The Ideology of Gender Harms Children
Young patients struggling with gender dysphoria are being permanently harmed by the wrong treatment plan. And faithful families are running out of places to turn for evidence-based, life-affirming alternatives to the manipulative and destructive treatments currently being promoted by leading medical organizations and healthcare systems in order to serve their own profits and ideology. The Catholic Medical Association (CMA) recently published a landmark paper titled “The Ideology of Gender Harms Children,” that challenges the medical community’s status quo treatment for these patients.
Gender dysphoria, the “psychological condition in which the individual feels an incongruence between his or her experienced gender and his or her biological sex,” has for too long been promoted by left-wing politicians and a politicized medical community as a condition with limited solutions: destructive surgical intervention and/or gender affirmation. But these short-sighted “solutions” merely exacerbate the intense pain and suffering young patients experience.
CMA makes a convincing case, grounded in science and ethics, for empowering physicians to practice medicine according to its healing purpose, instead of affirming the child’s confusion, chemically blocking puberty, or administering life-altering cross-sex hormones to their young patients.
We Need Better Treatment Plans
As the paper points out, children struggling with gender dysphoria are often told to select their preferred pronouns as early as three years old, far before they are even old enough to set their own bedtimes or brush their own teeth. By the age of ten, children are put on puberty suppression hormones that “arrest bone growth, decrease bone density… and inhibit fertility.” Such a “treatment” plan is harmful and blatantly at odds with sound medicine.
The truth is these young children suffer great emotional distress and deserve proper medical attention. CMA recognizes that doctors, parents, friends, and counselors have a responsibility to lovingly accompany and mentor those suffering from gender dysphoria, instead of promoting a dangerous, irreversible, and one-size-fits-all surgical “solution.”
Indeed, science reveals that transgender “treatments” often do nothing to relieve the emotional pain of people who struggle with gender dysphoria. Studies reveal that between 80 and 90 percent of these individuals naturally embrace their biological sex, without receiving puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones, when given the necessary time and attention to overcome their internal conflicts. Another study from 2020 likewise found that patients who hormonally or surgically “transitioned” from one gender to the other saw no benefits from the procedures. In fact, those who undergo gender-affirming treatments are at a higher risk of “sterility, lifelong dependence on medication and the anguish of regret.”
It should come as no surprise that so many European countries that once routinely prescribed hormone suppressing drugs, including Great Britain, Sweden, Finland, France and Denmark, no longer use puberty blocking drugs on children. Likewise, many nations and international professional organizations are waking up to the reality that psychotherapy is the most effective treatment for young children struggling with gender dysphoria.
Church Teachings can Guide Us
Catholic Church teachings affirm the use of compassionate counseling as well. In fact, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City recently said that the Catholic response to those experiencing gender dysphoria “must both affirm God-given sex and recognize the struggle of the person in front of us.”
Sadly even some in the faith-based medical community have caved to the anti-faith, anti-science transgender agenda which the Biden administration has been forcefully pushing on medical professionals and the patients they serve. Hospitals in America’s largest Catholic health network have been promoting and performing sex change operations in direct violation of Catholic Church teachings and USCCB directives, as well as in opposition to the science surrounding gender dysphoria.
Intense pressure from lawmakers and hospitals to conform to the transgender narrative shines a light on the desperate need for reform in this important area of healthcare. Children deserve access to authentic care from life-affirming providers who are free to practice according to sound medicine and ethics which respects the dignity and worth of every individual. It is toward this end that we established Solidarity HealthShare as a way for families to access the quality of care they deserve.
CMA should be applauded for pushing back against the widespread erosion of medicine which is causing great harm to vulnerable children, and we are thankful for their courage to speak out on such a divisive topic. There is great confusion and uncertainty today about what is and is not authentic healthcare as political ideology erodes, overwrites, and manipulates science to advance its life-denying agenda. It’s our hope that powerful politicians, doctors, and every medical organization will soon join CMA in rejecting any form of harmful intervention – and replace it with loving concern for the authentic wellbeing of children.
Chris Faddis is the president of Solidarity HealthShare, a healthcare sharing ministry guided by the moral teachings of the Catholic Church that negotiates directly with providers to ensure delivery of high-quality and affordable, life-affirming healthcare for the more than 46,000 Members it has served since 2016.