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There’s No Such Thing as a Safe ‘Transgender Treatment’ — It All Causes Permanent Damage


“Righteous nations, good parents, and real doctors care for children — they don’t chemically castrate them.”


Author Abigail Shrier popularized the term “irreversible damage” to describe the effects of “transgender treatments” such as “gender reassignment surgery” in her best-selling book with the well-worded catchphrase right in the title: Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.

Irreversible damage — put a pin in that.

Countries around the world continue to wrestle with the rise of transgenderism (which is a myth, no one can change their sex) and what is or isn’t an appropriate level of restriction on “transgender treatments” for minors. England and other European nations have essentially banned such interventions outside of clinical trials, with England’s National Health Service (NHS) concluding that “there is not enough evidence to support their safety or clinical effectiveness as a routinely available treatment.” And in the United States, “more than 20 Republican-led states have passed laws banning the use of puberty-blocking drugs and hormones, with some making it a felony for doctors to prescribe them.”

This seems to reflect a growing consensus, if not near unanimity, among conservatives in America (even as we lag behind more liberal European countries at the national level) that all transgender “interventions” (and not just surgery) are dangerous. But it appears that even some self-styled conservatives have been fooled into thinking that less “drastic” interventions like puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones qualify as “medical treatment.”

This is wrong. And it’s not wrong in a small way, as if someone ordered a Diet Coke but the waiter brought them a regular one and they decided to drink it anyway. It’s wrong as in a doctor-amputated- the-wrong-limb sort of way — the mistake will have a catastrophic, lifelong impact.

While not technically a part of the Hippocratic Oath, the phrase “First, do no harm” has long been understood as a primary guiding moral principle for medicine. Medical treatment is meant to heal, not harm. Its purpose is to help the human body recover and gain full health, not to impede or destroy otherwise healthy and natural bodily functions like puberty and hormone production.

Once you understand this, you realize that there are no such thing as “safe” or “reversible” transgender treatments. They all cause irreversible damage. Hence, the more accurate term for the administration of puberty blockers to prepubescent boys and girls, or allowing them to put cross-sex hormones in their bodies, is “chemical castration.”

Tucker Carlson recently made this exact point, arguing that in the last “two years I think we’ve learned that hormone therapy for pre-pubescent children is permanent. It changes the bone structure, it changes the brain of the child…A lot of people believe, including me, that it destroys the child’s life…But it is permanent, it’s not reversible…This is a permanent change we are making to a child. Why would we allow that if we don’t allow surgery?”

Carlson is right. The answer to his question is, “We shouldn’t.” We should never allow children to take these drugs.

But it’s not merely a matter of personal belief, it’s scientific fact. Even the New York Times was compelled to address this reality in an investigative article, “They Paused Puberty, but Is There a Cost?”

Is there a cost? Of course, there is — and we are making hurting and confused youth across our country pay it with their very own bodies. But what does the NYT say?

“As an increasing number of adolescents identify as transgender — in the United States, an estimated 300,000 ages 13 to 17 and an untold number who are younger — concerns are growing among some medical professionals about the consequences of the drugs, a New York Times examination found… A small number of doctors won’t recommend them at all.”

The authors go on to admit, albeit in a seriously understated manner, that “there is emerging evidence of potential harm from using blockers, according to reviews of scientific papers and interviews with more than 50 doctors and academic experts around the world.”

What does this harm include? According to the American College of Pediatricians, the permanent, negative impacts of puberty blockers and hormone treatments are manifold:

“Puberty blockers may cause mental illness…[and] may actually cause depression and other emotional disturbances related to suicide.

Puberty blockers may cause permanent physical harm…Temporary use of Lupron has also been associated with and may be the cause of many serious permanent side effects including osteoporosis, mood disorders, seizures, cognitive impairment and, when combined with cross-sex hormones, sterility.

Cross-sex hormones (testosterone for women; estrogen for men) may disrupt mental health…Past studies have documented multiple psychiatric problems with similar high doses of anabolic steroids like testosterone such that 23% of subjects met DSM criteria for a major mood syndrome such as mania, hypomania, and major depression, and 3.4-12% developed psychotic symptoms.

Other health risks are correlated with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones…Temporary use of puberty blocker Lupron…may be the cause of many serious permanent side effects including osteoporosis, mood disorders, seizures, cognitive impairment and, when combined with cross-sex hormones, sterility. In addition to the harm from Lupron, cross-sex hormones put youth at an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, blood clots and cancers across their lifespan.”

They conclude that “Transgender interventions for children are experimental and dangerous.”

Permanent loss of bone density. Cognitive impairment. Seizures. Sterility. Does that sound “reversible” to you?

It shouldn’t, because it’s not. It’s all irreversible damage, all the way down.

When God made humanity, He made them male and female. There are only two genders, and there only ever will be. Every effort to subvert the creation order, to deny the reality of one’s biological sex, is an attack on God’s wisdom and is doomed to failure.

Our political rulers must acknowledge this and ensure that all transgender “treatments” for minors, including euphemistically termed options like “hormone therapy,” are made illegal.

Righteous nations, good parents, and real doctors care for children — they don’t chemically castrate them.

So never let anyone fool you into thinking puberty blockers and cross-sex hormone injections for minors are safe or reversible. They aren’t. And the sooner we acknowledge that, and act appropriately, the sooner we can protect the children counting on parents to love and raise them rightly and end the transgender madness seducing — and destroying — the next generation.

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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