Trans redefined by ACPeds


Pratibha Guatam

Staff Writer

The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), in March 2016, published a statement with an eight-point initial platform on gender identity in children, which stated that human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait and puberty-blocking hormones can be dangerous.

The very first point states, “Human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: ‘XY’ and ‘XX’ are genetic markers of male and female, respectively — not genetic markers of a disorder.” The statement does not have any mention of people born with both sets of genitalia, which is called intersex.

The statement cites a number of studies as well as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5 (DSM-5), which is the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the U.S. While the studies cited are more than a decade old, the DSM-5 has been misrepresented.

The fifth point of the statement says, “According to the DSM-V, as many as 98 percent of gender-confused boys and 88 percent of gender-confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.”

However, the DMV-5 never refers to gender-dysphoric individuals and does not use the word “confused.”

Gender dysphoria is the condition of feeling one’s emotional and psychological identity as male or female to be opposite to one’s biological sex, according to whom?

Patrick Faircloth, an assistant professor in the counselor education program, says, “They use the word ‘confused.’ That is not what it says in the DSM-5.

“That right. There is bias. They are saying that a problem does not exist. … I fundamentally disagree with the way they’ve presented the information.”

He also mentions how the idea of gender dysphoria has now changed from what was perceived to be an internal problem to a problem in societal expectations.

The seventh point states, “Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.”

Nola Aycock, a junior ASL major from Eutaw, says, “They claimed that allowing children to transition constitutes child abuse. Transgender children are being abused, and that’s not what the abuse looks like.”

Carliegh Sherman, a junior global business major from Tulsa, Oklahoma, says, “Parents should encourage their children to be who they are and pursue what they love.”

The ACPeds is a small group of politically motivated people and has been recognized by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. The American Association of Pediatricians (AAP), an organization of over 64,000 pediatricians in the U.S., does not stand by this statement.

Still, this seemingly credible group has been spreading misinformation about gender dysphoria in children. This statement has not been endorsed by any organization working with or for transgender individuals, such as World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and LGBtech.

If any individual (child or adult) is in need of guidance regarding transitioning, visit an expert or a WPATH-affiliated organization, and not a general physician. These situations can be quite complicated and sensitive, and only experts can provide the right tools to help you.

Fortunately, we have reliable help quite close to us. The University of Alabama has an LGBT Mental Health and Wellness Center in Birmingham. It provides hormone therapy, outpatient psychopharmacology, therapy and comprehensive treatment for HIV-infected individuals.

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