"There is no argument among medical professionals — pediatricians, pediatric endocrinologists, adolescent medicine physicians, adolescent psychiatrists, psychologists, etc. — about the value and the importance of gender-affirming care,” U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine told NPR recently. This was Levine’s way of saying that it is actually harmful not to gender-transition boys into being girls and vice versa, even though that often means permanent mutilation of a child’s body and irreversible hormonal treatments.
With the assertion that there is "no argument," Levine is using a fallacy called “proof by assertion” — as if the forceful repetition of a controversial statement can make it true. This is a concerted effort by the Biden administration and the gender-transition industry to quell a raging debate among medical professionals and researchers, many of whom strongly disagree. It requires the most tendentious interpretation of the available scientific evidence to assert that it is helpful to administer puberty blockers, hormone treatments, or surgery to children — or even to believe that those are genuinely “affirming” forms of care as Levine described it.
Yet it is in this manner that the Biden administration has wholeheartedly and without reservation embraced fringe science and fringe ideology. If you could take a time machine back even just 10 years ago and tell Democrats that this is what their party would be pushing in 2022, they would be horrified. And today’s voters already are.
The reality is that most children who suffer from gender confusion simply grow out of it on their own — that is, if adults do not cruelly mutilate them before they are done. But even teenagers frequently have phases that prove temporary. In contrast, the surgeries and chemical castrations that Levine wants to inflict upon even young children, sometimes without parental consent, are usually not fully reversible.
There are many arguments against doing this to children during such an intensely emotional time of their lives as puberty, before they are in any meaningful sense capable of fully understanding sex, let alone making such irreversible, life-altering decisions. And given abundant evidence that adults in some states are coaxing troubled schoolchildren into such courses of treatment without parental knowledge, the argument against is stronger still.
It is an important principle that adults can make whatever lawful choices they like, but the state takes a special duty to protect children for a reason. They are not often situated to make lifelong decisions, which is why special rules apply to them. In most states, children are not permitted until at least age 16 to quit school. They cannot drink alcohol, use nicotine products, or even vote. Most states will not even hold teenagers fully responsible for serious crimes they commit, based on their diminished capacity, on aggregate, to make decisions in comparison to adults.
It is already controversial to say gender transitioning is "medically necessary" at all. But there is certainly no medical requirement to rush it into anyone’s childhood. As for the common excuse given, that children will commit suicide unless they receive this treatment, the evidence is mixed at best about whether it does any good. People can also be affirmed as human beings without being irreversibly mutilated, too. The medical and psychological professions find counseling more appropriate for disorders, such as anorexia, that are more likely than gender confusion to lead to suicide.
This is why the commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is on solid ground in saying that gender reassignment surgery “physically alters a child’s genitalia for nonmedical purposes, potentially inflicting irreversible harm to children’s bodies.”
This is to say nothing about the glaring contradictions that arise from the idea that people can just choose their gender. The ideology of transgenderism has already tried to reduce womanhood to mere effeminate affectations. But will it now be taken as "scientific" to embrace all gender stereotypes and reassign genders according to them? Are girls who like sports really men in the wrong bodies? Should doctors transition boys because they feel attracted at some point to other boys, the way they do in Iran?
It is not Texas that has spoken out against science — it is Levine and the incompetent administration that appoints people who cannot define the word “woman” to positions of authority.
There will be hell to pay for this. The day is coming when thousands of de-transitioners, having been rushed into this idiocy as children too young to consent to it, will suffer lifelong regrets because of irresponsible people such as Levine and President Joe Biden. They will file lawsuits against their former medical providers and public school districts. And even the multimillion-dollar judgments they win will not restore their bodies or the potential their lives will have lost.
The states that are taking steps to prevent this sort of abuse are doing a great service to the children that live within their borders. If only more adults had a genuine concern for children and their well-being and less concern about gratifying their own ideological commitment to eradicating the difference between men and women.