The seemingly august American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has been hostage to the ideological capture of gender activists for decades. But they are feeling pressure of late because their position of uncritically supporting all so-called “gender affirming care” efforts is increasingly at odds with their medical colleagues in progressive European countries like the U.K., Sweden, Norway, Finland and France. These countries are realizing that providing medical interventions like hormones and removing wholly healthy body parts is not the wise medicine for gender-confused and gender-pretending youth they previously assumed. The AAP has certainly noted this increasing shift away from such practices around the world and felt the need to do two contradictory things.
On August 4, 2023, the AAP Board of Directors voted to reaffirm their commitment to euphemistically named “gender-affirming care” while also agreeing to undertake “a systematic review of the evidence” on such medical interventions for young people. In 2018, the AAP issued a statement explaining “the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strives to improve health care access and eliminate disparities for children and teenagers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) of their sexual or gender identity.”
None of these, however, are medical conditions or scientific realities.
They are socio-political identities, constructed only recently in human experience through ideological pressure. They are subjective identities, and the AAP admits this, explaining, “Self-recognition of gender identity develops over time…” and it “can be fluid, shifting in different contexts.” But they affirm them as objectively true all the same because gender activists have successfully highjacked the organization.
So the AAP finds itself needing to affirm the ideology in clear terms while also admitting it realizes Europe is backing away from such commitments because of the demonstrable harm being done to children.
This new announcement from the AAP explains, “The board recognized the value of additional detail with five more years of experience since the 2018 policy statement was issued.” Might the AAP follow the direction of progressive European countries in substantially curtailing body-altering medical procedures demanded by gender activists? The Wall Street Journal notes, “This marks a turning point in the battle over the controversial medical protocol” adding “to those who favor evidence-based rather than eminence-based medicine, it is a step in the right direction.”
Such an optimistic view seems unlikely from the AAP’s own press statement. They emphasize that “as part of its mission, the AAP will continue to ensure young people get the reproductive and gender-affirming care they need and are seen, heard and valued as they are.”
Manhattan Institute research fellow, Leor Sapir, correctly explains in the Journal:
If the AAP’s position is that it is “confident” the systematic review will vindicate its position and merely add “additional detail,” that raises suspicions about the honesty and independence of the process and shows the need for strong guardrails against AAP influence over the inquiry.
Sapir adds, “Given the finding of every existing systematic review to date that the evidence for ‘gender-affirming care’ is exceptionally weak, the AAP should immediately recommend extreme caution in the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries in treating youth gender dysphoria.” Sapir is precisely right.
The Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine (SEGM) issued a major statement saying it welcomes this decision, but expresses, “We are concerned by the AAP decision to reaffirm its current policy for treating minors with puberty blockers, hormones and surgery pending the yet-to-be commissioned systematic review.” SEGM also offers the AAP detailed advice on how to conduct a quality systematic review of the scientific evidence on this important topic.
The Daily Citizen will closely follow how the AAP conducts this review of the research literature and monitor if they decide to adjust their full and comprehensive support of gender activism on America’s children.
Photo from American Academy of Pediatrics