USA – 17 states defend Arkansas’ ban on child ‘sex changes’
Seventeen states are backing an Arkansas law that bans experimental, life-threatening transgender procedures for children and adolescents. A coalition of state attorneys general, led by Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, filed an amicus brief last week in the U.S. District Court. Arkansas lawmakers enacted the Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act in April, prohibiting medical professionals from providing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, or “sex change” surgeries to gender-confused minors. The far-left nonprofit American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued Arkansas the following month to block the law. The brief describes the concern about the surge in recent years of children suffering from gender dysphoria and other forms of gender-related psychological distress.
The question is how to help theses children. The Republican attorneys general noted that while the vast majority of minors grow out of gender dysphoria naturally, research indicates that virtually all those who start puberty blockers advance to cross-sex hormones and other irreversible interventions, like mutilating surgeries. Complications from the practices include “infertility, loss of sexual function, increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, bone-density problems, risk of altered brain development, social risks from delayed puberty, and mental health concerns,” the amicus brief said. The brief also pointed to recent decisions by hospitals in United Kingdom, Finland, and Sweden to side-line transgender drugs and surgeries for minors, amid growing awareness of the lack of evidence for the practices.
Council for Choices in Healthcare in Finland acknowledged, “As far as minors are concerned, there are no medical treatment[s] that can be considered evidence-based,” They stressed that a minor subjected to “gender transitioning” must understand “the reality of a lifelong commitment to medical therapy” and “the permanence of the effects” of the procedures. “Although patients may experience regret, after reassignment treatments, there is no going back to the non-reassigned body and its normal functions.” “There is very little reason to think that a child in early adolescence can properly weigh these lifetime risks,” They highlighted the “heart-breaking” stories of detransitioners – individuals who come to regret their “transitions” – like testimony included in a lawsuit that led the U.K.’s High Court of Justice to ban transgender drugs for most minors last year. More
USA – Questionable “evidence” used to restrict professional therapy
The Williams Institute’s Generations Survey is often cited as a basis for legal prohibitions on therapies that allow clients to pursue a self-determined goal to explore their potential for change in unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviours, and gender identities. A closer look at the presented “evidence” in their survey shows questionable results. For one, the survey is but a pilot study with serious methodological limitations and simply cannot be generalized beyond their samples. Secondly, they quote the American Psychological Association techniques for conversion therapy, used in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The aversion treatments of that time included inducing nausea, vomiting, or paralysis; providing electric shocks; or having the individual snap an elastic band around the wrist when the individual became aroused to same-sex erotic images or thoughts. These methods have not been used for decades!
Thirdly, 72.5% of the LGBT participants were deemed ineligible for inclusion in the survey. It is simply not reasonable for such a high level of participant exclusion to have occurred solely because of the inclusion criteria described. Moreover, having nearly half of the eligible participants not finish the survey raises serious questions about the possibility of non-random, systematic differences between completer and non-completers that might affect the results and seriously limit the researchers’ ability to generalize their findings. This briefly summarizes some key errors in the survey but a more in-depth analysis can be examined in the link below. More
South Africa – High School refused female to wear male uniform
Strand High School, in the Western Cape, made headlines this week when it refused a 16-year old biological female learner who identifies as a transgender male (only available in Afrikaans), to wear the male school uniform. The school also refused the learner to use the male bathroom facilities at the school. In response, the Western Cape Education Department informed the public that they are aware of the matter and they are in discussion with the school. Bronagh Hammond of the Western Cape Education Department explained that the situation crosses borders because never before had there been any guidelines or policy in the country to show schools for example how to support transgender students. More
USA – Transgender Survey misrepresented to ban talk therapy
Gaining rapid traction in political and academic circles is the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, which the Williams Institute study derived their data from. This survey is used to assert harms from change-allowing talk therapies are widespread and sufficient for professional and religious engagement in such efforts to be deemed a serious health hazard. The survey attempts to link gender identity change efforts (GICE) to psychological distress and are now appearing in professional journals. Errors in the survey include the following:
- For any definitive statement to be made regarding cause and effect (change efforts causing psychological distress), longitudinal data is necessary. This survey was a cross sectional meaning data collected from respondents where done only once at one point in time therefore rendering an obvious limitation.
- Although this survey employed a multitude of people in their outreach, there is a concern of “narrowness of inbreeding” whereby people who know people who know others alike participate in the same survey. For example excluding former transgender persons. The survey is thus seriously limited by it’s reliance on respondents who identify as transgender, rather than all persons with a history of gender dysphoria.
More detailed analysis of the report (Page 6) can be found by clicking the link below. More
USA – Why rush children into surgical transgender intervention
Despite countless transgender regret stories that never make their way to mainstream media, and despite the fact that children are not mature or developed enough to understand the long term impact of transgender surgery on their lives, doctors are still split on this issue of whether a child should be permitted to undergo life altering surgery or not. According to an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics, governments should now exclude parents who oppose the hormonal and surgical transformation of their children. Dr Michelle Cretella of American College of Pediatricians gave a presentation discussing the medical implications and impact of transgender lifestyle among other things in which she highlights the lifelong side effects such children will have to put up with. Article, Presentation.
South Africa – DA MP published intention to ban talk therapy for minors
Recently, a Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament (MP) published her intention to introduce a bill that would amend the current Children’s Act so as to include prohibiting “conversion therapy” in children (which is not defined other than saying it is a “pseudo-science approach to ‘curing’ children of homosexuality”). The bill is open for public comment until 4 August 2021 and comments can be emailed to [email protected] . It is important to take note that this is a mere intention to introduce a bill and not yet a bill itself. Similar bills have gone around the USA persuading policy makers that conversion therapy is harmful and ineffective but they have based these claims on methods used in the 1960’s and 1970’s. These methods are no longer used today. Talk therapy is the method used. Just as any other therapy offered today, success depends on the willingness and participation of the patient. More
Uganda – Journalist goes after hospital for offering change therapy
A receptionist at an HIV clinic for marginalised and ‘most at risk’ populations, including homosexual people, is harassed because she offered change therapy to an undercover reporter’s 17-year-old homosexual brother. Emphasis on the fact that all she did was make the offer, she did not force or insult anyone. “Whoever wants to quit homosexuality, we connect them,” she said – to external counsellors. It is also noteworthy that she is a receptionist at a clinic for ‘most at risk’ people, so her offer stems from compassion. The homosexual population is known to be at higher risk for various Sexually Transmitted Infections and this receptionist probably witnesses heart-breaking incidents regularly and felt she wanted to make a difference. OpenDemocracy journalists on the other hand feel it necessary to make a mountain out of a mole heap. Article, Medical Publication of health issues LGBT population faces.