April 23rd 2016

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Articles from this issue:

Euthanasia: Application of the lesson from cultural history (Part 2)

SPECIAL FEATURE Defence White Paper: Being defenceless invites attack

CANBERRA OBSERVED Banking inquiry suddenly top of Labor's agenda

EDITORIAL Turnbull's school funding plan will help Shorten

FAMILY AND SOCIETY SSCA embeds sexualisation of children in schools

FEMINISM AND FAMILY VIOLENCE Time is ripe to counter the bad-mouthing with truth

SEX EDUCATION "Gender identity" puts vulnerable kids in danger: Pediatricians

THE GENDER AGENDA When schools make Christian kids feel like the enemy

BRITISH POLITICS Corbyn: eccentric, yes; harmless, not so much

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE Dear LGBTQs, Christians want for you what you want


MUSIC Jazz: from common tongue to cliquey dialect

CINEMA The bleak dawn of justice: Batman v Superman

BOOK REVIEW Pius XII acts sub rosa

BOOK REVIEW Meet the new userers


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"Gender identity" puts vulnerable kids in danger: Pediatricians

by Peter Westmore

News Weekly, April 23, 2016

One of the key elements of contemporary sex education, and of the Safe Schools Coalition’s anti-bullying program, is that young people should be encouraged to explore their gender identity, and that schools and society must accept and celebrate “gender diversity”.

What do these innocent-sounding words mean?

Fundamentally, it means that boys who imagine they want to be girls – or vice versa – should be encouraged to live out their fantasies, and be supported by hormonal treatment for life and, if required, for “corrective surgery”.

Education union weighs in

The Australian Education Union’s document, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Policy 2015, says “Diverse sex, sexuality and genders need to be normalised” in the school curriculum.

It adds: “The AEU recognises that inclusive curriculum development and practices provides positive educational experiences for people of diverse sex, sexuality and gender.

“The AEU acknowledges and supports the National Safe Schools Framework and associated initiatives such as the Safe Schools Coalition Australia.

“The AEU believes that national curriculum and programs should be inclusive and supportive of gender identity and sexual diversity.”

“Inclusive teaching”

It adds: “Inclusive teaching, learning and support materials should be available throughout the early childhood and primary school curriculum, as well as in all secondary and tertiary years of education.”

In the section on health education in schools, it says: “Sex education programs must include the experiences and needs of gender variant and sexuality diverse people, as well as address issues of gender expectations and stereotyping.”

The paper at no point deals with the difference between sexual identity and gender identity.

Sexual identity refers to a person’s biological make-up as male or female, and is determined by which chromosomes are in a person’s DNA. Gender identity is a subjective conception of oneself as male or female or some other gender (gay, transgender, etc).

Does it matter what gender identity a person adopts? According to the American College of Pediatricians, it does.

 The college says that whenever gender identity differs from sexual identity, there is a psychological disorder.

A statement it published last month, supported by research evidence, says that the acceptance of gender identity – and the use of chemicals to prevent puberty and genital surgery to “change” a person’s sex – harms children, often irreversibly.

It also aggravates, rather than resolves, the identity issues of vulnerable children.

The college’s entire statement is reprinted below.

Peter Westmore


Statement from the American College of Pediatricians

The American College of Pediatricians urges educators and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex. Facts – not ideology – determine reality.

1. Human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: “XY” and “XX” are genetic markers of health – not genetic markers of a disorder. The norm for human design is to be conceived either male or female. Human sexuality is binary by design with the obvious purpose being the reproduction and flourishing of our species. This principle is self-evident. The exceedingly rare disorders of sex development (DSDs), including but not limited to testicular feminisation and congenital adrenal hyperplasia, are all medically identifiable deviations from the sexual binary norm, and are rightly recognised as disorders of human design. Individuals with DSDs do not constitute a third sex.[1]

2. No one is born with a gender. Everyone is born with a biological sex. Gender (an awareness and sense of oneself as male or female) is a sociological and psychological concept; not an objective biological one. No one is born with an awareness of themselves as male or female; this awareness develops over time and, like all developmental processes, may be derailed by a child’s subjective perceptions, relationships, and adverse experiences from infancy forward. People who identify as “feeling like the opposite sex” or “somewhere in between” do not comprise a third sex. They remain biological men or biological women.[2,3,4]

3. A person’s belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking. When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such. These children suffer from gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria (GD), formerly listed as gender identity disorder (GID), is a recognised mental disorder in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-V). The psychodynamic and social learning theories of GD/GID have never been disproved.[2,4,5]

4. Puberty is not a disease and puberty-blocking hormones can be dangerous. Reversible or not, puberty-blocking hormones induce a state of disease – the absence of puberty – and inhibit growth and fertility in a previously biologically healthy child.[6]

5. According to the DSM-V, as many as 98 per cent of gender-confused boys and 88 per cent of gender-confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.[5]

6. Children who use puberty blockers to impersonate the opposite sex will require cross-sex hormones in late adolescence. Cross-sex hormones (testosterone and oestrogen) are associated with dangerous health risks including but not limited to high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke and cancer.[7,8,9,10]

7. Rates of suicide are 20 times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery, even in Sweden, which is among the most LGBQT-affirming countries.[11] What compassionate and reasonable person would condemn young children to this fate knowing that after puberty as many as 88 per cent of girls and 98 per cent of boys will eventually accept reality and achieve a state of mental and physical health?

8. Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse. Endorsing gender discordance as normal via public education and legal policies will confuse children and parents, leading more children to present to “gender clinics” where they will be given puberty-blocking drugs. This, in turn, virtually ensures that they will “choose” a lifetime of carcinogenic and otherwise toxic cross-sex hormones, and likely consider unnecessary surgical mutilation of their healthy body parts as young adults.


Michelle A. Cretella, M.D.

President of the American College of Pediatricians


Quentin Van Meter, M.D.

Vice-President of the American College of Pediatricians, Pediatric Endocrinologist


Paul McHugh, M.D.

University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital




[1] Consortium on the Management of Disorders of Sex Development, “Clinical guidelines for the management of disorders of sex development in childhood”. Intersex Society of North America, March 25, 2006. Accessed March 20, 2016.

[2] Zucker, Kenneth J. and Bradley, Susan J. “Gender identity and psychosexual disorders.” FOCUS: The Journal of Lifelong Learning in Psychiatry. Vol. III, No. 4, Fall 2005 (598-617).

[3] Whitehead, Neil W. “Is transsexuality biologically determined?” Triple Helix (UK), Autumn 2000, pp6-8. Accessed March 20, 2016; see also Whitehead, Neil W. “[0]”. Accessed March 20, 2016.

[4] Jeffreys, Sheila. Gender Hurts: A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgenderism. Routledge, New York, 2014 (pp1-35).

[5] Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, Arlington, VA, American Psychiatric Association, 2013, pp451-459. See p455 re: rates of persistence of gender dysphoria.

[6] Hembree, W.C., et al. “Endocrine treatment of transsexual persons: An Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline.” The Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2009; 94: pp3132-3154.

[7] Olson-Kennedy, J. and Forcier, M. “Overview of the management of gender nonconformity in children and adolescents”. UpToDate, November 4, 2015. Accessed March 20, 2016.

[8] Moore, E., Wisniewski, & Dobs, A. “Endocrine treatment of transsexual people: A review of treatment regimens, outcomes, and adverse effects.” The Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2003; 88(9), pp3467-3473.

[9] FDA Drug Safety Communication issued for testosterone products. Accessed March 20, 2016.

[10] World Health Organisation classification of estrogen as a class I carcinogen.

[11] Dhejne, C., et al. “Long-term follow-up of transsexual persons undergoing sex reassignment surgery: Cohort study in Sweden”. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6(2). Affiliation: Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Psychiatry, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Accessed March 20, 2016.

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