The “Trans” Ideology Harms Children
The “Trans” Ideology Harms Children
Written By Laurie Higgins   |   10.12.17
Reading Time: 5 minutes

“At the length, the truth will out”

Illinois Republican governor Bruce Rauner campaigned on having “no social agenda.” To paraphrase Dr. Seuss, he said, and said, and said those words. He said them. But he lied them.

“No-Social-Agenda” Rauner believes justice demands that it be as easy-peasy for poor women to slaughter their babies as it is for wealthy women, and, therefore, taxpayers should pay for their abortions. Oh, and taxpayers should also pay for the deaths of state employees’ children though I’m not sure his reasons for that.

“No-Social-Agenda” Rauner also believes minor children should be legally prohibited from accessing medical help in rejecting their unwanted gender confusion, even as they are permitted access to medical help in rejecting their unwanted but immutable sex.

America, it seems, is hell-bent on destroying children. Adults are seeing to it that children who escape poisoning and dismemberment in the womb will not see adulthood in one piece—not emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, intellectually, or physically.

To add insult to often barbarous injury, deceitful and deceived adults obscenely call the destructive ideologies, policies, practices, and laws they promote humane, wise, and compassionate. And so the victimization of children grows. Their bodies are assaulted, and Leftists call these assaults humane affirmations of their dignity.

The epidemic of children and teens being diagnosed as “gender dysphoric” is exploding. The Guardian reported that “The Tavistock clinic, the only centre for children and adolescents in England, has seen referral increases of about 50% a year since 2010-11. In the past year it has had an unexpected and unprecedented increase of 100%, up from 697 to 1,398 referrals,” and that “Referrals of children and adolescents to the Sandyford clinic in Glasgow also doubled in a year, from 90 in 2014 to 178 in 2015.”

“Trans” cultists argue that this astonishing increase in gender dysphoria diagnoses is due to an increase in social acceptance and awareness that enable children to identify experiences they’ve long had but had no framework or language for expressing.

Others see the rise as a troubling result of the ideological corruption and politicization of the mental health community and an indicator of the suggestibility of children and teens who experience gender dysphoria for myriad reasons, including discomfort with the bodily changes of puberty; discomfort with opposite-sex attention that often attends puberty; discomfort from perceiving themselves as insufficiently male or female; abuse; family dysfunction; trauma; or chronic physical or mental illness. Children’s understanding or interpretation of their gender dysphoria is being distorted by the “trans” lens through which all of society is forced to view “gender.”

The emergence of what is being called “rapid onset gender dysphoria” suggests that social contagion exacerbated by social media also contributes to the meteoric rise in “trans” diagnoses.

At the same time, there is a burgeoning “detransitioning” movement. Detransitioners are men and women—often young adults—who, after spending some time “identifying” as “trans” and trying through chemical and/or surgical alterations to conceal their sex, decide to accept it. Tragically, some of the effects of cross-sex hormones—like voice changes; sterility; and in the cases of boys on estrogen, the development of breast tissue—as well as castrations and mastectomies are irreversible.

Further, some of the effects of long-term cross-sex hormone-doping are unknown. Medical professionals believe that cross-sex hormones may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, blood clots, and cancer. And they believe puberty-blockers, which are administered between ages 10-11 and delay the development of secondary sex characteristics, increase the risk of bone density loss.

A recent article on Lupron, one of the primary puberty-blockers prescribed to gender-dysphoric children, warns that it may cause serious, debilitating long-term health risks, including osteopenia, osteoporosis, and degenerative disc disease. Oddly, the article, appearing on the Kaiser Health News website in February 2017, mentioned only two conditions for which Lupron is used: to halt “precocious puberty” and to help children grow taller. The article never mentions that Lupron is one of the primary puberty-suppressing chemicals given to children diagnosed with gender dysphoria. UnitedHealthcare provides this information regarding the use of Lupron in treating gender dysphoria:

Lupron Depot is unproven and not medically necessary for puberty suppression in patients with gender identity disorder due to the lack of long-term safety data. Statistically robust randomized controlled trials are needed to address the issue of whether the benefits outweigh the substantial inherent clinical risk in its use…. Hayes compiled a Medical Technology Directory on hormone therapy for the treatment of gender dysphoria dated May 19, 2014. Hayes assigned a rating of D2, no proven benefit and/or not safe, for pubertal suppression therapy in adolescents.

Hayes Inc. analyzes and rates the “safety and efficacy” and “impact on health outcomes” of, among other things, drugs.

Parents of all political and philosophical stripes are grasping to find help for their children who suddenly announce they are “trans.” The professional mental health community is largely unhelpful and often even hostile to parents who resist filling their children’s bodies with risky puberty-blockers and cross-sex hormones. It appears the mental health community has fallen once again under the spell of a destructive fad like it did in the 1980’s and 1990’s with the “recovered memory syndrome.”

On websites like 4thWaveNow, Transgender Trend, and The Jung Soul, however, parents who are troubled by their children’s sudden claim to be “trans” are able to find information that the heavily politicized mental health community won’t provide:

  • Parents will learn that the best research shows that up to 90% of children who experience gender dysphoria will “desist” and come to accept their sex unless a “trans” identity is affirmed and facilitated.
  • They will learn that very few gender dysphoric children and teens commit suicide and that researchers don’t know if gender dysphoria is the cause of their suicides. There is much virtual ink being spilled on the link between gender dysphoria and suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and non-suicidal self-injury (e.g., cutting)—all of which are not surprising given the seriousness of the sexual confusion from which they suffer. But there is very little being written about the rates of completed suicides among gender-dysphoric children. Of course, every suicide is tragic, but parents of gender-dysphoric children are being terrorized by manipulative “trans” activists into thinking that their children’s suicide is a fait accompli unless parents affirm their delusion. Comorbidity, the presence of two or more medical conditions simultaneously and often independently, is common among those with gender dysphoria. Dare parents ask if gender dysphoria, like depression or obsessive thoughts, could be a symptom of some overarching disorder?
  • They will learn that those on the autism spectrum are more likely to experience gender dysphoria (and suicidal ideation) than other children.
  • They will learn that “gatekeeping”—the process by which mental health “professionals” decide whether a patient should be prescribed treatment—is so lousy that 18-year-olds with complicated mental and physical health histories are being prescribed dangerous cross-sex hormones after only one visit.
  • They will learn that parental opposition to chemical and surgical interventions is viewed as abusive.
  • And they will learn things parents can do that may facilitate “desistance” in their children.

It would behoove school administrators, faculty, and board members to think more deeply about the harm to children to which they may be contributing by allowing co-ed restrooms and locker rooms and mandating speech codes that require teachers to use incorrect pronouns. Anecdotal evidence suggests that “Teens with rapid onset gender dysphoria who have desisted from a trans identity seem to share at least a few of the following traits or experiences…”:

  • Their parents received early support not to affirm their child’s transgender identity.
  • The teens were never fully affirmed at school.
  • They were never fully affirmed by another adult authority figure….

The “trans” ideology is not merely false, it’s also destructive and evil. It will eventually collapse from the weight of its incoherence. Theologian and church historian Carl Trueman writes that the “Transgender ideology depends upon a distinction between the male and female genders, even while denying the only grounds for maintaining that distinction: genetic and physiological difference.” Tragically, in the wake of this collapse will be left men and women with surgically mutilated and chemically sterilized bodies. When will Americans snap out of the intellectual and moral fog in which they’ve been wandering, leaving behind the crushed, poisoned bodies of children?

Listen to Laurie read this article in this podcast:

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Laurie Higgins
Laurie Higgins was the Illinois Family Institute’s Cultural Affairs Writer in the fall of 2008 through early 2023. Prior to working for the IFI, Laurie worked full-time for eight years in Deerfield High School’s writing center in Deerfield, Illinois. Her cultural commentaries have been carried on a number of pro-family websites nationally and internationally, and Laurie has appeared on numerous radio programs across the country. In addition, Laurie has spoken at the Council for National Policy and educational conferences sponsored by the Constitutional Coalition. She has been married to her husband for forty-four years, and they have four grown children...
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