Florida has decided to ban so-called gender-affirming care for minors, a move that could be considered part of an overarching cultural and political battle taking place across the nation. On one side, there are those seeking to influence kids to embrace far-leftist ideas on sexuality and gender identity. The primary avenue through which activists are pursuing this agenda is the school system, where they are indoctrinating both teachers and students into their progressive philosophy.
Conversely, those opposing the transitioning of children are using a variety of methods to push back. They have relied on social protests and the legal system to safeguard parents’ rights. But some states have employed measures and passed legislation to protect children from the progressive influence campaign.
No More ‘Gender-Affirming Care’ for Kids
The Florida Board of Medicine and state Board of Osteopathic Medicine voted on Friday to ban puberty blockers and sex-reassignment surgery being provided for minor children. National Review reported:
“The board of medicine voted 6-3, with five others not present, on Friday to forbid doctors from prescribing puberty blockers and hormones or performing surgeries until a patient is 18. Exceptions will be made for children who are already receiving the treatment.”
Dr. David A. Diamond, the board of medicine’s chair, argued: “The chief point of agreement among all of the experts — and I must emphasize this — is that there is a pressing need for additional, high-quality clinical research.”
The Rise in Transgender Children
Florida has seen a marked increase in the number of children identifying as transgender and receiving what have become known to some as gender-affirming care treatments. In fact, Reuters noted this amount has more than doubled over the past ten years. In collaboration with Komodo Health Inc., the news outlet found that “[a]s the number of transgender children has grown, so has their access to gender-affirming care, much of it provided at scores of clinics at major hospitals.” From the report:
“In 2021, about 42,000 children and teens across the United States received a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, nearly triple the number in 2017, according to data Komodo compiled for Reuters. Gender dysphoria is defined as the distress caused by a discrepancy between a person’s gender identity and the one assigned to them at birth.
“Overall, the analysis found that at least 121,882 children ages 6 to 17 were diagnosed with gender dysphoria from 2017 through 2021. Reuters found similar trends when it requested state-level data on diagnoses among children covered by Medicaid, the public insurance program for lower-income families.”
Is Gender-Affirming Care Healthy for Children?
Progressives have defended the use of puberty blockers and surgical treatments to help children supposedly transition to the opposite sex by claiming it helps them manage their gender dysphoria and decreases the likelihood that they will commit suicide. School districts across the country have not only encouraged transgender ideology in the classroom, but they have also employed policies to help some of these students socially transition without the knowledge or consent of parents.
Research on this matter in the United States is not exactly plentiful. In fact, many medical professionals argue there is not enough data to definitively claim that prescribing puberty blockers or surgery improve the mental health of those suffering from gender dysphoria.
But a look across the pond sheds more light on the situation. European countries like Finland, Sweden, and, most recently, the United Kingdom have pulled away from subjecting minors to these treatments. The UK closed down its Tavistock facility, the only medical institution in the country that provided such treatments for children. Britain’s National Health Service issued new guidance related to how professionals should treat children experiencing gender dysphoria, suggesting there is “very low” evidence that giving puberty blockers to kids is appropriate.
Instead of focusing on medical and surgical treatments, the guidance suggests medical professionals rely more on therapy and take a “wait-and-see” approach while determining how the child responds to other methods. This makes sense, given that, according to City Journal, 70% of minors dealing with gender dysphoria grow out of it as they get older, which means irreversible procedures might do more harm than good.
America has not yet caught up to Europe, whose countries have seen that the “gender-affirming” model isn’t what progressives claim it is. Florida is one of several states working to protect children from this misguided ideology and its deleterious impact.
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