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Florida surgeon general rejects medical treatments for minors with gender dysphoria

Florida health officials on Wednesday rejected federal guidelines that recommend medical treatments for minors who question their gender.

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladopo said minors experiencing gender dysphoria should instead receive counseling to address their concerns.

Asserting that 80 percent of kids eventually lose their desire to change sexes, Ladopo lobbied against the federal approach.

“It was about injecting political ideology into the health of our children,” Ladopo said. “Children experiencing gender dysphoria should be supported by family and seek counseling, not pushed into an irreversible decision before they reach 18.”

Federal guidance contends that measures like hormone therapy can alleviate the stresses associated with gender dysphoria in children.

“Gender-affirming” care for kids “consists of an array of services that may include medical, surgical, mental health, and non-medical services for transgender and nonbinary people,” according to a recent fact sheet from the federal Office of Population Affairs.

Applying these practices to minors “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,” it states.

Equality Florida criticized Ladopo’s approach and argued that medical procedures for children with gender dysphoria can be “life-saving.”

Hormone therapy can reduce the stresses associated with gender dysphoria in children.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

The new guidance “demonizes life-saving, medically-necessary care, and asserts that the government, not parents, knows best when it comes to health care for our children,” the group said.

Florida health officials argued against the procedures, contending that “the current evidence does not support the use of puberty blockers, hormone treatments, or surgical procedures for children and adolescents.”

“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,” Ladapo said.

Ron DeSantis
Gov. Ron DeSantis signs the Parental Rights in Education bill at Classical Preparatory school Monday, Mar. 28, 2022.
AP/Douglas R. Clifford

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has found himself at odds with the LGBTQ and transgender community on several fronts in recent months.

Most prominently, DeSantis outlawed instruction related to gender identity and sexual orientation for kids in kindergarten through third grade.

Backers asserted that the law shielded children from inappropriate subject matter.

Critics ripped it as the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation and argued that it promoted hostility against the LGBTQ community.

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