It’s one thing when adults experiencing gender dysphoria decide to “transition” to live as the other gender through hormone treatments, operations and makeovers. But what happens when kids say they’re transgender and think they’re ready for hormones that will disrupt their normal growth?
Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians, spent 17 years as a general pediatrician with a focus on child behavioral health. She talked about gender dysphoria on today’s show to explain what being dosed with hormones does to kids who aren’t old enough to know their own minds yet.
Schools are starting to teach students from a young age that they can easily switch from one gender to the other.
“It is outrageous; it is terrifying for these young children; it’s a lie,” Cretella said.
Here are more facets of the debate covered in this clip:
- Why denying the existence of gender is truly anti-science
- What hormone treatments do to kids’ bodies
- Why allowing kids to go through normal, healthy puberty is the best option
- How we can actually help children experiencing gender dysphoria
Listen to the full interview to hear all the details.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.
Sara D. Davis/Getty Images
This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
GLENN: The Heritage Foundation had a talk that they had a pediatrician there. In fact, the president of the American College of Pediatricians, who has received a lot of heat because she said this about transgenderism.
VOICE: As to the studies, there are two that I’m aware of which claim that affirming your child’s gender confusion is good for them, number one, it assumes that coaching a child into a fixed false belief is mentally healthy. Science doesn’t allow to you assume your conclusion.
Number two, those studies are extremely small. Number three, those studies are very short-term. And number four, the control group of mentally healthy children are the siblings. Most of them are siblings of the trans-identifying child. And there’s a number five: The parents were the ones evaluating the mental health of the children.
This is not science. I don’t think you need to have an M.D. or a Ph.D. to know, that’s not science. That’s ideology masquerading as science. Chemical castration, which is what you are doing when you put any biologically normal child on puberty blockers.
GLENN: She went on and had a lot to say. And she joins us now, Dr. Michelle Cretella.
Doctor, how are you?
MICHELLE: Fine. Thank you. I’m happy to be here.
GLENN: So you had to have quite a weekend.
MICHELLE: I — I’d rather — I’ve been at this fighting for the truth on behalf of all children, not only the gender confused children, who are being put on toxic medications, but also for all of our children in the — in public and private schools, who are now being taught that from preschool forward, they are being taught that you could be trapped in the wrong body.
This is outrageous. It is outrageous. It is terrifying for these young children. It’s a lie.
GLENN: So — so tell me — tell me what your thought is on those people who feel that they are trapped in — in the wrong body.
MICHELLE: Well, there’s a degree of injustice to them. Let’s even back up.
Look, when we’re talking about mental health, we should all agree that, A, there is an objective physical reality that we live in. Okay. That’s what science is all about. Science about the physical reality we live in.
And to be mentally healthy, at a bare minimum, your thinking and perceptions should be in line with that physical reality.
And here — transgenderism alone, that psychology and medicine say, you can have a — a fixed false belief. You can believe something that’s contrary to genetics, physiology. You can believe something that’s contrary to hard science. And still be mentally well.
That’s insanity. If I go to my doctor and say, “Hi, I’m Margaret Thatcher,” and you hold a gun to my head, and I still insist that I am Margaret Thatcher, well, I’m crazy. I’m delusional. And my doctor will recognize that and put me on antipsychotics. But if I go in and say, “I’m a man and I insist it, persistently, insistently, versus consistently.
Okay. Yeah. Congratulations. You’re transgender. This is who you are.
This is — it’s cooperating. And my colleague and friend Dr. Paul McHugh said it best. He said, it’s cooperating with mental illness. And in the case of children, I refer to it as coaching them into a mental illness. As far as I’m concerned, when children say, I’m not my biological sex, or a little boy says, I want to cut off my penis, a young woman says, I’m binding my breasts. I want a mastectomy. That’s a cry for help, not a cry for hormones.
They’re confused. This is a symptom. They’re — they are emotionally troubled. And it’s a cry for help. Not a cry for hormones.
GLENN: Michelle, I — I — you know, I am of the mindset that, you know, jeez, what you want to do with your body, I don’t — I don’t — I mean, people, you know, do horrible things to their body. And I — I think that it’s a cry for help, you know, just when I see people who have put, you know, rings through their face over and over and over again. And it’s their choice.
There’s — there’s a difference, however, when it comes to children. And what we are — what we are now advocating — what our doctors are now advocating is sterilization and to — to actually take really detrimental hormones and — and change you forever. And you made a great point over the weekend. The American Society of Pediatrics said, you know, we shouldn’t — doctors should discourage kids from having a tattoo because it’s permanent and it’s scarring.
And yet they’ll give a child without parental permission a double mastectomy.
MICHELLE: Right. So you raise several excellent points. Number one, yes, adults — adults have a maturity, both experiential maturity and cognitive maturity that children and teenagers do not have. This isn’t just known through common sense and — I mean, any — any mother, school teacher, father, grandparent, knows this. Shakespeare knew it. Okay?
Children are not little adults. And teenagers and adolescents do crazy things. Neuroscience has now proven it. We know this through functional brain imaging, that the risk center and the control — the frontal lobes are the portions of the brain that control judgment rebuke risk assessment, and self-control. Those don’t mature until the early 20s.
So as you said, if we’re talking about an adult who is convinced that they are thoroughly unhappy. They believe they’re the opposite sex. I still consider that a tragedy.
But if they go forth and they’re going to pay out of their own pocket for these surgeries and these hormones because they and the physicians they’ve consulted think this is all that’s left for them, as a society, okay. Okay. I can see that.
But what the College of Pediatricians and I are arguing is specifically what you said. These are children. These are children who need protection and guidance and authentic mental health.
And what’s even more important, we know already that the vast majority of young children, up to 95 percent, who are supported through natural puberty, up to 95 percent, certainly well over 75 percent, will accept their biological sex by young adulthood.
So, you know, as you said, to put them on puberty blockers, plus the cross-sex hormones together, if you’ve never allowed them to mature enough through puberty, you are permanently sterilizing them. A child at age 11, even a child, a teenager cannot possibly comprehend what it means to be permanently sterile.
The same thing with getting a double mastectomy. The same thing — when you go on these hormones, your risk — it elevates risk for heart disease. Hypertension or high blood pressure. Strokes. Cancers.
This is crazy. It is absolutely crazy to put children at risk on these high-risk medications, when the vast majority would simply outgrow it with support through natural puberty.
GLENN: I want to come back. We have to take a break. But I want to come back and talk to you.
Because there’s a real crisis of suicide — and I believe it’s a loss of meaning in our culture. And what is being pushed in the schools, I think is extraordinarily dangerous. And I want to further that conversation with you, when we continue.
STU: Back with more with Dr. Michelle Cretella here in just a moment. She’s president of the American College of Pediatricians. You can follow them on Twitter. @ACPeds.
STU: Dr. Michelle Cretella, President of the American College of Pediatricians. Joins us.
GLENN: She was speaking at the Heritage Foundation. She gave quite a stirring talk and caused a lot of controversy online. I can’t imagine the — the hell that your life is, quite honestly. Can you — can you tell us, first, Michelle, the difference between sex and gender. What’s the difference between sex and gender?
MICHELLE: Sure. Sex, quite simply, is biologically determined at fertilization by genetics. Any — any unborn child who has a functioning Y chromosome is going to develop into a male. And if that unborn child is missing a functional Y chromosome, the child develops into a female. There’s nothing — now, there’s nothing in between.
The body declares our sex.
MICHELLE: It’s there in our body.
MICHELLE: Now, gender has essentially become a political — just a political term.
GLENN: Right. When I was growing up, there was — gender and sex were the same.
MICHELLE: Were the same, yes, exactly.
GLENN: So I just wanted to make sure that I hadn’t missed anything along the way, that somebody was taking terms and changing them. Okay.
MICHELLE: Well, this is what happened. Prior to the 1950s, gender was not anywhere to be found in the medical literature. But in the 1950s, that’s when sexologists, like John Money and Harry Benjamin were wanting to justify sex reassignment surgery, so-called.
And they needed — they knew they couldn’t — that you can’t change sex. Surgery and chemicals cannot change sex. They knew this.
So they had to invent a term to justify their profiting from this surgery. And so they grabbed on to gender and said, “Oh, gender for us means the social expression of an internal sex identity.” And that is what is being put forth now, without any — it’s — it’s made up. There’s no such thing as an innate sex identity.
GLENN: Okay. So — so — here’s the real problem. At seven years old, you know, in my faith, you choose to be a member of our faith at what we call the age of accountability at eight years old. However, there’s a lot of people that make a choice early on that, I’m a Baptist. I’m a Catholic. I’m an atheist. I’m whatever.
GLENN: And they change.
GLENN: No decision that is permanent should be made by a 7-year-old, under any circumstance, or, quite honestly, there would be a lot of us that would be walking around that wanted at seven to be a kitty cat or Batman.
MICHELLE: Right. Right. Exactly.
And that’s what I tried to make — you know, in this debate, we’re debating physical reality, the physical reality of sex, versus identity. And identity refers to thinking and perceiving which is in the mind, and that is changeable, okay?
As far as gender identity, meaning recognizing your own sex, the — the gender experts, so-called, are correct, that most children correctly identify themselves as boys or girls by age three. But what the experts are not saying, is that many children, ages seven and below, do not understand that sex is constant and permanent and stable.
In other words, some seven-year-olds actually believe — if they watch a man put on a dress and makeup, will actually think, oh, he just became a woman.
So cognitively speaking, it is a process of development. And because of — that’s why it’s so damaging, to have three-year-olds being read to by drag queens, particularly when the drag queens are reading these ridiculous gender-bending picture books to them. It is confusing and will derail the normal psychological and cognitive development of those preschool children.
STU: Lifelong decisions should not be made while viewing Peppa Pig is what you’re saying?
MICHELLE: Lifelong decisions should not be made by children.
MICHELLE: Even teenagers. I mean, adolescence is full of changeability.
GLENN: Okay. Hold on for just a second. I want to continue our conversation in just a second. With Dr. Michelle Cretella. She’s the president of the American College of Pedestrians. We’re going to talk a little bit about what your kids are being taught in school, and how to talk to them about it, coming up.