Gender Identification – The New Parental Challenge

 

I’ve never been confused about what sex I am. Who knew this was such a blessing?For those of us in our seventh decade or older, this was not among the challenges of our life – nor our parents’ lives. But sadly, it can be today.

Abigail Shrier, writing in The Wall Street Journal, gives us an eye-opening look into the world of gender identification that is becoming just one more challenge of teenagers and parents in our declining culture. There is even a new name for this problem – rapid onset gender dysphoria or ROGD.

She tells the sad tale of a mother and her teenage daughter who recently left home for college at Brown University. The girl was described as a “girly girl”, intellectually precocious, but one who struggled with anxiety and depression. She liked boys and had boyfriends in high school, also faced social challenges and often found herself on the outs with cliques.

But when she got to college she was asked by the school to give her name, sexual orientation, and “preferred pronoun.” When her occasional bouts of anxiety flared up during her first semester, she and her friends decided they had “gender dysphoria.” Soon after she was taking testosterone, courtesy of the school infirmary. She quickly became “addicted” to her new identity and began shaving her head, wearing boys’ clothes and a new name.

The term ROGD was coined by Brown University public-health researcher Lisa Littman. This syndrome differs from traditional gender dysphoria, a psychological affliction usually seen in early childhood characterized by a severe and persistent feeling that one was born the “wrong sex.” ROGD, by distinction, comes on suddenly in late adolescence, afflicting teens who never before experienced any sex confusion.

Not surprisingly, ROGD, like bulimia and anorexia, overwhelmingly afflicts girls. But strangely, it gets full support from the medical community by way of affirmation, easily obtainable medical treatment including testosterone and even surgery. Planned Parenthood furnishes testosterone to young women on an “informed consent” basis, without the need for psychological evaluation. Shrier found 86 colleges with student health plans that covered sex hormonal therapy and even surgery.

She personally interviewed 18 mothers of daughters diagnosed with ROGD and found all to be articulate, intellectual, educated, and feminist. Most were from politically progressive families and many said they enthusiastically supported same-sex marriage long before it was legal anywhere. Some even described themselves as welcoming the news when their daughters came out as lesbians. Yet most recoiled in alarm when the same daughters suddenly decided they were actually men and started clamoring for hormones or surgery.

What is actually going on here?

Several questions come to mind in this situation.

  • Is this a medical or a psychological condition?
  • Is this a culturally induced condition?
  • What role, if any, do the parents play in the development of this condition?
  • What role, if any, do the schools play in the development of this condition?
  • Why does it seem to be most commonly found in progressive families with feminist mothers?

 

The teenage daughters described in this condition sound much like every other teenage girl in America. They have bouts of anxiety and depression, face social challenges that undermine their self-confidence, and struggle for acceptance. Why do these girls resort to “gender dysphoria” when nearly everyone else doesn’t?

The real question is why is our society producing girls like this when it never did before? What can parents and our society do to treat these girls and prevent more of them in the future? One thing is for certain, this kind of gender identification problem is incompatible with a healthy future for these girls and our culture.

Technology to Keep Your Heroin Safe?

 

We’re all concerned about the opioid crisis. Americans are dying in increasing numbers from drug addiction. Solutions to this crisis are in great demand.

One such solution growing in acceptance is giving drug addicts the tools to determine if their illegal drugs are safe. Fentanyl, a potent opioid often mixed with heroin and other drugs like Xanax, is a deadly killer. Inexpensive to manufacture, it is combined with other illicit drugs to increase potency and addictive potential. But it is often fatal due to its strong inhibition of respiration.

To combat this problem, a new test strip, originally designed by the medical profession to test urine, is being used to test heroin for the presence of fentanyl.

Arian Campo-Flores, writing in The Wall Street Journal, says overdose-prevention organizations in the U.S. first started buying and handing out fentanyl test strips about two years ago. Now, states like California and Rhode Island and cities such as Baltimore, Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio are distributing them, or plan to soon.

How will these test strips solve the opioid crisis?

This is an effective way to have people thinking about risks,” said Louise Vincent, executive director of the Greensboro, N.C. chapter of the advocacy group Urban Survivors Union, which has been distributing strips since 2017. “It’s so important to give people as many tools as we can.”

Those who advocate the use of these test strips say the strips provide an additional means of saving lives. Other means include distributing the overdose-reversal drug naloxone and clean needles.

There has been opposition to this new approach. Elinore McCance-Katz, head of the federal government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, said the approach relied on the flawed premise that drug users would make rational choices. She also said the strips aren’t guaranteed 100% accurate. “We can’t afford to create a false sense of security” for users, Dr. McCance-Katz wrote on the agency’s blog in October. “Let’s not rationalize putting tools in place to help them continue their lifestyle more ‘safely.’”

Do the test strips actually alter drug addict behavior?

Several studies published in 2018 suggest test strips couldalter drug users’ behavior. In one study, among users who tested such drugs as cocaine, heroin and prescription painkillers with the strips, half got at least one positive result, according to researchers at Brown University. Among that half, 45% responded by using smaller amounts of the drug, 42% ingested it more slowly, and 36% did a test hit before taking a full dose.

While test strips may help addicts identify the presence of fentanyl in their heroin or cocaine, this is certainly not evidence that the test strips reduce drug addiction – or even that they save lives. Using less of a drug that can kill you seems a bit like playing Russian roulette with a smaller gun. Sooner or later you’re going to lose.

It seems analogous to teaching your daughter to abstain from sex and then giving her a condom to put in her purse, “just in case.” The mixed message is sure to lead to the undesirable behavior, albeit with perhaps less risk.