gender dysphoria

The Tooth Fairy and Gender Dysphoria

27 May 2024

3.5 MINS

by Jennifer Bauwens and Walt Heyer

Parents often concoct ways for their children to have fun growing up. Playing games such as the “Tooth Fairy” has been a tradition for many American children. The tooth fairy tradition is meant to be a harmless way for parents to engage in make-believe play with their growing children. But what happens when the lines of play become blurred with reality?

This is exactly what is happening with what has been ingeniously named “gender-affirming care”, a so-called treatment that has been sold by transgender activists as highly successful for people diagnosed with “gender dysphoria”. This so-called treatment refers to a practice that includes social reinforcement (i.e., social transition), drugs to block normal puberty, cross-sex hormones, and surgically amputating healthy body parts in an effort to deal with a psychological discomfort or a feeling of not fitting in your body.

When a child experiences the symptoms of gender dysphoria, medical authorities should be tasked with helping the minor’s psychological self align with their physical bodies. Instead, the medical establishment in the U.S. holds that practitioners should affirm a fantastical, psychological self, rather than help the child embrace reality.

This article is intended to be a loving warning to parents whose child may encounter an “affirming” educator or practitioner. Here are a few things you should know to avoid these dangers.

“Gender-Affirming Care” Is Dangerous, Says Finnish Dr Riittakerttu Kaltiala

First, the scientific evidence continues to be declared as weak at very best. Recently, Dr Riittakerttu Kaltiala, chief adolescent psychiatrist at Finland’s Tampere University Hospital, who was tasked with establishing the first national pediatric gender clinic in 2011, bluntly stated that, based on the scientific evidence, “gender-affirming care” for minors is dangerous and provides no benefit. Dr Kaltiala’s claim comes on the heels of other countries that also reviewed the scientific literature for “gender affirming care” and have, in turn, backed away from the harmful practice (e.g., Sweden, Norway, U.K., Finland, France).

God’s Design

Second, God’s design for humanity can be readily seen in nature. He designed humans in two different but complementary sexes, male or female, and this is fixed at conception. There is no doctor that can change a patient’s God-given sex, regardless of how many hormones or surgeries they provide.

Gender Dysphoria Is a Symptom

Last, parents can protect their children by understanding “gender dysphoria” is a symptom that points to underlying causes such as adverse childhood experiences, trauma, social contagion, or untreated mental illness, none of which are related to gender.

Parents must understand that simply because a gender specialist has diagnosed the child with gender dysphoria, it doesn’t mean the diagnosis is true, set in stone, or that the therapist is even prepared to deal with the contributing issues to the dysphoric symptoms. Young people, especially girls, are easy prey for the burgeoning social contagion and self-diagnosis of “gender dysphoria.” Parents should view the imposition of a “gender dysphoria” diagnosis with a healthy dose of scepticism.

In the U.S., gender therapists routinely over-diagnose youth with “gender dysphoria” and rush children into “gender-affirming care.” Whistleblower Jamie Reed, formerly a case manager at The Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, revealed the disturbing details and sad outcomes she observed among the adolescents treated there.

Parents must not let gender clinics alter the form, function, or purpose God designed for their children. In fact, the best advice for keeping kids healthy is to stay away from transgender centres. If need be, find a child psychiatrist or therapist who is not “gender-affirming”, but who will dive into the child’s history to uncover the hidden factors causing the child’s distress and address them.

Considering the effect of past events in driving a child’s distress is often overlooked, but it is the key to avoiding the harmful and dangerous effects of “gender-affirming care”.

Remember, dysphoria is a symptom “associated with a variety of mental illnesses, some of which include stress, anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders.”

Some of the contributing factors of gender distress and anxiety to look for are:

  1. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  2. Engagement in “trans” social media groups or gaming
  3. A friend group with a preponderance of trans-identified peers or pressure to be trans (social contagion)
  4. Autism
  5. Serious health issues like cancer, traumatic brain injury
  6. Fear of puberty changes, problems fitting in, loneliness
  7. Mental disorders, such as body dysmorphia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder
  8. Addiction to pornography, drugs, or alcohol

All of these conditions can be treated successfully, however; these issues will never be resolved through puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, or surgeries.

Healthy childhood experiences may include the innocent fun of the tooth fairy, but allowing a child to receive “gender-affirming care” to impersonate the opposite sex socially, avoid the important maturation process that occurs during puberty, poison the body with cross-sex hormones, and surgically remove healthy breasts, uterus, or male genitalia is not harmless, and the consequences are long-lasting and regrettable, not fun.

Kids eventually outgrow the need for the tooth fairy when their baby teeth are spent. But for children who are diagnosed with “gender dysphoria” and undergo “gender-affirming care,” when they later outgrow the need to escape into another persona, much of the damage to their bodies and psyches remains.


Dr Jennifer Bauwens is the Director of the Center for Family Studies at the Family Research Council.
Walt Heyer serves as Senior Fellow in the Center for Family Studies at the Family Research Council.

Republished with thanks to The Washington Stand. Image courtesy of Tú Nguyễn.

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One Comment

  1. Gail Petherick 27 May 2024 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Thank you Jennifer and Walt for this very comprehensive article and very clear insights. I hope your article reaches many parents and those who are unaware of the way children or teens so can easily be swayed or taken advantage of, by those who have a destructive agenda.
    May God bless the ones who speak up, like the case manager at The Transgender St Louis children’s hospital clinic. May many more speak up and be heard and media outlets open up to the truth.

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