Right Opinion

Peer Pressure Gender Perils

Tony Perkins · Feb. 2, 2019

Parents used to worry about “peer pressure” encouraging their kids to experiment with alcohol or drugs, or to have sex. Now, they have to worry that it may encourage their kids (especially daughters) to change sex altogether.

If you are a parent of a child or teenager, you owe it to yourself to read World magazine’s latest cover story, which addresses the relatively new but expanding phenomenon of “rapid-onset gender dysphoria,” abbreviated “ROGD.”

Advocates for the LGBT movement have long argued that you can diagnose “gender dysphoria” in children who are “consistent, insistent, and persistent” in expressing a discomfort with their birth sex from an early age. Just like we are (wrongly) told about people who identify as homosexual, people who identify as transgender are born that way, we’ve been assured.

Now, however, social trends are evolving so rapidly that even the pseudo-scientists of the sexual revolution are having a hard time keeping up. Children (especially girls) who have successfully navigated childhood without a hint of gender confusion are suddenly, shortly after hitting puberty, declaring that they are the opposite sex (or “genderqueer,” or “agender,” or one of dozens of other “gender identities”).

“What’s going on?” parents ask. “Is this a biological issue?” If it were, we wouldn’t expect such declarations to suddenly emerge from a half a dozen girls in one friend group at the same time. And we wouldn’t expect them to use almost the exact same language in making such declarations.

Last summer, Dr. Lisa Littman of Brown University published a study based on interviews with over 200 parents of children who had experienced “rapid-onset gender dysphoria.” Most of the parents were not social conservatives (85% supported allowing legal civil marriages for same-sex couples), but they were taken aback by what happened to their children.

Two things were common to the parental accounts — neither of which had anything to do with being “born that way.” There was a strong element of “social contagion” at work; and the young people were being coached by websites as to how to demand — and get — puberty-blocking or cross-sex hormones and even, for some, elective double mastectomies. And in 2019, such teens are not inviting persecution to be “true to themselves” — 60 percent of parents thought coming out as transgender increased their child’s popularity at school. “Being trans is a gold star in the eyes of other teens,” wrote one.

FRC’s Cathy Ruse and Peter Sprigg have previously written about the Littman study, and the transgender backlash it provoked. It now seems clear that among the values parents need to instill in children from an early age is an appreciation for how God made them male or female. And limiting children’s time on the internet and social media is not just to make sure they get their homework done.

For more suggestions, see FRC’s A Parent’s Guide to the Transgender Movement in Education.

Originally published here.


A Renewed Focus on an Old Horror


For many, the constant barrage of news in recent days about abortion may seem like a new development. But for the millions of babies killed legally in America for nearly a half-century under Roe v. Wade, the current spotlight on America’s industry of death can’t shine bright enough. The recent celebrations in New York and similar efforts in Virginia show all too clearly that complacency on abortion costs lives. Elections do matter, and we cannot sit idle on the sidelines because lives hang in the balance.

One of the many horrors of abortion is the fact that babies feel pain. And it’s not only in late-term abortions. Obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Ingrid Skop tells us in FRC’s new publication “Top 10 Myths about Abortion,” that the notion that unborn babies can’t feel pain is a myth. In fact, research shows that unborn babies can feel pain at 20 weeks, and most likely earlier, often with greater intensity! Yet abortionists administer no anesthesia as they brutally dismember these children.

This week on our Washington Watch radio program, I interviewed Kansas Congressman Roger Marshall (R), a medical doctor who has delivered over 5,000 babies, about his thoughts on what these recent state abortion efforts mean. What he told me should give pause to even the most callous heart:

“I recall very vividly a baby being brought into our emergency room without an arm. And there was a mother who had obviously just given birth to this baby, and she was hemorrhaging — and of course I rushed to take care of the mom, but I said, ‘What happened?’ And they said she had just had an abortion procedure done and when they pulled the baby’s arm off they realized that this baby was way further along than they had guessed. They had never had a sonogram, and once they pulled the arm off of the baby they said, ‘We better stop this abortion procedure.’ So what they’re talking about now is going to become more commonplace. This will be horrible. This is the worst thing that I have heard of in maybe my entire professional life.”

You can listen to the entire interview with Dr. Marshall here. As you can see from the transcript above, it’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s an important perspective that needs to be heard as the voices of the abortion industry attempt to downplay the gruesome reality of what really happens in abortion.

On Thursday, U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebr.) began the process to get a vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (S. 311). This bill explicitly requires health care practitioners to treat born-alive abortion survivors with the same life saving care they would provide to any other baby born at the same gestational age and requires that these infants be immediately admitted to a hospital. Additionally, it includes criminal sanctions against any health care practitioner who fails to provide the necessary care to an infant born alive and enforces federal law to hold abortionists accountable for intentionally killing a born alive infant after a failed abortion attempt.

There is no better time to support the passage of this bill. Identical legislation has previously passed the House of Representatives in 2015 and 2018, but has never come to a vote in the Senate. Now is the time to ask senators to be against infanticide and for voters to hold them accountable for their votes. The increasing openness to a radical agenda by pro-abortion politicians must be brought to light. Call your U.S. senators at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to support S. 311, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.

Originally published here.


This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.

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