Saturday, April 9, 2022

Transgender Mania on the March

While some of us have been writing learned, and not-so-learned commentaries about the transgender rage currently infecting the minds of teenagers across America, Abigail Shrier has been fighting it all from the trenches. (via Maggie's Farm)

Her book Irreversible Damage is essential reading, especially for parents who are being assaulted by a movement that does not just aim to mutilate their children, to cause irreversible damage, but also to take away their rights to have any say about what happens to their children.

While the country is wallowing in what are called threats to democracy, we should recognize that democracy means that people have a say in how they are governed. Now, in the name of some appalling pseudoscience parents are being deprived of any say in their children’s adolescent development. The state has taken their children and they have no real say in the matter any more. They have done so in the name of people who are gender activists disguised as experts. Save us from the tyranny of experts!

Anyway, we are happy to have Shrier’s reaction to the Biden administration’s recent efforts to support the efforts to mutilate children without parental consent. She wrote an essay for Bari Weiss’s Substack.

One is astonished to see the Biden administration take up this cause. One would imagine that it polls well, but considering the level of incompetence in this administration, we suspect that the president’s impaired brain function has simply been taken over by activist loudmouths.

Shrier opens thusly:

Yesterday, White House Press Secretary accused Republican lawmakers of “engaging in a disturbing, cynical trend of attacking vulnerable transgender kids,” and exploiting them.

“Instead of focusing on critical kitchen table issues like the economy, COVID, or addressing the country’s mental health crisis,” she said, “Republican lawmakers are currently debating legislation that, among many things, would target transgender youth with tactics that threaten to put pediatricians in prison if they provide medically necessary, life-saving care for the kids they serve.”

And then she begins to unravel the fabric of straight-up lies in Psaki’s statement:

Life-saving care? Surely she must mean insulin or antibiotics?

No, she means “gender affirming care” that devilish euphemism for puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and experimental surgeries whose benefits are unproven, but whose risks— permanent sexual dysfunction, infertility, cardiac event and endometrial cancer are a few— ought to nudge any doctor toward soul searching. 

Around the world, scientists have discovered that what is called gender affirming care is really delusion affirming. It contradicts the first principle of the Hippocratic oath-- First, do no harm. Worse yet, states that have passed laws against child mutilation will now be pursued by the Biden justice department.

For these reasons, in the last two years, national gender clinics in France, the UK, Sweden and Finland have all reevaluated or curtailed their use. But as Psaki made clear, any legislator who tries to follow suit will face double-barreled legal opposition from the current Administration. 

As for the science of what is called “affirmative care,” Shrier reports on a recent study:

There is, in fact, no proof that “affirmative care” improves the mental health of gender dysphoric youth long-term—much less that its interventions are “life-saving.” An outstanding recent paper in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy is only the latest to expose the poor empirical basis for these treatments with minors. It’s a must-read paper for any policy maker, parent, or psychologist grappling with this fraught question.

The authors state, as if with a sigh: “The evidence underlying the practice of pediatric gender transition is widely recognized to be of very low quality.”

Of course, activists insist that children who are deprived of such mutilations are going to commit suicide.

Activists often exaggerate the suicide risk to gender dysphoric minors—as well as the mental health efficacy of these treatments—in order to coerce parents into acceding to the interventions. But as the authors point out: “The ‘transition or suicide’ narrative falsely implies that transition will prevent suicides. [N]either hormones nor surgeries have been shown to reduce suicidality in the long-term.”

Actually, we would do better if we asked how many children and adults who transition have committed suicide. The number, last I heard, is around twenty five percent. 

Besides, need we recall another form of dysmorphia, where men complain to physicians that one leg is much longer than the other, and that they need to have the offending leg amputated above the  knee. And they insist that if the surgery is not performed they will commit suicide.

In that circumstance, what would you do?

Anyway, Jen Psaki does not believe that parents care much about this issue, especially when compared with how much they care about inflation and about a dysfunctional administration led by a cerebrally impaired president. Shrier takes issue:

But in the real world, Americans are very, very worried about these things. I’ve been privileged with a special window into their terror: an inbox full of thousands of desperate parents who write me daily of their teen daughters caught in the grips of a sudden transgender epiphany. And Ms. Psaki, I can promise you this: the widespread availability of medical gender treatments, on demand, without therapist oversight and often without requiring parental consent, that is not merely one of that family’s concerns. It is all they are thinking about. Every minute of every day—dear God, how can I save my little girl from doing harm to herself?

Shrier continues:

America has essentially become an unlocked medicine cabinet for gender medicine seekers as young as 15. And, as a result, any family with a kid who announces she is trans -- whether encouraged by peers or social media or an activist educator, or accompanied by serious mental health co-morbidities-- is hurled into crisis. The only thing parents know for certain is that a quick medical transition will be encouraged by virtually every adult she encounters. Far less certain is whether the family can do anything to stop it.

The problem is that this has become a mass delirium. Authority figures, people who are considered experts, are of one mind about the need to mutilate children. In the past pagan cultures mutilated and sacrificed children. Apparently, we are returning to our pagan past.

The level of groupthink that has infected the minds of experts is frightening:

All across this country, loving parents now find their custody threatened whenever they greet their teen daughter’s gender identity announcement with anything other than hosannas. Teachers, social workers, and therapists are quick to call social services, on the grounds that anything other than immediate “affirmation” of the new identity is child abuse. Again, I am in touch with many parents in precisely these circumstances, now fighting to retain or regain access to their daughters. Their only sin, in many cases? Dropping their daughter off with a therapist who seemed nice.

If that does not scare the bejeezus out of you, nothing will. 


Tracy Coyle said...

There is so much here that I disagree with, and yet, the problems identified are not being solved well by ANY one standard fits all, even the apparent current effort to shut down ALL trans care. The statement 'not well supported' is offset by 'not working at all' for the previous iterations of 'care' for trans kids. I work with teens in this community. There are tons that 'appear', or 'identify' that most certainly are not trans and their examples are being used to void all trans identified kids. I can't dismiss the crap because it IS happening, and the real trans kids that need the help, and it IS helping, are getting pushed aside.

My arguments would be held up against examples to the contrary. Our biases confirmed.

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ErisGuy said...

Millions had to die to convince a majority of the world that national socialism was a bad idea. More millions had to die to convince some the world that international socialism was a bad idea. Millions of children (and adults) will be mutilated and killed before a majority of people are convinced that gender socialism is a bad idea.

There’s something about the 20th century and initial decades of the 21st that leads doctors to treat people in this way. Gender surgery is of a piece with the prior enthusiasm for lobotomy.

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