Intimate Clarity

Clarity On Gender Confusion In Children

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: IC

Program Code: IC180122A

00:01 The following program discuses sensitive issues
00:03 related to sexuality.
00:05 Parents are cautioned
00:06 this presentation may be too candid
00:08 for younger audiences.
00:29 Welcome to Intimate Clarity.
00:30 I'm Jason Bradley, and I'm here with Jennifer Jill Schwirzer.
00:33 She is a licensed professional counselor.
00:36 And today we're going to be discussing a sensitive topic,
00:39 but it's a conversation we need to have.
00:42 And, Jen, I want to know, should children who identify
00:47 with the opposite sex be supported in transitioning?
00:52 That's a million dollar question, isn't it?
00:53 It is.
00:55 And I'm sure you have a wonderful answer.
00:57 Well, I've looked into it a lot
00:58 because it's a fairly new thing for us here
01:02 in the United States of America
01:03 to be assisting children in transitioning.
01:06 We started in about 2007 at Boston Children's Hospital
01:11 administering puberty blocking hormones,
01:14 to give the children
01:15 who identify with the opposite sex
01:17 a space of time where they can decide
01:19 if they want to transition or not,
01:21 and that's the reason that's given.
01:23 And that was something that was done in Europe
01:25 for some time before that.
01:26 But it only came to the US in 2007.
01:28 So it's really only been the last 10 years
01:30 that we've been dealing with this.
01:32 And there's a lot of debate about it.
01:35 Some people on one hand feel it's necessary these children
01:37 have been struggling for so long,
01:39 we need to assist them,
01:41 and it's a species of cruelty not to assist them
01:43 in that transition
01:45 if they really are identifying with the opposite sex.
01:46 And some people feel that to assist them
01:48 in transitioning is a species of child abuse.
01:52 So obviously the stakes
01:53 are very high in this discussion,
01:54 I'm going to try to be
01:56 as fair as I can with the facts.
01:57 So it's true that children do sometimes identify
02:02 with the opposite sex.
02:03 We call it gender dysphoria.
02:05 And let me actually give you
02:07 the clinical definition of that.
02:09 It is a conflict between a person's physical
02:13 or assigned gender and the gender
02:16 with which he, she or they identify,
02:20 this is from I believe the DSM,
02:22 the American Psychiatric Association.
02:23 He, she or they? I know.
02:25 That's their definition.
02:27 I wouldn't call anybody they, if someone who is possessed.
02:33 I think that's wacky.
02:34 But anyway, that's how they define it.
02:37 So basically it's a child, let's take the simplest case,
02:41 little boy thinks he's a little girl
02:44 and the million dollar question that we're putting
02:46 on the table today in this program is,
02:49 should we help them transition from male to female?
02:53 So 80-95% of those children
02:58 who identify as the opposite sex
03:01 will grow out of it.
03:04 Eighty to ninety five percent? Eighty to ninety five percent.
03:07 And the medical community knows this.
03:09 I went through a phase of my life 10 years old.
03:11 I started dressing like a boy, and I called myself Jeff,
03:15 and I wanted everybody else to call me Jeff.
03:18 And I tremble to think,
03:19 I wasn't necessarily identifying myself as a boy.
03:21 but I was moving down that track a little bit
03:25 and I tremble to think
03:26 if I lived today what would happen
03:29 in regards to that
03:30 and what my parents would do in regards to that
03:32 because of what we're going through right now.
03:34 So these types of things can develop quite easily
03:38 in a number of different cases.
03:40 And I don't have time to really flesh this out,
03:42 but let's just think of a couple.
03:43 If a little girl experiences physical abuse,
03:46 she has a number of brothers and maybe cousins
03:48 that are male
03:50 and she ends up getting physically abused,
03:52 you can see where she would start to think,
03:53 "Well, if I was a boy,
03:55 I would be able to fight them off."
03:56 I would be tough enough, and strong enough,
03:58 and I'd never have to deal with this again.
03:59 Or if for instance a little boy
04:02 is a little on the a feminine side
04:04 and he happens to be from a family
04:05 where machismo is very valued
04:07 and he's told you're acting like a girl
04:09 because you like flowers, and you like colors,
04:12 and, you know, you play like a girl,
04:14 and you act like a girl.
04:15 He might start to think,
04:17 I'm a girl locked up in a boy's body.
04:18 Maybe I should be a girl.
04:20 So there are a number...
04:21 My point is this is, not one formula that fits all.
04:24 But there are a number of developmental problems
04:28 that can burgeon into something like this
04:31 where a kid is basically normal,
04:32 but they go through a patch where they just think,
04:34 you know, I'm the opposite sex.
04:35 It happens all the time.
04:37 Eighty to ninety five percent of them grow out of it.
04:40 That's a huge number. That's a big, vast majority.
04:42 Eighty to ninety five percent. Absolutely.
04:45 That's right.
04:46 And so prematurely rushing them into a transitioning process
04:50 that regards that involves high risk medical interventions
04:55 is to me unthinkable, medically irresponsible
05:00 and potentially even child abuse.
05:02 I have to be honest.
05:03 Yeah, I agree with you
05:04 because I mean first of all as a kid,
05:07 you know, as you grow up your tastes change,
05:10 your way of thinking changes like,
05:12 you know, that's why you don't get married
05:14 at 14, 15 or even 18,
05:17 you know, it's kind of dangerous
05:19 because your taste
05:20 might change at 25, 30, you know.
05:24 And so far we haven't in our society approved
05:27 of or affirmed man-boy love, man-boy love being,
05:31 you know, an older adult male with child partner
05:36 or man-child love I should say.
05:38 We haven't approved of that.
05:39 Everybody recognizes that pretty much is wrong
05:41 because that child is,
05:43 you know, a minor and they don't even have
05:45 the brain capacity to be able to make a judgment about that.
05:48 But what we're doing here is we're giving children
05:51 the right to choose their sex.
05:54 I don't think it's too far in the future to give them
05:56 the right to choose their sex partner.
05:58 Yeah.
05:59 I'm just trying to think logically.
06:01 And that's a scary thing, but it is a slippery slope.
06:03 That's where it's headed it seems like.
06:05 Very frightening.
06:06 So let me tell you what the approach generally
06:10 is when a child is according to the current thinking,
06:16 the current narrative of boy trapped in a girl's body
06:19 or a girl trapped in a boy's body
06:21 what is typically done
06:22 is they're given puberty blocking hormones
06:24 as a first step that buys them
06:26 a little bit of time and they can think about
06:29 whether they want to transition or not.
06:31 Often this is a decision
06:32 that's made primarily by the child,
06:34 but with the support of the family.
06:36 The side effects
06:37 of these puberty blocking hormones
06:40 are unknown.
06:41 We don't really know,
06:42 but there are some concerns about bone density
06:44 because bone density has much to do with hormonal,
06:48 you know, especially during puberty.
06:51 I went through anorexia as a young person,
06:54 and I basically went back into puberty,
06:56 when backed up through adolescence
06:58 into prepubescent
07:00 in terms of my hormonal levels because of the eating disorder,
07:03 and I ended up with osteoporosis.
07:05 I can only imagine what happens
07:07 when you actually give a medication
07:08 that suppresses those hormones.
07:11 Hormones are involved in neurological development.
07:14 So what are we doing to the brains of these children
07:16 when we give them
07:17 these puberty blocking hormones?
07:19 It's just frightening to me.
07:20 You know, in censoriously,
07:21 you said they don't know the side effects
07:23 of those puberty blocking hormones.
07:26 The side effects that we do know for medicine,
07:29 you know, you see those commercials
07:30 where it's talking about specific field...
07:32 I know, it list up the side effects.
07:35 It's for this particular cause,
07:38 but some of the side effects are ache, pain,
07:42 and they say in a real high pitch voice.
07:46 And in rare cases...
07:48 You know, I mean like you should be happy about that,
07:49 like what is that?
07:51 Exactly.
07:52 So we're taking big risks on sometimes
07:54 when you give medications and especially
07:55 when they haven't been road tested
07:57 or even studied for a long period of time.
07:59 So that's the first step though,
08:00 it gets worse.
08:02 The second step in transitioning
08:03 a child is giving them the opposite sex hormones,
08:05 that begins at about 16 years old.
08:08 So if I'm a little boy,
08:09 I think I'm a little girl
08:11 giving the puberty blocking hormones until about 16,
08:13 then they're going to start giving me
08:15 opposite sex hormones.
08:16 So estrogen in the case of a boy.
08:18 And then sometimes surgical transition
08:21 as early as 18 years old.
08:23 In my view this gives children far too much determining power
08:27 to make a life altering decisions
08:29 that could bring about permanent destruction
08:32 of healthy organs, permanent sterility,
08:36 and other health complications like that's giving that kid far
08:38 too much power to make it of that.
08:40 So the million dollar question
08:42 then is what do you do with the transgender child.
08:44 It's a real thing. I'm not denying the problem.
08:47 I am denying the solution
08:49 or I am questioning the solution.
08:52 I want to give an example of that of how to treat this.
08:55 I would say
08:57 that extensive counseling to find out
08:58 if there are any developmental issues presenting.
09:01 And I would also say that we need to take
09:04 a careful look at other developmental problems
09:06 that that child might be experiencing.
09:08 There's a high higher level of autism spectrum disorders
09:12 in the transgender communities
09:13 so often that child will be also autistic.
09:18 And one of the features of autism
09:20 is you tend to think in black and white.
09:22 So if I'm a little girl that enjoys boy things,
09:24 I'm kind of a tomboy, I might be thinking in black,
09:27 well, I must be a boy because I like boy things.
09:30 So it's either or whereas, you know, in nuanced thinking
09:33 I'd be able to entertain the possibility that,
09:35 you know, I am kind of a masculine girl,
09:38 but I'm still a girl.
09:39 Yeah. You know, I could do that.
09:41 So there was a man named Kenneth J. Zucker
09:43 who ran a gender identity clinic in Toronto, Canada,
09:47 in connection with the hospital there.
09:48 He took a very moderate approach.
09:51 He would transition children sometimes.
09:53 He would assist them in transitioning.
09:54 But he was cautious about it. He exercised caution.
09:57 So he's not even the most conservative.
09:59 He's not coming
10:00 from a biblical perspective at all.
10:02 But he's just more moderate
10:03 and trying to be I think responsible medically.
10:06 And what he would do is try to see
10:08 if he could get that child to associate
10:10 with their biological sex.
10:13 The activists closed his clinic in 2015.
10:17 He was helping scores of people.
10:19 He had a waiting list, they closed him down.
10:22 That's the environment we're dealing with.
10:24 You know, the people brought their children to Jesus
10:28 and they wanted Jesus to bless their children.
10:31 And, you know, the disciples said,
10:33 you know, he doesn't tie for this, like,
10:35 you know, like bug off kind of thing.
10:38 And Jesus said,
10:40 "Let the little children come to Me.
10:43 Forbid them not,
10:45 for of such is the kingdom of God."
10:48 I tremble to think of what we're doing
10:49 to our children in this day and age.
10:52 First and foremost, parents bring them to Jesus.
10:54 Amen. Amen.
10:55 Because they need say a Savior
10:57 and He will give them a primary identity.
11:00 I think what we're dealing with often in
11:04 when we're talking about transgender identity
11:06 is an identity crisis at its core,
11:09 people really over identifying.
11:11 It's true that I'm a woman.
11:13 But I'm first and foremost a child of God.
11:16 And because I'm a follower of Jesus,
11:17 I'm first and foremost a new creature in Christ,
11:20 the purchase of His blood a candid of grace.
11:24 And I'm all of those things first and foremost
11:26 and my woman identity is a secondary identity.
11:31 I think because people
11:32 don't have a primary identity in God.
11:36 And in particularly
11:37 in His creatorship in their lives
11:39 in the way that He made them,
11:41 they're struggling to find an identity.
11:43 And so some of these things
11:45 are born out of that identity crisis.
11:47 Yes, yes.
11:48 And, you know, it's seems like
11:50 when they're struggling with that,
11:51 it's almost as if they're denying
11:53 their very existence
11:56 because God created you the way that you are.
12:02 If you were born boy, He created you to be a boy.
12:07 And sometimes if you work with children
12:09 what you do is kind of a nuanced approach.
12:11 And this is what Kenneth Zucker did is he would first help them
12:15 not feel badly about the fact
12:18 that they felt like the other gender,
12:21 that's called secondary disturbance
12:22 when you're disturbed and then you're disturbed
12:24 about being disturbed.
12:26 So as a counselor I often help people,
12:28 "You know, it's okay, that you feel this way."
12:30 So kids that feel bad about the fact
12:32 that they want to be the other gender.
12:34 He would resolve that first,
12:35 and sort of help acclimate them,
12:37 and then he would work with them
12:38 to try to get them to identify
12:40 and engage in some of the behaviors
12:42 of their biological gender.
12:44 And that's why they came down on him.
12:46 They couldn't deal with that. And they closed the doors.
12:48 He had a very careful approach.
12:50 And I'm not saying he did everything perfectly.
12:53 I don't know the details of his practice,
12:54 but I can just see the attitude in society today
12:57 is presenting transitioning as if it's a snap answer
13:01 to really a very complicated issue.
13:03 And we need to, I think have a lot more sobriety
13:06 and a lot more care and, you know, for people
13:09 that are following the Lord a biblical foundation.
13:13 Absolutely.
13:14 And that's, you know, biblical principles are solid,
13:16 you know...
13:18 And they're even solid for people that are choosing.
13:19 Absolutely.
13:20 And we see how our culture shifts,
13:22 it's constantly shifting.
13:23 So if you're not standing on something that's firm,
13:27 you're going to be carried everywhere.
13:28 Well, and what's going to happen
13:30 is we're going to see a blowback from this.
13:32 I read a story this morning of a girl that transitioned
13:34 and then de-transitioned.
13:36 And I want to just read this in closing.
13:37 This is from her grandfather. Her parents broke up.
13:41 She ended up living with her grandfather
13:43 and this is what he said
13:44 when she transitioned he said, "I couldn't handle it, "
13:47 this is what he said, "I couldn't handle it.
13:49 I said I can't change.
13:51 If you want to change you change but I can't."
13:55 And then he says,
13:56 "But I wasn't going to kick her out.
13:58 I love her."
13:59 That's a beautiful balance right there.
14:00 Wow. Yeah, that's deep. Well, Jen, we are out of time.
14:05 And I want to share how people can get more resources.
14:08 If you want some more resources,
14:11 please visit
14:14 Check out the resources we have there.
14:16 And we will see you
14:17 on the next episode of Intimate Clarity.


Revised 2018-10-29