Bullshit Alert: Dubious Pediatrics Group Says Encouraging Trans Kids Is “Child Abuse”

This Monday, a group called the “American College of Pediatrics” released a statement claiming that allowing transgender children to transition is harmful to them, which was gleefully picked up by several conservative outlets and, naturally, the Facebook walls of relatives you’d rather avoid.

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The statement itself denies the very existence of trans people, claiming that they are not actually transgender, but rather suffering from some kind of psychological disorder, and uses the high suicide rates of trans people as a reason not to “condemn young children to this fate.”

Perhaps most damningly, the group suggests that allowing children to transition is a form of child abuse.

 “Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse. Endorsing gender discordance as normal via public education and legal policies will confuse children and parents, leading more children to present to “gender clinics” where they will be given puberty-blocking drugs. This, in turn, virtually ensures that they will “choose” a lifetime of carcinogenic and otherwise toxic cross-sex hormones, and likely consider unnecessary surgical mutilation of their healthy body parts as young adults.”

“Wow!” you might say, were you incapable of Googling, “If an official organization like this, which probably includes all the pediatricians in America, thinks this is harmful to children, then my own transphobic feelings must be correct! Surely this is a non-partisan professional association that relies on facts, figures and data rather than an ideological agenda of any kind! I am vindicated!”

Except…the American College of Pediatrics is not quite as official as it sounds. According to Wikipedia, there are only about 60-200 members. The group was founded in 2002 after the American Academy of Pediatrics–which formed in 1930 and boasts 60,000 members–came out in support of gay couples who wanted to adopt.

Since then, its primary directive has been to advocate for socially conservative causes and “Judeo-Christian values.” In addition to opposing adoption by same-sex couples, they also oppose comprehensive sex education, support spanking, believe parents should choose “if and when” their children receive the HPV vaccine, and oppose gender affirmation treatment. They basically do not have any opinions or reason for existing outside of pushing this kind of agenda.

Back in 2011, psychology professor Warren Throckmorton explained why the ACP is so dubious in comparison to the AAP, and not a real association of professional pediatricians:

“[T]he ACP does not provide Continuing Medical Education or a professional journal. Access to other professional programs (Red Book, Prep program) is offered via higher fees, but the AAP or affiliated groups actually provide the services. In other words, if there was no AAP, there would be no continuing education or professional publications.

A hallmark of a profession is the provision of training, certification, and continuing education. The ACP does not none of this independently. The ACP has been around since 2002 and the AAP since 1937. Annually, the AAP spends millions on professional publications and continuing education; the ACP receipts in 2008 was less than $60,000. The AAP has over 60,000 members, the ACP about 200.”

For the record, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not oppose gender affirmation, and in fact offers non-biased resources for parents raising transgender children.

Let this be a lesson: Just because something sounds  “official” doesn’t mean it is.

[American College of Pediatricians]