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Ohio parents lose custody of their "transgender" daughter

Well, that didn't take long.

Last June I reported on alarming developments for parental rights in Ontario and Illinois. Ontario passed a law that expressly raised the concern that parents could lose custody of their children if they refused to go along with aggressive transgender "treatment." At around the same time, Illinois made it clear that prospective foster parents would be judged according to their affirmation of the transgender agenda.

The latest is from Ohio.

Christian parents, apparently Catholic, have lost custody of their daughter who "identifies" as a male. Their parental rights may be terminated altogether. A judge has awarded custody to the grandparents. Activist "experts" are telling the court that she must be given testosterone hormone treatments and placed with grandparents who affirm her transgender "identity" or else she may commit suicide.

This sort of moral and psychological blackmail is completely irresponsible. Filling up a girl's body with male hormones, alienating her further from her own body and from reality, and prepping her psychologically to have massive, body-altering surgery the minute she turns 18 is hardly a form of normal, reasonable medical treatment. To say that we must carry out such insane measures, that we must cooperate with the insanity of the mentally disturbed, or else they may kill themselves simply invites a reductio. If a person said that he "identified" as eyeless, would we be obligated to remove his eyes surgically (and do so as quickly as possible, no less) because otherwise he might commit suicide?

It is quite obvious that this girl has been taught to think in this way by various psychological "experts" who are enabling, and probably originally inspired, her severe mental confusions. Now she is probably to be put on a fast track to total "transition," and meanwhile given massive doses of male hormones, against her parents' wishes.

Some of the statements being made are truly silly, such as that the girl is traumatized by hearing her own female name or by being made to wear a feminine uniform at the Catholic school to which her parents sent her.

She apparently alleges that her father told her that she should go ahead and commit suicide because she is going to hell anyway. The parents deny this. I don't know any of these people at all and am scarcely in a position to assert that the father never said such a thing, but color me skeptical. Overwrought teenagers under the influence of adults hostile to their parents' worldview are hardly the most reliable sources for allegations about mean things their parents have said.

What I am somewhat curious about is this question: Where and when did the transgender-ites get hold of this girl? Here is a guess: She heard about transgenderism as an objective reality from peers at school and from the Internet. She had some tomboy characteristics, maybe was psychologically unhappy for other reasons (teenagers often are), and may have gone to someone for advice. That person first suggested to her, "You may really be a boy in a girl's body," and we were off to the races. This is a well-known pattern. In this case another reasonable guess is that the grandparents interfered and brought the matter to the attention of social services.

And people wonder why not only Christian but even moderately prudent parents home school.

Comments (29)

If the dad said that, it doesn’t hardly rise to the level of abuse worthy of removing the kid, it also sounds like the sort of thing a hurting person would say. The sort of thing everyone knows is not meant.

If this the new legal precedent, we now live in a nation where the state can remove children just because the parents are raising them under a Christian framework with respect to sexuality. The legal system will have accepted it as a “fact” that the Christian view can cause a child to die. This is definitely both chilling and stigmatizing for all such families.

I, for one, do not expect it to stay isolated to just when it’s a suicidal older teen that wants to “transition”. I also predict that this developing precedent will mean more Christian families are harassed by agents of the state because they will presume abuse.

If this the new legal precedent, we now live in a nation where the state can remove children just because the parents are raising them under a Christian framework with respect to sexuality. The legal system will have accepted it as a “fact” that the Christian view can cause a child to die. This is definitely both chilling and stigmatizing for all such families.

Yes: "If you won't burn incense to worship our divinities (either Caesar or absolute individual autonomy for the sake of sex, take your pick) you are committing treason against the state."

We have been down this road before. It was ugly then, it may be even more so this time around, as the Communists and the Nazis showed the way for true state-led terrorism. With a camera on every corner, (and in every cell phone) they can have more spies than humans (and ones that cannot be easily "corrupted" either).

If the dad said that, it doesn’t hardly rise to the level of abuse worthy of removing the kid, it also sounds like the sort of thing a hurting person would say. The sort of thing everyone knows is not meant.

I thought of that possibility as well. What is happening now in so many areas is that ordinary human back-and-forth is not allowed to take place. Everything is regimented. Maybe this will sound like a stretch, but I would relate it to the "new rules" for church children's programs. Namely, to prevent child abuse by Sunday school teachers, you must never leave any child alone with a teacher, you must have two staff members always go together to take any small child who needs to go to the bathroom, and so forth. In other words, everything is regarded as either an abusive situation or a potential for an abusive situation, and the ordinary give and take of human interactions with their normal intimacy (no, I don't mean that in a creepy sense) cannot take place. People can't have one-on-one talks with children, even if the children need to be able to talk with someone alone. Adults can't play with children without being suspected of abuse. And if a father ever loses his temper and says a mean thing to his kid, he can't just apologize, recognize that family situations are sometimes complex and fraught, and move on. Everything is regulated.

I have a friend who worked recently in a daycare for special needs children, including toddlers. She was literally told that she could not hug the children or hold them on her lap, because the daycare might be sued for child sexual molestation. But of course little toddlers need physical affection. She eventually quit the job, because she was not able to give the children the love that they needed.

As I say, it may seem like a stretch to connect that to demonizing a parent for any unkind word uttered, but to my mind there is a connection, which is the extreme outside, rule-oriented regimenting of all interactions between authority figures and children and the loss of normalcy in these relations, including the ability to show affection, to be alone with children, and to make mistakes and be forgiven.

Not that any of that stops truly *horrible* things like surgery, (experimental) hormone treatment, and so forth. Those are positively lauded and prescribed. But forgiving a dad for saying one mean thing? Not a chance. The unforgivable sin.

"Pro-transgender Hamilton County Prosecutor Donald Clancy argued that the parents are religiously motivated. He said the father commented that “any kind of transition at all would go against his core beliefs.”"

Perhaps we should recall the case of the (also) 17 year old Pakistani Muslim girl a few years ago whose parents wanted to send her back to the old country while she wished to stay here and become a Christian. Sauce for the goose...

Telling a teenager who has been hospitalized for anxiety and depression that she is going to hell anyway so go kill yourself should not be trivialized. The stats on teen, trans, and gay suicide make that clear. I guess "parental rights" trumps "life issues" - interesting.

"It also accuses the parents of removing their daughter from transgender therapy and seeking “Christian” counseling for her. The complaint claims the counseling simply consisted of the girl sitting for six hours listening to the Bible."

Since HIPPA and laws protecting juvenile proceedings preclude us knowing any details, any speculations on our part are going to be based on theology, ideology, and philosophy. We will never know what the facts are. The 17 year old may well be making a huge mistake or not but perhaps it's better for her to be alive to figure that out.

Grandparents are not disinterested actors and we should consider that they have been in a position to observe and know way more then we will ever know. They know both the parents and the child after all. The parents know the child but the grandparents don't know their child?

"But forgiving a dad for saying one mean thing?"

Do we really want to normalize abuse? We don't know it's "one." In my experience, abuse doesn't begin at 17. A father capable of telling a depressed child to go commit suicide has some serious issues and has likely acted out previously. That you all are willing to trivialize the accusation and default to the parent should lead to some deep reflection.

Actually, the big problem, here, is that people think the judge actually has any authority in this matter. He does not. The definition of male and female is, even more than a medical problem, a theological problem. Clearly, it was the Church, in days past, that would have been consulted in this issue. What is sad is that people have let the courts take over as guardians of reality. The courts only have any say in this matter by dint of arms, not true authority. St. Paul said [1 Cor. 6: 1 - 11:

When one of you has a grievance against a brother, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints?
Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, matters pertaining to this life!
If then you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who are least esteemed by the church?
I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no man among you wise enough to decide between members of the brotherhood,
but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers?
To have lawsuits at all with one another is defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?
But you yourselves wrong and defraud, and that even your own brethren.
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

There has been this trend, at least since the 1950's, of ceding more and more authority to courts in matter where they are not really qualified. It goes hand-in-hand with a loss of faith in God, except in a personal relationship (hardly raising to the level of a Church), which one can rationalize to one's whims. Until we stand up, as a people, as a Church, as a Christian people, and tell courts that they do not have the authority they think they do, they will continue to destroy families by their idiocy, as in this case. Let me say this as forcefully as possible: theologically speaking, in the deepest area of discernment, he judge has no authority. The parents do. It has always been such (until, now). End of story. They have not threatened their children with bodily harm, even if the clueless psychologists think so. Clearly, the parents have not taught this child that in this life, there will be crosses to bear. I say this to their shame, because they are Catholics and this is the season of Lent. They should know better and so should the child.

Stories like this make me very angry. If people really understood the implications of letting this judge or any secular judge decide this case, there would be rioting in the streets. This is abnegation of responsibility. The parents have a right to tell the judge to butt out. Now, the judge, foolishly thinking that just because the matter was brought to him, he must decide it, has no right under God, except in very circumscribed cases, to assert any claim to authority in this matter, but he will, mistakenly, claim to, even to the extent of taking action by arms against the family. The judge has overstepped his authority and until enough people make the argument that this is so, judges will continue to be allowed to judge these cases and society will continue to slip down the deep hole of the Lost.

The Chicken

Perhaps we should recall the case of the (also) 17 year old Pakistani Muslim girl a few years ago whose parents wanted to send her back to the old country while she wished to stay here and become a Christian. Sauce for the goose...

If you're talking about Rifqa Bary, they didn't actually want to send her back to the old country, so you're misremembering the case. Yes, there were accusations of physical abuse in that case as well, and yes, one decided whom to believe. There is plenty of inductive evidence of honor beatings and honor killings by Muslims against daughters (specifically) who convert or in other ways do things considered to dishonor their parents.

Moreover, nobody was suggesting that Rifqa be given testosterone and taught that she was a male. Nothing insane was the *point* of her being given in custody to someone other than her parents. In this case, something insane *is* the point.

Al, that you trivialize transgender "treatment" of minors should lead to some deep reflection. *That* is abuse.

Don't you see, Al is so scientifically-minded that turning people into human GMOs via infusions of alien hormones and amputation of perfectly healthy organs is normal treatment, and no different at all than a change in theological views?

Chicken,

Always good to get a comment from you! Your comment actually dovetails nicely with this article I wanted to post that just appeared last Friday in the "Public Discourse":

http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2018/02/20834/

[the title is "We Must Reclaim Parental Rights as Building Blocks to a Healthy Society"]

The author forcefully argues that America is going the way of the UK and that perhaps we may need a constitutional amendment to stop the abuses like the one detailed in Lydia's post from happening. As long as there are crazed, secular ideologues like "al" and those in power who think like him, Christian families will be in danger from secular judges. Interestingly, apparently not everyone in the medical community is totally crazy yet -- according to the author above, the American College of Pediatricians has recommended more parental involvement, not less. It is nice to know we have a few allies out there.

Britain still gladly seems to be in the reflection stage when it comes to transgenderism. You will still find radio and tv hosts question this sort of thing. But dont worry, give it a few months. It used to be that Britain's culture was downstream of the US by a couple of years, not anymore.

"...so you're misremembering the case."

Oops, wrong country but I was right about the threatened return. It's almost always he said/she said. I probably got it from a newspaper article. From the Wiki:

"Her case drew attention when she appeared on television and declared that her father said, "He would kill me or send me back to Sri Lanka," describing herself as the intended victim of an honor killing.[4] A report commissioned by the Department of Justice under the Obama administration determined that honor killings are a credible threat for some young Muslim women who become "too Westernized."[13]"

"Her parents said they never threatened to harm her.[14] Her father told a reporter that, "Honestly, we didn't know why she left." Regarding the death threat described by his daughter, he said, "She doesn't know what she's talking about," and, "I want her to come back home. I love my daughter whether she's Christian, or anything else. I want my daughter back."[15]"

Paul wrote:

"Don't you see, Al is so scientifically-minded that turning people into human GMOs via infusions of alien hormones and amputation of perfectly healthy organs is normal treatment, and no different at all than a change in theological views?"

Al wrote:

"The 17 year old may well be making a huge mistake or not but perhaps it's better for her to be alive to figure that out."

Again we have a comprehension issue. I would never recommend that a 17 yo girl (or boy for that matter) go on the juice (google Rachael McLish from back in the day and compare with female BBs today, I'm surprised Arnold is still alive). We are, however, dealing with a determined 17 yo not a 7 yo. She will be an adult in a matter of months and discussing this as a matter of parental rights verges on delusional. Also grandparents can have custody rights in Ohio if it can be demonstrated that both parents are unsuited AND the best interests of the minor would be served. You all didn't hear the case.

We live in a world where one may easily acquire SARMs, GH agonists, and things like ITPP online. Every city has at least one gym were one may score all manner of products. If she is determined, she will get what she wants. Far better to do it with medical supervision. She may come to regret her decision or not as may the male gym rat.

"There is plenty of inductive evidence of honor beatings and honor killings by Muslims..."

And it is not unknown for an Orthodox kid to come out and come home to find their belongings on the curb and the family sitting shiva or fundamentalist Christians to disown their children. Telling a depressed teenager to commit suicide seems close.

"...taught that she was a male."

You know this how? She may well be one of the small percentage who actually are gender dysphoric or she may be an lesbian who hearing homophobic rants from early childhood and internalizing them, rationalized her same sex attraction in a problematic manner. None of us are privy to enough information to make an informed judgement.

" As long as there are crazed, secular ideologues like "al" and those in power who think like him, Christian families will be in danger from secular judges."

Jeff, she's 17 and creditably a victim of abuse with close relatives willing to step up and all you can see are Godly Christian parents being the victims. Of course, Charles Adams managed to look past the 85 lynchings in 1902.

"Actually, the big problem, here, is that people think the judge actually has any authority in this matter. He does not. The definition of male and female is, even more than a medical problem, a theological problem. Clearly, it was the Church, in days past, that would have been consulted in this issue."

Really. I note that you capitalize "church" so you must have one special one in mind. I guess there will always be those who reject the Constitution, the Enlightenment, liberal democratic norms, and who choke on the sweet air of freedom.

"Really. I note that you capitalize "church" so you must have one special one in mind. I guess there will always be those who reject the Constitution, the Enlightenment, liberal democratic norms, and who choke on the sweet air of freedom."

I said that, "In times past...", so I chose the church that has the longest continuous existence (which is capitalized). In 800, for instance, there was only one Church that would have made these distinctions. In 1517 and following, there would have been other ecclesiastical bodies, but until the early 1900's they all would have rendered the same verdict.

The Enlightenment was based on what? Observation and experimentation? Now, every observation and experimental evidence would indicate that the girl in question is female. I may think I am a chicken, but every bit of observation and experimental evidence would indicate otherwise, delusions, not withstanding.

The Constitution? A Secular document that does not give judges the right to judge metaphysical or scientific questions.

Who cares about liberal democratic norms? They are as stable as a teenage girl's mind with regards to clothes.

If you think that freedom means being able to call black white, then you do not understand what freedom is. Truth and freedom go together. Galatians 5:1 says, "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." The delusion that one is male when, in reality, one is female, is a yoke of slavery to a delusion, not freedom.

The Chicken

Again we have a comprehension issue.

You made the comparison of major chemical and surgical transformation of the human body to a religious conversion, not me.

If she is determined, she will get what she wants. Far better to do it with medical supervision.

What, there is a thriving black market in transgender surgery? Please, enlighten me.

We live in a world where one may easily acquire SARMs, GH agonists, and things like ITPP online. Every city has at least one gym were one may score all manner of products. If she is determined, she will get what she wants. Far better to do it with medical supervision. She may come to regret her decision or not as may the male gym rat.

Eyeroll. One really wonders if there is any reductio to this kind of reasoning that would be recognized as such by someone who could make it. Even for an emancipated adult this would be insanity. Hey, they can get meth on the streets. At least let's give it to them under the supervision of a doctor! Al is also completely pretending not to recognize the ideological atmosphere here and the fact that this will very likely fast-track the girl to a mastectomy or genital surgery. In fact, "top surgery," as it is called, is sometimes carried out *prior* to the 18th birthday, with only hysterectomy and massive alteration of genitalia saved for (often immediately after) the 18th birthday. Meanwhile, everyone surrounding the young person is hugely supportive of "transition." This is hardly a case of reluctantly giving someone harmful drugs lest they get them on the street, even if that weren't crazy in and of itself. And yeah, that's how these things always work. This is what it's like in the psychiatric world right now, though Al wants to pretend it's no biggie.

In the link Jeff Singer provided, there is a further link to a story of a left-wing mother who was horrified when her autistic daughter, with the cognitive capacities of a 9-year-old, was given a mastectomy and put on testosterone after she saw a TV program and decided she "was a boy." The parents couldn't stop it because they had emancipated the girl early out of fear that she might be institutionalized if they died. But their medical insurance paid for the double mastectomy on otherwise healthy breasts. If this isn't abuse, I don't know what is. The mom was (for what it's worth) fine with the daughter's deciding she's a lesbian, but not fine with the testosterone and mastectomy. Gee, wonder why? The girl is so cognitively undeveloped that she firmly believes that the testosterone will cause her to grow male organs.

I followed the links from Jeff's initial link and wound up at Fourth Wave Now, a site I was already familiar with due to Dreher's obsession with gender issues . There is a pretty good exposition of the case there:

https://4thwavenow.com/

It turns out to be pretty much what I assumed - the child being 17 was dispositive, and the grandparents were maternal. You all are upset over nothing. This case was in a state court and the custody decision was pro forma as it seems the parents, the county, and the grandparents were in agreement.

One interesting item that was disturbing to the court (and should be to everyone) is that 100% of those presenting at that hospital with perceived gender issues were diagnosed as dysphoric. One remembers the Miller case and her therapist coercing her to come out as a lesbian. All this strikes me as being somewhere between ideology + a con, the same as conversion therapy which seems theology + a con. I certainly don't envy parents as experience has shown that finding a competent therapist is like navigating a minefield.

Lydia, I realize we all have time constraints but taking anything one reads on these Christian sites at face value is going to lead to a lot of misunderstanding. Existential extrapolation from individual, lower court custody cases is mostly a waste of time.

Paul:

"You made the comparison of major chemical and surgical transformation of the human body to a religious conversion, not me."

No, I was comparing the practical ability as well as the legal, and moral right of a competent teen, nearing adulthood, to make life changing decisions. Parents do the best they can but, since I assume you agree with precluding a Deut. 21 solution, at some point in mid to late teens one has done all one is able to. and the nature of the relationship changes.

"What, there is a thriving black market in transgender surgery? Please, enlighten me."

No, there is a thriving grey and black market in performance enhancing drugs as any gym rat knows. Transgender surgery is perfectly legal although with some hoops. However a ticket to Thailand can eliminate even those. BTW, shooting from the hip is also a ticket to surgery.

Al, Jeff's link went to a comprehensive story that included a link to a *different* scenario that I described to you. Not the one in my main post.

As for the case in my main post, it's interesting that the parents tried to block the testosterone shots and the judge allowed them to proceed. All news, both pro and con, agree on this. The judge expressed skepticism (as your link shows) about both the suicidal ideation claim (contradictory claims on this point) and about the speed of the diagnosis, yet allowed these major medical interventions to proceed. I call foul on this. This was not in the young person's best interests, and if the court were to rule on the matter at all, should have been stopped for the time being. Functionally, this was continuing the route to transition. In one sense it's almost worse if the judge knew there were grounds for suspecting that all of this was ideologically motivated by people influencing the girl.

Parents do the best they can but, since I assume you agree with precluding a Deut. 21 solution, at some point in mid to late teens one has done all one is able to. and the nature of the relationship changes.

Al, I have heard this so many times from parents who are making bad choices that I am almost worn down to a nubbin pointing out the problems with it. The same claim is put forward by parents who allow their late teen girl to sleep with the boyfriend in their house (at least we know where they are, etc. etc...)

Although there are about 20 different replies to this line of rationalizations, I will only point out one: There's a fundamental difference between allowing a child leeway / room to influence or even make the decision when it's a prudential matter; it's another thing entirely when the matter is one of an intrinsically immoral act. Parents who are faced with a teen who is demanding not only that the parents no longer OBJECT to her choice, but PROVIDE SUPPORT for her choice, may not do so when the choice is intrinsically immoral. For the parents to provide cooperation to such acts by the child is wrong, immoral. If the child is able to accomplish such an act on her own capabilities, then the parent can let it happen without doing anything to stop it, but that's not cooperation with evil. If the parent actually provides support to a morally evil act (other than what is understood to be "remote material cooperation" with evil), then the parent becomes complicit in moral evil.

If the parents are themselves convinced that the child is mistaken about her disorder, and is trying to effectively maim herself, they cannot simply decide to cooperate with that maiming merely because "she will be able to do it herself in a few months" or "this way we know where she is and it will be a 'safe' maiming". Maiming is disordered and cooperating with it is morally complicit in the disorder. There is no moral equivalence between letting a child who is now legally responsible for herself do bad things to herself, and helping a child do bad things to herself. The excuse "she will do it whether I help or not" doesn't work for stealing money, or shooting heroin, or beating up little kids, and it doesn't work for maiming either.

Right on, Tony.

Meanwhile, Al appears to be under a curious impression: He believes that I am naively unaware of the performance enhancing drug problem in our society, on the grounds that I find it hard to imagine a 17-year-old girl sneaking out to the local Gold's Gym to find the greasy 40-year-old guy in the back, who, she's told by another middle aged male, can supply her with HGH and testosterone.

Transgender surgery is perfectly legal although with some hoops.

So much the worse for our legal and medical system, especially given the abundance of data showing that, as a treatment for gender dysphoria, it's wholly ineffective.

The overall mortality for sex-reassigned persons was higher during follow-up than for controls of the same birth sex, particularly death from suicide. Sex-reassigned persons also had an increased risk for suicide attempts and psychiatric inpatient care. Comparisons with controls matched on reassigned sex yielded similar results.

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0016885

For the sake of a more clear example, if there were a case involving parents refusing to allow their 12 year old to start puberty blockers that resulted in the parents being overruled. I cant help but think that it would be a good thing if the people who would want to give that kid puberty blockers were too afraid to actually do so.

if the people who would want to give that kid puberty blockers were too afraid to actually do so.

It won't help too many people now, but one possible ray of hope for thirty years down the line occurs to me:

We are now in a swing in society where it's considered cool to go back thirty years or even more and sue people and punish and shame them for things that were considered okay at the time or not that bad or whatever. That kind of even sometimes very extreme "purification of memory" is considered not only legitimate but virtuous.

Now what if this kind of approach gets applied thirty years *from now* to the people giving minors puberty blockers and hormones and tracking them toward surgery? Now that would be really just, because they *should* know better, and because there are people saying that this is just insane and reckless and horrible.

So maybe at some point society will swing around and the doctors doing these things will be punished by massive lawsuits and ostracism, and nobody will do it anymore because of fear of the same.

Not that that will help the kids being experimented on, chemically and physically maimed, right now, but we can hope it will stop at some point and protect kids later.

Ha, that strikes me as a great way to write a documentary or something of the sort. Write up the people forcibly sterilized back in the early 1900s for bad reasons; then the blacks forced to be experimental guinea pigs for medicines without their knowledge; then women forcibly subjected to abortions in China and other places; then young kids put through chemical and surgical maiming and propagandized "therapy". All of a piece. All thoroughly wrong. All (but the last, so far) have eventually been castigated by society.

"It won't help too many people now, but one possible ray of hope for thirty years down the line occurs to me:"

To the extent that the current TG thing is pet rock-like it will be a footnote in thirty years. I expect the bubble to burst (as they always do) and we will have a return to trend with a normalization of the fraction of 1% who actually are GD. Legal action will be unlikely but, like the tulips, recounting might be good for the focus.

One thing that occurred to me on the 100% diagnosis is just how many folks are we dealing with? For example ten might well indicate that the filters are working and the ten zebras that make it to the clinic are actually dysphoric; a thousand likely indicates things have broken down and therapists need to start thinking more horses.

"For the sake of a more clear example, if there were a case involving parents refusing to allow their 12 year old to start puberty blockers that resulted in the parents being overruled."

DR have you read the link? Custody cases are specific not precedental.
The apple in this thread involved a county and court gladly shedding its involvement and not seeking to micromanage the health care of a seventeen year old while you had close relatives willing to fill the few months until 18 and the agreement of the parents. You now postulate an orange as clarifying? It seems clear this case was considered a real GOMER; contra the underlying assumption in this post, the county and the courts (Leviathan?) wanted out. You assume the opposite based on what?

"Persons with transsexualism, after sex reassignment, have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behaviour, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population. Our findings suggest that sex reassignment, although alleviating gender dysphoria, may not suffice as treatment for transsexualism, and should inspire improved psychiatric and somatic care after sex reassignment for this patient group."

From the conclusion:

"For the purpose of evaluating the safety of sex reassignment in terms of morbidity and mortality, however, it is reasonable to compare sex reassigned persons with matched population controls. The caveat with this design is that transsexual persons before sex reassignment might differ from healthy controls (although this bias can be statistically corrected for by adjusting for baseline differences). It is therefore important to note that the current study is only informative with respect to transsexuals persons health after sex reassignment; no inferences can be drawn as to the effectiveness of sex reassignment as a treatment for transsexualism. In other words, the results should not be interpreted such as sex reassignment per se increases morbidity and mortality. Things might have been even worse without sex reassignment. As an analogy, similar studies have found increased somatic morbidity, suicide rate, and overall mortality for patients treated for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.[39], [40] This is important information, but it does not follow that mood stabilizing treatment or antipsychotic treatment is the culprit."

If your point is that having gender issues and undergoing reassignment is fraught with risk, well, duh! It seems professional standards need to be tightened up. Conversion therapy has been subjected to needed scrutiny and prohibited for minors in our more enlightened polities; perhaps trans clinics need a look.

"...I find it hard to imagine a 17-year-old girl sneaking out to the local Gold's Gym to find the greasy 40-year-old guy in the back, who, she's told by another middle aged male, can supply her with HGH and testosterone."

Interesting amount of detail there Paul :). I don't know about Georgia, my only experience is with gyms in So. Cal. (I actually met Joe Gold back in the day.) The Gold's chain Venice gym is in the next block from a friends studio. Plenty of young women use the gym and the steroid use, male and female, is obvious. That was the point of my McLish reference. A young girl would not need to find the "greasy guy" (shades of Reefer Madness! What kind of place do you live in anyway? Oh, and how did that mayors race turn out?). Talking about plateauing should suffice to get in the loop.

Tony, your point is well taken. The problem is that not everyone adheres to the same concept of intrinsic evil. A Catholic who helps her teen with birth control is doing IE. A Jew, Protestant, pagan also is from your pov but not necessarily theirs. To me, a parent who is overly "supportive" and risks locking the child into what may have been a passing thing is the flip side of a parent who jeopardizes the relationship and the health of the child over personal issues.

Also you might consider that you have no way of knowing how you would deal with a situation like this in real time. You know what you should do based on your priors but what do you actually do when confronted with a teen with problems sufficient to justify a FOUR WEEK psychiatric hospitalization? That would be a real test of your faith.

"then women forcibly subjected to abortions in China and other places;"

Good Idea. You might also add the women in Communist Romania and other places who were forced to carry pregnancies to term against their will and the horrific social problems that ensued, women in some parts of the world who have been given serious prison sentences for having an abortion, Women in the Balkans who were repeatedly raped and imprisoned until it was too late to get an abortion, women like Savita Halappanavar who died because they were in the wrong place when their pregnancies went south, and nuns who were excommunicated for saving a woman's life.

Good Idea. You might also add the women in Communist Romania and other places who were forced to carry pregnancies to term against their will and the horrific social problems that ensued, women in some parts of the world who have been given serious prison sentences for having an abortion, Women in the Balkans who were repeatedly raped and imprisoned until it was too late to get an abortion,

Well, heck, al, let's include all the women in various places who were raped by invading conquerers precisely so that their babies would be those of mixed race, thus breaking down traditional (racial and national) barriers and hatreds.... There's no end of sexual misconduct we can point to.

One thing that occurred to me on the 100% diagnosis is just how many folks are we dealing with? For example ten might well indicate that the filters are working and the ten zebras that make it to the clinic are actually dysphoric; a thousand likely indicates things have broken down and therapists need to start thinking more horses.

It comes down to definitions, and currently the

political pressure to define things so as to destroy existing social norms is what is driving the definitions. And thus the therapists practices.

Also you might consider that you have no way of knowing how you would deal with a situation like this in real time. You know what you should do based on your priors but what do you actually do when confronted with a teen with problems sufficient to justify a FOUR WEEK psychiatric hospitalization? That would be a real test of your faith.

It is true, al, that many people who on principle opposed to X because it is immoral, when faced with the actual temptation, give in to the temptation and contradict their own principles. People do it every day with marital infidelity: they promise life-long faithfulness, and yet a year or 5 later they commit adultery. I shudder to think that the fact that people don't always live up to their ideals would necessarily mean that their ideals are at fault rather than their choices.

Nevertheless, I have in fact dealt directly with enough human frailty, human brokenness, and both moral and mental disorder to have a feel for how I would "deal" with a situation like this in real time. I have faced crises which, while not quite as troubling as this picture, are not trivial either. And I have some reason for belief that I could go on handling such cases by sticking to my principles and behaving with both loving charity and with adherence to moral norms. (With God's grace, of course.) What is undeniably true, however, is that doing so would be immeasurably harder when it is not only one individual pressuring me to violate my principles, but society itself threatening to impose penalties (or taking the child away) for following what are not only my own religious and moral principles but also wholly traditional social norms on the matter. For what we are talking about here is not merely that the norms these parents are trying to stand by are their OWN standards, but they have been also the long-standing norms of this society, until all of about 3 weeks ago. In THAT kind of pressure cooker, then you get some parents caving in to pressure against their conscience, but you also get some parents going haywire in other ways, thus generating other disorders.

For clarity: Al entered this comment thread with "Sauce for the goose" taunt explicitly comparing the decision to change religions to the biological impossibility of changing genders. As if there were ineradicable Islamic "chromosomes" floating around in Islamic people's cells just like Y chromosomes in males. He subsequently denied that this was his intent but the comment speaks for itself.

Since changing genders is an impossibility for mammals, it is pernicious folly to indulge a manifest falsehood and mislead confused people by pretending there are medical treatments available to accomplish it. It is altogether unnecessary to refer to the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Westminster Confession, or any other religious document, in order to establish this.

For the benefit of Al, in the hopes of disabusing him of his strange assumptions, I will state that I have considerably more experience working with transgendered people than I do with gym rat culture; but I would still like to see at least some evidence suggesting that 17-year-old girls compose a sizable portion of the risk demographic for PEDs.

+++++

Oh, and how did that mayors race turn out?

Did I bring up the Atlanta mayor's race at some point? Anyway, I'm not in the city anymore, but what happened is that Buckhead turnout was really low. A few thousand more voters would have swung the race the other way. Still, this speaks to the general contentment of Atlantans, as the city has been fairly well-governed for a decade. Above all, the fears of a spike in violent crime have not materialized. So I wish the new mayor well.

It seems clear this case was considered a real GOMER; contra the underlying assumption in this post, the county and the courts (Leviathan?) wanted out. You assume the opposite based on what?

I'd be pretty surprised if the parents thought they were consenting to her having testosterone treatments by agreeing that she'd be happier living with her grandparents for a while, even if we accept the account that says they agreed to that. In fact, their actions say exactly the opposite. They decided to fight the treatments. The county and courts were called upon for a decision and decided against the parents. I would say that counts as taking more action than deciding *for* the parents and telling the girl that they will have no more ability to stop her in x months. But the court didn't do that.

To the extent that the current TG thing is pet rock-like it will be a footnote in thirty years. I expect the bubble to burst (as they always do) and we will have a return to trend with a normalization of the fraction of 1% who actually are GD.

Like you, al, I tend to think that society is "discovering" all sorts of cases of 'gender dysphoria' that they should not be calling that. But I am curious: how would you go about defining the condition? And do you think that cutting off body parts and giving intense hormone treatment is a realistic cure for the condition?

Put another way: would you propose the dysphoria (either necessarily or presumably, you pick) represents a mis-match in the way the person's physical attributes reflect their true nature, or instead propose that the dysphora (either necessarily or presumably) represents a mis-match in the way a person's mental and emotional state reflects their true nature, or perhaps some third option?

"The county and courts were called upon for a decision and decided against the parents."

Not so much. The parents rejected offered reconciliation services and agreed with the custody arrangements. I just went to the actual decision (linked off the 4th Wave article I linked to) and noted the judge's carefully worded skepticism. She gave judicial note to continuity of expression re: GD and made a second opinion from a shrink not associated with the Clinic a condition of hormonal treatment. Given the age of the minor this likely runs the minority and was likely the most she could do (as I read it, the only way to determine "continuity" would be observation over a length of time - hence this seems to constitute a de facto stay on hormonal treatment). Note also the number of attorneys present and the length of the hearing. As I have already mentioned everyone wanted out of this. The Clinic had withdrawn the original treatment plan so I don't see how that could have been proscribed and such a ruling might have created a tar baby. That the proposed treatment plan was withdrawn is interesting.

"Parents objected to the plan and several hearings were held. On August 23, 2017, the Magistrate declined to expedite the matter as he found that no emergency, as previously suggested in the petitions, existed. Inexplicably, the case plan seeking hormone treatment was withdrawn and the case took the posture of a relatively routine post-dispositional hearing on the issue of who should be the custodian of the child, weighing first and foremost the best interests of that child."

"Grandparents shall have the right to determine what medical care shall be pursued at Children’s Hospital and its Transgender Program, but before hormone therapy begins, the child shall be evaluated by a psychologist NOT AFFILIATED with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital on the issue of consistency in the child’s gender presentation, and feelings of non-conformity."

Tony, my position is that any time one observes a tail fattening on a distribution curve ones antennae should start twitching. Perhaps we need an in depth treatment of "Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" as a part of some junior high course.

I'm not sure that much more then that will be effective on the demand side besides not freaking out and doing the homework and finding a therapist who deals holistically with the teen as opposed to one who has drunk the kool-aide.

I would hit this on the supply side much as we need to do with the opiate crisis. Good peer reviewed research and a skeptical eye from professional orgs and licensing bodies would focus the minds of those therapists seduced by trends and fads.

I see concepts like "nature" and the like as useless to the unconverted and potentially making matters worse. Dysphoria seems to be a thing but that doesn't mean we should be stampeded as to treatment. As you point out that has led to some unhappy situations in the past. A suddenly fattened tail is usually a sign of exogenous factors that are material not ethereal.

As I stated from the beginning going on T long term is a bad idea and, if I wasn't clear, surgery for minors shouldn't happen. My original concerns were taken from the Fox and Lifestyle articles which were written before the judge issued her decision. I should have known better. As reporters are hired for their ability to meet deadlines not for their ability to actually get things straight (not unique to Fox and Lifestyle), I should have dug deeper (and the news orgs. should have waited for the decision and used reporters with legal experience and no axes to grind). My county's Board of Supervisors recently passed a land use ordinance that I needed to understand - had I relied on the local paper's account I would have been out of compliance.

Anecdotally, I have known a number of M to F trans folk and one F to M. The former seemed to have ok lives. The latter not so much and last I saw him he was dealing with a serious oral cancer. Cycling T is problematic enough (cough, Lance Armstrong, cough), going on it long term - not a good idea.

I see concepts like "nature" and the like as useless to the unconverted and potentially making matters worse.

I don't insist on "nature". You can insert some other concept if you want, maybe "innate reality" for example. Just trying to see if you have any kind of a working definition of the notion of 'dysphoria' as representing a mis-match between A and B, whatever A and B are that you think makes the most sense. I grant you that there are real cases of persons who experience a serious problem, which needs treatment of some kind. Identifying whether the problem is primarily one of a disorder in the body, or in the mind, (or something else) would be a big step forward, wouldn't it? Not that each case is like all other cases, either - it might be that there are some of one kind and some of another kind, potentially.

"Not that each case is like all other cases, either - it might be that there are some of one kind and some of another kind, potentially."

My spidy sense informs me this is likely the case and puts a heavy burden on parents seeking help. Two things to keep in mind is that if all one has is a hammer everything starts to look like a nail and that it is hard for someone whose income depends on x to consider the possibly of not x. Surgeons recommend surgery, therapists with limited modalities in their quiver default to those. On the one hand we have a few kids who assert a different gender from early on and persist over time and on the other hand clusters of teens suddenly discovering they are the other gender. Seems different to me.

The judge took an apparently objective look, called shenanigans and suggested that lots more research was was necessary and the legislature needed to provide guidance and this seems like a good idea. I would add administrative licensing bodies. If those bodies can look at reparative therapy and figure out that it is damaging to minors, they can do the same with current approaches to GD.

IMO an important point is that many of these female teen onset GD cases may stem from internal conflict over sexual orientation, body image, and gender roles. Perhaps it would be useful for a cooling of the culture wars re: sexual orientation and gender.

On the one hand we have a few kids who assert a different gender from early on and persist over time and on the other hand clusters of teens suddenly discovering they are the other gender. Seems different to me.

Significantly different presentation does seem to suggest different problems, yes.

IMO an important point is that many of these female teen onset GD cases may stem from internal conflict over sexual orientation, body image, and gender roles.

I think girls in our culture get shortchanged badly: on the one hand, they get all sorts of loud affirmations of how "women are just as good as men", and then on the other they get a certain strain of feminists whose sole ideas of value are those that, 60 years ago, were what constituted values in men, not in women. The jangled message conveyed is that "women are just as good as men if they act just like men." But not just as good if they enjoy traditional female roles - the feminist rants against women who prefer to stay in traditional female roles are depressing. (Not to mention the fact that we all know what happens to kids when they get grown-ups constantly going out of their way to keep on affirming something explicitly: "No, you're not handicapped, you're just like the other kids. You're missing an arm is not "disabled", it is 'differently abled'..." Usually the kids see through the idiocy and turn it off after a while. The correct way is to show the kid the truth that you believe, by your actions, not by saying something over and over.)

It is not surprising that teen girls get muddled about their own selves and what they should hold on to. But I hardly think that we are likely to solve the problem by ignoring biology and chemistry, any more than we are likely to solve it by ignoring morality and spirituality.

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