Concerning Confused Youth in the Catholic Church.
Recently, I participated in a civil discussion about gender-confused youth in the Catholic Church with a fellow Patheos blogger. I also wrote about the coming persecution in light of the Church’s refusal to budge on issues of human sexuality. In all honesty, we know that the Catholic Church cannot change its positions on human sexuality. Since this is the case, what then can the everyday Catholic faithful do when confronted with the problem of gender confusion among young people? What’s at stake? What impact does this issue have on faithful Catholic families? Can we learn anything from medical and phycological professionals who advise caution? And those who regret their transition? Can we learn anything from them? If yes, then what? It is to these questions that this article turns.
Know what’s at stake
With all the back and forth between progressive and conservative Catholics, many get bogged down in emotional arguments over gender ideology. Some even equate those who do not subscribe to affirmative care with gender-confused young people facilitating harm or even death. On the contrary, those who subscribe to a cautious approach do so to lessen the permanent damage caused by hormone therapy and surgery.. Anyone who takes the time to study and reflect on this question does so by care and concern for those concerned, not out of a desire to control or harm. If this is agreed from the outset, the possibility of better dialogue increases. Moreover, no one in the debate believes gender dysphoria a myth. The question to be answered is how to address the larger problem of confused young people, because not all confused young people are gender dysphoric. Safer gender dysphoria later.
Impacts on Faithful Catholic Families
What about faithful Catholic families? These families can’t stand the idea that their child is one way inside and another way outside. They are against hormone therapy and surgery. These parents are also supported by scientific studies, psychology and their Church. Given these facts, what happens when the state disagrees with the parents?
Do those who support positive care also support the state’s removal of a child who identifies as trans from a loving Catholic family who follows the Church’s teaching on human sexuality? Moreover, would those who support positive care call this loveless family by following Catholic teaching?
Impact of regret on the individual
In addition, many people regret having made the transition. Many still suffer from the same issues they had before their transition, but are now permanently scarred. Many are at higher risk of cancer due to hormones treatments. Others are now sterile and unable to experience sexual pleasure due to the surgery. What advice do proponents of positive care give to these people? Would they say to them, “sorry, but back then we saved your life?” Would they accept this answer?
Cultural Phenomenon Vs. Legit Mental Health Crisis
Also, how do you determine if a child is truly gender dysphoric and not just confused and under the influence of social pressure?
According to the New York Post:
“In recent years the number of children with gender dysphoria in the West has skyrocketed. Exact figures are hard to come by, but between 2009 and 2019 the number of children referred for transitional treatment in the UK has increased by 1,000% among biological men and 4,400% among biological women.Meanwhile, the number of young people identifying as transgender in the United States has nearly doubled since 2017, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (https://nypost.com/2022/06/18/detransitioned-teens-explain-why-they-regret-changing-genders/)
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention report
How do we as a society determine what is social contagion and what is not? Wouldn’t the cautious course require a cautious approach instead of direct application of hormones and surgery? Also, when it comes to our youth, we as a society set age limits for tattoos, smoking, drinking, and voting, but that doesn’t show up on gender decisions that can have irrevocable consequences. How does that make sense?
Other Disorders: Lessons Learned
Otherwise, gender dysphoria has a correlation with other bodily disorders, particularly bulimia and bodily integrity identity disorder. How would someone who supports affirmative care advise people with bulimia or body integrity identity disorder? Would they affirm bulimics in their disordered body image or would they encourage someone with BIID that they really are paralyzed or have no limbs? So would affirmative care involve paralysis surgery or the removal of unwanted limbs? The obvious answer is comprehensive psychiatric care. The answer is to help people with these disorders recognize their body truth. Only then can they embark on the path to recovery. This course of caution is the best and wisest course.
In fact, gender dysphoria – the official psychiatric term for feeling of the opposite sex – belongs to the family of similar disordered assumptions about the body, such as anorexia nervosa and body dysmorphic disorder. Its treatment should not be directed at the body as with surgery and hormones any more than anorexic patients fearing obesity are treated with liposuction. Treatment should strive to correct the false and problematic character of the assumption and to resolve the psychosocial conflicts that cause it. – Paul McHugh, MD, emeritus university professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and former chief psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
In conclusion, caution should drive all discussions about young people with gender confusion. The challenge facing the Catholic Church is not small. As a volunteer with the local parish youth program, I know firsthand the extent of this problem. Confusion among our young people, especially about gender, is currently at an all-time high. Therefore, anyone who cares about this issue should proceed with caution. The positive management involving hormonal treatments and irreversible surgeries testifies to a lack of caution and recklessness. Our young people deserve better from us.
Please see the resources below. I am ready to check everything that is given to me to read, I hope you will do the same.
Male and female, he created them” – educatio.va. (nd). Retrieved August 24, 2022 from http://www.educatio.va/content/dam/cec/Documenti/19_0997_INGLESE.pdf
Schlott, R. (2022, June 19). “I Literally Lost Organs”: Why Detransitioned Teens Regret Changing Sex. New York Post. Retrieved August 27, 2022, from https://nypost.com/2022/06/18/detransitioned-teens-explain-why-they-regret-changing-genders/
Gender dysphoria and sex reassignment surgery. CMS.gov Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (nd). Retrieved August 27, 2022, from https://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/view/ncacal-decision-memo.aspx?proposed=N&NCAId=282&bc=ACAAAAAAQAAA&
Person & Identity (a transition group)
Common sense care
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