Jared Eckert - Heritage Foundation's confusion practitioner
Jared Eckert, Heritage Foundation | via Twitter

Along with Alliance Defending Freedom, the Heritage Foundation has become a center of transphobic bullshit.

Science deniers as arbiters of science.


Heritage Foundation staffer, Jared Eckert, writes: Don’t Be Fooled: Gender Identity Policies Don’t Follow the Science. Oh, do tell!

On the subject of fools, … Nevermind. Too easy.

This transphobic nonsense is aimed at — wait for it — defeating the Equality Act. Let’s begin here:

These state- and local-level policies allow male athletes to compete against females in sports, even though studies show biological males retain a competitive advantage over females even after two years of taking estrogen.

The above includes a link to another Heritage polemic which links to a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine; a subject I have covered several times.

Tiptoe through the turds:
  • The “policies” that Eckert doesn’t like are limited to primary and secondary school athletic participation.
  • The subjects of the study that Eckert does like are 26.2 years of age on average.
  • Those subjects all transitioned as adults. Thus, they developed adult muscle mass.
  • Ergo, the study that Eckert likes has no relationship to the policies that Eckert doesn’t like.
Make that “Dr.” Eckert:

… gender identity activists helped pass a ban on counseling that would have helped children struggling with gender dysphoria.

The rule discriminates against counselors who seek to help patients reconcile with their biological sex and allows only gender-affirming counseling that support chemical and surgical transition.

There is no evidence that gender identity conversion efforts work. There is one proponent, a Canadian psychologist, and he has backed off his initial conclusions.

However, there is evidence that gender identity conversion efforts are harmful. A study out of Harvard Medical School concludes that gender conversion therapy leads to a lifetime of adverse mental health consequences.

“Persistence of the condition correlates to its severity. Therefore, children with a mild form of the condition (the majority of those affected) will desist without ever transitioning.”

Furthermore, conversion therapy bans do not discriminate against anyone. Moreover, professional counseling doesn’t “support” anything other than the best interests of the patient as expressed by the patient. Counseling allows people to explore their gender identity.

Conversion “therapists” are unprofessional per se. They are religious conservatives who presuppose that any sexuality that varies from the limits imposed by scripture is morally wrong and invalid. They seek to “repair” what they view as bad choices made by their victim.

Eckert is referring to children. Children are not candidates for surgical or hormonal interventions. After entering puberty, an adolescent might be eligible for puberty blockers which are fully reversible.

Parroting rhetoric about something that Mr. Eckert has obviously not read:

These methods overlook the fact that shows 88 to 98 percent of those struggling with gender dysphoria will accept their biological sex after going through puberty, according to the 5th edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.”

First of all, get the numbers right. From DSM-V (scan):

Desistance rates via DSM-V

Secondly, those numbers are out of context. The DSM section regarding gender dysphoria is quite extensive. It details the significant distress that people with acute gender dysphoria experience.

Persistence of the condition correlates to its severity. Therefore, children with a mild form of the condition (the majority of those affected) will desist without ever transitioning. Those kids who experience extreme distress will transition to get relief from the symptoms and will be unlikely to desist.

This has been confirmed by a leading researcher, Kristina Olson at Princeton University. Olson has substantiated that desisters almost never transition because the condition is not severe enough to warrant doing so.

Gender is a continuum with male and female at the extreme ends.”

Furthermore, research relating to gender cognition concludes:

… transgender children showed a clear pattern: They viewed themselves in terms of their expressed gender and showed preferences for their expressed gender, with response patterns mirroring those of two cisgender (nontransgender) control groups …

Not to belabor the point but if Mr. Eckert has any intellectual curiosity and critical thinking skills, then he might know:

  • That the statistics present in DSM-V are dated.
  • That those statistics are based on deprecated studies, one (the “Sissy Boy Study”) is nearly a half-century old.
  • The criteria for diagnosing gender dysphoria in children changed between DSM-IV and DSM-V. A diagnosis now requires far more rigorous analysis than it did when DSM-IV was published. Those statistics go back 40 years or so. Therefore, they include patients who would not be diagnosed with gender dysphoria today.

Moreover, according to medical science there is a durable biological basis for gender dysphoria. No amount of counseling is going to change biology.

Profusion of confusion:

The notion that a person can change their sex rejects science. This was on full display in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the Equality Act. During the hearing, Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., asked Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, “Are there more than two sexes, in your opinion?” David replied, “It’s not limited to two.”

It’s the wrong question and it is irrelevant. No one purports to change their sex! Transgender persons affirm their gender which develops by about two years of age. Gender is a continuum with male and female at the extreme ends.

Intellect dysphoria:

E-V-I-D-E-N-C-E??? Numerous states and municipalities have nondiscrimination laws similar to the Equality Act. Where are all the problems?”

Gender identity advocates regularly insist that those who believe that there are only two sexes—male and female—overlook the science of intersex conditions. But Alphonso and other activists’ references to intersex people do not debunk the sexual binary.

“Intersex conditions” or disorders in sexual development are statistical rarities occurring in approximately one out of every 5,000 births, according to Ryan Anderson’s research.

Who is “insist[ing] what? Intersex people are not relevant to transgender people. Moreover, gender identity has no advocacy. The construct of gender identity is settled science.

Referring to “Ryan Anderson’s research” is a laugher. Ryan T. Anderson has never done any research. Anderson does not have the erudition to research human sexuality. He was a music major who became a philosopher. Simply stated, Ryan T. Anderson is a Defender of the Faith™. Anderson has no scientific training of experience.

Woe is us:

Because gender ideology flatly rejects science, enshrining it into federal law means no amount of religious liberty exemptions will prevent the damage caused by such policies like the Equality Act.

Gee. What a shock. Another full-of-shit Heritage Foundation staffer with limited intellect or curiosity is using the treatment of transgender people as a means of fighting the Equality Act.

“Gender ideology” means:

“Due to my religious beliefs it is necessary for me to mischaracterize sexuality that I disapprove of as a doctrine or philosophy rather than the objective scientific fact that it is.”

Yes. I find it terribly tedious and spectacularly stupid that people vomit up what really is an ideology that had its genesis at the Vatican. Renaming stuff as a form of rhetoric does not alter the underlying objective truth.

“Ultimately, people like Eckert are being used by cynical politicians who are trying to pander to religious conservatives while, at the same time, creating a wedge issue.”

Time for some fear mongering:

Women and children—religious or not—will lose privacy, safety, and fairness in public and federally funded single-sex facilities and programs, which exist because of biological differences between men and women.

E-V-I-D-E-N-C-E??? Numerous states and municipalities have nondiscrimination laws similar to the Equality Act. Where are all the problems?

Medical professionals—religious or not—who treat individuals struggling with gender dysphoria will lose the freedom to treat patients according to the best medical and scientific evidence.

Bullshit:

  • What text in the Equality Act affects how medicine is practiced? None!
  • “The best medical and scientific evidence” is garnered from peer-reviewed research published to reputable academic journals. Due to said research, the American Academy of Pediatrics has based its clinical practice standards on the gender-affirming care model.That represents the “best medical and scientific evidence.”
  • Jared Eckert doesn’t like the science so he asserts that the science isn’t science or … that scripture is science or, … who the fuck knows?

Okay, the poor guy is surrounded by Defenders of the Faith who have influenced his thinking. It’s also a game of “telephone” whereby each iteration of fantasy presented as facts goes further from objective truth.

However, no one has glued Jared Eckert to the religious echo chamber. Eckert retains the ability to employ some curiosity. Eckert chooses to be incurious in order to prevent learning that what he perceives as truth is religious drivel.

Ultimately, people like Eckert are being used by cynical politicians who are trying to pander to religious conservatives while, at the same time, creating a wedge issue. The GOP talking points for the 2022 midterm elections will exaggerate the effect that a minuscule minority has on society.

“Scientific facts are published to respected, peer-reviewed academic journals. Bullshit gets published to Heritage Foundation’s pretentious blog.”

Indeed, right now the talking points in opposition to the Equality Act focus on about 0.5% of the population. Actually, that’s more like 0.25% of the population because the demonization of gender-diverse persons is heavily weighted towards transgender females.

That Kool-Aid is around there somewhere:

Normally, doctors and counselors correct a patient’s disordered perception of her body. Medical professionals also treat other body dysmorphias, like anorexia. Yet, the “gender affirmative” approach requires that they support a patient’s disordered perception of her body and even physically change its appearance to conform to the disorder.

Dysmorphia does not get a plural. Anorexia has no commonality with gender dysphoria. “Disordered perception” is right out of the catechism of the Catholic Church. Not science. Moreover, dysphoria is not a disorder. Those are mutually exclusive medical descriptions.

I have heard it all before
“I have heard it all before”
We have heard it all before. The straw man factory is fully staffed. Transgender people are compared to people with body dysmorphia, people who think that they are animals, adults who believe that they are children and folks who believe that they are Napoleon.

The difference is that transgender people are biologically different from cisgender people. Furthermore they have a medical condition that can be diagnosed; one that has been documented in the literature for over a century. Transgender people are not crazy.

Oh, that’s right. I already noted that Jared Eckert has not read any part of DSM-V. He is content to regurgitate the nonsense spouted in defense of scripture while lacking the curiosity to form an independent conclusion. He is just repeating the lies of other superstitious fools.

Heritage Foundation is sitting on a pile of cash. Can they not afford an in-house copy of DSM-V. In the alternative, perhaps they have a copy which Mr. Eckert chose not to consult.

I am reasonably certain that every employee of Heritage Foundation has Internet access. The information is out there. Separating fact from bullshit is easy. Scientific facts are published to respected, peer-reviewed academic journals. Bullshit gets published to Heritage Foundation’s pretentious blog.

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.