Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The book that dares to take on transgender myths told to children: Experts reveal psychologists scared to question transgender ideology, GPs afraid of being branded transphobic and teens being wrongly diagnosed

The rocketing number of children seeking to change sex has become a national scandal, a powerful coalition of whistleblowers, academics and medical experts warns today.

In a dramatic intervention marking a watershed in the transgender debate, they have come together to express fears about the dire consequences faced by thousands of youngsters changing gender – including infertility and long-term health problems.

A whistleblower from Britain's only NHS gender clinic for children said: 'I'm really angry at what's happening to these children. What I've witnessed feels incredibly distressing and disturbing and like something that should be stopped.'

The experts' concerns are laid bare in a forthcoming book of essays entitled Inventing Transgender Children And Young People. It challenges what it calls the 'dangerous' transgender ideology promoted in schools, universities, the NHS and other public institutions.

Heather Brunskell-Evans, a former research fellow at King's College London, who co-edited the book, said that 30 years ago the thought of a child being born in the wrong body would have made no sense to the public.

She added: 'Now the idea, which was invented by specialists in gender medicine and transgender activists, has become universally accepted.

'But we are collectively arguing that this unquestioning acceptance poses a serious threat to children's well-being and safety. We hope through this book to bring the world's attention to the public scandal of transgendering children.'

The book warns:

Doctors are failing to tell young people they are 'sacrificing' their chance to have children by taking powerful sex-change drugs;

Psychologists are scared to question transgender ideology;
Clinicians who resist diagnosing children as transgender face accusations of transphobia;

Britain's only NHS child gender service is failing to acknowledge other reasons for youngsters wanting to change sex, such as autism;

Teenagers who have 'normal feelings' of discomfort with their bodies are being classified as transgender.

Another contributor to the book, due to be published later this year, is Dr David Bell, consultant psychiatrist at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in North London, where the NHS child Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) is based.

Other authors include Professor of Sociology at Oxford University Michael Biggs; psychotherapist Bob Withers, a former senior lecturer at Westminster University; and Dianna Kenny, Professor of Psychology at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Dr Bell, who wrote the book's foreword, called for an 'urgent investigation' into the reasons for the huge rise in the number of gender identity referrals. The latest figures from GIDS show 2,590 children – three quarters of whom were girls – were referred last year. In 2009, the figure was below 100.

More recently there has been a trend of mainly teenage girls declaring, seemingly out of the blue, that they want to change sex, a phenomenon dubbed rapid onset gender dysphoria.

The Tavistock clinic is the only NHS service for under-18s diagnosed with gender dysphoria, an individual's belief they are trapped in the wrong body.

Dr Bell, a former governor of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, said: 'The rapid escalation of referrals, the large increase in natal [born] females seeking to change gender and the sudden appearance of so-called rapid onset gender dysphoria, cannot be explained by individual factors alone. Nor is it likely to be caused by a large number of individuals feeling free to 'come out' in this new liberal atmosphere.'

The psychiatrist, who last year produced a critical internal report on GIDS which branded the service 'not fit for purpose', further warned: 'Many services have championed the use of medical and surgical intervention with nowhere near sufficient attention to the serious, irreversible damage this can cause and with very disturbingly superficial attitudes to the issue of consent in young children.'

The Mail on Sunday has also seen interviews with whistleblowers who work at the Tavistock clinic, and whose accounts are due to be included in the book. They have chosen to remain anonymous.

One of the NHS gender specialists said: 'I keep thinking about all of the children, adolescents and families who are being harmed by the one-dimensional discussion and the attack on truth and on thinking and on what we know about adolescent well-being.'

Another added: 'I'm angry with all the grown-ups, all the clever people, all the thoughtful people, who are letting this happen.' One of the issues causing 'turmoil' at the clinic is the prospect that children are being rendered infertile by the medication prescribed for them.

This newspaper has previously reported that the service has prescribed controversial puberty- blocking drugs to hundreds of children in England, many of whom have been under 14.

The clinicians' damning verdict:

Heather Brunskell-Evans, former research fellow at King's College London: 'The idea of a child born in the wrong body, invented by specialists in gender medicine and activists, has become universally accepted. This unquestioning acceptance poses a serious threat to children's well-being.'

Anonymous NHS child gender clinician: 'There's something really dishonest about the effort going into getting children to preserve their fertility. It would be more honest to say, 'You are almost certainly sacrificing having children.'

Dr David Bell, consultant psychiatrist at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust: 'Many services have championed medical and surgical intervention with nowhere near sufficient attention to the serious, irreversible damage this can cause.'
The powerful monthly hormone injections stop the development of sex organs, breasts and body hair.

Young people are advised by GIDS that the treatment is reversible and that if they stop having it, their adult reproductive functions will continue to develop as normal.

But the whistleblowing staff at the service say the drugs – which can permanently weaken bones and stunt growth – put children on an inexorable path to further treatment which is irreversible.

Research has shown the vast majority of those who take puberty blockers go on to start 'cross-sex hormone therapy' at 16, which involves doses of oestrogen for males and testosterone for females. This strong hormone medication begins the physical process of changing individuals from one sex to another and is likely to lead to a loss in fertility.

Yet the concerned clinicians claim the fact puberty blockers are putting youngsters on a pathway to infertility is 'completely swept under the carpet' at the Tavistock. Instead, they say children and teens are being given false hope that they will be able to conceive in the future by being offered the chance by the clinic to freeze their sperm or eggs. In actual fact, it is unlikely they will ever have babies – with boys facing the minefield of finding a surrogate mother to have a baby using their sperm and the relatively low chances of frozen eggs producing a child, the clinicians say.

One GIDS staff member said: 'There's something really dishonest about the effort going into getting children to preserve their fertility. What are we setting them up for? We aren't talking enough about the reality of any blocker or hormone treatment massively reducing the chances of them being able to preserve sperm or eggs. It would be more honest to say, 'you are almost certainly sacrificing having children.' '

At the same time, the gender specialists interviewed for the book raised concerns about children being exposed to physical and psychological harm because Tavistock clinic staff bow to pressure from transgender lobbyists.

They also described how many young people referred to GIDS have suffered homophobic or misogynistic bullying, while some have been victims of sexual abuse.

And as revealed by The Mail on Sunday last year, a third of the young people being referred have clear signs of autism.

The Tavistock clinic was last night involved in a furious war of words with an Oxford academic who questioned why its medics gave teenagers puberty-blocking drugs in a 'flawed trial'.

Writing in the book, Inventing Transgender Children And Young People, Professor Michael Biggs alleges that a Tavistock trial in which 50 children were given the controversial drugs was a 'pretext' for widening access. But the clinic hit back saying the sociologist was not properly qualified to comment, adding: 'We refute these claims, which we consider to be serious, unfair and inaccurate.'

Puberty blockers like triptorelin halt physical development by suppressing the release of sex hormones. They are medically licensed to treat 'precocious puberty', where children start developing before the age of 10.

However, they have never been licensed in the UK to stop puberty in otherwise healthy, but gender-questioning children. Doctors can prescribe them to such youngsters if they think they will benefit, but 'off-licence' prescribing is usually considered a stop-gap until solid trial-based evidence is available.

To that end, in 2010 the clinic started putting teenage patients on the blockers on a trial basis. But Prof Biggs claims, based on examining publicly available data, that medics ignored best scientific practice designed to ensure a fair trial, and then selectively publicised 'positive' results – showing improvements in mental states following blocker treatment – while ignoring 'negative' ones.

He also claims an information sheet given to children and parents contained 'incomplete and misleading information' which 'minimised or concealed the risks'.

A copy of the sheet obtained by Prof Biggs under Freedom of Information rules claimed children would return to normal sexual development if they came off puberty blockers. It also claimed the drugs 'will not harm your physical or psychological development'.

Dr Biggs claims this was an 'astonishing statement' and concludes the trial was 'flawed from the outset'.


Starbucks brilliance

Kicking cops out of your shop has got to have consequences


Atheism and Islam on the rise in the UK as Christianity suffers 'dramatic decline'

Christian belief has halved in Britain in 35 years with just one in three people now identifying as Christian - while atheism and Islam continue to rise.

Figures published by the British Social Attitudes Survey reveal the widest ever margin between staunch atheists and believers who are certain that God exists.

Of almost 4,000 people polled by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), 38 per cent described themselves as Christian - a fall from 50 per cent in 2008 and 66 per cent in 1983.

Those identifying as Muslim increased from 1 per cent in 1983 to 3 per cent in 2008, and 6 per cent in 2018.

The survey shows that the biggest change is in the number of people who define themselves as "confident atheists", which rose from 10 per cent in 1998 to 18 per cent in 2008 and its record high of 26 per cent in 2018.

In contrast, researchers found that an overall 55 per cent of the population express some sort of belief in some kind of God.

Nancy Kelley, deputy chief executive at NatCen, said that the steady decline in religion and belief among the British public is "one of the most important trends in post-war history".

"As our society has become more secular, the role of religious institutions and religious identities in determining our moral and social norms has weakened. Other world views, such as scientific rationalism and liberal individual-ism, now play a more significant part in British society."

The report's authors said the survey suggests Britain is becoming more secular "not because adults are losing their religion" but because older people with an attachment to Christian denominations are "gradually being replaced in the population by unaffiliated younger people".

They added that religious decline in Britain is "generational" as people tend to be less religious than their parents.

Dave Male, the Church of England's director of evangelism and discipleship, said: "For many people ticking a box marked 'Church of England' or 'Anglican' is now an active choice and no longer an automatic response. In spite of this, the Church of England remains at the heart of communities."

Andrew Copson, the chief executive of the non-religion charity Humanists UK, said: "With these trends set to continue, policymakers in every field, from education to constitutional law, to health and social care, need to wake up to such dramatic social changes."


"Humanitarian" campaigners criticise Prince Harry's Invictus Games for being sponsored by Britain's biggest arms dealer

It's British armaments that saved Britain from Hitler.  Does that matter?  Would a Nazi Britain be better?  It might not be too good for "humanitarians"

Injured British troops competing in Prince Harry’s Invictus Games are to wear the logo of the UK’s biggest arms exporter in an ‘immoral’ sponsorship deal condemned by veterans and humanitarian campaigners.

Members of the Invictus UK team will wear shirts with the logo of BAE Systems for the first time when they compete at trials in Sheffield later this month after the company paid a six-figure sum.

The arms manufacturer has sold billions of pounds of weaponry around the world, including to Saudi Arabia for its war in Yemen, which began in 2015. Since then, many thousands of civilians have been killed or maimed amid allegations of war crimes.

Last night, Amnesty International accused BAE Systems of attempting to ‘sportswash’ its reputation.

Former Special Forces soldier Ben Griffin, who served with the SAS in Iraq, said: ‘It seems deeply inappropriate for BAE to sponsor a team of disabled war veterans at a sporting contest when arms sold by this company to Saudi Arabia have wounded so many people, leaving them disabled.’

Prince Harry – who counts many Invictus UK members as friends – is patron of the Invictus Foundation, which is responsible for the Games. Around 350 Invictus UK competitors will wear the BAE Systems’ logo, with 65 of them then travelling to Holland for the 2020 Games.

A BAE Systems spokesman said: ‘We are proud to be the presenting partner of Invictus UK and of the opportunity it presents to support the competitors who have made significant personal sacrifices in service to our nation.’

An Invictus UK spokesman said: ‘BAE Systems’ long-standing commitment to our veterans and personnel at home and abroad makes them well-placed to support Invictus UK.’


San Francisco School Board Votes to Paint Over George Washington Mural

The San Francisco Board of Education unanimously voted last month in favor of painting over a George Washington mural series on a school wall depicting Washington standing over a Native American’s corpse and another in the company of slaves on his Mount Vernon estate.

“This is reparations,” Education Board Commissioner Mark Sanchez said in a KQED report when asked about the estimated $600,000 price tag for its removal. It could reportedly take a year to complete. 

The 1,600-square-foot mural series titled “Life of Washington” was painted on San Francisco’s George Washington High School in 1936 by a Russian-American artist and Stanford University art professor Victor Arnautoff.

It was funded by the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration and shows a variety of scenes from Washington’s life.

School district spokeswoman Laura Dudnick confirmed that although only two mural pieces stand out as offensive to members of the community, the board’s decision would apply to all 13 panels of the mural.

School board members had to decide whether to cover and preserve the painting using panels or textile, or completely erase it by painting over it. Buckling under pressure from those who find the images offensive to certain members of the school community, the board decided to paint over it.

Advocates for removing the mural included local high school students, George Washington High School graduates, and Native Americans.

During a public comment portion of the June 25 meeting, Paloma Flores, program coordinator for the district’s Indian Education Program, said, per KQED, “It’s not a matter of offense, it’s a matter of the right to learn without a hostile environment.”

“Intent does not negate lived experience,” she added.

According to KQED, mural critics in the community “believe the artist’s intentions are irrelevant in light of the harm to young people of color daily confronted by images of their ancestors debased.”

Native American Barbara Mumby-Huerta, who staffs the San Francisco Art Commission, challenged statements on historical accuracy, saying that the mural is ignorant of indigenous people.

“To portray a Native person face down, dead, you are trapping their soul so that they can not move on,” she said, per KQED.

One mural supporter says he plans to legally challenge the move to paint over the mural. Lope Yap Jr., vice president of the school’s alumni group, vowed to “use every tactic available” for litigation, according to KQED.

Before the school board meeting, the San Francisco Chronicle polled art leaders in the Bay Area about the controversy.

“I am deeply sensitive to the pain that this situation is causing the student body and Washington High School community,” said Neal Benezra, director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

“A decision to paint over the mural is irreversible,” he added. “The option to cover the artwork with panels to allow future educational research keeps open that opportunity.”

Jarrett Stepman of The Daily Signal wrote about the removal of the mural, citing a historian’s account of Arnautoff, “a man of the left in his own time,” and his intention of making Washington “less glamorized” by painting images of the slaves he owned or the price paid with Native Americans’ blood during westward expansion.

In his interview with historian Fergus M. Bordewich, Bordewich explains:

[Arnautoff] included those images not to glorify Washington, but rather to provoke a nuanced evaluation of his legacy. The scene with the dead Native American, for instance, calls attention to the price of ‘manifest destiny.’ Arnautoff’s murals also portray the slaves with humanity and the several live Indians as vigorous and manly.

Those who condemn the murals have misunderstood it, seeing only what they sought to find. They’ve also got their history seriously wrong. Washington did own slaves—124 men, women, and children—and oversaw many more who belonged to his wife’s family. But by his later years he had evolved into a proto-abolitionist, a remarkable ethical journey for a man of his time, place, and class.

The removal of the mural is expected to take at least a year, according to district staff. Before proceeding with painting over the mural, its historical significance requires an environmental review.

In the case that the painting takes more time than expected, the district could cover it with panels. Three years, Sanchez said, would be considered “undue delay.”



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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