American College of Pediatricians: Gender Ideology Harms Children

By Penny Starr | March 16, 2016 | 11:12 PM EDT

Tia Thompson, 30, reacts after Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed a bill that will enable transgender men and women to change gender on their birth certificates without having to undergo surgery. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – The American College of Pediatricians issued a position statement last month entitled “Gender Ideology Harms Children,” which will be followed by a peer-reviewed statement on the subject that’s expected to be released by summer, the college told CNSNews.com.

“The American College of Pediatricians urges educators and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex,” the statement issued on Feb. 2 stated. “Facts – not ideology – determine reality.”

The statement – written by Dr. Michelle A. Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians, Dr. Quentin Van Meter, vice president of the American College of Pediatricians and a pediatric endocrinologist, and Dr. Paul McHugh, university distinguished service professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital – cites eight reasons why “gender ideology” instead of treatment based on biological facts is harmful to children.

The first point is, “Human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: ‘XY’ and ‘XX’ are genetic markers of health – not genetic markers of a disorder,” with the purpose of male and female being “the reproduction and flourishing of our species.” It notes “exceedingly rare exceptions of sexual differentiation,” which are disorders but do not represent a “third sex.”

Secondly, “No one is born with a gender. Everyone is born with a biological sex. Gender (an awareness and sense of oneself as male or female) is a sociological and psychological concept; not an objective biological one.”

The statement added that self-awareness develops over time and can be “derailed” by the experiences and information a child receives from infancy forward. Further, no matter what sex a person imagines themselves to be, they remain either a biological male or a biological female.

The third point is that, “A person’s belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking” or the child could suffer from gender dysphoria -- “an objective psychological problem … that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such.”

Fourth, “Puberty is not a disease and puberty-blocking hormones can be dangerous” by inhibiting growth and fertility, according to the position statement.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the statement says, “as many as 98 percent of gender confused boys and 88 percent of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.”

The sixth point is that “children who use puberty blockers to impersonate the opposite sex will require cross-sex hormones in late adolescence. Cross-sex hormones are associated with dangerous health risks including but not limited to high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke and cancer."

The seventh point states, “Rates of suicide are 20 times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery, even in Sweden which is among the most LGBQT–affirming countries.”  

The eighth point calls chemical and surgical treatment of children based on “gender ideology” child abuse. “Endorsing gender discordance as normal via public education and legal policies will confuse children and parents, leading more children to present to ‘gender clinics’ where they will be given puberty-blocking drugs. This, in turn, virtually ensures that they will ‘choose’ a lifetime of carcinogenic and otherwise toxic cross-sex hormones, and likely consider unnecessary surgical mutilation of their healthy body parts as young adults.”

The college, a non-profit organization founded in 2002, states as its mission:

“The Mission of the American College of Pediatricians is to enable all children to reach their optimal physical and emotional health and well-being. To this end, we recognize the basic father-mother family unit, within the context of marriage, to be the optimal setting for childhood development, but pledge our support to all children, regardless of their circumstances.”