Monday, October 10, 2016

Discouraging Desistance

by Penna Dexter, Contributing Author : Walt Heyer is a former transgender who lived as a woman for eight years. He took hormones and had surgery. After returning to being a man, he wrote, “I wish the guy who approved me for gender surgery had told me about the risks.” He says medical professionals are too quick to prescribe hormone therapy and “irreversible reassignment surgery” to individuals who are confused about their gender. Instead, he says, these professionals should be looking at the underlying issues.

He cites a study published in JAMA Pediatrics last March. Of 298 transgender women aged 16 through 29, researchers found 40 percent to have mental health or substance dependence diagnoses. And 20 percent had two or more psychiatric diagnoses.

Why not attempt to treat these problems before taking the drastic step of changing genders through hormones or surgery? In an article at The Daily Signal, Mr. Heyer points out that there’s no transgender gene nor is there an objective test to show gender dysphoria in patients. Yet patients are increasingly receiving this diagnosis and some are getting radical, mostly irreversible treatment for it.

Why do many children question their gender? Walt Heyer says childhood trauma is often a factor. “In my life,” he writes, “and in the lives of those whose families contact me, traumatic childhood experiences are present 100 percent of the time.”

Some children experience real feelings of gender confusion. Palpable desires to be the opposite sex. It’s estimated that in 80 to 90 percent of cases, these things pass. There’s a term for this: Desistance. But in today’s culture, we’re aborting desistance with life-altering drugs and permanent medical interventions. Desistance is a dirty word implying bigoted attempts to deny the identities of transgender people. The default position on gender dysphoria is to encourage it.

In some circles, being transgender has become fashionable. A fad really. A very dangerous one with devastating consequences for confused young people. Writer, Rod Dreher runs a blog at The American Conservative where terrified parents write of their frustrations with a medical community in which it is “against ethics” to offer help in slowing down their children’s determination to transition.

There are lots of stats from the UK on this trend. The cult of transgender took hold a bit earlier there. In the UK parents complain of their children being part of peer groups determined to transition together. Rather than intervene, teachers and doctors rush to confirm.

One of Rod Dreher’s British readers states that “transgender is the new anorexia.” But we don’t encourage anorexic kids not to eat.

David French writes, in National Review, of a “Tragic Transgender Contagion.” “Rather than affirming an immutable identity,” he writes, “our culture is ratifying and rendering permanent what often amounts to little more than a troubled youthful phase — one that is subject to all the whims of fashion that mark any other cultural trend.”

Instead we should encourage and facilitate desistance.
Penna Dexter is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service

Tags: Penna Dexter, Viewpoints, Point of View, Desistance To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the Greater Fitchburg For Life. Thanks!

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