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New York Times Passed on Trans Doctor’s Op-Ed Warning against Reckless Treatment of Gender Dysphoric Children

Outside the New York Times building in Manhattan, August 3, 2020 (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

Earlier this month, the New York Times declined to run an op-ed submitted by a group of gender transition experts warning that many transgender clinics have recklessly provided hormone blockers to minors, despite the lack of evidence that such treatment is in their longterm interest.

One of the op-ed’s authors, Erica Anderson, a psychologist with the University of California San Francisco’s Child and Adolescent Gender Clinic, described the rejection in an interview with Abigail Shrier, which appeared on Bari Weiss’s Commonsense Substack. Anderson told Shrier she submitted the op-ed with co-authors to the Times earlier this month but the paper rejected the piece on the grounds that it fell “outside our coverage priorities right now.”

In fact, the Times published an article on minors undergoing transgender care on September 28. Additionally, the paper published a book review on gender identity and trans rights on September 7, and an op-ed by a transgender runner on August 12, among other articles on various transgender issues.

Anderson and Dr. Marci Bowers, a vaginoplasty specialist, indicated in interviews with Shrier that they were skeptical of the way in which some clinics administer puberty blockers to young teens who may wish to transition. Both Anderson and Bowers are transgender women and are concerned that some young people may undergo irreversible treatments only for their gender dysphoria to subside as they get older.

Shrier noted that some women have described being prescribed puberty blockers after one visit to a health clinic.

“When you have a female-assigned person and she’s feeling dysphoric . . . and then they see you for one visit, and then they recommend testosterone — red flag!” Bowers said.

Shrier also asked Anderson whether psychological effects of puberty blockers on children could be reversed.

“I’m not sure,” Anderson replied.

The controversy over gender transition treatments for teens has gained steam in a number of states over the past several years. In April, Arkansas became the first state to attempt to ban gender transition surgery for minors. A federal judge subsequently granted a temporary injunction against that law in August.

Similarly, a federal judge temporarily blocked a West Virginia law in July that would have banned male students from competing in girls’ sports. The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit against that law on behalf of an eleven-year-old transgender girl.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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