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Gender Clinics Under The Spotlight

by | Wed, Aug 31 2022

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In 2003, the gender clinic at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne received just one referral of a child who was experiencing gender dysphoria.

In 2020, the same clinic received nearly 500 referrals.

The Catholic Weekly reports those numbers are set to soar at gender clinics around the country with surveys showing 2.3% of students in Years 10-12 claiming to be transgender or gender diverse.

Its columnist Monica Doumit says that’s an extraordinary number that demands a major investigation.

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) agrees as both observe Australian governments remaining silent on the issue and keeping affirming gender transitions for children.

ACL Managing Director Martyn Iles told Vision Radio that could change following the closure of Britain’s Tavistock gender clinic.

It faces a huge class action from at least 1,000 of its 19,000 patients who underwent transitions as a child.

The shutdown came after a former patient sued the clinic, revealing details so disturbing, they triggered an independent review.

That review found shaky scientific evidence for pushing hormones, puberty blockers, and surgery.

It concluded the clinic had failed vulnerable children by rushing them into treatment they now regret.

UK government funding was withdrawn forcing the clinic to shut.

Pressure is also mounting on more than 50 US gender clinics to put the brakes on a recent spike in child transitions.

Mary Rice Hasson, director of the Person and Identity Project at the Ethics & Public Policy Center, has tracked the field for years, and says the gender medical treatments given to young American children are alarming.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) which has strongly supported medical treatment for children with gender dysphoria is showing signs of backpedaling on that policy.

It follows an op-ed article in the Wall Street Journal claiming “the AAP  won’t even allow a debate and ignores the evidence that has led Sweden, Finland and the UK to place severe restrictions on medical transition for minors.”

The AAP responded by saying that “in most cases children should not be given hormone therapy or the option of surgery.”

Its president claimed the AAP “doesn’t push medical treatments or surgery; for the vast majority of children it recommends the opposite.”

The pushback follows a social media storm of anecdotes about how the treatment was rushed and left young patients with serious mental health issues.

Some critics are sceptical over the AAP’s apparent backflip, but others are calling it a significant change.

The Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine which recently formed to promote better research on gender medicine noted that the AAP’s  move realigns it with the UK’s new stance as well as that of Sweden and Finland.

US pediatric endocrinologist Paul Hruz opposes hormone therapy for children until there’s more rigorous research in the field and a slower approach among practitioners.

He told CBN News: “It’s not unique that we engage in the practice of medicine in areas where we can have incomplete information and uncertainty, but we have a much higher degree of caution in moving forward in that manner.”

There’s concern over the degree of caution in Australia.

The ACL’s Martyn Iles told Vision Radio he knows of at least three local legal actions pending over gender treatment based on the Tavistock model.

He’s calling on the federal government to cease all funding that promotes or is linked with gender affirming treatment of minors.

The ACL will continue to push for an inquiry into that treatment and the reasons for such a huge spike in child gender dysphoria cases.

The Catholic Weekly’s Monica Doumit believes we will eventually see a Royal Commission into the damage caused to Australian children.