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September 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is urging parents to accept the preferred gender identity of their children without regard for the children’s actual biological sex.

The progressive-leaning group published a policy statement Monday calling for “comprehensive” and “gender-affirming” health care for minors who do not identify with their birth sex.

This includes “surgical intervention” and puberty blocking hormones – both of which are controversial for being insufficiently proven and ultimately unhelpful to those suffering with gender confusion.

The advance of gender ideology – the belief that a person has a “gender identity” that may or may not align with their biological sex – has the support of some in the medical community.

And the results, other medical experts say, amount to an assault on children that is not based on science.

Pubertal suppression, cross-sex hormones and sex reassignment surgeries in children and adolescents are all part of a large-scale, uncontrolled and unconsented experimentation on children who have a psychological condition, they say – a condition that would typically resolve post-puberty in the most cases.

The transition-affirming movement purports to help children, American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) president Dr. Michelle Cretella has said. However, it is “inflicting a grave injustice on them and their non-dysphoric peers.”

Medical professionals have been advocating this uncontrolled experimentation using the myth that people are born transgender.

“There is no rigorous science that demonstrates gender identity is inborn and unchangeable,” Cretella told LifeSiteNews. “There is no rigorous science that establishes all gender identities are equally healthy and fixed for all children and teens.” 

“There is a long history of scientific literature to indicate that the vast majority of young children with gender dysphoria outgrow it by late adolescence,” she added.

Cretella pointed to the ACPeds policy statement on Gender Identity Issues in Children and Adolescents.

ACPeds is a national professional organization of pediatricians and child health professionals that separated from the AAP in 2002 in response to the AAP's increasing departure from objective science on medical issues that interface with social values, Cretella explained.

The medical community treated gender identity disorder, renamed gender dysphoria in 2013, as a mental illness until recent years.

The American Psychiatric Association continues to classify gender dysphoria as a mental disorder, as did the World Health Organization (WHO) until June.

Taking the gender ideology-associated approach, the AAP states in its guidelines “transgender identities and diverse gender expressions do not constitute a mental disorder,” and also that “variations in gender identity and expression are normal aspects of human diversity.”

“For some people, gender identity can be fluid, shifting in different contexts,” the AAP paper states.

The AAP further claims in its statement titled “Ensuring Comprehensive Care and Support for Transgender and Gender-Diverse Children and Adolescents” that any mental health issue associated with gender confusion “most often stems from stigma and negative experiences rather than being intrinsic to the child.”

The AAP’s guidance gives data indicating transgender-identifying individuals are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm and suicide – but blames all on inadequate health care and social stigma. 

The aim of its policy statement, it said, was to provide suggestions for pediatric providers that are focused on promoting the health and positive development of youth who identify as transgender and gender diverse (TGD) while eliminating discrimination and stigma. Youth who identify as TGD and their families are increasingly presenting to pediatric providers for education, care, and referrals, the group said.

The AAP “strives to improve health care access and eliminate disparities for children and teenagers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) of their sexual or gender identity,” its statement says.

Consequently, reparative or “conversion” therapy – professional treatment for unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion – is derided by the AAP in its paper as “unfair and deceptive,” inappropriate and damaging.

“What is most important is for a parent to listen, respect and support their child’s self-expressed identity,” Jason Rafferty, MD and lead author of the statement, said in a report from National Review.

“Those of us in the medical community stand prepared to help them,” said Ilana Sherer, MD, a member of the AAP’s Section on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health and Wellness.

“The “scientific” policy statement recently released was written by a handful of like-minded physicians on the LGBT subcommittee of the AAP,” Cretella told LifeSiteNews. “In the end, the policy statement was likely passed by fewer than 100 pediatricians. The statement is a hard left propaganda piece; not science.”

Cretella said the rapid escalation of referrals of children and teens for transition hormones and surgeries, including double mastectomies in girls as young as age 13, cannot be adequately explained by “societal tolerance” alone.

“This rapid escalation demands further investigation,” she said, “and especially among girls, may be found to be best understood in light of social learning theory and social contagion.

“The risks of puberty blockers and a lifetime of sex change hormones include: permanent sterility, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, cancers and more,” stated Cretella. “Promoting the sex change pathway to children and teens as the AAP does is a gross violation of ‘First, do no harm.’”

The AAP has a history of support for affirming gender confusion in children and adults.

In April 2017, the AAP said children under age 14 are not cognitively capable of crossing a busy street. The group said this at the same time it promotes the assertion that children this age or younger are cognitively able to decide that they are the wrong sex, and also cognitively competent to consent to puberty blockers, toxic sex hormones, and sex reassignment surgery.

The AAP also supports letting adolescents obtain an abortion without parental knowledge or consent, teen access to so-calledemergency contraception” and other birth control, and early childhood sexual instruction by doctors. It has expressed opposition to abstinence education, support for same-sex “marriage” adoptions and advocating for pediatricians to take steps to normalize homosexuality in their practices.

The implications of pushing gender “treatment’ for children are also troubling for parental rights.

In March, an instructor in a Washington state school district’s sex education course told a 12-year-old girl that because she liked fishing and basketball that meant she was transgendered – upsetting the girl.

In February, parents in Ohio lost custody of their 17-year-old daughter because a judge ruled that she should be allowed to receive treatment, including testosterone therapy, to identify as a boy.