Children Should Not Be Pawns for Cultural Experimentation
The danger of transgenderism for minors
F. Brent Leatherwood
Across the national landscape, children are being forced into vulnerable positions not of their choosing. This is especially so as the fallout from the sexual revolution continues to course through our society.
Let me state unequivocally at the outset: Children should not be proxies for any agenda, but especially one that attempts to advance harmful transgender ideology. Children should be protected from such madness. That should go without saying. But in a culture as confused as ours, it needs to be said now more than ever.
After shocking revelations regarding experimental procedures taking place at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s transgender clinic, gender-transition surgeries for minors were discontinued in 2020. The clinic made the decision as it faced backlash due to accusations that the leadership were flouting billing procedures to provide so-called “gender-affirming care” and violating insurance practices.
In the face of these accusations, as well as mounting evidence of the harm to children that such surgeries and treatments provide, the Tennessee Legislature banned all “transgender-affirming” care in 2023. This followed a 2022 ban on hormone therapy for prepubescent children. A number of states across the country have passed similar bans, including places like Iowa and Georgia.
Transgender Medicine for Minors Restricted and Banned
In fact, 19 states now have restrictions or bans on gender transition procedures. Sixteen of the states added those restrictions in 2023. Responding to their constituents, legislatures across the country are waking up to the irreversible harm that these medical procedures pose to children.
Even as officials act, across the country, more minors are identifying as transgender. As one study found:
- Nearly 1 in 5 people who identify as transgender are between the ages of 13-17.
- People between the ages of 18 and 24 make up 11% of the United States population, but 24% of the transgender population.
- Three percent of youth in New York identify as transgender, as opposed to 0.6% of youth in Wyoming. 1https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/publications/trans-adults-united-states/
The last statistic demonstrates that the increase in minors identifying as transgender is not evenly dispersed across the population. This suggests that social factors play a significant role. The different rates among varying geographical communities should cause us to pause and ask whether this is, as some people claim, merely growing awareness or if there is a social contagion factor at work that encourages some individuals to impress decisions upon children that have lifelong effects.
The U.S. is now an outlier on the international stage when it comes to transgender procedures. England’s National Health Service has recently limited the use of puberty-blocking drugs to children in clinical trials. This decision comes after a review found that such drugs did not substantively change the psychological scores of children. Children scored the same with regards to depression or anxiety after taking the drugs. As a result, England joined Finland and Sweden in limiting access to gender transition treatments.
The Danish Medical Association has been quietly restricting gender-transition procedures in recent years, recognizing that the best treatment for young people is often therapy rather than surgery or hormones. Additionally, Norwegian and French medical bodies have urged caution in prescribing medical interventions for minors related to gender dysphoria.
Unfortunately, the American Medical Association and American Academy of Pediatrics both continue to urge these harmful medical procedures despite their dubious outcomes. In America, ideology has triumphed over scientific evidence and sound medical practice.
Protecting Children. Speaking Truth.
It should be plain for all to see that the surgeries, cross-sex hormonal procedures, and puberty-blocking drugs that are offered as “gender-affirming” care are a direct contradiction to the principles of medicine. At a basic level, medicine is about restoring wholeness to the body. These surgeries and procedures violate the medical oath to “do no harm.” Instead, they mutilate the body and create, in some cases, irreversible damage.
Today, an increasing number of young adults are going through the process of “detransitioning,” demonstrating that the promises medical and psychiatric professionals made to them—that transitioning would alleviate their distress—were hollow. Yet, for those who have had surgical intervention, what was lost is impossible to restore. Once removed, body parts are gone forever.
These brave young adults are now bearing the weight of choices made when they were not old enough to truly understand the ramifications of their decisions. Where adults and medical professionals should have protected them from the dangers of a culture awash in sexual confusion, they were instead subjected to harmful, experimental procedures. More so, all who questioned the wisdom of such actions were told they were contributing to the rising rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide among transgender teens, and opposition to these intervention was mere bigotry.
And all the while, children and minors have suffered.
Christians should oppose all procedures that attempt to “affirm” a person’s perceived gender identity by destroying the male-female binary established by God. As is clear from Scripture and biology, our bodies are created as male and female. Sexual differentiation is part of God’s good design for us. We do not need to overcome our bodies or perform surgeries to “affirm” our gender, because our gender is established by the bodies that God has given us.
However, this sensible approach to medicine and sex is viewed as radical in a confused culture that labels women as “birthing people” and discusses how men can use tampons. Christians should—while opposing all gender-affirming procedures—make special attempts to hold back the tide of confusion washing over children.
Laws which protect children from transgender treatments like irreversible hormones and surgical interventions should be passed in every state. Medical boards should look at the evidence, and in light of the clear and present dangers, provide new guidelines that prohibit these procedures for minors too young to understand the life-altering effects of such choices.
And doctors and medical professionals who push children toward harmful procedures should be held accountable.
Our society desperately needs us to hold fast to God’s good design for our bodies (Gen. 1:27) and abhor the lies that tell us otherwise (Rom. 12:9). To do so communicates truth in love and ensures the sexual revolution stops victimizing the vulnerable.