The Medical Evolution of Gender
A doctor who incorrectly diagnoses patients just to keep them happy deserves not praise but rebuke.
Well-known blogger Matt Walsh recently recounted a difficult conversation with his son after he caught the lad attempting to climb over the second-floor balcony railing. It seems little Walsh Jr. thought he could be Spider-Man. Walsh writes, “I knew it was time to explain that he doesn’t really have super powers. He seemed pretty devastated by the news, but for his own health it was necessary to put an end to this particular fantasy. ‘But I want to be Spider-Man,’ he protested. ‘I know, buddy,’ I said. ‘I wish I could be Spider-Man, too, but Spider-Man is just pretend. If you try to jump over the railing like Spider-Man, you’ll get very hurt.’”
This seems a logical parenting approach: Stop the kid from jumping off a balcony and address the incorrect belief that made him think a leap was a good idea in the first place. Hardly revolutionary. But apparently, it’s radical when kids imagine themselves not a super-hero but a gender not their own.
That common sense is tossed over the balcony, however, when it comes to gender issues. The American Medical Association (AMA) has this week adopted policies endorsing transgenderism — despite enormous evidence of the physical, emotional and psychological harm experienced by those who fantasize themselves the opposite sex.
The Washington Free Beacon reports the AMA’s policymaking group has embraced the belief that gender is “incompletely understood as a binary selection.”
According to the official AMA statement, “Acknowledging that individuals’ gender and sexual identities do not always fit neatly into binary paradigms, delegates to the 2017 AMA Annual Meeting in Chicago took several actions that support broadening how gender identity is defined within medicine and how transgender patients are treated by society.” The group went on to state that “gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and genotypic and phenotypic sex are not always aligned.”
As Walsh pointed out, saving someone from harm often means telling them when their beliefs and feelings don’t align with truth.
But the AMA would rather gain political points than save lives.
Indeed, the group also came out against so-called bathroom bills, claiming, “Laws and policies that restrict the use of public facilities based on biological gender can have immediate and lingering physical consequences, as well as severe mental health repercussions.” Of course, they conveniently ignore the mental health repercussions of transgenderism. Transgender and gender non-conforming adults have a suicide attempt rate of more than 40%, compared with 4.6% for the overall U.S. population.
But please, let’s talk instead about how transgender individuals can now battle suicidal thoughts in any bathroom they choose.
Sadly, this latest descent into madness shouldn’t be too surprising. As Mark Alexander has recounted in detail, the spiral from recognition to acceptance and now endorsement of self-destructive sexually deviant behaviors by the medical community has been at play for decades.
In the 1950s, the first edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) recognized homosexuality as a sociopath personality disturbance. And the 1968 DSM II was updated to classify homosexuality as a sexual deviancy.
This is significant because only by acknowledging that homosexuality and gender dysphoria are concerning and have negative consequences can people in the throes of sexual addictions and confusions be best helped. When we validate harmful behaviors, we close the door on help and hope and instead confine individuals to the statistics of higher suicide attempt rates as well as higher instances of sexually transmitted diseases, not to mention the psychological trauma of those who pursue sex changes and live to regret it.
And that’s to say nothing on the trauma suffered by family and friends of transgendered people.
Yet, amid the sexual revolution, the AMA abandoned any pretense of caring for people and instead caved to political pressure and removed homosexuality as a mental disorder in DSM III in 1973. Now, they’ve gone a step further and rejected the reality of gender entirely by basically saying it’s whatever someone fantasizes it to be.
A doctor who incorrectly diagnoses patients just to keep them happy deserves not praise but rebuke. The AMA may be congratulating itself on its progressivist acceptance of transgenderism. But the result will be thousands of people who desperately need help and instead are prodded to jump off the second-story balcony, where the fantasies they embrace will not save them.