Florida surgeon general writes board about underage gender dysphoria treatments

Letter details Department of Health research on treatments for children and adolescents

New Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo joins TWISF

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo wrote members of the Florida Board of Medicine about gender dysphoria treatments for children and adolescents Thursday.

In the letter, Ladapo stated he is against performing these treatments for children, citing research by the Department of Health.

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Gender dysphoria treatments can consist of puberty blockers, hormone prescriptions or surgeries to remove ovaries, breast tissue and uteri, which have an “unacceptably high risk of doing harm,” according to the Department of Health.

According to Ladapo, research showed “80% of those seeking clinical care will lose their desire to identify with the non-birth sex” and “the importance of puberty to brain development, with the pre-frontal cortex...continuing to develop until approximately 25 years of age.”

He also pointed to research that shows risks of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, infertility, increased cancer risk and thrombosis with these treatments in children.

“While some professional organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Endocrine Society, recommend these treatments for ‘gender affirming’ care, the scientific evidence supporting these complex medical interventions is extraordinarily weak,” he wrote. “For instance, the overview conducted by Dr. Brignardello-Peterson and Dr. Wiercioch states that ‘there is great uncertainty about the effects of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries in young people with gender dysphoria.’”

Ladapo also stated in the letter that he believes supporters of gender dysphoria treatments for children “appear to follow a preferred political ideology instead of the highest level of generally accepted medical science.”

According to a release in April, the Department of Health’s guidelines include that:

  • Social gender transition should not be a treatment option for children or adolescents.
  • Anyone under 18 should not be prescribed puberty blockers or hormone therapy.
  • Gender reassignment surgery should not be a treatment option for children or adolescents.
  • Children and adolescents should be provided social support by peers and family and seek counseling from a licensed provider.

Ladapo closed the letter by asking members to look into the cited research and follow the department’s guidelines going forward.

News 6 has attached below both Ladapo’s letter to board members and Department of Health research notices cited in the letter.

About the Author:

Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.