Being a parent has never been easy, especially nowadays.
Previously, we worried about the influence on our children by bad friends or the counterculture trends in society. But now, schools, the internet, media, doctors, and even laws are determined to diminish our influence on them.
In March, Robert Hoogland, a Canadian father of a teenage girl, was jailed for ignoring a court order demanding that he refer to his daughter as “he” or “him,” and for speaking out against the court-ordered testosterone injections that his daughter has had since she was 14. He was later sentenced to six months in prison.
In August, the U.S. Department of Justice posted a video on its YouTube channel, encouraging children to file federal complaints against whoever prevents them from obtaining hormones or surgeries to change sex before adulthood.
Gender ideology has the whole Western world in its clutches. It’s not aimed at eliminating discrimination as has been claimed, but rather at converting our next generation into the “transgeneration.” It’s an attack on all families, not only those of conservatives, but also liberal ones.
In schools, children have notions planted in them such as “gender is different from biological sex” and “gender is not binary.” The health curricula in some schools include systematic indoctrination of LGBTQ gender ideology, and engage students in imagining themselves as a different gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or gender role. Apparently, for psychologically vulnerable kids, this activity is likely to cause them to question their own gender or sexual orientation.
Children are exposed to more and more LGBTQ characters in kids’ TV shows, according to an Insider report. On social media, being transgender is popular. According to Dr. Dianna Kenny, professor of psychology at the University of Sydney, YouTube and social media posts documenting young people’s questioning of their sex-change procedures are rapidly taken down, while messages from transgender activists and influencers spread far and wide.
According to Wall Street Journal writer Abigail Shrier’s 2020 book “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters,” children who self-identified as “transgender” are called by their preferred names and pronouns at school, adolescents can be provided puberty blockers (chemicals once used to castrate sex offenders) and sex hormones if requested, and sex-changing surgeries are encouraged by teachers, therapists, and doctors. All these can be done without the consent or knowledge of their parents.
These are not just “the work of one rogue teacher’s union,” but “the logical extension of all the laws and policies and radical curricula already adopted in California and cropping up across the country,” Shrier wrote. In fact, “New York, New Jersey, Colorado, Illinois, Northern Virginia, and Oregon public schools have already adopted a radical approach to gender in their curricula and policies.”
Under Obamacare, insurers are required to cover gender transition procedures. In Oregon, teenagers as young as 15 can have sex-change surgeries without parental consent. In California, insurance companies have been ordered to remove age limits to cover the cost of mastectomies for gender transition.
In 19 states in the United States, therapists and doctors can lose their jobs or even licenses if they don’t “affirm” a child’s “transgender identity” immediately.
The wave of gender ideology is accompanied by a sudden surge of self-identified “transgender” adolescents in the Western world. According to Shrier’s book, historically, only roughly 0.01 percent of the population sought medical help for gender dysphoria. However, in the past decade, “in the United States, the prevalence has increased by over 1,000 percent.” Two percent of high school students in the United States identified themselves as “transgender,” according to a 2017 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “In Britain, the increase is 4,000 percent.”
More than 85 percent of the parents of adolescents with “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” are progressives who support LGBT movements, according to a study by Dr. Lisa Littman of Brown University. However, when confronted by their own children’s sudden request to become transgender, they are devastated. They know their children have no history of gender dysphoria, and they want to protect them from the irreversible chemical or surgical mutilations they may regret later, but they find that no one is on their side.
First, they are kept from their children’s situation, and then after finding out and expressing their disapproval, they are blackmailed emotionally: “Would you rather have a dead daughter or a live son?”
The culture war is relentless. We parents are pushed to the front line, but have nowhere to hide. We have to fight for our children’s well-being and souls.
Like the previous parts in this series (Part 1: Socialism, Part 2: Climate Change, Part 3: Racism, Part 4: Globalist and Leftist Elites, and Part 5: Evolution), this article will focus on a specific topic: gender ideology, probing its grasp on society, exploring its origin, and discussing what we parents can do.
The Myth of ‘Gender Identity’
Many kind-hearted people may ask:
“Aren’t transgender people born that way?”
“Isn’t gender identity unchangeable?”
“Why not support their transitions through cross-sex hormones and surgeries? Don’t they feel better that way?”
“Don’t gender transitions prevent suicide?”
“Isn’t gender non-binary? It is a deep feeling of who you are. Facebook has 58 gender options!”
These are common points sold to us by the mass media to recruit support for gender ideology. However, they are not supported by scientific evidence.
According to Sexuality and Gender, a 2016 report authored by Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer, an epidemiologist, and Dr. Paul R. McHugh, university distinguished service professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, their analysis of nearly 200 peer-reviewed studies shows that scientific evidence does not support the hypothesis that transgender identity and sexual orientation are fixed attributes that are innate to humans.
In other words, the claim “people are born that way” has no scientific basis.
Is gender self-identification unchangeable? No.
According to the American College of Pediatricians, it’s a consensus in the scientific community that “80% to 95% of pre-pubertal children with GD [gender dysphoria] will experience resolution by late adolescence if not exposed to social affirmation and medical intervention.” There is no long-term study on the persistence rate of those whose gender dysphoria started in their adolescence.
Mayer and McHugh also pointed out that “sexual orientation may be quite fluid over the life course for some people, with one study estimating that as many as 80% of male adolescents who report same-sex attractions no longer do so as adults.”
As for whether hormonal or surgical treatments improve the quality of life for transgender people, Mayer and McHugh pointed out that “there is a lack of reliable studies on the long-term effects of these interventions.” The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) also conceded in 2016, during the Obama administration, that, “based on a thorough review of the clinical evidence available at this time, there is not enough evidence to determine whether gender reassignment surgery improves health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries with gender dysphoria.”
Do gender transitions prevent suicide? No.
A 30-year Swedish study showed that sex-reassigned individuals have a suicide rate 19.1 times higher than that of the non-transgender population. The interventions have no way to improve the mental health of transgender people to a normal level, even in a LGBT-friendly nation such as Sweden.
The current notion of “gender”—a deep feeling of how feminine or masculine one is—is a joke. Everyone has various feelings, including some that contradict others. Every day we have different feelings—imagine how feminine you feel when you rock your baby to sleep and how masculine you are when a reckless driver on the road enrages you. If feeling defines “gender,” we should have at least as many “genders” as the world population, instead of just 58 as suggested by Facebook!
Do You Think Something Is Wrong?
Once upon a time, quiet and shy boys, as well as naughty and tomboyish girls, grew up normally in society without any issues and had no problems with their biological sex.
But now, everything is tied to gender identity or sexual orientation. These kids may be lured into believing themselves as “transgender.”
Once upon a time, we knew that while children were developing physically and mentally, they were cognitively immature. As parents, we had an obligation to guide them. But now, we are told, “Children know best!”
Once children fall prey to gender ideology and embark on a transgender path, it becomes increasingly difficult for their parents to prevent them from making life-altering and even regretted-for-life decisions at an immature age. It was found that teenage girls without a history of gender dysphoria are the most affected, and they have shifted the demographics of gender identity clinic patients to mostly girls from mostly boys.
Once upon a time, doctors didn’t buy into the self-diagnosis of patients. They relied on medical examinations and their professional training to get to the root of the symptoms. They wouldn’t agree to do a gastric bypass surgery simply because an anorexic patient believes he or she is too fat.
But now, they would be happy to chop off someone’s breasts or genitalia simply because the patient believes he or she was “born in the wrong body.” The doctors either aren’t allowed or aren’t willing to check and treat the underlying depression, anxiety, or trauma.
Our society is going crazy.
Are We Helping the Children?
As teenage girls lead the charge toward transgender identity, they are cheered on by mainstream media and social networks. People are often told, “Social affirmation by calling them by their preferred names and pronouns is a way to respect them,” or “Puberty blockers is just a pause button which can be undone at any time, it is reversible.”
None of this is true. Every step of gender transition, including the social one, is a strong intervention that pushes a child further down the path of transgenderism, a path with a lifelong battle with their own biological sex that is imprinted in the chromosomes of every single cell in their bodies.
In her book, Shrier discussed the roles each transition step played on the well-being of teenage girls:
Social affirmation: “If the adolescent wasn’t entirely convinced of her new identity before the experiment [social affirmation], she may be much more so after it is underway.” A 2011 Dutch study pointed out that social affirmation in childhood brings “great trouble” to some girls who “wanted to return to the female gender role.”
Puberty blockers: Scientists found out that, without intervention, 80 to 95 percent of children outgrow gender dysphoria before adulthood. However, for children on puberty blockers, studies show that almost 100 percent of them moved on to take cross-sex hormones. In that case, infertility is almost assured because their sex organs have no chance to develop normally.
Cross-sex hormones: “Transgender-identified women are given a dosage of testosterone ten to forty times greater than their bodies would normally bear to produce the changes they seek.” It is a lifelong hormone dependency with consequences of “heightened rates of diabetes, stroke, blood clots, cancer, and, as we’ve seen, heart disease.” Even if the hormone is stopped later, the woman will forever have facial hair, a deepened voice, and masculinized facial features.
Surgeries: They are irreversible. Mastectomy removes a woman’s chance of breastfeeding forever. Phalloplasty, a series of complex surgeries to construct male parts, has the highest risk among all genital surgeries. According to the prestigious Cleveland Clinic, “Many people experience complications [after phalloplasty],” including infections, urination difficulties, urine leakage, or failure of the graft.
What Causes the Craziness?
How has gender ideology dominated all aspects of society in the whole Western world? Why is it so powerful, yet so absurd?
That’s a question many people wish to answer. People point to social contagion in this digital age, health care policies, and the declining conscience of some doctors.
To me, these all play big roles, but they aren’t the ultimate reason. While all people are affected by social media, peer pressure, health care policies, etc., why are progressives so disproportionately affected by gender ideology? Littman’s study showed that more than 85 percent of the parents of adolescents with “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” are progressives who support gay marriages and transgender rights. Perhaps a question about ideology needs to be answered from an ideological perspective.
Before modern society diminished religious faiths in recent decades, the moral standard of humankind had been stable for thousands of years. At that time, law and morality were defined by what is allowed by God, instead of how we humans feel. People understood that suffering was necessary, because in the West, people believed they have sins, and in the East, people knew they have committed karma. They understood the principle of “no pain, no gain,” and strived to be better amid hardship. When their desires went against the moral standard, they knew it was their responsibility to get rid of them. These are the values still cherished by many conservatives in today’s society.
People on the left embrace humanism. They consider the boundaries set by God’s teachings as shackles and superstition. For them, suffering is evil, happiness is virtuous, and desire is what they follow. The standard of judging right from wrong is based on how humans feel or need, which is constantly shifting. Unfortunately, this is the slippery slope that the Western world has been on for quite a long time.
With this standard, if people think they can love and marry anybody regardless of their biological sex, what’s wrong if someone wants to become any “gender” they desire? Gender ideology is a natural extension of humanism. When liberal parents were told by their children, “I can only be happy after I change my sex,” what can they say? Yes, they know what is good for their children in the long run, but the children have been convinced that they themselves know their feelings best.
In fact, the current craze is nothing new. In the early 19th century, French socialist Charles Fourier promoted the idea that people can have any kind of sexual preferences, and all sexual needs, no matter how immoral, should be met as long as consensus is reached. His contemporary, Welsh socialist Robert Owen vowed to battle private property, religion, and marriage—“a TRINITY of the most monstrous evils.”
Communism emerged later, and it also embraced promiscuity. At its core is the abandoning of God and moral restraints.
The same fervor brought the counterculture and sexual revolution to the West in the 1960s. The LGBT movement is part of that, but not the end of it. After the current frenzy of gender ideology, other trends might arise and push humanity further out on a limb.
What Can We Do?
Shrier interviewed many parents and experts for her book, and offered wonderful suggestions to those who have teenage girls with gender dysphoria: separate your children from the influence of the internet, their peers, and school that make them question their gender, and teach them to appreciate girlhood.
She also wrote about the parents’ reflection of their own worldview after experiencing the pain:
“Many of the mothers of suddenly trans-identifying teenage girls have grown disillusioned with progressivism and disaffected from the Democratic Party, which they believe has abandoned girls for the sake of the transgender cause. Several have been betrayed by progressive friends who went behind their backs to buy their daughters a binder [a breast-compression garment] or to give the girls encouragement in what their mothers viewed as a regimen of self-harm.”
For many, when they embrace progressivism, what they think of is love, freedom, etc. They don’t realize where this path will eventually lead until the dire consequences are slammed in their faces.
Society is sprinting down an immoral track. Teaching our children with faith and tradition isn’t easy. Many of my readers ask, “Is it useful?” “Is your daughter convinced by your articles?” My answer is yes, the logic and data make it hard for her to refute, so she accepts my points, but she will keep coming up with new questions and challenges. Sometimes, I am infuriated, such as when we argue about whether gender is binary or not.
But in the end, the only way that works is to calm down, figure out what made her think that way, and guide her with calm and solid reasoning.
All efforts are useful, even when they frown, shake their heads, or even scream. What we teach will take root in them, and emerge in their head when they face temptation or bad influence. My daughter just went to college. When her roommates invited her to drink alcohol, she refused and told them, “Thanks, but I have religious beliefs.”
To me, this is a wonderful surprise. I also made sure she had a STEM major, and avoided courses related to race, gender, class, inequality, etc., in her general education curriculum. Humanities-related majors in today’s colleges and universities are brainwashing camps for the left.
With love and persistence, we can make it.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.