Does America Want to be the Transgender Leader?
We are told every day that in America we follow the science. If that is so, how can it be that government officials are encouraging pre-pubescent children, with or without parental consent, to make life-altering decisions that lack a firm scientific foundation? It all starts in schools where children declare their pronouns. Some declare minority sex pronouns due to peer pressure or because it’s cool or rebellious. Kids do that. Now the habitual reaffirmation process begins, and it can involve mandatory parental counseling to ensure compliance with the process. With a superficial transgender diagnosis, public schools on the West Coast can already prescribe puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones without parental consent. Blockers must be prescribed at puberty (8-14) to be most effective. In Oregon, schools can authorize a sex change without parental consent.
The FDA has not licensed puberty blockers for trans youths, and no clinical trial has been conducted for this purpose. Literature aplenty states that puberty blockers are mostly safe, with the not incidental caveat of unknown long-term effects. Available science shows that puberty blockers cause lower bone density and may affect brain development. Cross-sex hormone therapies can cause irreversible changes, including infertility, and may contribute to forms of cancer. Like puberty blockers, they are not FDA approved for transgender youth.
Blockers and hormone therapies are leveraged because gender dysphoria can cause depression, but taking these drugs, or even engaging in social transitioning, for example, cross-dressing and name and gender changes, also leads to increased use of drugs and depression as trans youth wrestle with an imposter syndrome. After gender reassignment surgery, the depression obviously doesn’t go away. In this population, one study showed that suicide attempts were 4.8X higher than a control group, suicides 19X higher, and psychiatric hospitalizations 2.8X higher. Trans advocates have discounted the outcomes and pointed to other research that shows positive outcomes, but these studies are qualified with comments like, “the evidence base for sex reassignment is’ of very low quality due to the serious methodological limitations of included studies,’” and research “limitations preclude solid and generalizable conclusions.” The solution is to increase the number of people that have taken cross hormones and had gender reassignment surgery. The problem with this is that these actions should never be encouraged, even for the admirable aim of advancing science.
How many gender dysphoric children today and tomorrow will be encouraged to undergo detrimental experimental medical therapies because they were prescribed the wrong “cure” by social justice government advocates blazing blindly forward on a path to sexual-orientation equality? Potentially millions. According to a 2021 Gallup survey 1.8% of Gen Zers (19-24) identify as transgender. With an 80% desistence rate, for youth (under 18) the percent of youth transgenders is likely to be 9%. This compares with 0.3% to 0.6% for the general population.
The vast majority of trans youth later decide they are comfortable in their birth bodies. In eleven studies conducted between 1972 and 2013, 20% of trans youth chose to continue their transgender transition as adults or to be crossdressers, 12% specifically chose to be homosexuals, 6% to be straight, and 55% to be cisgender without specifying sexual orientation.
In most of the world, it is legally forbidden to change your gender. Many forbid changing your name to one that reflects a non-birth sex. Some permit both if you have undergone gender reassignment surgery, and some require sterilization with surgery. However, many nations forbid this surgery, of which 2/3rds criminalize changing your sex, people that identify as transgender without reassignment surgery, or cross dressing. America’s vigorous approach to reaffirming a youth’s choice of gender and later sex is quite different in the world. A story on the May 23 edition of “Sixty minutes on Sunday” illustrated that for some youths, the approach causes debilitating outcomes.
There is so much unknown about the medical and social side effects of transgender therapies, social transitioning exercises, and reassignment surgeries. Or even why children choose to identify as trans youth. It would be a tragedy if children who once declared a cross-sex pronoun but later desisted, in the interim were diagnosed transgender and encouraged by government officials to undergo experimental medical therapies or social conditioning, or to experiment with sex, with results that impacted their mental or physical health, ability to procreate, chance of dying, living on the street, or being sexually assaulted.
The House of Representatives has passed H.R. 5, the so-called “Equality Act” and H.R.7, the “Paycheck Fairness Act.” The MOMMIES (Maximizing Outcomes for Moms through Medicaid Improvement and Enhancement of Services) Act is up for a vote. All these acts provide encouragement for transgender people by saying that the government reaffirms your choice. President Biden lets trans youth know that “your President has your back.” But does he? Does Congress? They don’t know enough to have their backs. But they know enough to say that what we are doing in schools to encourage transgender youth can have many dangerous consequences; and we need to exercise extreme caution until we have more data, and this cannot mean using our children as guinea pigs. Even in the interest of science.
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