A major pediatrician’s group is urging the influential American Academy of Pediatricians to reevaluate its support for extreme transgender treatments performed on children, with the group claiming there is a lack of significant evidence to justify those procedures. 

The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) said in a statement last week that it was reaffirming its 2018 policy statement in support of transgender interventions for children, including irreversible surgery and synthetic hormone usage. 

The AAP said it had also authorized the “development of an expanded set of guidance for pediatricians” pending a review of clinical research that has arisen in the past five years. 

In a press release on Thursday, the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) said it was “disappointed that the AAP has reaffirmed its support for transgender interventions on minors.”

Yet the group affirmed it was “encouraged that the AAP is open to reevaluating its position” on those procedures. 

“There is a lack of any significant clinical evidence and a lack of long-term positive outcomes for children treated with puberty-blocking drugs, sex hormones, and transgender interventions,” ACPeds said. 

“Additionally, it is a known fact that gender dysphoria resolves in most minors who are allowed to go through puberty,” the statement continued. “We reaffirm our position that these interventions are scientifically unproven and amount to child abuse.” 

ACPeds in its statement urged the AAP to “take into account the mounting scientific evidence against transgender interventions on minors, which has led some countries, including the U.K., Finland, and Sweden, to pull back their support for such interventions.”

“There is no scientifically robust evidence to support transgender interventions on minors,” the statement concluded. 

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In the press release the group offered links to ACPeds literature arguing that “transgender treatments harm children” and that teenage brains are still “under construction” and that consequently the “decision-making processes during adolescence are immature.”

On its website, the ACPeds bills itself as “a national organization of pediatricians and other health care professionals dedicated to the health and well-being of children.” 

The group says it was founded by “concerned physicians” who “saw the need for a pediatric organization that would not be influenced by the politically driven pronouncements of the day.”

Transgender treatments, particularly those involving children, have generated intense debate and controversy in the U.S. in recent years in both medical and religious circles. 

The U.S. bishops in June voted to issue a significant revision to Catholic medical guidelines concerning transgender patients, with the prelates issuing strict prohibitions against any form of transgender surgeries being undertaken in Catholic medical facilities.

The bishops in an earlier guidance document had stipulated that Catholic facilities were not allowed to “perform interventions, whether surgical or chemical, that aim to transform the sexual characteristics of a human body into those of the opposite sex.”

As noted by ACPeds, meanwhile, several European countries have recently issued prohibitions against transgender surgeries performed on children, citing scant evidence and long-term risks associated with the procedures.

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