Two weeks ago the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a policy statement in which it urged parents to accept the gender identity their children prefer, and to disregard their children’s actual biological sex. This is just the latest step in the advance of “gender ideology” — something Pope Francis has condemned quite frequently in recent years. Gender ideology maintains that everyone has something called a “gender identity” that does not always match his or her biological sex. Anyone experiencing this inner conflict (known as “gender dysphoria”) should be supported in “transitioning” from male to female, or vice versa.
In children, this transition involves the use of puberty-blocking drugs (which are not FDA approved for this use) and cross-sex hormones. Together these drugs often cause permanent sterility and increase the risk for many serious illnesses. Youth may then opt for irreversible, mutilating surgical procedures to remove healthy body parts, such as double mastectomies at age 13 or genital surgeries at age 18.
That’s a pretty big price for a confused young person to pay for a psychological disorder which, with some care and counseling, would eventually resolve itself in the vast majority of cases. According to the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, as many as 98 percent of boys and up to 88 percent of girls with gender dysphoria come to accept their biological sex by late adolescence.
We must help wounded children heal and accept the biological truth about themselves. We shouldn’t be treating them as pawns in a trendy social-engineering experiment by giving them unnecessary and dangerous drugs and surgeries.
The leaders of the AAP who published this statement should already know this — which should lead them to revise their policy.