Family Watch International is excited to introduce our newest team member, Peter Sprigg, who will serve as Director of Research and Advocacy. In this capacity, Peter will regularly author newsletters, articles, policy briefs and other FWI content.
Before joining Family Watch, Peter served at the Medical Institute for Sexual Health, and previously was a Senior Fellow at Family Research Council (FRC) for twenty years. Over his career, Peter has conducted extensive research, writing, speaking and advocacy in the areas of marriage, human sexuality and the family. He has authored two books and numerous booklets and policy papers. He lives with his wife in the Washington, D.C. area, and they have one adult son.
We invite you to join us in giving a warm welcome to Peter and to read his excellent debut article below.
Biden Administration Panicked by State Efforts to Protect Transgender Youth
from Unnecessary Medical Procedures
If you thought the Biden administration has had too many pressing issues of national importance to worry about, leaving little time for the administration to push its radical social agendas, think again.
The White House recently released a 134-page “Interagency Report” on how no less than fourteen U.S. federal agencies are “Advancing the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons Around the World.”
Urgent and time-sensitive issues like the Russian war on Ukraine, nationwide baby formula shortages, skyrocketing fentanyl-related death among young Americans and soaring gas prices have not stopped the White House from engaging in a flurry of efforts to promote its transgender agenda. Biden’s nod to transgender people in his State of the Union address last March was just a prelude to the subsequent White House release of a 4,400-word so-called “fact sheet” on how the “Biden-Harris Administration Advances Equality and Visibility for Transgender Americans.”
Ironically, though, some of the actions touted in these documents (including actions by the Departments of Justice (DOJ), State, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education, Defense, Housing & Urban Development, and Labor) may actually signal the beginning of the collapse of Biden’s transgender agenda.
Indeed, states are beginning to take action against those subjecting children to the gruesome, life-altering medical procedures undertaken for “gender transition.” For example, Arkansas in 2021 became the first state to prohibit transgender surgeries, as well as the administration of puberty-blocking drugs or cross-sex hormones for minors for the purpose of “gender transition.” This past March, Arizona also enacted a law prohibiting “irreversible gender reassignment surgery” for minors. In April, Alabama made it a felony to perform such procedures on minors. Moreover, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Gov. Greg Abbott have declared that administering such drugs and procedures for “gender transition” could constitute “child abuse” under existing Texas law.
Despite this strong rejection of the trans medical agenda for children by states, the Biden administration also released a new guidance document from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advancing what it deceptively calls “gender-affirming care” for children. Since when did “care” mean blocking natural puberty, administering toxic cross-sex hormones, surgically removing healthy body parts, and intentionally sterilizing minor children?
HHS also claims that “early gender-affirming care is crucial to overall health and well-being as it allows the child or adolescent to focus on social transitions and can increase their confidence while navigating the healthcare system.”
Yet there is no conclusive research to support the claims that these interventions will improve symptoms of gender dysphoria (a child’s discomfort with his or her biological sex).
There is, however, emerging research showing these interventions may increase such dysphoria and have other harmful consequences.
Research suggests that those who endure the myriad of procedures to “transition” continue to have dramatically elevated rates of suicide and mental distress. (In Sweden, those who completed gender “reassignment” surgery had rates of completed suicide nineteen times higher than the general population.) This is not to mention the innumerable physical and mental complications that result from blocking puberty (like stunted development of bones and the brain or increased depression), cross-sex hormones (like heart and lung diseases, stroke, and emotional distress), and surgeries (like creating a need for further surgery and a permanent loss of sexual functioning for many).
No study has shown that any surgical or hormonal intervention has been more helpful to children’s mental health than simply allowing a child to progress naturally through puberty. However, studies have proven that, absent surgical or chemical interventions, the overwhelming majority of children who suffer from gender dysphoria will eventually become comfortable with their biological sex if allowed to experience natural puberty.
So-called “gender-affirmative care” is actually destructive care which affirms children in the self-hatred of and alienation from their body and biological sex rather than helping them to embrace themselves. Further, the HHS “guidelines” being pushed by the Biden administration are neither data driven nor supported by rigorous scientific or medical research. Instead, they are based on a delusion that a child can be “born in the wrong body.” This inaccurate and dangerous lie promotes harmful and irreversible interventions, rather than helping vulnerable children develop healthy skills to navigate the awkward stages of adolescence.
Surprisingly, in liberal Western Europe, several nations (the UK, Finland, France, and Sweden) are putting the brakes on these interventions for minor children, even as the Biden administration is funding transgender activism internationally, pressuring poor countries to abandon their values, and even seeking to recruit transgender and “non-binary” Peace Corps volunteers. At the same time, Biden’s administration has also sued the state of Alabama for legislating to protect young people from these dangerous procedures.
As other countries begin to stand up for both science and values, and the protection of vulnerable gender-confused children from harmful, life-altering medical interventions, we can only hope that the Biden Administration will wake up as well.