Considering the Costs of Transgenderism

During the past few months, the Center for Childhood Innocence (a joint venture of New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation and the Feed My Sheep Foundation) has been exposing the costly nature of “transgenderism” and its negative impact upon young people.

“Transgenderism” is costly for children and young people in several different ways. First, there are medical consequences involved in the use of drugs and surgeries to treat “gender dysphoria”—the distress experienced by a person who believes that his or her gender identity does not match his or her biological sex. Right here in the United States, children as young as eight years of age are prescribed puberty blockers for gender dysphoria.[1] These drugs are being used to facilitate “transgender” identities by preventing children from developing typical secondary sex characteristics. For example, puberty blockers may prevent males from growing facial hair and body hair or from undergoing the voice changes that commonly occur during adolescence. For females, puberty blockers may stop hips from widening and may stall the growth of breast tissue.[2]  Risks associated with the use of puberty blockers include decreased brain development, increased chances of osteoporosis, and depression.[3] Almost all children who take puberty blockers go on to take cross-sex hormones that enable them to acquire certain characteristics of members of the opposite sex.[4] Worse yet, girls as young as 13 are undergoing the removal of healthy breasts as a treatment for gender dysphoria, and boys as young as 17 are undergoing the removal of healthy male genitalia for the same reason.[5] These treatments are irreversible.[6] Cross-sex hormones and so-called “sex reassignment surgeries” each make it impossible for a person to procreate. Furthermore, the long-term health impact of these treatments is dubious at best.[7]

Second, “transgenderism” carries steep financial costs. So-called “sex reassignment surgeries” for females are so expensive that some medical clinics receive their entire funding from these procedures alone.[8] Persons who undergo such surgeries have ongoing needs for medication; that medication, too, can be expensive. In addition, “sex reassignment surgeries” often lead to medical complications,[9] and those complications necessitate more doctor visits, more surgeries, and still more medications. “Transgender” individuals become medical patients for life.

Third, “transgenderism” carries mental and emotional costs. The emerging stories of detransitioners make this fact quite clear.[10] These men and women have bravely come forward to say that pills and surgeries did not relieve their gender dysphoria. Sadly, these approaches damaged their bodies—sometimes beyond repair—and did not resolve their mental health issues.

Up to 98% of children who struggle with gender dysphoria come to accept their biological sex as adults if they are not affirmed in their gender confusion.[11] Despite this reality, some young people with gender dysphoria find themselves in a pipeline that begins with puberty blockers, continues with cross-sex hormones, and—at times—leads to “sex reassignment surgeries.” These drastic treatments are being advertised to children, and many children are caught up in this social contagion.[12]

At the Center for Childhood Innocence, we urge our readers to recognize the true costs of transgenderism and to protect the young people around us from those costs.

[1] Twohey, Megan and Christina Jewett, “They Paused Puberty, but Is There a Cost?” The New York Times, November 14, 2022, (accessed December 31, 2022).

[2] “Puberty Blockers for Youth,” Trans Care BC, (accessed December 31, 2022).

[3] “Responding to the Transgender Issue: Parent Resource Guide,” Minnesota Family Council, p. 14, (accessed December 31, 2022); see also “Understanding Transgender Issues: Puberty Blockers (documentary),” Family Watch International, (accessed December 31, 2022).

[4] “Responding to the Transgender Issue: Parent Resource Guide,” p. 14.

[5] “Responding to the Transgender Issue: Parent Resource Guide,” p. 5.

[6] “Know All About Sex Change Surgery,”, (accessed December 31, 2022).

[7] “Transgender Interventions Harm Children,” American College of Pediatricians, (accessed December 31, 2022).

[8]  Prestigiacomo, Amanda, “Huge Money Maker’: Video Reveals Vanderbilt’s Shocking Gender ‘Care,’ Threats Against Dissenting Doctors,” The Daily Wire, September 20, 2022, (accessed December 31, 2022).

[9] Approximately one in three persons undergoing so-called “male-to-female” reassignment surgeries experiences complications, and just under one in four of such persons must undergo additional surgery. See Paulette Cutruzzula Dreher et al., “Complications of the neovagina in male-to-female transgender surgery: A systematic review and meta-analysis with discussion of management.” Clinical Anatomy, March 31, 2018, pp. 191-199.

[10] See (accessed December 31, 2022).

[11] “Responding to the Transgender Issue: Parent Resource Guide,” p. 5.

[12] See,, and (accessed December 31, 2022).