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First Do No Harm Particularly To Children

I have been watching the story of a child in Texas who is the subject of a pitched battle between his parents in Texas. His mother is fighting for the right to begin treatment to transition the child’s gender. His father is fighting to prevent this treatment over concerns that it is dangerous and irreversible.

I am not here to savage either parent. Or comment on the particulars of the case. I think it is far more important to ask why this debate is even happening. And why society, the medical community and our legislators are not saying STOP in the loudest voices possible.

Every age before this has performed or permitted acts that to us are morally stupefying. So unless we have any reson to think we are more reasonable, morally better or wiser than at any time in the past, it is reasonable to assume there will be some things we are presently doing – possibly while flushed with moral virtue – that our decendants will whistle through their teeth and say ‘What the hell were they thinking?’

Douglas Murray, The Madness of Crowds page 184

I believe the Left’s push for abortion until the moment of birth will fall into this category. I also believe the push to perform what amounts to a medical experiment on children will be something that leaves our progeny wide-eyed. This may require some percentage of our youngest generation to enter adulthood sterile, mutilated and steeped in regret. Then maybe society will view pumping children full of puberty blockers and performing irreversible surgeries on them as abhorrent as it is.

Even Blaire White, a trans-YouTuber has referred to childhood transition as “literally child abuse”. She has also highlighted cases of regret among people who started their transition as children and teens and now regret it.

The Left likes to call those of us who do not believe the world will end in ten years due to “climate catastrophe”, science deniers. However, they are all in on a set of medical treatments for children that are based on ideology and feelings rather than scientific rigor. To be clear, a new chemotherapy regimen to treat childhood cancer would take far longer to weave it’s through the FDA than childhood gender transition has taken to permeate the public discourse. This is insanity.

Let’s talk about what we know about human beings generally. The frontal lobes of our brains govern executive function and decision making. It is not fully developed until a person reaches their early to mid-’20s. This is backed up by decades of statistical studies from crime rates to risk behaviors. They tend to fall off dramatically when the frontal lobe reaches maturity. It is also why the car insurance rates for teen boys stay high until they are in they are about 25.

Yet if you question the judgment of a teen or a child even younger to make life-altering decisions, the argument ends with ‘Shut up bigot’ or a word that ends in -phobe. Children in elementary school should not determine their own bedtime. Yet we are supposed to bend to their wisdom and insight into human sexuality. And people who advance this want you to take them seriously.

Next, let’s talk about what we know about the treatment of gender dysphoria. This is the underlying diagnosis for transgenderism as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM). It was renamed from Gender Identity Disorder in the DSM 5 to be more politically correct. However, like any other mental health diagnosis, it contains diagnostic criteria. Further:

  • Studies have shown that somewhere between 80-95% of children with gender dysphoria are no longer dysphoric after puberty.
  • Mounting evidence shows the effects of puberty blockers are not 100% reversible as advocates claim.
  • The neurocognitive effects of puberty blockers have not been adequately studied.
  • There are real health consequences of the full treatment plan to transition for children including neuromuscular problems, cardiac problems, blood clots, and elevated liver function tests. It can also lead to sterility and may increase the incidence of some kinds of cancer.
  • The drugs being used to transition children and teens are being used off-label and are not FDA approved for the purpose. The FDA found one puberty blocker, Lupron, caused 6,419 deaths in adults between 2011 and 2019.
  • Brown University researcher Lisa Littman found indications of social contagion related to transgender identification in teens that she termed Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD). Any further research into this was shut down by trans activists.
  • The longest study of the mental health and morbidity of trans people was conducted in Sweden between 1973 and 2003. According to the study, “Persons with transsexualism, after sex reassignment, have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behaviour, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population.”

Even the Obama Administration concluded there was not enough evidence to determine if gender reassignment benefitted individuals with gender dysphoria. From the 2016 memo:

Based on a thorough review of the clinical evidence available at this time, there is not enough evidence to determine whether gender reassignment surgery improves health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries with gender dysphoria. There were conflicting (inconsistent) study results—of the best designed studies, some reported benefits while others reported harms. The quality and strength of evidence were low due to the mostly observational study designs with no comparison groups, potential confounding, and small sample sizes. Many studies that reported positive outcomes were exploratory type studies (case-series and case-control) with no confirmatory follow-up.

Following this assessment, The Wall Street Journal republished an editorial by Dr. Paul McHugh, the former Chief of Psychiatry for Johns Hopkins and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry. He noted that poor psychosocial outcomes led Hopkins stopped doing reassignment surgeries:

And so at Hopkins we stopped doing sex-reassignment surgery, since producing a ‘satisfied’ but still troubled patient seemed an inadequate reason for surgically amputating normal organs.

In the editorial he specifically warns against the use of reassignment treatments in children. Of course, now Dr. McHugh, who has decades of experience studying gender dysphoria and 125 peer-reviewed articles, is dismissed as a transphobe. Largely because the advocates can not refute his arguments with data to the contrary. Shut up, bigot.

Patients of all ages who suffer from gender dysphoria should receive compassion and be protected from harm. They should also receive treatment rooted in the realities governed by medical studies cognizant of all the things we don’t know and the risks associated with individual treatments.

However, medical science does not support the invasive medical treatment of children and teens. There is no other disorder for which we would accept this type of uncertainty in the treatment of children. As a society, we need to roll back the ideological push. And remind people that boys who play with dolls and girls who play in the mud simply exist on the wide distribution of behavior that males and females have displayed forever. Let them be kids.

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