Opinion by Kaylee McGhee White
A common accusation from transgender advocates is that those who disagree with and oppose gender ideology are endangering the lives of gender-confused persons, especially young adults. Deny these youths the care they need, including puberty blockers and other irreversible medical interventions, and they’ll be at a much higher risk for suicide than their peers — or so the argument goes.
A new study from the Heritage Foundation, however, proves the exact opposite: Children and adolescents who are exposed to so-called “gender-affirming care” are actually at a much greater risk of suicidal thoughts and attempts than those who are not.
From the study:
In the past several years, the suicide rate among those ages 12 to 23 has become significantly higher in states that have a provision that allows minors to receive routine health care without parental consent than in states without such a provision. Before 2010, these two groups of states did not differ in their youth suicide rates. Starting in 2010, when puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones became widely available, elevated suicide rates in states where minors can more easily access those medical interventions became observable.
Rather than being protective against suicide, this pattern indicates that easier access by minors to cross-sex medical interventions without parental consent is associated with higher risk of suicide.
Without making any adjustments, suicide rates among those ages 12 to 23 (blue line) begin to spike in states that have provisions that allow minors to access health care without parental consent relative to states that have no such provision around 2016, after cross-sex medical interventions became more common. By 2020, there are about 3.5 more suicides per 100,000 people ages 12 to 23 in states with easier access than in states without an access provision.
This research confirms the findings of several other extensive studies, most of which were conducted in Europe, on the matter of “gender-reassignment” interventions and procedures. A study from Sweden, for example, followed hundreds of gender-confused persons over the course of 30 years and found that those who underwent medical transition were 20 times more likely to kill themselves than those who didn’t. Another British review of more than 100 follow-up studies of those who medically transitioned found that “none of the studies provides conclusive evidence that gender reassignment is beneficial for patients.” In most of the examined studies, the researchers said, the patients who underwent medical intervention showed signs of decreasing mental stability and happiness rather than improvement.
So why is it that almost every one of our major institutions, from prestigious medical and academic associations like the American Academy of Pediatrics to the Department of Health and Human Services, has endorsed “gender-affirming care” and all of its consequences without question?
Perhaps because, despite what they claim, they don’t care at all about the long-term health and happiness of the young adults being swept away by transgenderism. They have an ideology to uphold — and that’s all that matters.