As the Biden administration continues to try to use its regulatory powers to force a “gender-affirming” approach to children who question their sex, in other countries the rubber-stamping of a gender-dysphoric child’s belief and the prescribing of puberty-blocking drugs are under serious reconsideration. The U.K., Sweden, Finland, and France — not exactly Bible Belt countries — are all pulling back from the rush to transition children. Now, in the U.K., the Tavistock Gender Clinic — run by the National Health Service — is being shut down because it is not safe for children. From the Daily Mail story: The NHS‘s controversial child transgender clinic will shut its doors after a damning report found it was ‘not safe’ for children. The gender identity service at Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust will be replaced by regional centres at existing children’s hospitals, which will provide more holistic care with ‘strong links to mental health services’. It comes in response to an ongoing review led by senior paediatrician Dr Hilary Cass, who warned the gender clinic was ‘not a safe or viable long-term option’. She found other mental health issues were ‘overshadowed’ in favour of gender identity issues when children were referred to Tavistock’s Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS). In other words, children will not be pushed toward transitioning — as the Biden administration wants done here — but their mental and emotional issues will be more thoroughly explored. Part of the issue — also acknowledged in France — has been the exponential increase in cases, brought on I believe by a moral panic and a form of social contagion spread by social media: There have also been concerns about the sharp rise in referrals to GIDS. There were more than 5,000 referrals being made in the last year, compared to just a few hundred 10 years ago. The closure of the service for young people at Tavistock is likely to be seen as a victory by campaigners who have previously accused GIDS of rushing children onto puberty blocking drugs. Former patient Keira Bell took the clinic to the High Court, claiming that she had not been challenged enough when she was prescribed the drugs at age 16. It is also worth noting that transition ideologues were accused of pushing autistic children to transition in the U.K. The report that led to the clinic’s closure also worried that there is a lack of knowledge about the impact that puberty blocking has on maturing bodies. In other words, whereas the Biden administration claims these interventions are uncontroversial, the report makes clear that they are entirely experimental: In a letter to NHS England, Dr Cass also called for more research into the effects of puberty blockers on a young person’s brain development. [The report’s author] wrote: ‘A further concern is that adolescent sex hormone surges may trigger the opening of a critical period for experience-dependent rewiring of neural circuits underlying executive function (i.e. maturation of the part of the brain concerned with planning, decision making and judgement). ‘If this is the case, brain maturation may be temporarily or permanently disrupted by puberty blockers, which could have significant impact on the ability to make complex risk-laden decisions, as well as possible longer-term neuropsychological consequences. ‘To date, there has been very limited research on the short-, medium- or longer-term impact of puberty blockers on neurocognitive development.’ Meanwhile California is set to become a gender-affirming care sanctuary state, to the potential profound detriment of children. It’s time to hit the brakes on all of this. Our children’s futures are too important to allow trans ideology to drive our public-health policies.
Homelessness has reached crisis proportions. Few issues of human dignity are as heart wrenching as the wretched scenes in our most prosperous cities — San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle — where one can drive down main thoroughfares and be confronted with tent encampments lining streets that provide scant shelter for thousands of destitute people. The crisis is as multifaceted as it is seemingly intractable. What is the role of mental illness in the crisis? What about drug addiction? Is the rising cost of housing part of the problem, and if so, what can be done about it? What protections does society owe these vulnerable people based simply on their humanity and what responsibilities, if any, do they owe to greater society? It’s all such a mess, it is tempting to throw up one’s hands in despair. Thankfully, there are people willing to tackle the seemingly helpless cause. Wesley’s guest on this episode of Humanize, Robert Marbut, Jr., is one such man. Marbut is a renowned expert on homelessness and a senior fellow of Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth & Poverty. He has a PhD in Political Behavior and American Political Institutions and his career has been marked by bipartisanship having served as Chief of Staff for San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros in the 1980s, as a White House Fellow under George H. W. Bush, and most recently as the Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness from 2019 to 2021 under both the Trump and Biden administrations. Additionally, he served on the Board of Directors of the United States Olympic Committee from 1992 to 2004. Marbut is a tenured professor of government at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio, TX. Economics | Discovery Institute (wealthandpoverty.center) Most Cities’ Responses To Homelessness Actually Enable Even More Homelessness USICH Expanding the Toolbox Biden Administration’s ‘Free Crack Pipe’ Scheme Hurts the Homeless and Harms Society Jim Palmer of the Orange County Rescue Mission on causes and cures for America’s homelessness crisis