a New main report By legal and medical experts from Yale Law School, the Center for the Study of the Child at Yale University School of Medicine and the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, and the University of Texas Southwestern, it deeply analyzes the misleading scientific claims that have informed recent actions by Texas and Alabama to criminalize medical treatment for transgender youth.
the report, “Biased science: Texas and Alabama measures to criminalize medical treatment for transgender children and teens relying on inaccurate and misleading scientific data“The first comprehensive examination of public opinion for Texas and Alabama legislation targeting Medicare to affirm the gender of transgender children and adolescents. The report strongly refutes misleading scientific claims that measures benefit in both states and claims that Texas and Alabama authorities omitted important evidence demonstrating the benefits and harms of gender dysphoria treatment Exaggerated potential, and paint a “distorted picture” of scientific evidence.
Although a number of scientific and professional organizations have decried the actions of Texas and Alabama, the report by a team of seven experts in science, medicine and the law offers the first point-by-point refutation. The report specifically identifies the following:
- Texas and Alabama officials have falsely claimed that doctors routinely sterilize children and teens with surgical procedures. The authors point out that reliable medical protocols for treating transgender youth and prepubescent children do not allow for genital surgery before adulthood.
- Texas and Alabama actions consistently ignore the prevailing scientific evidence documenting the intrinsic benefits of gender assertion sponsorship. The best scientific studies show that gender dysphoria is real and that gender affirmation care significantly improves mental health outcomes, including reducing suicide rates.
- The actions of Texas and Alabama greatly exaggerate the risks of sex-confirming drug therapy. Puberty blockers and hormonal therapies, for use only in adolescents (not in prepubertal children), are safe, effective, and used only after careful psychiatric and medical advice. These treatments have long been approved by major medical authorities.
- Texas and Alabama authorities rely on poor quality evidence. The Texas attorney general cites fake and outdated studies and relies on an unaudited website created by political activists with little or no scientific experience.
“These are not close calls or areas of reasonable disagreement,” the authors wrote. The AG’s opinion and the findings of the Alabama law ignore established medical authorities and repeat ominous, outdated, and poor-quality information. The AG’s opinion also mischaracterized reputable sources and repeatedly cited a fringe group whose listed advisors possess (or do not have) limited scientific and medical credentials, and among them are well-known anti-transgender activists.”
In Texas, the governor cited a state attorney general’s legal opinion to classify gender-affirming medical care as child abuse, and in Alabama, the legislature has imposed criminal penalties for anyone providing gender-affirming care to individuals under the age of 19. The report comes at a time of increasing anti-LGBTQ legislation across the country. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, bills Restricting health care for transgender youth It was proposed in at least 19 states in 2022.
“After examining the AG’s opinion and ‘truth’ findings on Alabama law in detail, we have concluded that their medical claims are not based on reputable scientific foundations and are riddled with errors of omission and inclusion,” the report’s authors wrote. Taken together, these errors completely distort AG Opinion’s claim that standard medical care for transgender children and adolescents constitutes child abuse. According to the report, similar errors and assertions are made by law in Alabama.
Report authors include Yale Law Professor Ann Alstott ’87 and faculty at Yale University School of Medicine and Child Study Center: Susan D. Bulwer, MD; Rebecca Camody, Ph.D.; Meredith McNamara, MD, MS; Kristi Olizicki, Ph.D.; and Nathalie Szilagyi, MD. The authors’ group also includes Laura Kuper, Ph.D., Texas Southwestern University and Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.
“The Texas AG opinion and Alabama law are not honest efforts with some errors,” Alstott said. “Scientific errors and omissions are so widespread that the conclusion is clear: These laws are motivated by bias and made to achieve a predetermined goal: to deny transgender youth the care of gender affirmation.”
Henry Robinson24, who served Alstott as a research assistant, said there is a coordinated effort in state roles across the country “to deny trans children access to health care, deprive them of public life, and isolate them from loving and supportive families.” Robinson noted that efforts depend. On sources with little or no scientific credibility.
“This effort relies on misleading and often frank expressions of concern about the supposed harms of gender-affirming health care to children,” Robinson explained.
The authors hope that by marshaling reputable scientific evidence, the report will serve as a vital resource for journalists, the public and litigants challenging these laws, and will help ensure that other states do not rely on the legal authority of Texas to enact similar laws across the country.
Olezzeski, one of the report’s co-authors, said Texas AG’s opinion “wasn’t a fair view of the research.” “This was a partisan and politically motivated act.”
By presenting the science in an impartial manner, the authors hope to combat misinformation about gender assertive care that can quickly take root in the minds of the public.
“We need to advocate for fact-based checks on legal opinions and legislation,” said McNamara, one of the co-authors. Scientists need to sit at the table. And perhaps most importantly, there should be a penalty for writing pseudoscience into law. Trans and non-binary youth simply face the battle of their lives for existence and we can’t leave them standing alone. This is a matter of life and death.”
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