A prominent pediatrician is speaking out about our society’s attempts to reaffirm and “normalize” a “transgender identity” ideology that ultimately can do irreparable harm to America’s children.
Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians, wrote in a commentary in The Daily Signal that the transgender ideology is now becoming medical dogma that is unquestionable by medical professionals, lest they find themselves “maligned and out of a job.”
Cretella has been a board-certified doctor for more than 17 years and focuses on child behavioral health.
“I have witnessed an upending of the medical consensus on the nature of gender identity. What doctors once treated as a mental illness, the medical community now largely affirms and even promotes as normal,” she wrote, while listing some of the changes that have occurred recently:
Pediatric “gender clinics” are considered elite centers for affirming children who are distressed by their biological sex. This distressful condition, once dubbed gender identity disorder, was renamed “gender dysphoria” in 2013.
In 2014, there were 24 of these gender clinics, clustered chiefly along the east coast and in California. One year later, there were 40 across the nation.
The belief that “gender identity” is malleable, especially in the young.
“Even the American Psychological Association’s Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology admits that prior to the widespread promotion of transition affirmation, 75 to 95 percent of pre-pubertal children who were distressed by their biological sex eventually outgrew that distress,” Dr. Cretella writes. “The vast majority came to accept their biological sex by late adolescence after passing naturally through puberty.
“But with transition affirmation now increasing in Western society, the number of children claiming distress over their gender—and their persistence over time—has dramatically increased. For example, the Gender Identity Development Service in the United Kingdom alone has seen a 2,000 percent increase in referrals since 2009.”
So-called “puberty blockers” are not proven safe.
Puberty blockers have been studied and found safe for the treatment of a medical disorder in children called precocious puberty (caused by the abnormal and unhealthy early secretion of a child’s pubertal hormones).
However, as a groundbreaking paper in The New Atlantis points out, we cannot infer from these studies whether or not these blockers are safe in physiologically normal children with gender dysphoria.
The authors note that there is some evidence for decreased bone mineralization, meaning an increased risk of bone fractures as young adults, potential increased risk of obesity and testicular cancer in boys, and an unknown impact upon psychological and cognitive development.
With regard to the latter, while we currently don’t have any extensive, long-term studies of children placed on blockers for gender dysphoria, studies conducted on adults from the past decade give cause for concern.
For example, in 2006 and 2007, the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology reported brain abnormalities in the area of memory and executive functioning among adult women who received blockers for gynecologic reasons. Similarly, many studies of men treated for prostate cancer with blockers also suggest the possibility of significant cognitive decline.
Dr. Cretella also asserts that – despite what people are told – there is no proof that gender identity “affirmation” prevents child suicides.
Advocates of the transition-affirming protocol allege that suicide is the direct and inevitable consequence of withholding social affirmation and biological alterations from a gender-dysphoric child. In other words, those who do not endorse the transition-affirming protocol are essentially condemning gender-dysphoric children to suicide.
Yet as noted earlier, prior to the widespread promotion of transition affirmation, 75 to 95 percent of gender-dysphoric youth ended up happy with their biological sex after simply passing through puberty.
The bottom line, Dr. Cretella writes, is that a “transition-affirming protocol” is tantamount to child abuse.
These harms constitute nothing less than institutionalized child abuse. Sound ethics demand an immediate end to the use of pubertal suppression, cross-sex hormones, and sex reassignment surgeries in children and adolescents, as well as an end to promoting gender ideology via school curricula and legislative policies.
It is time for our nation’s leaders and the silent majority of health professionals to learn exactly what is happening to our children, and unite to take action.