Admiral Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary of Health in the Biden administration, raised hackles with recent statements regarding a concept of “wrong puberty.”
In an interview with ABC’s “Nightline,” Levine said gender-confused children should not have to wait until adulthood to begin cross-sex treatments.
Levine is a man who identifies as a transgender woman.
Program host Juju Chang asked Levine to address the argument that children should wait until they turn 18 to undergo cross-sex procedures in an interview released Friday.
According to The Daily Caller and The Washington Times, Levine’s comments stirred controversy, with critics questioning the concept of “wrong puberty.”
The most controversial contention by the senior administration health official concerned allowing pre-pubescent children to make life-altering decisions about their biological sex.
Levine insists gender-affirming care is a crucial component of mental health support for children struggling with their gender identity.
In the “Nightline” interview, she reiterated, “we need to make the care for transgender youth and adults evidence-based, and not based on any type of political considerations.”
“The treatment options for gender-affirming care for transgender youth really are evidence-based,” Levine said.
Chang asked Levine’s response to people who believe its reasonable to ask why children can’t wait until they are 18 to change their reproductive systems.
“Adolescence is hard and puberty is hard,” Levine responded. “What if you’re going through the wrong puberty?”
“What if you inside feel that you are female, but now you’re going through a male puberty?”
The administration’s highest ranking openly transgender official called gender-affirmation care “medical care.”
“Gender-affirming care is mental health care,” said Levine. “Gender-affirming care is literally suicide prevention.”
Though Levine personally transitioned as an adult, she expressed gratitude for waiting until adulthood to transition, as cross-sex hormones and surgeries can lead to permanent sterilization.
State-level responses to the issue of gender-transition treatment for minors remain varied, with 19 states passing laws that restrict gender-transition procedures for minors.