Deconstructing Transgender Pediatrics

by Dr Michelle Cretella

In the life sciences sex is defined by how a species is organized to reproduce. Human beings reproduce sexually. This is because the union of a male sex cell (sperm) and a female sex cell (ovum) is necessary to produce a human offspring. There are exactly two sex cells required for human reproduction; no more and no less. This is why human sex is binary. Disorders of sex differentiation (DSD or intersex conditions) are rare congenital, medically diagnosable conditions associated with reduced fertility. DSD are not additional sexes, rather they are better understood as birth defects affecting the reproductive system and/or genitals. Human sex is binary, genetically determined at conception, identifiable in utero and acknowledged at birth. Sex is not “assigned” according to the whims of doctors and nurses or anyone else.

Prior to the 1950’s the term “gender” referred solely to masculine or feminine grammar. Gender was redefined by unscrupulous sexologists as “an internal sexed identity” during the 1950’s and 1960’s to justify their surgical and hormonal manipulation of distressed transsexual-identified men. Today’s post-Christian and anti-science culture has taken this to unprecedented levels proclaiming not only that every person has an “innate internal sexed identity” [a gender] that may differ from the body’s sex, but also that the body’s biological sex is nothing more than a social construct that may be disregarded at will.

In reality, there is not a single medical test to diagnose a person’s alleged “innate internal sexed identity” because gender and gender identity exist only in the mind not in the body. No child has a brain born “in the wrong body”. Every organ, every nucleated cell of a person’s body, has the same sex. So what of brain studies that allegedly prove otherwise? Trans-identified youth do not have an “opposite-sexed” brain in the wrong body any more than anorexic children have “obese brains” trapped in emaciated bodies. Functional MRI images of brains of anorexic youth differ from those of non-anorexic youth yet one never hears the assertion that anorexics are “born that way”. Instead, researchers point to the process of neuroplasticity a proven phenomenon whereby the brain changes in structure and function in response to experience (including but not limited to relationships, patterns of thinking and behaviour).

Similar but poorer quality studies of functional MRIs have identified potential brain differences among trans-identified individuals, but in this case neuroplasticity is completely ignored and the public is instead fed the narrative that this proves an opposite sexed brain is in the wrong body. Such an assertion is mythology; Pagan Gnosticism not science.

Unfortunately, this myth is the basis of a multi-billion dollar medical industry. So called gender experts insist that medical intervention (lifelong dependence upon toxic drugs with or without mutilating surgery) is both necessary and life saving for children who believe they are “trapped in the wrong body”. Yet, there is not a single long-term study to demonstrate the safety or efficacy of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and/or surgeries for transgender-believing youth. Youth transition is experimental, and therefore, parents cannot provide informed consent and minors cannot assent to these interventions. Moreover, the best long-term evidence we have among adults shows that medical intervention fails to reduce suicide.[1]

Proponents of these interventions for trans-identified youth cite the American Academy of Pediatrics. However, most are unaware that the AAP’s pro-transition policy has been discredited as a gross misrepresentation of science by gender identity psychologist Dr James Cantor.[2]

In fact, many medical organizations around the world, including the Australian College of Physicians,[3] the Royal College of General Practitioners in the United Kingdom,[4] and the Swedish National Council for Medical Ethics[5] have characterized these interventions in children as experimental and dangerous. World renowned Swedish psychiatrist Dr Christopher Gillberg has said that pediatric transition is “possibly one of the greatest scandals in medical history”[6] and called for “an immediate moratorium on the use of puberty blocker drugs because of their unknown long-term effects.”[7]

The vast majority of children with gender incongruence will outgrow it by young adulthood[8] and the vast majority of gender incongruent teens are struggling with other psychological diagnoses that predate their gender incongruence.[9]

A recent report confirmed the findings of several older case series revealing that gender incongruent adolescents can embrace their bodies through counselling alone when it is directed toward underlying psychological issues.[10] Puberty is not a disease.[11] It is a critical window of normal development during which significant advances in bone, brain, sexual and psycho-social development occur; advances that are radically disrupted by puberty blockers like Lupron. When normal puberty is arrested, valuable time and development is forever stolen from these children because it is time in normal development that can never be given back. This harm is in addition to well documented negative emotional effects of Lupron.

For example, a UK whistle-blower recently revealed that gender-distressed girls exhibited more behavioural and emotional problems and greater body dissatisfaction while taking Lupron.[12] This is not surprising given that Lupron’s package insert lists “emotional instability” as a side effect and warns users to “Monitor for development or worsening of psychiatric symptoms during treatment.”[13]

Temporary use of Lupron, the most common puberty blocker in the United States, has also been associated with many permanent and serious side effects including osteoporosis, mood disorders, seizures,[14] cognitive impairment[15] and, when combined with cross-sex hormones, sterility.[16]

In addition to the harm from Lupron, cross-sex hormones put youth at an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, blood clots and cancers across their lifespan.[17] Add to this the fact that physically healthy transgender-believing American girls are being given double mastectomies at 13 and hysterectomies at 16, while their male counterparts are referred for surgical castration and penectomies at 16 and 17, respectively, and the eugenic end becomes clear – affirming transition in children is about sterilizing emotionally troubled youth.[18]

Parents, children and professionals throughout the Western World are being led astray by elites in the medical establishment driven by an evil ideology and economic opportunity, not science and the ancient medical ethics principle of first do no harm. The suppression of normal puberty, the use of disease-causing cross-sex hormones and the surgical mutilation and sterilization of children constitute atrocities to be banned; they are not healthcare.

This article originally appeared in: The Academy Review of the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family, (no 1, June 2021).

Dr Cretella is a pediatrician and Executive Director of the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds). Dr Cretella is a peer reviewer for the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Issues in Law and Medicine, and the International Journal of Behavioural and Healthcare Research. She is a member of the Catholic Medical Association, and a member of the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family. 


[1] Cecilia Dhejne, et al., “Long-Term Follow-Up of Transsexual Persons Undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery: Cohort Study in Sweden” PLOS One 6(2):e16885 (2011); see also David Batty, “Sex Changes Are Not Effective, Say Researchers” The Guardian (Jul, 30, 2004), ttps://www.theguardian.com/society/2004/jul/30/health.mentalhealth; Annette Kuhn et al., “Quality of life 15 years after sex reassignment surgery for transsexualism,” Fertility and Sterility 92(5):1685–1689 (2009).

[2] James M. Cantor (2019) Transgender and Gender Diverse Children and Adolescents: Fact-Checking of AAP Policy, Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, DOI: 10.1080/0092623X.2019.1698481.

[3] Australia launches inquiry into safety and ethics of transgender medicine” BioEdge.org, 18 Aug 2019. https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/australia-launches-inquiry-into-safety-and-ethics-of-transgender-medicine/13182

[4] https://www.rcgp.org.uk/-/media/Files/Policy/A-Z-policy/2019/RCGP-position-statement-providing-care-for-gender-transgender- patients-june-2019.ashx?la=en

[5] https://www.transgendertrend.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/SMER-National-Council-for-Medical-Ethics-directive-March-2019.pdf

[6] https://thebridgehead.ca/2019/09/25/world-renowned-child-psychiatrist-calls-trans-treatments-possibly-one-of-the-greatest-scandals-in- medical-history/

[7] Doctors back inquiry on kids’ trans care.

[8] Kenneth J. Zucker, “The Myth of Persistence” International Journal of Transgenderism 19(2):231-245 (2018).

[9] Becerra-Culqui TA, Liu Y, Nash R, et al. (2018), Mental Health of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Youth Compared With Their Peers, Pediatrics, 141(5):5, Tables 2 and 3, e20173845.

[10] Clarke, A. & Spiliadis, A, “’Taking the Lid Off the Box’: The Value of Extended Clinical Assessment for Adolescents Presenting With Gender Identity Difficulties,” https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1359104518825288, Feb. 6, 2019.

[11] Jane Mendle, et al., “Understanding Puberty and Its Measurement: Ideas for Research in a New Generation” J. Res. Adolesc. Volume29, Issue1, March 2019 Pages 82-95 available at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jora.12371

[12] Michael Biggs. “Tavistock’s Experimentation with Puberty Blockers: Scrutinizing the Evidence”. Transgender Trend. March 2, 2019 available at https://www.transgendertrend.com/tavistock-experiment-puberty-blockers/

[13] https://www.lupronpedpro.com/?cid=ppc_ppd_lupronpedhcp_ggl_brnd_10975

[14] https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/new-report-describes-dangers-of-giving-lupron-to-kids-020317.html

[15]https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6953204_Effects_of_treatment_with_leuprolide_acetate_depot_on_working_memory_and_executive_fu nctions_in_young_premenopausal_women; see also https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5865155_Gonadotropin_hormone_releasing_hormone_agonists_alter_prefrontal_function_during_verbal_en coding_in_young_women

[16] Eyler AE, Pang SC, Clark A. LGBT assisted reproduction: current practice and future possibilities. LGBT Health 2014;1(3):151-156; see also Schmidt L, Levine R. Psychological outcomes and reproductive issues among gender dysphoric individuals. Endocrinol Metab Clin N Am 2015;44:773- 785.

[17] Darios Getahun, et al., “Cross-sex Hormones and Acute Cardiovascular Events in Transgender Persons: A Cohort Study” Annals of Internal Medicine 169(4):205-213 (August 21, 2018); Talal Alzahrani, et al., “Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors and Myocardial Infarction in the Transgender Population” Circulation 12(4):e005597 (2019); Katrien Wierckx, et al., “Prevalence of cardiovascular disease and cancer during cross-sex hormone therapy in a large cohort of trans persons: a case-control study” European Journal of Endocrinology 169(4):471-478 (2013); Priyanka Boghani, “When Transgender Kids Transition, Medical Risks are Both Known and Unknown” Frontline (June 30, 2015), https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/when-transgender-kids-transition-medical-risks-are-both-known-and-unknown/.

[18] https://079884cb-6687-4804-8728-0fdc5404a0e2.filesusr.com/ugd/3f4f51_f61d74654b5a4a66b60f4aab73003abf.pdf