A Transgender Child?

Question-MarkThe other day, as I was catching up on news from the NFL combine, I came across a headline that caught my attention, “Transgender child banned from girls’ bathroom”“Coy Mathis, 6, was born a male but has presented as a female since she was 18-months-old, her mother Kathryn Mathis told talk show host Katie Couric.” I was confused and it was not about who used what bathrooms.

To be transgendered is to identify with a gender other than your biological gender. Why was a 6 year old child identifying as a gender other than the child’s biological gender? How did this happen from 18 months of age? How can an 18 MONTH OLD CHILD choose to identify with a different gender? Was he playing “dress-ups” one day and put on a dress, causing his parents to make this assumption? What kid doesn’t do that? Did he sit down and explain to his parents his frustration at being a boy and that he wanted to identify as a girl? Society (in Australia) does not legally allow people to vote, drink alcohol or get married until they are 18. This is the age that western society deems a person responsible and mature enough to be able to make life-changing decisions.

Who let an 18-month-old determine that he was confused with his gender and allowed him to begin presenting himself as a girl? This is a life-changing decision that requires more maturity to process than voting or drinking alcohol.

As it seems ridiculous and unreasonable that an 18 month old child could make that decision, was it in fact the parents that made this decision on the child’s behalf? If so, what are the implications of that? Has our gender simply become a choice? There is a massive ethical debate in the area of choosing the sex of children through IVF. Changing a child’s gender at 18 months old on behalf of a child goes way beyond that debate and in my opinion can be nothing other than immoral. How does a child return from that to embrace his true gender if he wishes to? What are the emotional and social implications to “change” his gender “back” to his biological gender? What happens during puberty? The child will have no choice, it seems, other than to have the hormone treatment–at a minimum. His parents have backed him into a corner from which it will be very hard to recover. This is simply irresponsible parenting!

Richard Dawkins talks about Christians committing child abuse as they “brainwash” their children, teaching them about the Bible. This is unreasonable because children do not grow up in a vacuum, unbiased by the worldview of their guardians. Every parent teaches their children their values and worldview, even atheists. Later in life the child then makes a decision as to which worldview they wish to adopt personally. It is a natural process of becoming an adult. This situation is completely different, based on my above thoughts! Would Dawkins call this child abuse? He would have trouble doing so because this idea is acceptable within his atheist philosophy. There is nothing wrong, from an atheist’s position, to raise their male child as a female.

The reason I believe it is child abuse and immoral is because the parents failed to implement and guide their child based on one of the simplest absolutes in life, gender. The problem is that this absolute has been undermined, especially over the last two generations. As society has rejected the idea that we are created by God and answerable to him, all absolutes are now up for question. The distinction was then made between a physical and non-physical gender within a person to justify individual decisions to change their gender. I believe that people do have these internal struggles but that the source of the struggle is based in our sin. Many people struggle with different sinful thoughts that cannot be acted out for the sake of doing what is right. This trend has begun a very slippery slope that has become very obvious through this particular news article, where an 18-month-old child became transgendered, under the influence of his parents who are supposed to look out for and protect his wellbeing.

If we remove God and absolute morals from our world, there is nothing wrong with this story and we should have no reason to be upset by it. If you are upset by it, it is because you know it is inherently wrong based on the natural law under which we all live. If gender is up for question based on individual feelings or perceptions, what other physical attributes become relative such as eye colour, height, or our age? Where will it end? I, for one, do not wish to find out!

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DISCLAIMER: Blog entries made by individual authors reflect the views of the author and not necessarily the view of other CAA authors, or the official position of the group at large.
About Kit Walker

Kit is a disciple of Christ, a husband, father and Design Engineer with a Masters in Apologetics. His family life is lived across 3 different continents. This gives them great access to different cultures and is why he desires to make apologetics practical and applicable within the culture he lives. While he loves the intellectual debates, he tries not to lose sight of seeking, discovering and discussing truth within his everyday person in his community. He believes that morality should be discussed in the public square for the good of the wider community. He also believes that science and the Scriptures are compatible and not mutually exclusive. You can read more about him at In The Cultural Apologetics Box and follow him on Facebook and When Worldviews Collide.

  • Samuel

    The thing about transgender children is that there is a condition that some children are born with at birth called Gender Identity Disorder. I saw the full story on ABC where they talked about this issue and this specific case. Thought i do see your point though but i think it is a little misrepresented. The parents only fulfilled the wishes of the child at around age four. The child went through a bunch of mental treating facilities and other treatments before diagnosed with this. Since there is no cure, many people just let the children with this grow up as the gender they wish to be. I have a neutral opinion on this but i do understand where you are coming from. Its not much a brain washing thing as it is the child’s natural tendencies. I dont like dawkins either but this is a seperate issue from brainwashing and stuff

    • Kitwalker05

      Samual, thank you for sharing additional information that you have heard on the story. I had also heard after posting that the parents were acting on medical advice. Not being a medical professional, I cannot comment on the diagnosis although it does worry me. It is interesting that at times in the field of science, the meta-physcial is ignored for the evidence of the physical. In this case, it seems to be the opposite reaction. With the utmost respect to the medical professionals and those who suffer form mental illness, I often wonder if any disorders are created to justify actions in our all-tolerant and relative worldview. I am not saying this is the case in this matter. It begs the question though of what we do with a female in a male’s body if we believe in absolute morality. If you believe in a creator, is the disconnect a cause of sin undermining our conscience or if evolution, is it a negative mutation? How do we explain this unnatural occurrence?

      • DeborahHarrity33

        This is not a made up disorder. These kids understand from an early age that their perceived gender does not match their body. I’m talking about 1 – 2 years of age. This dichotomy causes severe distress, and drastically increases the odds that the kid is going to suffer from serious depression, self-harm, drug / alcohol use and suicide. It’s that serious. Parents who face this come face to face with the reality that they may find a dead child when they awaken in the morning.

        Medical practitioners accidentally discovered that if you allow the child to express in the desired gender, all of these issues disappear. No drugs, no hospitalization, no rehab. They just become happy, typical kids. So rather than risk a kid who cuts, uses illegal drugs, or tries to commit suicide, the treatment is to allow the child to live in the role of the desired gender. It works.

        MDs suggest that it’s hormonal. If the right hormones don’t fire at the right times, in exactly the right amount, the body may morph, but the brain doesn’t.

        • Kitwalker05

          Deborah,

          Thanks for your thoughts on this. It is certainly a very difficult topic of discussion. I do not pretend to have an answer but I do want to continue to process the reality of it as much as I can, not only in the theoretical but practical.

          Can I ask a question? Is it right that every feeling or emotion experienced internally by an individual be embraced and accepted by the wider community? Are there any internal desires that an individual could experience that would not be embraced as acceptable by a community or society? Is self control a relevant character trait or not or any value in todays relative world?

          I have a family member who deals with a serious hormone imbalance but she does what she can to deal with it in practical ways and moves on. It does not mean she is a man.

          No one wants kids hurting themselves, that is agreed by us both. I just wonder if letting them do what their body is supposedly telling them is the correct solution. If my child had the internal drive to play on a busy road, I would not let them despite any tantrums and defiance because it is not in their best interests. Or do you disagree?

    • Michael

      This comment clearly relates to Intersex rather than Transgender. For the past 15 years I have been a board member of the first Intersex trust in the world – the Intersex Trust of Aotearoa New Zealand.
      I thoroughly recommend to anyone interested in the subject ( or not! ) they see the film ‘Intersexions’ headed by Mani Mitchell, founder of the Trust.

      • Kitwalker05

        Michael,

        Thank you for sharing this information. I watched the video and found it honest and thought provoking. I am not sure if this particular case that I references is Intersex because I have not heard that this was an issue of the boy having female anatomy. It was rather instead more of a personal preference in my understanding.

        I am glad that there is support now for those born with both male and female organs. I could not imagine the process and confusion that one must initially go through before coming to a practical solution. What you speak of is certainly not about a person being born one gender and via preference, choosing to change their gender (transgender). Thank you for helping support these dear people. I for one appreciate it.

  • Kitwalker05

    An update on the case in mention is in the following article …

    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2013/06/16/12/34/transgender-girl-wins-right-to-use-girls-toilets

    The school board ruled that the child now has all rights as that of a female student, even in sports. When gender can no longer be absolute, what hope do we really have that anything is absolute in our physical world?

  • Hampster Seeds

    Well written article, finally someone who sees the wickedness in raising transgender children. Transgender boys claim they identify as the opposite sex because they like girl toys and clothes better. And they’re right, girl stuff is far better than stupid army men and green slime, but that’s all. They don’t understand sexuality as an adult and won’t understand it till they hit puberty, which will never happen on puberty inhibitors. It’s the perversion of the parents that instill this twisted notion that God put them in the wrong body since they like to play with dolls. As for the girl toys being better there’s the ‘Brony’ movement, which allows grown men and boys to feel free to purchase, collect and play with girly item such as ‘My Little Ponies’ without their sexuality being jeopardized.

    The American Psychological Association no longer classifies ‘gender identity disorder’ as a mental disorder but instead prescribes puberty-blocking drugs and hormones to children which can have some adverse side effects. The fact that most of society accepts same sex marriage and Gender dysphoria as normal and healthy is disturbing to say the least. Now schools are required to teach children as early as Kindergarten that homosexuality is perfectly normal. Boys are permitted in the girls bathrooms if they play with dolls. There’s a word for implanting perverted ideas in to a child’s head.
    What’s next? Will the APA classify Transpecies and Transage as normal behaviors in the future?

    • Kitwalker05

      Thanks Hampster Seeds for adding to the discussion. As society begins to groom this type of ‘tolerance’ through the public education system, it will become more critical that we as parents can address issues such as this at home. I just hope and pray I have the wisdom and grace to do so in a way that allows my children to reject the behaviours but have compassion on the individual.

  • Michael

    Hi, and thanks for the various comments. Please do not read this as any kind of adverse pun, but I think the opening paragraph is ambiguous. I have shared it with intersex friends and they too feel it does give a sense of the child being in an intersex situation – hence my remarks.
    It is of course a matter of language – and it is a language that is changing and evolving and changing almost day by day. For example, one very rarely uses the term hermaphrodite in this day and age.
    I guess it teaches us all something about the use of language, translation ( even between English speaking cultures – there are so many American English expressions I cannot understand without explanation ).
    There is one associate professor in Hong Kong working on the whole gambit of queer language and its relationship to the rest of the world – and interesting, but I suspect, hard road.

    • Kitwalker05

      Michael,
      Thank you for your additional comments and because I respect you, I really wish to understand your position more clearly. I am still a little confused by how to distinguish between (i) a person who is born with multiple reproductive organs and physical evidences that do not give a clear indication of gender (what I understand to be interest) or (ii) a person who is clearly born with the physical evidences of a specific gender yet they later choose to live as the opposite gender. When I spent time on your website listening to the different testimonies, I was of the understanding that most, if not all people, were from the first distinction above. Is that correct? My understanding of this article was that the child was in the second situation I mentioned above. I would appreciate any further feedback or clarification on this. Thanks again.
      Kit