Florida recommends against Biden administration guidance on gender modification
(The Center Square) – The Florida Department of Public Health has issued a guidance in response and opposition to guidance released by the Biden administration related to gender modification…
(The Center Square) – The Florida Department of Public Health has issued a guidance in response and opposition to guidance released by the Biden administration related to gender modification treatment for minors.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released guidance last week identifying social affirmation, puberty blockers, hormone therapy and sex change surgery as forms of health-care for minors suffering from gender dysphoria and other gender identity conditions.
It states, “Gender-affirming care is a supportive form of healthcare. It consists of an array of services that may include medical, surgical, mental health, and non-medical services for transgender and nonbinary people.”
Florida issued its own guidance and “fact checked” the claims made by HHS, disputing them. It crafted its guidance using published and peer-reviewed data, it says, which “calls into question the motives of the federal HHS guidance” and to “provide guidance on treating gender dysphoria for children and adolescents.”
It’s another response Florida’s issued in opposition to Biden administration policies. In March, the state Health Department issued guidance recommending that healthy children not receive the COVID-19 vaccine, contradicting guidance issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also fought to keep Florida schools open and the state legislature acted to ensure that children weren’t required to wear facial coverings, also in opposition to federal policy.
“The federal government’s medical establishment releasing guidance failing at the most basic level of academic rigor shows that this was never about health care,” Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo said in a news release. “It was about injecting political ideology into the health of our children. Children experiencing gender dysphoria should be supported by family and seek counseling, not pushed into an irreversible decision before they reach 18.”
While the federal government recommends that puberty blockers, hormone therapy and sex change surgery are “affirmative care” and a “supportive form of healthcare,” Florida recommends the opposite.
“Due to the lack of conclusive evidence, and the potential for long-term, irreversible effects,” the Florida Department of Health’s guidance states: “Social gender transition should not be a treatment option for children or adolescents; Anyone under 18 should not be prescribed puberty blockers or hormone therapy; Gender reassignment surgery should not be a treatment option for children or adolescents.”
HHS’s guidance includes links to several medical reports and suggests that “medical and psychosocial gender affirming healthcare practices have been demonstrated to yield lower rates of adverse mental health outcomes, build self-esteem, and improve overall quality of life for transgender and gender diverse youth.”
It also states that social affirmation and puberty blockers are reversible; hormone therapy is partially reversible, and sex change surgeries aren’t reversable.
Its Office of Population Affairs claims that “research demonstrates that gender-affirming care improves the mental health and overall well-being of gender diverse children and adolescents” and “has been shown to increase positive outcomes for transgender and nonbinary children and adolescents.”
However, the Florida Department of Health argues, “Systematic reviews on hormonal treatment for young people show a trend of low-quality evidence;” one study concludes that “hormonal treatments for transgender adolescents can achieve their intended physical effects, but evidence regarding their psychosocial and cognitive impact is generally lacking.”
A fact check released by Ladapo’s office points out that one psychosocial overview HHS cites “is a case study of a single patient, and it outlines the authors’ views;” another article HHS cites “is an online survey completed by 288 U.S. transgender adults, not children and adolescents.”
His office concludes, “the current evidence does not support the use of puberty blockers, hormone treatments, or surgical procedures for children and adolescents.”