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February 2, 2017

BSA Surrenders to Gender Confusion … Again

The Boy Scouts will now accept transgender “boys.”

In what is best described as a cowardly capitulation to the forces of political correctness, the Boy Scouts of America has announced transgender girls who self-identify as boys will be allowed to enroll in scouting programs. “For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organizations, have ultimately deferred to the information on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs,” said a statement released by the organization. “However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.”

Thus another of the nation’s enduring organizations, initially founded in England in 1908 and formally incorporated in America two years later, becomes another collaborator in the progressive war against tradition and common sense. Moreover, it remains to be seen how the Scout oath, and its promises of duty to God and country and a commitment to moral straightness, squares with progressivism’s contempt for “bitter clingers,” its view of America as a nation in need of “fundamental transformation,” and morality that elevates self-identification over biological reality.

The move was engendered by the media-generated controversy surrounding the BSA’s refusal to enroll eight-year-old “Joe” Maldonado following complaints by other parents who apparently had the “temerity” to suggest a biological girl shouldn’t be allowed to join a boys’ organization. Joe’s mother, Kristie, claimed she was “stunned” by the turn of events because her “son” had been enrolled as a member of a Cub Scout Pack in Secaucus, NJ, for about a month, and his status had not been a secret. Moreover, she added, her son had been living as a boy for more than a year and had been accepted as such in school.

In other words, a seven-year old girl claimed to be a boy and his mother’s default position was to accommodate the decision of a child. This despite the fact the American College of Pediatricians insists transgenderism is a “recognized mental disorder in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association.” The Manual further asserts “as many as 98% of gender-confused boys and 88% of gender-confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.”

Many on the Left dismiss such statistics as inaccurate. Dr. James Cantor, on the other hand, collated the data from “three large scale follow-up studies and a handful of smaller ones” related to transgenderism. According to those results, “Roughly 60–90% of trans-kids turn out no longer to be trans by adulthood.”

Unfortunately, for a number of confused or ideologically committed parent s —aided by a cadre of equally committed ideologues in the medical community — allowing children to pass through puberty naturally has become irrelevant. Doctors such as Boston Children’s Hospital endocrinologist Norman Spack insist transgender kids are not being treated soon enough. He advocates puberty blockers for boys between the ages of 12 and 14 and girls between the ages of 10 and 12, lest the biological reality of testicular development and breast development, respectively, make it harder to transition. “It’s becoming clear that the most desirable physical result with the least physical intervention is to prevent pubertal progression in the first place,” Spack said in 2013.

Spacks justifies these life-altering biological manipulations based on “the extensive psychological testing that we do.” Yet at the same time, he admits “we just don’t know enough about the brain.”

In other words, transgenderism is based on theories of how the brain operates.

A 2011 study by the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, states that the “present data do not support the notion that brains of male to female transgenders are feminized.” Former Johns Hopkins psychiatrist in chief Dr. Paul R. McHugh insists transgenderism is a “mental disorder” meriting psychological treatment and that sex change is “biologically impossible.”

Nonetheless, Prof. Robert Sapolsky claims there are “intersex conditions with the transexual brain,” and studies that assert transsexual brains far more resemble those of their identified gender than their birth sex.

Consider the latter studies for the moment, especially within the context that the administration of hormone blockers change kids’ reproductive systems for a lifetime, according to Lisa Brinkmann, a clinical psychologist specializing in gender issues. Or in the context of a 2011 Karolinska Institute study — lasting up to 30 years and following up to 324 people who had received sex-reassignment surgery — that revealed a suicide rate 20 times greater than the comparable non-transgender population.

Now assume the complete validity of those latter studies that essentially assert one can have a female brain trapped in a male body, or vice versa. The essential question then becomes this:

If the medical community’s primary imperative is “first do no harm,” why would members of that community prioritize life-altering hormone treatments and/or major surgery, such as the construction of a vagina or the removal of a penis, over psychological therapy for any patient — much less treatments administered to patients as young as 10?

Political correctness, pure and simple. Northwestern University bioethicist and professor Alice Dreger explains how parents who encourage their kids to transition “are socially rewarded as wonderful and accepting,” while parents who hesitate “are seen as unaccepting, lacking in affection and conservative,” she says.

Those who resist? “In 2012 no one would have thought that defining marriage between one man and one woman, as enshrined in U.S. law, would brand those who do so as motivated by a culpable psychopathology called ‘homophobia,’ subject to fines and near-outlaw status,” writes professor Angelo Codevilla. “Not until 2015-16 did it occur to anyone that requiring persons with male personal plumbing to use public bathrooms reserved for men was a sign of the same pathology.”

Apparently, fear of being branded “pathological,” a.k.a. intolerant, motivated the BSA to abandon 100 years of deferring “to the information on an individual’s birth certificate” in favor of embracing “a war on civilization waged to indulge identity politics,” as Codevilla puts it. A war with “no logical end because feeling better about one’s self by confessing other people’s sins, humiliating and hurting them, is an addictive pleasure the appetite for which grows with each satisfaction,” he adds.

It is an addictive pleasure that requires BSA facilities and campgrounds, along with thousands of boys unfamiliar with “cutting edge” progressive ideology, to adjust to the idea that reality itself can be based on nothing more than self-identification.

Moreover, the BSA, which lifted a ban on gay scouts in 2013, and gay troop leaders and employees in July 2015, will soon learn its latest capitulation is insufficient to satisfy politically correct appetites. Grade schools in Charlotte, NC, and Lincoln, NE, have instructed staff and teachers not to use the terms “boys” and “girls” because they conflict with the transgender agenda of sexual “fluidity.”

It won’t be long before demands to remove the word “Boy” in Boy Scouts — to promote “inclusiveness” — are issued as well.

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