Bill Would Ban Funds for Gender Researchers Who ‘Prey on’ Kids

FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL: Rep. Josh Brecheen is introducing legislation that would ban gender researchers from receiving taxpayer funding if they lead studies facilitating transgender sex-change attempts for minors.

The Oklahoma Republican’s legislation follows data that his office obtained from the National Institutes of Health indicating that the NIH is currently providing more than $30 million in funding this year for studies that involve minors (youths under 18) who identify as transgender.

“Americans should be outraged to learn that nearly $31 million of our taxpayer dollars are funding youth transgender studies that have even led to the suicides of two participants,” Brecheen told The Daily Signal. “The researchers conducting these studies are advocates for harming minors and are using our tax dollars to prey on children and advance their far-left agenda.”

“This legislation is unfortunately needed to prevent researchers from receiving any more of our tax dollars for future studies or experiments,” he added.

The No Taxpayer Funding for Researchers Who Prey on Children Act specifically focuses on researchers who participate in studies that include or describe a minor “whose perception of his or her sex or asserted identity is incongruent with such individual’s sex for the purpose of affirming such perception or asserted identity.”

It also would forbid taxpayer funding of researchers who participate in studies that help minors obtain medical, surgical, or social interventions that further this “disassociation from his or her sex.”

The bill’s co-sponsors are Republican Reps. Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Mary Miller of Illinois, David Rouzer of North Carolina, Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar of Arizona, Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin, Barry Moore of Alabama, and Andy Ogles of Tennessee.

Brecheen’s legislation defines sex as “the indication of male or female based solely on an individual’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth, such as sex chromosomes, naturally occurring sex hormones, gonads, or internal or external genitalia, without regard to an individual’s psychological, chosen, or subjective identity.”

The Daily Signal first reported in May that lawmakers, led by Brecheen and Sen. Ted Budd, R-N.C., sent a letter to the NIH questioning a federally funded study on trans-identifying youth. Two of the study participants committed suicide, 11 experienced suicidal ideation, and the drugs participants took will likely sterilize them, the Republicans noted at the time.

“Rather than shutting the study down after such serious adverse events, the researchers published their paper, concluding that the study was a success because cross-sex hormones had altered subjects’ physical appearance and improved psychosocial functioning,” the letter said. “However, the researchers admitted that they were not able to properly establish causality between the administration of cross-sex hormones and improved psychosocial functioning because their study lacked a control group.”

The lawmakers continued: “It is alarming that vulnerable young people died by suicide while participating in a taxpayer-funded study that will almost certainly inflict devastating physical harm on those who participated. Twenty-four participants in this study received cross-sex hormones after puberty suppression or ‘in early puberty’ and are likely sterile as a result. Further, participants are now at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, blood clotting, and a list of other complications.”

On Sept. 14, NIH acting Principal Deputy Director Tara Schwetz responded to the lawmakers and assured them that the NIH took the health of participants in its studies very seriously and emphasized that researchers in the U.S. have not performed “sufficient studies” on trans-identifying children and adults.

“I do want to stress that NIH funds observational studies to learn about the potential health risks and benefits for youth already undergoing treatment,” she said. “NIH is not supporting grants nor funding or conducting any clinical trials that support clinical treatment for transgender youth.”

The lawmakers’ September letter had requested any ongoing or proposed NIH funding for studies involving trans-identifying or nonbinary-identifying minors. Data that the NIH provided indicates that the agency is currently providing more than $30 million in funding this year for 58 studies that involve minors who identify as transgender.

For example, according to the NIH data reviewed by The Daily Signal, the agency is providing $2,075,846 to fund a study, “Digital, Limited Interaction Efficacy Trial of LifeSkills Mobile to Reduce HIV Incidence in Young Transgender Women.” That study is led by Marvin Belzer of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Lisa Kuhns of Northwestern University, and Matthew James Mimiaga of the University of California at Los Angeles.

Another study, led by Marco Hidalgo of UCLA, Diane Chen of Northwestern Medicine, and Diane Ehrensaft of the University of California at San Francisco, focuses on “Gender Nonconformity in Prepubescent Children.” The NIH is funding that project with $587,367 for the current year.

Ehrensaft, who is the chief psychologist at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital gender development center, drew attention in September for allegedly admitting that she has to use gender dysphoria diagnoses for youth who come to her clinic or else they will not get reimbursed.

Fox News Digital reported in August that Ehrensaft has claimed there are “infinite” gender identities, including an identity called “gender Tootsie Roll pop,” and that she believes kids can be “gender hybrids,” such as a “gender Minotaur.”

“Gender comes in an infinite variety, and children should get to live in their affirmed gender at such time they know it,” she said in a presentation, Fox reported.

Tyler O’Neill contributed to this report.

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