The Pediatric Endocrine Society Opposes Bills that Harm Transgender Youth
Bills that threaten the health of transgender and gender diverse (TGD) youth have been introduced in multiple state legislatures across the United States. These bills undermine medical recommendations and seek to criminalize health care professionals who provide gender-affirming care such as puberty suppressing medications and gender-affirming hormone therapy.
We caution legislators and the public that the support and implementation of these bills will worsen mental health, increase the risk of suicide, and contribute to poorer overall health in our TGD patients. Such bills contradict evidence-based Standards of Care recommendations from the Pediatric Endocrine Society as well as Position Statements from several national and international medical associations with expertise in the care of TGD youth, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Endocrine Society, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Psychiatric Association and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.
The Pediatric Endocrine Society recommends an affirmative model of care that supports one’s gender identity, and follows a multidisciplinary approach that includes involvement of mental health professionals, patients and their families. Puberty suppression and/or gender-affirming hormone therapy is recommended within this evidence-based approach on a case-by-case basis as medically necessary and is potentially lifesaving. The implementation of these recommendations has been demonstrated to improve the psychological health and well-being of TGD youth.
The Pediatric Endocrine Society stands with its members and other clinicians outside of our Society that provide gender-affirmative care to transgender youth.
As experts in the care of transgender youth, we strongly urge legislators to follow our medical advice and advocate for the well-being of ALL youth and oppose bills restricting the rights of TGD youth. The decision to proceed with medical care for gender dysphoria should be made jointly by TGD youth, their families and their health care professionals.
Rider et al. Pediatrics, 2018; Sorbara et al. Pediatrics, 2020; Turban et al. Pediatrics, 2020; Turban et al. JAMA Psychiatry, 2019; Olson et al. Pediatrics, 2016; De Vries et.al. Pediatrics, 2014; Kuper et.al. Pediatrics 2020