Jennifer Roback Morse
Jennifer Roback Morse — Defender of the Faith
via YouTube
A plaque on a doctor’s wall form American College of Pediatricians identifies a doctor who prioritizes faith-based religious beliefs over evidence-based medical science.

Note: I am quoting much of the text through images rather than text in order to avoid Google inadvertently re-regurgitating the anti-trans vomit.

Hate Group Leader Jennifer Roback Morse of Ruth Institute has created a Transgender Resource Center.

Ruth Institute Transgender Resource Center
It is a remarkably dishonest enterprise.

First of all, this is a religious effort masquerading as secular. The simple fact is that Morse is a Catholic extremist who is defending the teachings of the Catholic Church. According to the Church, transgender people do not really exist.

Secondly, Morse is presenting isolated instances as if they were routine. She is also flat out pants-on-fire lying. Here is some of the text:

Transgender ideology permeates our society today. From local school districts, abortion clinics, high school sports, therapists, and even to the presidency, transgender activists are busy pushing this core tenet of the Sexual Revolution. But in their wake lie children permanently scarred from surgeries, grown men and women bearing the psychological burdens of hormonal therapy, parents jailed for misgendering their offspring, and abuse victims being affirmed in their dysphoria instead of being helped or treated. The Transgender Resource Center gives you the science, testimonies, and sound thinking to help you and your loved ones navigate these treacherous waters. Welcome back to reality.

Transgender people are not adherents to an ideology. They are mitigating a medical condition — gender dysphoria. It is understandable how Morse could be confused. As a Catholic fanatic, Morse is bound to an ideology.

Then there are the mythical and evil “transgender activists.” Who are these people who are supposedly “pushing” a doctrine? People do not develop gender incongruence because of the influence of others. According to the Endocrine Society gender dysphoria has a biological basis.

No one volunteers to be transgender. They do so to obtain relief from a medical condition that can cause enormous distress in the forms of acute anxiety and clinical depression. There are no evil activists urging people to transition. Again, it is easy to understand why Morse is confused. She is projectiong. Morse wants to impose the teachings of the Catholic Church on public policy and society. In her mind others must be doing what she is doing.

The next lie is that children are recipients of transgender surgical procedures. It is extremely rare. Furthermore, men and women are not victims of hormonal therapy. They receive hormones to improve their presentation. The patient wants them. Typically a behavioral health specialist concurs that hormones are in the best interests of the patient. Ultimately an endocrinologist must accept the consensus before anyone gets any medications.

No one has been “jailed for misgendering their offspring,” One Canadian man, a non-custodial divorced father, was jailed for contempt of court. In the United States and Canada, no one has the right to defy a court order and this man has enjoyed the complete panoply of due process including an appeal to a higher court.

The next lie is that there is a scientifically proven alternative to transitioning. Morse expresses this as “…instead of being helped or treated.” There does not exist a means of talking people out of their gender dysphoria. Efforts to do so would involve gender identity conversion “therapy.” According to research out of Harvard Medical School: Any exposure to these efforts creates a lifetime of misery.

A reminder: Morse is encouraging people (including parents) to obtain unsound and dangerous interventions because gender-affirming care does not confirm to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Morse’s training is in economics. She has no training, whatsoever, in medical science.

I do not have training in medical science either. However, I am not disputing the scientific consensus. In contrast I am informed by the science including the Clinical Practice Guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The next lie: “The Transgender Resource Center gives you the science …” None of this drivel has anything to do with science. This is a defense of religious teachings based upon a defense of scripture.

The next lie is that desisting is common. Morse provides one “testimony” from a roughly 60-year-old woman (minimum) who claims to be a desister. Mazel tov. She is not representative of anything. She comes up with a number of excuses for her “mistake.” Arithmetic suggests that she transitioned in middle age and more than 20 years ago.

Enter the American College of Pediatricians, an anti-LGBTQ hate group.
Not to be confused with the real professional organization,
The American Academy of Pediatrics.

Jennifer Roback Morse (Ruth Institute) refers people to another website: TransRegret which is a project of two hate groups: Ruth Institute and the American College of Pediatricians.

This site provides yet another pack of lies about transgender people and gender dysphoria. We begin here:

Clicking on “Find Real Help” brings up a page at American College of Pediatricians. They do everything possible to keep people away from qualified clinicians:

The text reads:

These are all titles of therapists who seek to validate and affirm your child’s gender disturbance as normal. Consider searching for experts in body image & eating disorders, self-harm, trauma, anxiety disorders, women’s issues, sexual abuse & domestic violence. You know your teen best. If your child has struggled with depression their whole life, seek an expert in teen depression. If he or she has obsessive-compulsive tendencies, seek out an OCD expert.

The intent is to misinform parents in order to prevent children from transitioning in defense of Christian theology.

Here are their suggestions:

What do all of the above have in common?

Returning to TransRegret and the next pack of lies:

I have not seen any research suggesting that puberty blockers and hormones might aggravate gender dysphoria. If such research exists, these folks (Ruth Institute and American College of Pediatricians) have not cited it.

It is popular in conservative Christian circles to suggest that trans medications are unsafe and untested. That is entirely false. These medications have been tested in trials and deemed safe by the FDA. The fact that clinical trials were conducted for conditions other than gender dysphoria is irrelevant. The potential side effects are the same regardless of why the medication is prescribed.

Furthermore, let’s give clinicians and parents some credit. These are highly trained specialists who explain benefits and risks in full detail. If not out of professionalism then simply to avoid getting sued. All medications involve risks. The next time you purchase any over-the-counter medication, read the label in full.

Puberty blockers do not carry “permanent side effects and increase[d] serious health risks.” Puberty blockers are fully reversible. The alternative is to place children in extreme danger for self-harm. Cross-sex hormones do carry risks and some side effects could be permanent. Doctors, parents and patients need to carefully weigh benefits vs. potential risks. Again, let’s give these folks some credit for making careful decisions.

The next two lies are these:

Many teens on puberty blockers had a greater tendency to hurt themselves.

Girls taking high doses of testosterone had more emotional and behavioral problems, including more mania and psychotic symptoms.

If any of the above is supported by research these misfits fail to reference it. Children and adolescents who are supported in their gender do very well and lead relatively normal lives. Common sense dictates that relieving the symptoms lessens the risk for self-harm.

I cannot determine a reasonable rationale for the second paragraph, above, Even if true (which I doubt), is it causation or correlation?

The site attempts to provide references. Most of those are not peer-reviewed research. Many are linked to anti-LGBTQ sites. To the extent that there is any cited research it amounts to selective observation.

Even when science is cited, the citation is misleading. For example, in an attempt to characterize puberty blockers as dangerous, they cite this 2006 Canadian study. The problem is that the subjects were premenopausal women — young adults at their estrogen level peak — who were injected with unknown quantities of GnRH agonists to treat non-cancerous (“benign”) gynecological disorders.

Adolescents have very different estrogen levels than adult women. (Estrogen peaks in a woman’s late 20s.) Furthermore about half of the recipients of puberty blockers are trans girls who have no need whatsoever for estrogen. Bottom line: The research subjects formed an inapplicable and non-representative sample.

The next three lies:

All three of those statements are untrue. The Clinical Practice Guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics are based upon a substantial amount of evidence and that forms a scientific basis for the gender-affirming care model. Science is based on evidence. Belief systems are based on faith.

The next lie:

The above is an intentional mischaracterization. Gender dysphoria causes psychiatric issues (often depression and anxiety); not the other way around. There is no evidence that there are underlying psychiatric causes of gender dysphoria. Proponents of conversion therapy (religious conservatives) insist that if the (nonexistent) “underlying conditions” are treated, gender incongruence goes away. That sounds good but it is not supported by evidence. Gender identity conversion “therapy” is crackpottery per se.

Then there is the issue of desistance. They are playing with the research. Most children do outgrow gender dysphoria. However, persistence is a function of severity. Children who experience an abatement of the condition never transition in the first place.

The final lie is essentially a conspiracy theory:

They are suggesting that the profit incentive causes people to seek transgender medical care. The drug companies and hospitals are all part of the conspiracy. Big pharma does not cause people to have gender dysphoria. Big pharma does not make diagnoses. Big pharma does not make treatment decisions.

Ergo, the conspiracy theory is bullshit.

In the final analysis a group of religious extremists is trying to prevent people from transitioning. Their motivation has nothing to do with the best interests of people with a medical condition. These folks are motivated by religious dogma which they believe defines truth despite evidence to the contrary.

Furthermore Jennifer Roback Morse’s training is in economics. None of the roughly 200 doctors who are members of the American College of Pediatricians are likely to have ever treated a child or adolescent suffering from gender dysphoria.

Here is some better advice for parents:
If your pediatrician has a plaque on the wall from the American College of Pediatricians, run like hell to the nearest exit. That plaque identifies a doctor who prioritizes faith-based religious dogma over evidence-based medical science.

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.