What Every Intactivist Must Know About Transgender Ideology


As an Intactivist, I have always claimed that intact genitals have the highest value among the available alternatives. I have always worked from the perspective of protecting children from harmful genital cutting. I use physical harm as the objective measure of harm rather than relying on cultural relativism or subjective standpoints which might excuse this harm. It is from this perspective on harm that I write this essay.

Preventing the sexual dysfunction that results from circumcision is fundamental to an Intactivist’s work. We know that there is no such thing as cutting genitals without an irreparable loss of sexual function. We understand the mischievous design of medical research and the manipulation of data to further an existing agenda, whether it be religious, cultural, political, or financial. We are well aware of research bias, lack of consent, poor ethics, and sexual harm.

Infant circumcision is still considered by many to be an enlightened and medically beneficial procedure. For them, it is not a mutilation, but the repair of a defect of nature. Boys can be improved, and it is the physician’s responsibility to do so. Throughout the history of medicine, many such absurdities have been told about sex and genitals. Masturbation as the cause of insanity and circumcision as its cure are two of those absurdities.

In every generation, a target emerges to explain society’s anxiety around issues of sex which it perceives as dangerous. The target is reimagined as the source of a dangerous problem that can only now be treated by the medical establishment to relieve individual and collective anxiety. The danger is formulated and shaped with language that may sound reasonable using the salient societal and medical perspectives of the day.

Long ago, the foreskin was chosen as such a target, the danger was numerous diseases, and the cure was circumcision. Cutting the foreskin from newborn penises became a medical procedure and a cultural standard based on anxious falsehoods born of good intentions. This gender-based surgery is unnecessary but continues to relieve American anxiety about the dangers of male sexuality and conformity by evolving into different pseudoscientific claims that provide excuses for it.

Today, the target is gender, the danger is gender dysphoria, and the cure is “gender-affirming” interventions.

Claims of Rights versus Claims of Fact

My essay here is not about denying equal rights to any people. It’s about denying the fallacies that result in harm to children and adolescents through medical and pharmaceutical interventions that have no foundation in what can be true. As an Intactivist, I believe that denying these fallacies is the morally responsible thing to do.

Well-meaning people have confused individual beliefs with individual rights. As a result of this confusion, much fear and anger is triggered whenever any criticism is offered about transgender beliefs or the wisdom of intervening in the sexual development of minors.

If you are willing to question claims of fact without imagining that it threatens claims of rights, you will better understand where gender-critical activists like me are coming from. We seek not to deny trans-identifying people equal rights but only to deny pseudoscientific beliefs and the resulting harm that often comes from making them.

This issue is not “just like” gay rights nor is it the next phase of gay rights. There are serious conflicts within the gay, lesbian, and intersex communities around the transgender issue, and there have been organizational shakeups due to these disagreements.[1] Gay people make no metaphysical claims about their same-sex attraction, nor do they request interventions in their sexual development. If you only understand the “gender-affirming care” of children as you understand gay rights, then you will misunderstand my position.

Like circumcision, interventions in sexual development have taken hold of the medical industrial establishment to treat conditions whose cause lacks scientific evidence, theoretical foundation, and long-term outcome data. Nevertheless, like circumcision, these interventions have quickly become the standard of care.

Circumcision and interventions in sexual development both survive serious scrutiny by hiding behind claims of necessary healthcare and the right to identity. The acceptance of circumcision as healthcare hides religious and cultural biases. The acceptance of interventions in sexual development as healthcare hides emotional disorders, homophobia, and sexual fetishes. Demanding the right to identity enables parents to circumcise their sons and children to claim they are trans. All are following a crowd to their detriment.

From an Intactivist’s view of history, another obsession has emerged in our society from the anxieties inherent in sex and gender inequality. Physicians have once again enlisted sexual anxiety to validate harmful procedures under the guise of healthcare and social good. Much like foreskin problems, real and imagined, every gender problem has become a medical one that can ultimately be solved with surgery. This is called progress and only a bigoted transphobe would dare to stand in its way.

Within the plague of circumcision, we find many of the same symptoms now expressed in transgender ideology. Surgery is defended as affirming the right to an identity, whether it is ritual circumcision or mastectomy. Morbidity is highlighted to instill the fear of inaction in parents, whether it is sexually transmitted disease or youth suicide. Activists mobilize society to accept the new norm, whether it is a circumcised penis or a girl with a penis. By wrapping circumcision in religious freedom and developmental interventions in suicide prevention, what is done to children is protected from scrutiny.

Intactivists are better suited than most to comprehend the harm wrought by interventions in the sexual development of children and adolescents that is peddled to them in transgender ideology. We are skilled in debating and preventing iatrogenic (doctor-caused) harm, and because we stand for the genital integrity of all minors, we are morally responsible to do so.

Effective Intactivists become immune to accusations that they are antisemitic when they criticize circumcision. They are well aware that this name-calling is intended to shut us down without debate. Accusations of transphobia, trans erasure, and even murder are used as instruments to suppress arguments like the ones presented here just as accusations of antisemitism are used to suppress any criticism of circumcision. For this veteran Intactivist, and for many others, the language of slander, catastrophe, and ultimatum will not work.

Sex is a Biological System

Like circumcision, interventions in sexual development rest on foundational myths. Some of these myths contradict each other and some of them quickly become incoherent or unstable when questioned. Like cutting off the foreskin, they devalue the function of sexual organs and the enjoyment of sex itself.

“Born in the wrong body” is a belief that there is an immaterial gender soul that was installed in the wrong body by some tragic mistake. “Born in the wrong body” falsely claims that someone can know what it feels like to be a man, a woman, or neither, as if such capability was programmed into our brains like the detection of hunger or sexual attraction. One’s gender identity cannot be felt like a headache or an orgasm.

We do not and need not possess a knowledge of our “true” gender apart from the material reality we can see. Why? Because we humans are not in our bodies. That is metaphysical nonsense and ancient Gnosticism. We are our bodies. And we are not a mannequin of parts. We are biological systems that evolved by natural selection to reproduce sexually.

Zach Elliots’s website on sex and gender, The Paradox Institute, provides the clearest content I have found on this topic:

When biologists make a claim about the number of sexes in a species, they are not making a claim about chromosomes, body types, or personal identity; rather, they are making a claim about the number of distinct reproductive strategies in that species.[2]

Sex is not simply a set of private parts or a physical appearance, but a coordinated set of biological functions. Sex is the reproductive strategy of a biological system. In normal human development, one of two distinct reproductive strategies matures for the production and distribution of small or large sex cells (gametes) and the associated biological functions required for fertilization and procreation. Males and females can be distinguished biologically based on the size of the gametes they will produce at sexual maturity if no disease or defect is present.

Every human being is necessarily conceived from a large gamete (ova) contributed by a female and a small gamete (sperm) contributed by a male. Reproduction begins with the merging of these two cells. Human beings are the result of a sperm-producing male copulating with and impregnating an ova-producing female who is capable of carrying a baby to full term. This process can repeat at maturity because human beings develop from conception into one of these two sexes.

Organisms on earth have been reproducing sexually for 1.2 billion years. Humans evolved to produce either sperm or ova at maturity. No other type of gamete is ever produced. Sexual reproduction has no use for a “sex spectrum” or additional sexes. Because sex is a reproductive strategy, there is no percentage of male or female. You are one of those two sexes.

Sex is binary and immutable. Sex is neither a spectrum nor a social construct. Men are adult human males, and women are adult human females. I am not a person with a penis. I am a man—an adult human male.

The Exploitation of People with Intersex Conditions

In humans, external anatomy is unambiguously male or female at birth 99.98% of the time. No “sex assigned at birth” is necessary because it is defined objectively throughout the world, and it cannot change.

Sexual development sometimes manifests unusual deficiencies, disorders, defects, and variations. These disorders of sexual development (DSDs) are what you would expect with imperfect biological systems. It would be very surprising if such differences never occurred.

Intersex is a blanket term for over 40 different biological disorders, all of which are sex-specific. Intersex represents variations within one of two sexes that are almost always recognizable in a newborn as male or female. They may be harmless variations or serious disorders. However, none of these disorders should be confused with additional sexes. That would be a category mistake.[3] They are not different sexes but simply represent variations within the male and female sexes. When in extremely rare cases sex is not readily recognizable in a newborn, it is evidence for the severity of the disorder, not for another sex.

Individuals with an intersex condition are rare. Unfortunately, transgender activists misappropriate intersex conditions for their own agenda.[4] They want to proclaim a sex spectrum using the 0.018% of babies who have disorders of sex development. The prevalence of intersex is intentionally exaggerated and misrepresented to further this agenda. A commonly cited prevalence of 1.7% is 94 times higher than the estimate found when a more precise definition is applied that excludes conditions that most clinicians do not recognize as intersex.[5]

Sex cannot be changed or reassigned by a surgical procedure. It is exactly these harmful “sex assignment” surgeries performed by reckless physicians on children with intersex conditions that intersex activists have been working so hard to stop. They have been partially successful in reducing these surgeries. Meanwhile, transgender activists use the stigma of these “assignments” to claim that all children are assigned a sex, or a gender, at birth. Simultaneously, they use intersex surgery as a precedence for cutting genitals in voluntary “reassignment” surgeries.

People with disorders of sexual development are distinctly different in their perspective than those who claim to be transgender.[6] The former nearly always defend their sex as male or female and vehemently reject genital surgery, as do I, while trans-identifying people often embrace it.

The Lack of Credible Evidence

As with circumcision, the evidence supporting interventions in sexual development is underwhelming. In fact, medical facilities in England, Sweden, and Finland have now stopped or drastically reduced the use of puberty blockers and hormone treatments for children and teenagers in favor of in-depth psychological counseling.[7],[8],[9] The independent Cass Review report in the United Kingdom concluded in February 2022 that:

Evidence on the appropriate management of children and young people with gender incongruence and dysphoria is inconclusive both nationally and internationally.[10]

There is a wealth of replicated research showing that 80% of children who experience gender dysphoria in childhood will eventually desist and come to identify with their natal sex as adults.[11] Most of those who desist will come to accept that they are lesbian or gay.[12] This is evidence of the internalized homophobia at work in many of those who claim to be transgender.

Evaluations preceding the recommendation for intervention in sexual development are as short as one appointment by providers who claim without evidence that treating dysphoria medically will resolve other mental health issues.[13] Many new gender clinics have opened to provide these lucrative services on demand, and insurance, public and private, often covers them.[14],[15]

Interventions are not based on long-term evidence but are now increasingly prevalent at younger ages. As with circumcision, the media is all too willing to promote and exaggerate any benefits and minimize any uncertainties or harms. Researchers have exaggerated their findings and failed to investigate long-term outcomes. Most of the dissatisfied patients are lost to follow-up.[16]

An author from Yale’s School of Public Health had to admit that the original conclusion published in the American Journal of Psychiatry was too strong in suggesting that his study supported gender-affirming surgeries. “Our conclusion based on the findings at hand in the article, which used neither a prospective cohort design nor a randomized controlled trial design, was too strong.”[17]

Like circumcision, gender surgeries became widespread before long-term studies were ever attempted. The realization that harm is being manufactured occurs in arrears. The dangers of puberty blockers and hormone treatments in teens are just beginning to be publicized.[18]

A large experiment is well underway on troubled teenagers who have been affirmed in their belief that the way to authenticity and happiness is through drugs and surgery. These interventions in children and teenagers have made them life-long medical patients, and they have many years of sexual dysfunction ahead of them. The lack of long-term follow-up studies and the lack of sexual experience in teenagers who transition means that it will be a long time before we know the true extent of this dysfunction.

There are good reasons why surgery is no longer used for foreskin restoration. It was tried many times but produces poor and sometimes bad results. We cannot stitch new sexual parts on or inside our bodies and expect them to function normally.

There are a growing number of young people who are now desisting or detransitioning from the fantasy of being in the wrong body. Many of these people now realize they have untreated emotional problems that are the source—not the results of—their body dysmorphia. Such problems can be treated with psychotherapy but not with hormone treatments and disfiguring surgery.

Social Contagions and Psychiatric Surgeries

In the history of psychiatry and psychology, a great number of pseudoscientific remedies became popular to alleviate emotional distress in children and adults. Between 1936 and 1956, approximately 60,000 people were lobotomized in the US. Among other psychiatric mutilations from the twentieth century were the removal of teeth, spleens, stomachs, and colons.[19] Electroshock therapy has damaged the brains of hundreds of thousands of people.[20]

Gender surgeries are the latest in a line of psychiatric surgeries claimed to fix the mental distress of patients. These psychiatric surgeries, like the ones before them, have a pseudoscientific basis, make dubious claims, and produce harmful results. Furthermore, psychiatry has never hesitated to drug children for their unwanted moods and behavior. Not coincidentally, the go-to drugs for trans-identifying adolescents are hormones with powerful mood-altering capabilities.

In the past, the relief of emotional stress by inflicting physical harm on oneself was a symptom of a psychiatric disorder. Suicide attempts were never an indicator for hormonal or surgical interventions. Is there an adolescent whose emotional distress is so dire that it warrants sterilization, double mastectomy, or penectomy? Such extreme measures serve to hide and avoid the true source of the depression, anxiety, and trauma these young people are suffering.

Adolescents and young adults have a history of abusing their bodies to express their emotional distress. They copy the self-abuse they learn from their social networks. Suicidality is itself a social contagion. Anorexia is a popular form of bodily mutilation that peaked in the 1980s as a well-documented social contagion. Afterward, self-cutting grew in popularity.

Embracing a popular ideology for explanations and social status is an easy escape from the more complex issues and fears that any maturing human being faces. Nevertheless, the rates of adolescent depression and anxiety continue to increase.[21] Patients and doctors alike tell us that hormones and surgery are necessary to relieve mental suffering as if one’s sex is a disease. We are in the middle of a social contagion experienced by kids with emotional disorders that has pathologized natural gender diversity and non-conformity by embracing a childhood fantasy of being transgender.[22]

As with the practice of genital mutilation, interventions in sexual development have been copied through society from one family to another until they have become the new normal for troubled children. Teenagers and their parents, eager to validate this new normal inside their peer group, are now not only consumers but sales representatives for therapists and doctors. Furthermore, they have managed to seduce healthcare providers with the idea that young people can be saved from their gender by mutilating the sex they were born with.

Regressive Gender Stereotypes

Gender is the social signifier of one’s immutable sex. Gender identity is an individual’s acceptance of how their sex is expressed based on their own experience of gender stereotypes. The origin of all gender identities, including “nonbinary” ones, is the gender stereotypes defined and transmitted by culture. Trans-identifying individuals necessarily rely from a very young age on a narrow subset of these stereotypes which are filtered to them by their parents and the locality in which they are raised.

Gender dysphoria itself begins in the culture. Young females may naturally wish to escape from the objectification and difficult side effects of being a woman in our society. Feminists have always worked to end oppression and gender stereotypes by working for equal rights regardless of sex. In the 1970s, there was a concentrated effort to fight against these stereotypes. Today, these stereotypes are often embraced as proof that a person is the opposite sex or “nonbinary.”[23]

The claim that one can be born in the wrong body perpetuates rigid and regressive gender stereotypes that essentialize male and female expression by claiming that affinity for a set of interests and behaviors is what proves a gender identity. Sex is not assigned at birth but sexist assumptions are. This oppresses the free expression of many children and adults who don’t conform to gender stereotypes. It may encourage children to “transition” because otherwise, they feel they don’t fit in.

Time in adolescence is best spent on embracing the inherent validity of who you are and learning to ignore or fight the stifling expectations of oppressive gender stereotypes. Following transgender ideology to simultaneously accept and escape these stereotypes leads to despair and worse. Depending on the validation of others for your existence and identity can never be the route to self-fulfillment and resilience.

The additional social identities sometimes cited from other cultures (e.g., Hijras in India, and Fa’afafines in Samoa) are effeminate male homosexuals. They are not a third sex. Their homosexuality would be a threat to the prevailing hierarchy of heterosexuality but for the way these societies have found to deal with them. They are relegated to their identity not by their personal choice, but due to the society’s ingrained prejudices and regressive sex roles. Often, these men serve as the homosexual outlet for other men.

Threats to Women

Feminists have always fought to be free from gender stereotypes, and now the transgender community has come along and reaffirmed those stereotypes. By superseding the category of sex in law with gender identity, women and lesbians are prevented from organizing for their rights as a sex-based, protected class. Spaces for girls and women which were specifically reserved on the basis of sex can now be legally entered by “people with penises” (i.e., men), as can sports competitions at all levels.

Title IX legislation was specifically passed to protect women on the basis of sex in any school program or activity receiving federal funds. The achievements that women have made for equal rights on the basis of sex are now threatened by men claiming to be women but who can physically overpower most of them. Violence against women in bathrooms, locker rooms, and prisons has been made more likely. Furthermore, trans-identifying women threaten the uniqueness of lesbian communities and spaces.[24]

Lesbian girls and other nonconforming girls are being told they might really be boys. Parents now have the option to permit the body of their lesbian but homophobic daughter to be altered to fit in as a straight boy. Girls are having their bodies mutilated with irreversible hormones and surgeries that will not only sterilize them and harm their hearts and bones but will lead to sexual dysfunction.

Sexual orientation makes little sense unless the concept of sex from biology is preserved. We have sex using our genitals with the genitals of others. We generally are not sexually attracted to people lacking the genitals desired by our orientation. Surgically constructed penises will never have the full function of a natural penis. Many who are attracted to penises will have a problem with this, as they might with circumcised men. Likewise, a surgically constructed vulva and vagina are only rough simulations.

Transgender ideology sometimes comes in direct conflict with our intactivist efforts. A Wyoming bill to ban female genital mutilation (FGM) was nearly defeated by fierce opposition from transgender activists because it would outlaw genital surgery on minors for the purposes of “gender reassignment.” The activists objected to the fact that such surgeries would be considered FGM if performed upon a girl under the age of 18.[25] This remains a threat to the anti-FGM legislation passed or under consideration in many other states.

Gender surgeries and pharmaceutical treatments are often covered by public or private insurance under “gender-affirming healthcare.” However, for victims of genital mutilation, no healthcare coverage is provided for clitoris reconstruction surgery[26] or foreskin restoration devices. Women can be reimbursed for a new penis but not for a new clitoris.

American Academy of Pediatrics

One of the biggest advocates in the medical community for “gender-affirming healthcare” is the Intactivist’s old nemesis, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). They are leaders in demanding “life-saving care” for trans-identifying minors. Can any Intactivist reading this be certain that this time the AAP is acting with integrity and in the best interests of children—not for profit motives or ideological bias?

Trans-identifying children and teens are the first oppressed minority in human history with money for doctors attached to their bodies. Their claims of being born in the wrong body have reached an eager, profit-driven medical establishment under the guise of suicide prevention and minority rights. In this environment, depressed or anxious children who are “gender-diverse,” i.e., those described by the AAP as having “interests and hobbies that may align with the other gender,”[27] can be steered down a road of “gender-affirming” and “life-saving” healthcare. As with circumcision, children are being medicalized with the complicity of their parents and for the profit of their doctors.

The AAP wasted no time endorsing unproven interventions in the sexual development of children. They issued a 2018 policy statement claiming that children with gender dysphoria can begin transitioning at any age.[28] As with circumcision, what is being done is claimed to be in the best interests of children. As with circumcision, judges have deferred to the AAP policy in court challenges. “Healthcare” is the magic word that enables the harm of circumcision and gender surgeries to continue.

As Intactivists, we know how a small group of like-minded doctors, acting with little oversight, can push extreme policies through AAP committees based on little evidence. As with circumcision, it formulated its “gender-affirming” policy statement using a very small group of ideologically-driven physicians. Dissenting voices within the organization were suppressed.[29]

“The AAP says kids under 10 can’t cross the street by themselves,” one pediatrician complained, referencing the group’s official recommendations on pedestrian safety, “but they can change their gender. How does that make sense?”[30]

The AAP’s position is that medical interventions by its pediatricians can help troubled young people achieve mental health not possible with psychotherapy. Parents consent to pediatricians medically changing their child’s body because they are led to believe it will liberate them from distress. Their child’s naturally sexed body and its maturation are rejected (like the foreskin) as the standard for normalcy and well-being.[31] It is their body itself that stands in the way of their happiness and authentic self, a self that exists only in their imagination.

I didn’t become an Intactivist against unnecessary circumcisions pushed by the AAP only to stand by while they push unnecessary mastectomies. In 2012, the AAP said that the benefits of circumcision outweighed the risks. In 2018, the AAP said that the benefits of intervening in the sexual development of trans-identifying children outweigh the risks. Why do some Intactivists condemn one policy statement but not the other? How can these Intactivists excuse the American Academy of Pediatrics’ current role in promoting gender interventions when it is the world’s leader in promoting genital mutilation?

Incompetent Consent

Some Intactivists believe that a minor who reaches a certain age should, in the name of bodily autonomy, be allowed to consent to circumcision as well as to gender surgeries. However, securing informed consent from any minor is deeply problematic. Consent obtained from minors is usually considered irrelevant, especially when their bodies are involved.

There are long-recognized limits to legal consent from minors that won’t be going away anytime soon, such as for having sex with adults, marriage, employment, and child pornography. For sound developmental reasons, a fifteen-year-old’s consent to a tattoo, breast augmentation, or sexual activity with adults is considered meaningless under the law. In the case of gender dysphoria, these precedents are being ignored.

As with circumcision, there are serious consent violations taking place with interventions in sexual development. Providers assume that an adolescent’s certainty about their gender identity is the same as in trans adults.[32] Furthermore, the decision to intervene in the sexual development of a child does not usually begin at 16, but earlier when they are less competent. An inevitable cascade of interventions begins with a change in social identity that is initiated by children of ages 5 through 10.

Therapists and physicians are required by law in 25 states to affirm any gender identity claim, regardless of a child’s age. Therapists are barred by law from exploring any causes of gender dysphoria. Providers can lose their license if they explain alternatives during the informed consent process prior to intervention. When affirmation by healthcare professionals becomes the required first step of an intervention, informed consent for the intervention becomes meaningless.[33]

A child’s belief that they will be actually changing their sex when they agree to interventions may be quite different from their surgeon’s belief in what is physically possible. Nevertheless, the surgeon accepts the child’s consent under the false pretense of performing a “gender transition” for the child.

Boston Children’s Hospital amputated the breasts of 65 girls under eighteen between 2017 and 2020.[34] As part of this trend, in September 2022, the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) removed age limits from its gender treatment guidelines.[35]

Consent is being solicited from immature individuals who have little sexual experience and who are not competent to understand life-long implications. Sexually naïve children are allowed to start on a path that may lead to sterility and lifelong dysfunction in their genitals long before they ever have an orgasm. This form of consent is both invalid and morally bankrupt.

As with circumcision, medical operatives manufacture consent by making bogus claims of health benefits and by warning parents of dire outcomes if action is not taken. As with circumcision, in the absence of disease, providing surgeries and drugs that likely result in sterility and/or sexual dysfunction should be delayed by law until the age of majority and then only after psychological counseling.

Criticizing the Gender Critics

Criticism of circumcision attracts some antisemites. Likewise, criticism of transgender ideology attracts some homophobes. I do not think either of these facts should be the main concern of advocates for children’s welfare. The physical harm that these practices inflict and the internalized homophobia sometimes present in trans-identifying children are the larger threat.

If you think that it is only Conservatives who object to these medical interventions with children, you are wrong. There are many women’s rights groups who claim that their rights are threatened by transgender claims. They are claiming the right to the safety of women-only spaces and to the rewards of fair competition in sports.

In a victory for classical liberalism, the Christian right and political conservatives now readily admit that boys and girls should be allowed to be gender non-conforming in their interests and behavior. They have finally caught up with the “Free to Be You and Me” movement of the 1970s, just as Leftists are now embracing regressive gender stereotypes. Christian activists like Matt Walsh rarely use religion in their public comments to justify their position. All of their rhetoric is about protecting children, while at the same time accepting that adults may choose (and pay for) what they wish to do.

The double standards evident in many activists who condemn one form of mass mutilation (interventions in sexual development) but not another (circumcision) is not evidence of their insincerity, but of their priorities. While I would love to have them condemn circumcision as well, their neglect of the issue is not a reason to object to their efforts against other harms.

The current criticism of interventions in the sexual development of children, regardless of its source, is an opportunity to remind the public how genital cutting poses a unique threat. The rising doubts about the wisdom of these interventions, and knowledge of the greed that often motivates them, may serve to open more people’s eyes to the mutilation that is circumcision.

We have to be impressed with the progress that activists like Matt Walsh have made in reducing the chemical and surgical alteration of children. They are making progress in legislatures and courts against childhood mutilation that should be the envy of Intactivists everywhere.[36] If nothing else, they have linked children with acts of mutilation carried out by reckless and greedy doctors in hospitals.


A person’s sex can never be a disease. Biological reality, not Christians, Republicans, parents, or psychologists, imposes limitations on what can be true and what can be possible in the bodies that we are. Neither a boy’s foreskin nor his whole penis nor his entire reproductive strategy can ever be a birth defect.

Adults can present themselves as however they wish, and I will defend their right to do so. What no one can ever do is become another sex. They can only pretend to be one and request of us, but not demand, that we go along with them. Even with the aid of hormonal and surgical alterations that cause sexual dysfunction and sterility, such pretenses are costumes used for social performance.

There are many reasons why mutilation becomes a widespread custom, and the transgender social contagion is just the latest reason. Children and adolescents find in trangenderism relief from the burdens and anxieties of growing up as sexual adults. Adults who embrace their delusion find satisfaction in fighting inequality and those whom they deem as bigoted. Therapists and physicians who cast themselves as saviors of the oppressed reap the rewards of power and money.

Tragically, for the first time in history, young people are being genitally mutilated and sexually damaged by their own initiative instead of having this damage forced upon them by elders. Young people and their healthcare providers are codependents chasing a shared delusion of mind-body transcendence through denatured sex. They are unable, as with circumcision, to see the long-term harm and the emptiness of their claims.

Causing sterility, genital atrophy, sexual dysfunction, and mutilation in young people is not something any children’s rights advocate should ever support. Surgical, chemical, and psychological interventions in the normal sexual development of adolescents cannot fix their emotional distress but can make it worse.

Opposition to interventions in sexual development is growing. Just as Intactivists oppose interventions in the sexual development of intersex people, we should oppose interventions in the sexual development of any adolescent as well. I choose now to broadly define Intactivist as an advocate for protecting all children’s bodies and minds. As with circumcision, we must speak out. We must help to ensure that their breasts, genitals, and endocrine system remain intact when they reach adulthood.

The days of little or no debate about transgender ideology are over. Public focus is shifting from claims of rights to claims of fact. We are entering the days of detransitioners and desistors who are providing the public with troubling testimonies. This is being followed up with legislation and lawsuits against childhood mutilations that should fill the hearts of many Intactivists with envy and joy.

Norm Cohen
Intactivists Squared

Recommended Websites

Recommended Books

Trans: Gender Identity and the New Battle for Women’s Rights by Helen Joyce

Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters by Abigail Shrier

Material Girls: Why Reality Matters for Feminism by Kathleen Stock

The Abolition of Sex: How the “Transgender” Agenda Harms Women and Girls by Kara Dansky

The End of Gender: Debunking the Myths about Sex and Identity in Our Society by Debra Soh

When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment by Ryan T. Anderson


[1]    John McManus, “Human Rights Body Leaves Stonewall Diversity Scheme,” BBC News, May 23, 2021, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-57219989.

[2]    Zachary Elliott, “What Are Sexes?,” The Paradox Institute, April 10, 2021, https://www.theparadoxinstitute.com/read/what-are-sexes.

[3]    Simon Blackburn, The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (Oxford ; Oxford University Press, 2008), 55–56, http://archive.org/details/oxforddictionary0000blac.

[4]    Colin Wright, “The Dangerous Denial of Sex,” Reality’s Last Stand (blog), December 2, 2020, https://www.realityslaststand.com/p/the-dangerous-denial-of-sex.

[5]    Leonard Sax, “How Common Is Intersex? A Response to Anne Fausto‐Sterling,” The Journal of Sex Research 39, no. 3 (August 1, 2002): 174–78, https://doi.org/10.1080/00224490209552139.

[6]    CAISFiles, “An Open Letter to All Organisations Using LGBTQI+,” Differently Normal (blog), May 17, 2022, https://differently-normal.com/2022/05/17/an-open-letter-to-all-organisations-using-lgbtqi/.

[7]    Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine, “Britain Changes Tack in Its Treatment of Trans-Identifying Children,” November 17, 2022, https://segm.org/England-stops-gender-affirmation-of-minors-the-economist.

[8]    Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine, “Summary of Key Recommendations from the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen/NBHW),” February 27, 2022, https://segm.org/segm-summary-sweden-prioritizes-therapy-curbs-hormones-for-gender-dysphoric-youth.

[9]    Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine, “One Year Since Finland Broke with WPATH ‘Standards of Care,’” July 2, 2021, https://segm.org/Finland_deviates_from_WPATH_prioritizing_psychotherapy_no_surgery_for_minors.

[10] The Cass Review, “Independent Review of Gender Identity Services for Children and Young People: Interim Report,” February 2022, 18, https://cass.independent-review.uk/publications/interim-report/.

[11] Jesse Singal, “What’s Missing From the Conversation About Transgender Kids,” The Cut, July 25, 2016, https://www.thecut.com/2016/07/whats-missing-from-the-conversation-about-transgender-kids.html.

[12] Lisa Marchiano, “Outbreak: On Transgender Teens and Psychic Epidemics,” Psychological Perspectives 60, no. 3 (July 3, 2017): 345–66, https://doi.org/10.1080/00332925.2017.1350804.

[13] Stephen B. Levine, E. Abbruzzese, and Julia W. Mason, “Reconsidering Informed Consent for Trans-Identified Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults,” Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy 48, no. 7 (October 3, 2022): 706–27, https://doi.org/10.1080/0092623X.2022.2046221.

[14] Ivette Gomez et al., “Update on Medicaid Coverage of Gender-Affirming Health Services,” KFF (blog), October 11, 2022, https://www.kff.org/womens-health-policy/issue-brief/update-on-medicaid-coverage-of-gender-affirming-health-services/.

[15] Nadia L. Dowshen, Julie Christensen, and Siobhan M. Gruschow, “Health Insurance Coverage of Recommended Gender-Affirming Health Care Services for Transgender Youth: Shopping Online for Coverage Information,” Transgender Health 4, no. 1 (April 11, 2019): 131–35, https://doi.org/10.1089/trgh.2018.0055.

[16] Laura Edwards-Leeper and Erica Anderson, “The Mental Health Establishment Is Failing Trans Kids,” Washington Post, November 24, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/11/24/trans-kids-therapy-psychologist/.

[17] Colin Poitras, “Transgender Individuals at Greater Risk of Mental Health Problems,” August 24, 2020, https://ysph.yale.edu/news-article/transgender-individuals-at-greater-risk-of-mental-health-problems/.

[18] Megan Twohey and Christina Jewett, “They Paused Puberty, but Is There a Cost?,” The New York Times, November 14, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/14/health/puberty-blockers-transgender.html.

[19] Olga Khazan, “The Tragic, Sadistic Way They Used to Treat Mental Illness,” The Atlantic, October 22, 2014, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/10/the-tragic-sadistic-mental-illness-treatment-from-the-knick-is-real/381751/.

[20] Samuel T. Wilkinson et al., “Identifying Recipients of Electroconvulsive Therapy: Data From Privately Insured Americans,” Psychiatric Services 69, no. 5 (May 2018): 542, https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.201700364.

[21] Renee D. Goodwin et al., “Trends in Anxiety among Adults in the United States, 2008–2018: Rapid Increases among Young Adults,” Journal of Psychiatric Research 130 (November 2020): 441–46, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2020.08.014.

[22] Marchiano, “Outbreak.”

[23] Pamela Paul, “Free to Be You and Me. Or Not.,” The New York Times, December 4, 2022, online edition, sec. Opinion, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/04/opinion/free-to-be-you-and-me-anni.html.

[24] Bonnie J. Morris, The Disappearing L : Erasure of Lesbian Spaces and Culture (SUNY Press : State University of New York Press, 2016), 43, http://archive.org/details/disappearinglera0000morr.

[25] Erin Perse, “Bill to Ban FGM Passes in Wyoming despite Pushback by Radical Trans Activists,” The Post Millennial, June 12, 2020, online edition, https://thepostmillennial.com/bill-to-ban-fgm-blocked-in-wyoming-by-radical-trans-activists.

[26] Danielle Jacobson et al., “How Canadian Law Shapes the Health Care Experiences of Women with Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting/Circumcision and Their Providers: A Disjuncture Between Expectation and Actuality,” Archives of Sexual Behavior, September 28, 2022, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-022-02349-w.

[27] American Academy of Pediatrics, “Gender-Diverse & Transgender Children,” HealthyChildren.org, accessed January 6, 2023, https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/gradeschool/Pages/Gender-Diverse-Transgender-Children.aspx.

[28] Jason Rafferty et al., “Ensuring Comprehensive Care and Support for Transgender and Gender-Diverse Children and Adolescents,” Pediatrics 142, no. 4 (October 1, 2018): 4, https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2018-2162.

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[30] Aaron Sibarium, “The Hijacking of Pediatric Medicine,” The Free Press (blog), December 7, 2022, https://www.thefp.com/p/the-hijacking-of-pediatric-medicine.

[31] Leor Sapir, “On ‘Gender’ the AAP Has Chosen Ideology Over Science,” August 16, 2022, https://www.realityslaststand.com/p/on-gender-the-aap-has-chosen-ideology.

[32] Edwards-Leeper and Anderson, “The Mental Health Establishment Is Failing Trans Kids.”

[33] Levine, Abbruzzese, and Mason, “Reconsidering Informed Consent for Trans-Identified Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults.”

[34] Nelson J. Aquino et al., “A Single Center Case Series of Gender-Affirming Surgeries and the Evolution of a Specialty Anesthesia Team,” Journal of Clinical Medicine 11, no. 7 (March 31, 2022): 3, https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11071943.

[35] Lisa Nainggolan, “WPATH Removes Age Limits From Transgender Treatment Guidelines,” Medscape, September 16, 2022, online edition, https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/980935.

[36] Rachel Wegner and Melissa Brown, “Vanderbilt Pauses Gender Affirmation Surgery for Minors,” The Tennessean, October 8, 2022, online edition, https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/health/2022/10/07/vanderbilt-gender-clinic-surgeries-pause-affirmation-minors-transgender-patient-care/69547996007/.

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