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


The U.K. Pulled Back on Using Puberty Blockers on Minors. Will the U.S. do the Same?

March 15, 2024

On Thursday, The Daily Signal’s Armstrong Williams wrote, “Today, 1.6% of Americans, or 4,800,000 adults aged 18 or over, say their gender is different from their sex assigned at birth. However, that number is on the rise, as 5.1%, or nearly 15,000,000 young adults aged 18-29, fall into that category.” He explained the transgender movement can be traced back to the early 1950s, and the significant rise we’ve seen in recent years “can be attributed to a litany of factors.”

Particularly under the Biden administration, Americans have seen a soaring uptick in policies fueling the transgender movement. The Washington Stand’s Ben Johnson did an analysis of President Joe Biden’s 2025 budget proposal. He found that the budget, “which would raise taxes by more than $5 trillion, spend more than $8.6 trillion, enact a constitutionally-dubious wealth tax, implement a global minimum tax, and add $16.3 trillion to the national debt over the next 10 years,” has a notable priority in “promoting extreme transgender ideology.”

A recent Gallup poll reported “more than one in five Generation Z adults now identify as LGBT,” a statistic that’s been classified as an “all-time high” for adults who identify with the rainbow alphabet.

Issues surrounding transgenderism have dominated the headlines, bringing light to the fact that men who identify as women are taking over women’s sports, harassing and intimidating women in female bathrooms and locker rooms, and even taking priority in the classroom. But the phenomenon of transgenderism being pushed on minors has received the most pushback, resulting in a monumental shift occurring in the U.K.

The National Health Service (NHS) of England announced last week that, due to the lack of evidence that supports the safety and effectiveness of gender transition procedures, they will put a pause on providing puberty blockers for minors with gender dysphoria. NHS wrote on their website that part of the danger of puberty blockers is that many cause “irreversible changes,” including the risk of “permanent infertility.”

Dr. Jennifer Bauwens, director of the Center for Family Studies at Family Research Council, said on “Washington Watch” Thursday that while “we wish [it] would be a full ban,” this decision “is a huge step towards seeing these terrible practices no longer be available at least in one country.”

Jody Hice, senior vice president at FRC, added, “[W]e have all watched globally as the push for these transgender puberty blockers and surgeries” have been pushed into the limelight, “And now we’re watching … some European countries beginning to pull back on this.” Hice posed the question, “Why the reversed course?”

Bauwens answered that part of why Europe is pulling back before the U.S. is because “they’ve been doing it longer than the U.S. in terms of having some kind of systematic approach.” In other words, they’ve had more time to look at the evidence that proves gender transition procedures lack “honesty in the scientific discourse.” There hasn’t been “a lot of honesty over the last few years … when it comes to the transgender issue,” she added, arguing that England’s NHS is taking a step in the right direction, especially when taking into account other organizations like the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), who have admitted to the dangers of gender transition procedures while still promoting the practices.

“[W]hen we’re talking about physiological harm,” Bauwens said, “we’re talking about cardiovascular issues, cancers, low bone density, hot flashes, infertility,” and more. She continued that while “there’s more evidence about the physiological harms, … we can certainly speculate about the psychological harms.” It’s not possible to halt puberty, Bauwens stated, but puberty blocking drugs are capable of “interrupting something that is a natural course [and] that should be carried out.”

There are “social ramifications of doing something like that,” she said. Children subject to what some describe as “gender-affirming care” are “encouraged to dissociate from the very essence of who they’ve been created to be.” And what Bauwens and numerous experts repeatedly draw attention to is if a child was left alone and able to go through natural puberty without the intervention of transition procedures, “85% of those kids will desist” and not “go on to cross-sex hormones.”

Hice agreed. “And we just need to constantly be aware of the authentic, true scientific effects and impact, the negative things, that these medications will do.” But the question is, as Hice articulated, will what’s happened in the U.K. “provide more encouragement to slow down or perhaps even stop the momentum here in the United States for these puberty blockers?”

Bauwens replied, “I think that eventually it will be another thread that helps unravel this horrible ideology.” But as a clinician, she said, “Sometimes I’ve noticed when people come in for therapy … the situation will get worse before it gets better because … God is bringing about freedom.” We may eventually see the same outcome “in our own nation,” she emphasized. Eventually, Bauwens believes “we will see this tumble.”

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.