The 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!