Legislation Protecting Minors From Medical Transition Could Have Unintended Consequences:
Society Must Also Become Aware of the Truth about Transition!
This essay is a response to the legislation seeking to protect minors from experimental medical interventions to treat “gender dysphoria” or to treat trans-identified kids. While many are celebrating this as a move in the right direction, preventing minors from suffering medical harm, it may have unintended negative implications for those 18 and over.
I do believe that this legislation, introduced in several states throughout the United States, is great, and will protect many children from unnecessary medical interventions that have serious long-term consequences. My concern is that this legislation could have the effect of making 18 a "magic" age where these "treatments" are heavily pushed - at colleges and universities as well as Planned Parenthood and hospitals and clinics all over the United States. I certainly hope not.
We must engage in a two-pronged approach, by not only having this protective legislation for minors, but also informing the public about the folly of the rush to social and medical transition, in an effort to protect vulnerable young people aged 18 and over.
While I have a personal reason to dread this potential result of legislation protecting minors from unnecessary medical interventions - that my gender-confused daughter is 17.5 at the moment - I also believe that most 18-year-olds are not mature enough to make these decisions, particularly when they have been convinced of the necessity for these "treatments" from a much earlier age, and they are not given any of the correct information about the "treatments" or the condition for which the "treatments" are being offered. (See my essay on Consent) A terrible result of all the protective legislation would be a rush of some large percentage of 18-year-olds toward unhealthy, unnecessary medical treatments (chemical and surgical interventions to make their bodies appear as the opposite sex).
To ensure that a generation of young adults is not left with health problems and psychological and emotional scars resulting from unnecessary, harmful medical interventions, not only do we need to prevent minors from receiving these "treatments," we also need to make the public aware of the truth about the effects and side effects of the medical "treatments" being offered/pushed on our youth.
We must be realistic about the many health problems these “treatments” cause, emphasizing that many of the effects are irreversible. We must not whitewash things like radical double mastectomies that can cause infection, permanently change the body’s appearance in an obvious way, prevent any future chance to breastfeed, and likely deprive the recipients of an erogenous zone, with euphemisms like “top surgery.” We must be up-front about all the medical issues that can result from exogenous synthetic hormones, including increased risk of heart attack or stroke, sterility, genital atrophy, and more, as well as the complications from surgical interventions such as castration, phalloplasty, etc. (euphemistically called “bottom surgery”), including infection, incontinence, and lack of functionality. We must also warn that the brain is still forming through about age 25 - so that many young people “choosing” to have such “treatments” are not equipped to make decisions of such a permanent nature, even if they had all the information necessary to make an informed choice.
Young people (children, teens and young adults) in particular must be made aware of the truth about transition itself. That is, they must be made aware of, among other things:
(1) the impact of social contagion in making them suffer from a form of gender dysphoria (distress over one’s biological sex) - as the notions of gender dysphoria are pushed through every avenue of society, including, but not limited to: social media, mainstream media, schools, colleges and universities, government (local, state and federal), health care workers (doctors, nurses, psychologists), and many of their friends and neighbors. [Everyone knows about the phenomenon of medical school students believing they have many of the conditions they learn about, and that’s just from learning of the existence of these conditions, not from having them pushed as being likely and displayed everywhere throughout their lives from an early age.];
(2) the potential for gender dysphoria, even when not socially induced, to disappear on its own or be alleviated or managed through mental health treatments [This has been shown in many studies, with an average over all the studies of at least 80% becoming accepting of their biological sex with “watchful waiting” and/or mental health interventions like exploratory (not “conversion”) therapy.];
(3) the fact that nobody is actually born in the "wrong body," which is a non-sensical notion with no scientific basis and a complete lack of logic, and "gender dysphoria" is, in fact, a mental disorder rather than a natural response to a mis-match between a biological body and an undefined, undefinable "gender identity" that, for an unexplained reason, requires a body to appear as the opposite sex for the inhabitant of the body to be at peace;
(4) that the people who have "successfully" transitioned were mature adults who realized this was a choice - not a compelled treatment for a metaphysical condition - to deal with society "as if" you are the opposite sex in order to be treated by society in the way you perceive you are or will be treated if you are thought to be the opposite sex, and/or a choice to have certain cosmetic treatments to appear differently to yourself because you, for whatever reason, are severely bothered by your body and haven’t figured out how to accept your own healthy body for what it is;
(5) that at least some mature adults who chose to transition eventually realized this was not necessary and, perhaps, they could have alleviated their mental suffering in less physically invasive, mentally taxing ways, and, for the youth transitioning today, the rate of regret is as of yet unknown, but appears to be growing by leaps and bounds;
(6) the fact that effeminate and masculine behaviors (the determination of which varies across times and across different societies) have nothing to do with whether someone is male or female, which is based purely on biology, and one can happily engage in gender non-conforming behaviors without the need to pretend they are the opposite sex or chemically and surgically alter their bodies to appear as the opposite sex;
(7) the fact that there is no such thing as thinking like a male or a female, as every male and female think differently (even if some generalizations can be made about a majority of males or a majority of females on a given topic);
(8) the fact that there is absolutely no proof that the “treatments” associated with medical (and social) transition prevent suicide, and, in fact, there is some proof - from at least one large long-term study in Amsterdam - that the suicide rate is much higher for those who have socially and medically transitioned over the long-term than in the general population - so that these “treatments” are anything but “life-saving.” One study in the UK of about 15,000 on the wait list for the GIDS clinic or being treated at the GIDS clinic at the Tavistock, showed four completed suicides, two of which were in patients who had already received so-called “gender-affirming care” and two of whom were on the wait list - showing both a lower rate of suicide than claimed, and that suicide is not prevented by receiving such “treatments;”
(9) the fact that, in order to be one’s true self, one need not make cosmetic changes to one’s body or pretend to be the opposite biological sex or neither or both sexes, but instead one must just engage in authentically joyous activities and relate to others on a high level, whether such activities and relationships are typical or atypical of one’s biological sex;
(10) that, rather than sex being “assigned,” it is observed, and, while doctors surely cannot tell whether a baby will have various feminine or masculine characteristics or preferences, or will be attracted to members of the opposite sex or the same sex or both, that has nothing to do with whether an individual is male or female, and, to the extent that anyone believes personality characteristics or preferences determine whether one is male or female, that relies on narrow stereotypes and is quite regressive; and
(11) the fact that a healthy body, male or female, is a gift that we must be careful with, appreciate, and avoid experimenting on, if at all possible, particularly in the name of a mental condition that might best be treated (at least for the vast majority of people) either through watchful waiting or in some other way short of body mutilation.
Because the medical community is failing to live by its most basic tenet of “First, do no harm,” I am all for protecting minors through legislation regulating the medical community. However, only through awareness of the truth about transition will society shut down this medical experimentation and prevent massive medical transition in those 18 and over. We must do both of these things if we hope to save a generation!