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The transgender protocol (2023)

An important documentary on the Dutch public broadcaster's website:

Dutch Protocol review


(trad. Deepl)


The Amsterdam transgender protocol has come under international criticism; according to leading gender experts, it could lead some young people to embark unnecessarily on a medical course with serious and irreversible consequences. Their criticisms are met with fierce resistance from colleagues and transgender organizations. Zembla questions the scientific basis of the Dutch approach to gender issues.

Experts in research methodology in the Netherlands, the country that gave the world puberty blockers, have identified fundamental flaws in pioneering Dutch studies crucial to the evidence base of gender clinics for young people internationally.


"There is no comparison group [in these 2011 and 2014 studies from the renowned Amsterdam clinic], and all patients who received puberty blockers also received psychological counseling at the same time, so two treatments were administered side by side," said Gerard van Breukelen, research methodologist at Maastricht University, in a new documentary entitled "The Transgender Protocol", broadcast by Dutch investigative journalism program Zembla.

Professor van Breukelen said that the weak design of the basic Dutch studies made it impossible to decide which treatment was effective. "It's impossible to answer this question without a control group, we're completely in the dark.

The Dutch papers from 2011 and 2014 are widely regarded as representing the best available evidence internationally for medicalized sex reassignment in minors.

The Dutch team, which is said to have carefully selected patients likely to succeed in their medical transition, is often contrasted with the US-influenced "gender affirmation" treatment model, which carries risks.

However, Zembla's documentary reflects a trend towards greater international scrutiny of the Dutch studies themselves, and increased skepticism about their claims of beneficial outcomes.


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