TALLAHASSEE, FL – The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has come under some heat by the Florida Department of Health for its stance on treating children suffering from gender dysphoria.
Screenshots of an email from AAP’s Florida chapter was shared on Twitter by Jeremy Redfern, the press secretary for the Florida DOH, that urged the support of “gender-affirming care” by means of sex-reassignment surgeries and puberty blockers for minors.
This comes as, on Friday, the Florida Board of Medicine will be considering a proposal that would disallow doctors to provide children with hormone therapy, puberty blockers, and sex-reassignment surgeries, including double mastectomies. The proposal was submitted by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
In Redfern’s tweet, he said, “Dr. Lisa Gwynn and the FCAAP support double mastectomies on 14-year-old girls with gender dysphoria. Notice how she never calls it what it is. This is eminence-based ideology. It’s not evidence-based medicine. Regardless of what she claims.”
In the email referenced, Gwynn said, “Appropriate gender-affirming care, conducted in close coordination with pediatricians and parents, is safe and effective for treating patients experiencing gender dysphoria.”
In an April press release, the Florida AAP spoke against the FL DOH’s guidelines discouraging gender-affirming healthcare for children, which said, among other things, “Encouraging mastectomy, ovariectomy, uterine extirpation, penile disablement, tracheal shave, the prescription of hormones which are out of line with the genetic make-up of the child, or puberty blockers, are all clinical practices which run an unacceptably high risk of doing harm.”
“Gender-affirming care can be lifesaving,” the AAP chapter said in its release. “Research shows that access to evidence-based gender-affirming care among adolescents significantly improves their mental health.”
Florida Medicaid released a report in June stating that “research supporting sex reassignment treatment is insufficient to demonstrate efficacy and safety.” The study said, “These treatments do not conform to GAPMS (Generally Accepted Professional Medical Standards) and are experimental and investigational.”
The report listed “irreversible” side effects such as “body hair growth, male-pattern baldness, enlarged clitoris, deepening voice for female to male transitions, breast growth, and infertility for male to female transitions,” and further said, “A paper published in the International Review of Psychiatry states that 80% of those seeking clinical care will lose their desire to identify with the nonbirth sex.”
DeSantis has spoken out against this method of treating gender dysphoria in children, saying that “gender-affirming care” is a “euphemism for castration and sterilization.” In late July, he said, “They will actually take a young boy and castrate the boy. They will take a young girl and do a mastectomy, or they will sterilize her because of the gender dysphoria. This is wrong. Minors should not be having this type of stuff performed on them.”
Of course, DeSantis’ proposal doesn’t disallow all treatments for gender dysphoria but rather the ones that attempt to change the gender of a minor. “There are other comprehensive coverage of services for gender dysphoria, including psychiatric services,” a report from Florida Voice News said.