Michelle A.Cretella, a certified general pediatrician, voices conservative concerns that liberals and transgender peoples may need to take into consideration, albeit with a grain of salt.
Cretalla writes, “Transgender politics have taken Americans by surprise, and caught some lawmakers off guard.
Just a few short years ago, not many could have imagined a high-profile showdown over transgender men and women’s access to single-sex bathrooms in North Carolina.
But transgender ideology is not just infecting our laws.
It is intruding into the lives of the most innocent among us—children—and with the apparent growing support of the professional medical community.”
Cretella argued in a peer reviewed article she penned in 2016 entitled, “Gender Dysphoria in Children and Suppression of Debate,” that medical professionals who support gender transition therapy, which she refers to as “unscientific,” will eventually be maligned and lose their jobs in one way or another.
She staunchly advocates that the discussion shifts away from what is touted by supporters of gender transition therapy.
“I speak as someone intimately familiar with the pediatric and behavioral health communities and their practices.
I am a mother of four who served 17 years as a board certified general pediatrician with a focus in child behavioral health prior to leaving clinical practice in 2012,” Cretella explains in her op-ed on the subject.
“I also sat on the board of directors for the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity from 2010 to 2015.
“This organization of physicians and mental health professionals defends the right of patients to receive psychotherapy for sexual identity conflicts that is in line with their deeply held values based upon science and medical ethics,” Cretella says.
This can make some transgender people and supporters very uneasy on the surface because psychotherapy has previously been the means by which many conservatives advocated changing the minds of transgender peoples as well as homosexuals to make them respectively comfortable with their biological sex or heterosexual.
Cretella veers from the conservative notions typically associated with psychotherapy in this context and instead argues that it may very well serve as a positive alternative to transition therapy in light of the incidence of failure with transition therapy.
“I have witnessed an upending of the medical consensus on the nature of gender identity.
What doctors once treated as a mental illness, the medical community now largely affirms and even promotes as normal,” she says.
The number of pediatric gender clinics multiplied almost exponentially in the last decade, as did the number of pediatric residency programs training for transition therapy to the tune of 215 now according to Cretella.
Many physicians continue to extol the alleged virtues of puberty blockers, a form of transition therapy.
The problem is that research is definitively disproving the efficacy of such puberty blockers.
The mere process of transition for children or adolescents is being correlated with massive increases in suicide incidence, so those who study gender dysphoria are beginning to see the proliferation of transition therapy as doing far more harm than good.
“Last summer, the federal government stated that it would not require Medicare and Medicaid to cover transition-affirming procedures for children or adults because medical experts at the Department of Health and Human Services found the risks were often too high, and the benefits too unclear.Undeterred by these findings, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health has passed ahead, claiming—without any evidence—that these procedures are ‘safe.’
“They even admit that the only strong evidence regarding this approach is its potential health risks to children.
The transition-affirming view holds that children who ‘consistently and persistently insist’ that they are not the gender associated with their biological sex are innately transgender.
(The fact that in normal life and in psychiatry, anyone who ‘consistently and persistently insists’ on anything else contrary to physical reality is considered either confused or delusional is conveniently ignored.)”
Gender dysphoria is being treated as a means to abandon scientific methods and reason in many cases, and Cretella even goes as far as to suggest that children who experience it are delusional.
To what extent gender dysphoria actually corresponds to legitimate cases of hormonal mismatch with one’s biological sex is unknown, but there is certainly validity to the concept of said mismatch;
however, there is also validity to the idea that many people are simply suggestible.
There is increasing consideration for the possibility that only a small percentage of those who experience gender dysphoria are truly, innately averse to their own biological sex simply because of the ubiquity of the transgender concept, which was once treated as a nonstarter not long ago.
Cretella goes on to argue that no one can be born in the wrong biological sex, citing twin studies.
Ultimately, the research to which she refers examines pairs of twins in large numbers, specifically those who are transgender adults.
“Identical twins contain 100 percent of the same DNA from conception and are exposed to the same prenatal hormones.
So if genes and/or prenatal hormones contributed significantly to transgenderism, we should expect both twins to identify as transgender close to 100 percent of the time.”
The studies she cites find only 28 percent of adult pairs of twins exemplified both siblings being transgender.
She concludes based on this that “no one is born ‘trapped in the body of the wrong sex,’” but such a conclusion may also be a non sequitur.
Given that her premise castigates the medical community for abandoning scientific reasoning, it could even be construed as hypocritical to ignore the fact that there is always more to know and the mathematical fact that this 28 percent represents a smaller-than-witnessed but still valid number of transgender people who were likely born with a legitimate aversion to their own sex.
The question remains: what do physicians and researchers still not understand about disparities between biological sex and gender identity?