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Gender Identity (Updated Winter 2016)

When considering gender dysphoria, it is important to focus on the mental health dimensions of gender identity disorders and to reject dangerous human experimentation. At the same time, we must give space to those who are struggling with their gender identity and seeking answers about who they are.

Transgenderism refers to the experiences of those who say there is a difference between their gender identity and their biological sex. Scripture teaches that God created two biological sexes: male and female. The biological difference between these two sexes cannot be changed. But a mental disconnect between biological sex and experienced gender can cause distress and is considered an identity disorder. One gender identity disorder which captures much attention today is gender dysphoria, which refers to those who suffer because they believe their gender identity is incongruent with their biological sex.

Some professionals regard gender identity disorder as a type of attachment disorder, and the cause is unknown. When children experience gender dysphoria, it is a signal that the child needs help. When gender dysphoria is celebrated as something which should be reinforced, the cry for help is silenced. Recent acceptance of hormone injections and sex change surgeries for those with gender dysphoria further complicate access to real help.

Studies show that many who undergo sex-change surgery later have regret, as they realize that they will never truly be the other sex. But the physical change and damage to their bodies is often irreversible. Gender dysphoria is a psychological disorder that cannot be solved through surgery or hormones.

Those who have undergone sex change surgery have much higher suicide rates than the general population and often have other comorbid psychological or social issues that were inadequately addressed prior to a sex change being recommended and approved.

Popular approaches to transgenderism are a result of social and political pressure, unsupported by any reputable scientific evidence. ARPA Canada’s recommendations focus on evidence-based public policy that protects transgender youth by helping those with gender dysphoria to be comfortable with their bodies, rather than encouraging their dysphoria and providing sex reassignment surgery or hormone treatment. Public policy should remove reference to terms that cannot be objectively measured such as ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression,’ and should permit body-affirming counselling and help for those who experience gender dysphoria.

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