Media Release

Growing unrest with ‘affirmative therapy’ in gender-diverse health services underscores need for inquiry

Thirty-six psychiatrists, psychologists, and doctors have signed an open letter to NSW MPs questioning the ‘validity and reliability’ of the evidence given to support the NSW government’s framework for gender-diverse health services. The letter addressed ‘serious professional concerns’ with the government framework, outlining their professional opinion that the affirmative model of care could cause “unnecessary irreversible harm” to those it seeks to protect.

In response, a spokesperson for Health Minister Ryan Park admitted this is an area where evidence is still developing. The Sax Institute, responsible for the evidence to support the NSW government’s ‘affirmative’ framework, said there were “varying levels of quality and accuracy in research, particularly in areas of research where evidence is emerging.”  

NSW State Director of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), Joshua Rowe, said, “The combined voices of the thirty-six medical professionals pointedly critiques the weak evidence base for the use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones on children”.

What is clear from the comments of Ryan Park’s office and the Sax Institute is that they admit that “evidence is developing” in this area. Despite this, the NSW government is willing to risk irreversible harm to children and name it ‘best practice’”

Mr Rowe went on to say, “The willingness to accept the highly disputed use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones in NSW reflects on a more systemic issue developing in Western healthcare. The therapeutic discipline has been apprehended by an individualism and consumerism highly shaped by sexual identity and expression.

“Gender affirmation is a therapeutic intervention not based on credible evidence about the tangible biological body. Instead, it is a tool, and a dangerous one, for the consumer to use in satisfying, albeit in vain, their psychological perception of their sexual self no matter how incongruent.”

Mr Rowe concluded, “In this light, we are presently placing a scalpel in a confused child’s hand and saying, “if you’ve got a problem with your body, we’ll help you cut it up”.

The ACL calls on the NSW Government to conduct an inquiry into their framework for gender-diverse health services before more harm befalls our children.

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