A year since the Tavistock child gender clinic in London was closed for harming children, the ABC and some activist clinicians are fighting to keep Australia’s clinics open.
The Four Corners program on Monday sought to justify so-called “gender affirming care” of children who are confused about their bodies.
It was overwhelmingly weighted to the hotly contested idea that children’s gender is fluid and not based in biology.
“Gender affirmation” is where children as young as 10 are prescribed puberty blockers to put them on a pathway to cross sex hormones and even breast or genital removal surgery.
Four Concerns presented as self-evidently good these controversial and experimental gender conversion treatments which alter children’s bodies irreversibly, make them sterile and destroy sexual function.
None of the consequences were discussed in any depth.
Four Corners seemed focussed on discrediting research conducted by courageous clinicians at the NSW Children’s Hospital Westmead’s gender clinic which showed children were not being helped by gender conversion therapy.
The Australian newspaper reported back in March that the Westmead researchers found:
One of the central justifications for gender-affirming medicine – that it alleviated psychological distress – was not borne out in the experience of the young people studied, with 44 out of 50 patients diagnosed with gender dysphoria reporting ongoing mental health concerns four to nine years after presentation at the gender clinic, many after transitioning.
What the researchers are telling us is gender transition of children doesn’t work.
The trouble is this cuts across the LGBTIQA+ political narrative which demands yet more publicly-funded medical resources so children can change genders, with or without parental consent.
Laws have been passed in Queensland, the ACT and Victoria prohibiting doctors, counsellors, priests, – and in the case of Victoria – even parents from dissuading children to head down the “affirmation” path.
Jail terms apply, I kid you not.
Radical LGBTIQA+ independent MP in the NSW Parliament, Alex Greenwich, has vowed to introduced the Victorian model legislation to ban “gay conversion therapy” in NSW.
The Westmead researchers, including paediatric psychiatrist Kasia Kozlowska, paediatric endocrinologists Geoffrey Ambler and Ann Maguire and physician Joseph Elkadi, said:
An unanswered question in the paediatric literature is whether gender-affirming medical treatment improves or does not improve mental health outcomes and quality of life.
In the era of evidence-based medicine, the evidence base pertaining to the gender-affirming medical pathway is sparse and, for the young people who may regret their choice of pathway at a future point in time, the risks for potential harm are significant.
Four Corners glossed over this and the fact that most European countries have either stopped prescribing puberty blockers to children or are urging a cautious approach.
Virtually unheard of 10 years ago, there is now an epidemic of children presenting at child gender clinics around the nation.
In 2014 there were just 211 but by 2021 the numbers had increased 10-fold to 2067 off the back of LGBTIQA+ indoctrination programs in schools backed up by the popularising of LGBTIQA+ themes on social media.
Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital had more than 3370 referrals and last year had 1095 patients.
In contrast, Westmead, where clinicians were pushing for more caution, had just 145 child patients in 2022.
The Queensland Children’s Hospital has 642 children waiting for an appointment.
Giving puberty blockers to children, unless under research conditions, was banned in England last month by the National Health Service (NHS) – something which got a fleeting mention in the 53-minute Four Corners program presented by LGBTIQA+ activist journalist Patricia Karvelas.
The NHS found the evidence for them was not strong.
However, the ABC is signed up to LGBTIQA+ lobby group ACON which gives points to corporations through an “equality index” if they promote LGBTIQA+ agendas.
Karvelas is a host at ACON events but neither her nor the ABC’s association with the activist group were disclosed.
Instead, Four Corners chose to focus on the tragic suicide of a 14-year-old girl who it was claimed took her life because she could not access gender conversion therapy at Westmead.
Child psychologist Dr Jillian Spencer, who has been punished by her employer, the Queensland Children’s Hospital gender clinic for speaking out against puberty blockers, was given a cameo on the show as one of just three dissenting voices whose views were not taken seriously.
Invited to speak on Ben Fordham’s 2GB radio program the day after, Spencer was able to say what Four Corners was not telling the public.
“The show did something irresponsible, which was to frighten children with a tragic story of a child's death and claim that it was due to a lack of access to gender services.
“I didn't feel that Four Corners went far enough in giving the information that Australian parents need to hear in order to protect their children, to make good decisions for their children.
“I just need to let parents know that the risk of death for children with gender dysphoria is the same as that with children with other mental health problems.
“And there's no evidence to show that social transition, or the use of puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones, reduces the death rate or improves the psychological functioning.
“To my knowledge, never before in mental health has the death rate been used to promote interventions for children that are so poorly evidence-based and have such a high risk of harm.”
Sadly LGBTIQA+ political activists always play the suicide card as a way of shutting down debate, knowing journalists rarely do their job.
The NSW Health Minister Ryan Park has taken the bait.
Instead of following the European lead and reviewing the harms to children and looking at those “unanswered questions in the paediatric literature” - he’s launched an inquiry into why more children can’t be put on the gender conversion therapy conveyor belt. With those pesky Westmead researchers “discredited”, LGBTIQA+ political activism rolls on. Job done. The ABC can cash in its ACON “equality index” points.
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