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‘Gender Science’ Was Merely Ideology All Along

‘Gender Science’ Was Merely Ideology All Along

Authored by Wesley J. Smith via The Epoch Times ,

Did you hear the news? England’s National Health Service (NHS) has decided that children diagnosed with gender dysphoria will no longer receive puberty blockers because “there is not enough evidence to support the safety or clinical effectiveness … to make the treatment routinely available at this time.

Childrens books on gender in Irvine, Calif., on Sept. 7, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

The premier of Alberta, Canada, is planning legislation to restrict “gender-affirming” surgeries such as mastectomies for minors and puberty blockers for youth aged 15 and under. Other socially liberal nations have also hit the brakes on “gender affirmation,” in children, including Norway, Finland, France, Denmark, Sweden, and New Zealand. So have a score of American states.

Why did it take so long for common sense to return to this contentious issue? Blame the cultural imperialism of gender ideologues who, while most of us were not paying attention, successfully instituted “treatment guidelines” that focused almost exclusively on “affirming” a child’s gender confusion as medically necessary, while branding the more cautious approach of deeply exploring the mental health issues that could have contributed to the patient’s confusion as “transphobic,” and, even, likely to drive gender-confused children to suicide.

WPATH—which stands for the World Professional Association for Transgender Health—led the charge. Members of the organization are committed to the belief that “gender”—as opposed to sex—constitutes a human being’s true self and that gender “identity” can be known by the child when very young—in some cases, even before starting school.

Moreover, when a child claims a particular gender identity different from that “assigned at birth”—male, female, nonbinary, transgender, etc.—that patient must be believed, “affirmed,” and set on the road to an eventual “transition.”

But gender ideologues didn’t just promote their views about how gender dysphoric children should be treated in the marketplace of ideas. Rather, the entirety of the woke cultural infrastructure mobilized to punish those who challenged the new orthodoxy.

Social authoritarianism became the order of the day. Many elementary and high schools were at the vanguard. Administrators ordered teachers not to alert parents to their child’s gender confusion at the risk of job loss. Teachers were fired if they “mis-pronouned” a gender-confused student or used the child’s “dead” (given) name instead of the gender-affirming name chosen by the child. Some teachers even proselytized gender ideology to their students, for example by placing LGBT flags in classrooms and assigning readings from pro-gender transitioning books.

Meanwhile, social media companies canceled the accounts of those who disputed affirmation as the “medically necessary, life-saving standard of care.” Blue states such as California passed laws threatening to remove the custody of children from parents who refused to affirm their child’s declared gender identity. Medical professionals who sought to continue the more traditional approaches to care were accused of engaging in hateful “conversion therapy” and threatened with professional discipline.

For a time, the ideological juggernaut seemed unstoppable. But as the old saying goes, eventually truth “will out.” Less ideological medical professionals reviewed the actual data and noticed that the supposedly settled science was much less certain than the activists claimed. Moreover, the potential medical harm from puberty blocking and performing surgeries on healthy bodies came to the forefront—in large part thanks to the advocacy of “de-transitioners” who were affirmed in their gender confusion but came to realize that they are, indeed, the sex they were born. The tragic testimonies of young women without breasts and boys with potential lifelong sexual dysfunction exposed the potential cruelty of the gender-affirming approach.

And now, a shocking new report—“The WPATH Files,” published by Environmental Progress—has exposed WPATH’s rank ideological method as primarily “consumer-driven and pseudoscientific”—as opposed to evidence-based—and (appearing) to be “political activism, not science.”

Not only that, but the study demonstrates that contrary to WPATH’s claims, the “psychiatric condition of gender dysphoria is not a fatal illness, and the best available studies show that in the case of minors, with watchful waiting and compassionate support, most will either grow out of it or learn to manage their distress in ways less detrimental to their health.” In other words, alternative non-invasive approaches can help young patients overcome their gender confusion without mutilating their bodies.

Backing up the study’s many data-derived criticisms, author Mia Hughes also quotes actual transcripts of some WPATH members’ shocking disregard for the wellbeing of their patients made in private communications. For example, the report quotes one of the authors of WPATH’s standards of care guidelines admitting that children are too immature to comprehend the enormity of the transition they may desire: “[It is] out of their developmental range to understand the extent to which some of these medical interventions are impacting them.”

Another WPATH member shrugs that minor patients do not fully appreciate the consequences of sterility that some medically “affirming” treatments can cause. “It’s always a good theory that you talk about fertility preservation with a 14-year old, but I know I’m talking to a blank wall. They’d be like, ew, kids, babies, gross.”

Environmental Progress’s exposé illustrates the danger of meekly following “the experts.” This is particularly true when the main defense of a new and radical agenda is based on a supposed consensus, and that therefore, the science is now “settled.” As my Discovery Institute colleague Stephen C. Meyer says: If you have to rely on a supposed “consensus” to defend your [scientific] position, it means there isn’t really a consensus. That goes double when skeptics are coerced into silence to maintain the primacy of a particular cultural orthodoxy.

“The WPATH Files” demonstrates that courageous resistance to destructive social fads is never futile. But good golly it can be difficult when ideology successfully masks as science. Hopefully, the report will hasten the end of our destructive transgender moral panic—at least as it impacts minors—and we will finally protect these agonized youngsters in the way all vulnerable children deserve.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times or ZeroHedge.

Fri, 03/22/2024 – 18:55

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