Biden Promotes Youth Sex Changes, Threatens to Ban Conversion Therapy
The Biden administration promised this week to ban “conversion therapy” for minors who claim they are members of the opposite sex.
Now, in sync with pro-transgender activists and clinical organizations, President Joe Biden’s White House is using an overly broad definition of “conversion therapy,” seemingly in the hopes of silencing “gender identity” critics — all while promoting puberty-blockers, cross-sex hormones, and even surgeries for sex-questioning youth.
“Conversion Therapy” Confusion
The Biden administration has tasked the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to lead an “initiative to reduce the risk of youth exposure” to conversion therapy. The department is also supposed to “explore guidance” for clarifying that federally-funded programs cannot offer “conversion therapy.”
However, HHS as recently as 2015 has relied on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) definition of “conversion therapy.” That definition is extremely broad when compared with what “conversion therapy” has meant in a historical context.
“Conversion therapy consists of any efforts to change an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression through behavioral health or medical interventions. Any effort with an a priori goal of a gender expression that aligns with stereotypical norms, cisgender identity, and/or heterosexual orientation, identity, and sexual behaviors,” SAMHSA says.
Candice Jackson, the Trump-era former acting assistant secretary for the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), contends the origins of conversion therapy have “nothing to do with gender identity.”
“Historically, this was in the realm of true abuse and torture. Electroshock therapy, for example, or taking teenagers and sending them away to camp that really just berated them and broke them down emotionally and psychologically, and forced them into sexual situations…” Jackson told Breitbart News on Thursday.
But under SAMHSA’s description, any effort on the part of therapists to counsel children and teens who are troubled by unwanted same-sex attractions or gender dysphoria could be considered “conversion therapy.” SAMHSA’s and other clinical organizations’ definitions of the practice have already been utilized to justify bans in several states.
“Every place we see conversion therapy [bans] already in place, like Canada, particular states here in the U.S. — there was just a therapist in Oregon who was facing a license revocation for allegedly supporting, not even engaging in with real patients, but just accused of supporting through discussions anything that would question gender identity, and that amounted to conversion therapy,” Jackson detailed. “So it’s already at that level of — it takes a very brave therapist right now, as things stand currently, to continue to want to treat patients who present with any kind of gender issues, especially minors.”
Canada passed an extensive bill this year criminalizing conversion therapy, which contained a similarly broad definition. Following its passage, thousands of Christian leaders criticized the vagueness of the bill, saying it could lead to “criminalization of even private conversations related to sexuality,” The Hill reported.
Jackson said the broad definition of “conversion therapy” employed by the Biden administration is “a real risk too” to religious liberty in the United States.
At the Same Time…
While seemingly working to prohibit therapists and religious leaders from speaking openly about “gender identity” and same-sex attraction, the Biden administration continues to actively push for minors to have access to “gender-affirming care” — a far-left euphemism intended to make the mutilation of children sound like a compassionate course of action.
Both the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and the Endocrine Society state that, in addition to being safe and fully reversible, puberty blockers can provide more time for adolescents to explore the gender in which the choose to live. They also claim access to “gender-affirming” care reduces suicide rates.
These groups, along with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), are being cited as experts by large hospitals, Democrats, and the Biden administration, which wants to deliver the drugs to troubled children. But these treatments are not approved for those purposes by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and have not undergone any longterm studies.
Recently, two reports were released rebutting claims from these pro-transgender clinical organizations that “gender-affirming” treatments improve mental health and reduce youth suicides.
Florida Medicaid found that there is “low or very low quality” evidence that so-called “puberty blocker” drugs protect the mental health of minors who want to live as members of the opposite sex. Another study completed by the Heritage Foundation suggests making puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones easier for minors to access has increased youth suicide rates. Even some corporate media outlets have begun picking apart the narrative after much hesitation, ultimately finding that there are still a lot of unknowns being shoved under the rug by eager transgender activists.
Jackson also noted that while many European countries who spearheaded “gender-affirming care” before the United States have begun to reverse course, the Biden administration, regardless, continues “barreling down the medical affirmations pathway.”
“So we’re moving in the opposite direction from a lot of other countries where this had been a lot more prevalent than it was in the U.S. They’re now learning about negative consequences and changing course — and we’re doing just the opposite,” she said.
But why is the federal government so eager push gender ideology onto younger generations, while also preventing counselors and religious leaders from exploring alternatives? “Follow the money” tends to be one of the more typical responses, and indeed, there is a great deal of money to be made from “gender transitions.”
A report released in December 2020 found that the U.S. sex reassignment surgery market size was valued at $267 million in 2019 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 14.4 percent from 2020 to 2027.
Jackson argued that the transgender activist agenda is about much more than money.
“I think there are other ways of making money, and capitalism always can be on the verge of being predatory. But this really is ideological, and it’s not normal ideology either — it’s got this pseudo-spirituality to it,” she said.
“Now…you claim any kind of identity you want, and we will affirm it, validate it, treat you however you want because of it, and help you medicalize it,” she continued.
As far as how history will look back on the radical left’s push for society to embrace “gender identity,” Jackson said the odds are not in their favor.
“I think it will be even worse than any of the medical or psychiatric scandals that we’ve seen. I think that, when you look at the thankfully relatively short-lived history of lobotomy, I think it’s going to feel a lot like that,” she said.
“When you look at the Satanic Panic and repressed memory syndrome, it’s going feel a lot like that,” she continued. “Only worse because again, this isn’t limited to people suffering from particular conditions. It really can and is starting to, by a sort of social contagion, seduce just about anybody.”