4 times media, gov't promoted claims that puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones are safe for kids

1. Washington Post article claims puberty blockers are reversible 

In June 2018, a Washington Post headline read: “When kids come in saying they are transgender (or no gender), these doctors try to help.”

The national newspaper, which never defined what it means to identify as having “no gender,” reported at the time that endocrinologists assured that experimental puberty blockers were not harmful, had no lasting effects, and were merely used to “buy teenagers some precious time” to allow them to delay a final decision as to whether to proceed with elective surgeries, such as a double mastectomy or other related procedures sought by people who want to look more like the opposite sex.

According to the Post, if children " ... change their minds and become what are called ‘desisters’ — kids who return to their assigned gender at birth — no harm done; their puberty has simply been delayed a year or two. The effects are largely reversible.” 

"We recognized that there's no biological logic to a cutoff of 16," Joshua Safer, an endocrinologist at Boston University School of Medicine, who helped revise international guidelines on the subject, said in an interview with the Post at the time.

"There are kids with a clear gender identity out there and there is no reason to make them wait for some legal line when we can already be helping them with their biological reality,” he said.

The paper reported that the Child and Adolescent Gender Center at the University of California San Francisco, has been seeing youth who are seeking “some kind of boutique treatment” such as “just a touch of testosterone” for those who claim a “nonbinary” or “androgynous” identity.

A recent study in the United Kingdom that followed a cohort of youth who were given puberty-blocking drugs found that the use of such blockers in children stunts their bone growth. The hormone suppressants delay the necessary mineral acquisition like calcium, which decreases bone density at a critical stage of development, putting children at risk for diseases like osteoporosis.

While the Post acknowledged this particular risk to the human skeletal system, it did so tepidly, quoting Stephen Rosenthal, the director of the Child and Adolescent Gender Center at USCF, who spoke of staying on blockers for too long as a “theoretical harm if you put puberty on hold a long time.”

The Post added that the San Francisco gender clinic staff believe it will one day be possible for males to give birth, reporting that they “anticipate a future in which trans women will be able carry their own babies to term, thanks to medical breakthroughs such as uterine transplantation."

As the experimental practices of prescribing puberty blockers have come under considerable scrutiny in England, the nation’s National Health Service updated its website last year, which used to claim that their effects were “fully reversible.” The NHS site now states that the long-term effects of puberty blockers remain unknown.

In the United States, hormone blockers like Lupron — a drug often used to treat prostate cancer in men and endometriosis in women — have been FDA-approved for precocious puberty, a condition where children start puberty very early before normal puberty should begin, in order to delay it until an appropriate age.

Such blockers have not been formally approved for gender dysphoria and are prescribed off-label in the dozens of transgender clinics being opened across the country. Lupron has also been used to treat sex offenders.

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