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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Suicide rates for so-called transgender teenagers are increasing, especially in states where minors are allowed to receive transgender surgery without parental consent, new research suggests.
In its report released last week, the Heritage Foundation, a conservative super PAC, looked at the effects of "lowering legal barriers to make it easier for minors to undergo cross-sex medical interventions without parental consent."
"Starting in 2010, when puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones became widely available, elevated suicide rates in states where minors can more easily access those medical interventions became observable," wrote Jay P. Greene, the senior research fellow who authored the report.
Thirty-three states, along with Washington, D.C., have state legislation that enables minors to receive medical care without parental consent. These are the states where young people can receive gender surgeries or puberty blockers without parental approval.
The report showed that up until "about 2010," there was no disparity in the youth suicide rates among the 33 states where minors could access medical care behind parents' backs and the 17 states where minors could not.
Greene believes this changed across the board after 2010 as puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and other progressive medical treatments began to be widely promoted and encouraged in Western society.
"The use of both puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for adolescents who identified as transgender rose dramatically and was widely available by 2015," Greene affirmed.
Data out of the United Kingdom between 2009–2019 show a massive increase in children referred for so-called transitioning treatment. During those 10 years, transitioning treatment increased 1,000% among biological males and 4,400% among biological females.
And the report found by the end of 2020 "there are about 3.5 more suicides per 100,000 people ages 12–23 in states with easier access than in states without an access provision."
"Rather than being protective against suicide, this pattern indicates that easier access by minors to cross-sex medical interventions without parental consent is associated with higher risk of suicide," Heritage Foundation's Greene said.
But this trend has not eased the fiery rhetoric, however, from LGBT activism groups that continue to call for minors to be allowed access to medical care to help them "transition."
The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and mental health organization for LGBT youth, slammed this kind of legislation in a March 23 statement.
"The escalation of state policies that are harmful to LGBTQ people will only heighten and intensify experiences of rejection and discrimination and could lead to an increase in suicidal ideation," the group protested.
"Whether it's limiting conversations around the broad topics of gender identity and sexual orientation or making gender-affirming care for a trans teen a felony, our organizations recognize the challenges the LGBTQ community is facing at this time," the group added.
Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee have passed laws that refuse minors the ability to access gender-transition drugs or procedures.
A stark difference in rhetoric exists between the leftist Trevor Project and the right-leaning Heritage Foundation.
Heritage's Greene called for the 33 states that allow minors to access medical care behind their parents' backs to revise their laws.
"States should also adopt parental bills of rights that affirm that parents have primary responsibility for their children's education and health and that require schools to receive permission from parents before administering health services to students, including medication and gender-related counseling to students under age 18," Greene asserted.
Mainstream media outlets like the New York Post are beginning to cover the negative effects of so-called gender-affirming care among young people. In a June 18 article titled "Why Detransitioned Teens Regret Changing Genders," the Post covered three different individuals who medically transitioned as a minor before regretting it.
The Post labeled these individuals "'detransitioners' — those who seek to reverse a gender transition, often after realizing they actually do identify with their biological sex."
One of the detransitioners, Helena Kerschner, attributed her gender dysphoria to LGBT activism on the internet.
"I was going through a period where I was just really isolated at school, so I turned to the internet," she explained.
Kerschner began to see pro-transgender content on Tumblr, which eventually led to her so-called transitioning.
"My dysphoria was definitely triggered by this online community," she lamented. "I never thought about my gender or had a problem with being a girl before going on Tumblr."
She told the Post how the trans community pressured her to change her sexual orientation and how the social media site had "a lot of negativity around being a cis heterosexual white girl, and I took those messages really, really personally."
Clinical psychologist Erica Anderson is a doctor who specializes in gender, sexuality and identity. Anderson believes the recent boom in transgender youth and the rise of detransitioners is "reflective of some young people who have progressed through their gender journey very, very quickly."
Anderson warns doctors are jumping to medically treat these youths before addressing their mental health.
An online survey of gender detransitioners led by Dr. Lisa Littman last year echoed this sentiment. It found that 40% of detransitioners attributed their gender dysphoria to their mental health and 62% believed their medical professionals did not investigate their past trauma before performing life-changing medical surgeries on them.
The effects of trying to medically change gender as a minor are often irreversible because bone structure, hair growth, fertility and speech can be affected permanently.