Youth Gender Dysphoria Rates Soar, Sparking Professional Controversy

24 Feb 2023 • The debate in the United States over how to medically or surgically treat children and adolescents with gender dysphoria is highly contentious. US medical professional groups support gender affirming care, while several European countries have issued guidance to limit medical intervention in minors, prioritising psychological care. More adolescents with no history of gender dysphoria are presenting at gender clinics, and surveys have found that about 2% of high school-aged teens identify as transgender. There are concerns about the rapid widespread adoption of interventions, and calls for rigorous scientific review are coming from across the ideological spectrum. As the number of young people receiving medical transition treatments rises, so have the voices of those who call themselves de-transitioners or re-transitioners, some of whom claim that early treatment caused preventable harm. The treatment of gender dysphoria in children and adolescents is a complex and contentious issue that requires careful consideration and ongoing scientific review. While medical professional groups in the US generally support gender affirming care, there are concerns about the rapid adoption of interventions and the potential for harm, as evidenced by the growing number of "de-transitioners" and "re-transitioners." As this debate continues, it is important to ask: what steps can be taken to ensure that young people receive the best possible care for gender dysphoria, while also minimising the risk of harm and respecting their autonomy and well-being?

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