We often look at the villains or anti-heroes of movies as broken, flawed, or downright evil. The problem is we rarely look at what made them this way, if there could have been a way to prevent their fall. It took me a long time to realize the reasons two villains in the Star Wars universe spoke to me like they did, especially when I saw the reasons behind their fall. As someone who is neurodivergent and who has struggled with their emotions most of their life, one would think I’d latch on to the Jedi way of thinking, in fact that’s what most people wanted me to do. Emotional control, striving to better myself, the usual things people see when they think of the Jedi.
For those just joining us, please read the following links to catch yourself up:
Well folks, we’ve made it to the end of this hot mess that is being peddled as actual science. It looks like they’ve saved the most reprehensible point for last. As always I have done my best to use sources and citations that are accessible to all as opposed to those behind pay walls. Due to this, it does make things more difficult as many of the studies I have used in my own research for college classes that back up my points are behind those pay walls and inaccessible to most people.
Conditioning children into believing that a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.
Except as I’ve covered in all of the other points, no one is conditioning children into believing this. On top of that there is proof showing that allowing a child to figure out their gender on their own as opposed to enforcing the gender they were assigned at birth is better for their mental and overall health. While as I have stated before the study into gender on the side of natural science (and in many ways social science as well) is still in its proverbial infancy, this doesn’t mean we’re not seeing what is actually going on.
The discussions going on today are on the topic of raising a child who is gender expansive (when a person’s identity or behavior is broader than the commonly held definitions of gender and gender expression in one or more aspects of their life) as opposed to enforcing the narrower guidelines of gender that we expect within society. If you would like more information on gender expansive children and gender neutral or affirming parenting practices, check out the links here, here, here, here, and here.
We have already seen that to even be diagnosed as having gender dysphoria as a child one has to meet several criteria as well as be symptomatic for over six months. We have also seen that the majority of children who are diagnosed with gender dysphoria do in fact grow out of it as they figure out who they are, but there is still a large percentage of children who do not grow out of it.
Due to the strict enforcement of gender within the majority of society, there have been difficulties finding large enough sample sizes to meet the requirements of being a “good study”, but of the studies that have been done, we have seen several interesting points.
By allowing a child to explore and figure out who they are in a nurturing environment free of judgement, we see fewer instances of mental health issues associated with the child being gender expansive or even transgender. (For more reading check out here, here, and here)
Endorsing gender discordance as normal via public education and legal policies will confuse children and parents,
I have yet to meet a child who is “confused” due to having supportive parents or who have parents who are well educated on the topics of gender. What I have seen are children who hide who they are due to fear that they will not be accepted due to either their community or families viewing the discourse about gender as abnormal or “bad.” Education is necessary when it comes to complex topics such as gender, and unfortunately much of what we used to know about gender and gender identity was destroyed back during WWII (Further reading on the destruction of the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft here, here, here, here, here, here, here).
While the term transgender did first appear in print around 1965 in American English, transgender people have existed for far longer than that and across the globe in many different forms. Many of the cultures that recognized multiple genders or that were accepting of people we today would consider transgender were either wiped out or forced to conform to the views and status quo of those who came after them, such as the British and French colonizers as they moved about the world, but in the case of the US, you can read more about it here.
So unlike the story the ACP is trying to frame, gender is not something that is new to us, it is that it is coming back into light after being pushed under the proverbial rug that is “new.” While transgender people and non-binary people will never be the “majority” of the population, they are just as normal and common as a redheaded person or someone with green eyes.
leading more children to present to “gender clinics” where they will be given puberty-blocking drugs.
Again, CHILDREN are not given drugs of any form, they are observed and watched. Adolescents are the ones who MIGHT be put on puberty blockers if their doctor and therapist believe that would be the best course of action for the patient. Also a child can’t just walk into a “gender clinic” and ask for puberty blockers, nor can an adolescent. The dispensing of puberty blockers requires not only a doctor, but also the person has to meet the qualifications of gender dysphoria. If they are transgender but don’t have dysphoria, they won’t be going in for medical assistance of that sort. I’ve already discussed this several times.
This, in turn, virtually ensures that they will “choose” a lifetime of carcinogenic and otherwise toxic cross-sex hormones, and likely consider unnecessary surgical mutilation of their healthy body parts as young adults.
This is just scare mongering and hand wringing using points I’ve already debunked. On top of that, would one consider a preemptive mastectomy to be “unnecessary surgical mutilation”? What about a breast reduction for someone who is dealing with overly large breasts and it is affecting their health? Those breasts were perfectly healthy body parts, so what is the criteria for a legitimate medical procedure and an “unnecessary surgical mutilation” for these people?
Trans people don’t “choose” to be trans, they are trans. Providing education, reducing the stigma, and normalizing things such as pronoun usage, acceptance, and visibility will not suddenly make children become transgender. It will however allow those who are transgender to feel safe enough to get the medical help they might need.
The ACP has added another piece to their article titled “The bottom line” but it is nothing but a rehashing of their already debunked, incorrect, and flat out false claims, so I will not be covering it outside of this one line:
For this reason, the College maintains it is abusive to promote this ideology, first and foremost for the well-being of the gender dysphoric children themselves, and secondly, for all of their non-gender-discordant peers, many of whom will subsequently question their own gender identity, and face violations of their right to bodily privacy and safety.
Pushing false information and debunked medical “science” to further an agenda that has been shown to lead to higher rates of suicide and self harm in trans youth is abusive. Denying someone’s actual identity is abusive. Allowing a child to figure out who they are in a safe, controlled, and loving environment is the complete opposite of abusive.
A child who is gender expansive and open about who they are will not suddenly turn their other friends transgender, nor will it make them “question” their own gender identity. To claim this is the same as claiming that you can get HIV by holding hands with someone who is HIV+, as in it is an outright lie. If the child does question, then that is because they were already unsure and they feel safe enough to try to figure it out.
And I don’t even know where to begin on the whole “face violations of their right to bodily privacy and safety”, that came completely out of left field and was just…wtf?
For those just joining us, please read the following links to catch yourself up:
Rates of suicide are twenty times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery, even in Sweden which is among the most LGBQT – affirming countries.
Now, this on it’s own sounds pretty damning, doesn’t it? They even cite a study that has been used over and over again to justify things such as the following:
- The study shows that “trans medical care = suicide” so therefore it’s bad! (We will come back to this in a bit)
- After transition, “Male to Female” transsexuals retain male-pattern criminality, including crimes against women. (Yep, they’re trying to claim that transwomen are criminals and rapists)
So, how do we go about this? Well first off, let’s take a look at where the ACP is getting their little sound byte point?
A 2011 study at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden produced the most illuminating results yet regarding the transgendered [sic], evidence that should give advocates pause. The long-term study—up to 30 years—followed 324 people who had sex-reassignment surgery. The study revealed that beginning about 10 years after having the surgery, the transgendered [sic] began to experience increasing mental difficulties. Most shockingly, their suicide mortality rose almost 20-fold above the comparable nontransgender population. This disturbing result has as yet no explanation but probably reflects the growing sense of isolation reported by the aging transgendered [sic] after surgery. The high suicide rate certainly challenges the surgery prescription. –Dr. Paul McHugh
While I am loathe to cite something from Gender Identity Watch (a known TERF hate/doxing group run by lawyer Cathy Brennan), it is the only place where I can find the entire article. The clip that I have posted above has been provided by the Transadvocate, who I will be citing during this article. The Transadvocate has actually reached out to the head person in the study cited by Dr. McHugh, and a lot of clarification apparently has been needed. For starters, the myth that Dr. McHugh has been spreading is just that, a myth. It was debunked by Dr. Dan Karasic and his entire response has been graciously reposted here.
One thing I would like to point out before we continue is that Dr. Paul McHugh has been one of the leading anti-LGBT activists in the public eye for quite some time now. He’s the former chief psychologist for Johns Hopkins hospital and is often used as an authority figure when it comes to LGBT activities. However, there’s a bit of an issue.
In fact, it’s a rather large issue. One that could possibly be pointed to as a major setback in our understanding of gender.
Back in the 1970s, after ONE study, Dr. McHugh shut down the Gender Identity Clinic at Johns Hopkins. The study suggested that some trans people continued to suffer from adjustment challenges after surgery, something that has since been proven to be inaccurate. As science has progressed we have seen that many of the old studies that people used to use to justify things such as racial segregation, homophobia, and sexual discrimination being debunked and put away only to be used for historical purposes. We are now seeing the same with many of the studies that had been done regarding those who are transgender. To continue to base your bias and beliefs on a subject that has been debunked and proven incorrect is simply ignorant and shows a lack of integrity.
What compassionate and reasonable person would condemn young children to this fate knowing that after puberty as many as 88% of girls and 98% of boys will eventually accept reality and achieve a state of mental and physical health?
Ugh….we covered this already. Deceptive statistics and percentages do not a good argument make. See point 5 if you wish to read up again on this.
For further reading on the problems with the Swedish study, I would suggest checking out the links below, including the study itself. Like many of the other studies the ACP uses, it doesn’t say what they claim it says….
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Children who use puberty blockers to impersonate the opposite sex will require cross-sex hormones in late adolescence.
Seriously, why am I even having to explain this?
- Trans people are NOT impersonating the opposite sex. A trans person is someone who’s gender does not match their physical sex.
- Any person with two brain cells to fire knows that due to the fact that a trans person normally doesn’t produce the hormones required by their gender due to their sex, HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) is recommended and often times used.
- NOT EVERY TRANS PERSON DOES HRT OR EVEN HAS SEX REASSIGNMENT SURGERY!
- CHILDREN are not using puberty blockers. Adolescents (which is an entirely different category in the DSM V and in medical guidelines) take puberty blockers. We already discussed this….
Repeat after me, “Sex is not gender and gender is not sex.” It’s absurd that we’re still having to say this at point six!
Cross-sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen) are associated with dangerous health risks including but not limited to high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke and cancer.
Once again, the ACP is attempting to conflate sex and gender in an attempt to confuse people and to push the narrative that one cannot change their genetics so therefore they cannot successfully transition so that their gender and their physical body match as much as possible.
Like with puberty blockers (which I covered in point number four of this breakdown) no doctor with any sort of ethics would prescribe medications of any sort without letting the patient know of the risks beforehand. I would also like to remind everyone that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or cross-sex hormone therapy is not done on children. The general age for HRT to begin is around 16 years of age, and even then it is done on a case by case basis based on the mental, emotional, and psychological preparedness of the individual.
Like with medications such as birth control, psych medication, and many others, the doctor is required to inform the patient of both the benefits AND the risks when discussing medications.
And now….on to their citations….
Olson-Kennedy, J and Forcier, M. “Overview of the management of gender nonconformity in children and adolescents.” UpToDate November 4, 2015. Accessed 3.20.16 from http://www.uptodate.com.
Outside of the overview and introduction, everything else is behind a subscriber wall. HOWEVER, if we are looking at the information available to those of us who do not have access to all of the data, it appears that the citation the ACP used is well…going against their narrative.
Moore, E., Wisniewski, & Dobs, A. “Endocrine treatment of transsexual people: A review of treatment regimens, outcomes, and adverse effects.” The Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2003; 88(9), pp3467-3473.
Well good news is that this one at least isn’t behind a pay wall. The bad news (for the ACP) is that it doesn’t fit their narrative except for pointing out that trans people will need HRT if they are to transition. Swing and a miss once again!
FDA Drug Safety Communication issued for Testosterone products accessed 3.20.16: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm161874.htm.
….I have no clue why they cited this. It doesn’t say anything to match their narrative nor does it even have anything to do with the point they are trying to make. Wait, wait, I spoke too soon! The information to supposedly support their narrative is all down in the “related information” section!
Never mind, spoke too soon again. The information is nothing more than what any ethical doctor would already discuss to a patient who would be taking testosterone (cismen and transmen). Not only that, but none of the information is relating to transmen!
On to the last citation before my brain implodes.
World Health Organization Classification of Estrogen as a Class I Carcinogen: http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/ageing/cocs_hrt_statement.pdf.
Wow! I can’t believe they would classify estrogen as a class 1 carcinogen! Holy crap!
Now that I’m actually reading the statement, it doesn’t way any of that!
In fact, they didn’t even cite this correctly!
The actual title for their citation is “Carcinogenicity of combined hormonal contraceptives and combined menopausal treatment” and the link doesn’t even discuss what they are claiming. I can’t believe (yes I can) that the ACP would flat out lie to its readers just to try to push a narrative!
As loathe as I am to use Sheldon Cooper for something, this picture pretty much sums up how I felt after going through their citations and finding out they were either flat out lying, or just trying to sound official.
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Puberty is not a disease…
While people might call it many things, such as painful, annoying, life changing, traumatizing, or downright bullshit, I have yet to see someone seriously refer to puberty as a disease. Curse maybe, but then again I’ve also heard people refer to a woman’s period as “The Curse”. There are however, diseases related to puberty, and even a condition called Precocious Puberty, but puberty itself is not a disease and no sane person would think that.
Puberty can cause problems for people with Gender Dysphoria though. While as children they might look mostly androgynous and thus have an easier time dealing with their gender and their sex not matching up, the development of secondary sex characteristics, bodily changes, starting to menstruate, and other things people without Gender Dysphoria would merely look at as a sign of their body changing from that of a child to an adult; a person with Gender Dysphoria may wind up seeing their symptoms taking a turn for the worse.
Speaking from personal experience, while I was able to handle the fact that my body didn’t look like that of other boys when I was younger, I was devastated when I started my period and my breasts began to grow. I felt like my own body was betraying me and I began to develop severe body image issues because of it. It wasn’t until years later that I am able to look back and go, “Oh, that was why I was having so many problems, my gender and sex don’t match.”
While I was able to “successfully” repress my dysphoria for several years, not everyone can, and puberty can be that make or break moment in a trans youth’s life. If the youth also happens to suffer from other mental illnesses, such as depression, it could drive the youth to the point of suicide if measures aren’t taken.
…puberty-blocking hormones can be dangerous.
And that is why an ETHICAL doctor will warn parents and the youth of the potential dangers and side effects BEFORE putting the child on them. The trans individual will have most likely been in some form of therapy for a while depending on when they came to the realization that their gender and sex didn’t match, and the doctor would have to be in contact with their therapist before talk even could begin on the subject of puberty blockers.
At least one study (though it’s a rather small study size) shown that puberty blockers can be beneficial to trans youth, but at the same time, due to the fact that it has only been fairly recently that we have been dealing with the issue of trans youth (openly) there is still more to learn.
This is why the doctor, therapist, parents, and trans individual must weigh the pros and cons of puberty blockers and not just make a snap decision.
Another BIG thing to note, is that puberty blockers are not the same as giving a trans youth sex hormones (testosterone or estrogen). So the ACP using the term “puberty blocking hormones” once again is an attempt to muddy the waters and bring to mind the thought of testosterone and estrogen as they are the most common things one thinks about when they hear the term “hormones”. Sex hormones are an entirely different hurdle that doctors and patients have to tackle once the patient reaches a certain age (generally around 16).
There is no “set age” and it is all done on a case by case basis based on mental, emotional, and psychological preparedness.
Reversible or not, puberty- blocking hormones induce a state of disease – the absence of puberty – and inhibit growth and fertility in a previously biologically healthy child.
So wait, if someone doesn’t start puberty until really late, that means they’re suffering from a disease? Puberty blockers have been shown to be successfully used in children for years, and according to Dr. Courtney Finlayson, “We have a lot of experience in pediatric endocrinology using pubertal blockers. And from all the evidence we have they are generally a very safe medication.” Yes, using puberty blockers to treat trans individuals is still relatively new (first case was in 2007), but the data so far is showing that the people taking them don’t suddenly develop a “state of disease”.
It is interesting that the ACP talk about the fertility of a “previously biologically healthy child”. Fertility problems can arise for a number of reasons, and there are not enough studies (if any at all, since I couldn’t find any) that show that puberty blockers can inhibit the fertility of a person taking them.
Also, look at the language used. They are attempting to again conflate sex = gender and that a child with Gender Dysphoria is “biologically healthy” when they technically aren’t. They wouldn’t have Gender Dysphoria if they were “biologically healthy” as that term can encompass both physical and mental health.
My final issue with this point is their citation to back up their claims. Remember when I said the first case of treating trans individuals with puberty blockers was in 2007? Their citation is from 2009. This article is being written in 2016.
That’s SEVEN years of research and changes to the guidelines that they are ignoring.
Not only that, but some of the studies that their citation is citing are even older than that! At least one of the citations regarding fertility after using hormones (not puberty blockers) is from 2001. That’s 15 years ago! Do these people really think that there hasn’t been new data collected since then?
So to sum up this point, the ACP is relying on ignorance of the reader regarding the difference between puberty blockers and hormones, assuming doctors do not communicate with patients and just prescribe things on a whim, muddying the waters by mixing terms, and citing studies that are over seven years old (that cite studies over 15 years old).
If I was a teacher and this was a paper being turned in for grading, they would receive a giant F on this point.
I’ve discussed before about being diagnosed with an eating disorder, as well as dealing with body dysmorphia (which either led to the disorder or added to it). It took me several years to actually get a diagnosis because many of the doctors I dealt with looked at my weight and said I couldn’t have one. This of course plays into the stereotype that eating disorder = skinny or malnourished, which isn’t true.
But I’d like to discuss what goes on in my mind, even after working to overcome my eating disorder and working towards a healthy diet and body image. I will fully admit that I still have a ways to go, even if I’ve for the most part overcome the issue.
Imagine you’ve been working out, eating right, and you’ve been slimming down and toning up. You’re feeling good about yourself and how you look. A friend calls you up and invites you out, so now you’re going out to eat.
Now think about what you want to eat, doesn’t matter what it is, think about it and that you’ve decided to order it.
It comes to the table, you’re smelling the food, your mouth is watering….
And then suddenly you think about how you’ve lost weight recently and eating this will make you gain it all back. Your mind leaves the thought of eating this delicious meal and begins screaming at you that if you eat even the tiniest of bites, you will balloon into this giant fat and ugly person. You see the fat dimples on your body, you feel the shame of not being skinny, of not looking like what people say you should look like.
You push those thoughts away as best you can, because this is something you REALLY want to eat, you’ve got your favorite dish in front of you, and you really REALLY want it.
But you just can’t stop thinking about how you’re going to get fat again.
You take a bite, and it tastes better than you remember it, but that taste quickly sours as you swallow that bite, your mind’s eye showing that piece of food going directly to your stomach and you can swear you feel your pants becoming tight, even though you know you’ve dropped a size and they’re loose on your hips.
You tell yourself that it’s all in your head, that you’ve lost weight, you’re looking good, and this meal isn’t even that bad for you (if at all). You just can’t shake that image though. Each bite you take makes you feel worse, the mental images getting stronger and stronger to the point that you don’t even want to finish. You try your coping techniques, you go through the steps you’ve learned while working to overcome your disorder, and it brings a small bit of peace to you.
You finish the meal, but you feel guilty. You didn’t need to finish it all, you finished it because you’re a pig, you could have easily only eaten half and saved the other half for later! Only pigs finish the whole meal! OINK OINK!
You feel the urge to go and find something to get the food out of you, but you know that your go to method would require you to eat more (specifically carrots and apples) and the thought of doing that makes you want to cry.
You make it home and you write it all down so you can tell it to your doctor, that you still need help, but as you’re doing so the voice tells you it’s pointless, because what’s the doctor going to do? Tell you to work on your coping skills more? To seek mental help perhaps? All things you’ve done and have done for years.
So what do you do? How do you cope? Do you backslide and struggle again, or keep pushing forward as best you can?
More people than we know deal with eating disorders every day, going through struggles like this, even people who are supposedly “cured” still struggle at times. The stigma of being overweight adds to the issue, especially with the common belief that eating disorder = skinny. If you are someone who is struggling, you are not alone, and there are resources and support structures out there. The hardest step though…is to reach out and say you need help.
For those just joining us, please read the following links to catch yourself up:
A person’s belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking.
This significantly downplays the suffering and struggle that people with Gender dysphoria go through on a day to day basis. Confused thinking is “where did I leave the remote?” not, “I want to rip my breasts off because they don’t belong there!”.
Yes, Gender Dysphoria (and before that, Gender Identity Disorder) are listed in the DSM V as mental disorders, no one is denying this. The reason it is listed there is that Gender Dysphoria is a symptom of being transgender, and can actually be treated with therapy, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and surgery. Gender Dysphoria can “go away” or significantly lessen when treatment is applied, but the person still remains trans. The citation that the ACP uses even states that the reason Gender Dysphoria is in the DSM V is “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.”
When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such.
Transgendered individuals are suffering in both mind and body and the DSM V covers that in depth. What the ACP is hoping for in this point is that people either won’t have access to the DSM V (which runs from $19.99-59.99 to rent on Amazon, or between $52.00-124.78 to purchase) or that they will take what they say on faith because they are after all doctors and they would know this sort of stuff…right? For those of us who have access to the DSM V, we can see that it covers the fact that Gender Dysphoria itself is a mental illness which can cause physical and psychological effects. When treated, the effects of Gender Dysphoria either lessen or in some cases go away all together. We are beginning to see that mental disorders have physical effects, so stating that the “problem exists that lies in the mind not the body” is at best misleading and at worst disingenuous and dangerous.
On top of this, using the phrase “otherwise healthy biological” child muddies the waters and pushes back to that point that transgender people believe they can somehow change their chromosomes
(Just an FYI, we know we can’t change our sex chromosomes. We’re not stupid)
These children suffer from gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria (GD), formerly listed as Gender Identity Disorder (GID), is a recognized mental disorder in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-V).
This is probably the only honest thing they have said so far in this article. However, to downplay Gender Dysphoria to just a “mental disorder” would be like saying an eating disorder is merely a “mental disorder”. There are very noticeable physical effects in both disorders. In fact, many mental disorders have physical symptoms and effects.
The psychodynamic and social learning theories of GD/GID have never been disproved.
Not only have they not been disproved, but they are constantly being evaluated and improved/evolved as new data arrives. We used to consider Gender Identity Disorder to be a paraphilia (a sexual disorder where the person is aroused by abnormal sexual desires, such as necrophilia or pedophilia), but now we know that the disorder has nothing to do with sexuality or sexual arousal.
Here is some “clarification” provided by the ACP:
Regarding Point 3: “Where does the APA or DSM-V indicate that Gender Dysphoria is a mental disorder?”
The APA (American Psychiatric Association) is the author of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition(DSM-V). The APA states that those distressed and impaired by their GD meet the definition of a disorder. The College is unaware of any medical literature that documents a gender dysphoric child seeking puberty blocking hormones who is not significantly distressed by the thought of passing through the normal and healthful process of puberty.
From the DSM-V fact sheet:
“The critical element of gender dysphoria is the presence of clinically significant distress associated with the condition.”
“This condition causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.”
I will be discussing the portion about puberty blockers and hormone therapy in a later point, however I would like to point out that even the ACP is admitting that there is no literature (studies, documentation, etc) that backs up their personal views. This allows us to question even further whether or not the ACP is merely cherry picking their data, twisting data, or simply ignoring facts that exist that do not support their personal opinions. We can already see this in their other articles on topics such as abstinence only education, gay adoption, and sex education. Because of this, we need to continue on carefully, calling to account each point they make and demanding evidence of their claims, as opposed to allowing them to simply get away with being taken as truth due to their status as an “authority”.