Trans kids and advocates blame culture war for debate over adolescent health care
The World Professional Association for Transgender Health, or WPATH, an association devoted to transgender health, will release its Standards of Care Version 8 in July.
Some transgender advocates are criticizing new guidance released by the leading body in transgender health care, saying it has fallen victim to the politicization of gender-affirming care for youth.
The World Professional Association for Transgender Health, or WPATH, a nonprofit professional association devoted to transgender health, will release its Standards of Care Version 8 in July. The last time the standards were updated was in 2012.
The nearly 400-page guidelines, which the association’s president, Walter Bouman, described in an emailed statement as “the most comprehensive set” of guidance ever produced for health care providers who support transgender people, include many significant changes, according to a copy of the guidelines that WPATH shared with NBC News.
The change that is drawing the most criticism is a new chapter dedicated to adolescent care, which was previously part of the chapter on care for children. The chapter presents conflicting statements on support for adolescents: It gives credence to the claim that more young people might be coming out as trans due to “social influence.” It also notes that there’s limited longitudinal research on the effects of gender-affirming care for adolescents, but a growing body of recent studies show it’s beneficial enough that withholding care would be unethical.
Trans young people who are directly affected by this debate say they feel like many of the adults involved don’t know anything about their lives.