Review: Gender-Affirming Therapy Fails To Show Credible Improvements In Mental Health

Article published April 14, 2023

Levine, S.B., Abbruzzese, E. Current Concerns About Gender-Affirming Therapy in Adolescents. Curr Sex Health Rep 15, 113–123 (2023).


The question, “Do the benefits of youth gender transitions outweigh the risks of harm?” remains unanswered because of a paucity of follow-up data. The conclusions of the systematic reviews of evidence for adolescents are consistent with long-term adult studies, which failed to show credible improvements in mental health and suggested a pattern of treatment-associated harms. Three recent papers examined the studies that underpin the practice of youth gender transition and found the research to be deeply flawed. Evidence does not support the notion that “affirmative care” of today’s adolescents is net beneficial. Questions about how to best care for the rapidly growing numbers of gender-dysphoric youth generated an intensity of divisiveness within and outside of medicine rarely seen with other clinical uncertainties. Because the future well-being of young patients and their families is at stake, the field must stop relying on social justice arguments and return to the time-honored principles of evidence-based medicine.

An excellent survey of the field. What you find here will give you the research information you need to stand against Gender Ideology and the exorbitant claims of Gender Activists. So please read. Learn it. And pass this on to others.


Speak Truth To Power

Kids With Early Smartphone Use Have Worse Mental Health

New global study from Sapien Labs finds consistent links, stronger for girls

Recent Jon Haidt substack dives into the results.

For parents who resisted, or who plan to resist, a new report may encourage many more parents to join you: Sapien Labs, which runs an ongoing global survey of mental health with nearly a million participants so far, released a “Rapid Report” today on a question they added in January asking young adults (those between ages 18 and 24): “At what age did you get your own smartphone or tablet (e.g. iPad) with Internet access that you could carry with you?”  When they plot the age of first smartphone on the X axis against their extensive set of questions about mental health on the Y axis, they find a consistent pattern: the younger the age of getting the first smartphone, the worse the mental health that the young adult reports today. This is true in all the regions studied (the survey is offered in English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi, and Swahili), and the relationships are consistently stronger for women.

It didn’t use to be this way…..before smartphones and social media.

There is a well-known finding in happiness research that, across nearly all nations, happiness or well-being forms a U-shaped curve across the lifespan (See Rauch, 2018). Young adults and people in their 60s and 70s are happier than those in middle age. But that may be changing, especially for women, as Gen Z (born in and after 1996) enters young adulthood. You can see the sudden collapse of young adult mental health in some of our previous posts on this Substack. For example, Figure 1 shows that up until 2011, young Canadian women were the most likely to report having excellent or very good mental health. By 2015 they were the least likely, and the decline in their self-reported mental health accelerated after that, while it changed very little for older women. (The same pattern holds for Canadian men, but to a lesser degree.)

Check out the details here. And read his advice to parents, schools, & legislators on how to move forward.

“Crypto Connection by Frederico Clapis” by Dave Pearce (London) is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.


Parents Before ‘Friends’

Correction: Transgender Surgery Provides No Mental Health Benefit

I’ve blogged about this before, but it bears repeating.

An influential study on the value of treating gender-dysphoric patients with gender-affirming care has been corrected, not retracted, after the authors admitted flaws in their research.

The study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, initially claimed that gender-affirming care led to significant improvements in mental health outcomes. However, after widespread criticism and a 10-month review, a major correction was issued.

The corrected conclusion states that there was no improvement in mental health after surgical treatment.

According to this critical reading of the study in Public Discourse, the study’s original results were significantly altered when proper statistical methods were applied. Additionally, the limited data collection (only one year of data) would result in worse findings with better data.

The corrected research now suggests, at best, no improvement in mental health outcomes for patients receiving gender-affirming care. Some research even indicates that such care can lead to worse outcomes over time, with anxiety, depression, and suicide rates 19 times higher than the general population.

The correction undermines one of the pillars supporting the claim that puberty blockers, hormones, and gender reassignment surgeries improve mental health in patients.

The major flaws in the study, including an extremely biased population and a high rate of loss to follow-up required a correction. The revised statistical analysis, even with this biased sample, found no benefit in providing puberty blockers, hormones, or surgery to gender dysphoric patients.

One issue was the significant loss to follow-up; many patients who participated in the study were considered “lost,” leaving researchers with an unreliable data sample. Additionally, the authors only measured three outcomes and overlooked key data, such as completed suicides and other healthcare visits, potentially related to gender-affirming treatments.

Sounds like cherry-picking data to obtain desired results.

The Public Discourse article also references a 2011 study from Sweden, which analyzed 324 patients who underwent sex reassignment over thirty years. This study found that when followed for more than ten years, the sex-reassigned group had nineteen times the rate of completed suicides and nearly three times the rate of all-cause mortality and inpatient psychiatric care compared to the general population.

Finally, the article discusses the delay in publishing critical letters regarding the study, and the resulting correction that revealed no advantage to surgery for the subject population. The authors of the original study admitted that their conclusion was too strong, which contributed to the momentum for gender-affirming treatments that may not actually provide benefits.

I’d say that correcting “too strong” is not nearly strong enough. Bodies were mutilated. Young people were sterilized. But studies like this were used to provide the pretext that allowed Professional Medical Associations like WPATH to elevate these dangerous treatments, that provide NO BENEFIT, as our latest, “wisest” “standards of care.”

A Great Reckoning is coming. I hope and pray.


The Problem is in the Mind. Not The Body.