Science is incapable of resolving the debate about treatments for childhood gender dysphoria.

Gender Ideology Breaches the Gates of Medicine

If you relied exclusively on the legacy media for the news, you’d never know that, recently, the Catholic Medical Association, along with other faith-and-reason-based medical organizations, issued an open letter to the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and other medical advocates of “gender-affirming care” for minors suffering from gender dysphoria.  

In the open letter, the CMA and its co-authors appeal to all medical professionals’ common interest in minimizing suffering and improving care for these children and adolescents through the unbiased appraisal of existing medical evidence regarding causes and treatments, pointing out that “respectful debate and disagreement provide a basis for furthering scientific inquiry.” 

Indeed, the development of competing hypotheses among members of the medical community is the very process by which clinical concepts are challenged and either validated or disproven. That such open debate has not been permitted on such a controversial topic damages the scientific process, the trustworthiness of the medical community, and the welfare of the public. 

Rather than foster a spirit of dialogue, the medical establishment has anointed a small cabal of subject specialists who issue authoritative treatment guidelines on the gender care of minors based upon their own expert opinion, foreclosing attempts at engaging in a free and open debate. Much as the broader legacy media does not give air time to news such as the counterpoint proffered in the CMA open letter, the editors of prominent journals—including JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine—stifle viewpoints that deviate from the “gender-affirming” positions they espouse in their pages. Rather than foster a spirit of dialogue, the medical establishment has anointed a small cabal of subject specialists who issue authoritative treatment guidelines on the gender care of minors based upon their own expert opinion.Tweet This

Readers who doubt this are invited to peruse the tables of contents of prominent medical journals for any articles expressing a divergent point of view. I recommend allotting ample time for this exercise, as diverging opinions on gender ideology in medical publications are rarer than hen’s teeth.  

Indeed, the unquestioning unanimity among journal authors in defense of the purported benefits provided by social transitioning, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and gender reassignment surgery—based on poor-quality observational studies and expert opinion—is uncharacteristic among medical academics, whose modus operandi usually requires a high degree of scientific rigor before issuing clinical treatment guidelines and recommendations.  

As an illustration of the weak state of the science on this topic, a representative example of evidence used to support the use of pubertal suppression in adolescents relies on survey data derived from a data set of 27,000 transgender adults recruited by activist organizations, comparing self-reported mental health outcomes between a cohort of a mere 89 patients who received puberty-blocking medications in adolescence and those who did not.

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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