The Affirm OR Suicide Mantra

“The affirm-or-suicide mantra has become the central strategy of contemporary transgender activism, and at times it would seem that activists have little else in their rhetorical arsenal.” So writes Leor Sapir, a fellow of the Manhattan Institute. 

“337:365 – the lips, the teeth, the tip of the tongue” by cavale is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

We are constantly told that the Gender-Affirming approach is “life-saving.”

Transgender Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services Rachel Levine used the same word to justify the federal government’s support for “gender affirming” interventions. Neither Levine nor President Biden, who has given his own imprimatur to the controversial practice, seemed to care much that Europe’s most progressive welfare states have been moving in the opposite direction, placing strict limitations on the use of puberty blockers to treat adolescents in distress presumably because of their “gender.” Scandinavians are not indifferent to teen suicide. Rather, they have examined the evidence behind the affirm-or-suicide claim and have found it wanting.

Despite the unwaveringly confident manner in which these claims are often asserted, there is no good evidence that failing to “affirm” minors in their “gender identity” will increase the likelihood of them committing suicide. As I discuss below, that claim is based on a small handful of deeply flawed studies that, at most, find loose correlations between “affirming” interventions and improved mental health. Some find no reduction of suicide at all, and a new study claims to find that puberty blockers actually increase the risk of suicide.

Not only is the empirical basis for the affirm-or-suicide mantra shoddy at best, but its dissemination is also profoundly irresponsible. Such extreme rhetoric limits our ability to better understand and respond to mental health problems in vulnerable youth, and may itself contribute to the real and documented phenomenon of “suicide contagion.”

Source:  Leor Sapir

Sapir gives us a thorough rundown of the current science on gender-dysphoria and suicide. And calls on the Activists to stop the moral panic-mongering.

Hyperbolic rhetoric about suicide rates may do more to increase suicide than prevent it.

Pediatric Gender Medicine and the Moral Panic Over Suicide