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‘We are butchering children’: Academics unite against ‘medical transitioning’ of kids

‘The premise of the current ‘gender-affirming’ model of care is unsound and leads to serious harm,’ conference participant and biologist said

Academics, clinicians, writers, and others critical of contemporary gender ideology gathered in Denver at a conference hosted by an international group opposing “gender-affirming care” for children.

Genspect launched its “Bigger Picture Conference” Nov. 4-5 to advance its mission and build community. The group formed in 2021 “as a coalition of parent and professional groups, united in concern about the inappropriate social and medical transitioning of young people questioning their gender,” according to its website.

Conference organizers invited 20 speakers on topics ranging from psychology, education reform, detransition accounts, and gender identity.

Among that lineup was evolutionary biologist Heather Heying, formerly a professor at Evergreen State College. She agreed to speak at the conference “enthusiastically and without hesitation” because “we are butchering children and there is no excuse,” she told The College Fix.

Heying went to the conference to “provide scientific findings and language for parents and young people… to gain an understanding of biology and human complexity.”

“We should understand reality (sex is binary, differences between the sexes are real), and not fight that reality, but also know what we can actually change a lot about ourselves that seems unchangeable,” she said.

Heying and her husband, fellow former Evergreen State College Professor Bret Weinstein, co-host the popular “DarkHorse” podcast exploring life from an evolutionary perspective and criticizing social justice taboos.

In 2017, baseball-bat wielding protesters at Evergreen State surrounded and threatened Professor Weinstein, who is white, for refusing to leave campus for a day of sensitivity trainings alongside his white peers during the school’s annual “Day of Absence,” The Fix reported at the time. Both Weinstein and Heying resigned shortly after.

In its Sept. 19 news release about the conference, Genspect stated, “Traditional exploratory psychotherapy for gender-distressed youth must replace affirmative care, of course, and a rigorous scientific method must continue challenging the shoddy evidence base for activist-driven gender medicine.”

On the first day of the event, the organization tweeted that tickets had sold out.

Alex Byrne, professor of philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, went to the conference in hope of demonstrating “how philosophy can make a contribution to debates about sex and gender,” he told The Fix in an email. His upcoming book, “Trouble with Gender: Sex Facts, Gender Fictions,” is a critique of “the new gender revolution.”

Bryne was drawn to speak at the conference by the “great lineup of thoughtful presenters, who collectively {came] with a huge amount of expertise,” he said.

Colin Wright, a Manhattan Institute Fellow and member of Genspect’s The Killarney Group think tank, told The Fix his conference presentation focused on dispelling “common arguments forwarded by gender activists claiming that ‘there are more than two sexes’ and that ‘sex is a spectrum.'”

“The premise of the current ‘gender-affirming’ model of care is unsound and leads to serious harm,” Wright said.

Conference advanced alternative to transgender ‘standards of care’ that opposed age limits for drugs and surgery

Wright told The Fix that Genspect’s efforts are “groundbreaking” because “for so long there had been no organized pushback to WPATH’s highly medicalized Standards of Care.”

WPATH’s Standards of Care 8 is “based on the best available science and expert professional consensus” and provides “clinical guidance” for “safe and effective pathways to achieving lasting personal comfort with [patients’] gendered selves,” according to its website.

However, Genspect Vice-Director Alasdair Gunn wrote in a Nov. 3 website post that the Standards of Care is a “a wildly ideological document.”

“The ethics chapter, though already written, which appeared in the publicly available draft, was deleted,” he wrote. “Also deleted were all recommendations regarding minimum age limits for medical transition (with the exception of phalloplasty, which is reserved for those over the age of 18 due to the complexity of the procedure).”

“Perhaps most frighteningly, the concept of a ‘eunuch gender identity’ was advanced, with a view to normalizing the removal of the testes alone in males, leaving the penis in place,” he wrote.

At the conference, Genspect doctors, academics and other experts drafted “The Gender Framework,” an alternative guide to gender dysphoria that affirms biological reality.

“Where SOC 8 facilitates medical transition, the Gender Framework presents a comprehensive, non-medical means of dealing with distress about gender issues,” Gunn wrote regarding the document.

Genspect plans to officially launch the Gender Framework at their conference in Lisbon, Portugal in September 2024.

MORE: UVA students protest author of book on teen transgender phenomenon

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article had a different headline. No factual changes were made.

IMAGE: Alexander Grey/Unsplash

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