Study: Effects of puberty-blockers can last a lifetime

“Proponents of putting gender-confused children on puberty-blocking drugs have long said there’s no harm in pressing pause on their physical development while they take time to consider their identity. …But a long-term study by the United Kingdom’s leading facility for treating gender-dysphoric children found otherwise.” - WORLD


My brother and sister-in-law are good friends with a gentleman who transitioned, and part of the counseling given to him (or “her”) is that transitioning is a life-shortening procedure more or less because biological sex is a package deal—one can “pretend” to be the opposite sex, but at some level, those chromosomes and your body’s history (hormone levels, nutrition, etc..) are going to have their say. The friend went through with it because he felt it would help him deal with his suicidal tendencies and substance abuse, but he did it knowing it might take a decade off his life or more.

Now here’s the question; the notion that the body’s condition does not depend on whether the body was allowed to develop normally has just been found to be very, very false. What else in the “trans” narrative won’t hold up to scrutiny? I’m guessing most of it.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

A person goes through significant emotional stress leading up to and though transition. Post transition is a time for healing. Misgendering a person, as you have, only further damages a person trying to heal, and can significantly set back recovery.

A transgender person IS the opposite sex, their body notwithstanding. They don’t “pretend” to be the other sex. The person, the individual “behind the eyes” actually IS the other gender. The person itself, as well as the person’s experienced gender is rooted in the brain, not in the genitals or anywhere else in the body. That identity develops around the 20th week of fetal development (guided mostly by hormones), as opposed to the body, which develops at around 6 weeks (guided mostly by genetics). When the person and their gender do not match what the body presents, there is dysphoria, and stress. That stress, unrelented, typically results in deep, life threatening depression. They transition to relive that internal incongruence. When you misgender, or continue to treat that person relative to the gender assigned at birth, you are putting that person through continued gender dysphoria. More than one transgender person has committed suicide as a result of that type of cruelty.

80% of young people who give signs of gender dysphoria go back to deciding they are their birth sex. Hence, there is no easy “misgendering” argument where one simply accepts the current statements of a child as normative, and responsible transgender doctors have always postponed any surgical interventions until the patient has lived as the non-birth-sex for a number of years. The likelihood of error is simply too high.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

The number you quote originated from Kenneth Zucker, who championed “Reparative Therapy” for children (It should be noted that his practice was shuttered in 2018). He claimed that 80% of the “transgender” patients who came to him desisted after his therapy.What he didn’t say, is that the patients who came to him were from worried parents of toddlers and pre-pubescent children who were exploring gender. Exploring gender in pre-pubescent children is not uncommon, and doesn’t indicate that the child is actually transgender. It just means they were exploring. Left to their own devices, they would have desisted all on their own because, well, they’re not transgender. If a child persists into puberty, VERY FEW IF ANY of those children desist. Basically, if a child persists with their cross gender identification into puberty, they ARE transgender. If they desist before that age, they never were. Denying transgender children transition care will result in a high incidence of suicide. The cruelty of that path is inhuman.

A transgender person IS the opposite sex, their body notwithstanding.

This is one of those things that doesn’t seem to have a lot of meaning. What does it mean to be the other gender their body notwithstanding? It gender really simply a mental state disconnected from the science of biology?

I think these categories are rendering life unintelligible. Someone is the gender they are born. To stereotype that with thought patterns seems the very opposite of what the progressives should want. But having said that, people since the beginning of time have been affected by sinful thought patterns and personal struggles. The answer to that has never been to deny reality but to bring our thoughts into captivity to the Word of God. It’s hard to understand the biblical basis for transgenderism.

What Scripture are you relying on for transgenderism? What would you say to someone who struggles with sinful thought patterns?

….the plaintiff in the UK case is currently in her early twenties. She was diagnosed transgender in her mid teens, well after the onset of puberty and menses. Onesie/twosie in errors? Not according to Walt Heyer, who says he hears from those who regret transitioning all the time.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

“Hears from those who regret all the time” is qualitative data. Walt Heyer is well known as an anti-trans activist who makes a pretty tidy living off of being anti-trans, so I’m not sure I’d take his word as an unbiased source of qualitative data. To put some math to it though, there are some 320,000,000 people in the United States. According to the Williams Institute, about 1.4 million of those people identify as transgender. It is also estimated, that around 2% of those who transition have regret, so there would be somewhere around 28,000 people who regret transition (and 1,372,000 people who don’t). Walt has quite a pool of unhappy people who he could hear from, so I suppose it isn’t a surprise that his phone rings all the time. He doesn’t hear though, from the 1.372 million happily transitioned people.


“He doesn’t hear though, from the 1.372 million happily transitioned people.

There are not 1.372 million happily transitioned people. I feel bad for these people, but they are not happy. I’m sure they long to be happy, but I suspect very few, if any, truly are. They may not want to go back, but that doesn’t mean they are happy.

To put this another way, look at today’s stats on coronavirus. I just went to the site. As of just this moment, in the U.S. there have been 375,207 deaths out of 22,221,653 cases, for a death percentage of ~1.68%. That’s a smaller percentage than the 2% you quoted, but it’s considered a national health emergency, and the death numbers are trotted out every day as a supposed proof of the failure of the current administration to control the epidemic. As a result, many, fairly drastic, policies have been put into place that restrict everyone, in order to reduce this percentage.

Even if the number of people who regret transitioning is “only” 2%, that would seem to indicate a percentage large enough to constitute a major problem, especially since the treatments are largely optional, and can be avoided much easier than deaths from viral infections. This represents a pretty large failure in treatment that could have been avoided and has permanent consequences.

You can always argue that any adult went into that course of treatment with his or her eyes wide open, but that’s not so easy to say when a minor is making such decisions with permanent consequences. With that large a failure rate, the medical community cannot just shrug its shoulders and say “too bad” when the first rule is to “do no harm.” Studies like the one above, especially since it is coming from an organization that is supposedly expert in the field, cannot just be ignored or suppressed because one does not like the results, and definitely need to be part of the calculations on which treatments are considered for minors.

Dave Barnhart

Human fetal development, in fact any fetal development, is a fascinating study. In humans specifically, all early fetuses are visibly identical. At around 6 weeks, the external genitalia differentiate based on genetics. At about 14 weeks later, the brain and neural systems start to develop. It’s sexual differentiation is based on a variety of genetic markers, AND hormones. In the event of either genetic abnormalities, the action of epigenetics, or hormonal irregularities, the brain “gender” can develop contrary to the body’ structure. Since the brain and its structure constitute who and what we really are, a person can indeed be female or male, their external genitalia notwithstanding.

Is there biblical reference for all of this? Not really. There’s no reference for a lot of what we study in the scientific community. Based on what we DO know from Jesus’s ministry, being gay or lesbian didn’t seem to be an issue.

In Matthew 8:5-13 for example, Jesus heals the centurion’s servant without question or concern. From what we know about Roman Centurions of the time, their male servant was typically an intimate partner. This is especially likely as in this case, the Centurion refers to the servant in the original texts, in more intimate terms. Jesus didn’t bring up the nature of their relationship despite undoubtedly knowing full well what that nature was. He simply healed the servant as He would have healed anyone.

My sense is that being transgender simply isn’t an issue either. He treated sexual minorities equally and with compassion. It really seemed to be unimportant. One thing Jesus WAS clear about, was that we shouldn’t judge one another.

Scientific studies of post transition satisfaction put the rate at around 98%. Now, do those people, like anyone else, suffer life’s irritations, setbacks, and difficulties? Of course they do. When it comes to their decision to transition, however, 98% are happy with that decision.

And yet a vaccine that is 95% effective is considered a miracle.

In the any medical field, a course of treatment that has a 98% success rate is considered wonderful. Considering that if we withhold treatment for transgenderism, or worse yet attempt reparative therapy, the suicide approaches 60%.

I’d like to close the discussion on this one with a few thoughts.

We could duel statistics for a good while and make points one way or the other depending on the biases of the studies and the degree of cherry picking involved in pulling the numbers that fit our positions. But, from a biblical standpoint, it’s not particularly relevant. Things the Bible reveals to be true and right sometimes don’t seem to fit some of the data, but Christianity has long meant taking God at His word in faith and being patient about discovering how general revelation fits in.

Gender is one of those things, only quite recently debated among Christians, though Scripture is quite clear about some core truths on that topic:

  • Transgender persons are fully human and made in the image God, and it isn’t Christian to refer to them or interact with them in dehumanizing ways.
  • Due to the curse of sin on the world, we’re all broken in many ways—including some ways that can’t or shouldn’t be fixed, but rather obediently lived with. (Other times, they can be potentially fixed but there are right and wrong ways to attempt to do that.)
  • God created male and female, and true gender corresponds to that biological sex, which is not usually ambiguous. (In other words, Scripture affirms biological essentialism.)
  • Christian living requires that we honor that reality and simultaneously extend compassion toward those who have difficulty coping with it.
  • Children are foolish and confused about many things and the role of adults is protect and nurture them toward truth, often correcting and teaching kids away from what they perceive to be true.

Some other points that aren’t in Scripture but are an important part of a Christian perspective on the topic:

  • Until recently (see DSM IV), gender dysphoria was seen as a disorder that mental health professionals should try to work with sufferers to overcome. It’s only been in the last decade or so that the idea of fully embracing perceived gender over against biological sex as become seemingly mainstream (see DSM V). An interesting question would be why? Some would say “the science;” others would say “socio-political trends,” i.e., continuation of the sexual revolution begun in the 1960s.
  • I would encourage readers to give Responding to the Transgender Revolution (TGC, 2017) a thoughtful read. It’s brief, considering the complexity of the topic in our times, but pretty thorough, with attention to both special and general revelation and lots of references if you want to do further reading.
  • There are apparently some biological conditions that make identification of biological sex difficult. These are special cases and don’t rationally generalize into the currently popular view that biological sex is irrelevant to gender identity.

There are lots of views on things that we don’t debate at SI because they’re givens within the scope what we understand to be orthodox Christian faith and life. For the time being, the five biblical points above would be an example, and they would have to be accepted as the starting point for whatever we would debate here on the topic.

(Edit: I did want to say also that I much appreciate the overall tone and focus of the discussion on ideas rather than the personal attacks etc. that tend to dominate exchanges on topics like this in social media, etc.)

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.