There’s growing evidence that some parents’ support for “gender transitions,” is imposing huge medical and developmental risks on children, say medical professionals and political activists – including gay activists.
The issue blew up on Twitter this week when actor James Woods tweeted a photo of a young boy with his parents at a Pride parade, showing off signs that read “I [heart] my gender creative son” and “My son wears dresses & makeup…Get over it!”
This is sweet. Wait until this poor kid grows up, realizes what you've done, and stuffs both of you dismembered into a freezer in the garage pic.twitter.com/1k3ITApFsF
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) July 10, 2017
“This is sweet,” Woods wrote under the image. “Wait until this poor kid grows up, realizes what you’ve done, and stuffs both of you dismembered into a freezer in the garage.”
The boy’s mother, Lori Duron, author of a blog called RaisingMyRainbow.com, defended her actions and said Wood is “hugely misinformed.”
In a friendly interview with People, Duron defended the choices she and her husband made for their son over the years.
“LGBTQ youth don’t hurt their parents, they hurt themselves,” she said. “We’re trying to raise our son in a way that he doesn’t fall into those behaviors. His tweet was so uninformed. LGBTQ youth do not kill other people, they kill themselves.”
The family’s reported friend, gay actor Neil Patrick Harris, tried to shame Woods as “ignorant and classless.”
Woods shrugged off the evidence-free insults.
Using one's child as a social justice propaganda doll is tantamount to child abuse. This is not about homophobia. Nice try though…
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) July 12, 2017
Woods used tough love in his tweet, but he isn’t “uninformed” or “ignorant.”
In fact, a growing number of pediatricians, mental health professionals, and gay rights activists are warning American parents about the dangers of the pro-transgender “gender ideology,” which pressures parents to impose risky and dangerous treatments on their children.
“Transgender ideology is not just infecting our laws,” writes pediatrician and researcher Dr. Michelle Cretella, the mother of four and president of the American College of Pediatricians. “It is intruding into the lives of the most innocent among us – children – and with the apparent growing support of the professional medical community.”
Cretella says she has “witnessed an upending of the medical consensus on the nature of gender identity” which intimidates professionals who question the claim that some children can and should try to change their sex:
Last summer, the federal government stated that it would not require Medicare and Medicaid to cover transition-affirming procedures for children or adults because medical experts at the Department of Health and Human Services found the risks were often too high, and the benefits too unclear.
Undeterred by these findings, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health [industry group] has pressed ahead, claiming—without any evidence—that these procedures are “safe.”
Two leading pediatric associations—the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pediatric Endocrine Society—have followed in lockstep, endorsing the transition affirmation approach even as the latter organization concedes within its own guidelines that the transition-affirming protocol is based on low evidence.
They even admit that the only strong evidence regarding this approach is its potential health risks to children.
Cretella’s organization asserted gender ideology is harmful to children and that transgendered children are psychologically confused and at risk for mental health disorders:
No one is born with a gender. Everyone is born with a biological sex. Gender (an awareness and sense of oneself as male or female) is a sociological and psychological concept; not an objective biological one…
A person’s belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking. When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind, not the body, and it should be treated as such. These children suffer from gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria (GD), formerly listed as Gender Identity Disorder (GID), is a recognized mental disorder in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-V)…
“According to the DSM-V, as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty,” the College added. “Conditioning children into believing that a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.”
Along with Cretella’s group, the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations, the Catholic Medical Association, and the self-described “left-leaning” pro-LGBT rights association, Youth Gender Professionals – all have weighed in with concerns about forced gender ideology being propagated as a civil rights issue without concern for the well-being of children.
Youth Gender Professionals asserts it is risky to affirm young people who claim to be transgender and provide them with hormonal and surgical treatments to change their bodies.
“Our concern is with medical transition for children and youth,” they write. “We feel that unnecessary surgeries and/or hormonal treatments which have not been proven safe in the long-term represent significant risks for young people.”
“Policies that encourage — either directly or indirectly — such medical treatment for young people who may not be able to evaluate the risks and benefits are highly suspect, in our opinion,” says the left-wing organization, which is composed of psychologists, social workers, doctors, and other professionals.
The organization’s members say they are alarmed that many immature teenagers are deciding they are a member of the opposite sex simply as a result of “binges” on social media sites. “There is evidence that vulnerable young people are being actively recruited and coached on such sites to believe that they are trans,” the professionals say.
Despite such potential mental health problems associated with gender confusion, children in some states are no longer legally permitted to see a therapist who does not affirm a request for gender transition. Youth Gender Professionals sees such state prohibitions as dangerous since they may block the process of critical thinking and evaluation of the young person regarding the reasons why he or she desires to become a transgender member of the opposite sex.
“While the sentiment behind this legislation is laudable, in some cases, it is being interpreted to mean that therapists cannot explore gender identity with a youth who is professing to be trans,” argue the professionals. “This would mean we can’t ask why; we can’t explore underlying mental health issues; we can’t consider the symbolic nature of the gender dysphoria; and we can’t look at possible confounding issues such as social media use or social contagion.”
However, more medical and research professionals are drawing attention to the serious problems inherent in a phenomenon in which media hype and political debate are overshadowing actual questions about the health and psychological well-being of children, such as concerns about puberty-blocking drugs which often used to delay children’s’ development into adults. Those drugs sterilize children even before they can understand how the deep biological impact of puberty will change their feelings about their awkwardly emerging adult male or female body.
Researchers Paul Hruz, Lawrence Mayer, and Paul McHugh address the problem in a new paper titled “Growing Pains,” published at The New Atlantis.
The authors write:
There is strikingly little scientific understanding of important questions underlying the debates over gender identity — for instance, there is very little scientific evidence explaining why some people identify as the opposite sex, or why childhood expressions of cross-gender identification persist for some individuals and not for others. Yet notwithstanding the limited data, physicians and mental health care providers have arrived at a number of methods for treating children, adolescents, and adults with gender dysphoria.
The researchers observe the dangers of “gender-affirming” therapy in which the therapist accepts, without challenge, the patient’s self-perception as the opposite sex:
Gender-affirming models of treatment are sometimes applied even to very young children. Often, the gender-affirming approach is followed in later youth and adulthood by hormonal and surgical interventions intended to make patients’ appearances align more closely with their gender identity than their biological sex. In order to improve the success of the physical changes, interventions at younger ages are increasingly being recommended.
The authors warn of decisions made to help “affirm” a gender-confused child’s perceived identity, without any connection to scientific fact or research. “Though there is little systematically collected data on the number of young people (or even the number of adults) who identify as transgender or who have undergone sex-reassignment surgery, there is some evidence that the number of people receiving medical and psychotherapeutic care for gender identity issues is on the rise,” they write.
They explore the use of puberty suppression or blocking, in which a child or young adolescent with gender dysphoria is treated with hormones that prevent the normal progression of puberty. “For parents of children with gender dysphoria, puberty suppression can appear very attractive,” they observe. “It seems like it might offer a medical solution for the anticipated confusion, anxiety, and distress by holding back the development of the most conspicuous features of their children’s biological sex.”
Nevertheless, the authors conclude the scientific evidence for puberty suppression as treatment for gender dysphoria is “thin,” and “based more on the subjective judgments of clinicians than on rigorous empirical evidence.”
“It is, in this sense, still experimental — yet it is an experiment being conducted in an uncontrolled and unsystematic manner,” they warn.
Walt Heyer is a former transgender who now helps others who have undergone gender transition and now regret their decision. In a column at The Federalist, Heyer takes to task the LGBTQ political lobby who insist on transgender affirmation to prevent suicide of gender-confused young people:
Children are encouraged, affirmed and assisted in “coming out” as transgendered without one word about the consequences of the dangerous game of “gender make-believe.” Today, the politically correct response expected from adults, especially parents, is to affirm the child in the desired gender. But affirmation gives young people false hope that they can really become a different gender. It’s a lie—a lie told with compassionate motives, but a lie nonetheless. Lying is not compassion.
Iconic social and political critic, Camille Paglia, a professor who describes herself as “transgender,” also provides her customary bold perspective on the topic of gender ideology in a recent interview with the Weekly Standard.:
Although I describe myself as transgender (I was donning flamboyant male costumes from early childhood on), I am highly skeptical about the current transgender wave, which I think has been produced by far more complicated psychological and sociological factors than current gender discourse allows. Furthermore, I condemn the escalating prescription of puberty blockers (whose long-term effects are unknown) for children. I regard this practice as a criminal violation of human rights.
Paglia confronts the left with its hypocrisy:
It is certainly ironic how liberals who posture as defenders of science when it comes to global warming (a sentimental myth unsupported by evidence) flee all reference to biology when it comes to gender. Biology has been programmatically excluded from women’s studies and gender studies programs for almost 50 years now. Thus very few current gender studies professors and theorists, here and abroad, are intellectually or scientifically prepared to teach their subjects.
Like many Americans, regardless of political persuasion, Paglia says that all individuals deserve to live “free from harassment and abuse.” At the same time, however, she condemns groups who have demanded “special rights, protections, or privileges on the basis of their eccentricity.”
“The cold biological truth is that sex changes are impossible,” she states. “Every single cell of the human body remains coded with one’s birth gender for life. Intersex ambiguities can occur, but they are developmental anomalies that represent a tiny proportion of all human births.”
Americans have built their laws and civic rules around this biological fact because they want to help balance the competing and complementary needs of the two equal, different and matching sexes.
But the “transgender ideology” insists that a person’s biological sex is legally less important than their unverifiable “gender identity,” and also insists that other Americans must agree that men can be women, and women can be men, depending on their hidden “gender identity.” Transgender advocates even oppose any regulation or rule-of-thumb that would help people distinguish between males or females because they oppose any civic distinctions between the two sexes.
This push to bend Americans’ attitudes and their male-and-female civic society around the idea of “gender” has already attacked and cracked popular social rules for how Americans manage their society of men and women, girls and boys.
The pro-gender claims have an impact on different-sex bathrooms, shelters for battered women, sports leagues for girls, hiking groups for boys, K-12 curricula, university speech codes, religious freedoms, free speech, the social status of women, parents’ rights in childrearing, practices to help teenagers, women’s expectations of beauty, culture and civic society, scientific research, prison safety, civic ceremonies, school rules, men’s sense of masculinity, law enforcement, and children’s sexual privacy.
Multiple polls show that strong majority of ordinary Americans oppose the claim by transgender activists, they want sexual privacy in bathrooms and shower rooms — especially in K-12 schools. Even as Americans want to keep their sexual privacy, most are also willing to be polite and friendly to the very few “transgender” people — under 0.3 percent — who wish to live as members of the other sex.
To read more about the “transgender” ideology, visit here.