American doctors are still not up to date in treating youth gender conflicts. This could be due to a variety of reasons, but the main reason is that gender activism has been incorporated into gender medicine. Transgenderism is now a serious mental health issue, despite the lack of scientific evidence to support gender dysphoria. With little scientific evidence, activists can bully and threaten other providers with ruined careers if they don’t like their views.
However, Europe has a healthy and ongoing debate on gender dysphoria. It is not just about who has it, but also how to treat young people.
Finland’s Dr. Riittakertu Kaltiala is a chief psychiatrist at one of its two government-approved pediatric clinics for gender transition. Since 2011, she has been in charge of gender-transitioning youth.
The “Dutch Protocols” allow for the use of puberty blockers in limited circumstances in Finland. However, Dr. Kaltiala and other gender experts noticed that most of their patients didn’t match the profiles of those who had been treated in the Netherlands. They also did not meet the strict eligibility requirements of the Dutch protocol for drug treatment.
The Dutch protocol demands that patients with gender dysphoria must have it before puberty. It is because of the high rate at which gender-related issues are resolved (or “desist”) by adults. They must also have no co-occurring mental disorders, undergo at least six months of psychotherapy, and have the support of their families for hormonal treatments.
It is easy to see the differences between American physician activists versus their European counterparts. An employee at the St. Louis University Hospital gender Clinic exposed the fact that most patients have mental illness and that psychotherapy is not required.
As I mentioned, the dark ages are true.
After their country adopted the Dutch protocol in 2011, Finnish researchers observed a dramatic increase in patients being referred to services within a few years. These patients were mostly teenage girls who had never suffered from dysphoria and 75% of them had experienced severe psychopathology before the emergence of gender-related distress. The Tavistock Centre in the U.K., which is the largest pediatric gender clinic, saw a 3,360% increase in patient referrals during the same period. The majority of new patients were women, who saw a 4,400% increase in their representation at the Tavistock Centre between 2009 and 2018. They had a history of severe psychological problems and had never experienced gender dysphoria before adolescence.
It is possible that American clinics have seen a similar rise in teenage girls suffering from dysphoria. This is called “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria” in Europe, but it’s still controversial in the United States.
Blanchard and Bailey agreed on a third type of gender dysphoria in their 2017 article, “Gender Dysphoria is Not One Thing.” These teenage girls, who were not gender non-conforming before puberty, are affected by rapid onset gender dysphoria. Lisa Littman published her research in 2018 and described this phenomenon. She noted a social contagion component among these girls, as well as a connection to social media sites like Tumblr.
Gender dysphoria is a socially contagious disease in teenage girls. It is a terrible thought. There must be another reason for this huge jump in teenage girls claiming they are boys.
This is why the UK, Finland, and Sweden agreed to conduct a systematic review of evidence regarding the risks and benefits of hormonal interventions.
Systematic reviews are the best way to analyze evidence in evidence-based medicine. These reviews were conducted by three European countries. They all came to the same conclusion. The severe methodological limitations of the studies supporting hormonal interventions for adolescents have made it difficult to trust them. This meant that these studies were not reliable enough to justify the risks and uncertainties associated with “gender-affirming” care. England, Sweden, and Finland have placed strict restrictions on hormone access. These countries allow hormones to be administered to very limited numbers of patients who meet the criteria of the Dutch protocol. However, this is against the findings of systematic reviews. Because systematic reviews have found that the Dutch study on which the Dutch protocol was based also provides “very low certainty evidence”. The Council on Choices in Healthcare in Finland recognizes medical transfer for minors as “an experimental practice.”
Kaltiala testified recently before a Florida panel about transgender youth. According to The Tablet, Kaltiala told the panel that 12 studies have shown that children with transgender behavior or cross-gender traits can develop naturally. This means that the majority of them (‘four out five’, Kaltiala says) come to terms with their bodies, and accept their sexuality. They are almost impossible to socially transition if they do.
Trans-rights activists are pushing to get rid of the requirement for a doctor to diagnose gender dysphoria and to allow people to identify their legal sex at any time. It is interesting to me that the American gender care community seems to be rushing ahead in a time of Europeans slowing down and pulling back on the drive to provide children with gender-affirming care.
Why? There has to be a political motivation for people to ignore all evidence to the contrary to push an agenda on America’s most vulnerable children.