The Western world is engaged in a massive and almost unregulated experiment on children and young adults. As gender dysphoria—the feeling of being trapped in a body of the opposite sex—takes hold and ramps up, physicians such as the notorious Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy are administering medical treatments that can literally ruin young people’s lives.
These doctors assure desperate patients and families (and a gullible press) that the medical interventions are safe. But the wall of silence about the true consequences is developing cracks.
The transgender activist lobby is ever vigilant to suppress research findings that conflict with their claims, or at least to intimidate dissident researchers into silence. This occurred recently when Dr. Lisa Littman of Brown University published a study suggesting a psychological rather than physical basis for Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD)—when a teenager suddenly decides he or she is actually of the opposite sex.
Appropriately cowed, Brown quickly withdrew publicity for the study. But more research on related issues is seeping out, and activists may find themselves in a game of whack-a-mole that greatly compromises their credibility.
One medical intervention provided by physician allies of the transgender lobby is off-label administration of puberty blockers to children so their bodies won’t experience the normal maturation process. But this treatment has already been exposed for its dangerous side effects and irreversibility. Now the other primary non-surgical intervention—administration of cross-sex hormones (estrogen to gender-dysphoric boys, testosterone to gender-dysphoric girls)—is coming under scientific fire.
In January, researchers from the Netherlands published a study finding that therapy with cross-sex hormones can substantially increase the risks of acute cardiovascular events like heart attacks, strokes, and deep vein thrombosis. The study followed 2,517 men who were transitioning to a female appearance, with a median age of 30 and an average of nine years on hormone therapy, and 1,358 women who were transitioning to a male appearance, with a median age of 23 and an average of eight years on therapy. Their incidences of cardiovascular events were then compared to those of the general population. The numbers were startling.
The transgendering men suffered more than twice as many strokes as women (29 versus 12) and nearly twice as many as non-transitioning men (29 versus 16). They suffered more than five times as many deep vein clots as women (73 versus 13) and 4.5 times as many as non-transitioning men (73 versus 16). They suffered more than twice as many heart attacks as women (30 versus 13).
As for transgendering women, the researchers found no statistical differences with respect to strokes and deep vein clots. But these women suffered almost four times as many heart attacks (11 versus 3) as did non-transitioning women.
This isn’t the first study to find a connection between CVEs and gender-dysphoric people who have undergone hormone therapy. For example, a 2018 study from George Washington University found that “trans people appear to have an increased risk for myocardial infarction and death due to cardiovascular disease.”
Perhaps cognizant of the calumny heaped on Littman for her ROGD findings, the lead author of the Netherlands study was careful not to offer the obvious conclusion that gender-dysphoric patients shouldn’t be administered cross-sex hormones. Instead, she urges physicians to provide “lifestyle advice and…regularly monitor and manage cardiovascular risk factors.”
Maybe her careful hedging will protect her from an onslaught of activist outrage. But there’s no denying the numbers revealed by the study. Decent people should be aghast that anyone would try to discredit those findings, Littman’s ROGD study, or any other research that is carried out honestly and professionally. The activists claim to be fighting for the rights and welfare of gender-dysphoric individuals, but their true motives are revealed by their vicious dismissal of any scientific, evidence-based suggestion that “transitioning” may be harmful.
If activists really cared about individuals caught up in gender dysphoria, they would welcome all research to determine the best way of healing them. Their refusal to do so demonstrates that patient welfare isn’t a high priority.
Maybe they have transitioned themselves, and are desperate to validate their choice. Maybe their motivation is purely political, with the goal of pushing the sexual revolution to its logical conclusion. Or maybe, like some doctors, mental health professionals, and pharmaceutical companies, they’re in it for the money.
Whatever the reason, they must not be allowed to succeed. Too many lives–and the definition of truth itself–hang in the balance.