Trans ideologists are spreading cod science by Janice Turner in The Times 22.12.18
The original article is here.
Are you a Princess Barbie jelly-baby who likes frilly dresses, high heels and takes ages to get ready? Or a GI Joe jelly-baby who wears boots and functional clothing? Did you know that your preference for pink sparkles or muddy sports isn’t down to societal expectations of boys and girls. No, it’s written in your chromosomes. And that’s science.
Well, science according to Mermaids, the charity for trans children, in a presentation understood to be given to thousands of teachers, health workers, police and politicians, and part-funded by the Department for Education.
I listened to a recording of this bizarre 90-minute training lecture and wish others could too. Particularly those who pride themselves on rationality and evidence-based thinking: atheists, fans of Richard Dawkins and Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science; those incensed by climate change deniers on TV or creationists in schools; the same people who are tweeting #istandwithmermaids because the Big Lottery Fund is reviewing, in the light of an outcry, its decision to award them a £500,000 grant.
On tape the Mermaids trainer tells us that humans don’t come in two sexes, male and female, sperm and ovum: “Most people still think that way,” she says airily. “But what we know now, thanks to advances in science, is that the human race has up to 42 different sets of chromosomes.”
Biological sex is on a spectrum, she says, like skin tone and (seriously) bra size. A person’s “gender identity jelly baby” has nothing to do with how we are raised: it is inside you at birth. You know you are a man because you walk like a man and like “manly” things. A listener questions why this lecture is based upon stereotypes and is told “you’re going too clever”.
Such cod science would be laughable if it weren’t so pernicious. The audience is told to watch out for little boys in tutus. We digress into clownfish reproduction, in which dominant males turn female before mating, because it somehow suggests humans can change biological sex. Then we’re on to pronouns, puberty blockers and hormones . . .
Nowhere does the trainer suggest that gender is something hammered into you by parental expectation, toys, books, movies, adverts, a sexist society. A pink and blue gendered world is taken as natural, immutable.
So it is odd to hear a Ted Talk given by the Mermaids chief executive Susie Green about how when her “effeminate” young son gravitated to Barbies and princess costumes, her husband threw all his “girl toys” away and told him to play with Action Man. Depressed and withdrawn, he told his mother “God had made a mistake”, so Ms Green took him to Thailand aged 16 for genital surgery illegal here (and now illegal in Thailand). Couldn’t being bullied by your father into believing only girls play with Barbies lead a boy to conclude he must be a girl?
Not to Mermaids. The charity rejects a clinical study which shows a link between dysphoria in girls and exposure to social media, and the idea that the majority of kids with unaligned jelly-babies will probably be gay. It maintains that a child is “born in the wrong body” and that this is a physical defect which, like a hair lip, can be medically fixed, except by life-long patienthood, probable sterility and lack of sexual function. (Susie Green is on tape laughing that her trans-daughter’s penis was so small, because she’d been on puberty blockers, that the surgeon constructing her vagina had “not much to work with”.)
The Big Lottery Fund should be asking why Mermaids is so out of step with NHS best practice. Why, for example, does GIDS (the Gender Identity Development Service) not recommend Mermaids on its website? Indeed, its clinicians are in perpetual conflict with the charity. The NHS protocol for children is “watchful waiting” but Mermaids pushes for the US “affirmation” model in which any child who declares that they are trans must be treated as such without examining any possible underlying issues, such as frequently undiagnosed autism, depression or sexual abuse.
At a trans medical symposium in Buenos Aires last month, Susie Green tweeted approval of a US speaker that “surgery should be allowed based on competency NOT age of majority. Psychological assessment should not be needed for surgery as this is not required for cisgender surgeries of ANY type.” In other words, children should be allowed significant gender operations without counselling. In America girls have double mastectomies at 13.
Mermaids still recommends a private GP, Helen Webberley, who has prescribed cross-gender hormones for children as young as 12, who has a criminal conviction for running an unregistered practice, a £12,000 fine, and is under review by the General Medical Council.
Most seriously, the Big Lottery Fund should wonder why a High Court judge told a mother, found to be forcing her four-year-old son to live as a girl against his wishes, not to contact Mermaids further after the charity had vigorously supported this woman’s delusions.
There is no question that young people, confused by the heavily gendered world in which they are raised, need loving support through the maelstrom of puberty. Mermaids markets itself as the principal source of compassion and has won the reverence of celebrities. But as the Kids Company controversy proved, no charity should be unquestioningly lauded.
Certainly not one underpinned by rigid, spurious ideology. The Mermaids trainer declares that we should stop categorising children by their genitals because “we do raise boys and girls differently.” But isn’t the answer to change our child-raising practices, not the bodies of quirky kids? Feminists are constantly accused of being on the wrong side of history. Yet Mermaids, with its clownfish and jelly-babies, is clearly on the wrong side of science.