Cash Kids: Following The Money in Gender Reassignment for Minors
It’s an undeniable contradiction that a parent who allowed a 15-year-old to smoke and get tattoos would be hauled in by Child Protective Services, but one who allows what, in most points in history we would have called child mutilation, is now publicly lauded as a good parent.
So what makes sex-reassignment surgery different than other forms of permanent physical modification? The answer might be that there are few (if any) politicians or political figures sitting on the board of Big Tattoo. You never hear about tattoo artists testifying before congress about their products and you have probably never heard of a lawmaker, or anyone important, investing big bucks into the tattoo industry.
The medical field, on the other hand, is a highly political one. If we step right over the obvious moral and religious aspects of gender reassignment for children, we find ourselves faced with the fact that the U.S. Sex Reassignment Surgery Market was valued at $1.9 billion (with a B) in 2021 and it is expected to grow at a compounded rate of 11.23% from 2022 to 2030, making it likely to bring in almost $4.5 billion annually in just eight years.
Sex reassignment surgery is a big expense, and if insurance won’t cover the procedure (which is many times the case) those looking to make this part of their career (or investing portfolio) would need a steady market. If adults in a mental position to need the surgery can’t afford the surgery, it stands to reason that those who want the surgery and could have it, would need to be sponsored by parents and guardians to solidify the market.
More details about sex-change surgery being performed on minors can be found here, for anyone who might be dismissing this as an uncommon problem. But suffice to say, even one practitioner cutting on children who are too young to get a haircut alone, would be troubling, much less an exploding industry of professionals.
According to a report by The Daily Caller, about 300 new pediatric gender reassignment clinics have opened in the United States over the past decade. These clinics offer puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, double mastectomies, and mammoplasty, as well as facial surgeries and other genital and reproductive system procedures.
A recent video unearthed by the Daily Wire revealed that Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee performed double mastectomies on minors, with one medical professional saying the procedure is available to teens as young as 16. One Miami-based plastic surgeon performs surgery on minors, saying that “most” are at least 15, but some of her “top surgeries” have been done on girls as young as 13 years old.
“The number of pediatric gender clinics has risen dramatically during the last two decades just as the number of trans-identifying youth has increased by more than 4,000% over the same time period,” Joseph Burgo, a California-based clinical psychologist and advisor to Genspect, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “It’s natural to assume that the medical profession has increased supply in response to demand for its services. Like most professionals, physicians and surgeons also seek to maximize their income and, as Dr. Shayne Taylor informed her Vanderbilt University Medical Center audience, gender medicine is highly profitable.”
“It’s a lot of money. These surgeries make a lot of money,” Taylor said speaking to the university. “So a female-to-male chest reconstruction could bring in $40,000. A patient just on routine hormone treatment who I’m only seeing a few times a year can bring in several thousand dollars without requiring a lot of visits and labs. It actually makes money for the hospital.”
Dr. Karen Yokoo, a retired plastic surgeon at Kaiser Permanente Oakland, recently spoke about double mastectomies for teen girls telling the New York Times, “I can’t honestly think of another field where the volume has exploded like that.”
Anyone wanting to read about whether gender reassignment surgery is “medically necessary” can find further information here. But you might be asking, what about oversight for doctors? Well, that would be the prestigious American Medical Assocation, which just last year urged governors to “oppose state legislation that would prohibit medically necessary gender transition-related care for minor patients.”
But it’s not just doctors lobbying for the right to do life-changing surgery on minors. California recently became a “sanctuary” for parents looking to get surgery for their children. As of this week, if a parent brings a child across state lines to have the surgery done in California, no one in the state is allowed to release those records to law enforcement from another state.
So is gender reassignment all about the money? We might not ever know for sure, but parents would be remiss to overlook the $1.9 billion (with a B) reasons why your doctor might say the surgery is right for you.