June 6, 2024

Trans Kids’ Healthcare: Are We Getting It Wrong?

by Science Vs

Background show artwork for Science Vs

Health care for trans kids has been in the spotlight, with battles over what the science says and tons of U.S. states restricting the care that children can get. And then there’s a new report out of the UK, called the Cass Review, saying that a bunch of the evidence that doctors have been relying on to treat trans kids is “remarkably weak.” So what’s going on here? What is the best health care for trans kids? We sort through the science with Professor Stephen Russell, Dr. Cal Horton, and Dr. Ada Cheung.

UPDATE 6/6/24: In a previous version of this episode, we said a study was published this year, when it was actually published last year. The episode has been updated.

  • Mental health resources, including suicide lifelines, for around the world: spotify.com/resources
  • Trans Lifeline: A Trans peer support hotline: 1-877-565-8860
  • Trevor Project: crisis support services to LGBTQ young people: Call 1-866-488-7386 or Text ‘START’ to 678-678

Find our transcript here: bit.ly/ScienceVsTransKidsCassReviewTranscript 

Here are links to our previous episodes about the science of being transgender and misinformation about care for trans kids.

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) The battle over care for trans kids

(02:45) What to do when a kid wants to change their name and pronouns

(13:44) Do puberty blockers help trans kids’ mental health?

(20:44) Does hormone therapy help trans people’s mental health?

(25:25) How often are people "retransitioning"?

This episode was produced by Meryl Horn and Wendy Zukerman, with help from Michelle Dang and Rose Rimler. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell. Fact checking by Eva Dasher. Consulting by Rebecca Kling. Mix and sound design by Bobby Lord. Music written by Bobby Lord, Bumi Hidaka and Peter Leonard. Thanks so much to all the researchers we spoke with for this episode, including Blake Cavve, Dr. Doug VanderLaan, and Dr. Quinnehtukqut McLamore. And a very special thanks to the trans folks and their families we talked to, Christopher Suter, the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.

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