Gender Transitioning for Minors Amounts to Dangerous Medical Experimentation on Children

Aug. 25 2021

Some doctors—supported by activists, parents, and even the American Civil Liberties Union—have administered surgical and pharmaceutical treatments to children and teenagers to make them resemble members of the opposite sex. Such procedures are generally irreversible, and usually render the patient infertile. Paul McHugh and Gerard Bradley argue that children should not be allowed to consent to such life-altering procedures, especially when little is understood about their long-term medical and psychological effects:

[T]he champions of the transgender campaign rest their arguments on an essentially solipsistic view (“my truth”) that endorses the individual’s will, sense, or sentiments rather than on what is demonstrably real. The posture extends far into today’s bureaucratic culture. Many official surveys and job applications do not ask whether you are male or female, but rather with which gender you identify. In business and academic settings, it is fashionable to signal support for the transgender cause by adding to one’s own signature a parenthesis enclosing “my preferred pronouns” listing them as “he, his, him” or “she, hers, her” or even “they, theirs, them.” Note that “identify” and “prefer” are words linked to will, wants, and desires, as distinct from those such as “am” and “is,” which are linked to being, nature, and existence.

The treatments do much more to the maturing child than change his or her appearance. They tamper recklessly with complicated, incompletely understood neurobiological mechanisms crucial in human physical and personal maturation. And they betray a thoughtlessness about a critical and unique distinction in the psychosocial development of human beings.

[T]he testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone released by the male testis or the female ovary have “organizational effects” on the brain as well as “stimulating effects.” Not only do these hormones evoke sex-appropriate arousal, but they are also critical to producing sex-appropriate brain structures that have crucial and measurable psychological functions in mental life. Altering the natural hormonal constitution in adolescence by providing hormonal synthetics opposite to one’s genetic constitution cannot fail to disrupt these “organizational” matters—again, with unknowable long-term effects.

Eighty-five to 90 percent of children with gender dysphoria abandon it if their puberty proceeds without interference. . . . It thus appears that the majority of children complaining of distress with their natal sex do best if not treated: they outgrow their sense of being in the “wrong body” and come to live peacefully being the male or female they were found to be at birth.

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Read more at Commentary

More about: American society, Medicine, Science, Transgender

 

Iran, America, and the Future of Democracy in the Middle East

Nov. 23 2022

Sixty-two days after the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of the Islamic Republic’s police, the regime has failed to quash the protest movement. But it is impossible to know if the tide will turn, and what the outcome of the government’s collapse might be. Reuel Marc Gerecht considers the very real possibility that a democratic Iran will emerge, and considers the aftershocks that might follow. (Free registration required.)

American political and intellectual elites remain uneasy with democracy promotion everywhere primarily because it has failed so far in the Middle East, the epicenter of our attention the last twenty years. (Iraq’s democracy isn’t dead, but it didn’t meet American expectations.) Might our dictatorial exception for Middle Eastern Muslims change if Iran were to set in motion insurrections elsewhere in the Islamic world, in much the same way that America’s response to 9/11 probably helped to produce the rebellions against dictatorship that started in Tunisia in 2010? The failure of the so-called Arab Spring to establish one functioning democracy, the retreat of secular democracy in Turkey, and the implosion of large parts of the Arab world have left many wondering whether Middle Eastern Muslims can sustain representative government.

In 1979 the Islamic revolution shook the Middle East, putting religious militancy into overdrive and tempting Saddam Hussein to unleash his bloodiest war. The collapse of Iran’s theocracy might be similarly seismic. Washington’s dictatorial preference could fade as the contradictions between Arab tyranny and Persian democracy grow.

Washington isn’t yet invested in democracy in Iran. Yet, as Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has often noted, American hostility toward the Islamic Republic has been damaging. If the theocracy falls, Iranians will surely give America credit—vastly more credit that they will give to the European political class, who have been trying to make nice, and make money, with the clerical regime since the early 1990s—for this lasting enmity. We may well get more credit than we deserve. Both Democrats and Republicans who have dismissed the possibilities of democratic revolutions among the Muslim peoples of the Middle East will still, surely, claim it eagerly.

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Read more at Dispatch

More about: Arab democracy, Democracy, Iran, Middle East, U.S. Foreign policy