‘Gender-affirming’ surgery linked to 12-fold increase in suicide risk

The risk for suicide is 12 times higher for those who undergo gender-altering surgery than those who don’t, according to a new study.

“Gender-affirming surgery is significantly associated…

The risk for suicide is 12 times higher for those who undergo gender-altering surgery than those who don’t, according to a new study.

“Gender-affirming surgery is significantly associated with elevated suicide attempt risks, underlining the necessity for comprehensive post-procedure psychiatric support,” wrote the researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

In the study, published last month at Cureus, Straub et al noted an increase in the number of surgeries for those with gender dysphoria since more individuals are claiming to identify as a gender that is inconsistent with their biological sex.

“Transgender individuals face elevated depression rates, leading to an increase in suicide ideation and attempts,” the authors observed. “This study evaluates the risk of suicide or self-harm associated with gender affirmation procedures.”

Using de-identified data from over 90 million patients that was provided by TriNetX, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based global network of healthcare organizations and life sciences companies, the retrospective study investigated four different groups: 1) 1,501 adults, aged 18-60, who had gender-affirming surgery and an emergency visit; 2) a control group of 15,608,363 adults with no surgery but who had emergency visits; 3) a control group of 142,093 adults with “emergency visits, tubal ligation or vasectomy,” but no gender surgery; and 4) a control group with pharyngitis used to validate the results from the third group. 

Researchers used data from 2003 to 2023 to study suicide attempts, death, self-harm, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) within five years of the gender surgery. 

“Individuals who underwent gender-affirming surgery had a 12.12-fold higher suicide attempt risk than those who did not,” Straub et al concluded, explaining that “[t]he significance of this investigation lies not only in its scale but also in its methodology, as it relies on real-world data rather than meta-analyses and self-reported surveys.” 

The study was published days before the release of a blockbuster report from British pediatrician Dr. Hilary Cass who concluded that, regarding the provision of “gender-affirming” puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children with gender dysphoria, the evidence for their effectiveness is “remarkably weak.” 

Cass and her review team also addressed some of the claims of LGBTQ activists, including the narrative that medicalized intervention for gender dysphoria in children and adolescents is a form of suicide prevention, based on the premise that young people who are not “affirmed” in their new gender identity have high rates of suicide. 

The reviewers, however, found no evidence to support this claim: 


“Tragically deaths by suicide in trans people of all ages continue to be above the national average, but there is no evidence that gender-affirmative treatments reduce this. Such evidence as is available suggests that these deaths are related to a range of other complex psychosocial factors and to mental illness.” 

As The Lion reported, another recent study from Finland also found that mental health disorders are the main predictor of suicide in adolescents with gender dysphoria. 


The primary predictor of death in gender-dysphoric young people, the researchers said, is “psychiatric morbidity.” 

“Medical gender reassignment does not have an impact on suicide risk,” they added. 

However, in the United States, the Biden administration continues to push medical intervention as treatment for gender dysphoria in children. 

Biden Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel (born Richard) Levine, who identifies as “transgender,” has referred to “gender-affirming care” for minors as “suicide prevention care.” 

“Studies clearly show that gender-affirming care results in these positive mental health outcomes,” Levine said in 2022. “Gender-affirming care is medical care; gender-affirming care is mental health care; and gender-affirming care is literally suicide prevention care.”  

“This fact is well established,” said the top Health and Human Services official, while referring to studies from Stanford University School of Medicine. 

Levine further held up “gender-affirming care” as the primary treatment model for gender dysphoric children by referencing its endorsement by the major medical organizations in the United States, including World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). 

However, journalist Michael Shellenberger revealed in March that WPATH doctors continue to prescribe puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for young people in the U.S., despite their awareness of the serious medical ramifications resulting from these drugs – including tumors, reduced sexual function and infertility. At the same time, the gender medicine doctors admit that young patients are not developmentally capable of comprehending the devastating long-term consequences of the treatments. 

In response to the University of Texas study, on Thursday, Canadian psychologist and author Dr. Jordan Peterson posted a link to the research on X with the comment, “The butchers and liars were murderously wrong.” 

“The Cass report indicated this,” Peterson continued. “Canada and the US are still enabling this. That’s you  

@POTUS and @JustinTrudeau and it is utterly barbarous and inexcusable. 

“Putting children to the knife. ‘Follow the science,’ gentlemen.”