Florida Protects Children Struggling With Gender Confusion

Apr 21, 2022

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Florida’s Department of Health (DOH) has prioritized the spiritual, mental and physical health of Florida’s young people by releasing a public guidance yesterday stating that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones should not be used to treat gender confusion in children and adolescents. 

In a press release from the DOH, Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo stated, “The federal government's medical establishment releasing guidance failing at the most basic level of academic rigor shows that this was never about health care. It was about injecting political ideology into the health of our children. Children experiencing gender dysphoria should be supported by family and seek counseling, not pushed into an irreversible decision before they reach 18.” 

Florida’s DOH further stated that “current evidence does not support the use of puberty blockers, hormone treatments or surgical procedures for children and adolescents experiencing gender dysphoria considering: 

  • 80% of those seeking clinical care will lose their desire to identify with the non-birth sex,
  • the importance of puberty to brain development, with the pre-frontal cortex (which is responsible for executive functions, such as decision making) continuing to develop until approximately 25 years of age,
  • and the potentially irreversible consequences such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, infertility, increased cancer risk, and thrombosis.” 

The Florida DOH also presented a “Treatment of Gender Dysphoria for Children and Adolescents Fact Check” to further validate the evidence. 

The guidance also states that “social gender transition,” prescribed puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones, and gender reassignment surgery have “an unacceptably high risk of doing harm” to minors. 

In fact, drugs that are being used as a puberty blocker in gender-confused youth have been linked to tens of thousands of serious reactions and thousands of deaths, as well as other serious medical issues, according to Food & Drug Administration (FDA) data. In 2019, the FDA documented over 41,000 adverse reactions suffered by patients who took Leuprolide Acetate, known as Lupron, which is used as a hormone blocker. There have been 25,645 reactions considered “serious,” including 6,379 deaths. 

Lupron is traditionally used for treatment of prostate cancer as it inhibits the flow of testosterone over the prostate. The drug is clinically approved for treatment of precocious puberty, a condition where children start their pubertal processes at an abnormally early age and the blocker is administered for a short time until the proper age. However, it is being prescribed off-label for use in children who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, despite the lack of formal FDA approval for that purpose and the absence of any peer-reviewed studies done on the drug's long-term effects. 

Lupron and synthetic hormones have been documented to contribute to physical problems such as blood clots and other cardiovascular complications, brittle bones and faulty joints, altered psyches, and permanent sterilization. Yet many of the long-term repercussions will not be felt for years.

In an interview with The Christian Post, Dr. Michael Laidlaw, a California-based pediatric endocrinologist, stated that he knows of no other psychological condition that is treated by administering hormones out of alignment from their normal levels. When injected into a physically healthy body, the drug interrupts a normally functioning endocrine system and causes a condition where the male testes or the female ovaries produce little or no sex hormones. Currently doctors are giving testosterone to gender-confused girls as young as eight years old and teen girls as young as 13 are having their breasts removed via mastectomy procedures. Boys the age of 17 can have penises the developmental age of a nine-year-old’s or lose sexual sensation all together due to hormone blockers. 

Dr. Laidlaw said, “Gender dysphoria is not an endocrine condition, but is a psychological one and should, therefore, be treated with proper psychological care. But it becomes an endocrine condition once you start using puberty blockers and giving cross-sex hormones to kids. There have been few physicians willing to stand up and say, 'We need to question this, there is something wrong here. Why are we using cancer drugs on kids without cancer and stopping normal puberty?” Laidlaw said. 

Dr. Paul Hruz, another pediatric endocrinologist who spoke with The Christian Post, said that overwhelming medical evidence exists that the vast majority of affected children will spontaneously realign their gender identity with their biological sex when left alone. He also stated that the largest studies that have been done in post-transition adults continue to show rates of death by suicide that are markedly above the background population. 

“The reality is that there is no long-term data about treating children, and the only data that we have in adults indicates that medical interventions to align the appearance of the body to a transgendered identity does not fix the problem,” Hruz said. 

A 2016 study authored by John A. Barry of Institute for Women’s Health at University College London confirms that gender is not a social construct and that children overwhelmingly chose to play with toys typed to their gender. Boys played with male-typical toys more than girls did, and girls played with female-typical toys more than boys did. The study, “Sex differences in children’s toy preferences: A systematic review, meta-regression, and meta-analysis,” which was published in Infant and Child Development, reviewed 16 studies, from 1980 to 2016, of 787 boys and 813 girls ranging in age from one to eight years. Barry and his colleagues looked at preferences for gender-specific toys and considered factors such as the presence of an adult, study setting, presence of gender-neutral toys and gender equality of the country. The studies were conducted in the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel and China. The researchers excluded studies that relied on self-reported data from parents or children. Instead, the 16 studies in the meta-analysis were all observational studies of children in free play. 

Previous research has also found that children as young as nine months old prefer to play with toys specific to their own gender. As a result of this recent study, the scientists found that, in general, children chose toys aimed at their specific gender. They concluded that “gender differences in toy choice exist and appear to be the product of both innate and social forces. Despite methodological variation in the choice and number of toys offered, context of testing, and age of child, the consistency in finding sex differences in children's preferences for toys typed to their own gender indicates the strength of this phenomenon and the likelihood that has a biological origin. The time playing with male-typed toys increased as boys got older, but the same pattern was not found in girls; this indicates that stereotypical social effects may persist longer for boys or that there is a stronger biological predisposition for certain play styles in boys.” 

Liberty Counsel represents licensed therapists who provide life-saving counseling to minors who desperately desire to conform their attractions, behaviors, and gender identities to their sincerely held religious beliefs. In Otto v. City of Boca Raton, FL, a three-judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a city and county ordinance that banned counselors from providing minor clients with help to reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or gender confusion.  The appeals court found that the laws were both content and viewpoint based and violate the First Amendment right to free speech. 

Liberty Counsel provides broadcast quality TV interviews via Hi-Def Skype and LTN at no cost.

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