Media Release 10 January 2015
Family First NZ is rejecting calls for “gender” issues to be taught in schools and says that students with gender dissatisfaction should be treated and cared for on a case-by-case basis by families in conjunction with professionals and the school.
“A child’s gender at birth is an objective biological reality, and is entirely consistent and unambiguous. The ‘gender agenda’ will simply lead to confusion in schools,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“The suicide death of transgender Ohio teenager Joshua (Leelah) Alcorn is a tragedy for all concerned, and we may never know the full truth of what caused his death, but it must also be remembered that some individuals have committed suicide after having sex-change surgery and coming out as the opposite of their biological sex. Their deaths are as regrettable and tragic as the death of Joshua-Leelah. Are the marchers today also marching against sex-change surgery?”
“They may be quick to condemn Joshua’s parents but are they also marching against doctors who have either performed or recommended sex-change surgery on someone who then killed themselves because of their unhappiness with their new identity?”
“The current trend of gender identity being changeable fails to take into account the possibility of deeply unresolved psychological issues that, when treated first, could avoid the need for any change in gender. What the child really needs is affirmation of their unique personality and appropriate treatment for their unhappiness and other presenting emotional issues,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“To think that a name change, drugs, and potentially a surgeon and a knife can change gender is mythical. And to allow a child to make that type of decision is downright dangerous and ultimately harmful to the child.”
A 2007 Dutch study found that 52% of the children diagnosed had one or more diagnoses in addition to Gender Identity Disorder (GID), including anxiety disorders and behavioural disruptive disorders. The desire to become the opposite gender was not GID but was symptomatic of other psychiatric illnesses. Gender change does nothing to resolve these issues. One study suggested that most children with gender dysphoria will not remain gender dysphoric after puberty.
“To push the ‘gender identity’ message amongst our children ignores the high prevalence of suicides, regret, disappointment, medical problems, and adults who return to their original birth gender. It fails to acknowledge the psychiatric literature which demonstrates that it is possible to help these children learn to embrace the goodness of their gender,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“There are many individuals who once identified as transgender and who no longer do, and now discourage parents from affirming their children as transgender, while at the same time urging those parents to continue to show unconditional love to their kids.”
“And when schools encourage children to become confused about their gender and which toilet to use, it confounds the whole school community.”
Professor of Psychiatry Paul McHugh, whose studies of transgender surgery brought the procedures to an end at Johns Hopkins University said “Treating these children with hormones does considerable harm and it compounds their confusion. Trying to delay puberty or change someone’s gender is a rejection of the lawfulness of nature… Children transformed from their male constitution into female roles suffered prolonged distress and misery as they sensed their natural attitudes. Their parents usually lived with guilt over their decisions, second-guessing themselves and somewhat ashamed of the fabrication, both surgical and social, they had imposed on their sons.” He concluded “We psychiatrists would do better to concentrate on trying to fix their minds and not their genitalia.” The majority of children treated by those with expertise in this area are able to embrace the goodness of being male or female.
“Among the implications of proposals such as “gender” issues being taught in schools is that sex-specific facilities, including changing rooms, showers, toilets or sports teams could no longer be directed on the basis of a child’s actual biological sex. Students could pick the toilet or changing room or sports team or uniform of the gender with which they identify at that time. But the expectation of parents and the children themselves is to see students of the same gender in places like changing rooms and showers.”
“Students with gender dissatisfaction must be given the very best support we can and handled with love and care, but ignoring biology is not a proper solution. To push the gender agenda in schools is a dangerous step to take,” says Mr McCoskre.