Monday, September 02, 2019

UW Will Lead In Transgender Studies

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University of Washington Professor Kristina Olson has received two grants---one for $1 million, the other for $625,000 that will both be spent on studying transgender children---some as young as 3 years old.

This will be the first large scale, long term study of transgender children.

While transgender activists are celebrating, more reasoned minds are expressing concern.

In either case--UW is now the leader.

Be informed. Here's what you should know.

But first: Happy Labor Day. Many have the day off, and many are celebrating the end of summer and the beginning of fall, and football and such things.

And labor is celebrating Labor.

Yesterday, The Seattle Times ran a lengthy feature article on Professor Olson, her plan and a number of assumptions that, frankly, many don't think should be assumptions.

Back in April 2018, Associated Press reported that Olson had received the $1 million from the National Science Foundation. They noted that pediatricians are already using some of her findings to raise awareness about gender diversity.

Olson became well known as the creator of the "TransYouth Project."

One assumption Olson is making is that these kids are doing very, very well. She disputes that kids as young as 3 are not dealing with depression and other symptoms often attached to gender confusion.

Olson says, "In a very scientific way, our study shows that this group of kids  are doing really, really well."

She stresses that the children she will be working within this expanded, long term role are already in gender transition, with their parent's assistance." She says, "I am not the one advocating for transgenderism."

While she may not see herself as an "advocate," her work is elevating the notion of gender dysphoria to a new level with parents, and with little kids seeking attention. She is an advocate by virtue of what she's doing.

Olson says:
"People frequently compare early-identifying trans children with those who go through phases of believing they are cats or dinosaurs or who have legendary friends, yet decades of work on gender development suggests these are precisely the ages at which nearly all kids are coming to understand their own and other's 'gender identities'."

Speaking of "decades of work on gender development," Dr. Paul McHugh, as chair of the psychiatry school at Johns Hopkins University Medical School who is now well into his eighties, has spent a lifetime in work on such things.

Some years ago Hopkins, along with other universities, had begun sex reassignment surgery.

Decades of work on "gender development" actually showed that 80 to 90% of children with gender dysphoria will come to identify with and embrace their bodily sex. McHugh put an end to the surgeries at Hopkins hoping that other schools would follow. Many did for awhile.

However, in the past decade or so there has been a resurgence of these drastic procedures---not in light of new scientific evidence, but as a result of a growing ideological and opportunistic movement.

There are now more than 50 hospitals doing sex reassignment surgery on children, some as young as early teenage---making millions of dollars each year. These clinics are telling parents that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones may be the only way to prevent teenage suicide.

About 41% of people who identify as transgender will attempt suicide at some point in their life, compared to 4.6% of the general population.

People who have had surgeries are 19 times more likely to commit suicide than those who have not had the surgery.

The Seattle Times article signals just how important this issue is to the press and the comments from other educators anxious to participate in the project. Obviously, money attracts attention---and transgenderism is the new cutting edge in progressivism.

How many of us from previous generations ever found ourselves wondering if we are "boy" or "girl"? I know some did, but was it an issue for the federal government, leading universities, and doctors to spend millions of dollars on?

In great part, this is a problem created by people who want to work on a solution---or simply have an ideological agenda.

McHugh got it right. The best biology, psychology, and philosophy all support an understanding of sex as a bodily reality, and gender as a social manifestation of bodily sex.

Biology isn't bigotry.

Cheryl Kaiser, chair of the University of Washington psychology department, described Olson's foray into the project as a "striking act of bravery."

No, it isn't.

Andrew Walker, a parent of two small children and director of policy studies for the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, says he's highly suspect of allowing children to be mature agents in determining this level of self-understanding.

He also questions the appropriateness of investing federal funds in "what is ultimately an ideological, contestable issue---the notion of gender fluidity."

The takeaway.

Dr. Olson's first study was rushed to publication after two years into a 20-year study. Why? To give transgender activists a "success" story. Olson's plan is to affirm everyone and see how they look 20 years out.

A Swedish study has already shown what happens. First, the appearance of happiness, then after about 10 years, deep depression with a 19 fold increase in suicide.

In the book, "Deconstructing the Administrative State," it's revealed the government routinely funds "research" designed to promote bureaucrats' preferred policies. Federal bureaucrats---the administrative state---make policy on their own by directing tax dollars to researchers who can be depended on to reach the desired outcomes.

That's exactly what's happening with Olson and the University of Washington. The predictable results of her "studies" have already been telegraphed to lawmakers who control the money. That's why she published her 20-year study in two years.

Sadly, her "findings" are already being used in public school classrooms to educate kids as young as 4 years old and their parents.

Families are being fed taxpayer-funded misinformation that will have tragic consequences. This is an operation of the administrative state in its most destructive form and with its most helpless victims.

This will continue because there is now a growing, expanding economy around "transgenderism."

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Prayerful.