Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hormone Blocking Therapy

Oppression and discrimination exist. They are real. Many members of minority groups have suffered at the hands of tyrannical majorities. It has been going on throughout the course of human civilization.

Today, now that the Obama administration has empowered Islamist groups in North Africa, these newly-empowered groups are hard at work persecuting Christians and oppressing women.

Naturally, liberal grievance mongers are casting a blind eye on all this. They fear Islam and they fear the wrath of Islamists themselves. They are suffering from what is properly called Islamophobia—which means, if anyone used the term correctly, fear of Islam.

No one really expected American feminists to stand tall and proud with their sisters in the North Africa and the Middle East. They are too busy trying to shut down Rush Limbaugh.

If you see the world in terms of oppression then you can either be the oppressor or the oppressed. Many modern feminists have happily embraced the role of oppressor. They see it as the only alternative to … victim.

And then there are those who believe they are transgendered. They have become the latest oppressed minority, especially for those who ignore the oppression of women and Christians in Islamic lands.

Transgendered individuals believe, fervently, that God made a mistake: he trapped them in the wrong kind of body. Transgendered males believe that they are really females; and vice versa.

They all believe that they can only fulfill their true human potential when God’s error is surgically corrected.

If you should dare, as psychiatrist Keith Ablow once did, to dispute the diagnosis and to question the value of gender reassignment surgery you will have the honor of being shouted down by a lawyer-turned-talk-show host. In Ablow’s case the shouter was one Megan Kelly on Fox News.

Apparently, lawyers know discrimination when they see it. Kelly is fervently convinced that anyone who disputes the current ideology about the transgendered is a cold-hearted bigot, akin to a racist, a sexist, or even a lookist. She bases her opinion on a “higher” authority: the president of the American Psychiatric Association.

Truth be told, you get to be president of the APA by being a superb bureaucrat, not a Nobel prize winning scientist. If you do not know that the APA, among other scientific societies, is subject to political and ideological pressure you’ve been living under a rock. Hasn't the global warming charade taught us that scientists are perfectly capable of being influenced by ideology?

Anyway, Dr. Ablow suggested that the more we talk about the transgendered as an oppressed minority the more we might be inducing vulnerable young people to embrace the idea that God had, in their case, made an error.

Megan Kelly got very huffy about this, but deep convinction does not make you right, even if you are completely and utterly convinced that God made a mistake in assigning your gender.

In reality, as I have reported, the field of epidemiology contains a respectable theory called: symptom selection theory. It is chronicled in Ethan Watters’ book: Crazy Like Us.

Symptom selection theory says that if you take a culture where a specific psychiatric condition, like anorexia or conversion hysteria, does not exist and then have the media start talking about the condition, you are going to have more and more troubled young people developing the symptoms that characterize it.

Thus, in the Victorian era there was a wave of conversion hysteria, but there is very little of it today. In Hong Kong, as Watters documents, there were, at one time, nearly no cases of anorexia. Then, one day a young girl died of anorexia. The ensuing media blizzard of stories about eating disorders led to an outbreak of eating disorders.

Megan Kelly notwithstanding, Dr. Ablow’s point of view has a basis in epidemiological science.

Besides, a Dutch study showed that 61% of those who wanted gender reassignment surgery were suffering from a secondary underlying psychiatric disorder like depression or dissociative disorder.

Still, once the train has left the station it’s very difficult to stop it. Now, we have gone beyond the question of the value of gender reassignment surgery performed on supposedly consenting adults. We have gotten to the point where children are being given Hormone Blocking Therapy before the onset of puberty, the better to stifle their normal biological development.

If you believe that boys who think they are really girls can only find fulfillment by being castrated and taking hormone replacement therapy, why not start the process early, before their skeletal structure develops in ways that a scalpel cannot correct?

Yet, you can only do this if you accept that a 10-year-old is competent to make the decision. You have to grant a child the competence to select a medical treatment that will interfere massively with his biological development.

Commenting about the case of 11-year-old Tommy, a boy who believes that he is really Tammy, Dr. Manny Alvarez stated:

"I think that it’s highly inappropriate to be interfering with natural hormonal growth patterns…. There are significant potential problems necessary for growth and development.

"Potential long-term effects can include other abnormalities of hormones, vascular complications and even potential cancer. I think that if this child – as he finishes his puberty and teenage years – decides to undergo a transgender procedure – then there are proper channels to do so.

“But to do it at the age of 11 -- to me -- could be potentially dangerous to the health of this child.”

Tommy’s two Mommies begged to disagree. Since Tommy had always believed that he was really Tammy they signed him up for the hormone blocking treatment.

Let none dare call it child abuse.

Those who have training in the law ought to have an opinion on whether a child can offer consent for Hormone Blocking Therapy. What if the child is younger still? After all, many of these children are convinced by the time they are six that, in their case, God made a mistake.

Should any physician be allowed to prescribe such treatment on the word of a 6-year-old? How much stock do you want to put in the deeply held convictions of a small child?

If this same child “freely consents” to have sexual relations with an adult, will his word count against the rape charge?

Noting that Hormone Blocking Therapy will invariably render the children sterile, Charles Cooke states a point that should be only too obvious:

Children, of course, are incapable of making either kind of decision, or of fully grasping the gravity of what is being suggested. It is thus that we maintain laws that prohibit the young from voting, driving, buying whiskey, and starting a family — even when these tasks are within their physical abilities. It would be made blindingly obvious just how ridiculous are suggestions to the contrary if it were reported that twelve-year-old children were undergoing vasectomies or electing to be sterilized. (Or, perhaps, changing their skin color.) If such cases came to light, the condemnation would be swift, with all sections of the country calling for the heads of the parents, doctors, and, ultimately, Congress — all of which institutions, one might note, are filled by adults. In our society it is with adults that the buck stops.

Or else, ask yourself this: how easy is it to influence a child’s mind? How easy is it to persuade a child that fantasies are real?

A while ago American prosecuting attorneys launched a wave of mass hysteria by declaring that certain preschool owners had been sexually molesting the children in their charge. It was a thoroughly modern witch hunt. Dorothy Rabinowitz told the story in harrowing detail in her book: No Crueler Tyrannies.

You may recall that the children who had supposedly been molested by preschool owners had been induced by zealous social workers and psychologists to claim that they had been subjected to the most horrifying forms of sexual abuse.

Impassioned prosecutors and judges worked themselves up into such a lather over these accusations that they sent a number of innocent people to prison for crimes that they could not possibly have committed.

Beware of impassioned lawyers advancing their career on the back of the latest trendy cause.

Strangely enough, many of the crimes that these children were convinced had taken place could not possibly have happened.

Social workers and psychologists could convince a child that he had, for example, been sodomized by a machete. Without there being any corroborating evidence, impassioned attorneys were more than happy to take these children at their word… sort of.

Even if the machete-wielding madman was not real, clearly something sexual must have happened. Ergo, they must be guilty.

As the Queen of Hearts put it: Off with their heads!

1 comment:

RileyD, nwJ said...

None dare call it child abuse. Permit me, "This is child abuse on a grand scale."

I have not yet read Ethan Watters’ "Crazy Like Us" but will. The same effect is noted in some detail in the by Malcom Gladwell in "Tipping Point."

Gladwell described three "agents of change" in the tipping points of epidemics. His thesis has been so well accepted treatment of teenage suicide in the news has been modified to reduce the likelihood of starting an epidemic of suicides.

When I read about modern day witch hunts in Dorthy Rabinowitz's writings, I see a tipping point application there as well.

The desire to be "right" is so strong they permit and even encourage the mutilation of children. They are little different from those who practice FGM in Islamic countries.