|Florida under DeSantis is weaponizing distorted information on trans healthcare.|
According to Vice News, the state of Florida deliberately distorted credible research from several different sources in order to create a rationale behind undermining healthcare for trans kids and adults:
VICE News spoke to 10 researchers who said they weren’t aware of the memo and that Florida’s Department of Health misstated their research; in fact, VICE News found that all 12 citations Florida presents against the use of gender-affirming care are either distorted or from a source with clear anti-trans bias. In crafting the document, Florida’s health department reverse-engineered rationale for a policy completely counter to research-based medical best practices.
People such as Dr. Ken Pang:
When Dr. Ken Pang published one of the first large-scale analyses of gender-affirming care on transgender children, in 2018, the paper was celebrated as a vital contribution and even made its way to the home page of the r/Science subreddit. Though the evidence was limited, the review suggested that hormone blockers and hormone replacement therapy could help alleviate gender dysphoria and make transgender youth feel more at home in their own bodies.
Four years later, Pang was shocked to learn that his research was being used by Florida’s Department of Health to justify denying gender-affirming care to all minors in the state. The department cited Pang’s work in a memo issued in April, after the passage of Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law. The memo even recommends against social transition, which can include changes as simple as using new pronouns or wearing different clothing.
The article said that instead of relying on research put out by credible organizations which talks about accurate ways of giving healthcare to trans people, Florida, under Governor Ron DeSantis, created its own body of research:
. . . in June, Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration also issued a new policy that no one, not even adults, would be able to access gender-affirming care through Medicaid. Rather than referring to the overwhelming body of research that shows positive outcomes of gender-affirming care, Florida instead commissioned hundreds of pages of new material—which did not go through a standard peer-review process—to justify the change.
And as the article points out, this body of research was tainted with cherry-picking and a serious misusage of data:
Another distorted citation—one that not only appears in the Florida memo but is also heralded by anti-trans propagandists—comes from a 2015 study called “Gender Dysphoria in Childhood.” According to the Florida memo, this paper “states that 80% of those seeking clinical care will lose their desire to identify with the non-birth sex.” But in an interview with VICE News, one of the paper’s co-authors, Dr. Thomas Steensma at the Amsterdam University Medical Center, said that number was taken wildly out of context.
. . . Citing Steensma’s work in an effort to ban trans-affirming care should also raise alarm bells because he’s the principal investigator at his university’s Center of Expertise on Gender Dysphoria and one of the world’s leading experts on medical care of transgender children. He helped create what’s known as the “Dutch protocol,” internationally accepted medical guidelines on how to administer puberty blockers to prepubescent children with gender dysphoria. Steensma is also a co-author of World Professional Association of Transgender Health’s (WPATH) forthcoming Standards of Care for the treatment of transgender children, which will be published this year.
Believe it or not, it gets worse.