I am not making this up.

Twelve-year-old children in the United
Kingdom
who feel confused about their gender now can opt to receive
puberty-blocking drugs while they make up their minds whether to be male or
female.

The hormone blockers inhibit development of
sex characteristics, such as facial hair in boys and full breasts in girls. A
child who later opts for a sex-change operation, the thinking goes, will have
fewer “parts” in need of changing.

Gender-confused teens 16 and over already have
access to the medication. But this latest decision
by the U.K. ethics board allows younger children, even 12 year-olds, to receive
the hormone blockers. Stipulations: the children must give “formal consent” and
their parents must affirm their “full support” for the decision.

Why would any straight-thinking parent
purposely “stunt
their child’s normal, healthy, sexual development so they can switch genders
more easily later on?

Well, they wouldn’t.

From the first sonogram or moment of birth,
parents everywhere delight in knowing whether they have a girl or a boy—a son
or a daughter. The baby’s body reveals an unequivocal truth about who that
child is–male or female. And a young child’s confused protests to the contrary
can’t change that.

The reality of male-female sexuality becomes
an inconvenient truth, however, to agenda-driven LGBT-types. They reject the “gender-binary
mindset, positing instead a sliding scale, a gender spectrum, with each of us eventually
choosing our own comfortable spot.

And if that comfortable, self-identified
place happens to contradict bodily reality? According to the gender-bending
folks, it’s the person’s body that’s out of whack, not the person’s
self-perception. And this is the fiction they sell to teens,
parents, teachers, doctors
and counselors.

That is why a 12 year-old boy who decides
that he doesn’t quite feel like a
male can instruct willing docs in the U.K. to halt his body’s developing masculinity.
 

Instead of trying to clear up the poor
lad’s confusion–teaching his parents to affirm his biological sex while
counseling him towards self-acceptance–the “gender identity” evangelists
prefer to validate his confusion.

In the process, they thwart his body’s normal
sexual development in anticipation of pumping him with female hormones a few
years later. (And once he takes cross-sex hormones, he will become irreversibly
sterile—the same fate suffered by girls who “become” male.)

Just think–all this before he is even legally
old enough to swig a beer.

The parents and doctors involved in this
outrageous practice seem more confused than the poor children themselves. In
the adults’ minds, pressing pause on the puberty button “gives us a window to
explore together that they [the kids] are definitely making the right decision”
to select a different gender, says Dr. Polly Carmichael, director of the lone
clinic that treats gender identity disorder in the UK.

This medical madness may be new to the
British side of the pond, but it’s old hat in the US, where one pediatrician routinely
sends confused children speeding down the transgender chute.

Dr.
Norman Spack
, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Boston Children’s
Hospital’s Gender
Management Service Clinic
(“gender” needs to be “managed?”), believes that
children can self-identify as transgendered by age nine.
His clinic website
goes further, asserting that transgender feelings “can emerge early, even in the
preschool years.”

I suspect they view the world through
“gender-variant” glasses. [Don’t they know any parents with normal little kids?
The moms I know don’t look for a diagnosis when their son grabs his sister’s
pink sippy cup. They can laugh about toddlers who think they will “turn into” a
boy or a girl by donning the other’s clothing. And they know how to creatively
“lose” a preschooler’s favorite, but unacceptable, clothes.

Parents who know how to parent can tell the
difference between personality traits and gender confusion. And they also know
that even confused kids can be “un-confused” with unconditional love, strong direction,
and a little time.

But agenda-driven, gender-inclusive
experts are not a patient lot—nor are they directive unless it’s away from traditional sex norms. Because
transgendered young adults often have difficulty passing as a member of the
opposite sex (no surprise), Spack avoids later problems by diagnosing—and “treating”—children
early. He advocates
puberty-blocking drugs for confused girls, starting at age
10
, and for mixed-up boys at age
12
.

And that’s what he did for “Nikki,”
born male, but now female after a sex change operation at 17. Nikki’s mother
reports that he liked playing with girls as a preschooler and soon rejected his
identity as a boy. 

What is a good mother to do? Let him dress in
girls’ clothes, of course. That’s what Nikki’s mom did anyway, setting him up
for playground teasing from peers who pointed out the obvious reality—that he
was a boy.

It’s not clear where Nikki’s dad was during
all this.  But, no matter. Dr Spack rode
to the rescue, prescribing puberty-blocking hormones for the child, to help him
pass himself off as a girl.

Success, for the champions of gender-inclusivity.
 

Transgender “success” comes at a price,
however. Messing with an adolescent’s hormones—turning the natural ones off
and, a few years later, turning the desired ones on—has serious
consequences.  Most children who undergo
the full treatment will end up infertile—a consequence that Spack admits
is difficult for a 12-year-old to fully appreciate.

Still, Spack believes
the treatment is worth it because otherwise they will “always have trouble
fitting in”. No one seems to have demonstrated, however, that “treated” transgendered
individuals ever fit in, no matter
how many devices, surgeries,
medicines, and counselors they employ. I suspect that theirs is a terrible pain
that needs inner healing first.

And where are the parents in all this? Absent
or inept, it seems.

Childhood and adolescence can be confusing
for any kid. But that is where adults come in. 
When life is confusing, kids need to rely on parents and other adults
for love, stability, common sense, and affirmation. Adults bring clarity out of
a child’s muddled feelings and expand child-sized perspectives with adult
knowledge and wisdom. Parents who project unflappable sureness about a child’s
identity and inherent lovableness provide the emotional anchor for a child who
may be bobbing about in a sea of fears, needs, and insecurities.

Children confused by identity issues are
vulnerable. But it’s worth considering whether their problems are caused by the
parents’ own issues–or by clueless parenting made worse by flawed advice from gender
experts.

Consider, for instance, the tragic case of
Riley Grant.”
Born a boy, he and his twin sister carried the hopes and expectations of
parents so desperate to have a child that they endured eleven in vitro fertilization attempts before conceiving the twins.

By age two, Riley was jealous of his twin
sister and her girly toys and soon protested that he wanted to be a girl too. The
family’s pediatrician told the parents to affirm their son and encourage him
towards more typical boy behaviors, which the family claims to have done.

But here’s where it gets really weird.  By the time her son was three, Riley’s mother
decided her toddler knew best and that she would follow his lead on this boy
versus girl thing. Without telling her husband, she and Riley began enjoying
private “girl-time”,
shopping for girl’s clothing for him and dressing him up in secret. Her reasoning? It
made “that little girl trapped inside…so happy”.  I suspect it made Mommy happy.

Daddy, however, was not so happy. The
parents fought and almost separated. Riley went to school at four, dressed as a
boy but yearning to be a girl. Conflicted, he became progressively distraught. Mom
sought advice from the principal who helpfully sent the family to a gender
identity specialist.

Bad move. “Gender identity” proponents
implicitly assume that biological sex matters little compared to a child’s “deepest
feelings
” about gender.

And Riley, at the wise old age of seven, undoubtedly
felt it would be better to be a girl. Indeed, the gender specialist advised the
parents to let Riley be a girl if that’s what he wanted. But in the rush to
validate his feelings, no one cared to uncover and heal the “why” behind it.

So Riley began his transition. He would
finally be a girl, like his sister.

Thanks to expert advice, Daddy is finally
on-board, too. He admitted,
though, that Riley’s transition did not solve the jealousy issues towards
Riley’s sister. “Her twin was born with the right body…She [Riley] has to hate
her sister in order to survive” because “[h]er twin sister is everything
she wants to be”—a real girl. Now 14, Riley’s suffering must be intense.

What a mess.

The ordeal of this confused little boy was
surely worsened, if not caused, by parents who did not know how to parent. And
that’s terribly sad.

But the big picture looks even worse. Gender identity docs are
churning out theories and medical protocols that affect real children in
life-changing ways — suppressing normal sexual development in healthy
bodies–in order to advance their ideologically-driven agenda.

The website for Dr Spack’s Gender
Management Services Clinic
contains this postscript on patient follow-up: “
We conduct follow-up research on the
patients we treat throughout their adolescence and adult years. Keeping track
of their progress helps us determine our treatment efficacy.”

Translation: We really don’t know how these
experimental “solutions” will affect your child’s life—but so what? Full speed
ahead.

And that’s unconscionable.

Mary
Rice Hasson is a writer and attorney from the Washington, D.C. area.

Related articles:

Experimenting with children’s sexual identity

Suppressing puberty with a view to sex-change surgery

 

Mary Rice Hasson

Mary Rice Hasson is a Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington DC. She is currently working on a book that offers new data on and explores the views of Catholic women on sexual...