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March 22, 2016: An Awkward Position

March 22, 2016

I just read this Think Progress article about a group called the American College of Pediatricians — not to be confused with the American Academy of Pediatrics — releasing a position statement that presents several arguments against allowing transgender children to express their gender identities. The Think Progress article debunks a lot of what the position statement says.

Personally, I found the position statement’s arguments to be pretty awkward. I found myself thinking things like, “huh?” and “WTF?” while reading it. What struck me as even more awkward is the list of sources at the bottom of the statement, which are cross-referenced in the text. It looks like a pretty thorough list — at first glance. But on looking more closely, not so much.

First, some of the information in the sourced material, including the DSM-5, is contrary to the information in the position statement that cross-references it. For example, the statement says that the DSM-5 recognizes gender dysphoria as a mental disorder. In fact, the DSM-5 replaced the term “gender identity disorder” with “gender dysphoria” in part because it “removes the connotation that the patient is disordered.” In addition, The DSM-5 comes out strongly in favor of access to proper medical care — including hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgery — for trans people.

Second, some of the sources in the list are woefully out of date, going back as far as the year 2000. A lot of transgender research has been conducted in the past 16 years, and much of it debunks what the statement reports.

Finally, not all of the sources are from the medical or psychological professions. (ACP does claim to be a medical organization, after all.) One article that was sourced was written by Sheila Jeffreys, a trans-exclusionary radical feminist. The article is about the “politics of transgenderism,” and the author is anti-trans. (What’s that I smell? Oh, I know…it’s the distinct odor of “hidden political agenda.”) Further, I find it ironic that ACP, which is not exactly LGBT-friendly (it has released statements against same-sex parenting and in favor of “treating” homosexuality with psychotherapy) is using a document written by a lesbian to support its position. Talk about strange bedfellows!





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