This is the first part of a two-part essay prompted by the publicity surrounding the harassment and resignation of philosophy professor Dr Kathleen Stock, who was hounded of Sussex University for saying people cannot change their biological sex.
THE eminent biologist Lord Robert Winston recently reminded viewers of BBC’s Question Time that ‘you cannot change your sex. Your sex actually is there in every single cell in the body. You have chromosomal sex, you have genetic sex, you have hormonal sex, you have all sorts of psychological brain sex, they’re all different’.
He said this in defence of Professor Kathleen Stock, the latest victim of death threats and significant harassment having fallen foul of the transgender lobby, who has also won the support of Equalities MInister Kemi Badenoch.
The most vulnerable victims of the trans lobby’s bullying ideological agenda however are not the feminist academics, nor even the female athletes who are now forced to compete against the opposite and far more powerful sex.
They are not even the women in prisons who have to fend off male rapists in their midst, terrible though their situation is and their fear must be.
The most vulnerable are the unacknowledged victims of this ever more determined lobby. They are the children who are systematically groomed to believe they can be the opposite sex.
The trans lobby will tell you that this decision-making is driven by the child. But given the endless funding for propaganda, the persistent drip of modern sex education and zeal of certain child psychiatrists, it is hardly children who leading the way.
Today, from the earliest ages the normal development of an understanding of sex differences is prevented. Children are given books such as Are you a boy or are you a girl? which teach them not to assume that anyone has a particular sex.
They are further confused with lessons on the gender unicorn which deny biological sex facts.
Along with concepts such as ‘gender expression’, ‘gender identity’ and ‘assigned sex’, serious attempts are being made by some educationalists and trans lobbyists to stop the idea (indeed the fact) that we are born as boys or girls from ever taking root.
It is the most vulnerable of children – those who for whatever reason do not adhere to rigid gender stereotypes – who are too often singled out for special gender treatment; they are ‘affirmed’ as not being their sex.
Being ‘affirmed’ means that this child will instead be told that they are indeed the opposite sex and will be treated as such. The child’s peer group and all his or her trusted adults will be encouraged, or even compelled, to engage in this myth.
Affirmation is but the first step in the process of social transition which sets the child on a path which is likely to involve them in medicalisation for the rest of their lives.
The biggest threat (from the trans ideologists’ point of view) to this process is the onset of puberty. If a child has been told by trusted adults that he (or she) is actually the opposite sex, it could be confusing if significant changes happening to his body led to the conclusion that he had been lied to, or that his trusted adults were wrong.
To avoid this, lobbyists have campaigned for puberty-blocking drugs to be given earlier, at the first onset of puberty. In fact, children are often encouraged to ‘transition’ in the interlude between primary and secondary school, so that no one will ever know they are ‘trans’.
The reality check provided by puberty is averted. And those on puberty-blockers are almost invariably moved on to taking cross-sex hormones.
A female cannot move into womanhood if she hasn’t been able to go through puberty as a girl. This is what Keira Bell was condemned to. Keira is the brave young woman who had treatment at the NHS-run Tavistock child gender clinic and brought a successful judicial review against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation, sadly since overturned by the Appeal Court.
She has explained how this process worked: ‘The idea was that this would give me a “pause” to think about whether I wanted to continue to a further gender transition
‘This so-called pause put me into what felt like menopause with hot flushes, night sweats and brain fog. All this made it more difficult to think clearly about what I should do.
‘By the end of a year of this treatment, when I was presented with the option of moving on to testosterone, I jumped at it – I wanted to feel like a young man, not an old woman.’
This shocking process has been allowed to carry on because we’ve been told that if we didn’t allow it, these young people would kill themselves.
But study after study shows that gender dysphoria is much more likely to be a consequence than a cause of psychological problems – problems that the process of transition may entrench or worsen. In fact, the relationship is the other way around.
A recent study of gender dysphoric children showed that almost 90 per cent had comorbid (simultaneous) health diagnoses and other indicators of psychological distress. (The precise figure is 88.6 per cent – see top of page 80).
Sixty-five per cent of gender dysphoric children suffered from anxiety. Sixty-two per cent suffered from depression. More than 33 per cent had behavioural disorders. The presence of autism was another cause for concern.
The link between gender dysphoria and pre-existing mental ill-health was also confirmed by a study of de-transitioners, of whom 58 per cent felt that their gender dysphoria was caused by trauma or a mental health condition.
This is not a new discovery, but has been found repeatedly in studies. It has just been conveniently ignored. The family stories told by these children and their parents often reveal the source of their mental health disorders. Adverse childhood experiences had been very much part of their lives.
Sixty-six per cent had experienced family conflict, 66 per cent parental mental illness; 60 per cent had lost an important figure via separation, and bullying had been common for 54 per cent. Thirty-nine per cent experienced maltreatment (p.71).
We may be tempted to lay the blame at the feet of these families who, despite measurably high levels of dysfunction and conflict, appear to have no awareness that their problems could be impacting on the child as well as themselves.
Instead, what appears to happen is that the child’s gender dysphoria provides a handy explanation for all the stresses and strains which the family or individual may be feeling, and even better from their point of view, a medical solution through which these problems can be resolved.
Keira Bell explains it thus: ‘When I was seen at the Tavistock Clinic, I had so many issues that it was comforting to think I really had only one that needed solving: I was a male in a female body.’
But the blame does not really lie with these families. Often they were from disadvantaged groups in society, living under considerable financial and social stress. Their biggest crime is perhaps a lack of common sense. Far more culpable are the media, the well-funded lobby groups and the clinicians who’ve recklessly applied this fashionable theory.
This essay will continue tomorrow.