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What Both Sides Are Missing About the Science of Gender-Affirming Care | Opinion

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gender-affirming care," a protocol that affirms a child's transgender identity and allows for medical transition with puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and, in some cases, surgeries like mastectomies or orchiectomies.

The ACLU, which is now suing the state on behalf of four transgender young people, their families and two doctors, noted that "Gender-affirming care is life-saving care for our clients" and that banning it "runs counter to science and medicine." There have been as many as 25 such bills floated, mostly in right-leaning states.From the outside, it looks as if the controversies around young people with gender dysphoria—marked distress at an incongruence between biological sex and gender identity—are political: The Left fights to ensure trans kids get the care they need, and the Right bans it.But when the politics are pulled back and the science scrutinized, a very different picture becomes clear—or rather, it becomes clear just how murky the science is, just how much dispute there is about how life-saving these medical interventions are.

Absent a partisan lens, it becomes clear how ambiguous the long-term safety and efficacy is of medical intervention, and how bipartisan the concern about them.Despite the imprimatur of groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics and articles (some of which have been corrected or amended) asserting clear benefits of gender-affirming care, there remains a "paucity of quality evidence on the outcomes of those presenting with gender dysphoria," per the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. "No consensus exists whether to use these early medical interventions," says an article in the Journal of Adolescent Health.A review of the research by the UK's.

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