By Dr. Thomas Patterson |
We now live in an era in which mutilating surgeries are done routinely as part of the preferred treatment for gender dysphoria, the belief that the gender “assigned” to you at birth does not reflect your true self.
Modern science has developed solid evidence that gender is determined at conception, not birth, and is not assigned by anybody but is fixed for life. So, until recently, sufferers from gender dysphoria were thought to be confused and maybe need educational counseling while simply waiting for adulthood, when over 80% seamlessly settled into their “birth gender.”
But earlier in this century, a new “best available science” stealthily but comprehensively came to dominate the world of transsexual medicine. Suddenly, gender-confused patients, even adolescents and children, were deemed to be unerringly insightful regarding their true gender identity. They needed not mental health treatment but physical alteration. And they needed it now.
Few seemed to note that gender dysphoria, unlike most other conditions, had no specific manifestations, no test or objective evidence that could confirm or deny its existence. Thus, based simply on the “feeling” of a minor unable to drive, vote, or get a tattoo because of their manifest immaturity, irreversible therapies were initiated.
These included puberty blockers, followed by sex hormones of the desired sex and then both “top” and “bottom” surgeries. Planned Parenthood advertised puberty blockers (obviously to pre-pubescent patients) “as early as your first visit.” Parents who proved balky were excluded from decision-making about transition procedures and sometimes even lost custody of their children.
Another suspicious aspect of adolescent transgenderism is that it behaves very differently from other hardwired inborn conditions. Until recently, transgenderism had been confined mostly to young boys. Now, girls outnumber boys three to one. Researchers additionally note that girls especially often seemed vulnerable to “social contagion,” contracting this affliction in groups where gender switching is seen as the path to social approval. It’s what the cool kids do.
There are also regional variations which don’t fit a biological model. California has a rate of transgender identification well above the national average. For example, six percent of the students in Davis, California identify as transgender, compared with 1.7% nationally.
Yet the tsunami of children transitioning continues to sweep over the western world. In America, it is endorsed by mainstream professional societies of physicians, pediatricians, psychiatrists, and transgender health professionals. None of these organizations are inclined to counter the concerns of their critics, just to silence and shame them.
Because the U.S. doesn’t have a centralized database, accurate numbers of participation are hard to come by. We do know that, in a decade, we have gone from one to 60 “comprehensive gender clinics.”
In the UK, with an experience similar to ours, there were 72 referrals in 2010 to the NHS gender clinic. Ten years later there were 2,729.
But as we accumulate more experience, the tide may be turning. A growing wave of former patients who received the gender affirmation protocol now bitterly regret their experience. They typically recount being unhappy teenagers who believed from social media sources that transitioning could bring the social approval that they craved.
After a cursory evaluation, they were begun on hormones that permanently changed their body form and functions and finally surgery removing their now unwanted body parts. Eventually, they realized that by listening to trusted authorities, they had made an awful mistake.
As one lamented, “I am angry. I’m sad. I can’t have kids…I’ll never lose my virginity. I’m left with the scraps of the life I could’ve had.”
Because of cases like these and research questioning the basic premises of transition therapy, Britain recently closed down the famous Tavistock gender clinic. Sweden and Finland have switched to an approach that emphasizes counseling, with drugs rarely if ever used. New Zealand and others are also reconsidering the affirmation model.
But American medical authorities are soldiering on, oblivious to the yellow lights flashing furiously. When will they admit that their recommendations violate the principles of medicine (first do no harm) and common sense (don’t cause injury treating a condition that is likely to resolve spontaneously)? Misleading impressionnable adolescents into unnecessary, permanent life altering decisions to serve an ideology is despicable.
Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.