Do Parents Have the Right to Seek Help for Their Children?

Who decides what medical or mental health care is best for your child? Would it surprise you to know that in the mental health arena the ‘age of consent’ is only 13 years of age in Washington?  Like laws surrounding abortion, parents of adolescents are potentially cut out of the decision making and mental health care of their teenage children.

When it comes to mental health treatment for issues of sexual orientation or gender identity, it could be even worse.

Conversion therapy, the use of talk therapy to help children suffering from questions of Sexual Orientation or Gender Dysphoria, was banned in Seattle as of August 2016.

The legislation sponsored by Councilmember M. Lorena González made the practice of conversion therapy on minors by licensed medical or mental-health professionals punishable by fines of up to $1,000. It also prohibits the advertising of conversion therapy.

In 2017, the Washington state senate introduced SB5722, which would extend the ban to minors statewide. When the legislature returns early in 2018, the debate is set to continue.  If such a ban were to pass, parents would not be able to seek mental health treatment for their children who may be struggling with gender identity or sexual orientation issues.

The American Psychological Association (APA) calls transgender, an “umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth.” The diagnosis often assigned these individuals by the clinical community is Gender Dysphoria. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) contains separate criteria for diagnosing it in adults and adolescents versus children.

While it is typically recognized that adult citizens of the United States have full jurisdiction over their own medical choices, those under 18 are considered under the authority of their parents. A debate, on these terms, surrounding the appropriate treatment for children and adolescents who may be transgender is taking shape all around the world.

The Daily Mail recently profiled parents who felt the state-sponsored, National Health Service (NHS) in England was pressuring their kids to go through with medical procedures to change their sex. The article reports that one mother was shocked to find her child being referred to a specialist transgender clinic, after only a 40-minute evaluation. Some of the parents made claims that their children only began hating the biological sex they were born after cases of extreme bullying by other students and that NHS employees refused to listen to their claims.

The rush to label children transgender comes on the heels of the NHS signing a “memorandum of understanding,” which is nearly identical to implementing a ban on conversion therapy. The memorandum makes it illegal for staff to challenge the person’s gender confusion.

It is pertinent to note that the science on this matter has not been settled yet either. There is much debate in the medical community as to whether transgender is a clinical disorder and furthermore if those who don’t adhere to the gender binary deserve protections similar to that which is guaranteed based upon immutable characteristics like race.

Dr. Quentin Vanmeter, a pediatric endocrinologist from the American College of Pediatricians does not view transgenderism as a civil rights issue. He says that transgenderism is a mental health issue, and there is no scientific evidence that it’s a physiological phenomenon. He believes that treating it as if it’s a natural phenomenon and speaking about it as a civil rights issue is doing a disservice to the children struggling with this type of mental illness.

He’s not alone either, former Chief of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Paul McHugh, also believes that being transgender is a psychological problem, not a biological phenomenon. He thinks that transgender individuals should be referred to mental health counseling, not surgery.  A statewide ban such as Seattle’s on talk-therapy for minors dealing with gender dysphoria would make this impossible.

With a degree of doubt cast on the advocacy of LGBT groups painting transgender as a biological phenomenon and not a psychological problem, parents need to be skeptical of hormone therapies and sex reassignment surgery, which hold the potential to alter a child or adolescent’s  life indefinitely.

Parents should have the right to explore all of the options available for their children and adolescents and make the decision that seems most appropriate to them, not the state.

Genevieve Malandra is a contributing writer to Family Policy Institute of Washington.

It All Begins At Home

During the 1850’s Frederick Douglass had a series of conversations with white slave owners about how slavery would affect generations to come.

It was during one of these dialogues that he penned the words, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”  One could also offer this corollary, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair a broken society.”

Even though they were penned well over 150 years ago, these words still ring true today. As we mourn a broken society made up of broken men, we should turn our eyes to take the long view. To repair our nation, we should focus our efforts on our homes and the institutions that directly impact our children.  Raising the next generation of strong children is the best way to repair our broken society.

In fact, you could safely assume that this now famous quote is Biblically-based. Proverbs 22:6 says something strikingly similar: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

The Bible gives parents a process on how to properly instill Biblical values in their children. Deuteronomy 6:5-9 says:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

Scripture commands us to “build strong children” and to raise them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. In the above passage, parents are commanded to keep God’s law always on their hearts and to instruct their children in the teachings of the Bible. God first commands that parents should discuss Scripture at home with their children. This is because the primary education of every child starts in the home. Whether intentionally or unconsciously, all parents teach their children by example, and the home environment lays the foundation for every child’s development.

God wants parents to be deliberate with their time and conscious of their example and make sure that their children are raised with a proper understanding of God’s Word. In ancient Israel, the primary mode of transportation was walking; much time was spent traveling from one place to another. Today’s equivalent would be when you are driving somewhere with your family. The Bible teaches that parents should make use of the time to discuss the teachings of Scripture.

Finally, God teaches that parents should teach their children about the things of God “when you lie down, and when you rise.” Simply put, God says to set aside a time each morning to take a bit and read the Bible to your children. Additionally, God says to take some time as you prepare for bed or assist your children with their bedtime preparations to think of the precepts and principles of Scripture.

Teaching your children about Scripture will take discipline, but the Bible promises that even a rebellious child cannot outrun or forget the principles instilled by faithful parents.

And strong children grow to be healthy men and women, leading a healthy and strong society.

Josh Denton is a contributing writer for Family Policy Institute of Washington.

The Collateral Damage of the War on Reality

As two more recent stories indicate, the war on gender has nothing to do with bathrooms.

In the first story, a Canadian parent wants their child’s birth certificate to be the first to identify a baby as neither male or female. The parent, who identifies as neither male or female, had this to say about the baby.

“I’m recognizing them as a baby and trying to give them all the love and support to be the most whole person that they can be outside of the restrictions that come with the boy box and the girl box.”

While all of this started as a call for compassion for the tiny percentage of the population who feel like they are the “other” gender,  it has quickly led to rejecting the idea that there is anything that can be known from one’s anatomy.

But asking children to reach conclusions about things they know nothing about is self-evidently silly.

When a child asks “What am I?”, it doesn’t help if all the adults look back at them and ask, “I don’t know, what are you?”

The adults are supposed to know things the kids don’t.

Still, it could be worse.

While some parents are choosing not to impose a gender, other parents don’t have the same patience.

In this story, three, queer parents of a three-year-old that they dubbed “queerspawn” have determined that their child is transgender.  The author of this story describes himself as transgender and asexual.  He says this about the child.

He was assigned female at birth, but his non-conforming behavior was clear and consistent from day one. It started with his hair. He hated wearing it long, and he hated it when we did anything with it. No ponytails, no braids — nothing. He also refused to wear dresses and skirts.

The child probably can’t be trusted to sleep through the night without wetting the bed, but we’re supposed to believe she has a grasp on gender norms as expressed through hair length and clothing and the awareness to understand both their significance, how to reject them, and the consequences of doing so.

While sure their child is transgender, they now wonder whether she will be queer as well.

I don’t wish him any more marginalization and oppression than he’ll already face as a trans person. But I can’t help but think that if he’s queer, there’ll be yet another community he can join, another supportive place for him to vent about that oppression. There are other queer people who will listen and sympathize with him beyond his family. He will need those people when he gets older and flies away from us.

Some parents hope their kids have an adventure, a healthy family, a place that makes them happy, and life-long love.

Other parents label their three-year-old transgender, hope she is attracted to men, which they say would make her gay because they think she’s a boy, and then hope she finds a community to vent about oppression.

Sadly, in 2017, this qualifies as parenting.

I have no doubt these parents want the best for their child.

But it’s hard to know what is good for your child when your view of the world has replaced the concepts of “good” and “bad” with “preferred” or “not preferred.”

We can all understand the appeal of a world is which nothing is inherently wrong, and the only possible consequences of our behavior were environmental which would allow us to manage the fallout by simply fixing the environment.

If, however, that world doesn’t actually exist, if our pursuit of our preferences continues to collide with the natural laws of the universe, the only actual outcome of our pursuits will be pain.

As is usually the case when adults make mistakes, kids will end up as collateral damage in our war on reality.

 

 

WA School District Spends Remaining Budget on Pro-LGBT Safe Space Training

A month ago, FPIW reported on the Snohomish School District‘s payment of over $14,000 to a group that advocates transgenderism in children.

Now, according to documents obtained through a public records request, FPIW has learned that North Thurston Public Schools (NTPS) spent money last year on “safe space training,” provided by the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN).

The money was frantically spent at year-end to avoid losing budget resources for the next year.

Funds were also used to purchase GLSEN student resource kits that were placed in school nurse offices.

The GLSEN safe space training contains questionable content for high schools. The kits encourage teachers to become LGBT allies (the student resource kits presumably include the same information):

  • Teachers are told to integrate pro-LGBT material into their classrooms by adding “positive representations of LGBT people, history and events” and “LGBT literature” in the curriculum.
  • Teachers are instructed not to assume a student’s gender and to use gender inclusive language (i.e., “partner” instead of “boyfriend/girlfriend” and the pronoun “they” instead of “he/she”).
  • Teachers are encouraged to “validate [their students’] gender identity and expression.”
  • Schools are urged to adopt gender-neutral locker rooms and bathrooms, “Valentine’s Day celebrations inclusive of LGBT and non-coupled students,” and “proms, homecoming and athletic events that allow for gender-neutral alternatives to ‘King’ and ‘Queen.’”

Additionally, in an email to a state education official sent in June 2015, an NTPS district official lamented that they weren’t able to purchase and assemble Planned Parenthood “birth control kits” for health teachers before the deadline.

The NTPS official stated that the birth control kits would be purchased from Planned Parenthood in 2016. It’s unclear whether the District ended up buying the kits this year. We’ve reached out to the District for comment.

The American Family Association has identified GLSEN as promoting “anti-Christian bigotry” and intolerance toward Christianity. With this in mind, it’s troubling that NTPS seems to have a close relationship with GLSEN.

We agree with GLSEN that students struggling with same-sex feelings or gender dysphoria deserve to feel safe at school. Of course all students deserve respect.  However, public schools shouldn’t teach young children that these behaviors are healthy and normal – and that’s exactly what GLSEN student resource kits do.

Moreover, many North Thurston parents who hold traditional values contrary to those presented in GLSEN safe space training and student resource kits would be shocked to find out what their children are being taught.

The GLSEN safe space training and student resource kits were purchased with NTPS grant money from Exemplary Sexual Health Education (ESHE), an initiative that is partly funded through grants from the Center for Disease Control and administered by the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Fourteen school districts in Washington State are part of the ESHE initiative.

Shoving Men Into Women’s Spaces Isn’t Progress

The day my dad enrolled me in an after school teenage boys’ basketball training program, I cried.

At age 13, I was already 5’11’’ and weighed 125 pounds — an awkward conglomeration of gangly knees, elbows, and a singular dark eyebrow that crept across my forehead like a gluttonous caterpillar. If I was going to be this tall, you might as well put a ball in my hands and see what happens, right?

Everything about the scenario was painful.

In retrospect, my dad had the right idea. He knew that practicing with boys would improve my game, and it did. I made the varsity squad as a sophomore, set a couple school records for shot blocking, and eventually earned a significant scholarship at a small college. I was a pretty good basketball player.

For a girl.

There, I said it. The feminist in me recoils at reading those words, but the truth teller in me can’t help but admit the biological reality that presents, in exaggerated fullness, during high school: there’s an undeniable physical difference between the sexes that cannot be overcome by sheer willpower or wishing.

On my own team, I never lost a set of lines, I finished first in most of the conditioning drills, and worked my tail off to be on the starting squad. But at after school training? Even the C-Team boys were lapping me on the track, beating me down the court, and lifting more than double my maximum efforts in the weight room.

I was overpowered. I felt “less than.”

Why am I telling you all this? I share it because it highlights one of the most prominent challenges so many females experience as they navigate life and especially as they navigate the oh-so-painful world of high school: we walk around with the keen understanding that, in many ways, we are perceived as “less than” our male counterparts. There are certain realms where we know we will have to work twice as hard to exist. There are other realms where we know it’s unlikely we will ever really have a role. Think, for example, of the NBA or the NFL.

Now don’t get me wrong; there are some phenomenal female athletes who can dance circles around men in certain areas. Serena Williams and Diana Nyad come immediately to mind. But as a whole, women innately know that they won’t be respected or validated in certain spheres. Thus, it becomes incredibly important for us to have our own unique qualities and experiences specific to us.

Men and women were created different in function but equal in value. But there’s a power differential in play, and women often end up on the losing side of it. That’s why Title IX came to exist in the first place — to carve out space for women like me to participate and thrive without being bulldozed or eclipsed by men.

But recent history has seen so many of these spaces being erased by pervasive and incredibly foolish gender identity politics that, 99% of the time, only really serve to benefit anatomical males who believe themselves to be female. I was irritated when I read that a 6’6’’ male was given a spot on the women’s basketball team at Mission College in California and that he went on to be named an All-American who led the league in rebounds and helped his team win the championship game. All I could think about was how some poor girl somewhere would not get a chance to play college basketball because someone decided to give her spot to a man.

I rolled my eyes when I read that a transgender man (a biological woman) had given birth to a child, as though this was somehow newsworthy. (Women have been bearing children since the dawn of time. It’s one of the many amazing things we were designed to do.)

And it upset me to hear that President Obama had decreed from on high that women’s homeless shelters (where abused women regularly go to escape men) will now be open to men.

But when I read that a high school in North Carolina had elected a teenage boy as its homecoming queen, I was admittedly surprised by the intensity of the emotional response the news solicited within me.

Gender identity politics are offensive on so many levels. For one thing, the widespread indulging of obvious delusion makes idiots of us all.  In fact, I shudder to think what the history books will say about this modern day retelling of The Emperor’s New Clothes and the seemingly epidemic courage deficit in rightly naming it. But beyond the obvious insult to our intelligence, the trans-agenda is essentially ushering in the erasure of women and obliterating the idea that females have anything unique to contribute to the world.

As previously illustrated, high school can be rough for girls who are struggling to find their place in the greater scheme of things, especially as it relates to the boys around them. In theory, a homecoming queen is supposed to be representative of the best of these girls — a female who navigates life with confidence, kindness, poise, and dignity. Homecoming queen is supposed to be a position to which girls can aspire.

What does it say then, when, of all the girls in the entire high school, none of them are deemed good enough to win the title of homecoming queen? What does it say when the best possible candidate to represent high school girls is actually a high school boy?  Most heartbreaking of all, what does it say about these girls when they choose female erasure for themselves?

The mainstream media covers this story from an angle that celebrates the open-mindedness and compassion of these high school students in their “bold decision” to “affirm and embrace” this boy’s illness. But it’s a shallow celebration, devoid of any wisdom or foresight.

True compassion should never require women to compromise the things that belong to their dignity. True compassion should never require people to compromise reality for fantasy. True compassion should never strip high school girls of one of the very few things that rightly belongs to them in order to give it to a boy.

Tammy Wynette hit the nail on the head when she sang, “Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman.”

It’s especially hard to be a woman when we are no longer legally allowed to clearly define what that means. And it’s going to be even harder when an entire generation of girls has successfully been trained to believe that their erasure is somehow progress.

The day we allow that to happen, we won’t just FEEL like we are “less than.” It will actually be true.

Not on my watch.

Trans Activists Trying to Make Parents Decide: Castration or Suicide?

By Silence*

Disagree with transgender activists for very long at all and they’ll probably accuse of you of causing the deaths of transgender people.

That was the case when a feminist conference planned an event where they would sell cupcakes decorated to look like women’s genitalia. The organizers were told that linking the idea of women with female reproductive organs was, “literally the primary tenet of trans-exterminatory feminism* and that branch of feminism has literally killed** trans women.” They were told, “Trans women are dying and you are aiding and abetting in that. You are complicit in that. YOU ARE KILLING*** TRANS WOMEN WITH YOUR BELIEFS.”

To be clear, the deadly belief in question is that the word “woman” means an adult female human. Transgender advocates may insist that this idea originated with white colonialists**** and is now maintained only by religious people and radical feminists, a claim so silly it’s embarrassing to even repeat.

(But thanks for the idea about talking to conservatives, that was a good tip! Next thing you know, social justice overachievers will call for the abolishment of criminal penalties for rape, and I wonder how they’ll paint the cross-partisan opposition to that? Hold on. Sorry. Not funny. They have already begun to call for the abolishment of criminal penalties for rape. If you don’t agree, you’re “carceral.”)

After a flood of other abuse, the event was cancelled. It’s not the only time a like-themed feminist event was challenged for this reason. It’s hard to know what to say to people who claim to be mortally threatened by a simple cupcake party, without any threats made or any hate symbols displayed.

More recently, University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson declared that he didn’t want to be compelled by law to use the singular, gender-neutral “they,” or other preferred pronouns, for students. When accosted over these beliefs by a student who claims to be non-binary and wants to be called they, as this video shows, it only takes about three and a half minutes for the professor to be accused of being complicit in transgender homelessness, unemployment, and suicide. At the 4:28 mark, the student accuses the professor of creating alienation that results in suicide.

The transgender activist argument for disagreement as mortal threat has two parts.

In the first place, there are violent men who may assault or kill transgender people because they feel threatened by uncertainty about the other person’s sex. Often, these men are connected to the sex trade or other illegal activities. No one in transgender activism makes this connection, because they usually support the full legalization of the sex trade and so refuse to face the root of much of the problem. They also don’t want anyone talking about the death rates for prostituted women, which are similarly high because the sex industry is traumatic and the pimps and customers (graphic content warning) are often especially violent people.

Secondly, there are claims made that transgender persons have a very high suicide rate. The issue calls for discretion and respect; no one should do themselves harm nor be encouraged to do so. But a suicide threat made to compel obedience is a common tactic of domestic abusers. It is manipulative and cruel. A distinction has to be made between sensitively dealing with at-risk populations and giving in to abusive threats, or accepting deeply flawed excuses for terrible behavior.

As unnerving as such accusations of harm are, and they are routine in any disagreement with transgender activists, some people are more vulnerable to these comments than others. None more than the parents of minors who’ve come to believe that they’re trapped in the “wrong” body for their personality.

Public mob activism and misguided laws have made it increasingly difficult for therapists and medical professionals to recommend any option besides chemical castration for young patients who have trouble fitting into sex stereotyped roles. Institutions and practitioners have rushed to cash in. Some parents are enthusiastic about the idea of transitioning their children. Yet others still sometimes resist the intense pressure to treat their children’s psychological or social distress with sterilization.

For these families, there’s the suicide threat. Sometimes, peer encounters on message boards or elsewhere coach would-be transitioners to ask the question of whether the parent wants “a dead son or an alive daughter” (graphic content warning.) Sometimes, the dire warning comes from a medical professional, as it does in the following video, where Diane Ehrensaft explains how she convinces nervous mothers and fathers to accept the chemical castration of their young children.

Diane Ehrensaft: Parents need to be “worked with” to consent to sterilizing their 11-year-old “trans” kids from 4th Wavenow on Vimeo.

Never mind the questionable nature of widely reported statistics on transgender suicide. Never mind the simplistic and sensational reporting, which ignores all the recommended guidelines about preventing suicidal contagion. Never mind that some parents of autistic children, who are already at greater risk of suicide, worry that their children are being wrongly diagnosed as transgender.

No, it’s allegedly “child abuse” to ask any questions about whether transsexual medical experiments are an appropriate treatment for children. It’s not up for debate.

According to the transgender movement, everyone must just keep asking if they want children sterilized or dead. Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead? Sterilized or dead?

Though maybe, hear me out, a boy wanting to wear a Dora the Explorer costume isn’t a medical emergency?

* – There is no such thing as trans-exterminatory radical feminism. “TERF” is a slur (graphic content warning.)

** – Not true. Sexual dimorphism isn’t a feminist plot, deadly or otherwise.

*** – Still not true, or how can any of you survive the existence of biology textbooks?

**** – I’m not an anthropologist, but it seems to me that people from outside of Western Europe had also figured out how babies are made before white people showed up.


*Silence is the pseudonym of a radical, progressive feminist.

“For reasons of personal safety and livelihood, I cannot disclose my real identity. But I can tell you this much: I’m a progressive feminist who has spent years working on the front lines of the left. I have opposed conservatism my entire political life in the most strident of terms; under other circumstances, I wouldn’t admit to even reading this site.”

October: Seattle Children’s Hospital to Prep Children for Gender Transition

Seattle Children’s Hospital will open a clinic for transgender youth sometime in October.

Doctors trained in “transgender care” will provide puberty blockers, cross-sex hormone therapy, and mental health support to children struggling with their gender identity. The Gender Clinic will refer children seeking sex reassignment surgery to other medical providers.

The clinic, which is funded by a grant from the Pacific Hospital Preservation & Development Authority, will serve children between eight and 21 years old.

Seattle Children’s claims that treating transgender children early in life allows them to better integrate into society, despite growing evidence that treating gender dysphoria with puberty blockers and hormone therapies can irreversibly harm young children.

In a statement entitled “Gender Ideology Harms Children,” the American College of Pediatricians outlines the risks associated with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormone therapies.

Puberty blockers prevent a child from beginning puberty. Children using puberty blockers find their growth and fertility inhibited, sometimes permanently. Their sexual organs never fully mature, leaving them deprived of the ability to reproduce and without the physical characteristics associated with either sex. Heartbreakingly, this can leave them feeling as if they belong to neither biological sex.

There are also health risks associated with these treatments. Puberty blockers decrease bone density and may hinder brain development. Cross-sex hormone therapy increases the risk of high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke, and cancer.

Dr. Paul McHugh, the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, likened these medical interventions to “child abuse,” noting that “close to 80% of such children would abandon their confusion and grow naturally into adult life if untreated.”

Other research summarized by the American Psychiatric Association suggests as many as 98% of boys and 88% of girls who struggle with gender dysphoria as children will no longer identify as the other gender after finishing puberty.

Troublingly, the majority of adolescents who will stop identifying as the other gender may be unable to revert to their biological sex if they received puberty blockers and cross-sex hormone treatments.

The American College of Pediatricians warns that “children and adolescents are incapable of making informed decisions regarding permanent, irreversible and life-altering medical interventions.”

We agree. Activist doctors shouldn’t encourage children to undergo unnecessary and potentially harmful and irreversible medical treatments – and that’s exactly why the news about the Seattle Children’s Gender Clinic is so concerning.

Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and 2016 Research Fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.

The Important Difference Between Sex and Gender

By Silence*

Second trigger warning: Zack Ford

Earlier this week, we talked about how Zack Ford at ThinkProgress, an editor at one of the most respected publications in left-wing politics, has begun advocating forcible genital amputation for children.

Let’s get back to wondering how anyone can be as cheerfully self-satisfied as Zack Ford about promoting the sterilization of minors as an uncontrolled exercise in off-label intervention for body dysphoria, social alienation, or depression. Because there is almost no data available on the long-term effects of these treatments, since hardly anyone has been systematically tracking patients.

Medicare won’t even cover transsexual medical treatments because there isn’t enough evidence about patient outcomes.

The drugs used weren’t developed for this purpose. Patients receiving them haven’t been consistently studied for side effects over the roughly two decades that this type of treatment has been more commonly taking place. Calling these interventions “experimental” is praise they don’t deserve, given the way they have been haphazardly administered and monitored in these off-label uses.

Parents are diagnosing their kids off of YouTube. Kids are self-diagnosing off of Reddit forums where they’re told by complete strangers that if they’re questioning, they’re definitely transgender based on ridiculous stereotypes. Children are being diagnosed by their peers, who tell them that they’re doing gender wrong and seem more like the opposite sex. So when did schoolyard bullying become a clinical diagnostic tool?

One clinician tried to enact the “watchful waiting” protocol recommended by every major medical body that’s studied the issue, in light of the fact that well over 70 percent of children with gender or sex dysphoria eventually grow out of it. Trans activists threatened him, spread lies about him, got him fired, and got his entire clinic shut down.

Maybe dysphoric young people could be allowed to be a little different than their peers and no one would have to read much into it?

If conservatives were proposing that sex stereotype-nonconforming, mentally ill, or developmentally disabled kids be sterilized, liberals would be organizing capitol building shutdowns in protest of this alarming eugenics revivalbordering on genocide. But liberals are proposing it using words that make everyone feel like they need an advanced degree to just repeat them. So no protests.

The transgender activist lobby has done everything in their power to mainstream the radical feminist idea that sex and gender are different, which is true, as the American College of Pediatricians says. Your biology doesn’t have anything to do with wearing pants, putting on makeup, or playing with certain children’s toys. Your sex doesn’t have anything to do with whether you’re shy or like math. Sex doesn’t determine personality or ability.

Then these activists said that you couldn’t use the term transsexual because not everyone who isn’t a sex stereotype wants to get medical treatment to change their bodies. That’s also true. But then they started using sex and gender interchangeably, and confusingly, while normalizing medical treatment at ever-younger ages.

This chain of reasoning is hiding the fact that they’re trying to sell the world on the idea that there are transsexual children. Every time you read about transgender children, replace that term with transsexual, and see how you feel about it.

Ultimately, this all means that the gender identity activist lobby believes there are children who need sterilization and genital amputation as minors in order to not kill themselves. If this sounds terrible, that’s because it is. That’s probably why they don’t just come out and say what they want.

Where were these children before surgery was available? Where were all the boys who insisted that they would die if not castrated? Where were all the girls who insisted that they would die if they couldn’t cut their breasts off? Since when has it been conclusively proved that genital amputation is a good treatment for depression?

These medical procedures have been called everything from essential health care, to gender confirmation, to sex reassignment. One thing is certain about them though: they can’t make someone the other sex. They can chemically castrate you or amputate your gonads, but they can’t give you functional, opposite-sex reproductive organs.

Here are other things you should know about sex and gender.

2015 study of teenagers being treated at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles gender clinic showed that their hormone levels before treatment were normal for their actual sex. A 2013 study found no genetic anomalies in the sex-determining chromosomes for adult male transsexuals. The true intersex conditions that transgender activists cite as proving that biological sex is a “construct” only affect 0.018 percent of the population, and everyone else has an obviously male or female reproductive system. Intersex conditions are separate from, and rarely have anything to do with, gender identity claims.

A very robust 2015 study of brain differences by sex found that there is almost no brain difference by sex. Even differences in spatial rotation ability appear to be influenced by socialization and aren’t “hardwired.” In the words of one neuroscientist: “There is not one aspect of the brain even which if a scientist looked at it they could tell whether it came from a man or a woman.” If you can’t say that a man has a male brain, how can you say he has a female brain?

Yet Zack Ford holds up a thin review of several small studies as conclusive evidence that gender identity conditions are biological, in much the same way as eye color or height. This is from the introduction of that review:

“Gender identity is a fundamental human attribute that has a profound impact on personal well-being. Transgender individuals are those whose lived and identified gender identity differs from their natal sex. Various etiologies for transgender identity have been proposed, but misconceptions that gender identity can be altered persist. However, clinical experience with treatment of transgender persons has clearly demonstrated that the best outcomes for these individuals are achieved with their requested hormone therapy and surgical sexual transition as opposed to psychiatric intervention alone.[1] In this review, we will discuss the data in support of a fixed, biologic basis for gender identity.”

Do you believe that there are really transsexual toddlers and preteens? Do you believe that men who’ve married and fathered children, then transition to live as women, are the right people to treat as expert authorities on the need for the sterilization of children based on their own mid-life worries about appearance?

I’ve read a girl’s interest in toys like dinosaurs and Legos being taken as proof she was really a boy. This should be terrifying to any other grown woman who enjoyed Legos or reading about dinosaurs as a child. Would we now be tracked into testosterone treatment and a mastectomy? This isn’t progress. It’s a warning to children that they need to play with the “right” toys, and wear the “right” clothes, and not do anything to stand out from the crowd at school, or they may be socially transitioned and sterilized before they’re old enough to know what that means.

This August, a young woman who transitioned and had a mastectomy at the age of 17, at a clinic that now claims a 0% desistance rate in pediatric transition, asked other detransitioning women to answer a survey. She heard back from 203 of them, but transgender health professionals are already dismissing these experiences. It’s worth clicking over and reading through, because people like Zack Ford would like to pretend that these women don’t exist, and they should know better, because this isn’t new.

It’s just inconvenient for people who want to convince the public that there are children who were born needing to be neutered.

So if you have kids, you don’t have to be guilted by anyone into letting a doctor cut your daughter’s breasts off, or hollow out your son’s testes, because they might look wrong when they get older. You don’t have to let anyone tell your child that their entire body is “wrong” and a tragic birth defect, or be made to feel like a monster because you think they’re perfect as they are. You don’t have to believe, because it isn’t true, that a minor is ready to decide whether or not they might ever want children as an adult.

It’s not a hate crime to tell a child, as their parent, that you’re going to do your best to get them to 18 in one piece, in as healthy a body as they could have. It’s not a hate crime to refuse to treat teenage depression or anxiety, especially if it’s caused by bullying at school, with hormone blockers, cross-sex hormones, breast binders, or genital surgery.

Zack Ford thinks he’s protecting vulnerable people from bullies. What he’s doing is helping pressure vulnerable kids into thinking that hormones and surgery will fix the (common as dirt) feeling that they don’t fit in, and unethically holding the threat of suicide over the heads of worried parents. You don’t have to take his warped perspective seriously.


*Silence is the pseudonym of a radical, progressive feminist.

“For reasons of personal safety and livelihood, I cannot disclose my real identity. But I can tell you this much: I’m a progressive feminist who has spent years working on the front lines of the left. I have opposed conservatism my entire political life in the most strident of terms; under other circumstances, I wouldn’t admit to even reading this site.”

Gender Warriors Advocating Forced Genital Amputation of Children

by Silence*

Trigger warning: Zack Ford

Zack Ford’s recent post at Think Progress, where he comes out strongly in favor of sterilizing and/or amputating the genitals of minor children in response to the American College of Pediatricians, is so reflexively contrarian, I worry about what would happen if the ACP released a statement opposing jumping off cliffs.

Ford is the LGBT Editor at ThinkProgress.org, affiliated with the highly influential Center for American Progress. Think Progress is shared widely on Capitol Hill, and is a commonly-read news source for anyone working on the political left. Whether you’ve heard of the site or not, when an editor at Think Progress feels comfortable promoting chemical castration for misfit children, you can be sure that they’re speaking from within the political comfort zone of the highest ranks of the Democrat Party and its allies.

Putting aside the uncommon phrases and words you may see in stories about so-called ‘transgender children’, a large number of gender warriors ignore the fact that a common side effect of putting a young child on “reversible” puberty blockers, and then giving them high doses of cross-sex hormones throughout their adolescent development window, is lifetime sterility. That’s before anyone goes under the knife, though cosmetic genital surgery is being pushed at ever-earlier ages as well.

Transitioning teens are even being chemically sterilized in front of an adoring nation on YouTube and on reality TV. It’s a spectacle of depravity for entertainment unparalleled since the castrati sang to packed opera houses in Europe. In cruelty, it matches the British government’s chemical castration of gay WWII codebreaker, Alan Turing.

When you watch these “heartwarming” transgender child stories — the ones where the kids look like they’re 11 at the age of 14 because they’ve been on hormone blockers for years — of parents giving their children cross-sex hormones, you’re watching the likely chemical sterilization of a child as an entertainment. If you like to think of yourself as a nice liberal, you probably watch these videos to feel good about your own broadmindedness.

It’s as if Toddlers and Tiaras was co-ed and gave the pageant winner a free tubal ligation or vasectomy. Pass the popcorn!

Meanwhile, Zack Ford and the transgender activist movement seem to be suggesting that all the weird little kids need to be encouraged to have their gonads destroyed before they’re old enough to even try them out.

Here’s a seven-year-old who seems to be transitioning because he wanted a Hello Kitty backpack and had a history of liking the colors pink and purple. This sounds like punishing children’s fashion tastes with castration.

Here’s a six-year-old boy who likes Barbie and wearing dresses. Because no one wants to hurt his self-esteem by telling him that what he’s wearing is wrong, they’re prepping him for body modification as if his entire body is wrong. Why are clothing choices a medical problem?

Here’s a teenager who seems to be transitioning because she wanted to get out of shaving her legs. Why does she have to shave her legs? Why is the better option a possible lifetime of hormone therapy that makes the doctors for the former East Germany’s Olympics team look like hobbyists?

There’s a four-year-old being socially transitioned and prepared for medicalized sex alteration in Australia because … why? They are four years old. Who is standing up for this child to say that their guardians and doctors need to respect their bodily integrity?

Ford acknowledges the issue of permanent sterility but seems unworried by it because these children might otherwise look “wrong” when they grow up. This is a reason both sinister and shallow. Ford says that no families are consenting to irreversible procedures. This is wrong, but it isn’t as though he seems to care. He dismisses the question this way:

“ACP wants to force trans kids to go through the wrong puberty, which would guarantee changes that could intensify their gender dysphoria, to avoid the risk of one possible side effect if they don’t. It’s actually proof of the double standard that Serano outlined — that it’s okay for a transgender kid to go through the wrong puberty, but not a cisgender kid.”

The “wrong puberty,” in this case, means not attaining reproductive maturity at all. This is serious, where Ford and his compatriots seem utterly dismissive. It should be frightening to parents, educators, and medical professionals, who might have thought that surely no one would be cavalier about minors being denied the possibility of ever having their own children. To Ford, this is just “one possible side effect.”

So it’s worth thinking about what Ford means when he refers to transgender kids. Many people react to this term as though we’re talking about a newly discovered sex of person, or as though the word transgender meant a different species. If there were such a physical classification, there would be a lab test for it. There isn’t one, unless children’s self-reported dissatisfaction with the prospect of growing up now counts as a modern scientific revelation.

Instead, the majority of children who go through what has been classed as gender dysphoria, somewhere between 60 to 90 percent of them, once stopped identifying as the opposite sex. But according to the study Zack Ford quotes, the “best outcomes” for children with gender dysphoria, or extreme unhappiness with their expected social roles, come from hormone treatments and surgical sexual transition. In other words, he mainly means to class these children as transsexuals.

Yes, Zack Ford is pushing the idea that there are transsexual children who urgently require what are known as sex changes because they are otherwise doomed to unhappiness. Instead of suggesting treatment for what sounds like depression, transgender ideologues want kids on hormones. Though cross-sex hormones won’t give a person an alternate reproductive system, and “sex change” or “gender confirmation” surgeries can’t change sex. These treatments can damage or remove your gonads, but not give you new ones. Surgeons can remove your genitals, but replacing them is a work in progress.

I was a weird little kid once. So was Rupert Everett, and here’s what he said about that, “I really wanted to be a girl. Thank God the world of now wasn’t then, because I’d be on hormones and I’d be a woman. After I was 15 I never wanted to be a woman again.”

Statistically, Rupert Everett represents the most likely outcome for children with gender dysphoria: they grow out of it. The majority of them used to grow up to be as satisfied with their bodies as anyone else, before they began to be socially transitioned and put on treatments that block the adolescent hormone surges that act to mature the brain as well as the body.

Or too frequently, transitioning children have a condition on the autism spectrum, and they are often girls whose social delays and sensory integration problems make them feel like they’re failures at performing feminine social roles. Sometimes these young people are told lies in their so-called support groups, like that taking testosterone can grow male genitalia for biological females. When you fit in as badly at school as many autistic young people do, I can see wanting to believe that someone can give you a treatment that will fix it.

Now the misfit kids are too often being recruited and groomed at school and over social media to seek genital amputation and sterilization. Some of them are being recruited and groomed by therapists and other medical professionals. A child may end up surrounded by adults who are now forbidden by law to try to help them overcome discomfort with social expectations or their bodies, forbidden to oppose anyone encouraging them down a path of transsexual medicalization.

After an amputation or extraction of the gonads, someone who’s had a full course of transsexual medical treatment is likely to need a lifetime of urgent medical intervention.

Zack Ford writes of avoiding extreme medical intervention as “privileging” one type of person over another, as if it were discriminatory to allow puberty to take its normal, healthy course.

These children aren’t a new sex, they are girls and boys who are often being neutered, if not, groomed from a young age to seek medical de-sexing. How long will the manufacture of new labels for these children hide that from view?


*Silence is the pseudonym of a radical, progressive feminist.

“For reasons of personal safety and livelihood, I cannot disclose my real identity. But I can tell you this much: I’m a progressive feminist who has spent years working on the front lines of the left. I have opposed conservatism my entire political life in the most strident of terms; under other circumstances, I wouldn’t admit to even reading this site.”

Chimeras: The Next Moral Battle You’ve Never Heard Of

In Greek mythology, a chimera was an animal to be feared. Homer and Hesiod described chimeras as fire-breathing hybrid creatures composed of a mixture of animal parts – part lion, part goat, part dragon.

The federal government is now considering funding medical research that would create part-human, part-animal chimeras – research that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops calls “grossly unethical.”

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the federal agency charged with funding and promoting biomedical research, issued a temporary moratorium on funding human-animal chimera experiments last September until it could consider the potential ethical ramifications of such research. Although NIH had not funded human-animal chimera research before issuing the moratorium, other agencies have funded similar research, including the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, California’s state stem cell agency.

NIH recently proposed lifting parts of its moratorium, and it expects to decide before January whether it will begin funding human-animal chimera research. Among the proposed changes include limitations on the types of chimera research it will fund, as well as establishing a steering committee dedicated to providing input on research proposals and monitoring experimental designs.

The proposed changes suggest NIH is creating “a much more permissive environment” when it comes to researching human-animal hybrids, according to one neuroscientist quoted in Science.

But many scientists and ethicists are concerned about the ethical ramifications of creating human-animal hybrids.

“The effort to incubate organs in farm animals is ethically charged because it involves adding human cells to animal embryos in ways that could blur the line between species,” said Antonio Regalado, senior editor for biomedicine for MIT Technology Review.

According to Regalado, chimera research utilizes “advancements in stem-cell biology and gene-editing techniques”:

“By modifying genes, scientists can now easily change the DNA in pig or sheep embryos so that they are genetically incapable of forming a specific tissue. Then, by adding stem cells from a person, they hope the human cells will take over the job of forming the missing organ, which could then be harvested from the animal for use in a transplant operation.”

Some scientists believe that the research might also lead to breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s or cancer treatments.

There exists the possibility, however, that once human stem cells are added to animal embryos, the human stem cells may affect the hybrid animal’s development – possibly even giving hybrid animals some degree of human consciousness or cognitive abilities.

Researchers cannot guarantee that human stem cells intended to create a human pancreas in a pig, for example, will not end up in the chimera’s brain or endow it with human eggs and sperm, enabling it to reproduce part-human offspring.

In its proposal, NIH concedes that “there could be either a substantial contribution or a substantial functional modification to the animal brain by the human cells.”

One year after NIH issued its funding moratorium, ethicists are still wrestling with moral dilemmas like whether these cross-species chimeras should be given legal rights if they develop some form of human cognitive abilities.

“You’re getting into unsettling ground that I think is damaging to our sense of humanity,” said Stuart Newman, professor at New York Medical College.

Some of the human tissue and stem cells used in creating human-animal chimeras are harvested from aborted fetal tissue and human embryos, raising other moral questions.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) says that chimera research results in the “creation and manipulation of new beings,” neither fully human nor animal, “whose very existence blurs the line between humanity and animals.”

“For if one cannot tell to what extent, if any, the resulting organism may have human status or characteristics, it will be impossible to determine what one’s moral obligations may be regarding that organism.”

Human-animal chimera research is currently being performed in labs that receive funding from sources other than the federal government.

Editors for MIT Technology Review estimate that “about 20 pregnancies of pig-human or sheep-human chimeras have been established during the last 12 months in the U.S.” One lab profiled by MIT Technology Review allows its chimeras to grow only to 28 days of gestation because researchers do not yet know how the human cells would contribute to the animal’s development.

Human life deserves to be protected in all stages of life, but human-animal chimera research creates animals that are partially human to be experimented upon or harvested for organs. NIH should realize the enormous risks to human dignity associated with this type of research and rescind its proposal to lift its moratorium.

You can call the NIH at 301-496-4000 or email NIHinfo@od.nih.gov to share your thoughts on this proposal.

Blaine Conzatti is a columnist and 2016 Research Fellow at the Family Policy Institute of Washington. He can be reached at Blaine@FPIW.org.