Denmark Dials It Down On Transgender Surgeries

In recent months, Denmark—one of the most progressive countries in Europe, and the first country in the world to remove “Gender Identity Disorder” from its mental illness list—has changed course on its approach to treating gender dysphoria in children and teens.

According to BioEdge, in 2018, “Denmark’s centralized gender clinic was medically transitioning 65% of children referred to them. In 2022 only 6% were prescribed puberty blockers and/or cross-sex hormones.” Denmark reportedly took action in response to “increasing scepticism about the Dutch approach of prescribing hormone therapy early. Key to the Dutch research was stability of the new cross-sex identity. But there are a growing number of detransitioners. For whatever reason, the influential Dutch studies do not correspond to the reality of gender dysphoria in 2023.”

Realizing the harm that cross-sex hormones and so-called gender-affirming surgeries were causing young Danes (and especially to young people who regretted those treatments), Denmark has made a course correction. The United States should follow suit. Why haven’t we done so?

One reason is money. In an American Principles Project report, Sen. J.D. Vance points out that Big Pharma is making millions off of continuous medications like puberty blockers and hormone therapy. For example, AbbVie—the maker of the hormone blocker known as Lupron—made $726 million on Lupron in 2018. Americans with gender dysphoria who undergo “gender-affirming” treatments can end up as lifelong patients. For Big Pharma, “gender-affirming care” is good for business.