Newshub have aired a balanced 6 minute item on puberty blockers last Sunday night and published an accompanying article. The item was the first in New Zealand to present a sceptical view of puberty blockers and the journalist, Adam Hollingworth, and producers should be congratulated. We respond to several points and framings made in the item, and make recommendations for future media coverage.
Dr Will Malone, a US-based endocrinologist, posted a twitter thread on "Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria" (ROGD) in early December. The thread was highly informative. We have compiled and edited this thread into blogpost format.
The UK High Court has ruled that puberty blockers are experimental, are not "fully reversible", and lack evidence of benefit. The ruling confirms Professor Heneghan's view of puberty suppression as an “unregulated live experiment on children”.
Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa) chemically castrate recipients and suppress puberty in adolescents. Clinicians in New Zealand use GnRHa to treat gender dysphoria in adolescents.
Fully Informed documents the poor quality of research that supports this practice. We encounter several broader issues that come up when looking into the GnRHa research. This article summarises some of these issues:
- The connection with eating disorders and autism.
- The use of GnRHa as a pause button.
- Psychotherapy as an alternative treatment.
- Recent medical policy and research reversals.
The number of adolescents, particularly girls, presenting with gender dysphoria has risen exponentially in NZ and other countries since around 2010. Treating gender dysphoric adolescents with puberty blockers has become a "freely" available treatment option in New Zealand.