Youth Suicidality linked to Puberty Blockers and Sex-Change Hormones access, New Study Suggests

17 August 2022

2.5 MINS

A study by The Heritage Foundation Center for Education Policy has found that increasing minors’ access to cross-sex medical interventions does not necessarily decrease suicidality among youth, as is commonly claimed. In fact, the report states, “it likely leads to higher rates of suicide among young people in states that adopt these changes”.

The findings were published just a month and a half before an independent review deemed the controversial UK Tavistock Gender Clinic to be “unsafe”. Since then, Tavistock has been engulfed in legal action, with around 1000 families expected to sue the medical clinic.

Youth Suicide and Cross-Sex Interventions: The Report

Dr Jay P. Greene, PhD, a Senior Research Fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy authored the recent report, entitled “Puberty Blockers, Cross-Sex Hormones, and Youth Suicide”.

Dr Greene, a former Distinguished Professor and head of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, is a leading education policy expert in the United States. He has published dozens of articles in leading peer-reviewed journals, and his research has been cited by the US Supreme Court.

The Heritage Foundation is a hugely influential conservative public policy think tank based in Washington, D.C. The group claims over half a million members, and its websites (The Daily Signal, Heritage Action and The Heritage Foundation) receive millions of visits every month.

Puberty Blockers and Hormones Lead to Higher Suicidality

Dr Greene’s report compares states in the USA that permit youth access to health care without parental consent with states in which parental consent is required.

“In the past several years, the suicide rate among those ages 12 to 23 has become significantly higher in states that have a provision that allows minors to receive routine health care without parental consent than in states without such a provision. Before 2010, these two groups of states did not differ in their youth suicide rates. Starting in 2010, when puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones became widely available, elevated suicide rates in states where minors can more easily access those medical interventions became observable.” (emphasis in original)

According to the findings, the pattern observed in Dr Greene’s research indicated that “​​easier access by minors to cross-sex medical interventions without parental consent is associated with higher risk of suicide”.


The findings were stark when visualising the suicide rate in states with higher levels of access compared with those with a higher level of parental control.

Report Conclusions and Recommendations

In his discussion of the findings, Dr Greene concludes:

“… efforts to lower legal barriers for minors to receive cross-sex medical interventions do not reduce suicide rates and likely lead to higher rates among young people in states that adopt those changes. States that currently facilitate minors’ access to routine health care without the consent of a parent or legal guardian should consider revising such policies. States should also adopt parental bills of rights that affirm that parents have primary responsibility for their children’s education and health, and that require schools to receive permission from parents before administering health services to students, including medication and gender-related counseling to students under age 18.”

News Coverage of the Report

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the research was covered only by the Washington Times, The Daily Wire and Fox News.

Several left-leaning outlets and LGBTQ+-friendly advocates and health care professionals criticised the report’s methodology on Twitter — some going so far as to call it a “junk study”. However, as far as I can find, there were no actual responses to the critiques that Dr Greene levelled against mainstream research methodologies.

Most of us wouldn’t need an academic report to know that allowing someone to make such a potentially harmful decision at such a young age is not wise. In light of the Tavistock closure, it is encouraging that questions are finally being raised about the safety and wisdom of allowing minors to be administered cross-sex treatments.

I pray that this continues.


Photo by cottonbro.

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