Speaking of bad science, never trust the American College of Pediatricians


I know! It sounds so official and sciencey! It’s got “college” in it, which is formal and academic, and “pediatricians”, which are a kind of doctor, and you can never go wrong slapping “American” on your brand label. But they are a lie.

It’s also because the ACP is not a legitimate medical organization; its name is designed to be mistaken for the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is a national organization with some 60,000 members. The ACP, by contrast, is estimated to have no more than 200 members, and it has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its anti-LGBT positions.

“The American College of Pediatricians urges educators and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex,” the statement reads. “Facts – not ideology – determine reality.” The “facts” that follow actually reflect a social conservative ideology that rejects the very reality of what transgender children experience.

They’ve issued a statement that transgender kids are being harmed, based on claims that believing you are of a gender other than the one you were born with is a mental disorder (psychologists disagree), that it’s just a phase kids go through (nope, again — that’s based on some bad studies), and that sex reassignment surgery, rather than discrimination and hatred, triggers suicide at a high rate (you can figure that one out).

I’m all in favor of facts. Unfortunately, painting the word “fact” on a lie does not make it true.


  1. says

    The chance to have lived as a girl from the moment I could make my case, go on blockers and get hormones when appropriate – I’d take that over any lottery win of any amount, over a socialist government, over having my dad back (he was killed when I was 15). Would have saved me an enormous amount of wasted time and energy, and let me be a lot more productive, and just have a happier life. I wouldn’t have ended up supporting myself on the streets at 13 in the only way I could, just for the elusive chance to be me until the cops found me and sent me home to boyhood again.

    The American College of Paediatricians can kiss my trans arse. They’ve no fucking CLUE what they’re sentencing these kids to, and the things I’d like to say about them or do to them would certainly be outside the social norms of even this notoriously rude blog.

  2. says

    and that sex reassignment surgery, rather than discrimination and hatred, triggers suicide at a high rate (you can figure that one out).

    What’s to figure out? It’s base bigotry, spilling evil all over, because to them, anything that makes more ‘deviants’ dead is good. I have no doubt that they justify this to themselves in all manners, and twist about to pat theirselves on the back for doing good. *spits*

    This evil shit is coming out from other places too, it’s seems to be the new popular stance among transphobics everywhere. I can’t remember the article, it was in the Advocate. I think it was in Blake Brockington’s obituary.

    Holy shit, look: Georgia Governor Vetoes Antigay “Religious Freedom” Bill

  3. wzrd1 says

    Question, are these the same chuckleheads that crank out drivel using 1950’s and early 1960’s DSM codes?
    I ran into one of those brain trusts a while back, full of antiquated ideas that dated from the era of “female hysteria” and “the vapors”. I was seriously expecting leeches to be mentioned next by the poor fellow.

  4. Becca Stareyes says

    From what I recall, anyway, surgical options aren’t recommended until you get trans teenagers. Advice for kids is to let them live as the gender they want, and delay puberty until they are old enough to give a considered answer of ‘what surgery and hormones do you want?’. Which neatly solves the ‘it is just a phase’ argument: because if the kids do decide they are more against their gender role than their gender, there’s far less lasting impact than telling trans kids that adults know them better than they know themselves.

    Of course, acting like trans people want to force five year olds into major surgery sounds much scarier.

  5. moarscienceplz says

    I know doctors are very reluctant to do it, but ISTM that membership in this group is legitimate grounds for yanking a doctor’s license to practice medicine. The danger that they may drive a child to suicide is far too high.

  6. says

    Those running the “American College of Pediatricians” chose that name for the same reason the “American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ)” and “National Organization for Marriage (NOM)” chose their names. They want to deceive and confuse well-meaning members of the public into supporting (or even donating to) hate groups instead of legitimate organizations that help people (ACLU, NOW).

    The US government took action to stop Trump from using the word “university” because it wasn’t. So why doesn’t the government also act against the ACP for not being a college?

  7. wzrd1 says

    At one point, accidents during circumcision resulted in reassignment surgery immediately.
    Thankfully, that’s an infrequent event today.

  8. wzrd1 says

    left0ver1under, a couple of reasons, in part, the first amendment and in part, a collegium is a society or group of people living under the same rules and that is the origin of the word college.
    Just as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists isn’t an institution of higher education, it’s a professional society.

  9. Vivec says

    Unfortunately, those views are far from radical. My university has a world famous neurologist who agrees with the ACP on everything in the above.

    In a class about sex and gender I had with him, he compared hormone blockers to child abuse, promotes trans reparative therapy, and thinks that most trans people are actually fetishists.

    He has actively advised both the government and the olympic commitee on the issue of trans people.

    Let that sink in.

  10. Raucous Indignation says

    @3 wzrd1, there is a fair body of medical literature on leeches, mostly relating to anti-coagulation. Lepirudin was a recombinant form of hirudin that was used for anti-coagulation, for example.

  11. raven says

    We do owe Dr. Ben Carson and Dr. Michael Egnor a lot.
    These two neurosurgeons have conclusively proved that you can be an MD and be…rather stupid and malevolent in every other area of knowledge known to humans.

  12. wzrd1 says

    Raucous, yeah, I’m aware of valid uses in research and even treating severe ecchymosis with leeches. I was speaking more toward bleeding and leeches used as a panacea in the past.
    Another blast from the past, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maggot_therapy .

    “The vapors” was related to “female hysteria”, off of which disappeared with the invention of the vibrator.

  13. says

    “female hysteria”, off of which disappeared

    Disappeared my ass.

    Oh, and maggots are still used medically.

  14. Pteryxx says

    The ACP statement may already be propagating harm. Plenty of conservative publications have already promoted it, taking it at face value to claim that the “transgender agenda” constitutes “child abuse.” Tannehill notes, “I’m also already hearing from parents of transgender children that relatives and people hostile to them in the community are using this position statement to threaten to report them to child protective services and take their children away.”

    Great… more bigoted abuse in the guise of “protecting th children”.

    Meanwhile in reality “One Official Document” (note for mention of suicide) (Dana Hunter quoting Vox)

    The latest research shows that it’s discrimination and stigma, not surgery itself, that causes the high suicide and attempted suicide rates. A study published in Ontario in 2015 revealed that those who have a supportive social environment (the most important social support being parents) were far less likely to seriously consider suicide. Other factors, like having one official document properly identifying your sex, also correlated with lower suicide attempts and rates. [emphasis added]

    A little affirmation goes such a long way.

  15. says

    Maybe, as this thread is supposed to be about transgender peoples, and the sheer amount of evil bigotry and shit they face every day, you could stick to talking about that, instead of wandering into side idiocies.

  16. dianne says

    The initials “ACP” are also used by the American College of Physicians, a legitimate organization. Completely coincidental that the fake ACP picked those initials, I’m sure.

  17. Rich Woods says

    @CaitieCat #1:

    They’ve no fucking CLUE what they’re sentencing these kids to

    Well of course not. It’s not like they’re being good doctors and acting out of compassion and humanity.

  18. anat says

    Can anything be done about people like Paul McHugh of the Johns Hopkins Medical School – using their position in respected scientific institutes to promote these harmful views? Would alerting their institutions help? According to this story it seems that recently he was supposed to speak at an event sponsored by the Family Research Council and other similar groups, but somehow had to excuse himself with some silly story. Would appealing to the respective academic institution help or would tenure protect the bigots?

  19. Vivec says

    I doubt it. Like I mentioned above, even a fairly liberal university like my own has no problem sponsoring and and giving a platform to someone that supports conversion therapy for trans kids.

  20. numerobis says

    Vivec@23: academic freedom is generally interpreted to give enough latitude that cranks can be cranks once they get tenure, and there’s basically nothing the university can do — without opening the door to lots of harassment. This is not a theoretical slippery slope: administrations all over would love to persecute all these lazy leftist do-nothing profs who only spend 6 hours a week in class and yet have the *gall* to speak back to the hard-working job-creating administrators.

    The most reliable solution is the supremely annoying one of ignoring the crank to the extent possible, forgetting their awful ideas once they die, and educating your peers that the crank is a crank.

  21. says

    Rich Woods @21, it could be I have little sense of humour about this, but your comment sounds like an apologetic for these hateful asshats.

    They’re not acting out of compassion, they’re ignoring the evidence provided by successive generations of trans people, and putting children at increased risk of suicidality, all in the name of elimintaing trans people as a category. It’s hateful smallmindedness, not doctorly care.

  22. gijoel says

    American College of Pediatricians, those idiots keep popping up in the safe schools debate.

  23. Vivec says

    Yeah, like I get that, but this person is – last I checked – director of neuroscience and has been an official adviser to various government and non-collegiate entities, so the harm he does is tangible and not just relegated to him saying shitty things. Like, arguing against laws against conversion therapy or discouraging our university’s hospital from providing transition-related treatment.

  24. Vivec says

    Also yeah the “most trans kids end up identifying as cis” thing, even if it was true, doesn’t prove what transphobes think it does. It’s a fairly invisible state that can have serious social downsides if you wear it openly.

    I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if many of these kids are like me – totally trans but crushed by the societal pushback they experience until they lock that part of them in an iron closet that no one can see into. I learned very quickly that while my dysphoria really sucks, being bullied and attacked for trying to alleviate it wasn’t worth it. Hence, non-op, closeted trans person presenting as their assigned gender.

  25. numerobis says

    Can you organize a posse to go and roust some better academics to offer better advice?

    It’s not perfect, but it’s the best we have in evidence-based debates: lone idiot says / mainstream scientist says, however will we know who to trust?

  26. wzrd1 says

    As the crank’s views are largely religiously based, listeners should then consider the source of the crankism.
    Add to that, when 99%+ of the professionals agree and the 1% speaks, I consider the majority, not the outlier.

  27. says

    Vivec @ 28:

    I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if many of these kids are like me – totally trans but crushed by the societal pushback they experience until they lock that part of them in an iron closet that no one can see into. I learned very quickly that while my dysphoria really sucks, being bullied and attacked for trying to alleviate it wasn’t worth it. Hence, non-op, closeted trans person presenting as their assigned gender.

    I wouldn’t be surprised either. I expect that the bigots are perfectly fine with people suffering like this though, because all they care about is what is presented on the surface. They don’t want to be disturbed in any way. I haven’t read Laura Jane Grace’s book yet, but she has expressed similar sentiments as you, Vivec, and how agonizing it was for years, trying like hell to just ignore the dysphoria and live as their appearance dictated.

  28. says


    I consider the majority, not the outlier.

    Oh well, fuckin’ good for you. I guess that means transphobia and all the violence visited on transgender people, and all those kids being driven to suicide isn’t a problem any more. FFS.

  29. wzrd1 says

    Alas, that isn’t the case, as a few miserable fucks out there love to make others miserable and rejoice when one is harmed.
    But, I can inform others that the speaker is an outlier, not accepted by the mainstream sciences and hence, is more full of shit than a Christmas goose.
    I can help those suffering, but I can’t eliminate the bastards dedicated to causing harm. Heckle them, yes, but that’s the limits of my stuporpowers.

  30. anat says

    Vivec, they are outliers among professionals in the field, not necessarily the population. That’s why they needed to start their own organization in the first place.

  31. wzrd1 says

    Vivec, the DSM entry for homosexuality as a disorder was removed by majority opinion in 1973.
    It hasn’t returned and it isn’t going to return.
    The problem isn’t the few who still hold that outdated view, it’s how loud they are.
    One person screaming makes one think that the one hundred looking on believe the screamer, but what’s actually going on is that the hundred are wondering what the devil is wrong with the poor fellow.

    The rest are religious zealots and you do recall what happened to the original Zealots, don’t you?

  32. Vivec says

    Yes, but that doesn’t jive with my experience. The “trans people are either mentally ill or dangerous predators sneaking in to bathrooms to rape women” thing is something I hear just about any time a trans issue comes up in the news, by a lot of people. Maybe you live somewhere with a higher concentration of decent people.

  33. Vivec says

    Except they didn’t need to start their own community. Tenured, world-class professors who have advised presidents and congress apparently have the exact same views.

  34. wzrd1 says

    Well, I refuse to have anything to do with such a crowd and they’re rapidly corrected if I do hear that bullshit.
    Pedophiles and other predators are completely different than trans people. In my experience, trans people just want to live their lives like everyone else wants to live their lives.
    Predators were frequently abused as children and the pattern repeats.

    Jeez, I’m having trouble communicating tonight. Come on thyroid, let me fucking think!

    There are several types that believe the bullshit. There is the religious idiot, who believes their thrice mistransliterated book, there are the followers that believe everything that their power grabbing betters tell them and there are the malicious bastards that love to attack others, as their lives suck so badly that they’ll do anything to feel better about themselves.
    Those are the ones you are paying attention to.
    Why aren’t you paying attention to those who accept you, ignoring the other groups and generally you get along with?
    They’re a much bigger group. Instead, you pay attention to a dwindling crowd.

    Or more simply, if you can’t quickly and easily beat ’em, outlive ’em. :D

  35. says

    wzrd1, with respect, your cis privilege is showing. That you think it’s a majority of people who support proper medical care for trans people is…well, naive, let us say. Perhaps time to listen and learn more when marginalised people are trying to tell you what our lives are like? Two ears, one mouth. Talk half as much as you listen.

  36. Vivec says

    They’re a much bigger group. Instead, you pay attention to a dwindling crowd.

    I remain unconvinced that trans-friendly people are a bigger group, if not outright reject that claim. It does not match my experiences whatsoever, and see little evidence that it is the case.

  37. Vivec says

    As for why I’m paying attention to them, I don’t really have a choice. I hear it from family, friends, people at school, professors, people at the hobby shop I frequent, all over.

    If I tuned out everyone who consistently said terrible things about trans people, I’d more or less be limited to listening to roughly a third of the local lgbt center and my partner.

  38. John Phillips, FCD says

    @wzrd1, I’m not even n the US, I’m Welsh and CIS living in England, but through watching TRMS and a lot of blog readings even I have seen from this side of the pond the transphobic bigoted laws the republicans are trying to pass amd have passed at the state level over only the last few months alone. When they do, guess who they quote for their justification? That’s right, reports by groups like the American College of Pediatricians. So the fact that the American College of Pediatricians are a very small minority in their profession has little to no bearing on the influence they have among the transphobic republican state legislatures.

  39. wzrd1 says

    I’m logging off, as I’m really having trouble stringing concepts and words together.
    Hyperthyroid does that, along with a host of other really screwed up things.

    I’ll say one thing though, you’re welcome to visit our home any time and you’ll feel welcome. Bring partners and friend, as well as an appetite. :)

    Shit, it took me ten minutes to type that. Argh!
    This is one of those times I wonder if my brain will crash.

  40. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Add to that, when 99%+ of the professionals agree and the 1% speaks, I consider the majority, not the outlier.

    The problem is, how is the general public supposed to know which is which. If I’m a regular joe who doesn’t think he has a horse in the race, doesn’t believe he knows any trans people, and would rather not think about it at all, I’m not going to do independent research on it. That leaves the media reports only, which almost never state which group actually represents the majority. So, from regular joe perspective, it’s one extreme side against the other. I could do the dedicated moderate thing and assume that the real answer is somewhere between the middle (which would mean accepting some of the horrible arguments by the ACP). I could go by personal squeamishness, which would probably have me side against trans people. I could go by pre-existing political allegiance, which obviously would not be a considered opinion.

    This is a problem that encompasses a number of things. For the ratings-is-everything media, the truth doesn’t matter as much as eyeballs watching their advertisers, so controversy sells. That’s even true if the controversy is flat-earthers versus real astrophysicists. So, that means mass media is out. Add to this the American anti-intellectualism streak, and you’ve got people deciding to side with the bigots because they don’t trust those egghead scientists!

    They’re a much bigger group. Instead, you pay attention to a dwindling crowd.

    Even if they’re a dwindling crowd, they still wield an inordinate amount of power, and in some communities are the overwhelming majority. If you’re living in a small community, the idea that the bigots may be a minority in the big city is little comfort when they’re a huge majority in your own town, since it’s the locals that will make your life hell.

  41. archangelospumoni says

    These a**holes closely resemble a recent Presidential candidate// U.S. Senator from Kentucky and the serious attempt at chicanery:

    Rand Paul, for whatever reason (immaterial for this topic), had a problem with the “American Board of Ophthalmology.” So he established the “National Board of Ophthalmology.” Doesn’t really matter why, for this post.

    If you want to have a little fun, next time you visit your board certified health care professional, ask about faking the friendly neighborhood board certification and well-deserved penalties for this stinky activity. Watch the provider twitch and shake and tremble and turn red and get irate.

    Rand The Skunk was very careful never to (1) give a deposition as “board certified” from the American Board of Ophthalmology or (2) give sworn testimony in open court as board certified from the real certification outfit. He knew all along full well what he was doing and RARELY got called out on this one. In my own little book, if you intend to deceive the public like Rand, you are forever in the stinky liar category unless you make a nice big public apology and mean it.

    Same precise thing as these fake pediatrics outfit a**holes are doing. We do have (and should cherish) free speech, but when your intent is to deceive on a grand scale like this on an important subject, you should receive harsh penalties in the court of public opinion and rhetorically thrown into the trash.

  42. says


    Why aren’t you paying attention to those who accept you, ignoring the other groups and generally you get along with?
    They’re a much bigger group. Instead, you pay attention to a dwindling crowd.

    Y’know, if you happen to be under the impression that this sort of pep talk helps, you couldn’t be more wrong. The reality on the ground is that those who accept transgender people are a minority, and it’s damn hard to ignore the majority when you’re surrounded by them. It’s especially hard when a good portion of that majority is prepared to bully, harass, and commit violence on people who don’t fit their binary view. Here in UStates, lawmakers are falling all over themselves to legislate bigotry and hate. This is hardly something which can be described as “dwindling”.

    Cis privilege is speaking your every word. It’s fine that you don’t know much about transgender people or the reality of life for them, or others under the LGBTAI umbrella. You could listen. You could read. You could learn. TDOV is this Thursday. Take a very good look at the graphic there, let that information soak in. The situation for transgender people is dire all around the world.

  43. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    It used to be hard to accept the fact that online world is part of real world, but it seems like some people have lost perspective in the other direction.

    A lot of people invested into social justice are doing a lot of their work or simply conversing about it online, often prevented by circumstances, abilities, possibilities or something else in the outer world. Online, we interract largely with similarly minded people – like for example on this site, and the outliears seem like a number of trolls giving their last squeeks against what is right and just. If you mingle with the same crowd most of the time, the trolls are always the same too. And sometimes it feels like unicorns will start farting rainbows at any moment now because these trolls are becoming more nad more irrelevant.
    .. on social justice sites.

    But there is a whole vast internet and the world.
    And in that world, a large part has no idea what a social justive movement is. A large part has no idea what “trans” mean. Unless you start playing no true professional you are going to see a whole lot of professionals considering being trans a mental illness that should be cured. Yes, professional psychologists and other medical professionals.
    US and more developed European countries ( I won’t speak about other parts of the world that I know little to nothign about) are one of th better examples. But take just the Eastern part of Europe. How many professional in Croatia or Poland or Bosnia do you think would agree with any of us here on the topic of trans people?
    How many people on the street would care about “social justice” issues?
    And even in the countreis that I described as somewhat better in this, there is so much more to do. “Better” just means that yeah, the issues are being talked about and there is a tendency of tentative improvement even with occasional setbacks.

    I see the same thing with those complaining about trans people taking over the social justice movement, talking over feminists and trying to shut down feminism and similar nonsense. Let’s be real – movements for social justice in US are large, but when you look at the whole population they are tiny. When you look at the most ferocious trans rights proponents, it’s an even smaller crowd. All power to them, but I seriously doubt they could singlehandedly destroy feminism even if that was their intention.

    None of that means that social justice in general and trans rights in particular should just give up (even if I was a bit pesimistic above), but we have to be real abou the scope. Even with the world being as interconnected as it is, there are only so many people that we reach and only so many people that are ready and open to be reached at this moment.
    Progress is a slow thing, and it can only be harmful to lose perspective after the first large battle is won.

    There’s optimism, and then there is shutting your eyes from reality. I love social justice sites ,they make me feel like the world might have a chance of not going completely to shit. But I also go offline, read the papers, talk to people… and that world is quite far from the world we sometimes see in our favorite online havens.

    (also, everything ck, the Irate Lump said about regular joe)

  44. says

    Beatrice @ 49:

    US and more developed European countries ( I won’t speak about other parts of the world that I know little to nothign about) are one of th better examples.

    As much as I would like to include UStates as better or more enlightened, I really can’t do it. The average person in UStates doesn’t know jack about transgender issues, or they think they know about transgender people, and what they know is a lot of ignorant bigotry. An appalling amount of people simply don’t care. It doesn’t affect them in any way, and they don’t know anyone who is affected, so all you see there is an apathetic shrug. Others are much more involved in their fight against what they see as deviancy, or (and I don’t know if this is worse) fraud. You see the ‘fraud’ lines in the whole bathroom discrimination bills all over now – “oh, men are gonna put on dresses so they can rape women in the bathroom!”, which is stupid and silly as all hells, but you sure see people all over the place buying into that idiocy.

  45. says

    And adding to mine @50 – one of the things that hit the governor of South Dakota the hardest, and had the strongest influence when it came to vetoing the transgender discrimination [bathroom] bill was meeting with transgender people. The governor admitted to not knowing any transgender people, and not having the slightest idea of what they were like (um, people?) or what they had to deal with in life. After the meeting, he recognized that piece of shit bill for what it was, pure hate.

  46. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says


    And now I realize that putting US in the “better” category was influenced by the same kind of unconscious bias I was describing: most of the social justice people involved with trans rigths I know are from US.

  47. rq says


    Or more simply, if you can’t quickly and easily beat ’em, outlive ’em.

    I found this statement from you particularly insensitive, given the rather relatively high rate at which trans women end up murdered. I think you can find some stats on that outliving part online, and they leave statements like yours in extremely poor taste.

  48. longship says

    Rachel Maddow eviscerated this organization when the George Rekers Rent Boy affair broke.

    Rekers was a prominent member of the organization when he was caught with a homosexual companion on a European trip.

    Here, Rachel at her best: