|Photo credit: Torsten Dederichs on Unsplash.com|
Senator Charlie Scott (R-Casper), longtime chairman of the Senate Labor and Health Committee, is drafting a bill that would add a section to Wyoming’s child abuse statutes, criminalizing so-called “sex-change treatments for children.” This is a commonsense initiative that everyone should support.
The tragedy of misguided medical treatments and the disabled people they leave in their wake is staggering. Large-scale sex change treatments for children began a little more than a decade ago, and those children are only now realizing what was done to them. Unethical psychologists, surgeons, and hospitals promise children the moon in order to sell pricy pharmaceuticals and six-figure surgeries. They get rich while children are irreversibly damaged and left to live with the life-long consequences.
Both the psychological and physiological facts of gender transition treatments are documented in scholarly books on the subject. “When Harry Became Sally,” by Ryan T. Anderson focuses on biology, while “Irreversible Damage,” by Abigail Shrier examines psychology. But Anderson’s book is banned from Amazon and Shrier’s search results are suppressed.
Scott’s legislation shouldn’t be necessary. Wyoming has always protected children from sexual abuse. Statutory rape laws (A.K.A. sexual abuse of a minor) are designed to protect the victim who “consented” to the act. Centuries of common law jurisprudence have determined that “consent” is not legally possible for minor children for at least three reasons.
First, human beings take many years to develop fully in mind and body. Nobody expects a toddler to be mature enough to consent to run in the street, nor a teenager to self-regulate alcohol. While their children mature, caring parents will override the child’s choices. They do not do so not to withhold affirmation, but to prevent harm to developing minds and bodies.
Second, the development of human sexuality is not a gradual sliding scale. Rather, it takes a quantum leap at puberty. Before that quantum leap takes place, young people cannot fathom the powerful emotional, physical, and spiritual realities that come with being mature men or women. They lack the information to give informed consent about sex. Even during the Dark Ages, minors could not legally take lifelong vows of celibacy. But minors today who swear that they want a change in sex, have no recourse when they grow up.
The third reason for statutory rape laws stems from the axiom: “the most important sex organ is between the ears.” A human’s prefrontal cortex is not fully developed until the age of 25. Thus, long after the body is grown, true informed consent is elusive. Some laws give full agency to 18-year-olds while alcohol, tobacco, and firearms are withheld until 21. The addictive hormones and elective surgeries of sex change are more like the latter than the former.
Britain’s National Health Services already went down this foolish path and is now reversing course. In 2011, its Tavistock gender-identity clinic, in London, began to give pre-pubescent minors cancer drugs that interfere with the progression of puberty. These are followed, after puberty, by artificial hormones that mimic hormones of the opposite sex. In ten years, referrals to the clinic had multiplied by 36 times, and 98.5 percent of these referrals were minors.
Then their patients started coming of age. A former patient, Kiera Bell, sued and won. She had been prescribed the drug protocol as a minor and a double mastectomy at 20. In 2020 the High Court ruled that the clinic was wrong to give permanently body-altering treatments to minors unable to comprehend what they are agreeing to. While that court battle rages on, the Tavistock clinic now faces one of the largest “medical negligence cases of all time,” and is shuttering next year.
Opponents of Senator Scott’s bill claim that these permanent and elective pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures are legitimate health care and should be left to the medical and psychological “experts.” But the experts do not agree. After Tavistock started doing these things to minors, numerous psychologists resigned in protest. During one three-year span alone (2016-18), 35 resigned from the clinic.
Meanwhile, more than 50 years after sex-change operations began, and more than a decade after minors began to receive them, the current AMA “standard of care” still has nothing to do with longitudinal research and positive outcomes, and everything to do with the wishes of the patient. Thus, as children come of age and realize that they have been permanently sterilized and/or will be unable to breastfeed their own children, they are denied even the recourse of a medical malpractice suit.
Wyoming has always protected minors from adults who would convince them to engage in harmful behavior. It shouldn’t matter whether those adults are drug pushers, human traffickers, doctors, or surgeons. Harm is harm. We should all stand up and say, “not in our state.”