Questioning Academic

This brief post comes from “Questioning Academic,” a recent UK visitor to the site. 
I teach students who will one day work with children and young people and their communities and I am terrified of the current trans narrative for a range of reasons. I don’t discount that there are individuals who think they should have the primary sexual characteristics of the ‘opposite sex’, or who feel more comfortable in ‘opposite’ gender roles, but the whole conflating of this with there being ‘natural’ gendered behaviours, with sex and gender being the same thing and with drug and surgical therapies rapidly becoming the first line of treatment for dysphoria are truly terrifying. I’m now hearing that requiring counselling for dysphoria is transphobic. I know that much counselling that takes place is by ‘gender clinics’ who are ‘sympathetic’ to any child reporting dysphoria and I know that ‘liking pink and dolls’ is often a good enough reason to declare a boy child is likely a girl. I have other concerns as well. One of the biggest is that whereas I see a lot of what is happening as child abuse I cannot speak out for fear of losing my job and income. I won’t parrot the dogma, like many of my colleagues have chosen to do, but I won’t (can’t) openly critique it either. The other big concern I have is that in a supposedly evidence driven environment there is little evidence of so much current practice – yet we experiment on the bodies of children with drugs and on young people with drugs and surgeries. It is truly a sad world in both academic and practice when asking “do we have the evidence for that” and “are we acting in the best interests of the child here” are considered threatening and dangerous statements. This is truly a Brave New World.

9 thoughts on “Questioning Academic

  1. I agree completely Questioning Academic. This is a mess. In medicine everybody calls everything evidence-based all the time now. It’s a huge exaggeration, sometimes the evidence is terrible. But what’s so astonishing about trans is there is absolutely zero evidence. Except for on one point, between 60 and 90% of children taken to gender clinics eventually give up the idea they should be the opposite sex. (Now maybe a lot of them don’t go there with that idea and are being taken there for some strange reason… That something that should be explored.) But the willingness of all of these professionals to go along with something that there’s no evidence for in this environment where that is so rhetorically emphasized is shocking.

    It would be really nice if some journalists would look into this and expose this blatant lack of evidence. The drugs are being used off label. Off label drug use is usually supported by a study or two, that point in the direction of this being something that a further study will verify. Then treatment for that thing becomes part of it’s on the label use. Off label is not supposed to mean ‘pulled it out of my ass’. Which is what is going on here. That transsexual surgeries and hormones have existed for over a generation and that there are nearly no long-term follow-up studies is another shocker. It shows that the whole sex change regime is not doing a good job. And that should be exposed by investigative reporters. Dispatches should do something on Mermaids! 😖

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you to the author of this post for speaking up. Yes, who will tell the Emperor he has no clothes? There are certainly a growing number of parents willing to do so. The reality now is that taking your kid to see a therapist is risky. Some of these kids have mental health issues, but as soon as they play the “I’m transgender” card, it’s all over. No one questions that self-diagnosis, and the mental health care they need gets misdiagnosed as gender dysphoria. There are any number of other things that could be going on, which all take time to sort out, perhaps with medication. My young adult daughter at college, only newly on antidepressants, made a single trip to a California gender clinic, and she was able to get a prescription for testosterone. No soul-searching counseling needed – which is actually what she told me she wanted, someone to help her think through the pros & cons of hormone use! She did not get that….instead she was given a consent form to sign and a Rx for body-altering hormones. This is madness. I could write a whole lot more…..

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  3. Yes, thank you, “Questioning Academic,” for speaking out. Parents who know our kids, who have witnessed every day of our children’s lives, watched them grow up for years and have never seen any sort of hint that the child is “born in the wrong body,” or wanting to be the opposite sex — we are desperate for professionals to speak out, to help slow down the quickie-transition requirements. It is dangerous and ridiculous that a young person can get a cross-sex hormone prescription within a visit or two.

    Doctors who have just met these kids are handing out hormones like candy. This is endangering the mental and physical health of children, teens and young adults. These young people need lots time and intensive therapy to work through their issues. Many of these girls are lesbians wishing to be “straight males,” or sexual assault victims wishing to hide and feel safe, or girls who wish for male privilege rather than societal misogyny, or girls who are on the autism spectrum — they’re socially anxious or just not “prissy,” and feel they don’t fit today’s “typical girl” stereotypes. These are issues that can be worked through. These issues should not require surgeries, hormones and other forms of body modification. Boys tend to have slightly different (but quite similar) reasons, which also can be worked through. Whatever the reasons, these young people need to mature completely before undergoing these experimental, permanent treatments which render them lifelong medical patients.

    Again, thank you for speaking out. Healthcare professionals with similar views, please make your voices heard! Help us parents turn the tide. We can’t do it without you.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Me too! I’m teaching in a teacher education program in a Canadian University, and my students tell me, “no one is saying what you’re saying about gender identity”. Some of them are worried that I’ll fail them if they don’t parrot what I tell them — i reply that I am more worried they will uncritically swallow what EVERYONE ELSE is feeding them. They have an assignment to present about an Educational policy. I knew that a number of them would want to present about the “gender identity and sexual orientation” policies that have recently been implemented in some local school districts. these state that children can use whatever bathroom conforms to their “chosen gender identity”, teachers will refer to them by their chosen name and pronouns, and are not required to inform parents, either. Of course, there are no policies to deal with sexual harassment of girls by the boys, nor are their any policies or procedures that address mental illness among students. jesuswept.
    “I want you to dig,” I tell my students, “and tell me how these policies are reproducing structures of domination, even if you think it’s a good policy”. And i send them to this site, and to 4thWaveNow and give them some articles too. I’m one sessional instructor, though, and my students are right, NO ONE in the faculty of education (that I know of) is making the arguments i’m making. I am a bit afraid for my continued employment, too, if I stick my neck out much further. Already, as a sessional, I have no job security.

    I am grateful for this site, I can’t tell you how much, and for the increasingly audible voices of gender-critical people.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. My son, age 16, says he related to a documentary about a boy who discovered himself and transitioned. After researching online–websites, you tube videos, etc., my son opened up to us that he WAS transgender. This summer we took him to a “counselor” LCSW with over 23 years experience in multiple mental health fields, who “specialized” in transgender. On the first visit, he diagnosed him as transgender, based on the criteria set forth by the DSM, and informed us that the only treatment available was transitioning; otherwise, we are putting him in danger of deeper depression and suicide. He advised us to take him to a support group of other transgenders after the second appointment. Now he is setting up a daycamp for the group and my son wants to go. He’s also met a friend from the group and has been texting (I can only assume about trans). My wife took him to the support group but my gut feel says there could be other options and that this group and his friend are only supporting my son’s notion that this is the only way to go. My question to the professionals out there is 1. Should I remove him from the counselor, the class, and his friend and get another opinion? 2. Was the counselor wrong to use this criteria only and not look for other possibilities? 3. What approach should I take with my son? After reading some of the articles on this website, it scares me to death that my son is being brainwashed by the societal viewpoints of the LGBT and mental health communities. The counselor has already told us that the sooner he gets on estrogen, the better chance he has at looking like a “normal” girl and not a man dressed in drag. HELP!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi. I am so sorry you are going through this.

      As far as your questions are concerned, I am also an LCSW. I will attempt to answer them according to my own clinical judgment. First of all, there isn’t a DSM diagnosis of “transgender.” Transgender is an identity, not a diagnosis. Your son *may* meet the criteria for gender dysphoria, although given that you do not report that he experienced intense feelings of discomfort with his body before recently, it seems more likely that he has been suffering from some other mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or social isolation, and has latched onto being “trans” as a way of coping with discomfort. In any case, even if he does meet the criteria for gender dysphoria, there is *no evidence at all* that transition is the best or only way to treat this disorder. Though the “transition or die” narrative is invoked with appalling frequency, there is no merit to the argument. If a child is suicidal, then he ought to be treated for suicidality, not encouraged to alter his body. In fact, there is some good research that shows that *all* gender nonconforming teens suffer from high rates of suicidality (so lesbians, gays, and bisexuals as well). In addition, there is research that shows continued high rates of suicidality among those who have medically transitioned. Upshot: it is difficult to be a gender nonconforming teen. Moreover, it is extremely disingenuous to imply that transition is a cure all. There is *no* research that transition prevents suicide. None.

      So yes. If I were you and I could possibly do so, I would remove him from that therapist. I would remove him from that group, and I would remove him from that friend. I would also limit his internet access. The danger is that doing these things will cause him to alienate himself from you further and drive him into the arms of the affirming therapist and school personnel. This is part of what is so infuriating and frightening about this contagion. We can no longer trust the professionals to do the right thing.

      Follow your instincts. You know your son better. Get treatment for any underlying mental health issues. Get him off the internet and out in the world doing real things, such as extracurricular activities or time in nature. Try not to talk about gender if you can. Focus on other things. Above all, don’t be afraid to exercise your parental authority with firmness as well as compassion. Your son is still young. His judgment isn’t fully developed. I do believe that transition is right for some people, but it is a tiny, tiny number. Many of those for whom it is right felt out of place in a boy’s body since early childhood, and then had these feelings persist into late adolescence. Unhappy kids “discovering” that they are trans out of the blue at age 16 are a very recent phenomenon that appears to be the result of social contagion. I hope you feel empowered to fight for your son.

      Liked by 5 people

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