Monday, March 26, 2018

Another Heritage polemicist claims expertise in gender dysphoria

Dr. Scott Yenor
Monday, at Heritage Foundation's blog, Scott Yenor offers: How Courts and Legislatures Are Disempowering Parents to Push Transgender Agenda. Perhaps the Transgender Agenda™ is an addendum to the Homosexual Agenda™. People see a nefarious mission being executed by pernicious LGBT activists and they lose perspective when it comes to the best interests of children.

Scott Yenor, a political science professor at Boise State, presumes to be qualified to assert himself on the care of transgender youth. Yenor is not a psychologist and he is not an MD. He has previously written that homosexuality is an alternate lifestyle. It is all so familiar so it seems safe to assume that the presence of transgender people creates a religious conflict for Scott Yenor.

Dr. Yenor is probably an excellent political science professor. He is the recipient of a number of awards. When it comes to human sexuality, however, he is out of his depth. He writes:
Transgenderism is part of a movement that is hostile to traditional family life. The traditional family is based on the idea that the needs of children are supplied by parents with rights and responsibilities to meet those needs.
Presumably Yenor knows that there are people (about 0.6% of the population), including children, who suffer with gender dysphoria. There is no intervention known to medical science that cures or minimizes gender dysphoria. The only thing that mitigates the suffering (acute anxiety and depression) is gender affirmation. If Dr. Yenor can find anything else in the current peer-reviewed literature published to a respected journal he has not cited it.

Therefore, a parent who forces a child to accept his or her natal sex in spite of their condition is guilty of child abuse. Because gender dysphoria is a psychiatric condition people with no training or experience feel licensed to prescribe treatment. They seem impervious to the fact that their formula is at odds with the overwhelming consensus of people who are qualified by virtue of training and experience.

This is the equivalent of asserting that a parent has the right to substitute chemotherapy with a program of prayer. Dr. Yenor knows no more about gender dysphoria than he knows about pediatric lymphoma. Yenor goes on to write:
Wherever the state deals with children, such as in schools or in foster care, there are bound to be conflicts between parents and the state. This conflict in the sphere of education is why transgender activists spend much time trying to reform the way schools educate.
The only thing that LGBT activists attempt to do is to provide accommodations for transgender kids in schools. It's not some form of indoctrination. Trans kids exist. They are vulnerable and fragile. Activists seek to have them treated with kindness. That's it. That is the entire conspiracy.
A bill has been proposed in California to extend state regulation of foster parents. Foster children are already provided access to medical and dental care, which helps defray the costs of foster parents. The proposed law would extend that state benefit to include “gender-affirming health care and gender-affirming behavioral health care” if the child, the foster parents, the state-appointed child advocate, or a lawyer asks for such treatment.

The gender-affirming care may include hormone suppressants and sex-reassignment surgery. Any attempt to treat a child consistent with his or her sex at birth would not be supported. The law blesses efforts to respect and affirm the child’s “non-assigned” gender identity.

Regulating foster parents is an easier wedge for transgender activists than going directly after parental rights.
The objective is to make appropriate care available to kids in the foster care system; providing care consistent with medical science. The consensus is to relieve the suffering of gender dysphoria with gender affirmation. Nothing Yenor writes will alter the medical consensus. His objections are part of a belief system which is based on faith. In contrast, science is evidentiary. Dr. Yenor knows the difference but is unwilling or unable to accept the medical consensus. This is not part of some sinister conspiracy.

The research demonstrates that, with gender affirmation, these children have levels of anxiety and depression consistent with the general population. They act accordingly in a school setting. They comport themselves like any other student. Their classmates in many circumstances are smarter than some of the parents.

Call me a trans activist. All I want is what is best for kids. I form opinions based on the experts. An example of expert opinion is a piece by Jack Turban at Yale about a year ago in the New York Times. Yenor knows all the manufactured horror stories:
Some recent court decisions suggest that this movement may go beyond foster parents. In Ohio, parental rights were transferred to grandparents when a court ruled that the parents were not “transitioning” their child, which the court deemed the right gender-related health decision.
The kid was already living with grandparents who were smarter and better educated than the parents. The parents, especially the kid's father, were cruel. The father reportedly told the child that  he might as well commit suicide because he was headed to Hell anyway. The boy arrived at the grandparents in psychiatric crisis exacerbate by being forced to attend a Catholic school which insisted on using his female birth name and female pronouns. Pretending that the condition does not exist does not make it go away. There is no way to force someone with gender dysphoria to embrace their natal sex. It only increases their suffering.

Yenor indulges in the usual litany of transgender horrors which aren't horrors at all. He concludes:
If children are able to define abuse and neglect, parental power is deeply compromised. This is precisely what transgender activists want. Those interested in the long-term viability of family life must resist those changes wherever they arise.
This suggests a children's conspiracy. They claim to be gender dysphoric in order to undermine parental rights. Gender identity is not a choice. When gender identity and natal sex are incongruent gender is usually controlling. What is really important is children's rights. They have a right to be treated in accordance with the consensus of medical science which includes gender affirmation. Religious dogma has no place in the treatment of a child's medical condition.

In the choice of pragmatism or religious dogma, Dr. Scott Yenor has decided that the religious dogma prevails. That is unfortunate. Our nation's educators should be capable of separating religious belief from medical science.

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