This news from Canada is outrageous. Neuroscientist Debra Soh writes:
Last week, CBC was scheduled to air the controversial BBC documentary Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best? but scrapped the plan the day of, citing audience feedback and its own “further review of the doc.” Activists had argued that the film was “harmful” and poised to “feed transphobia.”
In actuality, the documentary offers a rare and factual perspective on the politicization of gender therapy by featuring interviews with Dr. Kenneth Zucker, a psychologist and international research expert on gender dysphoria in children. (Zucker also happens to be a former colleague of mine.)
Dr. Zucker is one of the globe’s top experts on transgenderism. But trans activists got him fired, as Jesse Singal detailed in this harrowing New York magazine story from 2016.
What was so controversial about Zucker’s approach? In short, he did not blindly follow the current popular dogma of affirming young children who say they want to transition to the opposite sex. Instead, Zucker’s therapy was informed by research that shows that the majority of gender dysphoric children desist by puberty.
Indeed, across all 11 studies conducted on this topic, including research published in the last five years, about 60 to 90 per cent of gender dysphoric children grow up to be gay in adulthood, not transgender.
Zucker’s approach was not about “curing” transgender kids or conducting “reparative” or “conversion therapy,” as some of his critics contend. Rather, it was about recognizing that it simply doesn’t make sense for a child to undergo the challenges of a social or physical transition if they are likely to grow comfortable in the body they already have, on their own. That is the so-called “harmful” view the documentary explores.
Supporting transgender people, including their right to dignity, support and medical intervention, isn’t at odds with taking a scientifically guided approach to determining the best outcomes for children. But as is commonly the case with political movements, these nuances only complicate the narrative and cede opportunities for activists to gain further ground.
Those complicit in the silencing of legitimate science have lost sight of the forest for the trees. The issue is no longer about what’s in the best interest of these children, but about winning, at any cost, the ideological war.
Here’s a powerful, fact-based piece by Susan Nagel, a mom whose teenage daughter is trying to transition to male. Note the beginning especially:
About a year ago my then 16-year–old daughter told us she believes she is transgender. Soon after, she began begging to take testosterone, to wear a breast binder, to have others call her by male pronouns, and to legally change her name. Nothing about her childhood prepared us for this; she always had stereotypically feminine interests and tastes. She loved stuffed animals, preferred skirts over pants for school, chose bright pink paint for her room, and experimented with makeup and curling her hair. When she was little. I joked that I had to add a pink load to laundry day in addition to lights and darks. Over the course of a month or two after coming out, she changed from a generally cheerful person to a morose one who spent hours crying and who told me to hide the knives.
Before I go further, I think you should know the lens through which I view things. I am a liberal, and I fully support equal access to housing, employment, education, and healthcare for all marginalized people, including transgender people. I do not think being transgender is immoral or that gender diversity is disturbing. Still after spending many sleepless nights researching the transgender movement, I have come to be very afraid for my daughter. My fears are about the rush to turn physically healthy teenage girls and young women into permanent medical patients and to do so before their brains are fully developed and with almost no oversight by mental health professionals.
I encounter many well-meaning people who believe the transgender movement is simply a civil rights movement. They do not understand my concerns and assume I am ignorant or a bigot. I think it is because most people’s knowledge of the transgender movement is limited to mass media accounts focusing on discrimination against transgender people or on an individual’s struggle to be true to his or her self. Below are some things I wish people understood about how the transgender movement is impacting the health of children and young people along with some questions I would like people to ponder.
And this, about the skyrocketing number of teen girls claiming to be transgender:
Some researchers are calling this phenomenon rapid onset gender dysphoria (ROGD) and theorize it may be a kind of social contagion spread among friends and through the internet.
A 2016 survey of 164 parents of transgender adolescents and young adults demonstrates the current contagious nature of gender dysphoria among young women. Eighty-five percent of the parents surveyed had transgender youth who were biologically female with an average age of 15. In the general population, less than one percent of young adults would be expected to be transgender, however, many of the parents in this survey said that multiple members of their child’s pre-existing friend group were also declaring themselves transgender. To be exact, 50 percent of a youth’s pre-existing friend group became transgender in close to 40 percent of the friend groups described in the study. The average number of friends becoming transgender was 3.5.
Psychologists Ray Blanchard and Michael Bailey recently reported that young people with ROGD (primarily girls) falsely come to believe that all their problems are due gender dysphoria. Girls with ROGD often become obsessed with the idea of transition, and their mental health and social relationships deteriorate. The subculture surrounding ROGD includes attributes found in cults including an “… expectation of absolute ideological agreement …and encouragement to cut off ties with family and friends…” who do not agree with them.” Since ROGD is “…based on a false belief acquired through social means,” Bailey and Blanchard believe transition will not help youth with this condition. They pull no punches: “If knowledge is power, then lack of knowledge is malpractice. The ignorance of some leading gender clinicians regarding all scientific aspects of gender dysphoria is scandalous.”
My own daughter’s experience of gender dysphoria matches the description of ROGD closely.
The CBC, and every media outlet that will not allow dissent, especially from scientists, to be heard, is complicit in this social contagion.