PROF JENKINS: 'Gender-affirming care' is anything but

Every word of 'gender-affirming care' is a lie.

Rob Jenkins is a Higher Education Fellow with Campus Reform and a tenured associate professor of English at Georgia State University - Perimeter College. In a career spanning more than three decades at five different institutions, he has served as a head men’s basketball coach, an athletic director, a department chair, and an academic dean, as well as a faculty member. Jenkins’ opinions are his own and do not represent those of his employer.     

Among the lies today’s Left loves to tell, one of the most blatant if not most egregious is that irreversible surgeries and hormone treatments for gender-confused people are somehow “gender-affirming.”

As I’ve noted before, leftists rely heavily on manipulating language to make their arguments. Since so many of their “ideas” have no basis in logic, reason, or objective reality, they must resort to telling us what we can and can’t say, redefining old words, and making up new ones.

This manipulation often involves what my colleague at Campus Reform, Professor Adam Ellwanger, called “policing speech” in a recent op-ed for Fox News. We must use people’s “preferred pronouns”—even if they’re biologically inaccurate—while avoiding common words like “mother,” “father,” and “Christmas.”

Nor are these merely suggestions. Campus Reform reported earlier this month that a student at the University of Cincinnati received an F on a writing assignment for using the term “biological woman.”

The Left also manipulates language by making up new words, like “transphobic” and “non-binary,” which have no connection to reality but serve to reinforce their perverse ideology.

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As I explained a few weeks ago, there is no such thing as “trans people.” “Trans” is short for “transition,” which according to Merriam-Webster refers to “a change or shift from one state…to another.” And “gender” is simply another word for “sex.” Since changing one’s sex is biologically impossible, “transgender” is thus incoherent. 

And even if there were “trans people,” no one would be afraid of them, which is what “phobic” means. The word was invented solely to slander people who reject the notion of “transgenderism.”

As for “non-binary,” well, there are only two sexes. Everyone (except perhaps a tiny handful with birth defects) must be either one or the other, which is what “binary” means.

But the most egregious way leftists manipulate language is by redefining common, seemingly innocuous terms to persuade an unsuspecting public that something barbaric is actually not only harmless but good.

The textbook example is “gender-affirming care,” every word of which is a lie.

By “gender,” leftists clearly mean “sex.” Those words have been essentially synonymous for decades. Up until a few years ago, “gender-affirming” procedures were referred to as “sex-reassignment.”

Their frequent protestations that “sex” and “gender” are somehow different is belied by the fact that the “gender-affirming treatments” they push are all aimed at either turning males into (artificial) females or vice-versa—in other words, changing their sex.

Nor is such “care” actually “affirming.” Quite the contrary. Attempting to turn someone into the opposite sex fundamentally denies their true sex.

It’s not even “care.” It’s abuse. For doctors, the prime directive has long been to “do no harm.” How does chemically castrating people and cutting off healthy body parts not constitute physical harm?

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It does, and everyone knows it. As Matt Margolis wrote in December for PJ Media, “There is strong evidence that this medical pathway…can lead to infertility and loss of future sexual function; among multiple side effects, bone health suffers.”

Gender ideologues will argue that, by “health care,” they’re referring primarily to mental health, citing the old trope that these treatments decrease the risk of serious depression and suicide among those who “identify” as “transgender.”  

That assertion, too, has been thoroughly debunked, notably in a long-term study out of Sweden that found that “sex-reassigned persons…had an increased risk for suicide attempts…and psychiatric inpatient care.”

Last week, a group of 21 leading gender experts from eight countries wrote to The Wall Street Journal to express disagreement with the “standard of care” outlined by The Endocrine Society, a leading proponent of “gender-affirming” treatments and surgeries for youth.

The signatories argue that the standard “is not supported by the best available evidence” and that that the idea of “gender-affirming care” as a suicide prevention measure “is contradicted by every systematic review.”

So next time you hear leftists using words that seem to make no sense—wait, changing someone’s sex is “affirming” it?—remember: They’re just making things up, manipulating language in order to manipulate you.

Editorials and op-eds reflect the opinion of the authors and not necessarily that of Campus Reform or the Leadership Institute.