Serious questions about puberty blockers remain unanswered

As thousands of vulnerable children continue to be prescribed off-label drugs, questions have been raised about their long-term harm.

Puberty blockers are being dished out to confused young people around the country, despite the fact these drugs have not been tested, studied or approved for such use. They only have regulatory approval for hormone-dependent cancer and precocious (premature) puberty.

Despite this, gender clinics issue these potentially harmful drugs to children as a part of the lie that a person can change their sex. No one has ever changed their sex. Costumes, drugs and surgery only serve to hide or appropriate sex, they don’t change a person’s sex.

British neuropsychologist Sallie Baxendale has been asking some very important questions about the use of such harmful drugs on children.

“Vague hints from poor quality studies are insufficient to allow people considering these [hormone suppression] treatments to make an informed decision regarding the possible impact on their neuropsychological function,” says her review paper published last week on the Authorea preprint website.

“Critical questions remain unanswered regarding the nature, extent and permanence of any arrested development of cognitive function that may be associated with pharmacological blocking of puberty.

“If cognitive development ‘catches up’ following the discontinuation of puberty suppression, how long does this take and is the recovery complete?”

“Whilst there is some evidence that indicates pubertal suppression may impact cognitive function [such as intelligence measured by IQ], there is no evidence to date to support the oft-cited assertion that the effects of puberty blockers are fully reversible. Indeed, the only study to date that has addressed this in sheep, suggests that this is not the case.”

No human studies have systematically explored the impact of these treatments on neuropsychological function with an adequate baseline and follow up. However, there is some evidence of a detrimental impact of pubertal suppression on IQ.

This is unacceptable. Children deserve better care and safeguarding. Telling a child they were born in the wrong body and that they can change their sex if they take some drugs is inaccurate and dangerous. 

An urgent and comprehensive inquiry is required immediately. 

There is absolutely no excuse to put children in harm’s way for the sake of an ideology. The UK, Norway, Sweden and Finland have all paused such treatments because of concerns regarding fertility, sexual function, brain and bone development. 

It is utterly criminal to continue this course while such serious questions about side effects remain unanswered.