Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Ben Shapiro's Transphobia Problem

Ben Shapiro
According to Ben Shapiro on Wednesday, The Left’s Gender Theories Are Anti-Scientific Nonsense, but They’re Gaining Ground. He is responding to a tweet by Charles Blow that he did not like:

It is preposterous to assert that the overwhelming consensus of medical science is “anti-scientific.” It is equally absurd to assign a political ideology to medical science. Gender incongruence does not have a political preference. Nor does medical science regarding its treatment.
In every human culture—indeed, in every mammalian species—meaningful distinctions between male and female remain. To reduce children to genderless unicorns simply awaiting hormonal guidance from within piles absurdity upon absurdity.

And, of course, Blow’s take on “patience” is not limitless. Presumably, should your daughter announce that she is a boy at the tender age of five, all measures will immediately be taken to ensure that she is treated as a boy by those such as Blow. There will be no call for watchful waiting; to do so would be yet another act of “violence.”
The above depicts ignorance and a desire to conform science to religious doctrine. What makes this particularly infuriating is that Shapiro is a very smart, well educated man. Yet his has said that homosexuality is a sin, he criticized the APA for removing homosexuality from the DSM and he was disgusted by the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges

Shapiro is profoundly wrong because it is a scientific fact that some children have incongruent gender and natal sex. It is also a scientific fact that the condition can cause significant distress putting kids in grave danger of self-harm.

It is also a scientific fact that gender-affirmation is the best approach for children. The clinical practice guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics specify the “the gender-affirming care model.” With family support gender-affirmation produces happy, well adjusted kids whose levels of anxiety and depression are comparable or nearly comparable to the general population.

What qualifies Ben Shapiro to challenge the science regarding gender? In an unquoted part of his diatribe, Shapiro refers to “gender theory.” The first utterer of gender theory nonsense was Pope Francis. It is an attempt to undermine confidence in the science.

“Watchful waiting” is religious nonsense. It is a connected component to the drivel that children are “gender confused.” Shapiro is also asserting that gender dysphoric children are treated spontaneously. In point of fact, parents will get a psychiatric opinion and probably a second opinion.

Watchful waiting is a misapplication of science. It is true that most kids who experience gender dysphoria grow out of it. However, those are the kids who never transition. Persistence of the condition is directly correlated to its severity.

Children are typically diagnosed with gender dysphoria if they have experienced significant distress for at least six months and at least six of the following:
  • strong desire to be of the other gender or an insistence that they are the other gender
  • strong preference for wearing clothes typical of the opposite gender
  • strong preference for cross-gender roles in make-believe play or fantasy play
  • strong preference for the toys, games or activities stereotypically used or engaged in by the other gender
  • strong preference for playmates of the other gender
  • strong rejection of toys, games and activities typical of their assigned gender
  • strong dislike of their sexual anatomy
  • strong desire for the physical sex characteristics that match their experienced gender
There is something very interesting in the HBO documentary, Transhood. One of the children who was gender incongruent and was gender-affirmed became cisgender. The point is that gender affirmation does not lock kids into being transgender.

No responsible person suggest that children should be treated without professional guidance. Mr. Shapiro is not qualified to opine in opposition to the established scientific consensus. Has he spoke with experts like Jack Turban at Stanford or Kristina R. Olson at University of Washington? That is a rhetorical question and the answer is “no.”

If he had consulted with experts who actually work with gender incongruent kids then he would not write nonsense like this. Shapiro is extremely — and painfully — verbose. Just one more paragraph:
President-elect Joe Biden has openly stated that an eight-year-old can decide on his transgenderism; Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., infamously stated that she would have a nine-year-old transgender child screen her secretary of education nominee. Male and female are arbitrary categories to which anyone can claim membership.
At worst President-Elect Biden was ambiguous. One thing we know about Biden is that he relies heavily on experts which is what a president should do. President Biden will respect the scientific consensus.

Elizabeth Warren did, in fact, say that her secretary of education would require the approval of a transgender child. Senator Warren, whom I respect, is not president-elect. She was not the nominee of the Democratic Party. Therefore, her comment is irrelevant.

What I particularly take issue with is Shapiro's claim that gender is “arbitrary” meaning that gender identity is a choice. Common sense dictates that, were that true, there would be no transgender people. No one volunteers to be the object of ridicule and disapproval.

As a Jewish person myself, Ben Shapiro embarrasses me as he offends me. It is essential that the parents of gender-diverse children embrace the science over religious doctrine. It is the best chance for their kid to be happy and secure. Shapiro is promoting minority stress. Shame on him for doing so. Shame on him for possibly causing kids to suffer.

In the final analysis Ben Shapiro is transphobic. He is claiming that the proper treatment of gender-diverse children is a left wing conspiracy. It is Mr. Shapiro who is promoting “anti-scientific nonesense.”

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