The American College of Pediatricians (ACP) urges fellow physicians to reject harmful “gender-affirming care” protocols. In their declaration, “Doctors Protecting Children,” they call on U.S. medical organizations to follow science and European colleagues by halting the promotion of social affirmation, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries for distressed children and adolescents.

Many U.S. medical groups still rely on the flawed Standards of Care from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). The ACP specifically criticizes the American Academy of Pediatrics, Endocrine Society, Pediatric Endocrine Society, American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, and American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for not updating their recommendations despite new research highlighting serious issues.

Evidence-based research now shows minimal benefits from “gender-affirming” interventions for adolescents with gender dysphoria. These interventions, including social affirmation and hormone treatments, do not improve long-term mental health or reduce suicide risk.

The ACP cites the comprehensive April 2024 Cass Review, which found no clear evidence that social transition in childhood affects mental health outcomes and weak evidence for its effect in adolescence. While puberty blockers effectively suppress puberty, they do not change gender dysphoria or body satisfaction and have insufficient evidence regarding their impact on psychological well-being, cognitive development, and fertility.

The Declaration also highlights the serious long-term risks associated with social transition, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries, including potential sterility and increased risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. The ACP urges abandoning the WPATH Standards of Care in favor of comprehensive evaluations and therapies addressing underlying psychological conditions and neurodiversity linked to gender dysphoria.