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Dr. Phil McGraw, host of the long-running daytime talk show “Dr. Phil,” criticized medical associations that promote the use of surgical and non-surgical procedures, such as cross-sex hormones, puberty blockers, mastectomies, and genital surgeries, on minors who are questioning the biological reality of their gender.

Dr. McGraw made the comments during a recent appearance on “The Joe Rogan Experience,” aired Feb. 20. The television personality—who holds a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of North Texas—specifically questioned the use of umbrella terms like “gender-affirming care.”

“You know, that’s interesting that they call it that, but really what they’re talking about is hormonal therapy or sex reassignment surgery on children,” he told host Joe Rogan. “And, in fairness, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Endocrine Society—or whatever the exact name of that is—all of the major medical associations have signed off on this, Joe.”

According to the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT advocacy organization, “every single major medical organization, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association, supports the provision of age-appropriate, gender-affirming care for transgender and non-binary people.”

Dr. McGraw continued: “I have never seen those organizations sign off on anything with less information as to whether or not it does long-term harm,” noting that “it does harm” children. The talk show veteran referenced European countries that have begun restricting some of these procedures.

In particular, Dr. McGraw highlighted Sweden, which was the first country to introduce legal gender reassignment surgeries. However, the country has since backtracked on its stance by restricting hormone therapy and mastectomies for minors.

Gender Dysphoria Among Minors

Dr. McGraw noted that when he brings up the drawbacks of hormonal therapy or sex reassignment surgeries, especially on children, he’s often labeled as transphobic.

Dr. McGraw also criticized the use of hormonal therapy and sex reassignment surgeries as a means to reduce the risk of suicides in youth experiencing gender dysphoria. “Their reason for doing it is it stops this drive for suicide, that there’s a suicide epidemic. It doesn’t fix that,” he explained. “It doesn’t fix all the comorbid issues that come along with feeling like they’re in the wrong body.”

A 2011 study published in the journal Plos One examined the long-term effects of sex reassignment surgeries over the course of three decades. Researchers discovered that people who had undergone reassignment surgeries had “considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behaviour, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population.”

Instead of permanent surgeries, Dr. McGraw suggested psychotherapy for those experiencing gender dysphoria, noting that it allowed them to work through their mental health struggles without having to do “the irreversible things.”

He said this is perhaps even more beneficial considering many youth are swayed to identify as trans by what they consume online via the internet and various social media platforms.

“I think there is a social contagion effect, so people jump on the bandwagon,” he said. “If it’s for a short period of time, but they’ve done things that can’t be reversed, I think that’s really tragic.”

‘Dr. Phil Primetime’

Dr. McGraw said he is committed “to owning the debate lane in America” on these topics during his forthcoming show, “Dr. Phil Primetime,” which is part of his new cable network, Merit Street Media. Originally slated to premiere at the end of February, it is now expected to launch at the start of April.

“I’m willing to let all sides come and say what they wanna say, but they gotta be willing to answer hard questions,” he explained, adding that people should be “commonsensical” and only consider the facts and science instead of what they want the truth to be.

As more and more school districts across the nation adopt policies that aim to hide the gender transitions of students from parents, one area that Dr. McGraw will explore is the consequences of teachers meddling in parent-children relationships.

“I’ve talked to a lot of teachers and they’re telling me that they have a duty to the children that if the child is not ready to talk to their parents about this that it’s okay for them to keep a secret,” he told Mr. Rogan. He explained that since gender dysphoria is either a “psychological phenomenon or a medical phenomenon” teachers are not trained to diagnose or handle either.

“They’re not any more trained to deal with that than they are to take out the kid’s spleen in the homeroom,” he continued. “You need someone trained in child psychology, psychiatry, or medicine. And the teacher’s not trained in any of those three things ... So how are they qualified to deal with that?”

Dr. McGraw said these types of school policies only foster deception and interfere with the parents’ relationships with their children.

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