Weekly Reality Report
August 28, 2023
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The Weekly Reality Report is published every Sunday morning for paying subscribers and includes a roundup of the previous week’s articles on Reality’s Last Stand, a reading list of summarized interesting opinion pieces from around the web, relevant news headlines to keep you informed, and a special Moment of Zen.
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Why the AAP Gender-Care Review Must Be Handled With Caution | Colin Wright
Last week in the New York Post I wrote about the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) decision to maintain their 2018 policy statement on gender-affirming care (GAC) for gender dysphoric minors. This policy advocates for a social transition process, which might extend to medical interventions. Interestingly, alongside this reaffirmation, the AAP has expressed its intention to systematically review the evidence behind pediatric GAC. I highlight a concern shared by many: why would the AAP endorse GAC without having completed this review first, especially since other countries' reviews have often leaned toward psychotherapy over medical transition procedures? I also note that the AAP’s sudden desire to conduct the GAC review appears to be in response to recent restrictions and bans on gender-affirming care in various states, suggesting potential political undertones.
The article underscores the necessity of vigilance as the AAP’s review might take up to 18 months, emphasizing the importance of transparency and lack of bias. Using the “PICO” framework (Population, Intervention, Comparator, Outcome) as an example, I underscore potential vulnerabilities, particularly in how outcomes are assessed. I point out that the current approach leans heavily on evaluating short-term feelings rather than long-term objective mental health measures. Given the increasing trend of sidelining medical professionals in favor of allowing patients to achieve their “embodiment goals,” I argue for the necessity of strict standards that emphasize objective and measurable long-term physical and mental health outcomes in the AAP's review.
Testimony, or Evidence? | Colin Wright
For City Journal, I wrote about the medical establishment's endorsement and implementation of experimental and irreversible gender-affirming medical procedures on children. My article highlights the concerns raised by Jamie Reed, a former case manager at the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children's Hospital, who alleged medical malpractice in the clinic's provision of transition services. Reed claimed that the clinic had inadequate protocols, hastily approved patients for transitioning despite notable mental health comorbidities, failed to fully inform individuals about the risks and side effects of prescribed medications, and silenced opposition. I critique The New York Times for downplaying these serious findings by privileging personal testimonies over evidence.
My article further notes the increasing trend of trans-identified youth, mainly girls with no previous gender-related distress, seeking gender-affirming care. I argue that this form of gender dysphoria is new and largely untested, and that there are no long-term rigorous studies showing its benefits over the potential risks. I express concern over the current practice of affirming a child's cross-sex identity based only on hormones and surgeries, which is experimental in nature. I further emphasize the importance of evidence-based medicine and warn against evaluating the effectiveness of medical treatment solely based on patient satisfaction. Drawing a comparison with Spring Forest Qigong, a Minnesota-based "healing center" that claims to heal through energy channeling, I underscore the danger of accepting testimonials as evidence of medical success without rigorous scientific testing.