Gender identity in NZ
This post is about what is happening in New Zealand related to children and young people who have confusion about whether they feel that “they are in the wrong body” or who announce themselves as “transgender”. There is information, some links to useful resources, and an outline of why the concept of a “gender identity” is a concern.
If you would like to be put in touch with a group of people concerned at the promulgation of gender identity thinking in teaching and health policy in NZ then contact ask @ publicgood.org.nz.
Read about the billionaires behind transgender medicine.
There is big money behind transgender ideology and transgender medicine in particular. Transgender medicine’s life long patients are providing a growing and lucrative market of $1/3 US of a billion per annum with a 25% annual growth rate.
Jennnifer Bilek has been writing about how the same big money is behind the supposedly liberal cause of supporting trans gender people and also the enormous investments in the big pharma and medical device companies that stand to gain if more and more children lose the relationship with their own bodies. She wrote that normalising body alterations is not for the benefit of those who face surgery because of gender dysphoria (unhapiness with one’s own sexed body) but because of the ability of such medicine to normalise more and more extreme forms of body modification including transhuman and transgenic initiatives and the profits that will flow from this. She wrote recently that:
A clear money trail from the pharmaceutical lobby to the construction of a legal lie that supports, newly constructed medical identities that override biology.
This experiment is being run by the richest, global corporatists.
The laws being constructed are not to protect people who wish to express themselves differently than gender stereotypes allow, but to legalize changes to human biology.
And New Zealander Professor Michael Biggs, a sociology Professor at Oxford has shown that the money made available for TransGender Remembrance Day comes from the foundations of billionaire philanthropists not from community efforts.
There is increasing evidence that the transgender lobby has achieved “institutional capture”. What this means is that transgender voices are being elevated above other voices in policy making on issues related to gender confusion and the reported discomfort and dislike by children and young people of their own bodies. This is happening internationally as seen in this article about an initiative supported by the international law firm. Dentons and publishing company Thomson-Reuters were pro-bono supporters to a document that aims to normalise the transition of children and young people. Or look at the article See the Murray, Hunter,Blackburn article titled Losing sight of women’s rights: the unregulated introduction of gender self-identification as a case study of policy capture in Scotland
on the situation in Scotland which is similar to NZ.
What is happening in NZ
Closer to home NZ’s Rainbow organisations have been handsomely funded by governments for years to go into schools and teach gender identity ideology in a supposedly compassionate and curriculum-aligned course to entire classes and also to teachers and parents / carers.
Many NZ schools are allowing children to transition in the classroom (including dress / name changes /preferred pronouns). In NZ this is allowed through trade union codes of practice, by advisory materials prepared for the Ministry of Education as well as more ideological materials available from organisations like “Inside Out” who have been given extensive funding to extend their influence with children and young people, teachers and boards of governors including through paid training courses. In the UK such approaches are sometimes carried out while keeping the information from parents and there is evidence that the advice in NZ to teachers is the same.
Meanwhile and although even J.K. Rowling has spoken of her uncomfortableness with the gendered expectations of being a woman and there are credible alternative approaches to addressing gender dysphoria – the sense of body discomfort. This discomfort is brought about by trauma and abuse, as a release or escape from mental health issues or frequently as a response an autistic spectrim condition as well as prescriptive social norms about how sex role stereotypes should be at the heart of being female or male. The transgender lobby places the idea of a gender identity – either conformation with or differing from a person’s sex – front and centre of their ideological stance. So if a child or young person feels their identity differs from their sex then the changes proposed may include for even very young children a social transition / name change / different pronouns / clothing and haircuts more generally understood as those of the opposite sex or more extremely submitting to medication from early puberty onwards and surgery .
In addition New Zealands’ public health system is tied to an extreme form of “support” to any child presenting with gender identity concerns through a recently published Guideline. An “affirmative only” approach often leads inexorably to social transition for even very young children and later on to puberty blockers . Puberty blockers are being promoted by the Ministry of Health as safe, fully reversible and providing time to decide whether to continue with a gender transition. But research shows not only that there are negative mental and physical health outcomes of using puberty blockers but that most young people will not desist as they mostly would have done without them.
Trandgender surgery and medication has serious health impacts including loss of fertility, nerve and joint damage and greater risks of heart and other diseases and loss of body parts as well as submitting to lifelong medication in order to live “according to a real self”. The numbers are signficicant. In the UK evidence shows that the number of young people who have decided to transition has increased by 4000% over a decade. Numbers for NZ are not even collected but show signficant increases over the last decade and a recent NZ article about ‘transmen’ – actually young women – says that 100 young women are awaiting breast binders to disguise their breasts. These devices cause so many health problems and are so painful that they make mastectomy seem desirable.
Changing the meaning of gender
Until a very few years ago “gender” was understood as the stereotypical styles and preferences generally adopted by men and women. The transgender lobby and its advocates though are changing this idea of gender away from its origins and into a semi-mystical linking of personal preferences with a ‘gender identity‘. Lobbyists teach about a “spectrum of gender” (p5.) from extremely male to extremely female despite the historical and scientific understanding that not only are humans binary – male and female – but so are almost all mammals, vertebrates and most plant and animal phyla.
Personality or “gender identity”?
But aside from sex – being born male or female, the physical differences that relate to size, ability or ethnicity and those differences related to class and wealth like opportunity, other differences between people, including children, are best understood as personality – not gender. In these terms allowing and encouraging children to have free rein to develop their personalities, including their preferences as they wish without it being tied to a “gender identity” is surely a more expansive kind of freedom that tying preferences to a gender identity.
Like adults, children and young people are very diverse. They may prefer to wear certain clothes or play with certain toys or enjoy certain pastimes including those that have a gendered (meaning a sterotypically male or female stereotype) aspect. Doing this should not mean they are the “opposite sex” or that they have a “different gender” or were ‘born in the wrong body’.
But when funding is directed towards encoding gender identity in the educational and medical systems and professionals are mandated to believe it, teach it, treat it and then is it surprising that increasing numbers of children will be tempted to think of gender change as an escape route from current difficulties.
In addition many adolescents are heavily influenced by popular social media postings by transgender influencers and the glamour and positivity in which these videos are cast has often been instrumental in the making the decision to ‘change gender’.
Enforcing the affirmative only approach in NZ
NZ’s educational and medical regimes responding to gender preferences are now part of the process by which children supported by codes of practice, professional standards, guidelines, checklists and consent forms are in place for many of NZ’s professional bodies that support the gender ideology of the transgender lobby. Teachers, social workers, counsellors, clinicians, nurses, unions and so on who interact with children, are increasingly being directed and constrained by these from doing anything but providing affirmation. In fact they look to guidelines across a whole range of professional activities to provide guidance and build specialist knowledge. It is hugely important if the guidance they provide is unsound and even harmful. And because they encourage giving primacy to the child or young person’s perception and because of this provide little opportunity to investigate the underlying causes of children’s and young people’s sudden and unexpected claim that they are a ‘different gender’ or are ‘in the wrong body’.
The transgender lobby’s approaches have included telling parents and caregivers that they must endorse their child’s identity or else they will be rejecting them and causing them harm. Exaggerated information about high levels of suicide, suicidal ideation and self-harm are part of the approach to ensure that parents come on board rather than remaining supportive but sceptical.
Escaping from reality
But many children channel their current dissatisfaction into an imaginary escape route – leaving home, going to a boarding school, having different parents, being able to fly or drive. Childhood and adolescence is a turbulent and emotional period of life. But surely there can be no bigger or damaging escape route than thinking you can transcend your physical body and literally become someone else. But our culture is now embedding in a semi-mystical fashion a belief that gender is separate from sex and that some people are ‘born in the wrong bodies’.
There is only poor quality evidence that these interventions lead reliably to good long term outcomes. There is much research including recent research evidence gleaned from the UK Gender Identity Service show that the results are very poor indeed and were moreover hidden from research results.
The effects on all children of gender ideology
Even for those without a ‘gender identity’ the messages of the gender lobby are harmful. When classes of children are told they can be a different gender, or even when they see other on a form asking for boy/girl it can be a topic for rumination and self-doubt. Self-conscious questioning about whether you sit somewhere on the ‘spectrum of gender’ or that you or others have been born in the wrong body or whether you might be trans is deeply upsetting to many children and young people. Some of those children’s lives will be marred by the belief that some interests, and behaviours are wrong if they exhibit them as their born sex and only right if they change gender. All the while “gender” used in this way is a made up concept with little supporting evidence.
What is common about children and young people who think they are ‘trans’?
Often children who think they are in the wrong body have pre-existing mental health conditions, have autism spectrum conditions, or have suffered from the effects of abuse, including sexual abuse. No wonder they are happy to jump at a possible escape from their current unhappy reality. Many will (or these days more likely given the number who are presented with “transition”) would have grown to be lesbian or gay teenagers and adults. However there is some evidence of what is being called “rapid onset gender dysphoria” or ROGD. This is not a recognised medical condition yet but a situation observed in the research of Laura Littman who argues that it can be a maladaptive response to intolerable current conditions or expectations just as anorexia is understood to be.
. No wonder they are happy to think there is an escape from their current unhappy reality. Many will (or these days more likely given the number who are presented with “transition”) would have grown to be lesbian or gay teenagers and adults. However there is some evidence of what is being called “rapid onset gender dysphoria” or ROGD. This is not a recognised medical condition yet but a situation observed in the research of Laura Littman who argues that it can be a maladaptive response to intolerable current conditions or expectations just as anorexia is understood to be.
Legal Reviews and court cases
In the last few months government investigations have begun into the practice of transgender medicine as it impacts specifically on Children and young people in the UK, Australia and Sweden because of concerns about overly enthusiastic and affirmative only approaches. The UK GIDS service is the subject of a High Court case by former staff, a parent of a transgender child and a young detransitioned woman.
Keira Bell is a young British woman who has spoken eloquently of the experience that she has had first thinking she should be male and sunbsequently detransitioning. As a young teen she persuaded herself that becoming a man would be the cure to all her problems. At 22 she realised she had been conned and wished that instead of a mastectomy and testosterone she had been given counselling.
These are clear signs that gender identity medicine has gone too far and its affirmative only approaches have been reckless. In NZ however there has been very little coverage of these broader concerns. Our small and risk averse media is part of the problem.
A balanced view on gender identity
For a balanced view on children and young people with gender identity issues check out these websites
Fourth Wave Now
Click here for a set of resources for the parents of thildren who are uncomfortable in their bodies that do not want to jump immediately to the conclusion that they are ‘born in the wrong body.”
Read about young people who were entrapped by this ideology and later decided they were wrong.
Read about the new organisations being set up by people who thought they were the opposite sex but realised they were not in the US, UK, NZ . There are already thousands of detransitioners online. Many of them are proud and defiant despite the damage done to them. Presumably many more are quiet, shamed, hurting and recovering and still too traumatised or depressed to be public.
Find out why Puberty Blockers are an untested experiment.
Read about New Zealand’s untested and experimental use of puberty blockers and social transitioning has changed the children and young people with gender confusion. Research shows that 85% would resolve their confusion. But with puberty blockers and early social transitioning almost all are continuing to medical and surgical treatment.
Understand the reasons why breast binding is damaging
Read about the way of the transgender lobby has worked in the UK to normalise the idea of breastbinding the impacts on girls and young women who wear chest binders that damage their breasts. More than 100 young New Zealand women are reportedly waiting to have binders fitted. And these are the kinds of health problems that are caused.
Attacks on researchers whose results counter the trans narrative.
Read about the pressure applied to the researcher who named Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria – a condition where young women mainly come to believe they are men because of social media grooming.
In summary there is much reason for concern about teaching transgender ideology in schools and its uncritical adoption by the medical profession
Unlike the UK, Sweden and Australia opposition to the affirmative only approaches of the transgender lobby is in its infancy in NZ. A group of people are forming to draw attention to the problems associated with treating gender change as a normal and expected variant. You can contact them on the email address above.
I was under the impression just before the 2017 election yhat the Green Party promised to seek $5 million for anti domestic-violence work and anti-bullying in schools.
Imagine my shock to read a tiny report in the paper after the election that of the $5 million voted a total of $3 million was for “gender reassignment surgery”. If I’m not wrong here ( and I may be), Jan Logie’s Party has been misleading.
John Morgan says
Many thanks for this good statement, Jan. Kia kaha kia toa kia mānawanui.