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Child Abuse Masquerading As Compassion: Parental Rights And Wrongs

A Canadian (variously described as a transsexual or a non-binary transgender person) who does not identify as either male or female and uses the pronoun “they” to refer to [his or her]self personally and [his or her] child, is making big news [1], refusing to identify the sex of a child born earlier this year.

Many news articles have respectfully (I can only assume this motivation) acceded to the person’s butchering of English language pronouns.  Out of respect for those reading this article, I will refer to the parent, identified in one article as the mother of the child, by female pronouns, so that you can actually read this without having to constantly check to see who is being referenced.

The substantive legal issue at play is the Canadian government’s inability/unwillingness to produce a birth certificate, which requires a designation for the child of “male” or “female.”

The psychological issue, as framed by the parent, is as follows: “When I was born, doctors looked at my genitals and made assumptions about who I would be…. Those assumptions were incorrect and I ended up having to do a lot of adjustments since then.”  Her point, it seems, is that because of her distress regarding the sexual identity with which she was born, her life was made more difficult.  Undoubtedly, as the research shows, those who identify as a gender inconsistent with their biological sex do indeed suffer.  Such persons experience dysphoria, angst, confusion regarding sex roles, and often fractured relationships with family and friends who know them as their genes naturally manifest, and who may not be willing to celebrate the new transition, no matter what chemical or external ‘adjustments’ are made (n.b. these interventions leave untouched [2] the genetic code in every cell of the body).

These difficulties are clearly painful, and the persons suffering them deserve compassion: true compassion.  Based on truth, we should accompany them with love and friendship on the difficult journey of recognizing their authentic sexual identity and healing their wounds as much as possible, rather than joining them in a fantasy which is not sustainable and ends tragically [3] far too frequently.

The Canadian parent in question, while presumably well intentioned in asserting her parental right to do what she feels is best for her child’s health, is sadly setting up him or her for grave developmental risks which, under any other circumstance, would quickly be defined as child abuse.  Intentionally denying a child healthy sex role formation, clarity regarding his or her sex, and clear modeling of gender roles (properly understood), almost guarantees that he or she will be at a social disadvantage upon entering school or other community groups where other children will have had unambiguous celebration of their innate sexual identity.

And babies are not the only children at risk these days….

This spring, in a Sacramento, California school district (“where it is not unusual for children…to transition to another gendersay school officials [4]), a “transgender” kindergartner (who has reportedly spent the past year transitioning from boy to girl) brought a book [5] to class about a child with a “girl brain but a boy body” which unhesitatingly pontificates (with no evidence) that “I was born this way!”  After the book sharing, the boy entered the bathroom in boy’s clothes only to emerge in a dress, causing some frightened five-year-olds to voice concerns to their parents that their sex might change.

In this case, parents’ rights are also at the center of attention: this time, however, the issue is parents’ right to know what their children are being exposed to in the classroom.  Yet, for all the legitimacy of this point, the even larger and more egregious issue [6] is that the fallacious claims of gender ideology are being given legitimate status at all in our educational institutions.  Too much focus on how the ideology is imparted deflects from recognizing the ideology’s inherent toxicity.

One school leader is quoted [4] as saying: “We don’t focus on teaching about transgender (sic) youth, we focus on tolerance, treating each other with respect and kindness.”  Statements such as these subtly introduce false adjectives (persons are not transgender, they are male or female persons experiencing gender confusion) and wrongly tie them to undebatable goods such as “respect and kindness.”

If one drills down into such statements, what is really being asking for is unfettered acceptance.  The nod to respect is vacuous.  True respect would be based on objective, observable reality, and kindness would involve compassionate care and intervention for a child who is so confused as not to experience himself in a manner consistent with his genetic endowment.

Winning the battle of parental notification and informed consent, though necessary, is not enough.  Conceptualizations of the human person which are at odds with objective health and reality need to be challenged and dispensed if our children are going to inherit the best that we have to offer.  Mindful parents are being marginalized by the educational system, and in some quarters disrespectfully patronized [4]: “It’s usually parents who are most anxious about the topic of transgender children … my experience is that the kids are a lot more tolerant than adults.”

Merely demanding that parents are informed that propaganda is going to be purveyed in the school is not enough, parents must insist that their children be protected from the abuse of false and harmful ideologies.