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FDOH advises against gender treatments for children, adolescents

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Calling federal guidelines about gender dysphoria treatments for children and adolescents harmful, the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) has issued its own guidance maintaining that the use of surgical treatments and puberty blockers on young people is harmful to them.

According to the FDOH guidance, current scientific evidence does not support the use of puberty blockers, hormone treatments, or surgical procedures for children and adolescents, on grounds that 80 percent of those who seek clinical care will lose their desire to identify with the non-birth sex, that the puberty blockers and hormone treatments stifle puberty brain development, and that gender dysphoria treatments may result in long term potentially irreversible consequences such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, infertility, and increased cancer risk.

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo said that the HHS guidance is more about politics than health care.

“It (the federal guidance) was about injecting political ideology into the health of our children,” Ladapo said. “Children experiencing gender dysphoria should be supported by family and seek counseling, not pushed into an irreversible decision before they reach 18.”

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In response, the advocacy group Equity Florida said that the FDPH non-binding guidance represents an effort to replace the safety of young people with political propaganda.

“This guidance demonizes life-saving, medically-necessary care, and asserts that the government, not parents, knows best when it comes to health care for our children,” the group said in a written statement.”

FDOH statements and guidance about gender dysphoria treatments for young people are available at https://www.floridahealth.gov.

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