Gender affirming care saves lives

Tuesday, Nov 08, 2022

By UTA School of Social Work


Transgender Pride flag

As part of a diverse and vibrant community of learning at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Social Work, we wholeheartedly support the First Amendment right to free speech and see free speech as fundamental to ongoing and thoughtful discourse on important social issues.

However, free speech is sometimes used to spread non-scientific and factually incorrect information. As such, we are offering a statement in response to the scheduled speaking event of Jeff Younger at UTA.

Younger has framed himself as an “expert” on gender affirming care for youth, despite having no academic or clinical training in this area. He is not licensed to practice medicine or provide mental health care in any jurisdiction.

Younger’s repeated attempts to spread misinformation concerning what he perceives to be the “dangers” of gender affirming care without regard to the substantial benefits it can provide for vulnerable transgender youth, which are clearly stated in the empirical literature, continues to politicize the discourse around gender affirming care and healthcare in general.

Gender affirming care saves lives. Attempts to characterize it as “child abuse” must be stopped, along with Younger’s attempts to pathologize LGBTQ+ people.

As stated by the American Medical Association (2021), “Gender-affirming care is medically necessary, evidence-based care that improves the physical and mental health of transgender and gender-diverse people.”

Younger’s efforts to mislead the public are in stark opposition to the values we hold as Social Workers, including the right to self-determination - which includes the right to make one’s own healthcare related decisions without interference from the state.

In Solidarity, 

Micki Washburn, PhD, LMSW, MA, LPC-S
Assistant Professor, UTA School of Social Work

Brittanie Atteberry Ash, PhD, MSW
Assistant Professor, UTA School of Social Work

De’An Roper, PhD, LCSW-S
Assistant Professor of Practice, UTA School of Social Work

Sophia Fantus, PhD
Assistant Professor, UTA School of Social Work

Amanda AykanianPhD
Assistant Professor, UTA School of Social Work

Scott D. Ryan, MSW, MBA, PhD
Dean & Professor, UTA School of Social Work



If you would like more information on evidence-based practice in regard to gender affirming care, please consult the following peer reviewed scientific resources:


American Medical Association (2021). (AMA) reinforces opposition to restrictions to transgender medical care.


Arnoldussen, M, van der Miesen, A,Elzinga, W, Alberse, A, Popma, A, Steensma, T, and de Vries, A. (2022). Self-Perception of transgender adolescents after gender-affirming treatment: A follow-up study into young adulthood. LGBT Health, 9(4), DOI: 10.1089/lgbt.2020.0494.


Boulware, S., Kamody, R., Kuper, L., McNamara, M., Olezeski, C., Szilagyi, N., & Alstott, A. (2022). Biased Science: The Texas and Alabama Measures Criminalizing Medical Treatment for Transgender Children and Adolescents Rely on Inaccurate and Misleading Scientific Claims. Available at SSRN 4102374.


Kimberly, L. L., Folkers, K. M., Friesen, P., Sultan, D., Quinn, G. P., Bateman-House, A., ... & Salas-Humara, C. (2018). Ethical issues in gender-affirming care for youth. Pediatrics, 142(6).


Kuper, L. E., Cooper, M. B., & Mooney, M. A. (2022). Supporting and advocating for transgender and gender diverse youth and their families within the sociopolitical context of widespread discriminatory legislation and policies. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology, 10(3), 336.


Kuper L.E., Stewart S., Preston S., et al. (2020). Body dissatisfaction and mental health outcomes of youth on gender-affirming hormone therapy. Pediatrics, 145(4):e20193006.


Tordoff, D., Wanta, J., Collin, A., Stepney, C., Inwards-Breland, D, Ahrens, K. (2022). Mental health outcomes in transgender and nonbinary youths receiving gender-affirming care. JAMA Network Open. 5(2): e220978. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.0978


Turban JL, King D, Carswell JM, et al. (2020). Pubertal suppression for transgender youth and risk of suicidal ideation. Pediatrics,145(2): e20191725.



Resource Links:

Endocrine Society
Gender Dysphoria/Gender Incongruence Guideline Resources


Endocrine Society
Advocacy to Protect Access to Gender Affirming Care


National Athletic Trainers’ Association
Supporting Gender-Affirming Care