April 1, 2019 (Human Life International) — Disturbing new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) highlight the grave dangers that the transgender ideology poses to children. A new survey of 131,901 public school students has found that nearly 2 percent of students in grades 9–12 identify as “transgender.” That translates into a staggering number of teenagers suffering profound confusion about their identity and all the accompanying psychological and physical risks.
While reliable statistics about the rates of transgenderism among high school students across time are hard to come by, more and more data suggest that there is an alarming, and rapidly growing epidemic of gender dysphoria (the clinical term for this psychological disorder) among young people.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), for instance, recently reported that children's clinics in Canada are seeing an “exponential growth” in cases of teenagers “who don't identify as the sex they were born with.” A doctor at one leading children's hospital, CHEO in Ottawa, told the CBC that ten years ago the clinic might see one or two children a year seeking to “change” their gender. Last year, they saw 189 such children. In 2013, British Columbia's Children's Hospital saw 20 children seeking transgender “treatments.” Last year they saw 240.
Similar increases are being seen in other countries. In the UK, officials are investigating the reasons behind a stratospheric increase in teenagers seeking “treatments” to become another gender in the past 10 years. According to The Telegraph, in 2009–10, there were just 40 girls seeking transgender “treatments” in the UK. In 2017–18, that grew to 1,806, an increase of 4,500%. Meanwhile, “referrals for boys have risen from 57 to 713 in the same period,” reports The Telegraph — an increase of 1,250%.
However, instead of seeking to identify environmental factors that may be causing this rapid increase, many clinics and doctors are instead rushing to “treat” these children using drastic, and in many cases irreversible interventions.
CHEO Hospital in Ottawa is just one hospital engaging in macabre experimentation on children suffering gender dysphoria. As the CBC reports: “At the clinic, patients from eastern Ontario and western Quebec are seen by a team of doctors who treat them with hormone blockers, hormone therapy and, in some cases, surgery to transition from one gender to another.”
In other words, the clinic is taking children and teenagers who have either not yet gone through puberty, or who have but are still coming to terms with their sexuality (a confusing process at the best of times!) and interfering with their natural biological processes or mutilating their bodies in irreversible ways — confirming these children in an identity that is associated with a host of negative physical and psychological outcomes.
Transgender Pressure as Child Abuse
A recent report from the UK has raised serious red flags about the speed with which one children's clinic — the Tavistock Gender Identity Development Clinic — is prescribing these drastic, unproven and unstudied “treatments” for children, often without making any substantial effort to identify or treat underlying problems that may be contributing to the child's experience of gender dysphoria.
The report was compiled by David Bell, a staff governor at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, which has oversight of the clinic. According to The Sunday Times, the report found that many children “take up a trans identity as a solution” to “multiple problems such as historic child abuse in the family, bereavement … homophobia and a very significant incidence of autism spectrum disorder.” The report provides several examples of cases where the patient's gender dysphoria could reasonably be traced to factors in their environment, and that could be addressed with normal psychological treatments. In one case, for instance, a girl felt so guilty after the death of her brother that she decided to give her parents “their son back” by transitioning.
Staff at the clinic reported, however, that they often couldn't even attempt to address potential underlying causes, since the pressure to “affirm” the child in his new “gender identity” is so strong. In many cases, they reported, children have clearly been “coached” by transgender activists what to say. As a result, says the report, the clinic is providing “woefully inadequate” care, with some staff members expressing “very serious ethical concerns” about the fact that children are being pushed towards dramatic and irreversible procedures with little knowledge about the long-term impact. According to report, in some cases children were being prescribed hormones after just a single session at the clinic.
The clinic, as reported by The Times, “is exposing young patients to 'long-term damage' because of its 'inability to stand up to the pressure' from 'highly politicised' campaigners and families demanding fast-track gender transition[.]” In other words, weak-kneed doctors and health care workers are perpetuating child abuse because of the political pressures they are under.
On the other hand, staff members have very good reasons to be afraid of this “pressure” from “highly politicised” campaigners. Transgenderism is the new sacred cow of liberal progressivism. A decade ago most people had never even heard of transgenderism, or if they did, they scarcely gave it any thought. Now, we are immersed in it, and even to question the flagrantly anti-scientific and extremist transgender ideology is to risk immediate and public consequences, including loss of jobs, public shaming and — increasingly — visits from the police or even arrest.
In one horrific recent case, a Canadian judge ruled that a father couldn't prevent doctors from giving his daughter hormones to help her “transition” to become a boy against his wishes. In another case, a construction worker was arrested for laughing at a “transgender woman” — i.e. a biological man dressed as a woman. Then there's the case of a 38-year-old woman who was arrested in front of her children for arguing with a transgender activist on Twitter. Then there's tennis legend Martina Navratilova, a feminist who is fully on board with the LGBT agenda — except for one thing. Recently, she dared to question whether biological men should be permitted to compete in women's sports. She was promptly kicked off the board of Athlete Ally — a leading homosexual activist organization — and vilified by LGBT activists and media.
Children: Sacrificial Victims to Transgender Ideology
The most bizarre thing is that transgenderism is being instantiated as an absolute value, one that cannot be criticized, despite a glaring lack of reliable research into the phenomenon — especially as it affects children. Furthermore, any research that goes against the dogmas of transgender ideology is immediately dismissed.
One recent study, for instance, found that gender dysphoria appears to have a “social contagion” factor. That is, gender dysphoria appears to spread through social groups, similar to the way that “cutting” and bulimia are known to spread among groups of girls. The researchers described this phenomenon as Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria. It appears to primarily affect girls, many of whom suddenly claim to be confused about their gender despite never having expressed confusion before.
Some of the anecdotal evidence supporting the existence of a social contagion factor to gender dysphoria is deeply compelling — such as the one school in the UK where an astonishing 17 students — many of them reportedly autistic — are transitioning their gender. As National Post columnist Barbara Kay reports: “In one case study, a 14-year-old natal female and three of her natal female friends announced they were transgender within a year of a popular coach's announcement that she was transgender.” The fact that the social contagion factor primarily affects girls would also help explain the staggering increase in gender dysphoria among girls, as noted in the statistics from the UK above.
However, instead of carefully looking at the data and considering a compelling hypothesis, transgender activists have come out swinging, demonizing the researchers behind the study, and dismissing out of hand the very possibility of a social factor to gender dysphoria.
The fact is, children suffering gender dysphoria are the unwitting pawns in an ideological war. The entire social left has seized upon the transgender ideology as the next logical step in their bid to embed the principles of the sexual revolution as deeply as possible in society. The sexual revolution first unmoored sex from reproduction; and now it is unmooring sexuality from biology altogether. If sex and sexuality are mere social constructs, then they can be rebuilt as we will. Nothing is forbidden. If transgenderism becomes widely accepted, then the sexual revolutionaries can claim their final victory. And they know that.
They believe that, if innocent children need to suffer in the name of this ideology, then so be it. And they are suffering. The new CDC report, for instance, paints a horrific image of what life is like for children suffering gender dysphoria. The report found that among the teens claiming to be transgender a full 35% of them had tried to commit suicide in the past year; 23.8% reported that they had been forced to have sexual intercourse; and 26.4% reported physical violence while dating.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Reports the CDC (Note that the strange term “cisgender” refers to people who “identify” with their biological sex, i.e. normal, healthy people):
Transgender students were more likely than cisgender students to report first sexual intercourse before age 13 years, [and] sexual intercourse with four or more persons than were cisgender students[.] … Transgender students were more likely than were cisgender females to have ever had sex (43.1% versus 33.2%) and to have drunk alcohol or used drugs before their last sexual intercourse (30.0% versus 17.9%)[.] ,,, Transgender students were less likely than cisgender males and cisgender females to have not ever been tested for HIV (70.0% versus 87.4% and 86.9%, respectively).
Of course, transgender activists immediately interpret these statistics as evidence of the harm that anti-transgender “bigotry” causes. Thus, their preconceived ideological notions are impregnable to evidence. And instead of putting resources into researching and pursuing common-sensical psychological treatments to attempt to resolve underlying issues that may be causing gender dysphoria, transgender activists are enthusiastically pushing children and teenagers into an identity and lifestyle that carries with it the gravest risks to their physical, psychological and spiritual well-being.
As one columnist recently noted, transgenderism amounts to a form of “mass delusion,” and it will only stop “when enough people simply refuse to play along.” Notes Jonathon van Maren:
This is not the first time in history that mass delusion has swept through a civilization, but it is undoubtedly the severest case. Elderly women and young mothers are being bullied by the police for insisting that biological men are men. New genders — and I cannot find a single person who can actually name more than a half-dozen of the apparently 50-plus that now exist — multiply almost weekly. Women can have penises. Men can get pregnant. Children should be taken at their word if they are confused about their gender.
Van Maren concludes with this stark warning: “If the apathy that often defines our political culture reigns supreme and most people simply attempt to ignore the trans activists while they colonize our schools and indoctrinate our children, then we will see a truly radical and very damaged generation rise up to celebrate the death of common sense — and herald the end of Western civilization.”
Jonathon's right. Extremist transgender activists are bullying and shaming normal citizens into pretending to accept an ideology that most people are intuitively deeply uncomfortable with. And all the while they're working hard to recruit and enlist the power of the law and law enforcement to make dissent illegal and punishable. We can't let them. Our children's lives and the future of our society depend on it.
Published with permission from Human Life International.