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Florida Department of Health Disputes HHS Guidance on Gender Dysphoria

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Tallahassee - Wednesday April 20, 2022: The Florida Department of Health has released its own guidance regarding the treatment of gender dysphoria for children and adolescents which disputes the guidance issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

In part, the guidance memo states:

Due to the lack of conclusive evidence, and the potential for long-term, irreversible effects, the Department's guidelines are as follows:

• Social gender transition should not be a treatment option for children or adolescents.
• Anyone under 18 should not be prescribed puberty blockers or hormone therapy.
• Gender reassignment surgery should not be a treatment option for children or adolescents.

A news release from the Florida Department of Health quotes State Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo as saying - "The federal government's medical establishment releasing guidance failing at the most basic level of academic rigor shows that this was never about health care. It was about injecting political ideology into the health of our children. Children experiencing gender dysphoria should be supported by family and seek counseling, not pushed into an irreversible decision before they reach 18."

The Florida Department of Health release states that "the current evidence does not support the use of puberty blockers, hormone treatments, or surgical procedures for children and adolescents" because:

* 80% of those seeking clinical care will lose their desire to identify with the non-birth sex
* The pre-frontal cortex, which is responsible for executive functions, such as decision making, continues to develop until age 25
* There are potentially irreversible consequences such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, infertility, increased cancer risk, and thrombosis.

The release goes on to state that the Florida guidance was crafted using "published and peer-reviewed data that calls into question the motives of the federal HHS" and its guidance "uses the most up-to-date scientific data available, and it prioritizes the overall health and well-being of Florida's children and adolescents. " It also notes that "countries such as Sweden, Finland, France, and the United Kingdom are currently reviewing, reevaluating, stopping, or advising caution on the treatment of gender dysphoria in children and adolescents."

The Department's guidance is available by clicking this link > https://tinyurl.com/ypsamdmp

The Florida Department of Health fact check in response to the claims made by HHS is available > https://tinyurl.com/4yesjeu7 .

For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit: https://www.floridahealth.gov/.

Read the Florida Department of Public Health guidance in full below:

Florida Department of Health - Treatment of Gender Dysphoria for Children and Adolescents - April 20, 2022

The Florida Department of Health wants to clarify evidence recently cited on a fact sheet released by the US Department of Health and Human Services and provide guidance on treating gender dysphoria for children and adolescents.

Systematic reviews on hormonal treatment for young people show a trend of low-quality evidence, small sample sizes, and medium to high risk of bias.

A paper published in the International Review of Psychiatry states that 80% of those seeking clinical care will lose their desire to identify with the nonbirth sex. One review concludes that "hormonal treatments for transgender adolescents can achieve their intended physical effects, but evidence regarding their psychosocial and cognitive impact is generally lacking."

According to the Merck Manual, “gender dysphoria is characterized by a strong, persistent cross-gender identification associated with anxiety, depression, irritability, and often a wish to live as a gender different from the one associated with the sex assigned at birth.”

Due to the lack of conclusive evidence, and the potential for long-term, irreversible effects, the Department's guidelines are as follows:

• Social gender transition should not be a treatment option for children or adolescents.

• Anyone under 18 should not be prescribed puberty blockers or hormone therapy.

• Gender reassignment surgery should not be a treatment option for children or adolescents.
- Based on the currently available evidence, "encouraging mastectomy, ovariectomy, uterine extirpation, penile disablement, tracheal shave, the prescription of hormones
which are out of line with the genetic make-up of the child, or puberty blockers, are all clinical practices which run an unacceptably high risk of doing harm."

• Children and adolescents should be provided social support by peers and family and seek counseling from a licensed provider.

These guidelines do not apply to procedures or treatments for children or adolescents born with a genetically or biochemically verifiable disorder of sex development (DSD). These disorders include, but are not limited to, 46, XX DSD; 46, XY DSD; sex chromosome DSDs; XX or XY sex reversal; and ovotesticular disorder.

The Department’s guidelines are consistent with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services age requirement for surgical and non-surgical treatment. These guidelines are also in line with the guidance, reviews, and recommendations from Sweden, Finland, the United Kingdom, and France. Parents are encouraged to reach out to their child’s health care provider for more
information.