Tag Archives: Gender Disorder

Gender ideology – perilous to parents’ rights, kids’ well-being

Gender ideology, which has infiltrated American medicine, psychology, and public education from preschool forward, teaches children that they may be trapped in the wrong body. Some teachers ask students – without parental knowledge – to choose their name, gender, and preferred pronouns for classroom use. One mother told me her 10-year-old daughter was being addressed with a boy’s name and male pronouns by teachers and classmates, at her daughter’s request after a gender lesson. Only when her daughter announced, “One day I’ll grow a penis,” did her mother discover what was happening in the classroom.

Dr. Michelle Cretella

Biological sex is innate. You either have a Y chromosome at conception, and develop into a male, or you don’t, and develop into a female. There are at least 6,500 genetic differences between men and women. Clothing, name changes, hormones, and surgery cannot change this. An identity, in contrast, involves thoughts and feelings which are not biologically hardwired, and which can be factually wrong.

Ten years ago I had a five-year-old patient, “Andy,” who insisted he was a girl. I referred the family to a therapist. Child abuse, or a parent’s mental illness, may cause gender identity confusion in a child. More commonly, however, the child has misperceived family dynamics and internalized a false belief. The latter was the case for Andy. During one session he said, “Mommy and Daddy, you don’t love me when I’m a boy.” After a year of family therapy, Andy became securely attached to both parents and his false belief was corrected.

Today, Andy’s parents would be told, “This is who Andy really is. Let’s affirm him as a girl, or he will commit suicide.” As Andy approaches puberty, the “experts” would put him on puberty blockers so he can continue to impersonate a girl. It doesn’t matter that we’ve never tested puberty blockers in biologically normal children, or that these drugs cause problems with memory in adults. We need to arrest Andy’s physical development now, or he will kill himself.

But this is not true. In the past, when supported in their biological sex through natural puberty, 80 – 95 percent of genderconfused children got better. Today, rather than help confused children embrace bodily reality, gender-confused children are chemically castrated with puberty blockers, often sterilized by cross-sex hormones, which also put them at risk for heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancers, and even the very emotional problems gender experts claim to be treating.

Additionally, if a girl who insists she is male has been on daily testosterone for a year, she is cleared to get a bilateral mastectomy at age 16. Mind you, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released a report urging pediatricians to caution teenagers about tattoos because they are essentially permanent and can cause scarring. But this same AAP is 110 percent in support of 16-year-old girls getting double mastectomies, even without parental consent, if they believe they are boys.

The “trapped in the wrong body” lie disrupts the foundation of children’s reality-testing, and may result in their chemical castration, sterilization, and surgical mutilation. Gender ideology in pediatrics and education is child abuse. It is time for parents and professionals to unite for children’s protection.

DR. MICHELLE CRETELLA is president of the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), the natural-law alternative to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). She is also a member of the Catholic Medical Association. Under her leadership, the ACPeds has become the primary medical voice critical oftransgender medicine. https://www.acpeds.org/.Dr. Cretella may be contacted at admin@acpeds.org

Dysphoria and disorder: a tale of two disturbances

If a friend is debilitated by significant anxiety, stress, low self-esteem, and depression, we naturally want to help alleviate this dangerous dysphoria (profound state of unease, anxiety or dissatisfaction). But first we need to find out why our friend is unhappy. Dysphoria is usually a symptom of an underlying problem: tension at home, traumatic experience, sense of meaninglessness, chemical imbalance, pathogen, or other factor(s). It could also result from a combination of factors, which may be more or less severe and more or less persistent. We might say that dysphoria results from disorder: problematic symptoms arise from something that is out of its properly ordered state.

John A. Di Camillo, PH.D., BE.L.,

None of this suggests that our friend is at fault for causing the underlying disorder. It is likely that he or she has been victimized in some way, perhaps even by happenstance. There is nearly always some contributing cause outside a person’s own will or desires. So “disorder” is not a term that ascribes culpability to the person, but an objective identification of a problem. If we want to help our friend we need to know the underlying disorder.

When diagnosing mental health issues, psychologists and psychiatrists in the U.S. refer to a volume created and updated by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, now in its fifth edition (DSM- 5). The World Health Organization maintains a comprehensive International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Health care providers and insurance companies in the United States currently make use of its tenth revision (ICD- 10) for diagnostic coding, and the DSM-5 classifications identify which ICD-10 codes to use for billing.

So let’s consider gender dysphoria, which is a lasting discrepancy between experienced gender and assigned gender. It is not mere gender nonconformity. The diagnostic term “gender dysphoria” was formally introduced in the DSM-5 only in 2013. In the previous edition of the DSM, the term was “gender identity disorder.” Why the change?

According to the APA, the rationale for the change was twofold. First, it aimed to remove any implication that the patient is “disordered.” Nonetheless, other mental health diagnoses with the term “disorder” remained unchanged, and the DSM-5 still uses the term “mental disorders” in its title. Second, it aimed to retain a diagnostic term without compromising the first aim. In fact, following the rationale of eliminating “disordered” connotations, the complete removal of gender identity disorder had been proposed; but a psychiatric diagnosis was still needed to enable access to and insurance coverage for “gender transitioning” counseling, hormonal interventions, and surgeries.

So the term “gender dysphoria” purposefully mutes the disorder and emphasizes the distress that results. The psychiatric problem is no longer lack of identification with one’s bodily sex, but rather the unhappiness associated with it. “Treatment” can therefore mean eliminating the dysphoria—not the underlying identification issue—by reinforcing the perceived gender through “gender-affirming” counseling, hormones, surgery, or all of these. Affirm the conviction and change the body to make the person feel better.

Masking the problem of an identity disorder by focusing on the consequence of dysphoria gravely undermines the possibility of authentic healing for vulnerable persons experiencing gender confusion. It reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be a human person, who is a unity of body and soul. Maleness or femaleness is found in the unified, embodied person. There is no “inner self” that can be a distinct source of personal identity over and against bodily sex; rather, the convictions or desires of the mind might be at odds with the person’s embodied sexual identity. In fact, the DSM- 5 lists six criteria that can be invoked for a gender dysphoria diagnosis, five of which reference a “desire” or “conviction.”

Focusing on the dysphoria while attempting to deny the disorder demands reinforcing the disorder and mutilating the body to meet an imagined version of the “self” at odds with the person’s body-soul reality. This cannot bring authentic joy and fulfillment. The pastoral constitution Gaudium et spes of the Second Vatican Council reminds us that “man is not allowed to despise his bodily life, rather he is obliged to regard his body as good and honorable since God has created it and will raise it up on the last day.” Let us bear in mind the need to love and understand people experiencing gender identity confusion, while also helping them to understand and love their male or female bodies as beautiful manifestations of their authentic selves.

JOHN A. DI CAMILLO, PH.D., BE.L., is a staff ethicist at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia. He earned his bioethics doctorate and licentiate degrees at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome.