". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Study: Over 3,000 Minors Received Gender Transition Surgeries in 3-Year Span

August 30, 2023

A new study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association has revealed that 3,678 individuals between 12 and 18 years of age underwent reconstructive surgeries to resemble the opposite sex between 2016 and 2019. The study dramatically undercuts a common narrative among transgender activists that transgender surgeries on minors are “very rare.

Overall, the study found that gender transition surgeries increased exponentially among all age groups over the three-year span, soaring from 4,552 in 2016 to 13,011 in 2019. The most common types of procedures were “breast and chest procedures, which occurred in 27,187 patients (56.6%), followed by genital reconstruction (16,872 [35.1%]) and other facial and cosmetic procedures (6,669 [13.9%]).” The study further reported that “405 patients (11.0%) aged 12 to 18 years underwent genital surgery.” A total of 48,019 individuals underwent some type of surgery, according to the study.

During Tuesday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” Dr. Quentin Van Meter, a pediatric endocrinologist and former president of the American College of Pediatricians, pointed out that the volume of surgeries being carried out on minors is particularly remarkable amid media and activist efforts to downplay the fact they are occurring.

“[T]his [study] comes in the face of individuals who are advocating for children to be transitioned in their appearance from their basic biological sex to the opposite sex,” he observed. “[Yet] they categorically state over and over again before state legislative hearings under oath that no children are getting surgeries, that it’s only done after the age of consent. And of course, we all know [that] is not true because adolescent females are getting their breasts removed well before the age of 18 in these medical centers, all pretty much done under wraps and not recognized in the news, particularly because it’s quite a shocking statistic.”

As observers have noted, even accounting for the interruption in transgender surgeries due to the COVID pandemic, the rate at which the surgeries are occurring is likely even higher now that it was in 2019. The number of youth gender dysphoria diagnoses doubled between 2019 and 2021, from 21,000 to over 42,000. In addition, there are now over 300 “gender clinics” that carry out gender transition procedures in the U.S., the most of any country in the world. Notably, however, a number of European countries are moving away from allowing minors to undergo surgical procedures to remove healthy organs due to ethical concerns.

“[A]ll the way up to age 25, and perhaps some people would argue a bit longer, the human brain is not capable of making really phenomenally far-sighted decisions,” Van Meter explained. “Everything is pretty much on the short term. You know, ‘I want something. I want it now.’ It’s the classic adolescent, ‘Give it to me, or I’ll take my life. Give it to me, or I’ll make your life miserable.’ … [W]hat we do know is that the mental health of these kids … is no better. And it’s actually worse if they go through with the surgical procedures. And so it’s just not appropriate.”

Accounts from those who have detransitioned and regret their decision to transition continue to come to light. In July, the testimony of a young man known as “Kobe” revealed shocking health effects that occurred because of undergoing a series of procedures from age 13 to 19, including osteoporosis, loss of sexual function, joint pain, brain fog causing the loss of his train of thought, random bouts of extreme anger, developing an eating disorder due to metabolism issues, and urination issues due to his castration surgery. Meanwhile, young women like Chloe Cole have described the irreversible harm done as a result of undergoing a double mastectomy at the age of 15, in which the skin grafts that doctors constructed to replace her nipples continually leak fluid.

“[T]he American public needs to know this is happening,” Van Meter underscored. “… You can’t go back and recreate what you took out surgically. You’re ruining lives [and] mutilating bodies irreparably. We’re sterilizing the kids, essentially. That’s just not an appropriate thing to do to any child under the age of majority and actually for adults as well.”

“I think the more [that] these detransitioners speak up and tell us what they went through and how they’re suffering, the more the American people will get behind the movement to say, ‘Hey, let’s pause this in kids under age 18 completely,’” he concluded.

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.