By John Klar
Psychology is a “science” that studies human behavior but is itself morally bankrupt. That is, psychology is unable to scientifically define normality. It can’t. “Normal” depends on what the society (through “norms”) or the patient views as morally correct.
This limitation of psychological study is apparent when addressing transgenderism, until recently labeled a mental illness (“gender dysphoria”) by psychology. Modern textbooks on transgender (and other paraphilic) disorders observe that they arise from “adverse childhood experiences” (ACEs): “Any event sufficiently stressful to threaten a fragile ego” (Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, 8th edition, Mary C. Townsend, 2015, p. 615).
But here we face a conundrum: the textbook relates that such people are “unable to use coping mechanisms effectively” and become either “adaptive” (“urges are suppressed and not acted upon”) or “maladaptive” (“urges or behaviors cause significant distress or interfere with social, occupational or other important areas of functioning”). But if society alters its mores such that a person is rewarded for his paraphilic condition in self, occupation, or even a run for public office, then this textbook is reversed, and what was viewed as adaptive becomes toxic, and what was termed maladaptive is healthy.
Drug addiction also is linked directly to ACEs. Is the “cure” for the disease of addiction found in affirmation or in “correction”? In encouraging more heroin abuse or in helping people into recovery? We must ask this question of transgenderism with the utmost compassion and introspection. If the behavior is “normal,” there is no “condition” to address. America’s Left has imposed the conclusion of normalcy, without critically considering the effect on the patient or others.
What of people who suffer from delusions of grandeur, a common presentation of which is the quite sincere belief that they are Jesus Christ? Shall we address them as Messiah or instead gently correct them to bring them back down to earth (reality), under the care of a talented professional? Crucifixion would seem a harsh therapy (however affirming). Yet the surgeries being performed on people with species or gender dysphoria are quite horrifying in their mutilation of the human body.
Those affirmed in species dysphoria (the belief that one is of a different species) will become parents and cause ACEs for their children — doubtless, it is traumatizing for children to grow up with a father who “identifies” as a lizard or a mother who “feels” she is a wolf trapped in a womanly form. This guarantees an expanding pool of victims, perpetuating the vicious cycle of child victimization that causes these emotional traumas.
Additional child victims of transgender “reorientation” by society are the girls who have brought a complaint regarding the unfair advantage gained by male high school athletes. There are numerous effects on others from “affirming” dysphorias.
The rush to enable these mental illnesses, and to instruct children that they can surgically alter their physiology at whim (“liberating” them?), is indeed dramatically altering what is normal. The next step is to normalize species dysphoria and allow children to be surgically altered in any and all manifestations of physicality they demand. By what logic can gender dysphoria be approved and species dysphoria rejected?
In a Georgia school, a young man was outraged that the school “singled him out” in the cafeteria and removed him … for wearing a penguin costume. In a video, he states:
Have you seen the Georgia laws for discrimination? You can’t discriminate against someone by who they are. I identify as a penguin, and this is me as a penguin. This isn’t a hood. This is my penguin head. You can’t tell me not to be a penguin, cause, I mean, I was born a penguin and honestly that’s against the law to discriminate and if you go through with this I will let the ACLU know and they will send their people[.]
Teachers and administrators are trying to cope with the increasing permutations of mental illness in young students. Meanwhile, progressive hospitals are quick to offer medical, pharmaceutical, therapeutic, and other surgeries to encouragethese same children. At the University of Vermont Medical Center Transgender Youth Program, “a multi-disiplinary team of physicians and mental health providers” explains that gender identity for children is not a choice, but that radically and irrevocably altering their genitals and hormones is a “normal” option:
At the University of Vermont Children’s Hospital, we believe that all people, including children and teens, should be allowed to live their lives in their preferred gender. Gender identity is not a choice, and it cannot be changed through treatment[.] …
We provide the full spectrum of care, from simple observation and guidance to hormone suppression and gender-affirming hormonal therapy for children of all ages[.] …
We require that all our patients are in active mental health therapy as we feel this is a vital part of any gender exploration journey[.] …
We can provide a referral to the reproductive endocrinology team at the UVM Medical Center to discuss fertility preservation options if it is desired by the patient and family, and if the patient is at pubertal age[.] …
When the right time comes, planning for having children is a part of life. Like everyone else, a transgender person has choices. Once on pubertal suppressive treatment and/or gender affirming hormones, the likelihood of being able to have biological offspring decreases significantly or is not possible at all. It’s good to plan ahead.
Just as suboxone is offered as the lifetime cure-all for substance abuse, the pharmaceutical industry offers lifetime drug therapies for these children at government expense. Most people do not become dependent on suboxone until adulthood. In Vermont, the progressives are connecting pharmaceutical companies to their customers at a much earlier age through lifetime hormone therapies, sometimes without parental consent.
History will reflect that this transgender experiment on Vermont’s children is as insane as the eugenics movement, which in Vermont led to the sterilization of people “for the public good.” Or perhaps the better parallel was the period when lobotomies were in vogue, before society realized how ridiculous that acclaimed “solution” was. America champions the cause of women from foreign cultures who endure societal genital mutilation but somehow fails to see the reflection of that mutilation in today’s U.S. hospitals.
Mutilating the genitals of young children will surely one day lead to a cascade of lawsuits against the state of Vermont. These sex surgeries are as irreversible as lobotomies. In a time when municipalities may hesitate to install new playground equipment for fears of liability, these hospitals are unconcerned with future reimbursement of these children when they regret these rash procedures in the future — or when society reverts to the old normal. Perhaps these hospitals and government agencies should set aside a financial reserve, just in case some of these young boys regret permitting physicians to alter their “penis tissue” “to construct a vaginal cavity between the rectum and urethra … with the depth and appearance of a biologically developed vagina.”
That just does not sound normal at any age.
John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield, and pastor of the First Congregational Church of Westfield. Originally published at American Thinker.