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The communication of evidence to inform trans youth health care.

Updated: Feb 18

As a group of psychotherapists working in the area of gender, we have concerns about the arguments and statistics presented in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health's Editorial.1

We believe that using the outdated statistic that 1% of people who transition will regret their decision is highly irresponsible, and lacks the rigour for which the Lancet group of journals is known. This 1% refers primarily to studies of adults who transitioned in an era when medical transition was only taken under strict protocol.2 We now find ourselves in a markedly different era, characterised by a 1727% rise in the numbers of children seeking to transition,3 and a gender-affirmative approach, which has been adopted almost universally, making the proffered 1% statistic anachronistic.4 We do not believe puberty blockers are a safe and appropriate option, as supported by a blog by Carl Heneghan and Tom Jefferson,5 especially given that the use of this highly experimental treatment path is being reconsidered by progressive countries in Europe. The Karolinska Institute in Sweden, long considered gold-standard in providing transgender health care, no longer uses puberty blockers;6 nor does Finland promote their use.7 Additionally, a judicial review in the UK found puberty blockers to be an inappropriate option for most children younger than 16 years.8

We urge The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health to take this opportunity to engage with this issue, rather than publishing, in our opinion, inaccurate and careless Editorials.

We declare no competing interests.


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Article Info

Publication History

Published: July 05, 2021



© 2021 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


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