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It's A Sign Of The Apocalypse When The Right Supports Science And The Left Doesn't

A left-affirming Missouri circuit court is responsible for destroying one of the most evidence-based gender-affirming laws we've seen.


Angel statues raining fire and destruction on a city below
Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay

It’s interesting that there was no such thing as a ‘trans kid’ until about the last fifteen years, and probably no one older than 35 or 40 knows of any child or teen who committed suicide because they couldn’t, for one reason or another, medically transition to the sex they weren’t.


I actually can name one. A boy I knew in high school became a ‘transsexual’ after he graduated. Back then, it took several years.


He didn’t commit suicide because he wasn’t allowed to transition overnight, or before graduation.


I’m the only person I know who knew a ‘trans kid’ before it became cool.

I doubt many other Gen X’ers, and probably the first of half of Millennials, can remember a single ‘trans kid’. I define ‘trans kid’ as one self-defined as trans, not one who, in retrospect, seemed like ‘they might have been’. Who simply might have been gay or just a little effeminate, or butchy, and otherwise non-birth role gender-conforming.


I mean a kid who said, “I’m not a boy, I’m a girl,” or vice versa.


They just didn’t exist. Even my schoolmate didn’t claim it; I learned about it through the grapevine.


In the ‘Teens, transgender became a veritable epidemic, infecting young people across social media along with older men, avid watchers of transgender porn and later ‘sissy porn’, who suddenly found their ‘inner woman’ the way people used to find Jesus.


Critics of the ‘new normal’ have come most publicly from the right. But they’re quietly supported by growing allies on the Level Left and the center who have begun to acknowledge the illiberal Bizarro World we now live in: Conservatives on the right side of science, and far-lefties flipping it the bird.


The prevailing scientific voices in North America are still out on whether so-called ‘gender-affirming care’ is scientifically sound, supported by leading medical organizations and science publications, but growing evidence overseas favors a much slower and cautious affirming approach than the insta-transition American model.


The science is looking more crickety than it did 10-12 years ago.

Meanwhile, back in North America, medical professional apparatchiks bow and scrape to transactivist masters rather than examine the latest findings from western Europe for which transgender support has been much less contentious.



Why North Americans believe in gender-affirming care


In April, Missouri introduced a ban on gender-affirming care, and the state’s Republican Attorney General added an ‘emergency rule’, adding the most rational and comprehensive rules we’ve seen so so far in the U.S. for such care. It started out as a ban on anything medical for children, then Democrats added provisions for kids already seeking treatment, but unfortunately the emergency brake provisions AG Andrew Bailey added for both children as well as adults got struck down. The rule required the patient:

  • Must receive at least 18 months of therapy beforehand

  • Must be screened for autism

  • Must provide documented evidence of clear gender dysphoria for at least three years prior

  • Must be screened for signs of social media addiction and ‘social contagion’, i.e., from their peer group

Physicians also had to present a lengthy list of negative possible side effects short-term and long-term.


That last part is a little troubling, given the historical Republican/conservative hostility to science and evidence-based policy. They have a tendency to get it wrong, or just make shit up if they can’t find any half-assed science to support what they want. They tried to argue several years ago that abortions were connected to an increased risk of breast cancer; it was utter fiction. A whole book was written called The Republican War On Science. The historical conservative hostility to evidence is well-established, encouraged further by the Religious Right and its naive commitment to Bible mythology.


But this was pretty sound, based on the lack of hard evidence for the efficacy of gender-affirming care, and for the very real ethical and moral alarms it raised for children and teens. Should this include adults? Maybe. While adults have the right to decide what to do for themselves, it’s perhaps a better idea to return transitioning to the more cautious, systematic process that was in place decades previously.


The American medical profession is primarily responsible for publicly supporting gender-affirming care and preaching the science is sound. Some skeptics wonder if doctors might have, shall we say, alternative motivations for uncritically supporting gender-affirming care besides the welfare of others and suicide prevention.



You know who besides the political right supports banning or limiting gender-affirming care for kids? The most liberal, progressive countries on the planet.


Sweden. Norway. Finland. They’re joined by France, the UK, and the Netherlands.


As I’ve written before, the latest news coming out of Europe, which is always a few years ahead of North America, is that systematic literature reviews of the science behind gender-affirming care shows it to be almost completely based on low-quality, unreliable research. The ‘Dutch Protocol’ model, the default standard for gender-affirming care, has come under serious scrutiny, and in Holland, from whence the Dutch Protocol originated, even one of the co-authors of its studies has noted that the world is ‘blindly adopting their research’, which is outdated, having coming from a different time (2011 & 2014) and with small samples, and hasn’t been replicated.


Yet North American pro-affirmation supporters can point to countless science-based organizations and publications and note that they all support gender-affirming care. This includes the American Medical Association, The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Nurses Association, the American College of Physicians, and the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry. There are plenty of others.


This also includes so-called science-based publications like Scientific American, which appears to have gotten ‘wokenized’ a few years back. SA published an article, Stop Using Phony Science To Justify Transphobia, which resulted in a backlash and the Paradox Institute’s highly scientific return volley, A Response to SciAm’s Stop Using Phony Science. Then there’s the Springer Journal, which accepted and published Lisa Littman’s peer-reviewed paper on the connection between social media and peer groups to the rise of adolescent transgenderism, which the Journal pulled under pressure by transactivists. (I highly recommend the research article, by the way.) Nature and its sister publications have now published guidelines for censoring politically incorrect research.


Even our scientists are drinking the trans Kool-Aid except for those who still bravely support objective reality.


It’s hard not to doubt one’s self when so many reputable organizations and publications assure us the science is there, making us feel like bad people, or maybe Trumpy fanboys and fangirls, because we might be hurting others by resisting this.


But with European countries pulling back on affirming care, based on what they’ve found to be shoddy science and the discredited Dutch Protocol behind it, it gives us skeptics space to pull our heads out of the rainbow-colored clouds and ask some fairly obvious, no-science-required questions.


Like Where were all the trans kids before?


And, How come no one ever committed suicide before, say, 2007, because they were stuck inside their birth body?


And, Why do people think you can change sex when no biological male hominid has ever gotten pregnant, and no biological female can fertilize a womb?


As the King of Siam would say, “Is a puzzlement.”



What’s behind the Missouri law?


The proposed legislation was a brake for both kids and adults. Like with automobiles, brakes reduce speed, but the car can still move forward. Let’s break down the four main points:


Must receive at least 18 months of therapy beforehand

The rise in mental health problems, including drug and alcohol addiction, along with a spiralling suicide rate in all age groups including children and teens, long predates the rise of transgenderism. The lack of proper screening for pre-existing psychological co-morbidities in transition patients has been a hallmark of gender-affirming care. Is gender dysphoria the problem or a symptom? If the latter, then it would as foolish to medically transition someone as to treat them with chemotherapy if they haven’t got cancer.

The therapy requirement seems a little onerous; not everyone can afford it. But Millennials have been described as the most depressed generation ever, and their younger Gen Z brothers and sisters may arguably be in even worse shape. Pre-screening may identify better, less expensive, and less permanently life-altering treatments better suited to the patient.


Must be screened for autism

People who identify as transgender or non-binary are six times more likely to exhibit autistic traits, or have diagnosed autism. Parents of children on the spectrum have complained for many years that the transgender movement is taking advantage of their kids, recruiting them into a movement with medical treatments they believe will ultimately harm their child.


Properly diagnosing, evaluating, and treating conditions like autism or pre-existing psychological issues makes perfect sense.


Must provide documented evidence of clear gender dysphoria for at least three years prior


Only in the last fifteen years has ‘trans kid’ taken on the appearance of a social contagion. It’s already well-established that anorexia is socially contagious among teens as is suicide, and the now-debunked trans claim that kids who don’t get immediate ‘affirming care’ will commit suicide may teach children and teens that’s the typical, ‘appropriate’ response to parental resistance. Most will outgrow it. Any kid who meets the Missouri criteria can begin transitioning when they’re legal adults. If they even want it by then.


Must be screened for signs of social media addiction and ‘social contagion’, i.e., from their peer group


The Lisa Littman study and others draw an ever-darker potential correlation between the concurrent rise in popularity of transgenderism with social media. Jonathan Haidt, he of The Righteous Mind, is working on a new book about the harm he believes social media generates in children, teens, and young adults globally. In his Substack newsletter he shares some of what he and his team have found. He hasn’t mention transgenderism so far, but he’s making a very strong case for how much social media induces depression, anxiety, narcissism, anorexia, and other mental health struggles for young people, the most affected by far being young progressive/liberal women.

Interesting.



Strange times


Unfortunately, a great, caution-based approach to gender-affirming care was ended by a circuit court judge on the grounds that Bailey had overstepped his authority. The Missouri ACLU celebrated the decision as did many other pro-affirming care groups.


It’s a shame, because this sort of caution is desperately needed for a debate grounded more on ideology, feelings and the highly unreliable ‘lived experience’, than it is on actual evidence and genuine science.


I wonder how tolerant progressive parents would be if their daughter decided she ‘identified’ as a Disney princess and insisted she’ll commit suicide if she’s not altered to look like Jasmine, or Belle, or Ariel (“Mommy, I need a fishtail. Also, I need to be black!”)


We live in strange times, indeed, when the left denies gender-affirming care for so-called ‘trans kids’ is experimental, and Republican politicians point out the care is far too rushed and the science, not so good. There is so much wrong with the left’s uncritical evaluation of kids’ claims they may be ‘transgender’ or ‘non-binary’, with so little attention paid not only to the clear contradictions in leftist thinking, but also the naive belief that kids know what’s best for them.

Go ahead, let them eat all the Twinkies, cookies and candy they want.


Here’s a sheet Oregon Democrats stole directly from the Republican playbook: Attaching an unpopular rider to a bill that requires one to pass a something they find repugnant in order to get what they want. In this instance, they tied gender-affirming care to a reproductive rights bill. They were willing to throw women under the bus (of course) to continue their medical experimentation on children. Oregon and Texas Democrats also blocked amendments that would have required health insurers who cover medical transition to also provide detransition care. Because one is covered and one is not. Guess which one?


And in this Bizarro World I find myself siding with a state’s Attorney General I probably couldn’t stand on any other point of public policy, a man who belongs to a party I largely regard as being on the wrong side of almost everything else.


But this is the Bizarro World we now live in.



Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter Grow Some Labia so you never miss a post!










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