Protecting gender-confused children | WORLD
Sound journalism, grounded in facts and Biblical truth | Donate

Protecting gender-confused children

A new Alabama bill could make it a felony for doctors to prescribe medical treatment to alter a child’s sex

Protecting gender-confused children

Alabama this week joined a growing wave of states resisting medical experimentation on gender-dysphoric children. In recent months, lawmakers in Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and West Virginia have introduced measures making it a criminal offense to subject minors to hormone therapy and sex-change surgery.

Earlier this month, a South Dakota bill cleared a legislative committee, but a state Senate health committee later killed it with a 5-2 vote.

Alabama’s bill, which Republican Rep. Wes Allen introduced on Thursday, would make it a Class C felony for physicians, physician assistants, clinical nurse specialists, or nurse practitioners to perform sex-change procedures, including castrations and mastectomies, on anyone younger than 18. It would also criminalize giving puberty-blocking medication or cross-sex hormones to children or teens who identify as the opposite sex unless they have a medically verified genetic sexual development disorder. A nurse, counselor, teacher, principal, or school administrator at a public or private school could face misdemeanor charges for hiding a child’s transgender identity from his or her parents.

“The bottom line is, we want to protect children,” Allen said. “We don’t think that children are mentally mature enough to make decisions about their body that have long-term, irreversible ramifications.”

Becky Gerritson, executive director of Eagle Forum of Alabama, said a grassroots coalition of doctors, nurse practitioners, counselors, parents, and pastors helped draft the bill: “This is going to take normal, common-sense people who are willing to stand up and look at science and how our bodies are made.”

Critics say puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sex-change surgeries help individuals with gender dysphoria feel more comfortable in their bodies and mitigate suicide risk. Nearly 35 percent of high school students who identify as transgender reported they had attempted suicide, according to a survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gerritson said parents are “bullied into thinking that if they don’t pursue these interventions their child will die.” But only 6 percent of boys and 12 percent of girls who identify as the opposite sex remain confused about their gender in adulthood, according to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. One 2012 study found individuals who undergo sex-change surgeries attempt suicide at a rate 20 times higher than that of comparable peers.

Meanwhile, many medical professionals warn hormones and surgery do not deal with the underlying mental health conditions leading to suicide attempts. Instead, children taking puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, or undergoing sex-change surgeries can face severe bone loss, memory impairment, sexual dysfunction, sterility, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer.

Michelle Cretella, executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, noted that the puberty-blocking drug Lupron “effectively castrates” both boys and girls, stunting their brain and bone development. “Even if a child comes off blockers, we can never give back the period of normal physical [and] psychosocial development that was stolen from them,” she told Breitbart News.

The Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City

The Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City Associated Press/Photo by Rick Bowmer (file)

Utah polygamy bill moves forward

The Republican-led Utah state Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to reduce polygamy to a simple infraction like a parking ticket. The bill will likely face more opposition in the state’s House of Representatives.

Polygamy is a third-degree felony under Utah law, punishable by up to five years in prison. The proposed bill would reduce the penalty to a fine of up to $750 and community service. Its sponsor, GOP state Sen. Deidre Henderson, said people living in consensual polygamous relationships “long to feel part of society” and are “tired of being treated like second-class citizens.”

Opponents note similarities between the arguments for polygamy and same-sex marriage.

“Both view marriage as adult-centric,” Stacy Manning and Katy Faust of the nonprofit group Them Before Us wrote for The Federalist.

Faust and Manning say polygamous marriages, like their same-sex counterparts, ignore the harm to children.

“Polygamy supporters want us to believe children don’t care if there’s an extra mother or father, because love!” Faust and Manning wrote. “Both claims are believable so long as you never ever examine any data on family structure.” —M.J.

The Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City

The Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City Associated Press/Photo by Rick Bowmer (file)

An enormous advantage

An Argentinian male who identifies as a female is set to become the country’s first transgender professional soccer player. Mara Gómez, 22, spent years playing in local women’s leagues in Buenos Aires Province before signing with the first-division team Villa San Carlos. Now, Gómez is waiting for the Argentine soccer federation to authorize the signing.

The decision has stirred controversy in a soccer-fanatic country that has produced some of the sport’s greatest talent, including Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona.

“The rights of transgender athletes and the social demands to integrate them into competitions challenge and seriously threaten the rights of women in sports,” said Juan Manuel Herbella, a sports doctor and former soccer player. “Athletes who were born men, if they maintain their base conditions, start with an enormous advantage.” —M.J.

Shutting down Pornhub

A Christian nonprofit group is petitioning to shut down Pornhub after finding several child rape and trafficking films on the pornography website. In one instance, authorities found a missing 15-year-old South Florida girl after her mother learned she appeared in 58 Pornhub videos. Officials identified her trafficker in the videos and on a convenience store surveillance camera and pressed felony charges.

The petition to shut down Pornhub has more than 200,000 signatures. Laila Mickelwait, director of Exodus Cry, a Sacramento, Calif.–based nonprofit group that works to abolish sex trafficking, started the petition because Pornhub has no screening mechanism to verify a subject’s age or whether the person consented.

Mickelwait said it took her fewer than 10 minutes to create a user account and upload blank test content that went live on the site instantly. She said hundreds, if not thousands, of Pornhub videos might have trafficked children in them. —M.J.

Mary Jackson

Mary is a book reviewer and senior writer for WORLD. She is a World Journalism Institute and Greenville University graduate who previously worked for the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal. Mary resides with her family in the San Francisco Bay area.


Thank you for your careful research and interesting presentations. —Clarke

Sign up to receive Relations, WORLD’s free weekly email newsletter on marriage, family, and sexuality.

Please wait while we load the latest comments...