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Transgender medical care is unethical pseudoscience

AMERICAN THINKER - Michael Egnor, M.D. - DEC 1, 2022

Over the past several years, there has been an explosion in the number of children who are confused about their sexual identity who have been brought under the care of gender medicine doctors.

I am a pediatric neurosurgeon with 35 years of experience in patient care and teaching, and I am deeply disturbed by two aspects of gender medicine, especially gender medicine for children.

First, gender medicine is the only medical specialty that is based not on medical science, but ideological pseudoscience. Transgender activists assert that women can become men and men can become women — "a trans-man is a man, and a trans-woman is a woman" — and that gender identity is "assigned" by doctors at birth. Neither of these assertions is true.

Sexual identity is established at conception, it is binary (we are either male or female), and it is permanent. Sexual identity is recognized at birth. Sexual identity never changes and can never change. A "trans-man" is not a man. A trans-man is a woman who wants to be a man. Every cell in her body is female, every cell in her body was female when she was conceived, and every cell in her body will be female for her entire life. Transgender medical treatment with hormones or surgery don't change her female sexual identity. She can play the role of a man — with the help of cosmetics, apparel, hormones, or surgery, she can look and act (somewhat) like a man, but she is a woman and always will be a woman.

Second, gender medicine is the only medical specialty in which doctors deliberately provide treatments that damage or destroy the normal organs of children. Gender medicine entails the administration of puberty-blockers and cross-sex hormones as well as so-called "top surgery" and "bottom surgery," which are operations that remove the breasts of girls, place breast implants in boys, and amputate the genitals of boys and girls.

These treatments are not rare. The news agency Reuters recently commissioned a study of gender medicine treatments for children in the United States. They used medical insurance claims based on the diagnosis of "gender dysphoria," so the actual numbers of children subjected to these treatments is undoubtedly considerably greater, because many gender treatments are paid for out of pocket, and doctors may not code the diagnosis as "gender dysphoria."

In the Reuters study, during the past three years, 10,430 children ages 6–17 were placed on cross-sex hormones by gender doctors. Seven hundred seventy-six girls aged 13 to 17 underwent bilateral mastectomies with a diagnosis of "gender dysphoria" (i.e., the girls were physically normal), and 56 children (boys and girls) had their genitals surgically removed.

Only gender medicine doctors deliberately damage normal bodies of children. No medical specialty other than gender medicine would damage the normal organs of a child. As a pediatric neurosurgeon, I would never deliberately damage a child's normal brain. A pediatric heart surgeon would never damage a child's normal heart. Such deliberate harm to normal children's bodies would never even be considered, let alone tolerated, in any medical specialty besides gender medicine.

Children who are confused or unhappy with their real sexual identity are mentally ill and deserve compassionate high-quality psychiatric care. They do not deserve to be chemically and surgically castrated by gender doctors who practice far outside the bounds of ethical medical practice.

Gender ideology is a political ideology, not medical science, and it has no place in medical practice. The medical profession needs to renounce gender medicine and the ideologues who practice it, and we need to protect confused and suffering children from physical harm at the hands of their deeply misguided doctors.


Dr. Michael Egnor is a professor of neurosurgery and pediatrics at the Renaissance School of Medicine in Stony Brook University, New York.


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