Two young individuals have taken their own lives during a study examining the psychosocial effects of cross-sex hormones on transgender and nonbinary youth.
The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has sparked a wave of criticism from Republicans and concerned citizens who argue that the government is endangering vulnerable young people by promoting radical gender ideology.
The study titled “Psychosocial Functioning in Transgender Youth after 2 Years of Hormones,” followed a cohort of 315 participants aged 12 to 20, with 240 of them being minors. Over the course of two years, the study assessed various aspects of the participants’ psychosocial well-being, including appearance congruence, depression, anxiety, positive affect, and life satisfaction.
According to the study’s findings, the administration of gender-affirming hormones (GAH) led to improvements in appearance congruence and psychosocial functioning among the participants. Notably, suicide ideation was reported by 11 participants, and tragically, two individuals died by suicide during the study.
The NIH is primarily funded by the United States federal government. It receives its funding from the annual budget allocated by the U.S. Congress. The NIH is a part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and operates under its umbrella.
Concerns have been raised regarding the study’s methodology and the ideologies of the researchers involved. Some of the participating clinics and researchers have been vocal advocates for gender transition interventions in children, raising questions about potential biases and conflicts of interest. Skeptics argue that the study’s positive conclusions are flawed due to the absence of a control group and the inability to establish a causal relationship between GAH and improved psychosocial outcomes.
Critics claim that these devastating outcomes highlight the dangers of subjecting young people to experimental medical interventions without sufficient safeguards. Conservative politicians, including Rep. Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma, have called for a thorough investigation into the study, demanding answers from the NIH and accountability for the tragic loss of life according to The Daily Signal.
Many have worried about the long-term consequences of cross-sex hormones, highlighting potential risks such as sterility, impaired fertility, cardiovascular disease, and blood clotting. They argue that available research suggests gender dysphoria often resolves naturally during puberty, undermining the need for irreversible medical interventions on children.
Republicans have also voiced their concerns about the NIH’s continued funding for similar studies involving transgender and nonbinary minors. They question the allocation of taxpayer dollars towards experiments they perceive as promoting harmful and unproven treatments.
In response to these concerns, a group of congress members and senators have sent a letter to Dr. Lawrence Tabak, the Acting Director of the NIH, demanding answers to a series of questions about the study’s conduct and its potential impact on participants. The letter seeks information regarding the participants’ ages, the steps taken after the suicides, notification to participants and their parents, ongoing monitoring of participants, and evaluation of long-term physiological effects.
“During this study, two young people died by suicide and eleven reported suicidal ideation. Rather than shutting the study down after such serious adverse events, the researchers published their paper, concluding that the study was a success because cross-sex hormones had altered subjects’ physical appearance and improved psychosocial functioning. However, the researchers admitted that they were not able to properly establish causality between the administration of cross-sex hormones and improved psychosocial functioning because their study lacked a control group.”
The findings of this study have raised significant concerns among those who are determined to hold those responsible accountable for the lives lost. As the controversy continues, the future of similar research funding and the well-being of transgender youth remain hotly debated topics.