The National Institutes of Health (NIH) spent at least $17,576,200 since 2008 researching the impact of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, NIH records show, drugs that are already widely administered to children who identity as transgender.
Researchers used NIH funds to study the impact these medications have on bone density and strength, reproduction, immunity, cardiometabolism and mental health, along with several other issues. Most of these grants were issued after 2017 as interest in the subject grew, although some date back as early as 2008.
Although researchers are still learning about the long-term effects of these drugs and whether they actually help reduce depression and suicide rates for youths, they are already widely administered to children who identify as transgender; the Gender Identity Development Service at Tavistock in the U.K., the largest pediatric gender clinic in the world, has referred about 1,000 patients to endocrinologists to be assessed for puberty blockers, a spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The NIH gave the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles more than $7.7 million in grants for a project studying the impact of puberty-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones on children as young as 8, according to various documents reviewed by the DCNF.
The study aims to determine whether early medical interventions for youths reduce the health issues that disproportionately impact transgender people, including anxiety, depression, substance abuse and suicide. Researchers observed 391 patients aged 8 to 20 at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and the Benioff Children’s Hospital; 90 went on puberty blockers and 301 went on cross-sex hormones, researchers reported.
“Ultimately, we aim to understand if early medical intervention reduces the health disparities well known to disproportionately affect transgender individuals across their lifespan,” researchers wrote. “The lack of data supporting medical interventions for transgender youth, combined with a shortage of providers knowledgeable of the complex psychosocial risk factors facing these young people, contributes to a health disparity and public health crisis of considerable magnitude.”
An activist who goes by Billboard Chris drew attention to the NIH grants online, highlighting the young age of some of the participants in this taxpayer-funded study.
To transgender Americans of all ages, I want you to know that you are so brave. You belong. I have your back. pic.twitter.com/mD4F0m3rU1
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 31, 2022
Researchers in this observational study have been collecting data on existing models of care for trans-identified youths for about a decade in response to an Institute of Medicine report calling for further research on the subject, according to the study. The NIH contributed $7,748,467 to the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in several separate grants for this project since 2015, according to the NIH website.
When undergoing medical sex change procedures beginning at an early age, children are administered puberty-blocking drugs then eventually put on cross-sex hormones such as testosterone or estrogen. The FDA has warned of a possible link between puberty-blocking drugs and serious symptoms like vision loss, and researchers in this study note the link between the drug and diminished bone density.
The drugs that are used to halt healthy puberty for transgender children have an official on-label purpose of delaying precocious puberty in young children, and they have also been used to chemically castrate sex offenders. Marci Bowers, a famous transgender surgeon, has publicly admitted that “every single child who was truly blocked at Tanner stage 2 [around 9 to 11 years old] has never experienced orgasm.”
Activists and medical professionals justify the administration of these drugs to children by claiming that, without them, transgender youths will commit suicide. Researchers have said that receiving these treatments in youth can reduce the risk of suicide and depression in numerous methodologically flawed studies which failed to control for confounding variables, failed to find causality and in some cases were funded by transgender activists groups and pharmaceutical companies that produce the drugs themselves, according to multiple DCNF investigations.
The DCNF calculated the sums of grants the NIH gave for projects specifically examining the effects of medications administered as part of the gender transition process; its funding of transgender-related research generally is far more expansive.
The NIH, the project’s contacts and the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles did not respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.
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