Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare (NBHW) published its new guidelines for treating minors struggling with sexual identity confusion: “Updated knowledge support for care for gender dysphoria in young people.”
The new guidance continues Sweden’s move away from medical treatments – puberty blockers, hormones and surgeries – that attempt to make children appear like the opposite sex. Instead of medical interventions, the board encourages “psychosocial care” for gender-confused minors.
The board’s announcement lists three major issues with the previous guidelines: “insufficient scientific evidence”; the “unexplained increase” in people receiving a diagnosis of gender dysphoria – especially 13- to 17-year-old teen girls; and “the documented occurrence of detransition.”
While the NBHW does not ban these procedures completely, the board advises that such treatments only be offered in exceptional circumstances, in clinical trials, and where gender dysphoria begins early, is persistent and there is increased suffering due to the child’s sexual confusion.
The U.S., meanwhile, continues to promote experimental, damaging medical drugs and procedures for young people. This push is coming from many places, including state and federal agencies; schools and educators; and medical organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Endocrine Society.
The Swedish movement away from medical interventions from “transitioning” minors has come in stages.
In May 2021, the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine (SEGM) reported that Sweden’s Karolinska Hospital adopted a new policy that ended the use of puberty blockers and opposite-sex hormones for minors – except in clinical trial settings. These are powerful drugs that were not created for use with sexually-confused minors.
Karolinska cited a lack of evidence for “the long-term consequences of the treatments” and a lack of understanding about the “large influx of patients in recent years.” An unofficial translation of the policy, from SEGM, lists some of the risks in these medical interventions:
These treatments are potentially fraught with extensive and irreversible adverse consequences such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, infertility, increased cancer risk, and thrombosis.
The new policy stated:
- Hormonal treatments (i.e., puberty blocking and cross-sex hormones) will not be initiated in gender dysphoric patients under the age of 16.
- For patients between ages 16 and 18, it is hereby decided that treatment may only occur within the clinical trial settings approved by the EPM (Ethical Review Agency/Swedish Institutional Review Board). The patient must receive comprehensive information about potential risks of the treatment, and a careful assessment of the patient’s maturity level must be conducted to determine if the patient is capable of taking an informed stance on, and consenting to, the treatment.
Then, in February of 2022, Sweden’s NHBW evaluated the available evidence and followed suit with similar recommendations, saying:
The National Board of Health and Welfare’s overall conclusion is that the risks of puberty-inhibiting and gender-affirming hormone treatment for those under 18 currently outweigh the possible benefits for the group as a whole.
Finally, the latest updated knowledge support recommends against surgeries on minors with sexual identity confusion. The board concluded:
Similar to gender-affirming hormone therapy, gender-affirming surgical interventions have pervasive and, in some cases, lifelong consequences for the individual. Several of the uncertainties that have prompted the agency’s more re- strictive recommendations on hormonal treatment for underage patients also apply to gender-affirming surgical procedures.
The NBHW said that “gender-confirming surgical procedures should not be performed before the age of 18.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. is moving forward with these damaging, experimental medical interventions. Earlier this year the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released recommendations for “Gender-Affirming Care and Young People.” The guidelines state:
Gender-affirming care is a supportive form of healthcare. It consists of an array of services that may include medical, surgical, mental health, and non-medical services for transgender and nonbinary people.
A new California law allows courts to take away parents’ rights if their child comes to the state seeking experimental and harmful puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and ‘sex change’ surgeries.
Educators have followed suit, with schools adopting “transgender policies” where teachers, counselors and administrators work with students to change their “gender identity” – without parental involvement.
And while countries like Sweden, Finland and England are backing away from these procedures because of “insufficient scientific evidence,” medical organizations in the U.S. are ignoring the risks and promoting these aggressive, destructive procedures. Organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Endocrine Society endorse social and medical “transitioning” for children.
Instead of scientific evidence, these groups have been captured by radical gender ideology. Children struggling with sexual identity confusion deserve care and support to help them embrace their biological reality – not harmful procedures.
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