The number of “gender-affirming” mastectomies performed on teenagers has increased exponentially in the last few years, according to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics. From the MedPage Today story:
Only about 100 of these surgeries were performed in 2016, after which they steadily became more popular, surpassing 200 surgeries in 2017 and 300 by 2018. Das and colleagues put the 2019 total at 489 (P<0.001 vs 2016).
Ages of the adolescents ranged from 12 to 17, with a median of 16.
What kind of doctor would cut off the breasts of a twelve-year-old? Also, why would the numbers explode so dramatically? It seems to me that the transgender issue has become a social contagion among adolescents, pushed ubiquitously on social media and — God help us — in some schools.
The cost of all of this is considerable:
Most surgeries (61.1%) were covered by private insurance. A total of 16.5% of individuals used public health insurance to cover the cost of surgery and 15.8% were self-pay. These percentages didn’t change much during the study period. “Most TGD adolescents had either public or private health insurance coverage for these procedures, contrasting with the predominance of self-payers reported in earlier studies on TGD adults,” Das and colleagues pointed out.
The median inflation-adjusted total cost of gender-affirming chest surgeries largely held study during this time period, at about $30,000 (interquartile range $21,285-$45,147). That being said, over half of those opting for gender-affirming chest surgeries had a family income over $82,000 annually.
The Biden administration wants insurance coverage for gender-transitioning services to be mandatory. It does not want doctors allowed to refuse to perform the surgeries, and it does not want any support provided to children experiencing gender confusion that is not “affirming.”
What happens if the transgender boy “de-transitions” and realizes that she is really a “she”? A life badly impacted, and perhaps a profound sense of having been betrayed by adults.
It is interesting that the study cited in the story was conducted by doctors from Vanderbilt University, which just suspended all gender-affirming surgeries on minors until further notice.
I believe this moral panic will end when trial lawyers catch the scent of money and malpractice cases flood the courts — as has started in the U.K. That time cannot arrive soon enough.