Ryan T. Anderson is first and foremost a Defender of the Faith™. The music major who has a doctorate in philosophy from Notre Dame has subordinated his intellect to the teachings of the Catholic Church.  A man who is probably gay subscribes to the Vatican’s anti-gay dogma. Go figure. Short of deprogramming Anderson is a done deal — for life.

At Heritage Foundation’s blog, Anderson has penned: Parents Just Lost Custody of Teenage Daughter Who Wants to ‘Transition’ to a Boy: What You Need to Know. Oh, do tell. The polemic is short on facts and logic but it does have six links to Anderson’s moronic book at Amazon.com.

I intend to highlight a small amount of content in this verbose polemic. The very notion that Ryan T. Anderson is an expert regarding gender dysphoria would be laughable were it not for the legions of people who believe every idiotic syllable that he utters. Most of his offering is little more than gibberish. The current treatise does nothing to suggest that Anderson knows what he is writing about.

Without commenting on the specifics of this case just outside Cincinnati, Americans can expect to see more cases like it as government officials side with transgender activists to promote a radical view of the human person and endorse entirely experimental medical procedures. At stake are not only parental rights, but the well-being of children who suffer from gender dysphoria.

The above is known as a Gish Gallup. “Bullshit” if you prefer. Those government officials are actually a judge who carefully evaluated the medical evidence that was provided to the Court against a predisposition to normally siding with parents. This has nothing to do with “transgender activists” AKA The Boogeyman. Nor, for that matter is there anything radical at work here. Nor are the medical procedures experimental. Parents do not have a right to abuse their children and Anderson is putting Church doctrine above the well-being of children. Other than that, Anderson is quite insightful.

Just a reminder:

There is no known medical intervention to treat gender dysphoria.

That simple fact remains true no matter how much Anderson and the Vatican want it to be otherwise. What they are offering is a version of thoroughly discredited conversion or “reparative” therapy. It is pseudoscience in an effort to conform the real world to scripture.

Anderson attempts to construct an argument with Lego bricks. The foundation is BS which means that the entire structure is BS:

Transgender activists maintain that when a child identifies as the opposite sex in a manner that is “consistent, persistent, and insistent,” the appropriate response is to support that identification. This requires a four-part protocol, as I painstakingly detail in my new book, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment”:

This has nothing whatsoever to do with activists — transgender or otherwise. Children with gender dysphoria (other than those with parents who listen to the poseurs) are treated with a team of qualified and experienced clinicians. Anderson overlooks the fact that the first phase of treatment is an evaluation over time (Anderson is too eager to move on to social transition and puberty blockers). Gender dysphoria is like any other condition. It comes in a range of severity. Anderson also overlooks the fact that the kid, and his or her parents, have a say in all of this.

Ultimately what Anderson is saying is that there is a wide-spread conspiracy among counselors and physicians to mistreat children with gender dysphoria who are merely responding to sinister activists. Anderson claims, in essence, that all of these experienced and highly trained clinicians do not know what they are doing. Anderson claims to have all the answers. Mr. Anderson might benefit from some sessions with a reputable shrink.

Anderson has a unique way of dismissing the real science:

This is an odd argument, write three American researchers, all physicians.

“It presumes that natural sex characteristics interfere with the ‘exploration’ of gender identity,” Drs. Paul Hruz, Lawrence Mayer, and Paul McHugh note, “when one would expect that the development of natural sex characteristics might contribute to the natural consolidation of one’s gender identity.”

Within that is a link to an article that the three wrote for a religious outlet, The New Atlantis. Needless to say it was not peer-reviewed. Hruz is an endocrinologist who specializes in diabetes. He does not treat children with gender dysphoria and is at odds with his own professional association, the Endocrine Society. Lawrence Mayer does not treat children with gender dysphoria. Paul McHugh is a fundamentalist Catholic pushing 90. He has not practiced medicine in some time. Got anyone else Ryan? There is always Michelle Cretella who heads a small hate group: American College of Pediatricians.

Then there is this bit of boilerplate:

Normally, 80 to 95 percent of children will naturally grow out of any gender-identity conflicted stage. But every one of the children placed on puberty blockers in the Dutch clinic persisted in a transgender identity, and they generally went on to begin cross-sex hormone treatment at around age 16.

That percentage is extremely unreliable. Some of it goes back 40 years to the infamous “Sissy Boy” study. Furthermore, desistence occurs before a child demands to transition. Anderson is trying, quite unsuccessfully, to discredit some peer-reviewed research. Were a child to make a social transition and then change his or her mind, he or she would exhibit the same symptoms of gender dysphoria including anxiety and depression and then demand to de-transition. Furthermore, let’s give the folks with years of study behind them a little credit. These are not activists. Nor are they religious zealots.

Anderson manages to dismiss the concept of gender. God informs Anderson so that he can inform all of us:

Contrary to the claims of activists, sex isn’t “assigned” at birth—and that’s why it can’t be “reassigned.” As I explain in “When Harry Became Sally,” sex is a bodily reality that can be recognized well before birth with ultrasound imaging. The sex of an organism is defined and identified by its organization for sexual reproduction.

The above is nothing more than drivel. He goes on to explain DNA and chromosomes all of which has nothing to do with gender. Post-mortem examinations of transgender people have, in fact, identified structures in their brains that are consistent with the opposite sex so there is more to this than religion-inspired babble.

Let’s hear it for Robby:

As the philosopher Robert P. George puts it, “Changing sexes is a metaphysical impossibility because it is a biological impossibility.”

That is all profoundly pertinent. Then there is this bit of nonsense:

What the Evidence Shows

Sadly, just as “sex reassignment” fails to reassign sex biologically, it also fails to bring wholeness psychologically. The medical evidence suggests that it does not adequately address the mental health problems suffered by those who identify as transgender.

No one has ever suggested that natal sex can be changed. Anderson tries to counter an argument that does not exist. Furthermore, on the subject of evidence, Anderson fails to cite any. I guess that we are to take his assertion on faith.

McHugh finds that other psychosocial issues usually lie beneath the false assumptions. Children with gender dysphoria may have anxieties about “the prospects, expectations, and roles that they sense are attached to their given sex.”

That is the same baloney that they cite in an attempt to make conversion therapy credible in spite of the fact that it is not supported by any real science. When is the last time that McHugh treated a child with gender dysphoria? Has he ever treated such a child and to what extent do his religious convictions interfere with his medical judgment?

An effective treatment strategy would “strive to correct the false, problematic nature of the assumption and to resolve the psychosocial conflicts provoking it,” McHugh says. In the case of gender dysphoria, unfortunately, the mistaken belief is often encouraged by school counselors who, “rather like cult leaders, may encourage these young people to distance themselves from their families and offer advice on rebutting arguments against having transgender surgery.”

Strangely enough, McHugh doesn’t seem to say these things in respected scientific journals that subject submissions to peer review. What could possibly deter McHugh from doing so?

Towards the end of this mess, according to Anderson:

The most helpful therapies do not try to remake the body to conform with thoughts and feelings—which is impossible—but rather to help people find healthy ways to manage this tension and move toward accepting the reality of their bodily selves. This therapeutic approach rests on a sound understanding of physical and mental health, and of medicine as a practice aimed at restoring healthy functioning, not simply satisfying the desires of patients.

Effective according to whom and chronicled where? The above is the essence of the religious BS that the Church and Anderson seek to inflict on society. Anderson doesn’t cite any evidence in support of that paragraph because he cannot.

Anderson’s biggest miss, however, is that the Church and its apologists are primarily responsible for the situation in Ohio and the loss of parental rights. The parents were insistent on following what amounts to nothing more than superstition to the detriment of their child. That is the core of a controversy that should have never existed in the first place.

Let Ohio demonstrate just how much damage the religious zealots can do. Anderson is not just some poor misguided schmuck. Rather, he is a pernicious presence who seeks to interfere in the medical treatment of children out of some convoluted religious duty. I like to think that we live in an advanced society. People like Anderson chew at the edges and seek to propel us backward.

Few things are as dangerous as a true believer acting in accordance with the designs of an imaginary deity. It is why people flew airplanes into building and it is why Ryan T. Anderson spreads misinformation about gender and sexuality. It’s up to us to us, as critical thinkers, to fight back against willful ignorance.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.