The Alabama legislature is currently debating banning the practice of gender-related hormone therapy and surgery. The bill would prohibit the performance of a medical procedure or the prescription or issuance of medication upon or to a minor that is intended to alter the appearance of the minor's gender or delay puberty, with certain exceptions. The exceptions apply to intersex individuals and those diagnosed with developmental disorders.
The bill led to a cavalcade of rhetoric from both sides of the aisle. Protestors gathered at the State House to protest the bill from the outside, and Democratic legislators protested on the inside. Lawmakers consistently engaged in strawmanning, transparent sophistry, and downright dishonesty.
It is necessary to say that the following does not address the decisions that grown men and women make for themselves. The merits and demerits of transgender acceptance in adults is not my purpose.
Another contention: this is not meant to be a discussion of verifiable genetic abnormalities. Our intersex comrades deserve the love and support of all in their communities, as do our transgender comrades. However, aberrations in chemistry and biology are only recognizable because we observe an objective gender binary; much like the B in LGBTQ assumes a gender binary, making the B and T diametrically opposed to one another; but that's for another discussion.
If there was ever a use for the state, it would be to protect children from parents and physicians' violent and destructive designs, especially when those designs involve making irreversible alterations to the sexual function of adolescents who have not completed their physical or psychological development.SEE ALSO: Transgender Life: 2 adults weigh in on Alabama bill to ban juvenile sex reassignment
How did such a societal novelty suddenly spring to the forefront of cultural discussion?
There has been an explosion in those who identify as transgender within the past decade. Gender-bending has been a ubiquitous practice for as long as humans have kept records, and the desire for people to play fast and loose with sexual mores is nothing new. However, the modern-day transgender movement has evolved into something bordering a fad or craze.
Transgenderism is a manifestation of a well-known psychological phenomenon known as Gender Dysphoria (GD). GD occurs when a person has a consistent discomfort with their biological sex, and has traditionally affected around 0.01% of the population.
GD has historically manifested itself in boys between the ages of two and four. According to one study, 70-90% of GD in boys resolves itself before or during adolescence. Another study affirmed that GD resolves itself in most cases.
Previously, GD affected young boys almost exclusively. In less than 10 years, young girls have gone from a non-existent minority to a measured majority among those with GD. For instance, the UK saw an increase of nearly 4,400% in teenage girls seeking sex-changing medical procedures.
In a phenomenon that stays consistent within a society, such a statistical jump is not likely and is, in fact, impossible.
Abigail Shrier's book, Irreversible Damage outlines this phenomenon, which she calls a contagion. Shrier described the processes by which large clusters of teenage girls, usually within a friend or peer group, have increasingly come out as transgender.
There has not been a large-scale study done on transgender youth, as the practice of allowing healthy adolescent teens to seek gender treatment is relatively new. However, one large-scale study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) done on young transgender adults found that they consistently have a higher rate of suicide, regardless of where they are in their transition.
Due to the massive influx of transgender youth, Lisa Littman, a public health researcher from Brown University, has reported the emergence of a new phenomenon: Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD).
Littman's research showed that 41% of adolescents and young adults who identified as transgender had previously announced a non-heterosexual orientation prior to promoting themselves as transgender. The study also found that transgender youth were popping up in "clusters," meaning that pockets of friends or peers were collectively proclaiming themselves as transgender rather than being spread out among a population as you would expect. Further, she found that social media played a vital role in these clusters.
"If this sudden spike in transgender identification among adolescent girls is a peer contagion, as Dr. Littman hypothesized, then the girls rushing toward 'transition' are not getting the treatment they most need," Shrier said. "Instead of immediately accommodating every adolescent's demand for hormones and surgeries, doctors ought to be working to understand what else might be wrong. At best, doctors' treatments are ineffective; at worst, doctors are administering needless hormonal treatments and irreversible surgeries on patients likely to regret them. Dr. Littman's theory was more than enough to touch a nerve."
The debate surrounding this bill has not been lacking in the puerile shouting of radical ideologues. What has been missing is good, solid questions that strike at the heart of the issue.
Children injure themselves regularly. The bumps, scrapes, and bruises of childhood play are simply a part of growing up. However, would you be concerned if you were to happen upon a child or adolescent with a syringe about to stab it into their arm? Likewise, if you saw an adolescent taking a chainsaw to an appendage, would you merely walk on, assuming the child identifies as an amputee? Or would you sprint like fury to stop the forthcoming carnage?
To anyone in Alabama who desires not to see children harmed or damaged from the vicious designs of allegedly well-meaning people, you should take high notice of this craze and how it affects the families that surround you every day.SEE ALSO: Doctors debate gender transition therapy for minors as legislators debate law
Psychiatrist Dr. Paul McHugh, who pioneered the gender program at John Hopkins University, later shut down the program believing that transition surgeries had no positive psychological effects.
In the UK, The National Health Services (NHS) quietly reversed its stance that hormone therapy has no long-term effects on a child. In 2020, a court in the UK ruled against giving hormone treatment to people under 16 without lengthy court procedures after a lawsuit was brought against an NHS gender clinic for their uncritical provision of sex-changing hormones to young children. Although a higher court later overturned the lower court's decision.
One claimant in the suit, Kiera Bell, was given puberty blockers and male hormones at 16. She later had her breasts removed. But, later still, she came to regret her decision and now identifies as female. She sued the clinic for not investigating her self-diagnosis and allowing her to make life-altering decisions without thoroughly questioning her motivations.
"I was allowed to run with this idea that I had, almost like a fantasy, as a teenager... and it has affected me in the long run as an adult," Bell said.
The massive influx of people in the UK wanting to detransition led to the Detransition Advocacy Network (TDAN), which draws attention to post-transition regret and seeks to help parents advocate for their children's health. TDAN is part of Our Duty, a non-religious, non-partisan, multinational organization that educates on the dangers of early medical transitions.
There are multiple testimonies of children who were allowed to enter a medical clinic and walk out with hormones or puberty blockers without even consulting their parents or a psychiatrist.
Some Western Nations and states in the U.S have passed laws against so-called conversion therapy. Such regulations would make it illegal for doctors, parents, and psychologists in the U.S to provide the same protections for children that Bell wished were available for her. And there are thousands upon thousands with stories of seeking detransition and being shunned by the LGBTQ community that welcomed them with open arms.
There are plenty of those in the medical establishment who are more content to be advocates for an ideology rather than scientists studying a psychological phenomenon. The confirmation bias of researchers is prevalent enough to make sure that progressive ideologues can comfortably lay their heads down at night without once considering the harm their position has caused.
These are questions that need answering, long before you sacrifice the next generation under the guise of kindness and cultural acceptance.
When you lift the smiling mask of politicized, well-intentioned lawmakers and ideologues, you will find a plethora of people who desperately wish their parents and doctors had not indulged their childish delusion. Once that mask is removed, and you are met with the trashed and scattered lives of your post-transition brothers and sisters, the crazed ideologues will not be there to pick up the pieces. They will not be held accountable for the misery they have wrought, and they will not apologize.