Gender Change A Recipe for Confusion

Media Release 6 Oct 2013
Family First NZ says that attempts to change the gender of a young girl are harmful and fail to recognise the unique nature of the child which should be celebrated, not drugged and surgically changed.

“To think that drugs and a surgeon and a knife can change the gender of a child or young person is mythical. And to allow a child to make that type of decision is downright dangerous and ultimately harmful to the child,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“What the child really needs is affirmation of their unique personality and appropriate treatment for their unhappiness and other presenting emotional issues – but definitely not gender confusion, drugs and a scalpel.”

“Gender change is portrayed as being the best treatment but it fails to account for deep unresolved psychological issues. Studies show that over 50% of transgenders have had at least one suicide attempt by age 20. Even more harm themselves daily either by cutting or self-mutilation. Gender change does nothing to resolve these issues.”

In one study of 120 Dutch children ages 4 to 11 with Gender Identity Disorder (GID) 52% of the children diagnosed had one or more diagnoses in addition to GID. Thirty seven percent had anxiety disorders and 23% had behavioural disruptive disorders.

“The study showed that the desire to become the opposite gender was not GID but symptomatic of other psychiatric illnesses. To then claim gender change success ignores the high prevalence of suicides, regret, disappointment, medical problems, and ones who return to their original birth gender.”

“Rainbow Youth is the last place the family quoted in the Sunday Star Times today should be seeking advice on this issue. Rainbow Youth has already been exposed as providing misleading and dangerous information to our young people in the area of sex education. Ironically, the same activists who tell us that “sexual orientation” can’t be changed want us now to believe that somehow “gender” can be changed.”

“Instead of recognising the issue as GID, groups such as Rainbow Youth and the Human Rights Commission misdiagnose the child as transgender and ask the parents to support rather than treat cross gender desires and behaviours. Such advice is ultimately harmful to the child. It also fails to acknowledge the psychiatric literature which demonstrates that it is possible to help these children learn to embrace the goodness of their gender,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“And when adults are encouraging children to turn up to school confused about their gender and unsure whether to use the boys or girls toilet, it’s a recipe for disaster and confusion for all our children who should be enjoying themselves just being kids.”

Additional Information

Paul McHugh, M.D., University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry and past Chair of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, whose studies of transgender surgery brought the procedures to an end there stated that, “Treating these children with hormones does considerable harm and it compounds their confusion. Trying to delay puberty or change someone’s gender is a rejection of the lawfulness of nature.”

Dr. McHugh studied those who sought transsexual surgery at Johns Hopkins and also wrote, “I have witnessed a great deal of damage from sex-reassignment. The children transformed from their male constitution into female roles suffered prolonged distress and misery as they sensed their natural attitudes. Their parents usually lived with guilt over their decisions, second-guessing themselves and somewhat ashamed of the fabrication, both surgical and social, they had imposed on their sons. As for the adults who came to us claiming to have discovered their true sexual identity and to have heard about sex-change operations, we psychiatrists have been distracted from studying the causes and natures of their mental misdirections by preparing them for surgery and for a life in the other sex. We have wasted scientific and technical resources and damaged our professional credibility by collaborating with madness rather than trying to study, cure, and ultimately prevent it.” Surgical Sex, First Things,” November 2004.

Prominent Toronto Psychiatrist Dr Joseph Burger is certified as a specialist in Psychiatry by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and is an elected Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He explains that cosmetic surgery will not change the chromosomes of a human being in that it will not make a man become a woman, capable of menstruating, ovulating, and having children, nor will it make a woman into a man, capable of generating sperm that can unite with an egg or ovum from a woman and fertilize that egg to produce a human child. Moreover, Dr. Berger states that the arguments put forward by those advocating for special rights for gender confused people have no scientific value and are subjective and emotional appeals with no objective scientific basis.

The majority of children treated by those with expertise in this area are able to embrace the goodness of their masculinity or femininity. Over the past 30 years, Dr. Kenneth Zucker, a psychologist and head of the gender-identity service at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, has worked with about 500 preadolescent gender-variant children. In his studies, 80 percent grow out of the behavior, but 15 to 20 percent continue to be distressed about their gender and may ultimately change their sex. Dr. Zucker tries to “help these kids be more content in their biological gender” by encouraging same-sex friendships and activities like board games that move beyond strict gender roles.”
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