The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), a professional medical association, recently published a press release calling on organizations to abandon social, medical and surgical protocols for gender dysphoric children and return to established practices involving mental health evaluations and therapy.
This recommendation is based on a groundbreaking critique of transgender interventions, titled “The Myth of ‘Reliable Research’ in Pediatric Gender Medicine: A critical evaluation of the Dutch Studies – and research that has followed,” published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy.
In the press release, Dr. Quentin Van Meter, endocrinologist and Past President of ACPeds stated in response to the critique of the studies used to justify and promote medical and surgical interventions on children, “ACPeds has long held that efforts to socially, medically and surgically interfere with the biological integrity of children and adolescents are not appropriate because of the very well documented harms and questionable benefits of such interventions. This published critique has pulled the foundation out from under guidelines used by major organizations pushing for transgender interventions.”
Dr. Andre Van Mol, board-certified family physician and Co-chair, Committee on Adolescent Sexuality for ACPeds went further and called for the shuttering of gender clinics saying, “ACPeds’ motto, ‘Best for Children,’ is predicated on the avoidance of any policy that harms children. ACPeds calls on World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), the Endocrine Society, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, and the American Academy of Pediatrics to join with the enlightened clinicians in Sweden, the UK, and Finland, to take down their published guidelines and to shutter their gender clinics immediately.”
The basis of guidelines for the care of transgender children and adolescents published by WPATH, the Endocrine Society, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, and the American Academy of Pediatrics all claim to be predicated on the “bedrock” of the Dutch protocol. Based on this critique, the purported benefits of these guidelines are now null and void.
The published critique stated:
“…no other pediatric intervention of similarly drastic nature has ever been delivered at a scale based on such low quality of evidence…”
“Public health authorities in Finland, Sweden, and most recently England” are “sharply deviating from the WPATH’s poorly evidenced recommendations…” delivering “a vote of no-confidence in the WPATH-endorsed “gender-affirming” approach that dominates the “gender clinic” model of care.”
“…a sobering reminder that the history of medicine is replete with examples of ‘cures’ which turned out to be far more harmful than the ‘disease.’”
As a result of the critique, ACPeds calls for a return to standard mental health evaluations and therapy for gender dysphoric pediatric patients saying, “ACPeds remains on the leading edge of advocacy for the pediatric patients who suffer from what is now called gender dysphoria. Extensive, decades-long published evidence has shown that returning to the biological integrity of the body occurs in the vast majority of gender dysphoric patients, particularly with appropriate mental health evaluation at the outset and continued therapy which resolves the undercurrent anxiety and depression – and ameliorates other mental health issues and traumas — that so often haunts these children otherwise.”