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On Wednesday, the Florida Department of Health released guidance on treating children and adolescents with gender dysphoria, noting a number of treatment courses that would not be recommended, specifically those called “affirming care.”
The guidance comes in response to to a guidance titled “Gender-Affirming Care and Young People” released last month by the US Department of Health and Human Services highlighting different “gender-affirming care” treatments that can be used on children and adolescents, including social affirmation, puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and gender-affirming surgeries.
The Florida DoH said in its guidance that it wants to “clarify evidence” that was cited within the US DHHS guidance, noting that “Systematic reviews on hormonal treatment for young people show a trend of low-quality evidence, small sample sizes, and medium to high risk of bias.”
The Florida guidance states: “A paper published in the International Review of Psychiatry states that 80 percent of those seeking clinical care will lose their desire to identify with the nonbirth sex. One review concludes that ‘hormonal treatments for transgender adolescents can achieve their intended physical effects, but evidence regarding their psychosocial and cognitive impact is generally lacking.'”
Citing the Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, the guidance states: “gender dysphoria is characterized by a strong, persistent crossgender identification associated with anxiety, depression, irritability, and often a wish to live as a gender different from the one associated with the sex assigned at birth.”
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