Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Another ignoramus weighs in on trans kids

Liz Harrison
I don't know much about Liz Harrison, her education and experience. What I do know is that she is a blogger from Pennsylvania whose “knowledge” of trans kids comes from the American College of Pediatricians, a hate group, which she cites.

For the record:
American Academy of Pediatrics v. American College of Pediatricians

In addition to the hate group, Harrison is dependent upon an anonymous blog. She has written one piece for The Federalist and it is a mess. The polemic is titled: “Why You Can’t Meet The Health Professionals Who Object To Transing Kids.”  

I'll take rhetorical questions for 200 Alex. Answer: Because they are not the professional clinicians who work with transgender children every day. The subtitle to this drivel:
Medical, psychological, and academic professionals who dare to speak out against engaging in what is essentially turning children into lab rats can face very real professional consequences.
I sense that some Christian persecution is in the offing or at least at work here.
Consider the following anonymous case summary:
The following is written as a block quote but its source is not cited. It is presumably not original content:
‘Girl X’ is a healthy 8-year-old. While she has some minor health problems, they do not cause significant psychological issues. It has been reported by her mother that ‘Girl X’ has been engaging in a significant number of gender fluid behaviors, which has included expressing a desire to dress and appear like a boy. ‘Girl X’ must be forced to wear specifically feminine clothing (dresses), prefers socializing with boys of her own age and slightly older, and her mother refused requests to remove “girl” toys from her bedroom. When challenged on her ‘masculine’ choices, “Girl X” often states that she wishes she had been born a boy.
Harrison's “professional” assessment:
If “Girl X” saw a psychologist or therapist who is following the current theories that this kind of behavior should be diagnosed as Gender Dysmorphia (GD), there’s a very good chance she would be put on a road of therapy that could leave her sterile. Her parents would be told to encourage her “gender exploration,” and that their “gender binary” beliefs could harm their child.
First of all it is gender dysphoria. A dysmorphia is a deformity or abnormality in the shape or size of a specified part of the body. A dysphoria is a discomfort. The two terms share most of the same letters — I'll grant her that. You would think that someone sharing her expertise would at least get the nomenclature correct. We have no idea how this Girl X would be diagnosed. We do not have nearly enough information which would include a lengthy conversation with the girl herself. Moreover, gender-affirming therapies are progressive. They begin with puberty blockers, the effects of which are reversible. Gender is most certainly not a binary construct and the girl's parents would be told to allow her to be who she is.
If “Girl X” were particularly adamant in her beliefs that she should be a boy, it’s entirely possible she would be started on hormonal treatments that would prevent her from going into puberty, essentially leaving her as a biologically pre-pubertal female. Regardless of whether she would ever decide to get a sex-change operation in the future, she would probably be sterile and never develop properly as either female or male.
This woman is a fount of misinformation. Puberty blockers are not hormones. They are hormone blockers. They do not induce sterility.
In this case, “Girl X” is one of a majority of children out there, between 80 and 95 percent, who express some degree of gender “confusion” during their development, but eventually accept the fact of their biological sex. I am “Girl X,” and ended up as a heterosexual woman with four children. While I still regularly break “gender norms,” that is just as subjective a statement as any other regarding gender identification anyway.
Now it is 80% to 95% who change their minds. This folklore is not supported by a cite. It likely emanates from Dr. Richard Green's 1986 “Sissy Boy Study” which is really about sexual orientation in contrast to gender identity. Whatever the statistic is, it is largely irrelevant because gender affirming therapies are progressive in nature and rely upon the conviction of the patient.

Dr. Jack Turban, who is eminently qualified and associated with both Harvard and Yale medical schools put this in perspective:
At this point, data on the benefits of early social transition is scarce. But this year researchers at the University of Washington published a study based on 63 transgender youth who were allowed to socially transition. They found that their levels of anxiety and depression were just about indistinguishable from their non-transgender peers.
Subsequent to his piece in the New York Times I have exchanged some email with Dr. Turban. If gender dysphoria goes untreated, there is substantial potential for acute depression, self-harm and even suicide. These kids are carefully monitored by experienced and highly trained clinicians. Do some revert to cisgender? Probably. In which case puberty blockers are stopped and the effects are reversed. By the time a teen goes on hormones (which do have some irreversible effects) he or she is unlikely to change.
Today, the transgender movement and its “gender ideology” are being sold as an ethical way to deal with children who simply are exploring their own thoughts and feelings about gender identity. At its roots, it is a subjective theory based on a misguided notion in psychology that there is no such thing as “normal” in mental health.
“Gender ideology” is a phrase used by the pope and has since been repeated by prelates of the Catholic Church. It is a meaningless religious expression. Treatment for gender dysphoria is not being sold. It is the result of careful evaluation and research. The rest of that paragraph is gibberish which is probably based on religious belief.
The American College of Pediatricians has clearly stated that “Gender Ideology Harms Children.”
Again, the American College of Pediatricians is a minuscule Christian anti-LGBT hate group.
The general public doesn’t tend to hear about that, though. It is rarely said in the mainstream media that treating GD with hormones has irreversible effects on children, and on the contrary, many probably believe it’s all reversible. It’s rarely stated the drugs used to suppress normal sexual development in children are off-label, as in they were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for this use.
Again, the initial treatment for children is not hormones. Harrison is citing an article from the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. The American Association of Physicians and Surgeons or AAPS is a small, ultra-conservative organization opposing Medicare and Medicaid. Their journal has run articles asserting that HIV does not cause AIDS and that being gay reduces one's life expectancy. The U.S. National Library of Medicine refuses to index the journal.


The fact that puberty blockers, when used to treat gender dysphoria, are off label is less relevant than the quality, training and experience of the clinicians who prescribe them and who monitor their patients. I am taking two off-label medications for PTSD.

Eventually we get to the subject:
One reason for this is, bluntly, bullying. Medical, psychological, and academic professionals who dare to speak out against engaging in what is essentially turning children into lab rats can face very real professional consequences. “First, Do No Harm: Youth Gender Professionals” is a group of mostly anonymous professionals who are speaking out against this experimentation. They are known to each other, but keep their identities generally hidden from the public at large. 
We have no idea whatsoever who is behind an anonymous blog. I looked at one post. It liberally links to 4thwavenow which is another anonymous blog written (supposedly) by a mother who refuses to accept the science. She has compared gender affirming therapy to lobotomies. Medical professionals don't cite non-medical anonymous sources.

Furthermore, she is painting a picture of academic repression for disagreeing with the medical establishment. That strains credulity. For example, Kevin MacDonald, an anti-Semitic holocaust denier and neo-Nazi repeater was a tenured professor of psychology at Cal-State Long Beach until he retired. The scholarly medical journals are full of dissent on various issues.
The Trans Lobby Creates an Extremely Hostile Climate

When preparing to write this, I asked a family physician, a psychologist, and a licensed family therapist for their thoughts on GD and hormonal therapy for children. There were no replies from anyone that could be used “on the record,” even with the offer to list the individuals as “anonymous sources.”
Please. Who did she ask? That is just utter nonsense. And exactly who constitutes this trans lobby that she refers to? And who do they lobby? The Human Rights Campaign has no agenda on treatment protocols. Did she bother to direct inquiries to WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health)? Or did she just presume that they would give answers that would not fit her narrative? They are the experts after all.

Referring back to that anonymous blog:
Another user, Henry Hughes, further clarified the issue by pointing out, “please familiarize yourself with the shocking attacks that people, professional and otherwise, who question the trans narrative have suffered from transgender people and their supporters. You will come to understand that careers have been threatened. And worse.” Those comments were posted about a year ago, but the hostile climate for professionals and academics has not improved since then.
Well I would like to familiarize myself. It would help to know who has been attacked, when and how. Whose careers have been threatened? It seems to me that publication is the best protection, particularly to a peer-reviewed scholarly journal.  Instead of linking to an anonymous blog can Harrison link to a peer reviewed article? Science is agnostic to the results of experiments and research.
Information We Need to Discuss This Is Suppressed

So, while the public argues about bathrooms, the real debate that should be happening isn’t. The medical ethics question about consciously treating physically healthy children with drugs that will leave them sterile for life doesn’t hit the headlines. These treatments start when the children cannot give informed consent because their brains are not physically mature enough to make the choice. It’s also before they can have eggs or sperm harvested, in case they want to have children later in life.
Where is the evidence to support any of this? Every crackpot with a cure for cancer claims that the establishment is “suppressing” his research. Moreover, there is plenty of this drivel from the Catholic Medical Association. I would bet that there is an article or two in their jounral, Linacre.
If the transgender movement had focused only on adults, then there wouldn’t be a problem with just focusing on the laws about which restroom someone can use. Since that isn’t the case, the people really need to start ignoring that narrative, and focus on what the transgender movement really doesn’t want in the headlines. People need to start thinking about what the movement is doing to children. When it’s just letting Billy wear a dress, or letting Julie be a Boy Scout, that’s not a big deal. But, when it gets to the point where the parents are signing consent forms for Billy and Julie to end up getting hormonal treatments, it’s time to start saying “No.”
That is Harrison's astute medical opinion offered without so much as a link to the medical literature. Again there is that reference to an incognito movement that no one in the LGBT community seems to know about.

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