On Sunday, The New York Times ran a piece by Jack Turban, a research fellow at the Yale School of Medicine. Turban says that doctors should begin applying puberty blockers to children who identify as transgender as early as possible. That's because, according to him, "it has become clear that if we support these children in their transgender identities instead of trying to change them, they thrive instead of struggling with anxiety and depression."
Turban uses as his example one 14-year-old girl named Hannah who was born a boy named Jonah. Turban glows: "Hannah is using a puberty-blocking implant and getting ready to embark on the path of developing a female body by starting estrogen. Ten years ago most doctors would have called this malpractice. New data has now made it the protocol for thousands of American children."
Ten years ago, doctors weren't embracing politically correct insanity as medicine.
Turban, you see, claims that by transforming children's bodies younger, we will help them avoid societal stigma, and that it's that stigma that's responsible for the shockingly high rates of suicide and depression associated with gender dysphoria. But there's no hard data to support that notion. A study from professors at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, for example, found that 46 percent of transgender men and 42 percent of transgender women in the study had attempted suicide.
Is this due to discrimination? The study does show high levels of discrimination against transgender people. But it also shows that the suicide rate among transgender women who say people identify them as transgender regularly is 45 percent. How about those who are able to pass for the gender to which they claim membership? Their suicide rate is still 40 percent. How about the suicide rate among those transgender individuals who have had hormone treatment? It's 45 percent. Surgery doesn't militate against suicide either.
But Turban has an agenda. And so, he cites one study of 63 transgender children, which found that if they were allowed to "socially transition" — if people treated them as their preferred sex — then they had indistinguishable levels of anxiety and depression from that of their peers. But this study concerns children, who have not yet experienced the rigors of sex drive and sexual dynamics; it also ignores the small sample size and the fact that a reported 8 in 10 children who experience gender confusion grow out of it. But Turban's fine with maintaining gender confusion for those 8 children out of 10 in order to preserve Hannah's peace of mind — even if Hannah might have grown out of her symptoms herself, thereby lowering risk of suicide over time.
This is science with an agenda.
Adults should be free to make decisions about their sexuality and their bodies. But children should not be subjected to the whims of politically driven adults when it comes to massive bodily mutilation that impairs function for a lifetime — all before the child has experienced puberty. And society should not be obligated to obey the gender theory nonsense of the radical left, which seeks to confuse as many children as possible in the name of an anti-biological program in service to a political agenda.
Ben Shapiro, 33, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of "The Ben Shapiro Show" and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com. He is The New York Times best-selling author of "Bullies." He lives with his wife and two children in Los Angeles.