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A radical bill being hotly debated in the Golden State threatens to label parents as child abusers if they decline to “affirm” their son or daughter’s sexual confusion.
AB 957, which has already passed California’s State Assembly, would require judges who are overseeing custody disputes with transgender children involved to favor the mother or father who supports the child’s so-called new gender identity. Parents who choose to affirm their son or daughter’s biological sex are considered out of bounds and out of luck.
At the root of this dangerous legislation is a foundational belief that the constructive and compassionate thing to do when it comes to gender confusion is to go along with whatever the child is feeling at the moment. This premise is not only destructive but also shortsighted and foolish, and on several levels.
Cases of gender dysphoria or gender identity disorders have skyrocketed in recent years. Why is this happening? Sociologists report that much like teen suicide, gender-confused children run in clusters. In essence, if one child begins to question or act out, others soon follow. In some cases it’s become trendy and exotic to experiment with drugs and surgeries.
In reality, it’s terribly sad, and also a direct affront to God’s beautiful design for humanity. My heart breaks for children struggling and for those parents struggling alongside them. The organization I lead, Focus on the Family, exists to help moms and dads guide and provide the critical help needed when children are in this type of crisis.
Culture, though, is leading and encouraging children down a dangerous pathway by affirming their sexual confusion. In fact, some medical practitioners and activists have even coined the deceptive term “gender-affirming care” to describe the dark deed of irreversibly mutilating and altering children’s bodies.
What makes this even more tragic is that sociologists tell us that a significant majority (upwards of 80 percent) of children who experience this confusion will eventually psychologically revert back to their biological gender. In other words, they grow out of it.
Mark Yarhouse, professor psychology at Wheaton College, suggests, “Most children who meet criteria for gender dysphoria do not continue to meet criteria as they grow up and enter adolescence.”
Yet, for some who take drugs and have surgery, the act of fully “de-transitioning” is impossible.
Despite the explosion of this confusion and abuse here in the United States, traditionally more progressive countries in Europe appear to be waking up to reality.
The Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board recently recommended that so-called sex-change operations and puberty blockers be used in research settings but not on children. They’re finally acknowledging that there’s no science to justify these abusive acts.
“The knowledge base, especially research-based knowledge for gender-affirming treatment (hormonal and surgical), is deficient and the long-term effects are little known,” the UKOM, an independent government watchdog over Norway’s healthcare system, stated. “This is particularly true for the teenage population where the stability of their gender incongruence is also not known.”
Norway’s not alone. Officials in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, and France have made similar decisions. The controversial Tavistock Gender Clinic in the U.K. was shut down last year and just this past Friday, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service announced they were banning puberty blockers for children.
Whether in business or family life, leadership is knowing reality and suggesting solutions to problems. Affirming confusion and out right falsehoods does children no favors and, in fact, enslaves them to a lifetime of regret. We owe our children both truth and compassion, as well as situational clarity. California legislators are serving up only lies and confusion.