School districts are embroiled in a battle over whether to teach children in grades K-3 about being transgender. Advocates recommend teachers read their young students “Introducing Teddy,” about a boy teddy bear who transitions to be a girl, calling it a “heart-warming story about being true to yourself.”
The books offered to young children make changing genders sound like a cakewalk. Truth is, it’s easier for teddy bears than for people.
For honest answers on what should be taught in public schools, follow the science and the US Constitution.
First, the science: A staggering 99%-plus of the population does not have the physical traits that cause someone to become transgender. People with gender dysphoria — a condition that causes extreme distress — deserve empathy and respect. But only a miniscule 0.6% of the adult population has it, says the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, an LGBTQ think tank.
A classroom lesson proposed for New Jersey 6-year-olds called “Pink, Blue and Purple” says children should be taught, “You might feel like you’re a girl even if you have body parts that some people might tell you are ‘boy’ parts. . . . No matter how you feel, you’re perfectly normal.”
Normal, no. It is a rare condition. Most gender dysphoria manifests in early childhood, according to a 2020 study at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles, so guidance counselors and teachers should be trained to offer families help. But there’s no reason to incorporate it into the curriculum, inviting children to choose their pronouns and confusing the 99% who don’t have the condition.
The Human Rights Campaign and other LGBTQ+ advocacy groups ignore this science and insist that someone with “boy parts” can become a girl and vice versa.
These groups are teaming up with the National Education Association to steamroll schools into disseminating this false claim, even designating national reading days when school kids are indoctrinated with lessons about transgender characters like “I am Jazz” and “Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy Named Penelope.”
Scientists are still debating actual causes, but a consensus is emerging that boys’ and girls’ brains are different, and people with gender dysphoria have a brain structure that does not correspond to their genitalia at birth.
Transgender individuals process the sex hormones estrogen and androgen differently from other people. Exeter University researchers say gender dysphoria is caused by Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, in which “the testosterone receptor is mutated and faulty, and thus cannot function.”
The LGBTQ community is adamant this condition not be stigmatized as mental illness. When the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by American psychiatrists was updated in 2013, it changed Gender Identity Disorder to Gender Dysphoria.
Trans advocates want greater acceptance. But instructing young kids that it’s normal for boys to become girls and vice versa is going too far. Parents rightly fear their kids are being “groomed.”
In the last two decades, the proportion of minors saying they’re transgender has soared to 1.8%. Gender dysphoria used to be a condition experienced primarily by young boys. It’s suddenly shifted to teens born female. Brown University’s Lisa Littman calls this “social contagion,” meaning teenage girls mimicking their friends and claiming to be trans, without displaying the classic signs of gender dysphoria that emerge in early childhood.
Children need to be protected from gender hysteria and moving headlong into transitioning.
What does the US Constitution say? We have the freedom to practice our own religion. Many Christians and Jews believe God created man and woman. They don’t want their kids indoctrinated in a belief system that claims a person born with “boy parts” can become a girl. Parents in Ludlow, Mass., are suing to stop the public school from teaching transgenderism.
They’re likely to win. The US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled last year that an Ohio public university could not force a professor to address transgender students using their chosen pronouns contrary to the professor’s Christian beliefs. This month, Shawnee State University agreed to pay the professor $400,000 to settle his suit.
Transgender advocates have a right to their views, but they don’t have a right to brainwash our kids with them.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York.