In his recent townhall, presidential candidate Joe Biden endorsed experimental, irreversible medical interventions for gender-confused eight-year-olds. His reflexive and indeed casual approval of medical child abuse illustrates how successful the transgender industry, including politicized elements of the medical profession, has been in obscuring the issues and normalizing the abnormal. A recently uncovered letter shows how the Endocrine Society (ES) in particular has deftly misrepresented scientific reality to advance the agenda of that lucrative and increasingly powerful industry.
Endocrinologists are experts in the function of hormones and therefore play a critical role in the industry’s “gender-affirming” medical model. Because sex is determined by chromosomes, imprinted during development, and unchangeable by hormones after the fact, actual sex change is impossible. So, this model employs experimental interventions to help children and adolescents look and sound more like the opposite sex. These “gender-affirming” medical interventions include powerful puberty-blocking drugs and wrong-sex hormones that can irreversibly damage a young patient’s body and future health.
Ethical physicians recoil from this model. They cite reliable research showing the interventions don’t solve gender-related distress and ultimately do more harm than good. To soothe their concerns and build a research base justifying the unjustifiable, the Endocrine Society has long been promoting federal funding for trans-industry “studies” that reach the opposite, politically correct conclusions.
California endocrinologist Dr. Michael Laidlaw has delved into the swamp of this politicized research to determine how the National Institutes of Health could have been persuaded to fund it. His efforts recently unearthed a 2013 Endocrine Society letter that combined scientific deception with political activism to overcome qualms about experimenting on gender-confused children.
The 2013 letter appeared over the signature of the Endocrine Society’s then-president Dr. Teresa Woodruff and was sent to NIH’s “LGBTI Research Coordinating Committee.” While the broader membership of Endocrine Society, which includes Laidlaw, was never notified of or asked to approve the letter, the letter urged more taxpayer funding for experimental interventions on trans-identifying patients, including children:
Systematic studies of pubertal suppression of children who express gender dissonance prior to onset of puberty are needed to assess the potential benefits and risks of preventing physical development contrary to the child’s perceived gender at puberty. … Research is required to develop appropriate pediatric formulations for hormone replacement therapy. … We recommend that appropriate financial resources be deployed to enable these [NIH] institutes to successfully implement the research plan on a long-term basis.
Perhaps anticipating the glaring ethical objections, the Endocrine Society obscured the issue by lumping together trans-identifying patients with individuals suffering from a physical medical condition called Disorders of Sexual Development (also sometimes known as “intersex”). The letter repeatedly called for more research into medical treatments for “transgender and intersex patients,” as though the two conditions are related and should both be subject to medical experimentation. In truth, gender dysphoria and DSD are wholly separate and unrelated.
There are no medical tests to diagnose trans-identification, more formally known as gender dysphoria. These patients have normal biological markers for their biological sex, such as chromosomes, anatomy, hormone levels, and other clear identifiers. Trans-identification is purely psychological — a “feeling” that he or she should be the opposite sex.
Disorders of Sexual Development conditions, however, are another thing entirely — cases of exceedingly rare, medically identifiable anomalies in which either the sexual anatomy is inconsistent with the chromosomal sex or is not male or female. This ambiguous anatomy — typically caused by genetic or chromosomal defects that lead to fetal hormone abnormalities during pregnancy — can result in a mistaken identification of sex at birth. Yet these anomalies are “medically identifiable deviations from the human binary sexual norm.” They do not constitute a “third sex.”
Even though trans-identification is psychological and DSD/intersex conditions are physical, the Endocrine Society repeatedly blurred the distinction in its 2013 letter. This deliberate confusion of psychological and physical conditions is central to the Endocrine Society’s radically unscientific denial that humans are either male or female. As stated in the letter in question:
A fundamental educational issue, particularly relevant to the healthcare needs of patients who have variations in sexual and reproductive development, is the entrenched view within society of the binary concept of gender.
This would supposedly be similar to the entrenched view within society that the earth orbits the sun. But Endocrine Society and colleagues on the medical left — the people whose every move is supposedly dictated by science — challenge entrenched views no matter how silly and dangerous the revisionist narratives are. With its deceptive presentation in the 2013 letter, the Endocrine Society helped prime the pump for acceptance of those narratives in federally funded research.
Laidlaw was alarmed, if not surprised, by this letter:
It is clear that the Endocrine Society, through its president, was conflating disorders of sexual development with gender dysphoria in part to grab more federal dollars for ethically questionable research … There are serious ethical considerations to giving kids powerful hormones that block normal puberty and, in combination with wrong-sex hormones, lead to sterility. Why was the membership not informed of this letter? Why can it not be found anywhere on their website?
Former Endocrine Society president Woodruff, who signed the letter, specializes in preserving fertility for patients who must undergo fertility-endangering cancer treatments. In recent years, she has branched out to offer similar options to trans-identifying patients, including minors, whose normal reproductive functions will be destroyed by the medical experimentation she and Endocrine Society endorsed in the letter. Fertility preservation would be unnecessary in this context, of course, if radical doctors kept their drugs, their hormones, and their scalpels off the bodies of mentally suffering children.
This story has an ironic footnote. Now dean of the graduate school at Northwestern University, Woodruff is under attack from “transgender and non-binary” students who accuse her of vaguely defined insensitivity and neglect. On cue, Woodruff has begged forgiveness, proclaiming, “I am hearing your critiques and I have an open mind to the critiques and I have an open heart to what I’m hearing and the pain, and I pledge to work with all of you on each of these issues.” The mob, however, remains unmollified. Indeed, in 2020, it’s impossible to be woke enough.
The Endocrine Society is giving it a try. With pseudo-scientific jargon, political dogma, and a healthy dose of deception, the Endocrine Society is conditioning society to accept — and taxpayers to fund — manifestly absurd things. Truth is no longer a universally accepted value even among physicians and scientists. Young patients, and indeed human society, will pay the price.