Michael Swartz / October 12, 2018

Transgender Kids: Eliminating Caring as an Option

From medical studies to media reports, the new “tolerance” is really hurting children.

It was almost unheard of a generation or two ago, but the concept of “transitioning” due to a severe case of gender dysphoria has come a long way in the last decade, and its victims are acting out at an ever-earlier age. It’s now commonplace for public schools to have or at least know of young people who are questioning their birth gender, and school districts are bending over backward to accommodate their feelings du jour, even though the policy can lead to abuses of children who are more secure in their gender identity.

Of course, science has taken note of this as well. Unfortunately, scholarly study on the subject is difficult to come by given the considerable lobby that now represents the small — but exceptionally vocal — minority who see their struggle as one that must be harnessed for political gain. A recent news release regarding analysis of parental reports of what Brown University researcher Lisa Littman termed “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” was quickly pulled by the university amid questions about its methodology. The study wasn’t rigorously scientific, but it did bring up some aspects that, in a less politically charged world, would merit further research.

Littman, who is (at least for now) an assistant professor of the Practice of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown, asserted in her analysis, “Parents have described clusters of gender dysphoria outbreaks occurring in pre-existing friend groups with multiple or even all members of a friend group becoming gender dysphoric and transgender-identified in a pattern that seems statistically unlikely based on previous research. Parents describe a process of immersion in social media, such as ‘binge-watching’ YouTube transition videos and excessive use of Tumblr, immediately preceding their child becoming gender dysphoric.” In other words, it’s a craze among teens right now to rebel by asserting that their birth gender doesn’t match their current perception of themselves.

On the other hand, a similar study of self-reporting (albeit with a much larger group of respondents) was featured prominently in the journal Pediatrics, without significant objection. It focused on suicide rates among transgender youth and adults.

As a response, writing about the exceedingly high suicide rate among girls who were seeking to transition themselves to male, American College of Pediatricians president Dr. Michelle Cretella pointed out, “Unfortunately, the authors of the latest study assume that these disparities [in suicide rate] primarily (if not exclusively) are owing to adverse treatment of trans-identifying youth by society and by their families. … They rule out from the start the possibility that the actual transition from female to male might play a role in aggravating stress and provoking one to suicide.” Cretella adds that the study authors leaned on questionable study data themselves in coming to their conclusion.

On the other side of that divide, the much larger American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has gone full speed ahead in embracing the idea of doing whatever it takes to indulge the belief that some children were born with the wrong gender, with the exception of what they derisively conflate as “‘conversion’ or ‘reparative’ treatment models … used to prevent children and adolescents from identifying as transgender or to dissuade them from exhibiting gender-diverse expressions.” By giving in to transgender activist orthodoxy, the AAP is sending a message that therapists are wrong for trying to assist children in realizing they may be succumbing to peer pressure (as postulated in the Littman study) or taking the constantly LGBT-affirmative culture too seriously, but it’s perfectly fine to lead children down a road where treatment can include puberty-blocking drugs or even radical, body-altering surgery such as a double mastectomy.

The AAP is falling for a political agenda, and it’s not just them. As detailed by author Jane Robbins, all four researchers in a new federally funded National Institutes of Health study are deeply involved as activists in the transgender movement, including a counselor team in a same-sex marriage — at least for now, as one of the pair is transitioning from female to “male.”

“For the sake of their social engineering designs, and in the name of their rigid political orthodoxy,” writes Peter Heck at The Resurgent, “the LGBT political lobby is actively promoting the mutilation of young girls and suppressing all evidence demonstrating the obvious reality that this is a bad idea.”

But that reality may not be obvious. Recently, The Washington Post detailed the story of three-year-old Naya, whose parents (a same-sex couple) would not reveal the gender of the child they were raising, asked friends and relatives to refer only to the child’s name (as opposed to a gendered pronoun), and “gave Naya clothing from both sides of the Target aisle, and boy dolls and girl dolls, and a stuffed dog whose gender and name, according to Naya, were both just ‘Doggy.’” The idea: Let Naya decide what gender Naya is.

As it turned out, Naya decided she was a girl, but the idea of letting a child choose something that should have been patently obvious to anyone who changed her diaper seems an “ignorant delusion.” In other words, as Focus on the Family’s Glenn T. Stanton opines, “Contemporary gender theory is pure ideology. It is not informed by any biological science. It’s never been close enough to science to catch a cold. Science is here. Gender theory is over there. These are two very different things that are not on speaking terms.”

When the only authoritative voices that “questioning” teens hear are those at odds with nature itself, it’s no wonder that calling oneself transgender is somehow cool. Against this anti-scientific assault, we must call out this phenomenon for what it really is: child abuse.

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