No, Ted Cruz Is Not an Anti-Science Bigot for Opposing Trans 'Treatments' For 7-Year-Old Boy

No, Ted Cruz Is Not an Anti-Science Bigot for Opposing Trans 'Treatments' For 7-Year-Old Boy
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, March 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Last week, more than 2,000 people signed a petition condemning Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for daring to oppose the effective chemical castration of James Younger, a 7-year-old Texas boy whose mother says he is a girl. Cruz said no 7-year-old has the maturity to choose experimental treatments with lifelong consequences. The petitioners told Cruz that his statement on the issue “betrays your office, your responsibilities and all sense of decency.” They also insisted the senator was denying clear scientific evidence in favor of pumping the boy’s body with experimental hormone treatments.

This petition and the movement behind it are propping up dangerous hormone experiments on children who cannot give informed consent. Endocrinologists have warned that the drugs in question will give otherwise healthy children a disease and stunt their development. These drugs also carry long-term side effects that are not fully understood.

So what did Cruz say to receive such a condemnation? He referred to the James Younger case as “horrifying & tragic. For a parent to subject such a young child to life-altering hormone blockers to medically transition their sex is nothing less than child abuse.”

“A 7-year-old child doesn’t have the maturity to make profound decisions like this. The state of Texas should protect this child’s right to choose—as an informed, mature person—and not be used as a pawn in a left-wing political agenda,” he tweeted.

This position does not make Cruz some sort of pariah. While 2,000 people may have signed the petition against him — sponsored by the LGBT activist group the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — more than 200,000 have signed a petition agreeing with Cruz’s position. Yet the HRC petition claims to be on the side of science and the health of children like James Younger. This is debatable if not outright false.

The petition claims to represent “parents of transgender and non-binary children” who are “all-too-familiar with the danger that can come if a child is unable to express their deeply-held gender identity. A significant body of peer-reviewed research confirms that transgender and non-binary children are at great risk of emotional harm, including suicide, if they are not able to do so.”

“Additionally, the nation’s leading medical organizations — the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, among others — have made clear that access to gender-affirming care is essential to well-being,” the petition adds. “It causes harm when we deny or reject our child’s gender identity. Our decision to seek competent gender affirming-care does not.”

Then the petition again condemns Cruz: “It is irresponsible and shameful for you, or any other elected official, to make false claims that further stigmatize our children and call into question our judgment and the judgment of trained medical professionals.”

The petition suggests that the gender identities of children do not change, but studies have shown that between 62 and 98 percent of children who express a gender identity opposite their biological sex will reject that transgender identity if they are allowed to develop naturally.

In the case of James Younger, his mother claimed to have discovered he was “really” a girl when he liked the movie Frozen and asked for a girl toy at McDonald’s. His father claimed that the mother dressed James up in dresses at the tender age of three. Many cases of gender dysphoria can be traced to childhood trauma. Walt Heyer, a man who identified as a woman for eight years and underwent sex reassignment surgery, explained that his gender dysphoria stemmed from childhood trauma from sexual abuse and being dressed as a girl by his grandmother when he was four years old.

Whether or not the 7-year-old boy’s supposed gender identity as a girl is genuine, the larger issue involves whether “gender-affirming care” is “essential to well-being.”

Transgender activists have infiltrated various bodies in the American medical establishment, giving the movement a wholly undeserved patina of scientific credibility.

Last week, the Pediatric Endocrine Society published a statement insisting that so-called “puberty blocking” drugs are not only “reversible” but also essential for the health of kids with gender euphoria. The statement condemned public discourse opposing such “treatments,” and insisted that such puberty blockers are a “reversible treatment that decreases the distress of having the wrong puberty.”

Michael Laidlaw, an endocrinologist based in Rocklin, Calif., told The Christian Post that these claims are entirely false. “What these medical societies have created is an institutionalized childhood pathway toward sterility,” he countered.

In an interview with PJ Media in August, Laidlaw explained that the political group the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) pressured its way into the guidelines for the Endocrine Society and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“I and other endocrinologists never had a vote. A very small, select group influenced the leaders of these organizations and put these things out with no scientific backing,” he said.

The Endocrine Society took transgender guidelines from WPATH. “If you look at these guidelines, they give quality of evidence markers. All the quality of evidence is low or very low,” Laidlaw explained. “They have no long-term studies to support what they’re doing and they talk very little about the harms.”

The so-called “puberty blockers” which Younger’s mother intends to give him, would actually give the 7-year-old boy a disease, this endocrinologist told PJ Media.

“I call it a development blocker — it’s actually causing a disease,” Laidlaw said. The disease in question is hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. It occurs when the brain fails to send the right signal to the gonads to make the hormones necessary for development.

“We’re talking about what in nature is a rare condition. In the United States, if someone has this condition it’s going to be recognized and treated so the long-term results are unknown,” the doctor explained. “It’s an area that needs to be explored further.”

While endocrinologists are familiar with the disease and gladly treat it when a patient has been diagnosed, many of them are effectively causing their patients to contract the same disease in an attempt to affirm gender identity, Laidlaw said. “An endocrinologist might treat a condition where a female’s testosterone levels are going to be outside the normal range. We’ll treat that and we’re aware of metabolic problems. At the same time, an endocrinologist may be giving high levels of testosterone to a female to ‘transition’ her.”

“In this case, it’s being induced by the medication,” he explained.

Dr. William Malone, an endocrinologist from Twin Falls, Idaho, told The Christian Post that counseling would be a far better way to help children who experience gender dysphoria.

“No child is born in the wrong body, but for a variety of reasons some children and adolescents become convinced that they were,” Malone said. “Until very recently, these children and adolescents were supported and cared for with counseling. With counseling, or even watchful waiting, an average of 85% of these children would have resolution of their distress by early adulthood. There are currently 10 studies in the medical literature demonstrating this.”

Putting children on “puberty blockers” or pumping their bodies with cross-sex hormones comes with “catastrophic” consequences, Malone warned.

“The most notable risk is that of infertility, especially if puberty is blocked in early stages. Women who take male dosages of testosterone are known to have significantly increased risk of heart disease,” he said. “Mastectomies and genital surgeries are for all practical purposes irreversible. The longer term, higher quality studies show shockingly high rates of successful suicide for those who have undergone masculinizing or feminizing hormonal and surgical interventions. The exact cause of this is unknown.”

Activists claim that high rates of transgender suicide are due to societal stigma, but the high suicide rates have persisted in very pro-trans societies.

Seven-year-old boys like James Younger are not old enough to decide for themselves whether to identify as the opposite sex and whether to take experimental drugs with long-term consequences like sterility.

Ted Cruz was not wrong to stand up against the experimental treatments pushed on James Younger, and he certainly was not betraying his office by doing so.

Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.