Truth Alert: American Academy of Pediatrics v. American College of PediatricsBy Shane Stahl • March 2, 2021 • 11:01 am
Finding research on LGBTQ issues from so many different organizations can make it difficult to sort out what is scientifically and factually based versus what is inaccurately sourced or misrepresented. Newer research on the wellbeing of LGBTQ youth has led to various misinformation campaigns, many of which are being used as coordinated attacks on transgender youth across the country. Here are the facts:
IN THIS CORNER: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
Founded in 1930, the American Academy of Pediatrics is the country’s leading authority on pediatric healthcare. Throughout their existence, they have issued thousands of recommendations both for doctors in practice and in matters of policy, all on a nonpartisan basis.
On the issue of LGBTQ healthcare, AAP has been ahead of the curve, innovative in their research and recommendations and speaking out against attempts to discriminate. Since their initial actions, AAP has been joined by other leading medical societies, including the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association, in speaking up for the dignity of LGBTQ people.
In 2013, they endorsed both marriage equality and adoption by same-sex couples. In mid-2018, the organization released a statement affirming competent and compassionate care for transgender and gender nonconforming youth, offering solutions for healthcare providers and families on how best to treat and accommodate these youth.
More recently, they have been an essential voice against bills seeking to ban best-practice medical care for transgender youth. The association has stated unequivocally that this care is lifesaving, and leads to significantly lower rates of suicidality and other self-harming behaviors, as well as an increased sense of self-esteem and net positive results in areas such as school attendance and academic performance. They’ve also combated misinformation regarding attempts to ban transgender youth from playing sports, a tactic that lawmakers have admitted they cannot produce evidence to justify.
The AAP knows, better than most public policy groups, that in the midst of a still-prevalent pandemic, lawmakers should be focused on the public health at large, not attempting to discriminate against an already vulnerable population simply because of who they are.
IN THIS CORNER: The American College of Pediatricians (ACP)
Founded in 2002, ACP is a deceptively titled organization that actually promotes an anti-LGBTQ agenda. In fact, the organization has been called out by the Southern Poverty Law Center for their discriminatory and harmful rhetoric. Among their many supporters is notable anti-LGBTQ organization Alliance Defending Freedom, which has filed numerous lawsuits against LGBTQ individuals in areas including employment and housing protections.
ACP supports the widely debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy,” in addition to taking stances against same-sex marriage and adoption. Studies they have cited have often been misinterpreted, leading many scientists to rebuke them. The organization also created a petition in support of the Trump administration’s efforts to virtually erase transgender people out of existence by gutting Title IX protections.
However, in spite of the organization’s stances, many states have taken steps to outlaw “conversion therapy,” a practice widely discredited by every major medical establishment. Both Democratic and Republican governors have signed bills banning the hurtful practice.
THE WINNER: American Academy of Pediatrics
This nonpartisan group truly has the best interest of all children at heart. By advocating for their well-being, funding research in legitimate scientific inquiries, and taking proactive stances on LGBTQ-affirming policy and practice, AAP remains the definitive authority on pediatric care. Visit their website here.