Written by Joanna Button
What’s going on? Various European countries that originally embraced allowing children to transition are beginning to reconsider, saying the risks of sex-change treatments in minors likely outweigh the benefits. Meanwhile, U.S. medical industry continues to staunchly defend giving children access to sex-change treatments like puberty blockers, hormones, and even surgeries.
Europe: The U.K., Sweden, Finland, and Norway have restricted minors’ access to such procedures this year. Although they haven’t been banned outright, their use has been limited to clinical trials or under “exceptional circumstances.” France’s National Academy of Medicine recently called the surge in trans-identifying children an “epidemic-like phenomenon” and advised doctors to be more cautious. The countries argue that studies supporting the interventions aren’t reliable and that the rise in transitions could be due to social contagion.
The shift: Deeply flawed Dutch studies from the 90s encouraged the use of puberty blockers and shaped the standard of care in many European countries for years. But the recent surge in gender-dysphoric biological girls has prompted many professionals to express serious concern. Recent studies indicate higher health risks and detransition rates than previously believed, showing the science is not as clear-cut as progressive activists claim.
American perspective: Meanwhile, the U.S. medical community, the federal government, the higher education system, and LGBT activists are doubling down in their support of the procedures. But a poll from this May shows most Americans don’t support gender-transition treatment for kids, and Republicans in 19 states have passed legislation restricting them – often citing European countries’ concerns. Looking at 2024, Former President Trump promised to take federal action to stop sex changes for children.