It’s often difficult to determine what is truth and what is fiction when it comes to LGBT issues. And given how well-funded and deeply embedded pro-LGBT activists are in so many parts of American society, one side certainly has a monopoly on the propaganda — but they don’t have a monopoly on the truth.
As the transgender issue gains steam in the weeks ahead, and as the Left attempts to bully defenders of reality into silence, Americans should keep two important numbers in mind: “3” and “40.”
3 Years Old: The Age at Which LGBT Activists Want to Allow Children to Switch Genders
Last December, Reuters detailed the story of a nine-year-old biological female, Penelope Patterson, who starting at age 3 began to insist she was actually a boy. Since that time, Patterson has been living as a boy as part of a “gender affirming” treatment being encouraged for children at increasingly younger ages:
Increasingly across the United States, doctors and parents of transgender children are embracing their identity as soon it starts becoming obvious, sometimes around age 3. Many say they are finding much greater chances of happiness and well-being when children are nurtured in their new gender identity at such a young age.
Although there is not a consensus on the issue, some clinicians who work with transgender children have concluded that when children persistently identify as the nonconforming gender, the best course is to socially transition, or live as the other gender, even at age 3.
However, while the case for allowing gender transitions at such a young age may sound compassionate in theory, further research shows just how damaging this course of action can potentially be.
Numerous reports suggest that a large proportion of children with gender dysphoria, up to 95 percent, will eventually identify with their birth gender if not discouraged from doing so. This is in stark contrast to the zero percent of children who did so after receiving puberty blockers during an experimental 1998 Dutch study. While the evidence here is still scarce, it seems likely that subjecting children to “gender affirming” treatment at such a young age may exacerbate their gender dysphoria which would otherwise resolve itself as they go through puberty.
This becomes especially dangerous once one considers the prognosis for transgender individuals. The National Pulse’s Monica Burke has written on the severe side effects which children undergoing puberty blocking treatment may face as a part of their “gender affirmation.” And as Drs. Paul McHugh and Lawrence Mayer point out in a report for The New Atlantis, individuals with gender dysphoria remain 4.9 times more likely to commit suicide and 19.1 times more likely to die from suicide, even after sex-reassignment.
40: Number of Pediatric “Gender Clinics” Now Open in US
These harrowing facts and figures, however, do not seem to be having an effect on the growing industry surrounding gender dysphoria in children. As Dr. Michelle Cretella pointed out in a recent column for The Daily Signal, there has been an explosion over the last few years in institutions being set up to help children transition genders:
Pediatric “gender clinics” are considered elite centers for affirming children who are distressed by their biological sex. …
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.
With 215 pediatric residency programs now training future pediatricians in a transition-affirming protocol and treating gender-dysphoric children accordingly, gender clinics are bound to proliferate further.
This is all despite the fact that the science is very much unsettled on whether or not such “gender-affirming” treatments are actually effective — if not harmful — for the children involved.
Although politicians, celebrities, and the mainstream media may all be tripping over themselves to support this latest cause of the Left, conservatives should be prepared to counter their false narrative with the truth about gender dysphoria, especially when it involves children. These two statistics are a good place to start.