Friday, March 1, 2024
25.4 C
Sydney

Mark my words, we’re heading for a gender reckoning in 2024

Most read

With all this on the table in the first few months of this year and a seemingly growing public sentiment that there might be more to the transgender movement than bathrooms and pronouns, it is hard to imagine that we will get through 2024 without some type of public accounting.”
With all this on the table in the first few months of this year and a seemingly growing public sentiment that there might be more to the transgender movement than bathrooms and pronouns, it is hard to imagine that we will get through 2024 without some type of public accounting.”

I get the sense that this year will contain at least one “day of reckoning” on facilitating gender transition, particularly in children.

As you will read in this edition of The Catholic Weekly, the first week of parliament will include debate on the so-called “equality bill” introduced by the Alex Greenwich, the independent member for Sydney. With the government’s assistance the bill—which was supposed to lapse in December—was afforded an extension of time, prioritised debate and a forced vote.

Among other extraordinary features, the bill would allow a child under the age of 16 to undergo medical treatment, including gender transition, against the express wishes of their parents, as long as they find a doctor to okay it. (Anyone who has watched interviews of some of these pro-transition doctors online should be rightly concerned by this prospect.)

- Advertisement -

A proposed law to allow children to consent to gender transition flies in the face of bans on these treatments for children in countries like the UK, Norway and Sweden, and the recently-released clinical guidelines from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists that state there is “limited evidence” for both the “benefits and potential harms of both medical and psychosocial interventions for [trans and gender diverse] children.” Even the ideologically left-wing World Health Organisation last week quietly dropped its plan to issue guidelines on giving cross-sex hormones to children and advocating for children to declare their own sex on identity documents, limiting its proposals to adults. The Greenwich bill will also be debated against the backdrop of the predicted release of the final report of the Cass Review in the UK; its interim report famously resulting in the closure of Britain’s only gender clinic for kids.

Then there is the new research that has come out of the Australian Catholic University. While reported by some mainstream media outlets as simply an increase in young people identifying as LGBTQ, as you will read in this week’s Catholic Weekly, the increase in numbers is largely attributable to young girls and women. This is sure to raise questions as to how long we can continue to push young girls through social and hormonal transition without also asking whether there are sociological reasons to explain why so many young girls are having a difficult time embracing what, even 10 years ago, would be described as “normal” sexual and gender development.

For example, is the work of social psychologist and New York University professor Dr Jonathan Haidt that seems to demonstrate a link between the launch of Instagram and the availability of phones capable of taking selfies with the unprecedented mental health crisis facing teenage girls relevant? Will anyone investigate whether there is a link between the increase in LGBTQ identity for girls and the transition from what Haidt calls a “play-based childhood” to a “phone-based childhood” that is dependent on clicks and likes and shares from friends and strangers? Or is there a link between pornography consumption amongst boys and the tendency for girls to seek out romantic relationships with other girls?

There is also the continued conversation around bans on so-called conversion practices, which seek to criminalise parents, teachers, medical professionals and others who dare to suggest a “watch and wait” approach for children experiencing gender dysphoria.

With all this on the table in the first few months of this year and a seemingly growing public sentiment that there might be more to the transgender movement than bathrooms and pronouns, it is hard to imagine that we will get through 2024 without some type of public accounting.

How do we best prepare for this? While it is good to make sure we are informed about the dangers of these ideologies, particularly for young people, it is much more important to ensure we help them be formed in the truth that responds to them. That’s why I’m so pleased that this edition of The Catholic Weekly also features the Theology of the Body immersion course being offered by Christopher West. Another great initiative from the Sydney Centre for Evangelisation that is building on last year’s Purpose Conference and visits by Jason Evert and Matt Fradd, it is a reminder that the only way to counteract lies about human sexuality is with the truth of God’s great of the same and its proper purpose.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -