In recently published medical studies, numerous scientists confirm that mutilating gender surgeries fail to improve the overall lives of people struggling with gender dysphoria while worsening mental health in most people by increasing feelings of loneliness and increased suicide rates. Peer-reviewed studies suggest mutilating surgeries leave as high as 83 percent of people feeling lonelier and almost 50 percent dissatisfied with their lives after surgery.
Additionally, research finds a 14 percent increase in suicide rate for people who have access to such procedures, such as people in states without a law banning mutilating surgeries.
In a study published May 22, 2023 titled “Loneliness and Social Isolation among Transgender and Gender Diverse People,” researchers at the University of Hamburg Medical Center concluded “…people, who have undergone gender reassignment surgery [generally] feel lonelier” than others who have not had surgery. In a subsequent study published May 30 by the same researchers titled “Are transgender people satisfied with their lives?,” 44 percent of people reported varying levels of dissatisfaction with their lives after irreversible surgeries where 30.1 percent reported “slight” satisfaction and only 1.1 percent reported extreme satisfaction. The authors attributed the higher quality of life satisfaction to higher age groups and noted that younger age groups, such as ages 18 to 29, experienced disproportionally high rates of depression, anxiety, suicidality, and non-suicidal self-injury.”
In a June 2022 Heritage Foundation report called “Puberty Blockers, Cross-Sex Hormones, and Youth Suicide,” Senior Research Fellow Dr. Jay Greene noted a correlation between fewer legal barriers to mutilating surgeries and hormone treatments to higher suicide rates among youth experiencing gender dysphoria. Greene explained that suicide rates among ages 12 to 23 began to accelerate in 2015 as access to medical interventions without parental consent became more prevalent.
Greene stated, “By 2020, there are about 1.6 more suicides per 100,000 people ages 12 to 23 in states that have a policy allowing minors to access health care without parental consent than in states without such a policy…an increase of 14 percent in the suicide rate. This increase in suicide rates in states where it is easier for minors to access puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones increased at almost the same time, and to the same degree, as those interventions became available.” Today, at least 19 states now prohibit puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and mutilating surgeries for children.
These studies are consistent with a 2011 study conducted in Sweden, a nation friendly to gender ideology, titled “Long-Term Follow-Up of Transsexual Persons Undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery: Cohort Study in Sweden.” The study found “substantially higher rates of overall mortality, death from cardiovascular disease and suicide, suicide attempts, and psychiatric hospitalizations in sex-reassigned transsexual individuals compared to a healthy control population.” The study recommended improving “psychosocial care” for post-surgical individuals.
However, the lack of “pre-surgical” care in these studies may suggest the “sex-reassignment surgery” industry is giving little attention to “psychosocial care” to individuals before life-altering surgery. The industry, consisting of major medical centers and pharmaceutical companies, with backing from medical associations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA), was valued at $1.9 billion in 2021 and is expected to increase to nearly $3 billion by 2030. In fact, the number of gender clinics treating children in the United States has grown to as high as 300 over the last few decades. According to Komodo Health Inc., in 2021, about 42,000 children and teens across the United States received a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, nearly triple the number in 2017. The analysis found that at least 121,882 children ages 6 to 17 were diagnosed with gender dysphoria from 2017 through 2021.
Yet, the profitable “gender business,” in its rush to irreversibly mutilate children and adults, largely ignores data that shows a correlation between gender dysphoria and earlier trauma or underlying mental illnesses.
In the 2021 study “Disparities in Childhood Abuse Between Transgender and Cisgender Adolescents,” gender-confused adolescents had a significantly higher likelihood to report childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse, and psychological abuse than their non-gender dysphoric peers. In the study titled “Attachment Patterns in Children and Adolescents With Gender Dysphoria,” scientists found that “gender dysphoria in children arises in association with…high rates of unresolved loss and trauma,” such as sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and exposure to domestic violence. The study also indicated 87 percent of children in the study who had gender dysphoria also had anxiety, behavioral disorders, or autism.
As science continues to establish correlations and links regarding gender dysphoria, therapeutic counseling has helped many people get beyond mental health struggles. Liberty Counsel has represented several licensed counselors in preserving free speech in private counseling. Those counselors have treated several clients with gender dysphoria (brought on by trauma and abuse), where those clients have testified under oath that without counseling, they would have continued down a dark, irreversible path, and it was the counseling that helped them resolve their health issues to embrace their biological sex.
Counseling for gender dysphoria, which the “gender business” and media falsely refer to as “conversion therapy,” is actually talk therapy and is a lot like a GPS map system for mental health. The clients tell the counselor the direction in which they want to go, and the counselor helps them reach that destination. Counseling operates from the viewpoint that people do not have to be chained to gender dysphoria or unwanted desires, behaviors, or confusion.
Mary Beth Waddell, director of Federal Affairs for Family and Religious Liberty at Family Research Council, said, “The only way individuals dealing with gender dysphoria will come to live happy, healthy, and authentic lives is by addressing the source of their dysphoria and pursuing healing…Until these root issues are properly dealt with, these individuals will not be completely satisfied.”
Waddell also underscored that a high percentage of children will eventually have gender dysphoric feelings dissipate if allowed to go through puberty naturally. Supporting this assertion, a 215-page report from Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration states, “In total, there have been 11 outcomes studies…from a variety of countries, conducted by a variety of labs, using a variety of methods, all spanning four decades, every study without exception has come to the identical conclusion: Among prepubescent children who feel gender dysphoric, the majority cease to want to be the other gender over the course of puberty.”
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Gender ideology is permeating the medical community monetizing the act of mutilating children and adults alike into a billion-dollar industry. Scientific research is connecting the dots between gender dysphoria and underlying mental health issues. Liberty Counsel has successfully defended licensed counselors who have helped people with gender dysphoria by treating those underlying issues.”