Paragraph 2

Gender is an Essential Characteristic

“All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”

A CLOSER LOOK

Sentence A

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God.

Gen. 1:26–27 (Moses 2:26–27; Abr. 4:26–27). Also cited at Matt. 19:4 (Mark 10:6); Alma 18:34; 22:12; D&C 20:17–18
God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over … all the earth. … So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Gen. 5:1–2 (Moses 6:8–9)
In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; male and female created he them; and blessed them, … in the day when they were created.

Mosiah 7:27
He said unto them that Christ was the God, the Father of all things, and said that he should take upon him the image of man, and it should be the image after which man was created in the beginning; or in other words, he said that man was created after the image of God, and that God should come down among the children of men, and take upon him flesh and blood, and go forth upon the face of the earth.

Ether 3:15–16
Never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image.

D&C 130:22
The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also.

As Latter-day Saints, we know who we are and what God expects us to become. … Created in the image of God. We cannot sincerely hold this conviction without experiencing a profound sense of strength and power. As Latter-day Saints, we know that we lived before we came to earth, that mortality is a probationary period wherein we might prove ourselves obedient to God’s command and thus worthy of celestial glory. Yes, we know who we are and what God expects us to become.
President Thomas S. Monson, “Decisions Determine Destiny,” BYU Devotional, November 2005.

“Our theology begins with heavenly parents. Our highest aspiration is to be like them.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Apostasy and Restoration,” Ensign, May 1995, 84.

President Thomas S. Monson testified: “We are sons and daughters of a living God. … We cannot sincerely hold this conviction without experiencing a profound new sense of strength and power.” This doctrine is so basic, so oft stated, and so instinctively simple that it can seem to be ordinary, when in reality it is among the most extraordinary knowledge we can obtain.
Elder Donald L. Hallstrom, “I Am a Child of God,” General Conference, April 2016.

“All men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother, and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity.”
First Presidency, “The Origin of Man,” Improvement Era 13, n. 1 (Nov 1909): 78; reprinted in “Gospel Classics: The Origin of Man,” Ensign, February 2002.

Referring to God:  “I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form — like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with him, as one man talks and communes with another. It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth.”
President Joseph Smith, April 1844 General Conference, Nauvoo, Illinois.

“You [women] are daughters of God. … You are made in the image of our heavenly mother.”
President Spencer W. Kimball, Conference Report, Mexico City and Central America Area Conference, 1973, p. 108.
 

A hundred years of intensive research has established beyond reasonable doubt what most human beings have intuited all along; the gap [between animals and human beings] is real. In a number of key dimensions, particularly the social realm, human cognition vastly outstrips that of even the cleverest nonhuman primates.
Kevin Laland, Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony: How Culture Made the Human Mind (Princeton University Press, 2017), p. 14.


America’s Founders believed that humans were created in the imago dei—the image of God. 
Thomas S. Kidd, God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution (New York: Basic Books, 2010), pp. 131–146.

“God made man in His own image.”
Gandhi, H, 24-8-1947, p. 285. Retrieved from https://www.mkgandhi.org/momgandhi/chap14.htm

Man’s excellence consists in the fact that God made him to His own image by giving him an intellectual soul, which raises him above the beasts of the field.
Saint Augustine. The literal meaning of Genesis, Book 6, Chapter 12, p. 193.

Sentence B

Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.

Deut. 14:1
Ye are the children of the Lord your God.

Rom. 8:16–18
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Luke 20:36
Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

1 John 3:1
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

1 Jn. 3:2
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

2 Pet. 1:3–4
His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, … whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

We are children—but in what a family and of what Parents! We can picture ourselves as we were, for longer than we can imagine, sons and daughters associating in our heavenly home with Parents who knew and loved us.”
President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “The Family,” Ensign, Feb. 1998, 12.

All human beings are beloved spirit sons or daughters of heavenly parents with a divine nature and eternal destiny. The reason we have bodies is to build on that divine nature so we can ultimately realize our eternal destiny.
Elder Dale G. Renlund, “The Divine Purposes of Sexual Intimacy,” Ensign, August 2020.  

Individual identity began long before conception and will continue for all the eternities to come.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “The Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, November 1993.

We are created in the image of our heavenly parents; we are God’s spirit children. Therefore, we have a vast capacity for love—it is part of our spiritual heritage.  
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Love of God,” Ensign, November 2009.

A further reality of our being with God “in the beginning” means that you have been you for a long time. Hence the Apostle John correctly wrote that “[God] first loved us” (see 1 Jn. 4:19). Likewise, amid the mortal turbulence, we learn who other mortals really are—our spiritual brothers and sisters, not functions, rivals, or enemies. Moreover, we should have a special sanctity and regard for human life.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “How Choice a Seer!” General Conference, October 2003.

Is our heavenly parentage our first and most profound identity? Here on earth, we identify ourselves in many different ways, including our place of birth, our nationality, and our language. Some even identify themselves by their occupation or their hobby. These earthly identities are not wrong unless they supersede or interfere with our eternal identity—that of being a son or a daughter of God. … In today’s world, no matter where we live and no matter what our circumstances are, it is essential that our preeminent identity is as a child of God.
Elder Donald L. Hallstrom, “I Am a Child of God,” General Conference, April 2016.

One of the great blessings of understanding our true eternal identity as a child of God is that our personal sense of self-worth can only be high. … He loves each one of His children. We are each His son or daughter with the potential to become like Him. … Satan does not want us to understand our divine potential, but the Lord certainly does. He has provided us with countless scriptures and prophetic promptings to help us counter and resist these satanic pulls. … I pray that we may ever remember who we are: sons and daughters of a loving Father, who have the potential to return to His side and dwell with Him as celestial beings.
Elder Robert C. Oaks, “Understand Who You Are,” BYU Devotional, March 2006.

Your eternal identity has been a part of you for a long, long time. As a spirit son or daughter of God, you learned all about the Father’s plan and its implications for you in the pre-mortal realm. You accepted the plan and participated in the great War in Heaven. Because of your faith in Christ and your valiance in the testimony of Christ, you were foreordained to be the seed of Abraham in mortality and receive the blessings, power, and authority of the priesthood in your life. You were prepared in the pre-mortal realm to be a trusted servant of the Lord and a mother or father in an eternal family in the earth’s latter days. 
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Even if the blessings of identity and purpose seem distant, they are not any less real. In God’s eternal plan, there is an eternal companion for every one of you, if you are faithful. You may not know yet who that person is. It may be some time before you meet that person, but your beloved companion is a real person who will one day be sealed to you forever. And every one of you has children that will bless your life. You may not yet know who they all are, but they are real people living in the pre-mortal realm preparing to come into your family. You are husbands and wives, mothers and fathers in God’s eternal plan. That is who you really are.
Elder Kim B. Clark, “Identity and Purpose in God’s Eternal Plan,” BYU-Idaho devotional, Spring 2014. 

 A growing body of literature shows us that the mindsets children hold about abilities and intelligence can set them on different trajectories of motivation and learning. … Studies of the home environment have shown us that parents’ more chronic use of person or process praise predicts their children’s later mindsets. … Moreover, adults can potentially model these simple cues in responses to their own struggles and setbacks. Rather than commenting on their lack of ability, adults could draw attention to the potential to improve (e.g., “I can’t do this. . .yet!”).
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Indeed, 
Schunk, Hanson, and Cox (1987) showed that even observing a model who struggles with a task before mastering it (compared to models who do well without struggling) led children to feel more efficacious and perform better on the task. Highlighting struggles, especially as something normal and positive in the learning process, may help children understand how their own intelligence and abilities can grow.

Haimovitz, Kyla, & Dweck, Carol S. (2017). The Origins of Children’s Growth and Fixed Mindsets: New Research and a New Proposal. Child Development, 88(6), 1849-1859.

 

Sentence C

Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

See also paragraph 1, phrase B [Marriage is man-woman].

Gen. 1:27 (also Gen. 5:2)
Male and female created he them; and blessed them … in the day when they were created.

Gen. 3:20
Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

Ether 3:16
This body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh.

D&C 77:2
That which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal; and that which is temporal in the likeness of that which is spiritual; the spirit of man in the likeness of his person.

D&C 88:15
The spirit and the body are the soul of man.

D&C 93:33–34
Man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; and when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.

D&C 138:36, 38–39
In the world of spirits … were Father Adam, the Ancient of Days and father of all, and our glorious Mother Eve, with many of her faithful daughters who had lived through the ages.

Moses 3:5
I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth.

Moses 6:9
In the image of his own body, male and female, created he them, … in the day when they … became living souls in the land.

Alma 11:43–45
The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now. … This restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body. … This mortal body is raised to an immortal body, … that they can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided, … that they can no more see corruption.

I am very grateful for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It provides light to guide us in this world darkened by immorality, iniquity, and infidelity. It teaches us to love all of God’s children, some of whom struggle with gender issues or other conditions that may not be fully understood. We need to help and encourage them and their family members without, of course, condoning sinful behavior.”
President Russell M. Nelson, “The Doctrinal Importance of Marriage and Children,” Worldwide Leadership Training, 2012.

“While God’s commandments forbid all unchaste behavior and reaffirm the importance of marriage between a man and a woman, the Church and its faithful members should reach out with understanding and respect to individuals who are attracted to those of the same sex or whose sexual orientation or gender identity is inconsistent with their sex at birth,” President Oaks taught. “We do not know why same-sex attraction and confusion about sexual identity occur,” he continued. “They are among the challenges that persons can experience in mortality, which is only a tiny fraction of our eternal existence.”
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President Oaks spoke of three fundamental doctrinal truths that God has revealed:
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“First, … that God created ‘male and female,’” and that this “binary creation is essential to the plan of salvation.”

“Second, modern revelation teaches that eternal life, the greatest gift of God to His children, is only possible through the creative powers inherent in the combination of male and female joined in an eternal marriage (see Doctrine and Covenants 132:19). That is why the law of chastity is so important.”

“Finally, the long-standing doctrinal statements reaffirmed in [The Family: A Proclamation to the World] 23 years ago will not change. They may be clarified as directed by inspiration.” For example, “the intended meaning of gender in the family proclamation and as used in Church statements and publications since that time is biological sex at birth.”
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“When counseling with any members experiencing challenges related to their sexual orientation, Church leaders should affirm that God loves all His children, including those dealing with confusion about their sexual identity or other LGBT feelings,” President Oaks said. “Such members and their families have unique challenges. They should be offered hope and be ministered to as directed by the Spirit according to their true needs, remembering the admonition of Alma to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort (see Mosiah 18:9).”
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“Because we love God and understand His great plan of salvation and the significance of His commandments, we manifest our love for our neighbors by helping them come unto Christ, repent, and keep His commandments. This is part of bearing one another’s burdens that they may be light.”
President Dallin H. Oaks, October 2019 General Conference Priesthood Leadership Session. Retrieved from https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/october-2019-general-conference-first-presidency-leadership-session?cid=HP_NWSRM_10_2_19

The doctrine of eternal families in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is unique among Christian traditions. We were not created solely to praise, adore, and serve some incomprehensible God. We were created by loving heavenly parents to grow up to become like them. Male and female spirits were created to complement each other. That is why gender is not fluid in the eternities—because it provides the basis for the ultimate gift Heavenly Father can give, His kind of life. Footnote: Throughout eternity, we will not be genderless, as some theologians have suggested.
Elder Dale G. Renlund, “The Divine Purposes of Sexual Intimacy,” Ensign, August 2020. 

Your gender existed before you came to earth.
Elder Richard G. Scott, “The Joy of Living the Great Plan of Happiness,” General Conference, Oct. 1996.

Are you confused with gender identity or searching for self-esteem? Do you—or someone you love—face disease or depression or death? Whatever other steps you may need to take to resolve these concerns, come first to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Trust in heaven’s promises. In that regard Alma’s testimony is my testimony: “I do know,” he says, “that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Broken Things to Mend”, General Conference, April 2006.

No legislation can alter the sexes. …  any legislation which is designed to neuter gender of that which God created male and female will bring more problems than benefits. Of that I am convinced.”
President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Live Up to Your Inheritance”, General Conference, October 1983.

For divine purposes, male and female spirits are different, distinctive, and complementary.
Elder David A. Bednar, “Marriage Is Essential to His Eternal Plan,” Ensign, June 2006; Liahona, June 2006.

From our premortal life we were directed into a physical body. There is no mismatching of bodies and spirits.
President Boyd K. Packer, “A Message to Young Men”, General Conference, Oct. 1976.

Our gender was determined before we came to earth and is part of our eternal identity.
Virginia U. Jensen, First Counselor in the General Relief Society, “Come Listen to a Prophet’s Voice,” General Conference, Oct. 1998.

We know that gender was set in the premortal world. The spirit and the body are the soul of man. … This matter of gender is of great concern to the Brethren, as are all matters of morality. A few of you may have felt or been told that you were born with troubling feelings and that you are not guilty if you act on those temptations. Doctrinally we know that if that were true your agency would have been erased, and that cannot happen.”
President Boyd K. Packer, Seminary Centennial Broadcast, April 2012.

Our creation as male and female “was done spiritually in your premortal existence when you lived in the presence of your Father in Heaven. Your gender existed before you came to earth.”
Elder Richard G. Scott, “The Joy of Living the Great Plan of Happiness,” General Conference, Oct. 1996.

The scriptures and the teachings of the Apostles and prophets speak of us in premortal life as sons and daughters, spirit children of God. Gender existed before, and did not begin at mortal birth.
Elder Boyd K. Packer, “For Time and All Eternity,” Ensign, Nov. 1993.

Maleness and femaleness, marriage, and the bearing and nurturing of children are all essential to the great plan of happiness. Modern revelation makes clear that what we call gender was part of our existence prior to our birth. God declares that he created “male and female.”
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “The Great Plan of Happiness,” General Conference, Oct. 1993.

The premortal and mortal natures of men and women were specified by God Himself.
Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Women of Righteousness,” Ensign, Apr. 2002.

That women were born into this earth female was determined long before mortal birth, as were the divine differences of males and females. I love the clarity of the teachings of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve in the Proclamation on the Family. They state: “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.” From that statement we are taught that every girl was feminine and female in spirit long before her mortal birth.
Margaret D. Nadauld, Young Women General President, “What You Are Meant to Be,” New Era, Oct. 2002.

Your gender was determined in the premortal existence. You [men] were born a male. You must treasure and protect the masculine part of your nature.
President Boyd K. Packer, “Counsel to Young Men,” General Conference, April 2009.

For divine purposes, male and female spirits are different, distinctive, and complementary.
Elder David A. Bednar, “Marriage Is Essential to His Eternal Plan,” Ensign, June 2006; Liahona, June 2006.

As spirit daughters of God, women ‘received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth’ (D&C 138:56) on the earth. … Female roles did not begin on earth, and they do not end here.
Julie B. Beck, Relief Society General President, “A Mother Heart”, General Conference, April 2004.

Gender is part of our eternal identity and is necessary for our eternal progression. President Packer explained: “The plan of happiness requires the righteous union of male and female, man and woman, husband and wife. …A body patterned after the image of God was created for Adam, and he was introduced into the Garden. …Confusion about gender issues is rampant today. …We can remember that we are God’s sons and daughters, that He created us in His image, and that His plan prepares us for life eternal. If we obey His commandments, He will not withhold from us any of the blessings He has promised.” 
President Boyd K. Packer, “Strengthening the family: Created in the Image of God, Male and Female,” Ensign, January 2005.

[Satan] seeks to undermine the principle of individual accountability, to persuade us to misuse our sacred powers of procreation, to discourage marriage and childbearing by worthy men and women, and to confuse what it means to be male or female. … Some kinds of feelings seem to be inborn. Others are traceable to mortal experiences. Still other feelings seem to be acquired from a complex interaction of ‘nature and nurture.’ All of us have some feelings we did not choose, but the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that we still have the power to resist and reform our feelings.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Same-Gender Attraction,” Liahona, Mar. 1996, 15, 17; Ensign, Oct. 1995, 8–9.

The scriptures record, “And I, God, created man … male and female created I them.”  This was done spiritually in your premortal existence when you lived in the presence of your Father in Heaven. Your gender existed before you came to earth. You elected to have this earth experience as part of His plan for you.”
Elder Richard G. Scott, “The Joy of Living the Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, Nov. 1996.

There is no accident or chance, due to purely physical conditions, by which the gender of the unborn is determined. The body takes form as male or female, according to the gender of the spirit whose appointment it is to tenant that body as a tabernacle formed of the elements of earth, through which means alone the individual may enter upon the indispensable course of human experience, probation, and training. … Man is man, and woman is woman, fundamentally, unchangeably, eternally. Each is indispensable to the other and to the accomplishment of the purposes of God. 
President James E. Talmage, “The Eternity of Sex”, Millennial Star, August 24, 1922, pages 539-540.

The scriptures and the teachings of the Apostles and prophets speak of us in premortal life as sons and daughters, spirit children of God. Gender existed before, and did not begin at mortal birth.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “For Time and All Eternity,” Ensign, Nov. 1993.

[Satan] persistently strives to confuse the divinely appointed purposes of gender, marriage, and family. Throughout the world, we see growing evidence of the effectiveness of Satan’s efforts.
Elder David A. Bednar, “Marriage is Essential to His Eternal Plan,” Ensign, June 2006; Liahona, June 2006.

All people who come to this earth and are born in mortality, had a pre-existent, spiritual personality, as the sons and daughters of the Eternal Father.
Statement of the First Presidency, 31 January 1912.

No legislation can alter the sexes. …  any legislation which is designed to neuter gender of that which God created male and female will bring more problems than benefits. Of that I am convinced.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Live Up to Your Inheritance”, General Conference, October 1983.

I am concerned about what I see happening with some of our young women. Satan would have you dress, talk, and behave in unnatural and destructive ways in your relationships with young men. The adversary is having a heyday distorting attitudes about gender and roles and about families and individual worth. He is the author of mass confusion about the value, the role, the contribution, and the unique nature of women.
Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Women of Righteousness”, General Conference, April 2002.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints affirms as reasonable, scriptural, and true, the doctrine of the eternity of sex among the children of God. The distinction between male and female is no condition peculiar to the relatively brief period of mortal life; it was an essential characteristic of our pre-existent state, even as it shall continue after death, in both the disembodied and resurrected states.
President James E. Talmage, Young Woman’s Journal 25 [October 1914]: 600-604). [p.128].

The differences between men and women are not simply biological. They are woven into the fabric of the universe, a vital, foundational element of eternal life and divine nature.
Elder Bruce D. Porter, Address given at a conference held at Brigham Young University on March 5, 2010.

See also paragraph 1, phrase B [Marriage is man-woman].

“The biological differences between the sexes have long been recognized at the biochemical and cellular levels. … The notion that there are biological differences between the sexes is most evident and comfortable when it is applied to the reproductive system. However, sex differences have been identified or suggested at many levels of biological organization, from biochemical to behavioral.”
Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Understanding the Biology of Sex and Gender Differences; Wizemann TM, Pardue ML, editors. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2001.

Researchers from the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Chicago Medical School explain that gendered differences between male and female are coded deeply the DNA of every cell of the body, long before birth:
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The first question to be asked is “is there any evidence of sex differences between male and female non-sexual tissue that cannot be explained by hormonal differences?” As physiologists, we all accept that there are obvious differences between males and females. …
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Intriguingly, recent studies tend to support the notion of early differences between male and female embryos. For example, male embryos created through in vitro fertilization grow faster prior to implantation than female embryos (). Importantly, these findings suggest that genetic cellular differences between sexes exist before the onset of hormonal exposure. Moreover, even in adults, hormonal ablation or supplementation does not completely eliminate or recreate sexual differences. …
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On a simplistic level, differences between male and female cells are entrenched in differences in genetic content, as expressed by the presence of sex chromosomes; two X chromosomes in female cells, and one X and one Y chromosome in male cells.
Shah, K., McCormack, C. E., & Bradbury, N. A. (2014). Do you know the sex of your cells?. American journal of physiology. Cell physiology306(1), C3–C18. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpcell.00281.2013

Parents have described cluster outbreaks of gender dysphoria (GD). Their child appeared to rapidly develop a gender dysphoria and/or transgender identification in the context of a peer group where multiple members became gender dysphoric and/or transgender was identified around the same time; the child’s immersion in social media was often associated.
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A total of 221 parent-completed surveys met the study criteria. Inclusion criteria included the following affirmative responses that: 1) the child had “a sudden or rapid onset of gender dysphoria”; 2) the child belonged to a friend group where one or multiple friends became gender dysphoric and came out as transgender during a similar time frame as their child, had an increase in their social media and/or internet use, or both; and 3) the child’s gender dysphoria began during or after puberty. … 
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Where popularity status and peer group behaviors were known, 63.9% of the AYAs experienced an increased popularity within their peer group when they identified and 62.1% of the peer groups were known to mock people who were not transgender or lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Several respondents described that they observed peer group behaviors directly and on social media sites. The pattern of cluster outbreaks of transgender identification in preexisting peer groups, the percentage of peer groups where the majority of members became transgender identified, and the in-person and online peer group dynamics strongly suggest the contribution of peer group and social media influences on the development of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD).

Clinical Perspectives: Peer Group and Social Media Influences in Adolescent and Young-Adult Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 57(10), S73.

“Both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association recognize that the vast majority of gender dysphoric minors will eventually accept their chromosomal sex.”
See Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th edition, p. 455; Bockting (2014), APA Handbook, v. 1, p. 744.

In a review of 200 peer reviewed articles, the former chief of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, along with psychiatrists and genetisists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and School of Medicine, and at the Mayo Clinic, concluded that “the belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex—so that a person might be a ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’—is not supported by scientific evidence.
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Only a minority of children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood. There is no evidence that all such children should be encouraged to become transgender, much less subjected to hormone treatments or surgery. … People who undergo sex-reassignment procedures do not become the opposite sex—they merely masculinize or feminize their outward appearance.
Mayer, L. and McHugh, P. “Executive Summary,” Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences, The New Atlantis, n. 50 (fall 2016), p. 7–9.

“Members of the transgender population are at higher risk of a variety of mental health problems compared to members of the non-transgender population. Especially alarmingly, the rate of lifetime suicide attempts across all ages of transgender individuals is estimated at 41 percent, compared to under 5 percent in the overall U.S. population.

What accounts for these tragic outcomes? Mayer and McHugh investigate the leading theory—the “social stress model”—which proposes that “stressors like stigma and prejudice account for much of the additional suffering observed in these subpopulations.” In other words, the theory that LGBT people commit suicide because of social stigma is incomplete. Social stigma and stress alone cannot account for the poor physical and mental health outcomes that LGBT-identified people face.”
Mayer, L. and McHugh, P. “Executive Summary,” Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences, The New Atlantis, n. 50 (fall 2016), p. 7–9.

The world’s largest dataset on patients who have undergone sex-reassignment procedures—both hormonal and surgical—reveals that such procedures do not bring the promised mental health benefits. … The authors point out that on one score—treatment for anxiety disorders—patients who had sex-reassignment surgeries did worse than those who did not:
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Individuals diagnosed with gender incongruence who had received gender-affirming surgery were more likely to be treated for anxiety disorders compared with individuals diagnosed with gender incongruence who had not received gender-affirming surgery.

In a discussion of the then-largest and most robust study on sex reassignment, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services pointed out: “The study identified increased mortality and psychiatric hospitalization compared to the matched controls. The mortality was primarily due to completed suicides (19.1-fold greater than in control Swedes).”
See Anderson, R., “‘Transitioning’ Procedures Don’t Help Mental Health, Dataset Shows,” DailySignal.com, 3 Aug 2020.

According to the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” 5th edition, as many as 98 percent of boys and 88 percent of girls will “grow out of” their gender dysphoria and accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty. The vast majority came to accept their biological sex by late adolescence after passing naturally through puberty.
American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (Arlington, VA: APA, 2013), p. 451–459. 

Gender dysphoric children who are treated using a “watchful waiting” approach largely desist, no longer identify as transgender as adults, and accept their bodies as they are. Those who are subjected to medical intervention do not. … Desistance is when children who are diagnosed as gender dysphoric by medical practitioners go on to accept their bodies and do not end up identifying as transgender once they have passed through puberty. …
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Kenneth Zucker, a psychologist and clinical lead from 1981 to 2015 at the Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic (GIC), Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), is an internationally renowned specialist in the field of gender dysphoria and gender-identity development [writes]:
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I would hypothesize that when more follow-up data of children who socially transition prior to puberty become available, the persistence rate will be extremely high. This is not a value judgment—it is simply an empirical prediction . . . parents who support, implement, or encourage a gender social transition (and clinicians who recommend one) are implementing a psychosocial treatment that will increase the odds of long-term persistence. …
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A very significant problem in the field is that there are no randomized control trials (RCT) with regard to treatment of children with gender dysphoria, as has been noted in several authoritative reviews (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2012; American Psychological Association, 2015).
Vigo, J. (2018, October 01). The ​Myth of the “Desistance Myth”. Retrieved from https://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2018/07/21972/?utm_source=The+Witherspoon+Institute. See also Zucker, K. J. (2018). The myth of persistence: Response to “A critical commentary on follow-up studies and ‘desistance’ theories about transgender and gender non-conforming children” by Temple Newhook et al. (2018). The International Journal of Transgenderism, 19(2), 231-245.

“In the vast majority of individuals, gender dysphoria resolves with time. Given the extreme, life-altering hormonal and surgical treatments involved in “transitioning” to appear as the other sex, and the very serious (ie, infertility) and even life-threatening (ie pulmonary embolism, cancer adverse consequences of these interventions, it is in the best interest of the gender dysphoric pre-pubertal child to assist them in aligning their self-perception with their anatomic sex.”
See https://acpeds.org/position-statements/gender-dysphoria-in-children

Intersex conditions are frequently raised in the context of the transgender issue. A small fraction of babies suffer from disorders of sexual development (DSD), sometimes referred to as an intersex condition (or as hermaphroditism). True hermaphrodites—those in whom sexual anatomy is ambiguous or clearly conflicts with their chromosomal make-up—are rare, estimated by one expert as “occurring in fewer than 2 out of every 10,000 live births.” The vast majority of “transgender” individuals are not “intersexed.” No one can change his or her sex. The DNA in every cell in the body is marked clearly male or female and fixed.
Sprigg, D., “Understanding and Responding to the Transgender Movement,” Family Research Council, FRC.org, 16 Jun 2015, retrieved from https://www.frc.org/transgender.

According to the Journal of Sex Research, researchers from The Montgomery Center for Research in Child and Adolescent Development found that statements indicating that intersex conditions are common in 1.7% to 2% of the population are not based on scientific reasoning. More than 99.98% of humans are either male or female. If the term intersex is to retain any clinical meaning, the use of this term should be restricted to those conditions in which chromosomal sex is inconsistent with phenotypic sex, or in which the phenotype is not classifiable as either male or female.

The birth of an intersex child, far from being “a fairly common phenomenon,” is actually a rare event, occurring in fewer than 2 out of every 10,000 births. … [The] suggestion that the prevalence of intersex might be as high as 1.7% has attracted wide attention in both the scholarly press and the popular media. Many reviewers are not aware that this figure includes conditions which most clinicians do not recognize as intersex, such as Klinefelter syndrome, Turner syndrome, and late-onset adrenal hyperplasia. If the term intersex is to retain any meaning, the term should be restricted to those conditions in which chromosomal sex is inconsistent with phenotypic sex, or in which the phenotype is not classifiable as either male or female. Applying this more precise definition, the true prevalence of intersex is seen to be about 0.018%, almost 100 times lower than Fausto-Sterling’s estimate of 1.7%. …

To arrive at the figure which asserts that “up to 2% of the population is considered intersex”, some will define as intersex broadly as any “individual who deviates from the Platonic ideal of physical dimorphism at the chromosomal, genital, gonadal, or hormonal levels”. This definition is too broad. … A definition of intersex which encompasses individuals who are phenotypically indistinguishable from normal is likely to confuse both clinicians and patients. … [Instead] it is recommended to define intersex simply as “a discordance between phenotypic sex and chromosomal sex”. While this definition would cover most true intersex patients, there are some rare conditions which are clearly intersex which are not captured by this definition. … 

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Subtracting these five categories–LOCAH, vaginal agenesis, Turner’s syndrome, Klinefelter’s syndrome, and other non-XX and non-XY aneuploldies–the incidence of intersex drops to 0.018%, almost 100 times lower than the estimate provided by Fausto-Sterling. This figure of 0.018% suggests that there are currently about 50,000 true intersexuals living in the United States. These individuals are of course entitled to the same expert care and consideration that all patients deserve. …
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The available data support the conclusion that human sexuality is a dichotomy, not a continuum. More than 99.98% of humans are either male or female. If the term intersex is to retain any clinical meaning, the use of this term should be restricted to those conditions in which chromosomal sex is inconsistent with phenotypic sex, or in which the phenotype is not classifiable as either male or female.
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[Thus], the birth of an intersex child, far from being “a fairly common phenomenon,” is actually a rare event, occurring in fewer than 2 out of every 10,000 births.
See Sax L. (2002). How common is intersex? a response to Anne Fausto-Sterling. Journal of sex research39(3), 174–178. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224490209552139

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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