Government Watch / Politics

Resources to Help Affirm Kids in the Truth of Being Male and Female

AMAC Exclusive – By David P. Deavel


Joe Biden’s just-released Executive Order on “advancing equality” for so-called LGBTQ+ populations in America is a sign that the Democratic Party has gone all-in with the view that though adults cannot consent to the terms of a student loan, children have absolute autonomy to decide issues about their own sexuality and “gender” and can demand access to drugs and surgeries to make their bodies fit that gender even though such drugs have lasting and often dangerous effects on their health. Thank God, however, that this latest destructive administrative act comes at a time when abundant resources for fighting back against this destructive ideology exist, including an important new study and a new film.

The EO itself targets “conversion therapy,” a term that many associate with therapeutic attempts to help people with same-sex attractions develop opposite-sex attractions. In contemporary parlance, however, and in the parlance of the Biden Administration, this term is used for any therapy that helps people with gender dysphoria, a discomfort with their own biological sex, become comfortable with that sex. The upshot is that the only proper approach to gender dysphoria is “affirmative” care that simply accepts a child’s own determination that he or she really possesses a gender different from biological sex—and will prescribe puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and even plastic surgeries to create the illusion of opposite sex genitalia or secondary-sex characteristics. As Leor Sapir notes in City Journal:

The idea that it is unscientific and unethical to use psychotherapy as the default treatment for gender dysphoria is demonstrably wrong. The original Dutch Protocol, which laid the foundations for pediatric gender transition, insisted on lengthy psychological prescreening of candidates before prescribing them puberty-blocking drugs. What the Dutch experts knew then, and what researchers know now with even greater confidence, is that minors seeking transition tend to have extraordinarily high rates of mental-health problems, including anxiety, depression, attention-deficit and eating disorders, and autism.

In other words, what used to be assumed—even among those who accepted the morality of transgender identification and medical interventions of “affirmation”—was that you actually had to figure out whether dysphoria was being caused by or was a reaction to other mental health problems. Starting at least five years ago, however, trans advocacy groups have demonized such assertions as “transphobia” and have claimed that refusing the path of pure affirmation is the proximate cause of transgender youth suicides. On Thursday, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) announced a new set of guidelines that pushes down the recommended ages for puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to age 14, mastectomies to age 15, and genital surgeries to age 17. This is the radical line that the Biden EO is following.

The irony is that in the last couple of years even some trans advocates have backed off on the extreme position that our White House is embracing. Dr. Erica Anderson, a former board member of WPATH and president of the American group (USPATH), resigned from these positions last year due to the belief that the organizations were not actually giving adequate counseling to children and were advocating similarly. Anderson was so bold as to co-write an op-ed expressing these concerns in the Washington Post and later gave an interview to Quillette elaborating on them.

Dr. Anderson was not alone. The New York Times Magazine ran an article this week that, though largely siding with the “affirming care” crowd, acknowledged the controversial character of treating transgender youth, a welcome change from previous articles. Dr. Anderson’s worries and the willingness of the Times to acknowledge other points of view are no doubt influenced by international developments. As Sapir noted, “over the past two years medical authorities in Australia, Finland, France, the U.K., and Sweden have recommended severe limitations on affirming therapy, insisting that the evidence for this approach is tenuous at best.” What this means is that just as some of the most progressive countries in the world are putting on the brakes, the Biden Administration has put its foot down on the gas.

There is a battle to be fought on this count, but luckily the information weapons have been presenting themselves quite regularly. Dr. Anderson acknowledged that part of what prodded a change of mind was reading Abigail Shrier’s Irreversible Damage. That book, along with Ryan Anderson’s When Harry Became Sally, has been of great help in explaining the contradictions of the transgender movement as well as the dangers it poses to young people who are vulnerable due to adolescence as well as, often, the aforementioned mental health problems. To these two fine resources have been added a number of very good studies and presentations that examine the sketchy evidence in favor of proceeding with these health-altering treatments that are now being pushed to younger and younger ages.

One persistent argument (that plays a notable role in the EO) is that affirming care is necessary because otherwise these young people will commit suicide. A good start in terms of responding to such arguments is to note that if gender dysphoria has its roots in either mental illness or attempts to deal with mental illness (as the experts have observed is often the case), then such “affirming” care will not alleviate and may likely exacerbate the very suicidal feelings that are being experienced. But do we have large-scale data on that? As it so happens, a study just released by Jay P. Greene of the Heritage Foundation goes a good bit of the way in showing that.

Greene’s study analyzed the design in the few studies purporting to show that giving puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones reduced suicides or improved mental health. What he found was that some studies did not actually allow for isolation of factors, some had no control groups, some controlled for different factors within the same study, some failed to show any statistical significance, and some combined different situations in ways that masked problems. For instance, one study involved both females taking male hormones and males taking female hormones. Though combining data for males and females showed overall improvement, when breaking down the data by sex, differences were shown. Though females taking testosterone reported fewer suicidal thoughts and severe psychological distress than those who did not, males taking estrogen showed a greater likelihood than those who did not of planning suicide, attempting suicide, and being hospitalized for attempted suicide.

Greene’s study, a “natural experiment,” divided American states between those that allow for minors to access hormones without or against parental consent and those that do not. It then studied suicide rates between 2010 and 2020 for those who would be in the age group (12-23) to receive hormones as adolescents, controlling for state-specific factors as well as national suicide rates and events that might trigger rises in the rates.

What the study found was that before 2010, the year that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for adolescents became available in many states, the suicide rates were largely the same. But after that period, there was a noticeable rise in suicides in the states that allowed for them, with the rates rising dramatically starting in 2015. Greene writes that though the study does not break down suicides according to whether the individuals received hormones or not, the random nature of the study along with the controls means that to attribute it to some other change, “one would have to be able to imagine other medical interventions that only became widely available after 2010 and would only affect young people. The lack of theoretically plausible alternatives strengthens the case for concluding that cross-sex medical interventions are the cause of the observed increase in suicide among young people.”

Along with Shrier’s and Anderson’s books, Greene’s study is incredibly useful in giving citizens the tools for both showing why pro-affirming studies don’t show what they purport to show and why the truth may be the exact opposite. But the reality is that, helpful as studies are, many people are more likely to be influenced by material not in the format of formal academic papers. For this crowd, I recommend Matt Walsh’s new documentary, What is a Woman?  

The documentary, which has been scrupulously ignored by critics with the exception of a Rolling Stone hit piece by a reviewer who never watched the film, is really worth watching. One of the most prominent reasons is that Walsh actually interviews people from all sides—including psychologists and counselors who both deny the metaphysical claims made by the pro-trans side (i.e., the claims that a transwoman “is” a woman) and who speak truthfully about both the known dangers and the uncertainties involving stopping puberty and then pumping adolescents full of cross-sex hormones. (The details make the film unsuitable for younger children.) The film also includes a great deal of commentary by Scott (née Kelli) Newgent, a woman who transitioned at 42 and has since had to deal with the serious medical problems that came from the hormones and the phalloplasty surgery. She realizes, she says, that her life is most likely to be cut short by what has happened. She details how she was convinced to take on these medical interventions with the same kind of inadequate information and counseling that caused Erica Anderson to dissent from the WPATH ideology. She also cites studies indicating that suicidal ideation reaches its peak seven to ten years after “gender affirmation” surgeries.

All the most pertinent facts about transitioning and how too many of today’s clinicians approach it are revealed from the lips of the people themselves. Most important, however, is that Walsh’s very pointed interviews with gender studies professors, counselors, and even doctors reveal them as willing to shade the truth not only about the drugs and the statistics, but about whether there is a truth at all. In one widely circulated scene, University of Tennessee-Knoxville gender studies professor Patrick Grzanka tells Walsh that talk about reality is “transphobic.” He is unable to answer the film’s title question beyond saying that a woman is someone who identifies as a woman.

Joe Biden and those advising him want to “affirm” children. But the kind of affirmation children and adults need is that they are fearfully and wonderfully made as male or female. They need to be affirmed in the fact that there is truth in the world and that acknowledging and living according to that truth—rather than changing their bodies irreparably—is the path to healthiness and happiness. We have some very good tools to help them discover and affirm that truth. We need to use them. 

David P. Deavel is editor of Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, co-director of the Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy, and a visiting professor at the University of St. Thomas (MN). He is the co-host of the Deep Down Things podcast. Follow him on GETTR @davidpdeavel.

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5 months ago

Another dem mess, but it will be cleaned up starting in November 2022, regardless of the 2nd pandamic!

Richard Minetti
5 months ago

Now the Pope really has time communicate this idiot!

Richard Minetti
5 months ago

My word processor has gone wild! Must have been attacked by the left!!

5 months ago

It should be evident by now, to all sane people, that the old democrat party is now the Party of Death.
Anything they advocate is meant to harm American citizens or cause their death.

zoe frost
5 months ago

Easy, it’s THIS perverted, corrupt traitor administration…the bathhouse boi with tranny “wife”, who’s in his 3rd term (pulling the pedo fraud puppet’s strings)… was how we got the alphabet non-normals in our face 24/7. “They” just wanted to have “spousal” benefits, then married, then suing cake bakers for not making them a disgusting symbolic cake, now they want grooming RIGHTS”…a guy in sexed up female costume reading to your kiddos at a library, teaching kindergarteners, and older, the joys of perverted sex…attempting to normalize their perverted abnormal lifestyle.

If the perv, pedo fraud puppet’s signing something ()probably written, or sanctioned by bathhouse boi Commie Traitor Obamie), you can be sure it will lead to more grooming of our kiddos and impressionable, indoctrinated idiots thinking their perverted lifestyles are normal.

zoe frost
5 months ago

Yep, if perv, pedo Joe’s involved, you can bet whatever it is he’s signing, where kiddos are involved, it’s gonna make it easer for groomers…expletive’s the poster pic for Stranger Danger! How he’s not a registered sex offender…oh wait…Senator, V.P., fraud puppet POTUS,…never mind.

5 months ago

One has to wonder why this administration is persistantly chasing this issue…..knowing there are far more important things to be dealt with…….

5 months ago

I am so embarrassed that joebadin says that he is Catholic!
He possesses NONE of the dogma and values of a Catholic Christian. There is Nothing about him that is even humane.
This county seriously needs a revolution to bring all back to the God-fearing nation as we were founded.
I realize that there are quite a few citizens who call themselves Christian, and that is in name only. And that there are also many whom are trying to follow the mainstream of the times against of Glorious Lord and Savior. But I also know that public figures denying the validity, the greatness, of God.
It is precisely these very very broken public figures (who, just happen to be politically on the far left) need to be vehemently deterred.
They definitely are not anywhere near a majority and yet they are taking over the minds (and the bodies) of our young people.
We Have to Stop Them! …and I do not think simply midterm elections are going to do that… Instead we are bowing down and out of congeniality allowing the small to take us down.
God alone can save us now, but He needs us to do the leg-work. We are His people! We are His people! We are His Temple! We must fight for Him!

Larry W
5 months ago

Children are not mature enough to make these decisions. They are not born as adults so let them be kids and stop abusing them with confusion about their gender.

zoe frost
5 months ago
Reply to  Larry W

Gender confusion, that deviant perversions are normal…it’s grooming.

5 months ago

SAVE THE U.S.A….Arrest and deport all democrats ,libturds, and socialists to GITMO for treason and punishment!… It’s time to declare a civil war against the far-left loonies!.,.,.,

Judy K.
5 months ago

The demon possessed are ‘BEING ALLOWED’ to run this country by others in our government who claim to be on the ‘RIGHT SIDE’ of things, but either haven’t read the Constitution of The United States, or they have chosen out of fear to ignore it! In our Constitution it states that if our own government officials commit treason against this nation and the people that a Militia or Militia’s can be formed to remove the adversaries. Even our Law Enforcement agencies and officers are derelict in thinking they’re under the thumb of their state’s governing system of Marxists. The Constitution has not and is not being taught in the government run schools. In way too many homes in America, the Holy Bible isn’t being read, nor God being worshipped.
This nation has lost its soul!
God’s Word is SURE and ‘when a nation forgets their God, it will fall.’ Everything in the KJV of the Holy Word of God is true! Prophesy is being fulfilled against this nation!
God’s Word states that the nation which was once blessed by God, but has turned away from him will debase herself and become as Sodom and Gomorrah.
Anyone want to tell me that is NOT happening in this country right now??
The demons controlling the government are doing their jobs, for lack of a better word. This nation has become proud and lifted up, and sees no need for the God who made her a great and feared nation on the world stage! Only God knows ‘the time’ he will unleash his fury and the besom of destruction he has proposed against her.
May God bless those who are his and take us home when that time comes. I pray our families will be Saved for Eternity.
Oh Might God of heaven, help us!

5 months ago

The marxist democrat party is definately a sick group!
They are fixated on shoving this gender crisis crap down parents and citizens throats when OBVIOUSLY the VAST MAJORITY , 99+ % thinks it’s ridiculous and destructive to all children!!
What the heck is the matter with the marxist democrat party?????
Something seriously wrong with them.

Larry W
5 months ago
Reply to  Garye

Remember the good ole days when they accused folks of jamming their religion down other peoples throats. that’s exactly what they are doing with this gender confusion. The Biden crowd are the only ones that are confused.

5 months ago

God Almighty issued an “executive order” in his creation of both humans and animals, that they are male and female. Joe Biden is a consummate fool, without doubt.

5 months ago
Reply to  Dr.Zorro

joebama with the rest of the marxist democrats are FOOLS and immoral liars!

Elena Tellez
5 months ago

If an adult (age 21 or above) wishes to change his or her gender, so be it. But young children and even adolescents are much to immature and impressionable to make such a life-changing and perhaps life-threatening decision. Progressive Dems try to sexualize children at younger and younger ages… what happened to innocent childhoods, people? Biden and his twisted ilk have got to GO!

But, switching gears, I am a straight female… but wish conservatives and some churches would be more accepting of gay males and lesbians… and allow them to live peaceful, well accepted, married lives. God made homosexuals… just as He made hetero- people… perhaps the scribes who put ‘The Bible’ on papyrus injected their own beliefs… Homosexuality has been around since time immemorial… we are who we are… and the

5 months ago
Reply to  Elena Tellez

Sorry, God DID NOT make homosexuals. CHECK the word of the Bible and you find that God FORBADE this situation. It is around due to the free will of the individual. In the end, each of us will be accountable to God for the choices that were made and not FORGIVEN for.

5 months ago
Reply to  Elena Tellez

Elena, your first paragraph is informational and accurate. The second paragraph, well……. you are who YOU make yourself out to be.

A B Campbell
5 months ago

Like you have stated before. You won’t win any of these battles until all the Communist are killed. All of them. ,

5 months ago

The communist liberals want to fill our children with the same hate they have been pushing for decades. If I had school age children I would pull them out of public school in a heart beat. Libs want to steal our children’s innocence to further their agenda. Period.

Sharon Ormsby
5 months ago

Truth is, you are what you were born. It’s really plain and simple. If you were born a hermaphrodite, then, when you are through your teenage years, you should have a choice as to what you will be. Parents shouldn’t make that decision for you. They are truly the only ones who should have this decision, and there are a few of them out there. I have personally known one. I feel very sorry for those children who have been abused by thoughtless and yes, abusive parents, who have pushed this ideology on their children. More suicides should be on their consciences for a very, long time. God will be their judge.

5 months ago

dems are kind enough to confirm and re-affirm they are not Americans daily or more often.

Eamonn Thomas Smyth
5 months ago

Is it possible that the teachers and those behind the transgender ideas are just trying to destroy our nation from within and also are they pimps and pedophiles?

5 months ago

Common Sense tells you whether you are a male or female! . . . You are exactly what you were born as period.

5 months ago
Reply to  Rik

Pretty simple for anyone with a brain!!!
Could be the stupidest thing ever ,even for the liberal marxist democrat party.

5 months ago

This is disgusting!

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