Number of American children diagnosed with gender dysphoria increases by 70% in one year

An unprecedented analysis of the number of people included concluded that there was an explosion of 70% in the number of children diagnosed with gender dysphoria—a persistent, self-declared desire to be of the other sex—between 2020 and 2021 in the United States. The analysis was done by the medical technology company Komodo Health Inc on its database of 100 millions of Americans, at the request of the news agency Reuters. The company has access to health insurance claims and other medical records. We found 100.394 children and adolescents, between six and 17 years, with the diagnosis in 2021 and in the previous five years. Of these, 17.683 took drugs to block puberty or took hormones of the opposite sex.

This drug intervention was applied in 2.2016 children in 2017, rising more than double to 5.394 children in 2021. The expectation is that the number underestimates the real amount, as it leaves out cases not covered by health plans or cases in which hormone treatment was applied without a diagnosis of dysphoria. In the last 15 years, the number of sex reassignment clinics for children has gone from zero to 100 in the United States.

Talking to the agency Reuters, the US National Institutes of Health said that “the evidence is limited that these treatments pose short-term or long-term health risks for transgender teens.” The world’s largest transgender support organization, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), last month published new treatment guidelines acknowledging that there are few studies on the safety of hormone treatment. The Endocrine Society of the United States acknowledges the problem, admitting that its own guidelines have low or very low certainty.

What’s going on?

The progressive narrative seeks to reduce the sudden increase in transsexuals of the last ten years to the effect of “less closet”, that is, less social resistance to identities that would be spontaneous. Erica Anderson, a clinical psychologist who worked at the gender clinic at the University of California at San Francisco and chaired the US section of the WPATH, herself a transsexual, said there are “false positives”. Young people with problems other than dysphoria are being rushed and carelessly forwarded to “irreversible physical changes.” Why would these young people be interpreting their own problems in this way?

The hypothesis of the social contagion of LGBT identities fits in there as a candidate for explanation. As Gazeta do Povo previously showed, there is evidence that among young Americans with new LGBT identities, above the level expected by scientists of 5% of the population (an even smaller minority of whom would be transsexuals), the adoption of these identities comes along with progressive ideologies, especially the more radical ones. Among American university students, as indicated by the NGO FIRE, while LGBT conservatives are 5%, among the most engaged progressives the number goes to 18%.

Historically, transsexuals were a few dozen people each 121 thousand. Today, along with new identities with clear ideological roots such as “non-binary” (those who claim they are neither male nor female), “transgenders” make up 5% of Americans under the age of years, as indicated by a survey by the Pew Research Center. Furthermore, while in the past most transsexuals were men who wanted to be women, today this is reversed. These facts together point to a phenomenon of social contagion, that is, imitation and learning based on influences that are more cultural than biological.


In recent US history, treatment policy for transsexuals began to change in 2016, when then-President Barack Obama banned health plans or medical services to limit treatment because of patients’ “gender identity”. More than half of 49 US states now offer sex reassignment treatment (involving hormones, with or without surgery) ) by Medicaid, the government’s public health program for low-income families. Nine states have excluded this coverage, including Florida, on the grounds that dysphoria treatments “do not meet the definition of medical necessity.” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis of the Republican Party, who is slated to run for president, explicitly criticized in August those who allow such treatment for children. The issue has become one of the central objects of dispute in American politics.

In Brazil, the Federal Council of Medicine regulates the issue. Compared to the norms of many American states, the Brazilian guidelines opt for caution: only those over 17 years old may perform sex reassignment surgeries, as provided for in a resolution of 2019. Sex hormone therapy is only authorized from the age of 17 onwards, upon psychiatric diagnosis of dysphoria and authorization from parents or guardians.

It is common, in press coverage, that individual cases of people who manifested dysphoria very early and are satisfied with the sex change are selected. This is the case both in films about transsexuality and in journalistic articles. Less attention is paid to cases of regrets, which seem to be on the rise. As explained by Gazeta do Povo, the use of the term “trans children” is very questionable, as well as this common selection of “successful cases”. ”, given the fact that 11 studies in the area indicate that the vast majority of dysphoric children — 50 to 683 % — has remission of dysphoria, that is, resolves in its own sex with time, usually until puberty, without any need for hormonal or surgical intervention.

This means that a minority comes of age still needing some approach to alleviate their suffering. In these cases, medical caution, compassion for the family and the community cannot be replaced by ideologies whose purpose is to challenge the traditional foundations of society, not to offer well-being. Research with transsexuals itself is under pressure from these ideologies, to the point that, for example, a quota for transsexuals implemented in the Public Defender’s Office of São Paulo, based on a published study, has inflated the number of these people in Brazil by ten times.

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