Being Schooled About Transgenders

The days are long gone when the public school systems across the country focused on teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic. Education these days involves indoctrination, far more than teaching children to think clearly and to recognize demagoguery and propaganda. Too often, our schools -- from pre-school to graduate programs -- are saturated with so-called "progressive" ideology.  Even when they cannot read or do basic math, children can spout the latest cultural truism, what Justice Scalia might term "argle-bargle." They know where to buy condoms or obtain birth control; they "know" that global warming is the greatest threat facing mankind. And, today, it is becoming perfectly normal for "transgender" students to pop in and out of whichever bathroom they want to use.

In the latest push to normalize people who believe they were born the wrong gender and want to live as the opposite, elementary school girls in a Colorado school district were ordered by a court to share their bathroom with a boy who wishes he were a girl.

Coy Mathis, a six-year-old boy born a triplet with two sisters, self-identifies himself as a girl and has done so with his parents' help since he was a toddler. They refer to him as "her" and tell the story of a five-month-old Coy picking up his sister's pink blanket as their first indication their son wanted to be a girl. Over the next few years, Coy -- surprise, surprise -- wanted to play with the same toys as his sisters. His parents report that he wasn't interested in playing with toys aimed at boys, such as cars, dinosaurs, and monsters. Then Coy began to "refuse" to leave their house unless he was wearing girls' clothes. [Did his parents not understand that most children push the limits with their parents on one issue or another -- for the simple ego gratification of having their own way whenever possible? Children, in fact, manufacture opportunities to test their parents' authority; it is part of human nature, but children become very insecure -- and little tyrants -- when they, not the parents, are in control.]

In first grade, Coy demanded that he be allowed to use the girl's bathroom; the school system made accommodations. He was allowed to use the bathroom in the teacher's lounge or the one in the nurse's office. He and his parents were not satisfied with that accommodation; they hired a lawyer and sued the school system. The lawyer portrayed the case as a civil rights issue: they argued that making Coy use the teacher's or nurse's bathrooms instead of the girl's bathroom was akin to "separate but equal" conditions. Never mind that Coy was free to use the boy's bathroom, because all things being equal, he is a boy.

The court ruled that Coy must be allowed to use the girl's bathroom. So what about the privacy rights of little girls? No one asked them how they feel sharing their bathroom with a boy. Their rights are ignored, in order to cater to one child's desire to be recognized as a female -- a six-year-old child! In a footnote to the story, Coy's family has since moved to another town due to health reasons related to another of their children. The new school district is going to have to deal with this now, and the girls in his original school district will not have to share a bathroom with a boy, at least for now.

What happens as Coy gets older? Will he be allowed to shower with girls in high school gym class? Will girls who do not want to undress in locker rooms in front of him be forced to make other arrangements so as not to offend Coy? Where does it end?

Coy's parents claim they were worried about bullying and stigmatization because he could not use the girl's bathroom. Say what?  It is one thing if Coy dresses up and acts like a girl at home; that's nobody else's business. But to demand that little girls have to share a bathroom with a boy because he wants to be a girl is a sure recipe for bullying.

And what about the girl or girls who refuse to share the bathroom? Will they be bullied with accusations of "intolerance?"

The Washington Post has run a couple of articles about a girl named Kathryn who insisted from the age of two that she was a boy. At the age of four a psychologist who specializes in treating transgenders convinced the parents to let Kathryn live as a boy and allow her to call herself "Tyler." They found a kindergarten that allowed Kathryn to register as a boy named Tyler. The school lets her use the boy's bathroom but gave her instructions to always use a stall. How would she use a urinal? Did the school ask the boys how they feel about having a girl in there? Does it matter as long as Kathryn/Tyler is happy?

Coy and Kathryn represent an emerging "gender identification" issue.  The American Psychiatric Association added a new category -- "Gender Identity Disorder" -- to the 1980 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-III (DSM-III) and recently changed the name to "Gender Dysphoria" in the DSM 5 released in May 2013 "to better characterize the experiences of affected children, adolescents, and adults."  Bear in mind that the DSM serves not just as a diagnostic manual; it is used by ideologues as a means to shape legal and public opinion about conditions.

"Persons experiencing gender dysphoria need a diagnostic term that protects their access to care and won't be used against them in social, occupational, or legal areas." The DSM also notes, "Part of removing stigma is about choosing the right words. Replacing 'disorder' with 'dysphoria' in the diagnostic label is not only more appropriate and consistent with familiar clinical sexology terminology, it also removes the connotation that the patient is 'disordered.'"

Being transgendered does not stop with little boys living as girls or vice versa, but may proceed to taking hormones to stop puberty, cross-sex hormone treatments to modify their bodies (estrogen to males wanting to become females and androgens to females wanting to become males) and, for some, eventual gender reassignment surgery when they are older than 18. If the youth starts the cross-sex hormone treatments "prior to the development of unwanted secondary sexual characteristics," the drugs will likely cause infertility.

Brain research shows that during adolescence there is tremendous growth in the brain. As I noted in my book Children at Risk, Dr. Jay Giedd, chief of brain imaging in the child psychiatry branch at the National Institute of Mental Health said, "It's sort of unfair to expect [teens] to have adult levels of organizational skills or decision-making before their brains are finished being built." Indeed. Yet psychologists and psychiatrists are encouraging not just teens, but children as young as four and five years of age, to deny their gender and, perhaps, start taking life-altering hormones before puberty.

So what happens when these children change their minds and decide to return to the gender of their birth? If they started the hormone treatments and find themselves infertile later, will school systems be partially responsible for any damages because they encouraged this? Numerous studies of the adolescent brain indicate that brains are not fully formed until the mid-twenties; thus, decisions with long-term ramifications are troubling.  One psychologist noted:

"The fact that the decision making centers of the brain continue to develop well into the early twenties could mean that troubled teenagers still have the time as well as the physiology to learn how to control their impulsive behaviors.

"The results from these studies do not mean that a teenager will always make irrational decisions. They do, however, suggest that teenagers need guidance as their brains develop, especially in the realm of controlling emotional impulses in order to make rational decisions. It is becoming clear that the adolescent brain is a work in progress, and that parents and educators can help this progress along through open communication and clear boundaries."

There are so many questions and areas that present pitfalls regarding this issue that it seems schools should stay out of transgendering altogether. Perhaps if schools focused on teaching the necessary basics and avoided eagerly following the latest pseudo-scientific fads, children would be better prepared for life by the time they graduate. But then, those pushing their warped progressive ideology wouldn't be able to experiment on them.

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