The Jig is up for Transgenderism as Child Abuse
The campaign to convince minors that girls can become boys and boys can become girls continues unabated. However, the consequences of that campaign are now being exposed and are proving unacceptable. Critics of the campaign have long known the dangers and have deemed them to be child abuse. Federal, state, and local governments have ignored the obvious in a case of willful blindness, but the evidence that children and adolescents need protection is now so apparent that government must intercede. Some states have already begun. The Arkansas SAFE Act prohibits professionals from treating minors with puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sexual reassignment surgery. South Dakota has enacted legislation to prevent male participation in sports designated for females. A sample of campaign actions and activities is instructive and compelling.
ACLU attorneys have filed a lawsuit against the Arkansas SAFE Act, claiming that there exists a consensus of medical organizations as to the appropriate treatments for minors presenting with gender issues. That claim appears patently false. The 2012 American Psychiatric Association (APA) Task Force Report concludes that there is no consensus regarding treatment of children with gender identity disorder (now called gender dysphoria), one reason being lack of randomized controlled treatment outcome studies, and another being that “opinions vary widely among experts” as to treatments. The ACLU attorneys then doubled down and cited the 2012 Standards of Care published by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) as the standard for treatment for those presenting with gender issues. Conspicuously absent from the claims is the necessary disclosure that, according to the APA Task Force Report, notwithstanding that WPATH issued standards, WPATH itself is not even a professional association of mental health professionals. Also absent are disclosures that WPATH, at the time of preparation of its Standards of Care, was merely an association of about 400 worldwide transgender advocates (the number of such advocates who were American MDs experienced in treatment of minors, as opposed to adults, being unknown) and that a 2019 investigation by Lisa MacRichards has concluded that the WPATH Standards of Care are materially tainted by bias and conflicts of interest.
Trans activists claim that treating minors with gender issues by administration of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sexual reassignment surgery is a so-called medical necessity. The APA (currently about 88,000 MDs and residents) concludes otherwise in its current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5): Up to 88% of girls and 98% of boys presenting with gender confusion eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty. The APA also concludes in its Task Force Report that those minors who will persist and those who will desist cannot be distinguished as children. The only conclusion is that most minors treated with puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sex-reassignment surgery do not need treatment at all. It follows that the Arkansas SAFE Act clearly protects minors who might persist in gender confusion from consequences of making unwise and foolish decisions during their minority and also protects minors who would desist and accept their biological sex from being ushered into transition by professionals who have no way to determine whether or not there is a need for such treatment.
The hypocrisy and lack of integrity of a large segment of professionals treating gender-confused minors are overwhelming. Trans advocates deny that vulnerable minors need protection in that minors supposedly can know their authentic selves and make decisions that can materially adversely affect their long-term health and well-being. That denial is nonsense. Recognition of minors’ lack of maturity and judgment has motivated legislators to deny underage children the right (and to deny parents any right to authorize their children) to violate curfew, purchase firearms, enter into contracts, engage in sexual intercourse, vote, sit as a juror in a court of law, operate a vehicle, and use alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. Where were these same activists/professionals with the same type of denials when Congress prohibited female genital mutilation for girls under 18 and when plastic surgeons issued a policy statement condemning breast enhancement/reduction for girls under 18? Those laws and standards were justified on the same grounds that serve as justification for the SAFE Act, namely, (i) lack of maturity, judgment, and comprehension, (ii) the obvious fact that minors will further develop physically and outgrow any feeling of discomfort with their physical bodies, and (iii) a lack of controlled randomized outcome studies for such procedures.
However, encouraging developments are underway. Gender-care leaders are now admitting that trans healthcare providers are treating kids recklessly. One transwoman, former WPATH Board member and psychologist Erica Anderson, has even admitted to not being a fan of putting children in the early stages of puberty on puberty blockers. Another transwoman, WPATH President-Elect and Board member and surgeon Dr. Marci Bowers, expresses great concern: “If you’ve never had an orgasm pre-surgery, and then your puberty is blocked, it is very difficult to achieve that afterward.” Bowers emphasized: “I consider that a big problem, actually,” and continued: “I worry about their sexual health later and ability to find intimacy.” Bowers implies that the failure of clinics and hospitals to inform patients of all material adverse risks and consequences of treatment and transition, including rates and severity, will preclude securing valid informed consent. Are clinics informing patients of the percentage of transgenders (37.9% as to transwomen) who will become engaged in the sex trade or the percentage of transgenders (56% as to black African/American transwomen) who are living with HIV? Actually, should anyone encourage vulnerable minors to transition into a lifestyle likely to be attended by such danger and illegality?
Although no consensus exists as to treatments, the APA confirms in the Task Force Report that there is a consensus as to mental health evaluations of the child and his/her parents which must be undertaken before issuance of any diagnosis or treatment recommendations. There are many complaints that gender-care professionals are not following those protocols. For example, one of the minors in the SAFE Act case was apparently referred to a gender clinic by a pediatrician and was diagnosed with gender dysphoria on the child’s first visit to the clinic. Anderson describes such problems with healthcare as “rushing of patients through medicalization” and the “failure -- abject failure -- to evaluate the mental health of someone historically in current time, and to prepare them for making such a life-changing decision.” Anderson reports further that a study of ten pediatric gender clinics found that half do not require psychological assessments before initiating puberty blockers. Anderson notes that such mental health evaluations, done conscientiously, can take a few months when there are no simultaneous mental health issues, or up to several years in complicated cases. Anderson adds that few are trained to perform evaluations properly. Failures in transgender healthcare for minors are so egregious that in Sweden (at world-famous Karolinska Hospital) the practice of prescribing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for minors under age 18, except in research settings, has ended. Similarly, Finnish medical guidelines are now opposed to most puberty-blocking and adolescent transitioning, except in the most severe cases and, then, only in a research setting.
So, the jig is up. The evidence is in. The mea culpas are in hand. As one gender-care psychologist has declared: “Therapists Have Betrayed the Parents of Gender-Confused Kids, and There’ll Be Hell to Pay.” Children, parents, legislatures, and courts need to educate themselves to become fully informed.