Puberty blockers canned: is the downfall of the trans industry imminent?

“Quack Medicine.”

That’s how The Times has labelled puberty blockers, one of the cornerstones of the treatment popularly known as “gender-affirming care”, as the sun sets on a scandal-ridden month for transgender ideology.

Earlier in March, NHS England made the bombshell announcement that puberty blockers — controversial drugs that are also used to chemically castrate criminals — will mercifully no longer be prescribed to children at gender identity clinics across the country.

The news came just a week after the scientific journal Environmental Progress released its damning, 240-page report exposing brazen violations of medical ethics and informed consent at the World Professional Association For Transgender Health (WPATH), the supposed “leading global authority on gender medicine”.

The Times, which has been editorially steadfast in its opposition to puberty blockers, held nothing back in its takedown of the transgender therapeutic, referring to the drugs’ underage victims as “guinea pigs in unregulated mass experiments with potentially life-altering and irremediable consequences”.

“For years [puberty blockers] have been fed to children in this country who are confused about their identity and sexuality,” the London-based daily scolded. “The use of these substances to impede physical development in youngsters who question their gender, despite an absence of sound scientific understanding of the long-term effects, is a medical scandal of the first order, a reckless exercise in 21st-century quackery.”

Not over yet

The Times added that “the job is only half complete” given that “children and parents intent on taking this dangerous path will still be able to access them through NHS Scotland and private doctors”. The newspaper of record urged that the “horror story” enterprise first exposed at Tavistock in 2020 be “reined in entirely across the UK”. The report continued:

The case for puberty blockers was that they ­allowed troubled children to pause while coming to terms with their gender identity. These hormone inhibitors were characterised as an on-off switch that could be flicked with impunity. This was a startling example of medical arrogance. ­Little was known about the effect of blockers — used also in chemical castration — on developing young bodies. It is now accepted that they affect bone density and, potentially, cognitive development. At the very least, this little-understood chemical cosh separates teenagers from their peers. Patients are frozen in time as their friends develop. Those lost years cannot be regained. And, far from being a pause, blockers tend to presage chemical and ­surgical procedures that are irreversible.


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A number of high-profile dissidents made use of the happy occasion for a well-deserved victory lap.

“For daring to say that children should not be prescribed irreversible and harmful puberty blockers, I was expelled from my Mastersdegree,” wrote cultural commentator James Esses, formerly of Metanoia Institute in West London, in a post on X.

“As of today, it is official NHS England policy,” he added. “Yet, I remain expelled.”

“Cancel culture is real. It must be stopped.”

Social critic Konstantin Kisin was equally biting. “The Iraq war moment for trans ideology is coming,” he tweeted. “All the people who supported it will, at best, go silent but more likely start claiming they were always against it.”

“A real vindication for thousands of courageous men and, especially, women who spoke up and paid the price.”

Medical disgrace

Evolutionary biologist Colin Wright recalled a discussion thread he took part as early as 2018, in which a critic was astounded at his objection to puberty blockers.

“Colin, are you saying that the official NHS website gives advice without evidence?” he quoted her as saying. “I think you'll find it doesn’t.”

“That’s exactly what I’m saying,” he had replied at the time, in words that ultimately proved prophetic.

J. K. Rowling waged a veritable crusade on her socials in the wake of the breaking news.

“The evidence has been out there for years, for all who were prepared to open their eyes,” she proclaimed.

“Experiments have been conducted on the bodies of children due to the political cowardice of adults,” she later wrote, quoting a writer from Unherd.

“This repellent experiment… belongs in the book of medical disgraces. As do the cheerleaders who raised money for Mermaids and those who persecuted whistleblowers or damned journalists asking questions as transphobic,” she added, borrowing words from another columnist at The Times.

With the Dutch rejecting the Dutch protocol, most of Scandinavia and continental Europe shelving “gender-affirming care”, and now the UK abandoning the avant-garde alchemy, all eyes are trained on holdouts Australia and the United States, two nations left holding the proverbial bag.

I predict the entire house of cards will have fallen across the West within the next year or so — giving the quack medicine known as “gender-affirming care” a shelf life approximating that of lobotomies, and two decades too long.

Has the medical industry failed those who suffer from gender dysphoria? How can we prevent similar errors in future? Have your say below.

Kurt Mahlburg is a writer and author, and an emerging Australian voice on culture and the Christian faith. He has a passion for both the philosophical and the personal, drawing on his background as a graduate architect, a primary school teacher, a missionary, and a young adult pastor.

Image: Pexels


Showing 8 reactions

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  • Frank den Hartog
    commented 2024-03-23 12:20:15 +1100
    @David Page, how ethical is it to treat kids like guinea pigs? How much are people “trying to help kids” by given them unproven and possibly damaging puberty blockers, and then say “sorry” if they don’t work and has damaged them? Justifying this by saying something like “oh well, luckily they changed their ways after some evidence appeared, as Christians would never do this” just doesn’t cut it. Besides, the Catholic Church has a renowned Pontifical Academy of Sciences which includes many respected experts, also non-Christians, which advises the Vatican on every modern development, including transgender issues. The Vatican has a good track record in adhering to such advice and evolving the teaching of the Church accordingly. Sure, it may take a while, often giving the feeling that the Church is “behind”, but better behind than running from hype to hype and treating kids like guinea pigs in the meanwhile.
  • David Page
    commented 2024-03-23 03:38:37 +1100
    It seems quite impossible for y’all to accept that everyone involved is just trying to help kids (I hope). But it would seem that the “Christian” position is much more rigid than their opposition, who are willing to change in the face of new evidence. I would argue that no amount of evidence would change the “Christian” position.
  • mrscracker
    I hope total downfall is imminent but at least the powers that be are beginning to see the writing on the wall.
  • Kurt Mahlburg
    commented 2024-03-23 00:15:48 +1100
    Thanks for adding that context Nigel. Glad to hear of your recovery!
  • Nigel Feilden
    commented 2024-03-22 22:03:49 +1100
    It is perhaps worth quietly mentioning that the ‘chemical castration’ pills have a life saving use for those, like me, whose prostate cancer managed to evade removal of the organ and salvage radiotherapy. The fact that there is a good use does not, of course, excuse the terrible abuse that ADT drugs have been put to with teens.
  • Peter Faehrmann
    commented 2024-03-22 21:58:41 +1100
    Evidence based medicine is the standard in every discipline except in the woke “discipline” of “gender affirming care”.
  • Quentin Neill
    commented 2024-03-22 13:00:42 +1100
    Good to learn the wave is cresting. What idiots will make a living trying to score points surfing it into the shore God only knows.
  • Kurt Mahlburg
    published this page in The Latest 2024-03-22 12:54:28 +1100