Britain Is Leaving the U.S. Gender-Medicine Debate Behind: The Cass report challenges the scientific basis of medical transition for minors. (Helen Lewis, 4/14/24, The Atlantic)

The report drew on extensive interviews with doctors, parents, and young people, as well as on a series of new, systematic literature reviews. Its publication marks a decisive turn away from the affirmative model of treatment, in line with similar moves in other European countries. What Cass’s final document finds, largely, is an absence. “The reality is that we have no good evidence on the long-term outcomes of interventions to manage gender-related distress,” Cass writes. We also don’t have strong evidence that social transitioning, such as changing names or pronouns, affects adolescents’ mental-health outcomes (either positively or negatively). We don’t have strong evidence that puberty blockers are merely a pause button, or that their benefits outweigh their downsides, or that they are lifesaving care in the sense that they prevent suicides. We don’t know why the number of children turning up at gender clinics rose so dramatically during the 2010s, or why the demographics of those children changed from a majority of biological males to a majority of biological females. Neither “born that way” nor “it’s all social contagion” captures the complexity of the picture, Cass writes.

What Cass does feel confident in saying is this: When it comes to alleviating gender-related distress, “for the majority of young people, a medical pathway may not be the best way to achieve this.”