August 8, 2017
SHARON SLATER | PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
The Confusing Gender-Confusion Controversy
You have likely seen the flurry of media responses unleashed across the U.S. after President Trump announced plans to prevent transgender individuals from serving openly in the U.S. military.
Under the Obama administration, the U.S. military had been instructed to mainstream, affirm and support transgender behavior and to allow gender-confused troops to cross-dress and to share sleeping accommodations, bathrooms and showers with members of the opposite sex.
With all the heated debate that has now erupted on this topic, one thing has become abundantly clear—there is a tremendous amount of confusion about gender confusion.
Largely lacking in this debate on both sides of the issue has been any recognition of many of the fundamental facts related to gender-identity issues. (See Family Watch International’s summary, “16 Facts on Gender Confusion,” for an extensive list of these important facts that are often ignored.)
For starters, there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that supports the many false assumptions and controversial gender ideologies underlying the worldwide push to establish new transgender “rights.”
And the more one delves into this contemporary gender ideology, the more confusing it becomes
So let’s straighten out some of the most popular “gender-bending” theories.
Dr. Lawrence Mayer and Dr. Paul McHugh, who recently conducted one of the most intensive reviews of the scientific literature related to transgenderism, concluded that the foundational hypothesis of this movement “that a person might be ‘a man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’ — is not supported by scientific evidence.”
According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), when a person becomes so severely distressed over their gender confusion that it seriously impairs their ability to function normally in society, it can then become diagnosable as Gender Dysphoria.
Transgender activists often claim that gender confusion that causes a person want to “change” their sex or remove their genitalia is not a mental disorder. That is … unless they want someone else to pay for their cross-sex hormone therapy or sex-“reassignment” surgeries.
In order to get “gender-affirming” hormone therapy or surgery paid for by the government or insurance, a person must first be diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Otherwise, such procedures would be considered elective treatments.
Most people would agree that if a person has been diagnosed with a mental disorder it should disqualify them from entering military service in the first place or would be grounds for a medical discharge.
Yet transgender advocates are trying to have it both ways (i.e., it’s a mental disorder when it’s convenient, but it’s not a mental disorder when it’s not convenient), which just doesn’t make any sense.
Any population of individuals with a significantly higher risk of suicide than the general population should be, and often are, disqualified from military service. Individuals who are clinically depressed, experience bipolar disorder, or anxiety disorder are not eligible to serve in the military.
Suicide rates are especially high among individuals who have had sex-reassignment surgery. For example, one Swedish study found the suicide rate for post-surgical transgenders was 19 times higher than that of the general population.
This underscores the high failure rate of this treatment approach as well as the profound human suffering associated with this failure.
To learn more about those who have regretted their sex-reassignment surgeries, an excellent source is sexchangeregret.com, created by our friend, Walt Heyer. Walt is widely recognized as an expert in this area. He regretted his attempt to transition from male to female and then ultimately decided to live again as a male after eight years of trying to “be” a female.
Also, studies show that over 60 percent of those who suffer from the mental disorder gender dysphoria also suffer from at least one other mental disorder.
Consider the following summary of the results of a large study, the U.S. Transgender Survey, done in 2015 by the National Center for Transgender Equality, a transgender “rights” advocacy group.
• Fifty-three percent (53%) of USTS respondents aged 18 to 25 reported experiencing current serious psychological distress [compared to 10% of the general population].
• Forty percent (40%) of respondents have attempted suicide at some point in their life, compared to 4.6%
in the U.S. population.
• Forty-eight percent (48%) of respondents have seriously thought about killing themselves in the past year, compared to 4% of the U.S. population, and 82% have had serious thoughts about killing themselves at some point in their life
• 29% of respondents reported illicit drug use, marijuana consumption, and/or nonmedical prescription drug use in the past month, nearly three times the rate in the U.S. population (10%)
Simply put, individuals who are confused about something as basic as their biological sex and who may be so distraught about it that they require extreme and life-altering medical or psychological interventions for this condition (and for the co-existing mental disorders they also may suffer from) to maintain their emotional health are likely not in a position to meet the demands of military service.
With regard to transgenders in the U.S. military, President Trump’s decision could certainly be justified on the basis of cost alone.
While President Trump’s decision may have seemed abrupt, it came on the back of a recently failed amendment to the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act that would have prohibited military funds from covering expensive transgender hormone treatments and sex-reassignment surgery for transgender military personnel.
In expressing his disappointment at the failure of this amendment to pass, Rep. Louie Gohmert, from Texas warned, “Medical costs for just one gender reassignment surgery can average up to $130,000, including lifetime hormone treatments, in addition to their overhead and salary costs for the minimum two-year period when they are in a non-deployable status.”
He further explained that “…the projected 10-year cost will be $3-4 billion that could be used to actually defend our homeland and liberty. That projected cost is before the military becomes known as the place to have an all-expenses paid sex-change surgery, including meals and housing.”
If this were any other medical condition, would the U.S. government ever even consider subsidizing such predictable and expensive treatments using military dollars?
Deployability of transgendered military personnel is compromised because the continuous hormone treatments that are required create a medical dependency situation, and sex-reassignment surgery can be fraught with complications that require an extensive recovery period.
A less expensive, less invasive and certainly safer approach to treating gender dysphoria is advocated by many therapists and even a number of transgenders themselves. That is to provide therapy to help individuals accept and identify with their biological sex rather than try to surgically and chemically alter the body to conform to a gender-confused identity.
Yet transgender activists are pushing for the military not just to let them serve but to also pay for expensive transgender-“affirming” medical interventions that can cause more harm than good.
As is the case with abortion, many U.S. citizens strongly object to being forced to pay for elective procedures that they believe may be harmful, or that may violate their religious beliefs, or that go against biological reality.
In fact, many people are opposed to cross-gender-affirming policies out of concern for the health and well-being of transgender people themselves.
Biology is not bigotry. Males and females are fundamentally different and therefore not interchangeable.
No surgical or chemical intervention can ever change the fact that men and women are different from each other in every single cell of their bodies.
With regard to serving in the military, for example, just because a woman chooses to identify as man does not mean that she will automatically have the same physical capabilities as a man in combat situations.
Consider a recent editorial in the Los Angeles Times detailing some biological differences between men and women.
• The average woman possesses only 55 – 58 percent of the upper body strength of the average man.
• Males have 40 percent greater aerobic capacity, and higher endurance compared with females.
• Women’s smaller hearts require more blood to be pumped each minute at a given level of exertion because they have less hemoglobin in their blood to carry oxygen.
• These differences will put women at a distinct disadvantage in newly opened infantry jobs, where they will be expected to carry 100-pound packs routinely, or in armor jobs, where they will have to load 35-pound rounds again and again.
• Women in these roles will have to constantly work at a higher percentage of their maximal capacity to achieve the same performance as men. No training system can close the gap.
• Studies have found heavy load bearing and paratrooper training can contribute significantly to urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse among women.
• Women are approximately 67 percent more likely than men to receive a physical disability discharge from the army for a musculoskeletal disorder.
It would be unwise to continue a policy that:
• Allows people with a recognized mental disorder with high suicide rates and other potential mental issues to serve in critical positions in the military.
• Forces all military personnel to pretend that men are women and women are men when that is not reality.
• Forces taxpayers to fund expensive medical procedures that many believe are either (a) morally wrong, (b) harmful to the individual, or (c) not in the best interest of anyone, let alone the military.
Requiring military personnel to affirm transgender behavior does nothing to strengthen America’s military, it only advances an unscientific, harmful, ideological agenda that can actually hurt the very people it is designed to help.
The mission of the U.S. military (or any military for that matter) is not to affirm a person’s preferred gender, but rather to protect a nation’s people.
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