Sex change in children: “We can no longer remain silent in the face of a serious societal shift”

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In an article published in the French newspaper L’Express on September 20, 2021, more than 50 signatories expressed grave concerns about how gender ideology is influencing gender-questioning children and leading to their medicalization.

About fifty psychologists/psychiatrists, doctors, and intellectuals speak out against the “ideological hold on children’s bodies” made in the name of the emancipation of the “transgender child.”

Associated with the Observatory of ideological discourses on children and teenagers, a collective of childcare professionals and researchers (doctors, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, lawyers, magistrates, teachers of the National Education, philosophers, sociologists, etc.), some fifty professionals are protesting against the idea of “self-determination” of the child which they believe legitimizes a sharp increase in requests for sex change, particularly among teenagers. 

We can no longer remain silent about what appears to us as a serious societal shift committed in the name of the emancipation of the “transgender child” (one who declares that he or she was not born in the “right body”). On the argument that “feelings” equal truth, radical rhetoric has legitimized the requests for sex change. But it is at the price of a lifelong medical and even surgical treatment (removal of breasts or testicles) on children or teenagers’ bodies. It is this phenomenon and its strong media impact that concerns us and not the choices of transgender adults. 

Perhaps thinking it provided a response to this phenomena, the Scottish government has issued new guidelines for LGBT inclusion, effective since August 12, which says that, from the age of entry into primary school, children will be able to change their name and sex at school without their parents’ consent. Without their consent and even without their knowledge if the child requests it. 

Children are led to believe that a girl can become a boy and vice versa because they have decided to do so without the advice of adults, and this, at an increasingly young age. 

What is happening in neighbouring countries could very quickly happen in France: the diffusion of these beliefs has resulted in a considerable inflation of requests for sex reassignment among children and more particularly among adolescent girls. According to Jean Chambry, a child psychiatrist in charge of the CIAPA (Intersectoral Center for Adolescents in Paris), nearly ten years ago, there were about ten requests per year; in 2020, it was ten requests per month (and only for the Ile-de-France region). He speaks of a worrying acceleration of medical responses to these transition requests. 

Some claim that we could do without biological reality, the sexual differences between men and women, in favor of chosen characteristics based solely on “feelings.” These unfounded claims are transmitted via social networks where many teenagers in search of identity come to look for solutions to their malaise. In the name of “self-determination” — a slogan that appeals to all progressives — I am free to choose the body I want — children and teenagers are convinced that they can change their sex with the help of hormonal treatments or even mutilating surgery. This rhetoric, spread by activists in many Western countries, uses sophistries designed to deceive.

Stolen Childhood 

How did we get here? And do we, the undersigned, have the right to react without being insulted or threatened? In what way would these rights to self-determination be a progress conducive to human fulfilment? This phenomenon, the “transgender child,” is in reality a contemporary deceit that must be vigorously denounced because it is due to ideological indoctrination. Some would like us to believe that in the name of the well-being and freedom of each person, a child, freed from the oversight of his “reactionary” parents, would be able to “choose” his so-called gendered identity. 

But children are beings in construction, constantly changing before they reach maturity. Neuroscientists, developmentalists, psychoanalysts, child psychiatrists, pediatricians, and all specialists in early childhood are unanimous on this subject.

Children, and even more so teenagers, are now under the influence of a set of beliefs that lead to mental destabilization, a rupture with the family if it does not support the child, and with all those who refuse to share this point of view. This ideological grip generates an anti-social and accusatory rhetoric, a specific language, or even a newspeak imposed on everyone around them. The language of these young people is often scripted as if they had lost all critical thinking (which is a characteristic of this grip).  

We denounce this abduction of childhood. It is now urgent to inform the greatest number of citizens, of all professions, of all allegiances, of all ages, about what could be tomorrow one of the greatest health and ethical scandals that we could have watched happen without saying a word: the commodification of children’s bodies. Because by persuading these children that they have been “assigned” a sex at birth, and that they can freely change it, we make them lifelong patients: lifelong consumers of hormonal chemicals marketed by pharmaceutical companies, recurrent consumers of more and more surgeries in the pursuit of the chimerical dream of a fantasy body. Currently, countries that were in favor of medical transition before the age of majority now prohibit hormonal treatments for minors (Sweden, the United Kingdom, and some states of the USA).

This dogmatism causes great confusion, so that no one knows how to act and speak up, often for fear of certain LGBTQI+ associations. But this acronym covers very different people, some of whom are worried like us about the current trend. Some of them are subjected to the law of silence that reigns in this environment. The Swedish documentary Trans train shows that young adults, left to their loneliness and threatened if they speak publicly, declare that they have been pressured by their trans community when they have expressed doubts or “detransitioned” (*). 

Confusion reigns, largely maintained for the purpose of manipulating people in the most profound way: their evolution, their temporality, their wanderings, and their doubts. In the name of rejecting the alleged assignment of sex, we are in the process of assigning identity without understanding anything. Thus Claude of The Famous Five, formerly considered a tomboy, is presented today as transgender. One could laugh about it if it were not symptomatic of our time that is influenced by radical politics which preempt any debate.  

No, in the name of the protection of children we definitely can no longer remain silent! We refuse that, under the guise of “human rights,” one challenges our commonalities – the universalism of rights – which constitutes the foundation of humanity.  

*Young people who regret the social and/or medical transition process as an answer to their malaise

Signatories

Nicole Athéa (endocrinologist-gynecologist), Elisabeth Badinter (philosopher), Anne-Laure Boch (neurosurgeon, Hôpital de la Salpêtrière), Thierry Baranger (honorary magistrate, former president of the children’s courts of Paris and Bobigny), Marie-Jo Bonnet (historian, writer), Jean-François Braunstein (philosopher, professor at the University Panthéon Sorbonne), Anna Cognet (cllinical psychologist), Alain Cornec (lawyer), Laurence Croix (lecturer at the University of Nanterre), Chantal Delsol (philosopher, member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences,), Bernard Devauchelle, (professor of medicine and head of the maxillofacial surgery department of Amiens University Hospital), Marie Josèphe Devillers (lesbian feminist activist), Christine Le Doaré (lawyer, feminist activist), Catherine Dolto, (haptotherapist), Corinne Ehrenberg (psychoanalyst), Caroline Eliacheff (child psychiatrist, psychoanalyst), Xavier Emmanuelli (doctor, president of Samu Social international), Nicole Farges (psychologist, psychoanalyst), Natalie Felzenszwalbe (honorary lawyer), Isabelle Ferrari (co-founder of AMQG (Measured approach to gender issues among young people) in Geneva), Christian Flavigny (child psychiatrist, psychoanalyst), Esther Fouchier (President of the Mediterranean Women’s Forum), Pascale Fourcade (psychiatrist), René Frydman (professor of medicine), Delphine Girard (professor of classical letters in college, activist), Bernard Golse (child psychiatrist, psychoanalyst (APF), professor emeritus of child and adolescent psychiatry, University of Paris), Julie Gosselin (computer scientist, feminist), Nadia Guenet (director of the radio show “The Revolution will be feminist”) , Liliane Kandel (sociologist, feminist, member of the editorial board of Modern Times), Annick Karsenty (president of the association of “femmes solidaires” in Marseille), Aaron Kimberly (Gender Dysphoria Alliance, Canada), Frédérique Kuttenn (former head of the department of endocrinology and reproductive medicine at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital), Rhadija Lamrani Tissot (psychoanalyst, linguist), Jean-Pierre Lebrun (psychiatrist, psychoanalyst), Manuel Maidenberg (pediatrician), Danièle Manesse (linguist, researcher in language teaching, Sorbonne-Nouvelle University), Céline Masson (university professor), Martine de Maximy (honorary magistrate, former juvenile judge), Isabelle de Mecquenem (associate professor of philosophy, member of the council of elders of secularism), Scott Newgent (TReVoices), Sylvie Quesemand Zucca (doctor, psychiatrist), Gérard Rabinovitch (philosopher, sociologist), Jean-Pierre Rosenczveig (former president of the Bobigny Children’s Court), Hana Rottman (pediatrician, child psychiatrist), Olivia Sarton (lawyer), Dominique Schnapper (sociologist, political scientist), Myriam Szejer (child psychiatrist), Sonia Timsit (psychiatrist, psychoanalyst), Claire Squires (lecturer, University of Paris), Samuel Veissière (anthropologist and professor of transcultural psychiatry at McGill University in Montreal), Jean-Pierre Winter (psychoanalyst), WHRC-France (Women Human Rights Campaign (Droits des femmes fondés sur le sexe).