The Redefining of Gender Dysphoria
Across Idaho there has been much consternation over the inclusion of LGBT policies in schools, parental rights not being upheld, children being able to access literature on LGBT issues, and activities promoting an LGBT lifestyle. Many Idahoans believe all of this is an act of grooming for inappropriate behavior, a violation of privacy rights for children, a denial of free speech by being forced to use specific language, and an overall exposure to sexual information they believe is inappropriate for their child. But there is a rather more sickening background to the explosion of this issue.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), used for diagnosing and coding psychiatric disorders, was originally created in 1952. Since that time there has been six updated editions with revisions and associated increases in and redefining of mental disorders. Published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), mental disorders are considered a medical condition.
The DSM originally used the term gender identity disorder (GID) which separated diagnostic criteria between boys and girls but basically it stated GID was a desire to be the opposite sex occurring prior to the onset of puberty (Pg 266). In 2012, DSM-V changed GID to gender dysphoria with corresponding changes in the criteria. It was no longer labelled as a disorder, but was redefined as a “marked difference between the individual’s expressed/experienced gender and the gender others would assign him or her, and it must continue for at least six months”. The change was also made because “gender dysphoria need a diagnostic term that protects their access to care and won’t be used against them in social, occupational, or legal areas.” It was given its own chapter and “separated from Sexual Dysfunctions and Paraphilic Disorders.”
The APA took their marching orders for these changes from advocacy groups. At the time there was also concern the “new diagnosis does not go far enough to reduce stigma.” However, even though no longer classified as a mental illness, the diagnosis was left in there for monetary purposes, providing a way to bill insurance companies for sex reassignment costs. Attempts to find out who those advocacy groups were proved futile. In the 2022 DSM-5 revision, DSM-5-TR, language revisions included gender affirming medical treatment for gender dysphoria.
The point in bringing this to light is establishing how the medical profession has incrementally changed the definition, language, criteria, and understanding of this medical condition and how medical professionals would adopt it. Medical professionals are required to learn this information during their medical education, and updated information through continuing education, conferences, and literature. This new definition and criteria of gender dysphoria has been fed to medical professionals for years and has been adopted as a legitimate medical condition which should be integrated into their practice for treatment.
Being a medical condition, gender dysphoria opens the door to legitimate health care for that medical diagnosis. It also opens the door to the availability of education on the issue through schools and libraries. As a medical issue, education cannot be labeled pornography, it is only educational material provided to the individual with a specific medical condition. The American Medical Association (AMA) supports transgender rights and their associated rights to education and treatment. This is how it has been done, retain the diagnosis as a medical condition, redefine and reframe it as a normal and acceptable condition, educate all other providers on it, and then support it. Through all media platforms, entertainment, and celebrities, this has been passed on to the public to garner acceptance and support as well.
Recommended APA treatments come from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) which has a U.S. Regional organization, USPATH. Since WPATH was successful in integrating treatment recommendations into the APA, the next step is recommending earlier treatment. USPATH board director, Johanna Olson-Kennedy, MD explains how starting earlier treatment also helps put adolescents “through the right puberty” because it is a “medical intervention” even though it “does not inevitably continue into adulthood” and has associated health risks.
The American Library Association (ALA) deems that libraries should be held harmless for providing any and comprehensive sex education material as it is “meant to educate, not arouse”. And that is the narrative, it is education for a medical condition, just another medical condition, that’s all. Just like going to the library for reading materials on diabetes. The medical profession has normalized this to the point where there is justification for acceptance, tolerance, and a right to education. Showing sexual activity in a book for children with this medical condition is not considered pornography but rather educating them about their condition, providing information and knowledge that will help them, just like the diabetic child. Undoubtedly, the exposure of this information through libraries contributes to children questioning their gender when it might not have ever been an issue entering their minds.
Schools are no exception. Nobody would consider discriminating against a child in a wheelchair, or who needs special accommodations for their medical condition. So it is the same here, by affording special accommodations for a child with gender dysphoria. Nothing to do with morality, or pornography, it is just meeting the needs of a medical condition, just like the child having wheelchair access in a bathroom. The federal government has created a law to enforce this mindset, or perhaps a better word would be to force this mindset. No student will “denied full and equal educational opportunities“, free from discrimination.
Unquestionably, there are serious ethical concerns about this whole issue, which have been raised. Since WPATH designed the standards of care that are endorsed by APA, new concerns have been raised about its proposed new Standards of Care (SOC8). In fact, both Finland and France are pulling back on recommending WPATH standards of care.
What is fascinating is that kids don’t come out of the gate thinking about sexual matters all the time. It seems that adults are the ones who hold the obsessive fascination on sexual matters and are displacing them onto children.
Since 2014 the APA has been an non-governmental organization (NGO) holding an ECOSOC Special Consultative Status with the United Nations (UN) which basically obligates them to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). APA also belongs to FundaMentalSDG which supports and promotes the SDG. Sexual and reproductive health is SDG #3.7 and includes the right to access sexual health care services for information and education by 2030 which is being accomplished. The World Economic Forum also supports “comprehensive sexuality education.”
Several states have passed legislation to address the transgender issue. Sadly, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) chose to not recognize the rights of others for protection on the same issue of discrimination such as right to privacy, safety, and freedom from humiliation. Nobody seems to be very concerned about the harm that comes to other students with these policies. Who is going to step forward and protect their rights? SCOTUS will be reviewing this decision, maybe they will look a the rights of others this time.
So enough of the agenda to force acceptance and tolerance of a medical condition that, for some, secondarily violates the rights of others. Idaho Code 32-1010, the Idaho Parent Rights Act, protects a parent’s “high duty and right to nurture and direct their children’s destiny, including their upbringing and education.” Idaho Code 32-1013, Interference with Fundamental Parental Rights Restricted, states “Neither the state of Idaho, nor any political subdivision thereof, may violate a parent’s fundamental and established rights protected by this act…”, and if violated, “a parent may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and may obtain appropriate relief against the governmental entity.”
Idaho Code 18-4116, Indecency and Obscenity, appears to be very clear. “(1) Exposes his or her genitals, in any public place, or in any place where there is present another person or persons who are offended or annoyed thereby; or (2) Procures, counsels, or assists any person so to expose his or her genitals, where there is present another person or persons who are offended or annoyed thereby is guilty of a misdemeanor.” Are school administrators and boards complicit in assisting children in exposing their genitals that other children can find offensive and annoying? Why is the harm to other children not just as big of an issue, why is it only the harm to the child with gender dysphoria being considered if not allowed to use the bathroom of their choice? Does the child expressing their discomfort and being offended not matter as much? Why are their rights not being considered? Perhaps that should be one foundation of the argument. Fortunately, there is some investigation into the legality of the issue in Idaho and other measures being taken to protect children from harm, much to the chagrin of the AMA.
Use the law to your advantage folks, you are the parent, you hold the authority over the protection of your child.