s gender clinic, disputes the interchangeable use of gender dysphoria and transgenderism. Discussing “puberty blockers,” Bell told The Guardian, “The body is not a video machine. You can’t just press a pause button. You have to ask what it really means to stop puberty.”62 In Sweden, psychiatrist Dr. Christopher Gillberg describes pediatric transition as “possibly one of the greatest scandals in medical history” and has called for “an immediate moratorium on the use of puberty blocker drugs because of their unknown long-term effects.”63
Another individual unafraid to speak up is Dr. Michelle Cretella, executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, who has repeatedly called for “serious scientific research into the potential environmental causes of gender dysphoria and the risks—both physical and psychological—of medical transition.”64 Writing in 2021 in a lay Catholic publication called the Academy Review, Dr. Cretella bluntly stated, “The suppression of normal puberty, the use of disease-causing cross-sex hormones and the surgical mutilation and sterilization of children constitute atrocities to be banned; they are not healthcare.”63 For Cretella, teen and young adult hysterectomies, surgical castration and penectomies add up to nothing less than eugenics—that is, the intentional sterilization of emotionally troubled youth.
In 2018, a mother using the pen name of “worriedmom” agreed that there are disturbing parallels between the eugenics movement of yore, which led to the “coerced sterilization of unfit individuals,” and the medicalized treatment of transgender youth today, which virtually guarantees sterilization in those who take “puberty blockers” and cross-sex hormones and/or remove their natal sex organs.65 The writer pointed out: “as applied, both. . . result in the sterilization of people who are unable to give meaningful consent to the procedure.” She also took note of the mainstream media’s “blind spot” on the topic of destroyed fertility and quoted a medical anthropologist as saying, “The absence of the discussion of sterilization of children as a major ethical challenge. . . is striking.”
Investigative journalist Jennifer Bilek, who has extensively studied the money behind the “transgender project,”66 asks, “ [W]hat could possibly explain the abrupt drive of wealthy elites to deconstruct who and what we are and to manipulate children’s sex characteristics in clinics now spanning the globe. . . ?”67 Whether the answer is profit, “the pleasure of seeing one’s own personal obsessions writ large” or “the human temptation to play God”—or all of the above—Bilek finds the agenda deeply troubling. Equally disturbing are recent legal trends, including legislative attempts to pass laws that “hold parents criminally liable for refusing to treat their children as a different sex from the one they were born into,”68 including classifying such refusals as felonies, and contentious custody battles that penalize or sideline parents who object to their children’s medical transition.69 Nevertheless, parents, detransitioners and legislators are pushing back to protect minors.
In Oklahoma, lawmakers voting in September 2022 to distribute federal dollars stipulated that university health care institutions accepting the money “will have to limit how they practice transgender medicine on children under the age of 18”; the lawmakers prohibited “intervening in the development of certain sexual characteristics,” “surgically altering a child’s appearance to match anything but the gender they were born with” and “the use of medical therapies or using medicine to treat gender dysphoria.”70 Florida’s Department of Health (FDOH) likewise questions federal guidance, stating that “encouraging mastectomy, ovariectomy, uterine extirpation, penile disablement, tracheal shave, the prescription of hormones which are out of line with the genetic make-up of the child, or puberty blockers, are all clinical practices which run an unacceptably high risk of doing harm.”71
Taking a step back into philosophical territory, one writer analyzes the situation this way [emphases in original]: “The notion that people know what they need and ought to be allowed to have it is a central principal and value in the consumer capitalist mosh-pit of human exploitation which we live in today. . . . The truth is we don’t know what we need: we have been cultured and conditioned to want all the wrong things and to turn to the ruling power structures to get them . . . . All these solutions that are offered, as means to autonomy and self-empowerment, in fact lead to the opposite: increased dependency on the Dream State that is selling us its manufactured imago of being.”72
Ultimately, another writer suggests, “When ‘the tumult and shouting dies,’ it proves not easy nor wise to live in a counterfeit sexual garb.”59 His conclusion is that while cosmetic surgery and cross-sex hormones can “affect appearances” and “stunt or damage some outward expressions of our reproductive organization,” they cannot bring about the actual transformation that turns “one sex into the other.”
BEHIND THE SCENES, SOME POWERFUL PLAYERS
Many powerful players are involved in funding and championing the kid-focused “transgender” agenda, including
foundations and “[g]overnments, corporations, politicians, medical institutions and schools, banks, pharma, tech, the media, and Hollywood.”73 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is also in the mix of influential players, offering youth a series of transgender resources that include a “digital LGBTQ+ center” called Q Chat Space, run in partnership with Planned Parenthood. The site—brought into question by lawmakers writing to CDC director Rochelle Walensky in July 2022—has built-in features that make it easy for young people to hide it from their parents.74
The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), an international nonprofit, plays a prominent
role in the medical arena through its dissemination of “Standards of Care” and “Ethical Guidelines” for the treatment of individuals with gender dysphoria. WPATH promotes the medical necessity of “hormone therapy, surgery, facial hair removal, interventions for speech and communication modifications, and behavioral adaptations.”34 In a 2019 investigative report, a Canadian researcher noted that all WPATH committee members involved in the development of the Standards of Care had significant conflicts of interest.75 The WPATH committee chairman, for example, holds an endowed academic chair in sexual health funded by Jennifer (born James) Pritzker, “the world’s only known transgender billionaire.”76
Pritzker gives money to WPATH and a wide range of gender-focused academic and professional institutions. In addition, other members of the Pritzker family—one of America’s richest—have invested extensively in the surgeries and drugs that comprise the gender dysphoria armamentarium.67
JOHNS HOPKINS—A LONG-TIME PLAYER
In 1966, Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital established the nation’s first “gender-affirming surgery” clinic, called the Gender Identity Clinic.77 The clinic operated for thirteen years and then closed in 1979, and it was not until 2017 that Johns Hopkins reentered the fray with its Center for Transgender Health. Johns Hopkins’ early performance of “gender-affirming” surgery lent a “mainstream sort of legitimacy to gender affirmation that hadn’t been granted to it yet,” according to one medical historian, but that imprimatur went back to sleep in 1979 until Johns Hopkins apparently regrouped around the twenty-first century’s transgender agenda.2
The inaugural director of the 1960s clinic, plastic surgeon John Hoopes, reportedly viewed “genitourinary reconstruction on transgender patients as an opportunity to further his own field,” but a decade later, he left the clinic and raised questions about “long-term clinical data regarding the efficacy of surgical procedures.”2 He also requested that the operations “not be performed under the auspices of the Division of Plastic Surgery.” According to the medical historian (writing in 2022), the “poor technical outcomes”—and the clinic’s association with sexologist John Money, whose opinions on incest and chemical castration of prisoners had generated controversy—were contributors to the clinic’s 1979 demise.2 No one talks about “poor outcomes” today, however, and Johns Hopkins has regained its rank as one of the most prominent players in sex reassignment surgery.40
AUTISM AND GENDER DYSPHORIA
In 2020, following up on various studies linking autism and gender dysphoria, UK researchers confirmed the link in a much larger study population.78 The research indicated that people with gender dysphoria were six times as likely to be autistic, and also more likely to report autism traits, compared to their non-gender-dysphoric counterparts. The reverse was also true, with autistic people being more likely to be “gender diverse” than neurotypical individuals. In 2022, a meta-analysis in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders reiterated the probable link between the two.79 Unfortunately, commentators have used such studies to make a cheerful case for “neurodiversity” and “gender diversity,”80 rather than asking tough questions about whether common environmental exposures—nutrition, vaccines, electromagnetic radiation, endocrine-disrupting chemicals and other factors—might have something to do with the exponential rise of both autism and gender dysphoria.
- “Gender dysphoria diagnosis.” American Psychiatric Association, n.d. https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/cultural-competency/education/transgender-and-gender-nonconforming-patients/gender-dysphoria-diagnosis
- Putka S. What killed the first gender-affirming surgery clinic in the U.S.? Med- Page Today, Oct. 5, 2022.
- The Gender Mapping Project. https://www.gendermapper.org/
- Nolan IT, Kuhner CJ, Dy GW. Demographic and temporal trends in transgender identities and gender confirming surgery. Transl Androl Urol. 2019;8(3):184-190.
- Golgowski N. Gender confirmation surgeries are rising, and so is insurance coverage: study. HuffPost, Feb. 28, 2018.
- Rider GN, McMorris BJ, Gower AL, et al. Health and care utilization of transgender and gender nonconforming youth: a population-based study. Pediatrics. 2018;141(3):e20171683.
- Shrier A. Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2020.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. Pubertal blockers for transgender and gender-diverse youth. Mayo Clinic, Jun. 18, 2022.
- Part 1 – Darcy Spears News Report on Lupron Depot – (KTVN, Las Vegas). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_k8GyWT6rY&t=16s
- Millican L. Lupron: a nightmare produced in Abbvie. RxISK, Feb. 18, 2014. https://rxisk.org/lupron-a-nightmare-produced-in-abbvie/
- Richards C. Utah House rejects bill to study effects of hormone therapy on transgender minors. Standard-Examiner, Mar. 11, 2020.
- Lee JY, Cho KS. Chemical castration for sexual offenders: physicians’ views. J Korean Med Sci. 2013;28(2):171-172.
- Jewett C. Women fear drug they used to halt puberty led to health problems. Kaiser Health News, Feb. 2, 2017.
- Arnold J. FDA slaps warning on puberty blockers. The Daily Signal, Jul. 28, 2022.
- Buttons C. FDA warns of brain swelling and permanent vision loss found in children taking puberty blockers. The Post Millennial, Jul. 25, 2022.
- Hayes P. Commentary: Cognitive, emotional, and psychosocial functioning of girls treated with pharmacological puberty blockage for idiopathic central precocious puberty. Front Psychol. 2017;8:44.
- Millican L. They say Lupron is safe. Hormones Matter, Aug. 31, 2022. https://www.hormonesmatter.com/they-say-lupron-safe/
- Steinberg J. Abbott, AbbVie beat appeal in Lupron bone, joint injury suit. Bloomberg Law, Jul. 11, 2022.
- Van Maren J. The puberty blocker “Lupron” given to kids is the same drug used to chemically castrate pedophiles. The Bridgehead, May 30, 2022.
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This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Winter 2022🖨️ Print post