Parents can strengthen their families, communities, and nations by protecting their children from making decisions with permanent consequences when acting on temporary feelings. Wise parents teach their children about the dangers of using alcohol, drugs, and tobacco, and they are mindful of their child’s acquaintances and habits. Parents should also be mindful of how their children feel about themselves and should protect them from making permanent changes to their bodies while going through the turbulent pre-teen and teen-age years.
Some states are taking actions that can help parents to protect their minor children suffering with gender dysphoria from transgender surgeries and procedures. Mary Margaret Olohan at The Daily Signal wrote that there are “at least 16 states” that are making such laws. She also wrote that polls show that “57% of Americans oppose allowing minors with gender dysphoria to receive gender transition surgery, puberty blockers, or cross-sex hormones.”
According to Olohan, the following states are taking action to protect minor children: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah. She gave the following information about the individual states.
Alabama passed the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act that prohibits doctors “from treating Alabama minors with hormone therapy, surgery, or puberty blockers ‘intended to alter the minor child’s gender or delay puberty.’” The bill requires schools to alert parents when they know that “their child has the ‘perception that his or her gender is inconsistent with his or her sex.’” It establishes “criminal penalties for violations.”
Arkansas was “the first state to ban the surgeries and procedures for minors.” This happened because the Legislature overrode the Governor’s veto of the Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act, also known as the SAFE Act. This law “prohibits physicians from performing gender transition procedures, such as puberty blockers or ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ surgeries, on minors.”
Florida has a bill known as Youth Gender and Sexual Identity Act, which “would criminalize transgender surgeries or medical treatments for minors.”
Georgia has legislation known as the Vulnerable Child Protection Act, which “requires penalties for health care professionals who perform transgender surgeries or procedures on minors.”
Kansas has legislation known as SB 214, which makes “it a crime for a physician to perform gender reassignment surgery or hormone replacement therapy on certain children.”
Kentucky has an “act relating to parental consent for transgender health services.” This legislation “would prohibit minors from receiving ‘transgender health services’ without parental permission.”
Louisiana’s legislation “requires parental consent for ‘medical and therapeutic procedures and practices’ under certain circumstances and prohibits a minor from consenting to gender therapy.”
Missouri’s legislation “SB 442 bans transgender surgeries or hormone treatment for minors.” It says that “any medical professionals who ‘willfully and knowingly’ violate this provision may lose their professional license and ability to practice.”
Montana’s legislation, “Act Providing for Youth Health Protection Laws,” “seeks to ‘enhance the protection of minors’ who are experiencing distress with identifying with their biological sex ‘from being subjects of irreversible and drastic nongenital gender reassignment surgery and irreversible, permanently sterilizing genital gender reassignment surgery.’” It also “prohibits trans surgeries or procedures for minors.”
New Hampshire has HB 68 that “adds sexual reassignment to the definition of an abused child in RSA 169-C, the child protection act.”
North Carolina’s legislation is called the Youth Health Protection Act, and it “seeks to ‘protect minors’ from the administration of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and ‘other related actions, procedures, and treatments.’ This legislation would classify minors as “any individual who is below 21 years of age.”
Oklahoma has legislation (SB 676) that “prohibits transgender surgeries or procedures for minors.” It “explicitly notes that parents may not ‘obtain gender reassignment medical treatment for the child.’”
South Carolina has legislation known as the SC Minor Child Compassion and Protection Act, which “prohibits transgender surgeries or procedures upon a minor with a few exceptions.”
Tennessee’s legislation (HB 0578) “prohibits the provision of sexual identity change therapy to prepubescent minors,” as well as “prohibits the provision of sexual identity change therapy to minors who have entered puberty unless a parent or guardian has written recommendations for the therapy from at least three physicians.” Violations are considered the same as child abuse.
Texas has several bills (HB 4014, SB 1646, HB 2693, HB 1399, and HB 68), all of which “prohibit transgender surgeries and procedures for minors and classify these procedures as child abuse.”
Utah’s legislature introduced their Medical Practice Amendments in January, which would prohibit “a physician or a surgeon from performing a transgender procedure on a minor.”
Rachel Levine was recently appointed to be the assistant secretary of the Biden Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). According to an article by Dr. Susan Berry, she was born Richard Levine and is now a transgender woman. Berry claims that Levine criticized the states’ efforts to “ban minors from obtaining transgender drugs and surgeries,” claiming that the bans are a “health equity issue.” Berry also quoted Levine as saying that “decisions about health care for LGBTQ youth are really between the family, the child, the young person, their doctor, maybe their therapist.”
In other words, government should butt out of the situation and not pass laws to ban treatment. However, other people believe that there are future problems that arise from allowing minors to make permanent changes to their bodies. Berry stated that the “American College of Pediatricians has reported that experts on both sides of the issue agree that ‘80 percent to 95 percent’ of children with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria ‘accepted their biological sex by late adolescence.’” The given link no longer works, so I could not verify the statement.
Berry shared a statement from Dr. Ben Carson, retired pediatric neurosurgeon and Trump-era secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The statement was made while Carson was being interviewed by Alex Marlow on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily. The link to his statement worked, and I will include a larger portion of his statement than did Berry. Marlow mentioned the confirmation hearing for Dr. Rachel Levine, “a man who describes himself as a woman.” Marlow then said, “We’re being told it’s scientific to allow children to change their genders, either with treatments or with surgeries…. This is not science. It’s so far beyond it, but give me your sense of someone who’s lived his life as a scientific person.” Carson shared his thoughts on the topic.
Well, I think they have completely neglected biology. Biology tells us that there are males and there are females, and there’s a reason for that, and we also know that the human brain is an incredible complex organ and it’s not fully developed until your mid- to late-twenties….
So why would you be asking a pre-adolescent about these complex issues? … Why would we even be complicating their lives? Children are curious by nature, and of course they’re going to ask questions and explore things. That doesn’t mean that they want to change their sex. And to confuse them in that way, I think, is child abuse. It certainly has nothing to do with science. These radical things are actually going to ruin people’s lives long term.
I agree that children and teenagers taking radical actions to change their gender can have long-term consequences. I also believe that adults should protect children and teenagers from making rash decisions that have permanent consequences. In my child development studies, I learned that differences between males and females are evident in the wiring of the brain and in the size of the heart, lungs, muscles, etc. as well as in the sexual organs. Hormones may cause a man to grow breasts, and a woman to have hair on the face. Surgery can change the outward sexual organs. We can claim that “men” have periods and get pregnant. However, what do we do about the wiring in the brain? The brain is wired as a male or a female, and the brain is not easy to change from one to the other.
The wiring in the brain may be the reason why 80 to 95 percent of children diagnosed with gender dysphoria accept their biological sex by late adolescence. Scientists know that the human brain is not fully developed until the mid-twenties. We know that children, teenagers, and young adults often make bad decisions. If the consequences are minor, it is okay to allow them to learn from their mistakes. However, attempts to change a male body to a female body, or vice versa, are not minor decisions. Such decisions should be put off until the brain is mature.
Wise parents will protect their minor children from such serious choices and consequences with the hope that they are among the 80 to 95 percent who outgrow gender dysphoria. Parents should love and support their struggling children even though they should not allow permanent changes to their bodies. By doing so, parents can strengthen their family, community, and nation.