Consider the following anonymous case summary:
‘Girl X’ is a healthy 8-year-old. While she has some minor health problems, they do not cause significant psychological issues. It has been reported by her mother that ‘Girl X’ has been engaging in a significant number of gender fluid behaviors, which has included expressing a desire to dress and appear like a boy. ‘Girl X’ must be forced to wear specifically feminine clothing (dresses), prefers socializing with boys of her own age and slightly older, and her mother refused requests to remove “girl” toys from her bedroom. When challenged on her ‘masculine’ choices, “Girl X” often states that she wishes she had been born a boy.
If “Girl X” saw a psychologist or therapist who is following the current theories that this kind of behavior should be diagnosed as Gender Dysmorphia (GD), there’s a very good chance she would be put on a road of therapy that could leave her sterile. Her parents would be told to encourage her “gender exploration,” and that their “gender binary” beliefs could harm their child.
If “Girl X” were particularly adamant in her beliefs that she should be a boy, it’s entirely possible she would be started on hormonal treatments that would prevent her from going into puberty, essentially leaving her as a biologically pre-pubertal female. Regardless of whether she would ever decide to get a sex-change operation in the future, she would probably be sterile and never develop properly as either female or male.
It’s Entirely Normal for Children to Explore Their Identity
In this case, “Girl X” is one of a majority of children out there, between 80 and 95 percent, who express some degree of gender “confusion” during their development, but eventually accept the fact of their biological sex. I am “Girl X,” and ended up as a heterosexual woman with four children. While I still regularly break “gender norms,” that is just as subjective a statement as any other regarding gender identification anyway.
My parents were either very wise, or absolutely clueless. They simply stood back, let me do what I wanted (within reason and physical limitations), and remained neutral. They neither encouraged nor discouraged my leaps across the gender boundaries, and just made certain that I lived within my personal limits, as opposed to any manufactured by society.
Today, the transgender movement and its “gender ideology” are being sold as an ethical way to deal with children who simply are exploring their own thoughts and feelings about gender identity. At its roots, it is a subjective theory based on a misguided notion in psychology that there is no such thing as “normal” in mental health.
On paper, it probably does look nice and inclusive, but in practice it leads to irreversible physical damage to children whose parents buy into this theory out of a desire to do what is best for them. Parents do not want to see their children in pain, and “gender ideology” is the current snake oil for GD—something that should be considered a fancy term for “finding oneself.”
It’s Not Right to Experiment on Children
The American College of Pediatricians has clearly stated that “Gender Ideology Harms Children.” The general public doesn’t tend to hear about that, though. It is rarely said in the mainstream media that treating GD with hormones has irreversible effects on children, and on the contrary, many probably believe it’s all reversible. It’s rarely stated the drugs used to suppress normal sexual development in children are off-label, as in they were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for this use.
That’s unlikely to happen ever, because this treatment is not to cure any organic illnesses. Arguably, it is being used to make a psychological disorder worse. That is exactly what it would be called, if defining psychological disorders had not become so subjective.
As for what is backing this “gender ideology” school of thought, there are a few, extremely limited studies out there, largely focusing on the psychology and sociology involved. Small groups of middle-class mothers who are sharing their parenting techniques suffice for “science.” The underpinning for all of this is a basic desire to break down gender definitions, primarily with a goal of removing the gender binary society generally accepts. Like any other social movement, time should be measured in decades or centuries, but this group is trying to speed things up. Unfortunately, the media is more than happy to help them.
One reason for this is, bluntly, bullying. Medical, psychological, and academic professionals who dare to speak out against engaging in what is essentially turning children into lab rats can face very real professional consequences. “First, Do No Harm: Youth Gender Professionals” is a group of mostly anonymous professionals who are speaking out against this experimentation. They are known to each other, but keep their identities generally hidden from the public at large.
The Trans Lobby Creates an Extremely Hostile Climate
When preparing to write this, I asked a family physician, a psychologist, and a licensed family therapist for their thoughts on GD and hormonal therapy for children. There were no replies from anyone that could be used “on the record,” even with the offer to list the individuals as “anonymous sources.”
Liz Harrison is a writer and editor from Pennsylvania who had been involved in political campaign work for over 20 years. She is editor-in-chief of Practical Politicking
, and co-founder of Vigilant Liberty Radio
. On Wednesday and Thursday nights, she's on the FTR Radio and Vigilant Liberty Radio airwaves, co-hosting "The Late Shift." When she's not editing or talking on-air, Liz is usually writing on privacy and personal freedom, particularly sex and the law. Follow her on Twitter: @LizHWrites.