A reader comments on an earlier thread; emphases below are mine:
As a parent living the nightmare of having a teen who suddenly announces she’s transgender, I can tell you there are NO doctors who will do anything but agree. There is NO science behind this. There is NO way to medically “diagnose” her. Her therapist knows that she is not transgender but fears there’s no way we can stop her. Three of her closest friends have already had full transition, paid for by their parents, so it is difficult for her to understand why we won’t do the same. It is no different than having your child captured by a cult, only this time the cult is a societal bandwagon which wants to do permanent physical harm to her perfectly healthy female body, all in the name of “love”. As one of Rod’s sisters in the ancient faith, I ask for your prayers.
You might recall earlier this summer I posted this piece that included an excerpt of a conversation I had in Baltimore earlier in the year:
She said, “I know people accuse you of being alarmist all the time, but let me tell you that they aren’t raising teenagers in this culture.”
The woman told me that at her kids’ high school, a shocking number of students are going to their parents asking to be put on hormones and asking for surgery, because they are transgender. This is the cool thing, and the school is falling all over itself to be supportive, and to encourage an “ally” culture.
“What about the parents?” I said.
“They’re going along with it,” she replied.
“Why on earth?!” I said.
“Because they don’t want to lose their kids. Because everything in the culture tells them they should. Because they think that’s how they love their child. And these parents usually become the fiercest LGBT advocates.”
She told me that the high school kids are now sorting themselves by where they are on the gender spectrum. She added that her brother is a liberal Democrat, an atheist, and a biologist. He tells her that he’s extremely worried about this trans thing. The science simply isn’t there to justify these radical interventions, but scientists are terrified to speak out because of the general atmosphere in academia around these issues now.
Earlier this year, I contacted a scientist about a strictly scientific question related to biology and homosexuality, but he refused to comment. I found that strange, because my question wasn’t ideologically loaded at all. It was just scientific, and his answer presumably would have been too. He said that in academia, there is among professors now such fear of the mob that many of them figure it’s safer to keep one’s mouth shut rather than say something that one of these young Jacobins will take as offensive, no matter how absurd that reading is, and then set about ginning up the mob to destroy the scholar’s professional life.
If this isn’t McCarthyism, what is? It doesn’t become any less McCarthyist because it’s done by the cultural left.
God help the poor parents living this nightmare with their children, because the kind of professionals — doctors and others — who ought to be there reining in this insanity appear to have been totally compromised.
It cannot be the case that there are so many truly transgendered young people in the country. To call something with such severe physiological consequences a “fad” is too trite, but the transgender thing seems to be a faddish way for teenagers struggling to figure out how to relate to the world sexually to resolve the normal stresses of the maturation process. My belief is that there are and always have been teenagers who question their sexuality, and maybe even their gender identity, but most of them resolve these questions conventionally. We know for sure that this is the case with transgenders. A 2008 medical study found that most gender dysphoric youths had resolved their dysphoria by adulthood, without transitioning. Most of that group turned out to be gay or bisexual. Had they been put on high doses of hormones or even had surgery, they would have done potentially or actually irreversible damage to their bodies.
But today we live in a cultural climate in which to have ordinary questions about one’s sexuality is to be drawn into a powerful cultural movement that is celebrated by the media, and that demonizes anyone who challenges its radical claims. They have torn down the cultural and psychological barriers that in the past would have guided young people through the often difficult psychosexual terrain of adolescence and early adulthood. Now there is no road map. To be lost is to find yourself, they say.
As longtime readers know, we homeschool our kids, so they are not exposed to the usual American pop culture trends. We do not fully shelter them from the culture, not at all, but we curate what they are allowed to see. We have zero participation in American television culture, except for old things we choose to watch with Netflix and Amazon Prime. Point is, we are blissfully unaware of how the cult spreads through the culture. Lately I’ve been hearing parents who are fully part of the culture complaining that LGBT messaging is very strong in pop culture now, and that to disagree with the party line, so to speak, is becoming literally unthinkable for their kids’ generation. Which is precisely the point.
We are going to have to take radical steps to withdraw from this popular culture if we are going to spare our kids its madness. I was talking last night over dinner with my friends about how completely clueless most parents are about the nature and pervasiveness of the threat. As Catholics, they were talking about how so many of their pastors, including bishops, desperately want to believe that everything is going to be okay, and that nobody should rock the boat. Meanwhile, the boat is about to go over the falls. This is not just pastors and bishops, though; this is most parents. Why do they do this? Because if what we are warning them about is true, then they are going to have to take drastic steps for the sake of their children’s faith and moral sanity. That is something most people would prefer not to do, so they deal with the tension by denying the threat.
Back in the late 1990s, PBS broadcast a Frontline documentary called “The Lost Children Of Rockdale County.” It begins with a syphilis epidemic in an upscale high school in suburban Atlanta. When public health officials began to investigate, they uncovered a culture of teenage promiscuity within the school that beggared imagination. How did this happen? Watching the show — and I urge you to follow the link and do so — revealed that these relatively affluent parents were disengaged, and trusted the culture to form their kids. It was too much bother to dig in deep with their kids, and guide them. The parents were laid-back, so the kids followed popular culture and their own instincts, straight into hell. Excerpts from the transcript:
NARRATOR: State health officials, fearing a widening epidemic, called in Claire Sterk, a Dutch-born professor at Emory University’s School of Public Health. It was to Sterk that some of the children began to reveal the details of their sexual activity.
Prof. CLAIRE STERK, Emory Univ. School of Public Health: It was not uncommon, when all the young people would get together, to engage in group sex. There was group sex going on in terms of one guy having sex with one of the girls, and then the next guy having sex with the same girl. There was group sex going on in terms of one girl having sex with multiple male partners at the same time, multiple females having sex with each other at the same time. I would say that the only type of group sex that I did not hear about in this overall context was group sex between just guys.
NARRATOR: In the end, 17 young people tested positive for syphilis. More than 200 others were exposed and treated. Approximately 50 of them reported being involved in extreme sexual behavior.
CYNTHIA NOEL: You don’t expect to see a 14-year-old with 20, 30, 40, 50 or 100 sex partners. You expect that of someone who is more into the line of being a prostitute or something. And these girls were not homeless. They were not abused in any way. These were just normal, everyday, regular kids.