The American College of Pediatricians (ACP) has released a report stating that it is wrong to encourage children to believe that they were born in the wrong body as there is no scientific basis for such an assertion.
The report, “Gender Dysphoria in Children,” was written by Dr. Michelle Cretella and explains that the condition is more psychological than biological.
“[A]lthough many men with GD express the belief that they are a ‘feminine essence’ trapped in a male body, this belief has no scientific basis,” it states.
Cretella outlines that children are not born with the brains of the opposite sex.
“[T]he brains of all male infants are masculinized prenatally by their own endogenous testosterone, which is secreted … beginning at approximately eight weeks’ gestation,” she explains. “Female infants … do not have their brains masculinized by endogenous testosterone. For this reason, barring one of the rare disorders of sex development (DSD), boys are not born with feminized brains, and girls are not born with masculinized brains.”
Rather, the ACP believes that youth come to struggle with their sexual identity due to various experiences from their infancy onward.
“The literature regarding the etiology and psychotherapeutic treatment of childhood GD is heavily based upon clinical case studies. These studies suggest that social reinforcement, parental psychopathology, family dynamics, and social contagion facilitated by mainstream and social media, all contribute to the development and/or persistence of GD in some vulnerable children,” Cretella writes.
She explains that, for instance, boys with tendencies to behave feminine often do so because of the lack of a proper relationship with their father.
“A large body of clinical literature documents that fathers of feminine boys report spending less time with their sons between the ages of two and five as compared with fathers of control boys. This is consistent with data that shows feminine boys feel closer to their mothers than to their fathers,” Cretella outlines.
And with girls, “there have been cases in which girls are afraid of their fathers who may exhibit volatile anger up to and including abuse toward the mother. A girl may perceive being female as unsafe, and psychologically defend against this by feeling that she is really a boy; subconsciously believing that if she were a boy she would be safe from and loved by her father.”
And therefore, some children develop gender dysphoria, which the ACP classifies as a mental disorder.
“People who identify as ‘feeling like the opposite sex’ or ‘somewhere in between’ or some other category do not comprise a third sex,” Cretella says. “They remain biological men or biological women. GD is a problem that resides in the mind not in the body. Children with GD do not have a disordered body—even though they feel as if they do.”
And sex changes are not physically possible.
“From a purely scientific standpoint, human beings possess a biologically determined sex and innate sex differences. No sexologist could actually change a person’s genes through hormones and surgery. Sex change is objectively impossible,” the ACP states.
“Twin studies demonstrate that GD is not an innate trait. Moreover, barring pre-pubertal affirmation and hormone intervention for GD, 80 percent to 95 percent of children with GD will accept the reality of their biological sex by late adolescence,” it outlines.
The organization is therefore calling for an end to hormonal treatments and sex change operations, as well as educational curriculum that teaches children that some persons are trapped in the wrong body.
“Ethics alone demands an end to the use of pubertal suppression with GnRH agonists, cross-sex hormones, and sex reassignment surgeries in children and adolescents,” Cretella writes. “The College recommends an immediate cessation of these interventions, as well as an end to promoting gender ideology via school curricula and legislative policies.”
“Healthcare, school curricula and legislation must remain anchored to physical reality,” she says on behalf of ACP. “Scientific research should focus upon better understanding the psychological underpinnings of this disorder, optimal family and individual therapies, as well as delineating the differences among children who resolve with watchful waiting versus those who resolve with therapy and those who persist despite therapy.”