‘Highly profitable’: Pediatric gender clinics are opening across the country

  • Pediatric gender clinics have sprung up in huge numbers across the country over the past 15 years, offering psychological, medical and even surgical interventions to children who are uncomfortable with their biological sex.
  • The boom in these clinics has coincided with a rapid rise in transgender identity among America’s youth.
  • “It is natural to assume that the medical profession has increased the supply in response to the demand for its services. Like most professionals, doctors and surgeons also seek to maximize their income,” Joseph Burgo, a California-based clinical psychologist, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

About 300 new pediatric gender clinics have opened in the U.S. in recent decades amid rising rates of intersex identity among teenagers, according to the Society for Evidence Based Gender Medicine.

As transgender identity has become more common, pediatric gender clinics have sprung up across the country that offer various medical services to minors. Individuals seeking medical transition to the opposite sex can undergo a number of procedures, including puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, double mastectomies for women and mastoplasty for men, facial surgery, and many other genital and reproductive procedures.

The Human Rights Campaign lists 60 pediatric gender clinics in its mapping project, which includes only “comprehensive multidisciplinary programs,” while Gender Mapper puts the number at over 200 and the Society for Evidence Based Gender Medicine (SEGM) estimates over 300. clinics have exploded in recent years, with some estimates placing the first single-sex pediatric clinic in the US opening as recently as 2007.

There are child gender clinics across the country, including in Republican-led cities and states that have been vocal in cracking down on gender reassignment for minors: Florida, Wyoming, Kansas, Montana and many southern states have multiple pediatric gender clinics, according to Gender Mapping.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, performed double mastectomies on minors, according in a video was dug up from the Daily Wire in which a woman identified as physician assistant Shalyn Vanderbloemen said the procedure was available to 16- and 17-year-olds. The clinic also offers cross-sex hormones, which can permanently sterilize patients, to children as young as 13, according to DW.

Dr. Sidhbh Gallager, a plastic surgeon from Miami, performs 40 “top procedures” a month, and one or two of them are on a minor, according to the New York Times. He said most minor patients were at least 15 years old, but that he performed the procedure on children as young as 13 and 14.

Kaiser Permanente Oakland, a California hospital, performed 70 “top surgeries” in 2019 on teenagers ages 13 to 18. it had done just five in 2013, according to one study.

“The number of pediatric gender clinics has increased dramatically over the past two decades, and the number of transgender-identifying youth has increased by more than 4,000 percent over the same time period,” said Joseph Burgo, a clinical psychologist based in California and a consultant to Genspect. , he told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “It is natural to assume that the medical profession has increased the supply in response to the demand for its services. Like most professionals, physicians and surgeons also seek to maximize their income, and as Dr. Shayne Taylor informed her audience at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, gender medicine is extremely profitable.” (RELATED: Yes, Doctors Are Performing Sex-Reassignment Surgeries on Children)

Burgo was referring to a newly discovered one video of Taylor boasting about the profit opportunity for medical treatments presented at Vanderbilt Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

“That’s a lot of money. These surgeries make a lot of money,” he said. “So a female-to-male breast reconstruction could fetch $40,000. A patient on routine hormone therapy that I see only a few times a year can bring in several thousand dollars without requiring many visits and labs. It really makes money for the hospital.”

Double mastectomies, referred to by activists as “top surgery,” are more readily offered to minors than other cross-sex surgeries, and many clinics openly advertise them to patients in their mid-teens. Gallagher has publicly admitted to performing the procedure on a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old who suffered extreme distress about their breasts, and the procedure has been offered to minors by reputable institutions, including Boston Children’s Hospital.

“I honestly can’t think of another field where the volume has exploded like this,” Dr. Karen Yokoo, a retired plastic surgeon at Kaiser Permanente Oakland, recently told the NYT about the rapid increase in double mastectomies for gender-disordered teenage girls. .

Activists and health professionals who support child transitions argue that they alleviate the mental anguish and depression associated with gender dysphoria, or a sense of incongruity between gender identity and biological sex, often downplaying the issue of children growing up to regret their transitions. irreversible processes.

“I I personally know many, many, many trans men who have benefited from and are happy with their medical transition and top surgery. I would put myself in that category,” Kinnon MacKinnon, who is transgender, told the NYT before addressing the issue of transitioning people. “However, as a researcher, I feel there are questions that deserve answers and have implications for clinical care.”

Puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones have attracted far less public attention and outrage than sex-changing surgeries, despite the serious health risks they pose. Puberty blockers cost about $1,200 a month, and an implant costs $4,500 to $18,000, according to PBS.

Puberty blockers, if taken in the early stages of puberty, will permanently impair sexual function and prevent the patient from ever experiencing an orgasm. according to transgender activist and surgeon Marci Bowers; After blockers, patients can progress to cross-sex hormones, which can cause permanent infertility.

Cross-sex genital surgeries, euphemistically referred to as “down operations,” are rare in general and are especially rare for minors, although there is no federal law prohibiting them, and they have occurred on several occasions. More than half of surgeons who perform colpoplasty (the surgical inversion of the penis to mimic a vagina) have performed the surgery on patients under 18, according to the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund.

“Throughout society, but especially in educational settings, gender identity ideology has spread and successfully defined transgender identities to encompass virtually any deviation from rigid and stereotypical gender norms, thus bringing large numbers of non-conventional youth under the umbrella. Burgo told DCNF. “And subsequently, the Global Professional Association for Transgender Health has consistently advocated for the medicalization of trans-identified youth, thus fueling the demand for services that the medical profession has moved to provide.”

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