A recent article by Leor Sapir explores the diverging paths taken by Europe and America in the realm of transgender medicine for youth. Europe is veering towards a more cautious approach, prioritizing psychotherapy and reserving hormonal interventions for extreme cases. This stands in stark contrast to the American model, which advocates for early affirmation of a patient’s gender identity, often through hormonal treatments and, in some cases, surgeries.
The crux of the disagreement lies in the application of evidence-based medicine (EBM). European health authorities, guided by EBM principles, are making decisions based on systematic reviews of the best available research. These reviews have highlighted significant gaps in the evidence supporting sex modification in minors. In contrast, American medical associations, while claiming their treatments are “medically necessary” and “life-saving,” often rely on studies that EBM experts consider flawed or of low quality.
Sapir’s article further criticizes the American approach for its lack of comprehensive mental health assessments and differential diagnosis in pediatric gender clinics. It suggests that the U.S. healthcare system’s susceptibility to profit motives, activist doctors, and political pressures may be contributing to this divergence from European practices.
We are medicalizing gender diversity in children without sufficient evidence-based backing. Sapir calls for a more cautious, evidence-based approach, akin to the one adopted by many European countries.
FULL ARTICLE in The HILL