‘Barbaric Pseudoscience’: Detransitioners, Clinicians Implore Congress to Halt Transing of Minors
The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Thursday addressing the dangers and due process violations of “gender-affirming care” for children.
Dr. Blaire Peters, a “gender-affirming” surgeon, admitted that doctors in this field are just learning as they go. “We’ve maybe done a handful of pubertally suppressed adolescents as a field, and no one has published on it yet.” He went on to describe the challenges of creating a vaginal canal for a child without enough tissue to do so yet, and how they often pull lining from the child’s abdomen to track their genital canal. Chairman Mike Johnson (R-La.), facilitator of this hearing, responded to Dr. Peters statements by calling his practice “barbarism,” the mutilation of children.
A two-and-a-half-hour debate broke out between representatives from both the Republican and Democratic sides, along with testimonies from six witnesses — all offering different perspectives on what “gender-affirming care” means to them.
Paula Scanlan, an ex-University of Penn swimmer, former teammate of the controversial male Lia Thomas, opened up about her past of being sexually assaulted. She explained how after that trauma, she felt violated when forced to change in front of a biological male into tight swimwear 18 times a week during her time on the women’s swim team at U Penn.
Chloe Cole, a biological woman who had gone through with puberty blockers to transition to male and regretted her decision, got choked-up on the stand. “I am a detransitioner,” she explained. “Another way to put that,” Cole went on, “would be that I used to think I was born in the wrong body, and the adults in my life, whom I trusted, affirmed my belief. And this caused me lifelong, irreversible harm. I speak to you today as the victim of one of the biggest medical scandals in the history of the United States of America. I speak to you in the hope that you will have the courage to bring the scandal to an end and ensure that other vulnerable teenagers, children, and young adults don’t go through what I went through.”
Cole explained the emotions behind the irreversible damage done to her body, the unknowns about her future fertility, and how it has affected her mental health substantially. “My childhood was ruined,” she lamented.
“This needs to stop,” she said with tears in her eyes. “You alone can stop it. Enough children have already been victimized by this barbaric pseudoscience. Please let me be your final warning.”
Miriam Reynolds, a mother of a transgender boy, described her firsthand, painful experience as a parent in this process of gender transitioning, and May Mailman, a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Law Center, briefed the room about the legalities surrounding gender ideology and women’s athletics.
Dr. Jennifer Bauwens, director for the Center of Family Studies at Family Research Council, addressed the issue from a clinical standpoint, having studied this topic for years. She touched on the lack of evidence surrounding “gender-affirming care” due to its newness and sudden rise in popularity.
“I have considered it a privilege to practice, research, and train future clinicians to be a part of a discipline aimed at protecting and bringing healing to the most vulnerable in society — children. But when it comes to gender transition procedures, my field is not operating as a helping profession,” Bauwens insisted. “Instead, it is actively causing harm.”
“Sadly enough,” she continued, “some in my profession have set aside [a] basic understanding of child neurological, emotional, and cognitive development. Instead, they have embraced what has been referred to as ‘gender-affirming care,’ which permanently alters the human psyche and physiology through puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgical procedures to remove healthy body parts,” she explained. “… Instead of [answering important questions], we’ve plowed ahead with practices that break ethical research and practice boundaries.”
Although Congresswoman Scanlon proclaimed at the beginning that this hearing was “a callous and reckless misuse of this committee’s time,” the hours of discussion proved that it was a conversation worth having.
Bauwens said it best herself, “Caution has been applied to children in light of the fact that they do not have the neurological capacity to make lifelong decisions. … These kids deserve better. We should be innovating solutions to heal their distress, not coercing them onto a path that tells them they need to remove or change parts of who they are in order to be whole.”