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science and consequences

science and consequences

To the editor:

This is an open letter to the Oxford Hills School Board and concerned citizens who attended the Open Forum High School Board meeting on Tuesday, 1 November regarding the Board’s proposed gender policy.

It was quite clear that the vast majority of attendees strongly opposed the gender policy proposed by the Board of Directors. I very much doubt that the board’s proposal would have a remote chance of passing if it were put to a vote in a referendum.

Instead of introducing subjectivity, as a physician, I came to this topic from a position of objectively defensible science. In the practice of medicine, we are called to strike a balance between subjectivity and objectivity, and objectivity, necessarily, and ultimately win. Since the dawn of human history, both medical science and simple common sense have recognized these basic truths: You are either male or female.

Sex at birth is as objective as it can be. Genetic males develop male diseases. Genetic females are affected by female diseases. Whatever an individual may think about their gender, it should never cause a doctor to compromise on medical evaluations. Medical science has long recognized that gender dysphoria (or gender dysphoria) is clearly a psychological disorder. Labeling it as a “normal” or “choice” project is either misinformation, the result of societal brainwashing or an outright lie.

There is no doubt that there are wide disparities in sexual orientation among the population; One may be attracted to males, females, or both, but the creature behind these preferences can only be male or female. Preference for sexual attraction is not the issue here. It is about society trying to redefine gender itself. I don’t stand in judgment of lesbian, gay or bisexual people, but the rest of the alphabet soup is just not worth it.

Adolescence is indeed a period of very difficult adjustments to the hormonal changes that occur within the body. The last thing children need at this turbulent time in their lives is mystery. The frontal lobe of the human brain is not fully developed until the age of 25-26 years. Why is this important? Because the frontal lobe is the seat of our emotions, personalities, rational thinking, and the ruler of our behavioral choices. This is not an issue that children are prepared for yet.

I have seen many young men in my medical practice with gender identity issues and each one with pre-existing underlying psychiatric diagnoses, usually severe anxiety disorder and/or untreated depression. They have the highest rates of suicide attempts of any youth demographic, ranging from 32-50% in various NIH studies. Practically all of them have a history of self-injurious behaviours.

Gender identity confusion is a mental illness that deserves our sympathy, but not normalization. Affected children deserve compassionate psychological care, but the common children in our society should not be taught that they have a “choice” in their gender. The council’s proposal may be well-intentioned, but it still promotes something unnatural as a condition for us to accept it as normal. This is a huge social experiment doomed to fail.

Counseling children about sexual issues is not the role of the school system. These are minors working in parental care, not school guards. The school board and teachers in this school system have neither the qualifications nor, more importantly, the right to advise or make parental decisions for our children on this matter. Yes, we all know a minority of students have abusive parents, however, we already have DHHS/Child Protection Services to address that tragedy.

Imposing this agenda on those who disagree is the antithesis of freedom. For the board of directors to push this agenda on the citizens is in violation of the views of the vast majority to accommodate a very small minority.

Finally, the public has a right to know which board members vote for this policy. In the upcoming elections, they will discover that their choices have consequences.

Alan C. Bean, MD

Harrison



#science #consequences

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