Florida warns against ‘sex changes’ for children

Florida warns against ‘sex changes’ for children

The Florida Department of Health released new guidance on Wednesday warning against transgender drugs and surgeries for minors and repudiating recent claims by the Biden administration in support of “gender-affirming care.”

Florida’s guidance recommends that children and adolescents with gender dysphoria should not be prescribed puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones or receive “sex change” surgeries. Gender dysphoria is a disorder that involves stress due to a desire to live as the opposite sex.

The guidance also advises against “social gender transition,” which can include changing a child’s name, pronouns, and clothing in accordance with a so-called “transgender identity.”

The Florida Department of Health pointed to “a lack of conclusive evidence” for “gender transitioning” and “the potential for long-term, irreversible effects,” and noted that systematic reviews on hormonal interventions “show a trend of low-quality evidence, small sample sizes, and medium to high risk of bias.”

“Based on the currently available evidence, ‘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,’” the guidance added, citing a recent article published in the Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy.

More than 80 percent of minors with gender dysphoria grow out of the condition by late adolescence, according to other research cited in the document.

“Children and adolescents should be provided social support by peers and family and seek counseling from a licensed provider,” the Florida Department of Health urged.

The new guidelines don’t apply to medical procedures for children with a “genetically or biochemically verifiable disorder of sex development.”

It’s unclear what effect the guidance will have on Florida doctors, according to The Tampa Bay Times. The state has multiple active “gender clinics” for young people, including the UF Health Youth Gender Program in Gainesville and the Orlando-based Adolescent Medicine Center of the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.