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U.K.’s NHS finds that gender dysphoria in children is ‘transient’ and now recommends against gender-affirming treatments


“The clinical approach has to be mindful of the risks of an inappropriate gender transition and the difficulties that the child may experience in returning to the original gender role upon entering puberty if the gender incongruence does not persist.”


England’s National Health Service (NHS) has issued new guidance saying that gender dysphoria usually does not persist into adulthood and is now cautioning against social transitions and medical intervention — even as U.S. experts and politicians continue to advocate an unquestioning approach to gender-affirming treatment in children.

Quick Facts

The NHS announced this past summer that it is closing the Tavistock Clinic, the country’s only gender clinic for adolescents, after a review found safety issues and an “unquestioning affirmative approach” to gender transitions. The nation will open smaller regional clinics with new guidance.

Last Thursday, however, NHS released a document noting changes to and tighter controls over how patients with gender dysphoria are treated.

In advising doctors, the NHS is now saying that in most cases “gender incongruence does not persist into adolescence.” As such, social transitions (i.e., changing a person’s name, pronouns, dressing as the opposite sex, or using the restroom of their chosen gender identity) should not be viewed as “neutral” but “active intervention because it may have significant effects on the child or young person in terms of their psychological functioning.”

Since most children eventually accept their sex, “the provision of approaches for social transition should only be considered where the approach is necessary for the alleviation of, or prevention of, clinically significant distress or significant impairment in social functioning and the young person is able to fully comprehend the implications of affirming a social transition.”

NHS also cautions against the use of puberty blockers and hormones, banning their use in patients under 18 except for clinical trials. NHS will also enroll children and young people into a formal research program with “adequate” follow up into adulthood.

“The clinical approach has to be mindful of the risks of an inappropriate gender transition and the difficulties that the child may experience in returning to the original gender role upon entering puberty if the gender incongruence does not persist,” they warn.

NHS has become concerned due to the exponential increase in children identifying as transgender. There were 5,000 referrals for gender dysphoria last year, up from 250 in 2011; at one clinic, more than a dozen of these referrals were for children under the age of four.

The U.K.’s caution is the opposite of the stance taken by many medical professionals, pundits, and politicians in the U.S. Over the weekend, for example, President Joe Biden criticized state legislatures that limit the use of hormones in minors.

“I don’t think any state or anybody should have the right to do that. As a moral question and as a legal question, I just think it’s wrong,” Biden remarked. “Sometimes they try to block you from being able to access certain medicines, being able to access certain procedures, and so on. I mean, no state should be able to do that, in my view. So I feel very, very strongly that you should have every single solitary right including use of your gender-identity bathrooms in public.”

Biden went on to call the restriction of puberty blockers for minors “immoral.”

“I think that it’s really important that we continue to speak out about the basic fundamental rights of all human beings,” he stated. “And the idea that what’s going on in some states — I won’t get into the politics of it — but in some states, it’s just…it’s outrageous, and I think it’s immoral.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Endocrine Society, and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) have all released guidelines advocating for gender-affirming treatment. The American Medical Association (AMA) has also released a statement in support of gender-affirming treatment, including the use of drugs and surgeries.

America’s medical groups aren’t just advocating for gender transitions, they’re attempting to shut down those who expose the treatments. The AAP, the AMA, and the Children’s Hospital Association sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking that those spreading “disinformation” regarding the use of puberty blockers and gender transition surgeries for minors be silenced and investigated.

Investigative journalist Christopher F. Rufo, who has been critical of the transgender lobby, tweeted, “If ‘gender-affirming care’ is so good, the activists and doctors who promote it—and profit from it—should defend their practices in the realm [of] public opinion. In a democracy, everyone gets to weigh in on important issues, not just regime-approved apparatchiks.”

He then tweeted, “‘Children’s hospitals: ‘We give children puberty blockers, hormones, and gender surgeries.’

Conservatives: ‘They give children puberty blockers, hormones, and gender surgeries.’

The regime: ‘That’s harmful disinformation and should be censored, criminalized, and suppressed.’”

The NHS’s realization regarding gender dysphoria is to be applauded but it isn’t anything new. Medical professionals have known that the vast majority of children who experience distress over their sex will outgrow it.

The recent push to move quickly to accept and affirm that a child’s identity confusion means he or she is in the wrong body is a very new viewpoint. The mental health issue was once rare and almost always went away as the child aged. The collusion of media, therapists, schools, and the medical field have led to an increase in children reporting gender dysphoria and choosing — or being pushed — to live as the opposite gender.

The U.S. is operating under the guidance of the LGBT lobby rather than truth. Its political desires are already leading to more confused children and has led many to regret their transition. Rather than exercising common sense or restraint, America’s leaders are rushing at a breakneck pace to forever alter the bodies of children. If they would stop and consider what the U.K. has started to learn from its own experience, they could prevent more harm to America’s children.

The truth has been clearly stated in Scripture, if men will believe it. Genesis 1:27 says, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

This truth cannot be eliminated — no matter what those advocating for this current madness would have us believe. The U.K. is finally realizing it. Hopefully, the U.S. is not too far behind.

Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.

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