Pronouncements from people who are
wholly unqualified to offer their opinions.
Andrea Widburg is a prolific author for American Thinker. Widburg’s “wisdom” is often mirrored by the ultra-conservative Catholic outlet, LifeSiteNews.
Sunday, Widburg came to the conclusion that she is an expert regarding pediatric gender dysphoria. People are willing to promote and believe — in the interest of defending scripture — conclusions that can only exist in the absence of intellectual curiosity.
Before I get into details, American Thinker, in January of this year, was forced to issue a retraction regarding the Dominion voting machines conspiracy theory. Widburg was specifically named as a purveyor of bullshit. The statement includes:
These statements are completely false and have no basis in fact. Industry experts and public officials alike have confirmed that Dominion conducted itself appropriately and that there is simply no evidence to support these claims.
Embarrassments like that (along with legal jeopardy) could be avoided with:
- Less confirmation bias and;
- more intellectual curiosity.
“Andrea Widburg (whose bio is nowhere to be found) believes that she is more knowledgeable than researchers at both medical associations.”
After referring to the case involving Luna Georgulas, Widburg opines:
Anne decided that James was really a girl, something Jeffrey argued James himself vehemently denied when away from Anne. Jeffrey ultimately lost the fight (as did James, of course). The ace in the hole for Anne was the “Gender Affirming Care Program” at Children’s Health in Dallas (aka GENECIS). Now, though, that program has stopped its practice of treating young children with hormones. It’s too late to save James, but perhaps other children will be spared the horrors of a gaggle of obsessed practitioners using innocent children to play out their own psychological dramas.
There is some truth to the above. According to the Texas Tribune, “Hospital officials cited privacy for children as a reason behind the decision and said patients will still receive care through other departments.” The clinic had become a target for protests by religious conservatives. The clinic was “cancelled.”
It is also true that the kids are still being treated. A search on Children Health’s website for “gender dysphoria” yielded a number of providers including behavioral health specialists and pediatric endocrinologists. Now let me get to the drivelectomy:
First of all, Luna’s mother is a board-certified pediatrician. She had not “decided” what the child’s gender identity is. The child does that.
Furthermore, the child never “vehemently denied” anything. Her ne’er-do-well father made that claim which was inconsistent with expert testimony.
Moreover, Luna’s care does not include medical interventions. Luna is several years below puberty and does not require hormones. Therefore, a clinic providing — or not providing — hormones and puberty blockers is irrelevant to Luna’s care.
Moreover, the notion that clinicians are “play[ing] out their own psychological dramas” is absurd to the point of being laughable. Gender-affirming care underpins the clinical practice standards of both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pediatric Endocrine Society.
“The stupidity is endless.”
Apparently, Andrea Widburg (whose bio is nowhere to be found) believes that she is more knowledgeable than researchers at both medical associations. Furthermore, she is wed to the notion that her judgment is superior to that of a parent.
Ms. Widburg also believes that the judge hearing the Georgulas case is stupid. Daddy, by the way, was stripped of most parental rights; something Widburg failed to notice.
Widburg cites her own ignorance as proof of, … something:
In August 2020, I wrote about the James saga as the court was still determining who would get custody and control of James. (Sadly, Anne ultimately won.) For purposes of this post, I’ll repeat here what I wrote about the Children’s Health clinic that ended up affecting James’s life so significantly.
What she repeats begets a drivelectomy within a drivelectomy. I will resist the temptation except to note that Ms. Widburg is at odds with medical science and doesn’t seem to care about medical science. Her belief system — based on faith — prevails over evidence. Furthermore, that clinic had little, if any, effect on Luna’s life.
The stupidity is endless:
Nothing has changed in the pediatric field when it comes to alleged transgenderism. As it was then, so it is now: The literature simply assumes transgenderism is real and busies itself with treatment modalities.
Widburg is referring to literature that she has not read. The underlying condition is gender dysphoria, not the state of being transgender. Moreover, nothing is “assumed.” A diagnosis of pediatric gender dysphoria requires a number of symptoms plus the child having experienced significant distress over at least six months.
“… children who are supported in their gender identity thrive.”
After claiming that “the entire field is fraudulent,” Widburg cites an anti-trans article at an anti-trans (TERF) website. The piece cites a study she likes. Of course she did not read the study. Quoting the quote:
The long-term Canadian study “A Follow-Up Study of Boys With Gender Identity Disorder,” which used the largest sample to date of boys referred to clinics for gender dysphoria, found that most study participants desisted over time and accepted themselves as boys. The groundbreaking research was published in March in the peer-viewed [sic] journal Frontiers in Psychology.
It is a relatively well-designed study and literature review. However, it is not “groundbreaking.” We have known for decades that the majority of kids with gender dysphoria desist while a minority persist. What Ms. Widburg fails to comprehend is that, overwhelmingly, desisters never transition. Widburg is confused about pediatric gender dysphoria in contrast to the state of being transgender.
Persistence is a function of severity. Desisters desist because their condition is not severe enough to warrant transitioning. Persisters, in contrast, are the most severely affected. Kristina Olson at Princeton has done most of the research in this area.
Having mentioned Dr. Olson I would point out that, according to her research, children who are supported in their gender identity thrive. Those who are not supported have a suicide ideation rate of about 40%.
“The greatest problem that transgender and gender nonconforming kids face is minority stress
I usually describe the state of having less curiosity than a kosher pickle. In this case that does a disservice to the poor pickles:
The same article lists several other large studies showing that, while transgenderism is not real, the industry that has developed around it genuinely harms children.
“Not real?” What on earth …? The research clearly demonstrates that gender-affirming care is the best means of mitigating the symptoms of gender dysphoria in children. But let’s set that aside for the moment.
If Andrea Widburg is correct then all of the following must be true:
- A child is lying about their gender identity.
- That same child is feigning at least six months of significant distress.
- When asked situationally about gender dysphoria markers the child and their parents are misinforming clinicians.
- The parents of children with gender dysphoria are stupid and not acting in the best interests of their offspring.
- Those same parents are willing to harm their children because, … Because what?
- The clinicians who treat these kids are corrupt.
- Those clinicians knowingly mistreat children for money.
- The clinical practice standards of the American Academy of Pediatrics are based on junk science.
- The clinical practice standards of the Endocrine Society are based on junk science.
“When does the defense of scripture become sociopathy?”
Which is more likely to be correct? All of the above being true or the probability that Andrea Widburg is a Christian warrior defending religious doctrine?
When it comes to deliberately harming kids, Andrea Widburg and her ilk have a monopoly. The greatest problem that transgender and gender nonconforming kids face is minority stress. Minority stress is created by stigma. Ms. Widburg is a dispenser of stigma. Her currency is shame and disapproval.
Widburg is claiming that trans kids and their parents are victims of some very bad choices that they have made. These kids are particularly vulnerable and demonstrably stigmatized. When does the defense of scripture become sociopathy?