WASHINGTON, D.C. – Transgender advocates have recently published a study – reportedly funded by pharmaceutical companies that manufacture hormone therapy medications – that claims gender transition procedures are safe for young children, and even encourages youngsters to partake in them.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) – a group that advocates for young children to undergo medical transitions in order to align with their perceived gender – had a study published in January 12 by Stanford University that was paid for by the pharmaceutical companies Arbor and Pfizer, a fact confirmed by the school in a press release.
Both Arbor and Pfizer manufacture hormone replacement medications that are typically used when transgendered individuals transition from one gender to another.
The lead author of the AACAP study, Dr. Jack Turban – researcher, opinion journalist, and fellow in child and adolescent psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine – alleged that proof exists children that identify as being transgender and subsequently medically transitioned to the gender they identified with experienced a significant boost to their mental health when compared to those who did not.
Turban has been called out in the past for advocating extensively for children experiencing gender dysphoria to take medications such as puberty blockers, while at the same time being paid by the companies that manufacture them.
The clear conflict of interest in the AACAP report was pointed out by California neurologist Dr. Diana Blum, who noted that drug companies often fund academic journals that serve their best interests; in addition, she also pointed out what she said were major flaws in Turban’s methodology.
“If Pfizer is producing hormone therapies then of course there’s incentives to promote studies that push those. Even though things get published in academic journals, a lot of the funding comes from the pharmaceutical industry,” she said. “This was not a double-blind placebo-controlled trial where you can actually say they tested a hypothesis and here’s the conclusion and here’s why you know it’s valid. The Stanford study used surveys. Right off the bat there are confounding variables never taken into account and thus inappropriate conclusions and generalizations are made that may not apply to the patient population studied.”
Given the nature of the AACAP study, there are instances where it contradicts its own conclusion that medical transition is a boon for transgender children; for example, it points out that teens between 16 and 17 years of age are three times more likely to attempt to kill themselves that those in the same age bracket that did not transition.
Regardless of the flaws inherent in the AACAP study – in addition to the clear conflict of interest when it comes to its funding – Blum noted that she saw little pushback against its findings in the media.
“Once it’s in the headlines, it gets people’s attention and no one actually digs deeper into it,” she said.