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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A group of pediatricians is condemning the chemical and surgical treatment of transgender children and adolescents as "child abuse."
A new report published Thursday by the American College of Pediatricians (ACP) declares, "Conditioning children to believe the absurdity that they or anyone could be 'born into the wrong body,' and that a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse."
The study condemns the administration of hormones to children and adolescent youth identifying as transgender as "mass experimentation on, and sterilization of, youth who are cognitively incapable of providing informed consent."
It maintains that the term "gender" was hijacked by feminists in the 1960s and now by sexologists, maintaining that before the 1950s gender was strictly applied to grammar, not to people. "[G]ender is not and never has been a biological or scientific entity. Rather, gender is a socially and politically constructed concept."
The report dismisses the "born that way" hypothesis of gender dysphoria (GD) accepted by some doctors and relegates it to "environmental influences upon certain biologically vulnerable children," maintaining that "brains trapped in the wrong body is in fact an ideological belief that has no basis in rigorous science."
"Human sexuality is binary by design with the purpose of being the reproduction of our species," it argues. "This principle is self-evident."
The paper suggests the development and persistence of GD are due to "social reinforcement, parental psychopathology, family dynamics, and social contagion facilitated by mainstream and social media." It notes the majority of children with GD have parents who reacted with tolerance and acceptance to initial cross-dressing and cross-sex behaviors.
It then gives the example that some mothers of GD boys wanted daughters instead. The mothers suffered from depression that was relieved when their son dressed up like a girl. It also notes that feminine boys had less time with their fathers, quoting a study calling GD in boys a "developmental arrest ... in which an excessively close and gratifying mother-infant symbiosis, undisturbed by father's presence, prevents a boy from adequately separating himself from his mother's female body and feminine behavior."
It observes the majority of GD boys have fathers who "are easily threatened, exhibit difficulty with affect regulation, and possess an inner sense of inadequacy." It continues, "These fathers typically deal with their conflicts by overwork or otherwise distance themselves from their families. Most often, the parents fail to support one another, and have difficulty resolving marital conflicts."
Addressing the notion that so-called transgender children suffer depression because they are not accepted as transgender, the report notes that "severe psychopathology" is common among GD children and that many were on the autism spectrum. It suggests that more than 90 percent of those who die by suicide have a diagnosed mental disorder.
"[T]here is no evidence that gender-dysphoric children who commit suicide are any different," it continues. "Therefore, the cornerstone for suicide prevention should be the same for them as for all children: early identification and treatment of psychological co-morbidities."
A report published by ACP in March noted that suicide rates among people suffering from GD who have undergone gender reassignment surgery are 20 times higher than the average population.
ACPeds was founded in 2002 and currently has approximately 200 members. When the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) spoke in favor of same-sex couples adopting children, a number of physicians broke away and formed ACP.
The organization recognizes that there is "unique value" to every human life "from the time of conception to natural death," and that a mother and father "within the context of marriage" offers the ideal opportunity for childhood formation.
Critics, including the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) label ACP an "anti-LGBT hate group."