THE SERVANT GENERAL
ASSAULTS ON FAITH, FAMILY AND LIFE
SEIZING YOUR KIDS – 3
February 21, 2018
Transgender idiocy is dealing a double whammy to parents.
One, their child is forcibly taken from them. Two, their child
will be given treatment that will violate their bodies and
who they really are. Such is work of the evil one.
denied custody of child for refusing support of transgenderism:
here’s what you need to know
19, 2018 (The Public Discourse) – Parents
in Ohio lost custody of their 17-year-old daughter Friday
because a judge ruled that she should be allowed to receive
therapy, including testosterone therapy, to identify as a
Without commenting on the specifics of this case just outside
Cincinnati, Americans can expect
to see more cases like it as government officials side with
transgender activists to promote a radical view of the human
person and endorse entirely experimental medical procedures.
At stake are not only parental rights, but the well-being
of children who suffer from gender dysphoria.
Here’s what you need to know.
Transgender activists maintain that when a child identifies
as the opposite sex in a manner that is “consistent,
persistent, and insistent,” the appropriate response
is to support that identification. This requires a four-part
protocol, as I painstakingly detail in my new book, “When
Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment”:
First, a social transition: giving the child a new wardrobe,
a new name, new pronouns, and generally treating the child
as if he or she were the opposite sex.
Second, a child approaching puberty will be placed on puberty
blockers to prevent the normal process of maturation and development.
This means there will be no progression of the pubertal stage,
and a regression of sex characteristics that have already
developed. Puberty-blocking drugs are not FDA approved for
gender dysphoria, but physicians use them off-label for this
Third, around age 16, comes the administration of cross-sex
hormones: Boys will be given feminizing hormones such as estrogen,
and girls will be given masculinizing hormones such as androgens
(testosterone). The purpose is to mimic the process of puberty
that would occur in the opposite sex.
For girls, testosterone treatment leads to “a low voice,
facial and body hair growth, and a more masculine body shape,”
along with enlargement of the clitoris and atrophying of the
breast tissue. For boys, estrogen treatment results in development
of breasts and a body shape with a female appearance. These
patients will be prescribed cross-sex hormones throughout
Finally, at age 18, these individuals may undergo sex-reassignment
surgery: amputation of primary and secondary sex characteristics
and plastic surgery to create new sex characteristics.
To summarize these procedures (described in detail in my book
“When Harry Became Sally”): Male-to-female surgery
involves removing the testes and constructing “female-looking
external genitals.” It may include breast enlargement
if estrogen therapy has not produced satisfactory growth of
Female-to-male surgery often begins with mastectomy. The uterus
and ovaries are often removed as well. Some patients will
undergo phalloplasty, the surgical construction of a penis,
but many do not because the results are variable in quality
This four-stage course of treatment is the current standard
of care promoted by transgender activists. But the ages for
each phase to commence are getting lower. In July 2016, The
Guardian reported that “a doctor in Wales is prescribing
cross-sex hormones to children as young as 12 who say they
want to change sex, arguing that if they are confident of
their gender identity they should not have to wait until 16
to get the treatment.”
No laws in the United States prohibit the use of puberty blockers
or cross-sex hormones for children, or regulate the age at
which they may be administered.
Activists claim that the effects of blocking puberty with
drugs are fully reversible. This turns things upside down,
for virtually every part of the body undergoes significant
development in sex-specific ways during puberty, and going
through the process at age 18 can’t reverse 10 years
of blocking it. The use of puberty-blocking drugs to treat
children with gender dysphoria is entirely experimental, as
there are no long-term studies on the consequences of interfering
with biological development.
Activists claim that blocking puberty allows children “more
time to explore their gender identity, without the distress
of the developing secondary sex characteristics,” as
the Dutch doctors who pioneered this treatment put it.
This is an odd argument, write three American researchers,
“It presumes that natural sex characteristics interfere
with the ‘exploration’ of gender identity,”
Drs. Paul Hruz, Lawrence Mayer, and Paul McHugh note, “when
one would expect that the development of natural sex characteristics
might contribute to the natural consolidation of one’s
The rush of sex hormones and the bodily development that happens
during puberty may be the very things that help an adolescent
come to identify with his or her biological sex. Puberty blockers
interfere with this process.
Normally, 80 to 95 percent of
children will naturally grow out of any gender-identity conflicted
stage. But every one of the children placed
on puberty blockers in the Dutch clinic persisted in a transgender
identity, and they generally went on to begin cross-sex hormone
treatment at around age 16.
Perhaps the Dutch doctors correctly identified the kids who
naturally would persist in a transgender identity, but it’s
more likely that the puberty blockers reinforced their cross-gender
identification, making them more committed to taking further
steps in sex reassignment.
Contrary to the claims of activists, sex isn’t “assigned”
at birth – and that’s why it can’t be “reassigned.”
As I explain in “When Harry Became Sally,” sex
is a bodily reality that can be recognized well before birth
with ultrasound imaging. The sex of an organism is defined
and identified by its organization for sexual reproduction.
Modern science shows that this organization begins with our
DNA and development in the womb, and that sex differences
manifest themselves in many bodily systems and organs, all
the way down to the molecular level.
Secondary differences between the two sexes – attributes
that may be visibly altered by hormone treatment and surgery
– are not what make us male or female. As a result,
cosmetic surgery and cross-sex hormones don’t change
the deeper biological reality. People
who undergo sex-reassignment procedures do not become the
opposite sex, they merely masculinize or feminize their outward
As the philosopher Robert P. George puts it,
“Changing sexes is a metaphysical impossibility because
it is a biological impossibility.”
What the Evidence Shows
Sadly, just as “sex reassignment” fails to reassign
sex biologically, it also fails to bring wholeness psychologically.
The medical evidence suggests that it does not adequately
address the mental health problems
suffered by those who identify as transgender.
Even when the procedures are successful technically and cosmetically,
and even in cultures that are relatively “trans-friendly,”
people still face poor psychological outcomes.
Notwithstanding the media hype over supposed differences in
brain structure, no solid scientific evidence exists that
transgender identities are innate or biologically determined,
and some evidence shows that other factors are most likely
involved. But in truth, very little is understood about the
causes of discordant gender identities.
Starting a young child on a process of “social transitioning”
followed by puberty-blocking drugs was virtually unthinkable
not long ago, and the treatment is still experimental. Unfortunately,
many activists have given up on caution, let alone skepticism,
about drastic treatments.
A more cautious therapeutic approach begins by acknowledging
that the vast majority of children
with gender dysphoria will grow out of it naturally.
An effective therapy looks into the reasons for the child’s
mistaken beliefs about gender, and addresses the problems
that the child believes will be solved if the body is altered.
As I document in “When Harry Became Sally,” mental
health professionals liken gender dysphoria to other dysphorias,
or serious discomfort with one’s body, such as anorexia,
body dysmorphic disorder, and body integrity identity disorder.
All of these involve false assumptions or feelings that solidify
into mistaken beliefs about the self.
McHugh finds that other psychosocial issues usually lie beneath
the false assumptions. Children with gender dysphoria may
have anxieties about “the prospects, expectations, and
roles that they sense are attached to their given sex.”
Much like patients with anorexia nervosa, these children mistakenly
believe that a drastic change of their bodies will solve or
minimize their psychosocial problems. But adjusting the body
through hormones and surgery doesn’t fix the real problem,
any more than liposuction cures anorexia nervosa.
A Different Message
An effective treatment strategy would “strive to correct
the false, problematic nature of the assumption and to resolve
the psychosocial conflicts provoking it,” McHugh says.
In the case of gender dysphoria,
unfortunately, the mistaken belief is often encouraged by
school counselors who, “rather like cult leaders, may
encourage these young people to distance themselves from their
families and offer advice on rebutting arguments against having
What these young people need, McHugh advises, is to be removed
from this “suggestive environment” and be presented
with a different message.
The proliferation of gender clinics in America and gender
identity programs in the schools makes it less likely that
children will get the help they need to work out their issues.
Instead, these children find “gender counselors”
who encourage them to maintain their false assumptions.
This is contrary to standard medical and psychological practice,
as McHugh, Hruz, and Mayer emphasize. Normally, a child is
not encouraged to persist in a belief that is discordant with
reality. A traditional form of treatment for gender dysphoria
would “work with and not against the facts of science
and the predictable rhythms of children’s psycho-sexual
development.” A prudent and natural course of treatment
would enable children to “reconcile their subjective
gender identity with their objective biological sex,”
avoiding harmful or irreversible interventions.
The most helpful therapies do not try to remake the body to
conform with thoughts and feelings – which is impossible
– but rather to help people find healthy ways to manage
this tension and move toward accepting the reality of their
bodily selves. This therapeutic approach rests on a sound
understanding of physical and mental health, and of medicine
as a practice aimed at restoring healthy functioning, not
simply satisfying the desires of patients.
Biology isn’t bigotry. And as I explain in “When
Harry Became Sally,” there are human costs to getting
human nature wrong.
Published with permission from The Public Discourse.