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This Dangerous Ideology Is Harming Children

By Emily Christoph posted on:
September 10, 2020

Children are some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Unfortunately, we live in an age where it’s acceptable to harm the vulnerable as long as it promotes a popular agenda. 

This is exactly what is happening in some American schools. Teachers are being instructed to promote gender confusion and gender dysphoria in students as young as kindergarten. Many five-year-old children can hardly pick a favorite color, and now they’re expected to pick their gender?

Four years of lower-elementary teaching experience has taught me that children thrive under structure. They feel safe and are able to succeed because they understand their expectations. 

But by telling children that their biological sex isn’t their true gender, adults are creating a fog of confusion and anxiety. One of the most concrete truths in these children’s lives has become fluid, and their burden of self-discovery has grown even heavier. Adults are removing the structure and safety of what they knew to be true, yet expecting the children to thrive.

In older students, the damage goes beyond the psychological into the physical. Some school officials want to allow students as young as 12 years old to leave school during the school day to get cross-sex hormones without a doctor’s note and without permission from their parents. 

This is concerning to parents of all political stripes. And rightly so.

Students with no past struggle with gender dysphoria are suddenly transitioning. Why? In part, because some schools are telling children that gender is not a binary that is determined by biology, but a spot on a spectrum that must be discovered. 

This is just the beginning. An alarming number of teenage girls are undergoing life-altering surgeries, including hysterectomies and double mastectomies. Some doctors are damaging the bodies of children and rendering them infertile to address an issue that is psychological, not physical. Across whole lifetimes, we’ll continue to see the negative effects of these procedures.  

The bottom line is that children are being harmed. And not only are adults allowing it—they’re encouraging it. 

Those who have been brave enough to speak out against this tragedy have been labeled as “transphobic” and “hateful.” Some have even been fired or “canceled.”

Consider Dr. Allan Josephson. He had a distinguished, nearly 15-year career as Division Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Louisville—until he was abruptly demoted, harassed, and eventually fired. His offense? Dr. Josephson publicly stated that medical professionals should first seek to understand and treat the psychological issues that often cause gender dysphoria rather than pursuing more radical, aggressive treatments, such as hormones and surgeries. ADF has filed a lawsuit on his behalf.

Keep in mind, these aren’t all religious people. Many medical professionals have cautioned against allowing children to transition.

Take Dr. Stephen B. Levine for example. He is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a professor with many years of experience in the gender and sexuality arena. In his expert affidavit for an ADF case, Dr. Levine points out that a majority of children who struggle with gender dysphoria eventually grow out of it. But he warns that affirming a child’s gender confusion lessens the chances of that happening.

Dr. Levine also cautions that shoving children down this path of transgenderism ultimately leads to a life of hardship—including a long list of physical and emotional issues. Not to mention, suicide rates in people who “transition” are higher than those who do not.

These are permanent damages that these children will deal with for the rest of their lives.

In my experience as a teacher, I’ve learned that children are often the ones on the chopping block when it comes to adult issues. This one is no different. But we must stand up for the vulnerable. We cannot allow our kids and teens to pay the price for the harmful ideologies of adults.

It's time for the adults in the room to please stand up.


ADF Legal Secretary Emily Christoph

Emily Christoph

Legal Secretary

Emily serves as a Legal Secretary at Alliance Defending Freedom.


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