A recent CBS News article claims, in its very title in fact, to separate “medical facts from misinformation” around so-called “gender-affirming care.” However, rather than separate the facts from the falsehoods, the article peddles lies and half-truths, assuming the conclusions it claims to prove in a thinly veiled piece of progressive propaganda. And that’s about the nicest thing that can be said about it.
The first dead giveaway about the piece is how it smuggles transgender ideology into its chosen language and terminology. Rather than refer to boys and girls, or young males and females, the author refers to “kids with testes” and “those with ovaries.”
The piece then claims to set the record straight about what is involved in diagnosing gender dysphoria and administering “gender-affirming care.” Here, too, its claims could not be further from the truth. According to the author, “the process informing these treatments is a long and intensive one.” This directly conflicts with an increasing number of testimonies from whistleblowers and de-transitioners who sought out this kind of care, not to mention the information given by providers like Planned Parenthood.
According to a whistleblower and former case manager at Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, “[T]he majority” of young people who came to them “received hormone prescriptions.” Likewise, Helena Kirschner, a young woman who detransitioned, received testosterone as a teenager after her very first visit to Planned Parenthood.
It’s notable that Planned Parenthood doesn’t even cover up this information. On some office webpages, the abortion giant happily promotes that “[i]n most cases your clinician will be able to prescribe hormones the same day as your first visit. No letter from a mental health provider is required.” Getting high-powered, life-altering drugs on your first visit hardly involves a “long and intensive” diagnosis process.
The piece also falsely presents the effects of chemical “transition” interventions as reversible and harmless, peddling the lie that puberty blockers are like a “pause button” for puberty, which can be stopped and restarted with no long-term effect. Contrary to this claim, recent studies have found that the lasting adverse effects of the puberty-blocking drug Lupron, which is used to halt puberty primarily in young girls, include brittle bones and faulty joints. The piece also tries to soften the truth about cross-sex hormones by saying that some of their effects are reversible. However, changes caused in secondary sexual characteristics, such as deepened voices, facial hair, breast growth, and infertility are not reversible in the least.
At the heart of most transgender propaganda is the claim that transitioning children has mental health benefits and can save them from suicide. Unsurprisingly, this piece repeats that claim while ignoring the facts that do not line up. The piece cites a popular but deeply flawed study among trans-advocates that those who received cross-sex hormones as minors had better mental health outcomes than those who received them as adults.
However, the study’s flawed design makes it impossible to sufficiently isolate cross-sex hormones, or lack thereof, as the determining factor of mental health outcomes. In fact, better research shows the opposite conclusion. For example, in states where youth were able to access chemical “transition” interventions without parental consent, youth suicide rates were higher than those who required parental consent. Additionally, the longest-term study on the effects of transitioning has found that those who transition are over 19 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population.
Far from causing harm, denying irreversible and sterilizing chemical and surgical interventions actually helps children who are distressed by their bodies. Granted time and space, many learn to accept their bodies and God-given identities. However, propaganda pieces like this one published by CBS confuse those called to care for children and only contributes to their harm. If journalists and media outlets really want to dispel misinformation and help vulnerable children, they should stop blindly repeating the lies of gender ideologues.
This Breakpoint was co-authored by Jared Eckert. For more resources to live like a Christian in this cultural moment, go to breakpoint.org.
Publication date: July 14, 2023
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Vladimir Vladimirov
The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Christian Headlines.
BreakPoint is a program of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. BreakPoint commentaries offer incisive content people can't find anywhere else; content that cuts through the fog of relativism and the news cycle with truth and compassion. Founded by Chuck Colson (1931 – 2012) in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends. Today, you can get it in written and a variety of audio formats: on the web, the radio, or your favorite podcast app on the go.
John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and radio host of BreakPoint, a daily national radio program providing thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.