Psychiatrist Paul McHugh: Transgender ‘Folly’ Will ‘Collapse, Just as Eugenics Folly Collapsed’

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 24: L.G.B.T. activists and their supporters rally in support of transgender people on the steps of New York City Hall, October 24, 2018 in New York City. The group gathered to speak out against the Trump administration's stance toward transgender people. Last week, The New …
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One of the world’s most renowned experts on the transgender phenomenon declared in an interview he is “absolutely convinced” the transgender movement is “folly and it’s going to collapse, just as the eugenics folly collapsed.”

In an interview at the end of May with Matthew J. Franck, contributing editor of Public Discourse, Paul McHugh, M.D. the University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, warned puberty is a complex biological process that has been “over-simplified” to the detriment of children with gender dysphoria who are being treated with puberty blockers.

He compared the course of the transgender phenomenon to that of eugenics:

Eugenics was quite as powerful, after all. I’m reassured that we psychiatrists have been everywhere before. Fortunately, Adolf Meyer, my predecessor at Johns Hopkins, was one of the few psychiatrists in the world, really, who said “I don’t think we can go this way with the eugenics movement.” And so I feel I’m in good company by saying this is going to collapse.

“It’s going to collapse, particularly, in relationship to the injury to children, because these people are already beginning to build up evidence for the misdirection they were sent on,” he explained.

McHugh said the drugs are administered at a time when “the child is not prepared to think about what their life would be like.”

“Remember, puberty occurs between nine and fourteen when you’re a girl, and between eleven and fourteen when you’re a boy,” he explained. “These are children.”

The psychiatrist continued:

Anyone who’s had a ten-year-old girl or boy around knows that he or she is under your protective wing, in the sense not only of making sure he or she eats and is not abused today, but that he or she doesn’t make a mistake in their own decisions that will reverberate forever for them. We don’t let them get tattooed, we don’t — I wouldn’t let my daughter have her ears pierced until she turned sixteen. So these are very young children.

McHugh explained that puberty is “a very complex process,” one of the “great transforming neuro-endocrine events in anybody’s life.”

“And we know only some parts of it; we do not know, for example, what triggers puberty,” he noted, observing that, in 2005, the journal Science presented that very question in an article about phenomena science still does not fully understand.

Science responded to the question with, “Nutrition—including that received in utero—seems to help set this mysterious biological clock, but no one knows exactly what forces childhood to end.”

“It’s a big mystery,” McHugh said, adding:

But one of the things we do know is that the human being is very different from the ordinary animal. With the animal, if they successfully go through puberty — and they go through it rather young — at the end of that, fundamentally, they are the complete being that they’re going to be. With human beings, some of the most interesting individuating characteristics of themselves occur only after puberty, probably with a combination of the intellectual powers and the energy that sexual development brings.

“So I don’t think any child — and any parent, for that matter — can make an informed consent to permit the blocking of puberty and the transmission of another sex,” he asserted. “That’s the first thing: you don’t have an idea what you’re doing. So how can you have an informed consent about it? Because nobody knows.”

In December, judges of the U.K.’s High Court who ruled in a case brought by Keira Bell, a 23-year-old woman who began taking puberty blocking drugs when she was 16, and then ultimately detransitioned, came to the same conclusion.

“It is highly unlikely that a child aged 13 or under would be competent to give consent to the administration of puberty blockers,” the judges wrote. “It is doubtful that a child aged 14 or 15 could understand and weigh the long-term risks and consequences of the administration of puberty blockers.”

McHugh observed that if children who believe they should be the opposite sex are permitted to go through puberty normally, without drugs to suppress the process, 85 to 95 percent of them will accept their biological sex.

“But if you give them the puberty blockers at age nine or ten, only 5 or 10 percent at the end of that time will say ‘I don’t want to go on further,’” he warned. “They always want to go on further. Something has changed in them. One of the things that change must be the way their brain is shaped when this triggering comes along for puberty. It gets thwarted.”

“And the idea that it’s all reversible, that’s still very debatable,” McHugh asserted.

Washington Post piece published in January 2020 claimed the effects of puberty blockers are reversible, and cited the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):

Hormone treatment, which can be used to delay puberty, is reversible and medical evidence suggests allowing transgender children to delay puberty until they are 16 can lower their risk for developing mental health conditions, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Children under 18 very rarely undergo sex-reassignment surgery.

The Pediatric Endocrine Society also touted its agreement with “gender-affirming care,” which it said may include, “puberty suppression once puberty has started.”

“This is a reversible treatment that decreases the distress of having the ‘wrong’ puberty,” the Society claimed. “This treatment alone does not cause infertility.”

More physicians, however, have publicly stated the claim that drug treatments, such as puberty blockers, are a “reversible treatment,” is blatantly false.

Dr. Michelle Cretella, executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, said emphatically the Pediatric Endocrine Society’s claim that puberty suppressors are a “reversible treatment” is “a bald-faced lie.”

“There are no long-term studies of puberty blocker use for gender incongruence in children,” Cretella explained to Breitbart News at the time of the Post’s article. “Ergo, no one can say blockers are completely reversible and without harm.”

Cretella also observed in February, during a Heritage Foundation webinar, how the surge in activism in the lucrative field of transgender medicine has led to the “gaslighting” of many more children and teens.

Studies show, she explained, that nearly 100 percent of children who are given puberty blockers to stop normal puberty then go on to request cross-sex hormones, “which means we are sterilizing a great number of emotionally troubled youth.”

“And we already have girls, physically healthy girls, who are being referred for double mastectomies at age 13,” she asserted. “This is institutionalized child abuse. We’re taking emotionally troubled youth, psychologically abusing them by reinforcing their gender, sexual confusion, and then experimenting on them with toxic drugs and mutilating surgeries.”

McHugh said the case of puberty blockers is one that demonstrates “scientists have one great vulnerability.”

“They can be dealing with the most complex issue and try to oversimplify it and make it seem like a simple issue,” he noted. “In this case, we want to make a boy look like a girl — okay, so we’re going to do it with these hormones. Wait a minute: you don’t know this is a complex issue of the brain, neuro-endocrine relationships, hormones,” etc.

“This very, very complex thing is being over-simplified,” McHugh asserted.


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