‘Cold, calculated, institutionalized child abuse’: Experts comment on gender ‘transitions’ for kids
DALLAS, Texas, October 31, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – In the wake of the James Younger case, experts and children’s rights activists spoke to LifeSiteNews about the “devastation” of subjecting kids to transgenderism, warning that this phenomenon is a “social contagion” with horrible consequences.
“Many of us hope that this case will usher in a return to sanity, science, and medical ethics rooted in ‘first, do no harm,’” stated Dr. Michelle Cretella, Executive Director for the American College of Pediatricians (not to be confused with the left-wing American Academy of Pediatrics).
“Physicians and therapists who embrace ‘transition’ for children promote a political agenda, not scientific advance,” she said. “This is obvious once the euphemisms are shed: gaslighting, chemical castration, and the surgical mutilation of children is not ‘therapy.’ Social and medical transition of children is cold, calculated, institutionalized child abuse at the hands of those charged with healing.”
Dr. Cretella highlighted the fear professionals have about speaking out against the transgender movement.
“As one liberal head of a department of psychology in the Northwest told me, ‘We know this is harmful [to kids], but to say so is career ending,’” Dr. Cretella told LifeSiteNews.
Dr. Andre Van Mol, the co-chair of the American College of Pediatricians’ Committee on Adolescent Sexuality, stressed that gender dysphoria is a “mental health diagnosis” and “transgenderism” is “an overarching ideology.”
“When we are speaking about children and gender dysphoria there are some principles to understand. For one, gender dysphoria is a mental health diagnosis as opposed to transgenderism actually being an overarching ideology.”
Medical “transitions” for children have not been studied by the FDA, nor is there enough research for professionals to understand all of its long-term impacts.
“Any thought of ‘gender affirmation therapy’ for a minor is entirely experimental,” Van Mol told LifeSiteNews.
He continued, “Shoving it on kids as though it is the way to go is not merited by the literature. And a lot of the [gender-affirming] literature that is out there [is] deeply flawed.”
There is also an ethical concern with completing a medical “transition,” according to Dr. Van Mol: “You are permanently medicalizing something that has an 85 percent rate of desistance based on a self diagnosis.”
Dr. Van Mol highlighted the underlying source of gender identity issues that are ignored when pursuing “gender affirming” therapy.
“The overwhelming majority of these kids will have underlying mental health issues or neurodevelopmental disabilities. These are the things that should be addressed and the underlying problems don’t go away with so-called gender affirming therapy,” Van Mol shared.
‘Pre-teen brains are not developed enough to make irreversible decisions that include removing body parts…’
Katy Faust is the Founder and Director of Them Before Us, an organization committed to defending the rights of children in marriage and divorce. Faust told LifeSiteNews she is hesitant to celebrate the ruling.
“I will reserve my celebration until I see 18-year-old James intact and celebrating his male body,” she said.
Faust said a core issue at play in this situation is the viewing of children as objects:
“The idea that adults have a right to a child even if it means violating that child’s right to be known by their biological mother treats children as an object from the moment of conception. It’s as if he exists to make the mother happy, despite the cost to his natural rights. It’s not a great leap to then believe that this child’s own body exists for the mother’s fulfillment, regardless of the costs to his long term health.”
James and his twin, Jude, were conceived via in-vitro fertilization using an egg donor.
“The outcry over the situation with James Younger deserves every bit of attention that it’s getting,” said Faust. “The devastation of transgender ‘treatments’ are finally being revealed through this tragic case, as is the push-and-pull that most children of divorce experience.”
Dr. Julie Hamilton, Ph.D., LMFT called gender “transitioning” a “social experiment.”
“Encouraging a child of any age to embrace a gender identity that is different from his or her biological sex is a social experiment which has not been proven through long-term studies to be healthy or effective. Furthermore, there is clear evidence that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones pose serious health risks,” Dr. Hamilton told LifeSiteNews.
Dr. Hamilton, who has treated clients with gender identity issues, said that therapists need to understand the “underlying issues” of gender confusion.
“Therapists who assist children in becoming more comfortable with their biological sex usually seek to understand and address the underlying issues, helping to resolve the issues that are specific to that client. Family therapy is usually a part of the treatment as well.”
“Some of the known risk factors for developing gender confusion include: parents wanting a child of the opposite sex; a child with a sensitive temperament, leading to interpretations of rejection,” said Dr. Hamilton, or “a poor relationship with the same-sex parent, poor relationships with same-sex peers, over-identification with members of the opposite sex, parental reinforcement of cross-gender behaviors, and sexual abuse.”
Mr. David Pickup, a therapist who operates the largest practice in Texas that almost exclusively helps patients deal with unwanted homosexuality and gender confusion, warned of the harm that can be done by “transitioning” children.
“Pre-teen brains are not developed enough to make irreversible decisions that include removing body parts, and in the case of young children, taking puberty-blocking drugs that could be permanently harmful to them,” Pickup told LifeSiteNews.
With his clients, Pickup doesn’t focus on behavior “affirming” gender confusion, but looks at the source of the issue, which is typically trauma.
“First is always the foundational goal of the rise of the authentic self according to...what is best for the client, and which reflects sound research,” he said. “Other goals include healing the trauma of the terror, pain, and abandonment issues below the dysphoria, which leads automatically to the authentic self in which the client feels alive, centered, authentic, and happy within their own bodies.”
“Lack of confidence of the rights of one’s individuality is growing, as well as the belief that the government must always be right about gender/sexuality issues, which are leading to the demise of parental and individual rights,” Pickup warned.
Children are traumatized by divorce
Pickup said there is a link between gender identity issues and the trauma of parents divorcing. He noted he has not met James, but commented that it is highly likely he is experiencing trauma from the divorce:
“It’s highly likely that the seven-year-old Younger child is experiencing detachment and trauma within this experience of the divorce of his mother and father. It is essential that this child receive therapy that increases the secure emotional attachment to his parents and therefore, eventually, to his authentic biological sex. In my experience, children will do anything, including being the gender that a parent wants them to be, in order to not feel abandoned by that parent. It’s likely that the Younger child is experiencing similar unresolved trauma.”
“At some subconscious level, all children are traumatized by divorce,” said Dr. Cretella. “Even when parents are abusive and legal separation is absolutely necessary, kids may still suffer depression, anxiety, and even blame themselves for the divorce.”
Dr. Van Mol pointed to the link between trauma and gender confusion as well as the link between divorce and rapid onset gender dysphoria: “The idea of the rapid onset gender dysphoria [is] that a girl in her midteens – her parents divorce or there is some kind of great family discord, and out of nowhere [she] announces to both parents, ‘oh, I am trans.’ It is a way of dealing with the pain and avoiding the negative emotions.”
Dr. Van Mol is the father of two biological children. He fostered nine children, two of whom he also adopted.
“Foster kids tend to have a disproportionately high rate of gender dysphoria and I will just answer with of course, by definition, they all come from broken homes and every foster care is a broken home,” he said. “You could say that about any human being, but because of where they came from they are particularly hurt and so they are particularly vulnerable to this kind of ideology.”
Mr. Pickup also stated that the “breakup of the secure family system” is a common underlying factor that leads to gender identity issues in his patients.
“Another factor is the breakup of the secure family system, which has been the foundation of western civilization for eons, and the growing belief of parents and society that a one-parent home is always just as fulfilling as a binary-gender two-parent home.”
The prevalence of individuals who identify themselves as transgender has been rapidly rising over the last 10 years. Dr. Van Mol calls it a “social contagion.”
“The prevalence of it should be relatively infinitesimal. According to the literature it [the prevalence] is thousandths of a percent, yet in the past year among American young people, up to two percent self-identify as possibly transgender-identifying. Something changed and it obviously wasn’t biology or genetics. I think this is starting to move like a social contagion. It's the ‘cool thing,’” Dr. Van Mol told LifeSiteNews.
Dr. Cretella told LifeSiteNews that the increase in transgenderism among youth is linked to social forces, including social media and political activism.
“The incidence and prevalence of transgenderism among youth, especially girls, has skyrocketed for many reasons, including cultural indoctrination via mass media, social media, and schools in the wake of adult transgender political activism,” Dr. Cretella told LifeSiteNews.
Follow all LifeSiteNews coverage of the James Younger case here.