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How a cult captured the NHS Society fails when it treats children like adults

(Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)


April 12, 2024   8 mins

Pity poor Dr Hilary Cass, the eminent paediatrician charged with managing an independent review of NHS gender services for young people, whose final report was published this week. Given the hair-trigger sensibilities of interested parties, she seems to have been unable to state unambiguously that now-popular treatments for young people confused or distressed by their sexed bodies are blatant quackery: keeping pre-pubescent kids in suspended chemical animation on the basis of a single, discredited study; dosing teenagers liberally with opposite-sex hormones; or — when a child reaches the tender age of 18, though even earlier in other countries — empowering her to have major body parts cut off.

Instead, time and again in Cass’s report she is forced back into the conceit that the most pressing problem for contemporary gender medicine is the lack of good evidence for such interventions either way. It is as if a modern-day medic had been tasked with reviewing the efficacy of trepanning, and then ordered to defend her findings in front of fanatical fifth-century devotees. “It’s not that drilling a hole in a child’s skull to release demons is necessarily harmful, you understand — indeed, it may be the best outcome in some cases. The main issue is the lack of long-term follow up.”

Alongside Cass’s cumulatively devastating account of reckless decision-making, poor evidential standards, and patchy record-keeping at Gids and elsewhere, a whole section of the report gently attempts to educate its readership about “the components of evidence-based medicine” — complete with basic explainers about randomised controlled trials, blinding processes, and the possibility of bias. She might as well be addressing an archaic people who have just emerged blinking from a time capsule, still convinced that disease is God’s punishment for insufficient acts of propitiation.

In a sense, though, this is indeed very like one group to whom the report is addressed: those clinicians, parents and patients immersed in bubbles of identity affirmation, and cognitively isolated from any reasoning or evidence that would confound their worldview. Perhaps unusually for a medical review, it is clear from Cass’s overtly respectful tone and at times still-euphemistic language that her aim is not just to inform these readers but also to deprogram them.

The very first sentence of her report begins with a weary disavowal of Stonewall-endorsed paranoias (“This Review is not about… undermining the validity of trans identities, challenging the right of people to express themselves, or rolling back on people’s rights to healthcare”). Somewhat nonsensically, references to “birth-registered females” are scattered throughout the text, as if the author were somehow only concerned with those with birth certificates — presumably an attempt to build bridges with child-like souls still convinced sex is something coercively assigned to neonates at random. Generally, there is a sense of gingerly addressing a group of emotionally labile people who are not quite ready to face the whole truth.

And no wonder: nearly every indicator of cult membership is present among so-called affirmative clinicians and their hapless patients. Among the most telling signs are a fervent belief in a transcendent new way of life; induction into a mystical world of occult symbols, flags and lanyards; the love-bombing of new recruits with affirmative language and talk of “queer joy”; and the replacement of traditional support systems (one Pride post on the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust  website  — a hospital involved in creating the new youth gender services to replace Gids  — talks about “the fight for LGBT rights” as something “to be won against your family or your neighbours or whoever is directly around you”).

“Nearly every indicator of cult membership is present among so-called affirmative clinicians and their hapless patients.”

Relatedly, there is a lot of what cult specialists call “hate-bonding” — that is, framing critical voices as evil enemies to be automatically discredited, a process which neatly shuts down intellectual curiosity while solidifying group cohesion at one fell swoop. A recent example of such attitudes was the intensely hostile protest last month at a clinician-organised conference critical of child transition, purportedly led by an NHS doctor. When considered alongside other obvious signs of religious commitment — the mantras and incantations, sacred texts, citations of high priests, annual holy weeks, and so on — it is not hard to conclude that, for many in the medical profession, transactivism is based on faith not reason. Consider, for instance, the astonishing levels of religiosity in this 2023 publication from the NHS Confederation, at one point encouraging “allies” to “recognise the privilege afforded to them as a cisgender person and uses this to uplift the voices of trans and non-binary colleagues”.

Cults are not unusual, as human phenomena go; the unusual point is that one came to control parts of the NHS. As Cass relates, again euphemistically, “for this group of young people expertise has been concentrated in a small group of people, which has served to gatekeep the knowledge”. Suitably translated, so that “expertise” means “power” and “gatekeep the knowledge” means “deflect real scrutiny”, she is effectively pointing to the fact that much damage can be done in an institution by only a few zealots, as long as they are the ones presumed in charge of things by others.

There is no better evidence of this than the fact, also highlighted in the report, that according to current NHS guidelines, a newly socially transitioned young person can be given a different NHS number in alignment with their preferred identity. As well as affecting the provision of sex-appropriate screening and other kinds of differentiated care, this change alone has made it very difficult to track long-term outcomes of gender treatment. When first mooted, it would not have been hard to anticipate problems; but such petty worries obviously paled in comparison to the thrill of achieving metamorphosis-by-bureaucracy.

Another clue to the level of ideological capture emerges when Cass describes a proposed data linkage study, originally envisaged as culling information about 9,000 patients from “Gids, hospital wards, outpatient clinics, emergency departments and adult gender dysphoria clinics”, and so providing “a population-level evidence base of the different pathways people take and the outcomes”. In the end, the much-needed study didn’t happen because clinicians in existing gender services nearly all refused to cooperate. (An inquiry into adult clinics has since been announced.)

Reasons for refusal included that the Cass Review would be politically biased; and that “[t]aking part in a study of this kind could bring into question the integrity of clinic staff and the relationships they have with patients”. It is hard to imagine such a self-serving affront to patient safeguarding being considered acceptable in any other healthcare context. Another reason offered, also with an apparently straight face, was that “the study outcomes focus on adverse health events, for which the clinics do not feel primarily responsible”. Once you have fixed the problems with a young person’s soul, apparently what happens to their body afterwards is not your concern.

One could be forgiven for thinking that medical culture should easily be able to condemn bizarre physical interventions performed upon children in the name of religion, without having to undertake a four-year clinical review first. Indeed, lawmakers have previously criminalised practices such as FGM without requiring any such tests. But one instructive thing we can learn from the wreckage of gender medicine is that, with the right kind of institutional and rhetorical scaffolding, doctors can become unsure about what their goals are supposed to be. It’s no good telling them to first do no harm, when they can’t work out how to reliably detect it.

“It’s no good telling them to first do no harm, when they can’t work out how to reliably detect it.”

A superficial reason for this confusion is that the harms taken to fall squarely under the medical profession’s remit include negative psychological impacts as well as physical ones. And indeed, this looks like the right result: we can all think of obvious cases where mental suffering causes real damage to a person, and going to see a doctor is an appropriate response. But the downside is that, in a culture very picky about physical looks, or in the grip of some other body-related derangement, a person’s perceptions of her own healthy body can cause her severely negative psychological impact too; and then what is the clinician supposed to focus upon first? Cass herself talks about the rise among teenage girls in “Body Dysmorphic Disorder”, an obsessive preoccupation “with body image and with compulsive revisiting or avoidance of thoughts to manage distress”.

At least in theory, the doctor then has a choice: changing the mind to be better able to cope with the body, or changing the patient’s healthy body to relieve the mind. Cosmetic surgery opts for the latter strategy. Though described as “not routinely provided”, the NHS will sometimes fund implants for uneven breasts, reduction for large ones, or ear-pinning, as long as these things are causing “significant distress”. This, then, is a case where psychological feelings are taken to justify an assault, quite literally, upon physically healthy flesh.

Transactivists tend to ramp up this strategy, often baselessly suggesting that early physical interventions to change children’s bodies will avoid devastating psychological consequences and perhaps even suicide later on. Inflated figures have been disseminated by mainstream sources for years about the prevalence of suicide attempts in trans-identified young people, and weaponised in order to motivate medical “affirmation”. Dr Christine Mimnagh, clinical lead at the Merseyside adult gender service CMAGIC and a member of an influential Clinical Reference Group at NHS England for gender dysphoria services, was recently caught on camera telling listeners at Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust that if child services “worked as they should” we would induce “menopause” in some nine-year-old girls before menarche.

But a deeper reason for medical confusion about what counts as harm these days is widespread acknowledgement that judgements of harm are often or even always value-laden — that is, that they implicitly depend on background assumptions about what sort of life is worthwhile. People can put up with all sorts of physical discomfort, on their own behalf or that of their children, when the cause is placed in a moral or religious framework making it look better than the alternative. Some Christian Scientists will avoid all medical treatment for sick children, failing to shield them from great pain in the process; some Roman Catholics will put their mortally ill children through invasive medical procedures to keep them alive a bit longer. More mundanely, many parents vaccinate their children, circumcise baby boys, or pierce girls’ ears — not because they are sadists (of course), but because they believe that benefits outweigh somewhat painful costs.

Acknowledging that judgements about physical harm are not always straightforward, and often depend upon background values, can make the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and radical surgery disappear into an ethically confusing fog; and especially when the doctor herself has no strong intuitions about the prioritisation of bodily integrity over mental wellness to call upon. Certainly, there are other adults who swear that such physically damaging treatments — for what else can we call them? — have made their lives better overall in terms of other goals: mental health, or aesthetics, or self-expression.

But there are obvious differences when it comes to children and young adults — differences that apply well beyond the age of majority, to at least one’s mid-twenties. One is that so-called affirming procedures are far more physically debilitating, for longer, than things like ear-piercing, tattoos, or even most kinds of cosmetic surgery. Another is that each of them negatively affects what a recently published journal article has argued is a child’s “right to an open future”: roughly, important freedoms or capacities that can only be exercised as autonomous adults (such as biological parenthood or a fulfilling sex life), and whose value is unlikely to be recognised by an individual until later in life. When Cass writes that “the central aim” of treatment “is to help young people to thrive and achieve their life goals”, she does not of course mean the life goals they have now, but the ones they may well have afterwards.

The liberal ideal that each adult individual should be free to pursue her own conception of a good life, as long as it doesn’t impede others from doing the same, takes a bashing these days from both Right and Left. But one thing the ideal can do — at least when properly understood, and robustly applied — is protect our children from fanatics with mad glints in their eye, wishing to imprint their religious ideals, quite literally, upon children’s healthy developing bodies. In her report, Cass encourages a much wider range of people with relevant specialties to get involved with the care of trans-identified youth, moving forward; by which she presumably means, clinicians whose personal value systems won’t have such perilous physical consequences for their young charges. We can only hope that right-minded people answer her call.


Kathleen Stock is an UnHerd columnist and a co-director of The Lesbian Project.
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J Bryant
J Bryant
1 month ago

It is as if a modern-day medic had been tasked with reviewing the efficacy of trepanning, and then ordered to defend her findings in front of fanatical fifth-century devotees. “It’s not that drilling a hole in a child’s skull to release demons is necessarily harmful, you understand — indeed, it may be the best outcome in some cases. The main issue is the lack of long-term follow up.”
LOL. That analogy’s going to stick with me for a long time.
(one Pride post on the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust website — a hospital involved in creating the new youth gender services to replace Gids — talks about “the fight for LGBT rights” as something “to be won against your family or your neighbours or whoever is directly around you”).
So if this NHS Trust is one that replaces the discredited Gids, how much will change in the wake of the Cass Report? This Trust sounds even more ideologically extreme than Gids.
Cass encourages a much wider range of people with relevant specialties to get involved with the care of trans-identified youth, moving forward; by which she presumably means, clinicians whose personal value systems won’t have such perilous physical consequences for their young charges.
Sadly, unless common sense (and common decency) is reasserted at the highest level of the UK government, and the Cass recommendations shape the future of treatment for trans-identifying kids, I suspect pulling a wider range of physicians into the treatment of these kids will subject the new physicians to heavy pressure to conform to Tavistock-style trans ideology or have their careers ruined.
Thank you, Kathleen Stock. A most incisive essay.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Can we bring in hundreds of therapists with experience of counselling young Lesbians and gay boys? Including defending young people against homophobic parents (and teachers), of which plenty are still out there. Were such therapists part of the GIDS teams? Cass is a bit missing on reminding us how most of the CYP were same-sex attracted, and that many who escaped treatement grew up to be healthy Lesbians and gays.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

The problem is the therapists who have been pushing the kids through the trans sausage machine. On average the gay expert therapists needed less than an hour to agree the kids are trans.

Skink
Skink
1 month ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Painful reading. It used to be, cults were out there on the margins, with the rest of us providing the sane ground for the trapped to return to. This time, the cult has taken over, with the sane ones having to walk on eggshells around them, lest we state something obvious so obviously the cult turns on the critics and destroys them, like the crazed devotees of Bacchus in ancient Greece turned on people who happened to be in their way.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Skink

Agree, but it’s been like this for almost half a century. Feminism and anti racism are just as prone to cult like elements and behaviours.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
29 days ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Actually I didn’t think it was her most Incisive. I thought it could be tightened up and they were number of phrases sentences which were unclear (eg para 7). the article itself I think succumbed to some of the criticisms that she herself put forward that the effect of what you say depends on your preconceived notions. But I felt if it were tightened up it it would not suffer in this way. And of course there was much that I agreed with…

Jack Robertson
Jack Robertson
1 month ago

The grown-ups are taking back control of elite intellectual public discourse. Watch the mediocre, the grubby, the rent-seeking, the creepy, the craven, the opportunist…abandon the always-minority religious crackpots and zealots. Watch these p*ssant enablers scatter, go to ground, melt away, frantically rewrite their backstories…watch them run, run, run like hell, far and fast away from gender affirmation therapy barbarism.
Don’t take your foot off their throats, Professor*. Not until the very last fragile, uncertain, vulnerable, still-forming young person’s physically healthy, functioning, normal body has been pumped full of chemicals it does not need to remain physically healthy, functioning and normal; not until the last healthy, functioning, physically normal piece of flesh has been amputated or excised.
* Always. With post-Enlightenment thanks, admiration and profound respect.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Robertson

I wish I shared your optimism. They’ll run for now, but they’ll be back soon enough in another wave.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

They’ll regroup and go underground more, be less brazen and more opaque in their demands. Only real consequences would make them give up the game, so while there’s no real payback and even Cass uses the self-delusionary terminology of ‘gender identities ‘ (93 and rising) the battle isn’t won.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Indeed the next most pressing battle ground for protecting vulnerable young people is getting this insidious ideology out of schools.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

Better to get the kids out of schools, as they are failed institutions in terms of education.

Norfolk Sceptic
Norfolk Sceptic
1 month ago

An A’level in Physics has the information to scuttle the Climate Emergency drama. And Ed Miliband has an A’level in Physics.

Go figure!

Anne Torr
Anne Torr
1 month ago

Yes, but he hasn’t a functioning brain.

Jack Robertson
Jack Robertson
1 month ago

Please don’t align, even indirectly, your anti-Enlightenment view of Climate Change with my pro-Enlightenment view of gender affirmation therapy.
My B Sc. majors are HPS and physics. Any British high school student who hasn’t yet recognised that their generation is facing a deadly serious global heating problem ‘must try harder’. Even if they’re going for A levels in Creation Theology, Tay-Tay Semiotics and Wiccan Basket-weaving, they could grasp the apposite fundamentals fairly easily by sitting in their parents’ car doing cones for several hours with the windows up on a very hot summer’s day. Or they could fly down here to fry their way through an Australian bushfire season.
I’d say we agree on the science of gender affirmation therapy barbarism but disagree on the science of Climate Change. I think the public discursive and policy trajectories of the two have been in near-polar opposition these last few insane decades: we’ve swallowed all manner of catastrophic, irrational bulldust on our most vulnerable kids’ bodily and emotional health; at the same time, we’ve been ruinously undermining and ignoring the clearest, most ungainsayable empirical data red-flagging a collective disaster for all our kids.
There is however a usefully shared, albeit slightly academic, Australian term for what we’ve been guilty of on both counts: f*cked parenting.
Of course the global overheating emergency is real, ‘Sceptic’ Norfolk. If you’re truly thus, then I reckon you should set out to challenge (and change) your own credulous faith that it can be made ‘unreal’ – as some would argue biological sex can be made ‘unreal’ – by simply ignoring the accumulating scientific evidence that alerts us to its reality more unambiguously every day. Alternatively, at least change your internet tag!! It’s an affront to language, too!
Apols all for the thread diversion but it’s important (to me anyway) that those arguing against the gender cult in question don’t hand ammo to the anti-science crackpots and zealots who would kneecap their critics using precisely those terms themselves. Happy to have the debate about CC on another thread!
Chrs & wrmst regards, Norfolk S.

Zaph Mann
Zaph Mann
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Robertson

I applaud you calling this out. There was an article on recently by Shriver titled “How to spot the next mania” which was pretty good for a while – pinpointing these mania have certain characteristics in particular that they can’t be criticised safely without disparagement.Shriver went on to bundle Climate Change in the same grouping as Trans ideology and all the rest.Consequently he accumulated massive upvotes – this seemed to me to be a case in point – can’t criticise the majority view here without being trampled on.

carl taylor
carl taylor
1 month ago
Reply to  Zaph Mann

Shriver would be amused at your misgendering of her. As for her views on climate change, I’m unsure whether she outright denies it’s happening, or, like Michael Schellenberger, agrees that it is but is frustrated that any attempt to question the solution that is being posed (net zero) is deliberately and misleadingly framed as climate denial. Net zero will almost certainly impoverish the West, while allowing China, et al to continue to heat things up to our long-term detriment. An acceptance that climate change is happening and is a problem might not be a mania, but a monomaniacal pursuit of net zero in the absence of other practical solutions (like investment in new technologies) certainly is.

Jack Robertson
Jack Robertson
1 month ago
Reply to  carl taylor

Yes, a fair comment – there’s a very robust and necessary debate yet to be had along exactly these lines. So no issue at all with that nuance. Happy to engage on CC on just such lines on more relevant threads.
I am less convinced that Shriver belongs in your perfectly arguable net-zero scepticism camp. That article Zaph Mann cited was pure ‘Hollywood contrarianism’; a vaguely-passable facsimile of ‘boldly saying dangerous things’…only several years after the real danger has passed, and safely buffered by authentically-contrarian stunt doubles like Bindel and Stock (who’ll step in to do the really dangerous ‘anti-woke’ stuff), emboldened by a cheering crowd, and toting a novel-flogging ulterior motive that, really, to me makes her gratuitous CC ‘dog whistling’ at the end there…pure commercial grift. Chucking some crumbs at every opportunity to any old CC deniers who might be hanging about – their wallets invariably as fat as their interest in literary fiction is, normally, wafer-thin – is of course good for business.
My only real beef is that, whatever her motives might have been, it was in practice just an unsolicited group invitation to UnHerd’s enemies to lump all gender critical types hereabouts in with the battiest of the Trumpian/tinfoil hat/QAnon gang.
I will admit though that I may just be unfairly and unreasonably set against her. I thought ‘Kevin‘ was just about the falsest – and nastiest – ‘brilliant’ novel purportedly on the mysteries of motherly love and devotion I’ve ever read. And I’ve never bought her very shrewdly calibrated non-fiction ‘contrarianism’. To me she belongs in the Bret Easton Ellis, Ricky Gervais, Clive James School of Pantomime ‘Classical Liberal’ Inconoclasm. Too-clever careerists who make a reputation out of regurgitating all the heterodoxies other lesser-know names have been saying for years…only LOUDER, more eye-catchingly, more narcissistically, and, of course, more profitably.
Too harsh?

Jack Robertson
Jack Robertson
1 month ago
Reply to  Zaph Mann

Cheers Zaph. See my reply below to Carl. Yes, I have never quite been convinced by Shriver’s ‘contrarianism’.
I may be misjudging her/it badly, too.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 month ago
Reply to  Zaph Mann

He’s a she. Her name is misleading that’s for sure.

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Robertson

*Thank you*. I’ve been amazed for a while at the wholly unscientific equating of these two polar opposite crises: one has an almost total scientific consensus based on centuries’ worth of data; the other, as Prof Stock so aptly examines, is a cult-like ideology from a couple of minutes ago. If you believe in biological sex: x & Y chromosomes etc then you must also believe that increasing co2 in an enclosed atmosphere increases temperature with far-reaching consequences for complex weather systems & all biological life (because of the inextricable link between temperature and growth & death rates of all living creatures). We have data from millennia past about mass extinctions caused by global temperature rises & drops. I get that some climate activists are behaving extremely badly right now (I’ve looked on aghast as lots align themselves with Hamas- they’ve lost my support forever) but chucking the baby out with the bath water is something we cannot afford to do as a species- just as we can’t afford to sterilise the next generation.

Jack Robertson
Jack Robertson
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr E C

Exceptionally well said, Doc.

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Robertson

Do you not see how close your language is to the Stonewall / Mermaids brigade? Anyone who disagrees isn’t just wrong, they’re stupid or bad.
How are the models predictions working out? Good, so long as we ignore all the ones already shown to be wrong?
And you’ve proven the connection to anthropological CO2 emission too, not just that it’s got hotter?

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil Mac

So far a lot of the models have proven to have been _overcautious_ compared to eg the amount of ice melting & / or lakes & rivers drying up much more quickly in real time. I don’t say it’s a moral vice to misunderstand the urgent nature of the climate crisis, and I understand the will to put it down to _anything_ other than what are its clear causes. It’s a political & energy-security _nightmare_ & I have no solution for how we remain competitive with China, India & other mass fossil fuel burning states that are making the problem more & more intractable every year. (Though I tend to believe that becoming energy-independent & not reliant on oil or gas from foreign dictators can only be a good thing.) However, denying the scientific consensus at this point is the very same impulse as that driving the Mermaid Brigade – not the other way around.

Jack Robertson
Jack Robertson
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil Mac

Kindly don’t verbal me, mate. I said no such things. I think you’re wrong on CC, sure (as far as I can tell from your post, anyway).
Stupid? Bad? Never said it, wouldn’t say it. (We’re all of us capable of being both, at least sometimes but blanket labels of that kind are a linguistic category error, really.)
Re: your note on models, and the ‘proving’ of anthro warming…see Dr EC, and my response to Anna Bramwell below. Also, read up on/refresh what the Scientific Method does and does not claim to do.
Best regards, Phil.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Robertson

Facing it, but it hasnt happened yet. When temperatures fell from the warm ‘30s to the degrees colder 40s, 50 s, 60 s and early 70 s, all we heard was the threat of a new ice age, increasing cold and famine .

Jack Robertson
Jack Robertson
1 month ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

Anna, it is happening. We know this, because we have things called ‘thermometers’ (and oceanographic sensors and satellites and lots of other empirical data collectors, including millions of clever, expert and diligent human ones, in between). The particular link below – one of tens of thousands I could have suggested which all unambiguously record/reflect more or less the same heating trend – comes courtesy of the gang who put us on the moon. I will presume that you accept that the moon landing was real!
https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/world-of-change/global-temperatures
It’s not up to me to change your mind on Climate Change, Anna. Any more than it’s up to me to change Talia Perkins’s mind on gender affirmation therapy barbarism. I doubt I could, anyway, even had I the rhetorical charm, smarts, energy and time to try. So…all I’d suggest is to have a squiz at that graph yourself, maybe do some further Googling (Wikipedia is a pretty good start), and maybe have a rethink on CC. For yourself. Or…don’t.
I’m not ever going to tell you or anyone else I’m better, or more moral, or smarter than you on CC. (Or any other subject for that matter.) I ruefully doubt I’m any of those things. I am going to firmly and politely tell you that I think I’m (more) right (than you) on Climate Change, and that I think you’re (more) wrong (than me) on it. It’s a difference of opinion, for sure. But it’s one that is grounded, like differences of opinion regarding biological sex, in concrete things of the material world that we can jointly measure, and point to, and agree on, saying to each other: do you see that measurable thing? Can you see that? For yourself? Can we thus both agree that we can both see it, and as the same thing, together? How, for example, that biological woman there menstruates once a month? See how she can gestate a baby in her womb, breastfeed it? (Yes, yes, not all biological woman, and not at all ages, etc…but…typically, usually, mostly, by and for efficacious and differentiating biological purpose).
And now: can we both see how that trans woman – who remains a biological man – does not menstruate, can not gestate a baby, can not breastfeed it? Typically, usually, mostly…and by and for efficacious and differentiating biological purpose?
Do we agree we can both see those same material things? Can we perhaps agree to call them ’empirical facts’? ‘Truths’, even? OK, fine, no matter. Because regardless of what we label them…those mutually observable things, which you can see for yourself no less than I can, whatever you want to call them…those things are why I hold the ‘gender’ opinions I do. Especially about the importance and immutability of biological sex, and all that follows, sociologically, which are opinions, too, but more subjective ones we can have lots of useful arguments about, in order to negotiate our democratic way to some pluralistic consensual material outcome we can both live comfortably enough with.
Now: do we both agree that we’re looking at the same NASA temperature graph, Anna? Showing what they have measured is occurring with global temperatures since 1850? (I will assume you’re happy to take NASA’s measurements at face value – unlike quite a lot of the CC Action-spoiling lobby here in Australia, where obviously a big chunk of our economic wealth depends upon on us kidding ourselves that it’s intellectually and morally tenable to keep exporting vast shiploads of our coal and gas to places like China and India, even as we use their ‘dirty energy’ habits as an excuse not to clean up our own…)
Well, those observable temperature measurements we can both agree on are, equally, why I hold the opinions I do about climate change. And so on.
Whether you decide to change your opinion on CC is, on its own, of no great importance. Multiplied by three or four billion Annas, however, your opinion will end up making the existential difference for Humanity. Either way. For future Humanity, not us, of course. Our kids, and theirs, etc etc. Obviously you and I will both be safely dead by the time we see the kinds of catastrophic outcomes the CC experts and their models have been warning about for decades. Or, as you seem to think, we don’t see them. In other words, neither of us will be around to find out whether I am (more) right (than you) on climate change or not. So, what do either of us really care.
Sorry if I come across as a pompous, patronising, long-winded, mansplaining Australian ar*ehole, Anna. There’s a fair chance I’m all of those things. We should more properly continue any further CC discussion on a CC thread – although it is, I think, useful to reflect upon the epistemic parallels – the silhouetted parallels – that an entwined gender/CC conversation affords.
Best regards, Anna. Good luck sceptically testing your own opinions, as I try to do every day, as a matter of lifelong ‘scientific method’ habit.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Yes because the likes of Stock (for whom i too have profound respect) won’t have the backing of frightened and ignorant politicians. Starmer’s hard left are already attacking the Cass report and many in the government will regard it all as part of the dreaded ‘culture wars’ which they abhor. The civil service and many quangos are riddled with subservience to Stonewall.

Mike MacCormack
Mike MacCormack
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Robertson

I too sense a glimmer of optimism about the future. I’m old enough to remember when the assumption of ‘progress’ was a given; we even took the mickey out of our own self-satisfaction that the future was future proof because we were so forward looking and fair minded – Hitler was dead, The Beatles were championing love, and women were on the pill and liberating themselves! So there was a violently divisive reaction, long and bitter, but maybe we are coming to the end of that now. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to see the grownups triumph? Thanks for your comment Jack Robertson, made my day.

Jack Robertson
Jack Robertson
1 month ago

Thank you, Mike, very generous and kind. I am 58 – younger than you, and always a little envious at not having lived through the extraordinarily optimistic and radically upending temper of your times. If there’s one thing that I’ve never believed in, it’s the ironic, contrived cynicism of unearned world-weariness that seems to be the default pose of pretty much everyone with a cultural platform nowadays. Except the nutters!
Human beings are innately optimistic. And – when it’s really needed – heroically clever, resilient, loving and selfless. We’re going to be just fine. As you lot up there like to say:
Humanity is Doomed! Keep Calm And Carry On.
Warmest good wishes mate.

Rachel Taylor
Rachel Taylor
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Robertson

Much too optimistic. It is simply another front in the cultural Marxist assault on Western civilisation. If this one is blocked, temporarily, they will simply send reinforcements to another. Votes for 16 year-olds? Votes for those on temporary work visas? European quotas for illegal migrants? There is no end to it.

Rob Britton
Rob Britton
1 month ago

Gender surgery is the modern equivalent of na2i-style eugenics. Josef Mengele would have been proud!

Skink
Skink
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob Britton

I am more of a mind it’s the modern equivalent of throwing your children to Moloch as sacrifice.

Ian_S
Ian_S
1 month ago

All good, but I’m getting impatient. When do we see a medical class action lawsuit that will destroy these malpractioners?

Leejon 0
Leejon 0
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian_S

Great idea, I would go further, the medical profession in this country is regulated, why have these shoddy practitioners not been struck off the medical register by the GMC?

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Leejon 0

Because the GMB is utterly captured by the greed of its members and their consequent willingness to go along with any and all progressive poison whilst striking and causing millions of people to be added to NHS waiting lists.

0 0
0 0
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

Not to be too pedantic but the GMB is a general trade union and has negligible input to medical matters. The British Medical Association (BMA) is the Drs trade union and is organising the current strikes – not all Drs are members. The General Medical Council (GMC) is the regulatory body for Drs and has the power to remove Drs from the Medial Register and stop them practising medicine in the UK. It’s not involved with calling strikes.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  Leejon 0

Because Doctors look after Doctors. A striking aspect of the Cass report (to me at least) is how carefully she has avoided damning clinicians who imposed gender ideology on vulnerable patients. It could be argued that she has left a bridge for them to quietly walk away from the mess and it may be that that is the best thing to do at this stage – after all many of them (most?) probably sincerely believed that they were doing the Right Thing. I suspect most of them will now see that their careers depend on crossing that bridge. Hopefully, the more crazy “activist-practitioners” (their own styling) who continue pushing this stuff will be left exposed over coming years and can be taken out and publicly shamed. I guess this is when the GMC will come into play. But it is galling to see them all get away scot-free.

Louise Neervoort
Louise Neervoort
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Most are therapists and psychologists – they’re not medical doctors in the gender clinics and not part of the GMC. They made referrals to external endocrinologists, that disconnect is one of the ways in which neither party feels responsible for the harmful outcomes . They should never have been allowed to operate in seperate services, not even meeting each other…

Douglas H
Douglas H
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian_S

There is supposedly at least one large one already in the system, they just take forever

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian_S

The FGM Act 2003 draws the definition pretty tightly but I still think there is scope for at least some “bottom surgeries” to fall within its ambit.
Offence of female genital mutilation(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he excises, infibulates or otherwise mutilates the whole or any part of a girl’s l***a majora, l***a minora or c******s.
(2) But no offence is committed by an approved person who performs— (a) a surgical operation on a girl which is necessary for her physical or mental health

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian_S

Some victims of this cult are already suing, after profound damage has been done to them, of course. I was wondering how any ‘doctor’ could lop off a boy’s p***s or a girl’s breasts for this insanity.

Michelle Perez
Michelle Perez
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian_S

There is a law firm in Dallas, Texas that has been solely formed to file medical malpractice suites on behalf of minors who are destransitioning and are seeking to hold those accountable who have caused bodily harm. I believe they are also going after American Pediatric Association which has embraced this Frankenstein science. This is a very good start. God Bless them.

Peter Principle
Peter Principle
1 month ago

Great article, thanks! Unfortunately, here in Scotland we have the Sandyford clinic where it is business as usual, with puberty blockers, so-called “affirmative care” models, etc.
Although the Scottish government are said to be “considering” the implications of Cass, they have announced that ‘It is the ­clinician who oversees the ­individual’s care who makes the decision on whether to prescribe a puberty blocker.’ In view of what Dr Stock has pointed out in this article, this is a topic where the government cannot pass the buck to “the clinician” because the relevant clinicians are activism-based, rather than evidence-based.

Hugh Marcus
Hugh Marcus
1 month ago

It seems (at least to me as an outsider) that while a degree of common sense is beginning to have an impact in England, Scotland is increasingly taking leave of it. Would Kathleen Stock’s views, as expressed in this well written article, be reported to the police in Scotland?

Peter Principle
Peter Principle
1 month ago
Reply to  Hugh Marcus

It would be bad enough if it were just the SNP making these awful decisions. But there are two factors making a bad situation worse. First, the SNP is reliant on the Greens to keep them in power and the Greens are even more enthusiastic about puberty blockers, etc. than the SNP. Secondly, for Scottish Parliament and local elections the SNP has dropped the voting age to 16. At the same time, the SNP government had been funding trans lobbying groups to brainwash schoolkids. For teen voters, and teens who become party activists, the trans issue is what they get exercised about. They are not concerned about the huge issues with crumbling education standards and their poor job prospects in Sotland, but they burn their Harry Potter books because of the trans issue. Consequently, Scottish Labour has gone along with this nonsense.

Andrew H
Andrew H
1 month ago

I too disagreed with lowering the voting age to 16 as it just felt wrong to me to extend the franchise to those too young to grasp its full implications. There are far too many supporters of self-harming net zero policies among this cohort for a start. I think you make a valid point in linking this to the enthusiasm among some of the young for this rotten, evil trans ideoology.

Gabriel Mills
Gabriel Mills
1 month ago
Reply to  Hugh Marcus

Don’t worry: read online — and therefore deemed “published” in Scotland — this article, even if it produces 1,000 complaints (unlikely from readers of UnHerd, even were there that many of them in Scotland), will not be acted on by Scottish police. JK Rowling defanged the Hate Crime Act on Day 1 — appropriately April Fools Day — by “misgendering” online numerous trans-identified males, including well known criminals, and challenged the police to arrest her. But Scottish police declined even to investigate an alleged 3,800 complaints within the first 24 hours. They’re not that stupid: they lack the funding and the staff.

Michael Askew
Michael Askew
1 month ago

It is the responsibility of national bodies to decide which drugs are safe and which are not. Doctors should only prescribe adequately tested and approved medicines. For the Scottish government to abandon this responsibility is a travesty.

Simon James
Simon James
1 month ago

People of a certain age can’t let go of the belief that complex issues will be clarified with facts and logic. I’m one of them, I recognise it in others. Our time has passed but at least we can still gather together and remember the good old days.

Ian Guthrie
Ian Guthrie
1 month ago

Dear professor Stock. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for standing up when so many were laying down. If I believed in a god I’d certainly ask her to bless you

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Guthrie

Don’t you know misgendering is a crime?

Gabriel Mills
Gabriel Mills
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew D

“Misgendering” aka use of correct biological terms is not a crime… even in Scotland since 1st April: as Scottish police have refused even to investigate heretical challenges by Saint JKR concerning the biology of numerous trans-identified males, including well known criminals. Our gender critical heroine destroyed the power of the Hate Crime Act in a single day, despite an alleged 3,800 complaints.

And even Stonewall (sniffing the wind from the North) has declared that “mis-gendering” is not a hate crime unless done in an abusive fashion: that it’s more akin to criticising a religion.

There: the high priesthood of transactivism has almost admitted to being a cult.

Jane Awdry
Jane Awdry
1 month ago
Reply to  Gabriel Mills

How does one ‘misgender’ abusively? As opposed to just, you know, using pronouns that match a person’s sex.

carl taylor
carl taylor
1 month ago
Reply to  Jane Awdry

My guess would be a comment like, “I don’t care if you call yourself a woman, you’re a f***ing man and I hope you die of prostate cancer”. Correctly gendering, as JKR has demonstrated is not a hate crime, even in Scotland, but anything can be given an abusive spin. Whether that hypothetical comment should be prosecutable is open to interpretation.

2 plus 2 equals 4
2 plus 2 equals 4
1 month ago

The liberal lesson – by which I mean classical liberalism – here is that when the professed feelings of one interest group are prioritised over the freedom of speech of everyone else, then that group is given carte blanche to do whatever they want.

This is the inevitable consequence of censorship, speech codes, no platforming, hate crimes and the rest of the progressive armoury of control which has spread through our world like wildfire in the last few decades.

My heart goes out to those poor children deceived by clinicians who should have been helping them. But ultimately what’s at stake is even bigger than that because freedom of speech underpins all other freedoms.

“If liberty means anything at all it is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
– George Orwell

Graham Bennett
Graham Bennett
1 month ago

I agree. It seems to me that the trans-gender cult, rightly identified here, is part of a wider retreat in Western society from the body into the mind – hence the precipitous privileging of ‘mental’ over physical health in recent years by politicians, the NHS, NGOs, and any number of other quangos one can think of. The mantra of mental ‘wellbeing’ has now become all pervasive. The perceived ‘stability’ of mind must be preserved at all costs over inconvenient and potentially redundant body parts, the theory goes. In a world where the absolute liberty of the sovereign individual reigns supreme, self- or assisted-mutilation of the body is the ultimate and most cathartic form of self-affirmation. This way of ‘progressive’ thinking is symptomatic of wider techno-utopian movements in the West (of which I include gender identitarian ideology) that seeks worldly withdrawal, into the cyber realm (including the ‘safe spaces’ of the imagination), as a solution to the problems of personhood and the ‘traumatic’ limitations of the (physical) world. It is a fanatical type of liberation theory, entirely bought into by the cult physicians at Gids. Immersive computer games, the internet, and the ‘metaverse’ are all part of it, leading to cyborgian aberrations that aim to ‘re-centre’ normality. These are extremely powerful drivers for the radically disaffected. This fight is far from over, I’m afraid.

Graham Bennett
Graham Bennett
1 month ago

I agree

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Bennett

Exactly

Thomas Donald
Thomas Donald
1 month ago

Fantastic article. This exploration of lobotomy surgery helps explain the cult-like groupthink of too many in the medical community on this issue: https://open.spotify.com/episode/4k2nzooJVkSer0sbNqtir6?si=dtey0k53QkeYY8ulTHDEEw

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 month ago

They weren’t treating children as adults, rather they were using them to
a) validate their own political views and beliefs,
b) Using them as shields to attack conservative people , knowing that conservatives are more civilised and more likely to be put on the back foot and
c) Using this as another way, just like female “liberation” or gay marriage,to drive a wedge in the family and destroy the institution, including the trust and responsibility vested in parents vis-a-vis their children.

Pat Thynne
Pat Thynne
1 month ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Not sure that making gay marriage possible equates to “destroying the institution” – nor that there any evidence that it has caused damage in any way. But as i think Groucho said “marriage is an institution – but who wants to live in an institution”?
And the trans cult has nothing to do with gay rights – we – and trans people – already have all the rights we need. The patients at Gids were overwhelmingly lesbians and gay boys so Gids has been ‘transing away the gay’ for years.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 month ago
Reply to  Pat Thynne

“making gay marriage possible equates to “destroying the institution””
They didn’t make marriage”possible ” for heterosexuals. They made it an obligation – if they planned to have kids, to fulfil responsibilities towards them
The problem with gay marriage was that it was repackaged as a frivolous right or accessory, rather than a serious responsibility attached to children.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

So, exactly what is your opinion as to what women should be if not liberated? Staying home with her 12 children and wearing a burka when she leaves the house. I’m truly interested why you think liberated women want to destroy their family.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 month ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

The amusing thing is that the feminists who being out that that strawman argument have no interest in fighting for muslim women who actually are forced to wear burqas.

carl taylor
carl taylor
1 month ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

That’s a wild generalisation that demonstrates you have little understanding of the various strains of feminist thought.

Skink
Skink
1 month ago
Reply to  carl taylor

No, he understands quite well. True feminism supports all women as sisters, even those few who choose to stay home to have 12 children. And is not afraid to take a stand against males who are trying to erase women and our spaces.

jane baker
jane baker
1 month ago

And a surprising number of adults decide they’d rather be children. And dress and behave like that.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 month ago
Reply to  jane baker

A surprising number of my contemporaries never made the transition to adulthood in the first place. Computer games have kept them locked in adolescence.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Agree – though it’s not just men.

Gabriel Mills
Gabriel Mills
1 month ago
Reply to  jane baker

Those are the male sexual fetishists or “paraphiliacs”, mostly. The “Furries” and nappy-wearers. All so erotic for them. And so repulsive to everyone else. But hey, gays are out of the closet, and trans is out of the closet, so EVERYONE now has the right to come out of the closet! Including Minor Attracted Persons — who used to be called paedophiles: “child lovers” as they describe themselves. Child abusers, in our terms.

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
1 month ago

We’ve been here before. We had Forstater, the Interim Cass Report, the scandals over Mermaids, WPATH & the eunuchs etc.. Each time, there have been, perhaps, premature victory celebrations by us in the GC community, yet it all still goes on.
Let’s not count our chickens before they are hatched. Until there are criminal sanctions against doctors who harm children, little will change. Do you believe Labour, despite the remarkable transformation of people like Streeting & Cooper, as discussed by Julie Bindel yesterday, will act in a meaningful way to end these terrible practices, both privately and publically?

Nancy G
Nancy G
1 month ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

Not if Angela Rayner has a say in the matter.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

One could be forgiven for thinking that medical culture should easily be able to condemn bizarre physical interventions performed upon children in the name of religion, without having to undertake a four-year clinical review first. Indeed, lawmakers have previously criminalised practices such as FGM without requiring any such tests.

Though significantly not MGM, also a “bizarre physical intervention performed upon children in the name of religion”.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

protect our children from fanatics with mad glints in their eye, wishing to imprint their religious ideals, quite literally, upon children’s healthy developing bodies.

Perhaps we also need to add or “upon children’s healthy developing minds”. Because we have been doing that too, in the name of equally cult like political movements with their own dogmas, epiphanies and hate bonding experiences.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago

Perhaps the one advantage of physical damage is that it is obvious for all to see, and the causes are fairly clear. It’s a pretty obvious whodunnit.

But what about the less obvious harms, the psychological and societal damage, where it is far harder to pin the blame? Trans doesn’t stand alone. As a recent Unherd article pointed out, our societies appear highly prone to cult like beliefs, social contagions and moral panics, which spread like wildfire on social media. And by the time they subside, and calm is restored, more damage has been done.

Gabriel Mills
Gabriel Mills
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Smartphones are the primary enabling technology.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
1 month ago

In another Unherd article today, Kat Rosenfield posits the “end of woke” via the breasts of a celeb.

I’ve got an alternative suggestion: Kathleen Stock’s brain.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
1 month ago

To treat children as adults whilst simultaneously denying them the rite of passage to become an adult.
We seem to becoming a nation of spoilt toddlers, given their own way because saying no is too hard so we reframe our lack parenting as affirmative love. And when I say parenting, I don’t mean the helicopter variety that is equally damaging to our society, but the kind that encourages their wards to walk it off because its character building.

CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
1 month ago

Yes there is a deep problem that has been revealed in The Cass Report shows there is a massive problem facing girls entering puberty.
They don’t want to be female in a male dominated world.
They realise with shock their future will be difficult on so many levels. They don’t want to suck boys willies (absolutely don’t!) or be the butt of endless prurience.
They are both protected and exploited, denied full agency and mocked if they don’t conform.
Add to this monthly often painful bleeding and breasts you didn’t want which impede your otherwise streamlined body.
And then ….some people, your teachers even, say you don’t have to be a girl if you don’t want to be! none of the above is inevitable, you can change it. Take some pills…because deep Inside you are really a boy! You bet. Form a queue.

Now what is needed is girls to discover all the realities of their sex and the impediments and fight to change the rules. Fight for equality of rights.
I know because I was this girl. I watched while my brother was allowed to ride his and my bike with no rules whilst I had to be accompanied by my father although I had just passed my profiency certificate which brother hadn’t. I remember binding my breasts because they brought too much attention of the wrong kind. I remember being chased and flashed. I remember buying a typewriter because I wanted one but never telling any employer that o could type. I remember being the only girl in the evening class for A level zoology because all the boys were going to be doctors and I was told I could be a nurse and finally settled in medical research.. but not a doctor. That’s when it happened for me and I have fought it ever since. Which doesn’t mean I didn’t fall in love and have children and fall out of love and refuse to wear stilettos. Attracted to non conforming men, not men wielding power, I had to fight for my own bit of ground. And still am.
So once the magic pills and plainly wicked promises have been withdrawn girls will have to tackle what it’s like to be female in this high tech digital world. And my god we need to support them as much as we can. Give them private separate spaces, be realistic about which areas they can fight or play equally in, and those they can’t. (Always exceptions of course). Punish porn dealers. Expose the exploiters to shame and humiliation allow women and girls a chance. Reward motherhood.
There is nothing more valuable or worthwhile than nurturing a human being. Make it top of the aspiration not the lowest so that mothers are exhorted to work at a checkout rather than look after their child which is farmed out to strangers. We’ve got it wrong. May this and the next generation of girls get it right once they understand there is no escape from their sex. Make it desirable in the right way.

Pat Thynne
Pat Thynne
1 month ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

Thank you – me too!
My fear is that the obsession with gender and the accompanying delusions will have only served to embed the traditional gender expectations even deeper – kids can’t be cissy boys and tomboys any more.

McLovin
McLovin
1 month ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

“They don’t want to be female in a male dominated world.” But don’t you think it’s ironic when we live in an increasingly feminised society?

Jane Awdry
Jane Awdry
1 month ago
Reply to  McLovin

I think the primary cause of girls’ shrinking away from the onset of womanhood heralded by puberty is celebrity culture and social media, which shows them over & over that unless they conform to some over-painted, pumped-upstereotype of a woman, they will simply never be ‘good enough’. Instagram is populated by self-obsessed celebrities & narcissists who use filters, lighting & photo-enhancing techniques to turn themselves into hyper-real, physically impossible super-humans.

The competition amongst young women to look more pumped up & cartoonishly ‘beautiful’ than the next girl has been ramped up to even higher levels by the fetishist transvestites who larp as ‘women’. These porn-addled men, trussed up like bondage queens or high end call girls, with their added breasts & puffed up lips (and for the most part still intact sex organs) have stolen young women’s lives. With the money that captured organisations are throwing at them, they can afford the cosmetic surgery to ‘feminise’ their features & alter their bodies, so that girls start to feel alienated & inadequate in their own natural bodies. So they give up.

It’s time we called out all those grotesques like Munroe Bergdorf & Dylan Mulvaney for their vanity & deceit. There’s no such thing as gender or ‘trans’ – it’s all fetish. Cass was far too polite.

Children neither know nor care about ‘gender’.
Just leave their little bodies alone.

Skink
Skink
1 month ago
Reply to  Jane Awdry

Cass was far too polite… or far too afraid?

Glynis Roache
Glynis Roache
1 month ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

Sorry to hear this. You must be much older than I and I’m 76. If you aren’t that much older you should have grown up in a mining village in County Durham and gone to our grammar school where I took A levels in physics, chemistry and biology to get into veterinary school, two female contemporaries wanting to be doctors did the same without any discouragement from any schoolteacher or subsequent problems with University entrance or jobs or equal pay. There were plenty of woman doctors and vets and dentists around at that time – some older than I.  And boys and men seemed to have a lot better manners. Have I unwittingly grown up in some parallel universe? 

CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
1 month ago
Reply to  Glynis Roache

no not older but I grew up in Surrey!

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
1 month ago
Reply to  Glynis Roache

I attended a girls only grammar school and the teachers encouraged us to aim high and go for whatever career path we felt were suited to us. It was my family that had very conservative ideas about what was a suitable path for girls to follow. It included doing a ‘fill-in’ job until we got married and had kids, then ideally give up paid work altogether. My parents allowed me to stay on at school and take A levels but they never understood my desire to have a career and financial independence.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Glynis Roache

I’m afraid some women seem to be still fighting battles that were won years ago. To hear them talk, you would never know that women now massively outnumber men at university.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
1 month ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

I agree. I refused to follow the path laid down for girls and lived to tell the story. I steadfastly refused to acquire any so-called female skills, and refused to give birth to children, but never felt any desire to become a male. I just wanted to be left alone to follow my chosen path – and people soon got the message and stopped pestering me to conform. I even met men who were perfectly happy to accept me as I am – the ones that mistakenly thought I would change soon realised their mistake and we parted on amicable terms.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  CF Hankinson

there is a massive problem facing girls entering puberty

Either someone has invented time travel or you have just awoken from a coma. A few years after puberty many girls will be at university where they now massively outnumber boys. It really is, increasingly a women’s world where men face numerous disadvantages.

Inadvertently though you have pointed out an issue girls really do face – and that is negotiating their way through puberty to adult female sexuality. Most girls manage this, but some girls stall, developing eating disorders, feminism, trans or the penile aversion you obliquely refer to. Ideologies, and elders who reinforce this – turning emotional disorders into “movements” are doing terrible damage to girls at an enormously vulnerable stage in their lives. Stop it!

McLovin
McLovin
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

Don’t you think its odd though that a lot of young women seem not be happy despite demonstrable improvement in women’s rights (which I’m not against btw before anyone starts downvoting)?

Skink
Skink
1 month ago
Reply to  McLovin

My own take on second wave feminism is that some of those feminists — for whatever reason — pushed the idea that girls and boys are interchangeable, and devalued men. We (the two sexes) are far more different than they had the sense to admit, and trying to push us all to conform to what was once a male-dominated world has not served anyone well. We were the ones who self-righteously barged into men’s spaces, and now are pissed off when men are barging into ours…
What I wanted then was for women to have more flexibility in choices and behaviors. What I got was Reimer twins and being herded into a largely inhumane workaday world. Nuts.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  Skink

What I wanted then was for women to have more flexibility in choices and behaviors.

Add in that quite a few men wanted this as well – and you’ve got what a lot of us wanted from feminism, but simply didn’t get.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  McLovin

It’s almost the feminist paradox.

Could it simply be that women are being pushed into roles that a significant number of them really don’t want. Or has liberation simply freed up destructive aspects of feminity.

And yes I do think it odd. It’s almost as if the things feminists fought for, and women gained, over the last half century – have not made women happy, indeed have made many of them unhappy. Perhaps they fought for the wrong things.

Skink
Skink
1 month ago
Reply to  David Morley

I too have a sense that we were pushed into the wrong things, by people with hidden agendas. And some of it was naive… not thought out…
Who the hell wanted “s**t walks” and pushing prostitution as (as if) respectable sex work? Nobody I knew. So much BS…
P.S. I meant s-l-u-t. Got censored.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 month ago

The same cultish behaviour was observed in the NHS’s short-lived obsession with covid “vaccinations”: the mantras, the stickers, the symbols, the rituals, the hatred of dangerous “anti-vaxxers”, the status games, the solemn high priests and the pious volunteer foot soldiers, the salvation stories, the utterly unshakeable rock-solid belief in the cultish in-group’s unquestionable moral rightness.

This, nor the gender craziness, would have happened in a society with a functional, orderly and healthy system of religious belief that underpins an understanding of humanity’s inherent limitations and weaknesses. When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing, they believe in anything.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
1 month ago

On one level, it’s preferable for the troubled young to move on from anorexia, bulimia and cutting to what is essentially a real-world application of the virtual avatars they create for their video games and online community platforms. Genders are the basic expression of a creative streak and by declaring them it’s less hard work than any other political move to ‘subvert normality’.
However, this behaviour is matching up with the politics of the rainbow mafia, whom in lieu of the loss of faith in Marxist political economy, have taken the identitarian turn towards cultural revolution. In Scotland, for example, the young fundamentally prop up the nationalist cause and not only vote for the SNP/Greens now but will vote for independence in the future so long as their love of non-binary gender is indulged by their irresponsible political masters.

Gabriel Mills
Gabriel Mills
1 month ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Anorexia, bulimia and cutting are INCREASING (among girls at least) together with ROGD — Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria — due to indoctrination in school and social contagion online. The transgender cult is not a replacement of previous self-harming behaviours, but an amplification of them: meanwhile, as “comorbidities” presented in multiples (together with anxiety and depression, bullying and other abuse, autism, and repressed homosexuality) comorbidities are UNTREATED by NHS “gender clinicians” because “gender dysphoria” is presumed to be the cause of all the other problems — and transition, the magic answer. Whereas in the vast majority of cases it’s more likely the other way around. Jonathah Haidt’s most recent book as a social psychologist “The Anxious Generation: the Great Rewiring of Childhood for an Epidemic of Illness” identifies smartphone use as the disruptive techology of face-to-face embodied socialisation and risky play, necessary for all previous generations of the human species to mature, plus parental overprotection, as responsible for soaring rates of mental illness among children and adolescents in developed countries since 2010. This affects “Gen Z” born from 1995 onwards (to 2015) the oldest of whom were aged 12 when the iPhone launched in 2007.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
1 month ago

Excellent as usual. One also gets a better sense from this piece of the understandable and entirely appropriate anger and other passions usually hidden beneath Kathleen’s normally hyper rational and understated prose.

To pick up on two points.

1/ Her scepticism about treating 18 year old as adults fully capable of taking decisions and observation that the brain does not mature until the mid twenties has potentially radical implications. To take just one, I believe in the Roman Republic one did not get the vote until 25. We have already reduced the age from 21 to 18 with a probability it will reduce further to 16. On Kathleen’s logic this is ill considered.

2/ I think the problem of the authority we cede to “experts” is a far wider challenge than that presented by the self appointed paragons of the trans advocacy movement. In some subjects, the “experts” really do know what they are talking about but in others they are merely spouting some fashionable groupthink. e.g. physicists vs psychologists. It as if we need two different terms. We defer too much to experts without real expertise who, at a minimum, overstate the confidence we should have in their views. This problem is getting worse as more and more professions and organisations insist on conformity and “orthodoxy”.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

yes, the always certain, frequently wrong crowd

Pat Thynne
Pat Thynne
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Re 1/ – developmental psychologists will confirm that puberty is an essential process in brain development, particularly rational thinking, questioning and decision making. This process continues through the early 20s. It is not new science. Kath and Julie Bindel have had a developmental psych on their substack – I think it was a free episode so you could look it up

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

I think that age threshold makes sense. But should we then raise the age of males subject to potential military draft to 25, the age to which Ukraine just lowered theirs? Is that eligibility age currently 18 in Britain, as it is in the US?
Incidentally: Do you typically refer to male columnists by their first names, Alex? I’m not saying there’s anything seriously wrong, let alone purposefully disrespectful about that, just asking if you see a “gendered disparity” along those lines, one that may come from a genteel or chivalrous place.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
1 month ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

superseded.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
1 month ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I replied but got censored for some unfathomable reason. I think my unconscious practice is to use first name when I approve of the author and surname when I disapprove – but you may be right.
Where I am still guilty of “gendered disparity” is that if I approach a door with a woman I still – without conscious thought – automatically open the door and allow them to go first. On occasion I have then been accused by the woman of patriarchal condescension or similar and – since I have been on autopilot – been initially completely confused. I have had to explain they have been a victim of “unconscious courtesy” and apologise accordingly. Only some of them pick up the sarcasm.
I think the key thing in life is to appreciate that you cannot win. Once you accept this philosophy, life becomes far more relaxed.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Thanks for your courteous response–which in no way offends my sensibilities. Upvoted.
Interesting topic the opened door. I used to encounter that “I can open it myself” snarl too. I still open doors for women, disproportionately, and tend not to encounter barks or sneers as it did as a young man in the 90s, perhaps because I will open doors for men (especially carrying something) and refrain from “sizing up” the women as they pass more often now in my 50s.
I do think the whole thing has relaxed a bit since about 1994, at least among women 25 and over. A lot of them like chivalrous behavior if it’s done right and seems to come from a benevolent place. And to me it’s nice to be asked, by a lady, to carry something heavy or open a jar, even when they may not strictly need that service.
*(The “censor” bot has a real hair trigger these days)

David Giles
David Giles
1 month ago

Aah, Dr Christine Mimmagh, who will appear on radio and proclaim that trans women are real women. Then there’s also CHRIS Mimmagh, who in his previous life was a member of a Catholic men’s organisation and still believes he should be.
One also wonders what her wife and kids make of it all.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
1 month ago
Reply to  David Giles

So important to not enable. Why do you use “her” for this deluded male pretending to be a female. Time to end the politeness scam.

Gabriel Mills
Gabriel Mills
1 month ago
Reply to  David Giles

“In his previous life” — he’s still a man. His wife and kids probably hate his “transitioning” — if he hasn’t abandoned them anyway. Most autogynephiles (AGPs, narcissistic sexual fetishists) who “come out” later in life, are too self-centred to be bearable to their families: even if not deserted by fathers obsessing over details of dress and pronouns, and off chasing other sexual encounters. “Trans widows” commonly describe their experience as the death of the person they married.

Jürg Gassmann
Jürg Gassmann
1 month ago

Medical establishment acted no differently over Covid and the shots. It’s systemic.

William Jackson
William Jackson
1 month ago

‘How a cult captured the NHS Society fails when it treats children like adults.’ and adults are infantalised to a point where they only know how to behave like children. Responsibilities first, rights only come as a consequence of taking responsibility.

Elizabeth DuBois
Elizabeth DuBois
1 month ago

Thank you Kathleen! Next weekn in my little new england town I am making the case for separation of church and state using the establishment clause. I want the rainbow and blm symbols removed hall we?

I have been gathering my ammo for this moment for years. Your book was influential. And Joyce. So many fighting for our children and women. Thank you!

Crucially I was waiting for the Cass review, the WPATH files, Coleman Hughes new book, and Jonathan Haidts new book. All fit into my argument. Its heartening to see people like you laying bare the cult phenomenon. And with Tickle v Giggle on the horizon Im putting a time stamp on the town to act fast or be shamed into the history books.

Wish me luck! The original champion of the establishment clause, Roger Williams, was kicked out of this town in the 1600’s for his views. Hoping to vindicate him

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago

Good luck!

R MS
R MS
1 month ago

I’ve read many articles this week on Cass. This is the best. Perspicacious and important.
I am not optimistic the ideologically captured will easily rethink their position, or that Parliament will do what is necessary any time soon to make them do so.
I think we may well have to come back to this further down the track when more harm has been done.

Laurence Eyton
Laurence Eyton
1 month ago

Only when some of these gender-bending medics are stuck off for malpractice will we begin to see a righting of the ship. And I don’t expect that to happen soon, if at all. The Cass report doesn’t go far enough in discrediting this nonsense. Nor will it have the hoped-for effects.

tintin lechien
tintin lechien
1 month ago

Prof, acc to you, Cass was somehow somewhat captured or has bought the ideology madness?

Robert
Robert
1 month ago

Thanks to UnHerd and Kathleen Stock for this article. I live in the US and was aware of the Cass report mainly from headlines and some mainstream articles about its findings. There was little to no mention of the tip-toeing around regarding gender identity, etc. The ongoing tacit support for this cultish behavior is disappointing.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert

Same here. The only mention of this in the US is from twitter handles like Libs of TikTok or Gays Against Groomers. The mainstream press has declared a news blackout, and they wonder why public trust is so low.

0 0
0 0
1 month ago

Certainly, gender types and norms are socially constructed and distinct from biological sexes. The malaise here turns on ideological conceits about individuality and denial about how that is itself socially constructed. It’s surely an indicator of shared delusion that people attempt to twist biology to suit fancy. Including some medical people.

Things could easily get worse. If the legal definition of anything or anybody can be altered at a whim and without the consent of those affected there’ll be no end of suffering and discord.

Stuart Maister
Stuart Maister
1 month ago

Visceral and brilliant. Thank you for your ongoing bravery.

I think we should also acknowledge that the UK government has stood out internationally to investigate and tackle this issue. We so often lambast the slowness and inadequacy of the government response in the face of such challenges, but in this area we are leading the international fight back against this dangerous cult. Of course we might say how did it get to this – but it got to this in every western country. It takes some time to marshal the response. A round of applause is deserved.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
1 month ago
Reply to  Stuart Maister

You’re kidding, right? The UK government either stood by and did nothing or actively supported: Stonewall extending their slimy tentacles into virtually every public institution, the universities becoming incubators of postmodernism insanity, the police acting as enforcers of censorship, the ostracization and persecution of Professor Stock, Maya Forstater, Kemi Badenoch, JK Rowling and others for their resistance to woke authoritarianism (all women, are there no actual men left anymore?), the infiltration of the NHS by the gender ideologues, the endless expansion of the nanny state and other assaults on civil rights and individualism. The governments of the UK, EU and the US are infested with vile, incompetent, elitist power-mad technocrats who are waging war against all those outside their bubble.

McLovin
McLovin
1 month ago

Some of the commentators on these types of debate who are contemptuous of Unherd and its readers – you know who I mean – are notable by their absence. Deafening silence in fact.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
1 month ago
Reply to  McLovin

Been wondering about that myself. So nice not to have them around.

Gabriel Mills
Gabriel Mills
1 month ago

It’s a pity that Cass’s review of the 21st century gender craze is seemingly forced to adopt cult terminology like “gender identity” for a nebulous concept, shading into varieties of delusion, that’s so fundamental to shoring up the existence of the gender ideology cult itself.

But presumably Cass couldn’t afford to be too in yer face “gender critical” when trying softly softly to woo over captured credulous clinicians on safer grounds, of the need for evidenced and ethical treatments for NHS patients.

But her authority is such that Cass must be about the only GC clinician to be allowed by her supporters to get away with offensive terms like “cisgender” (implicitly erasing the sex class of “women” for a new, inclusive “gender identity” class of “women” comprising both sexes) in pursuit of a more urgent immediate cause — stopping outrageous damage to children.

But the language issue still has to be tackled: as language shapes thought. And for as long as NHS Foundation Trust literature and websites (like University Hospitals Sussex) are piously peppered with terms like “menstruators” and “cervix-havers” and “birthing people” rather than “women” and “mothers”, then the gender ideology cult remains firmly embedded at all levels — clinical and bureaucratic — and is here to stay.

Until the immediate authors of this cult propaganda can be re-educated / deprogrammed to understand that 50% of wonen do not know what a “cervix” is: especially non-native English speakers. And the Dept of Health needs to prevail on Foundation Trusts that missed (or unnecessary) cervical screening for cancer — because the right people are not getting notified — is potentially damaging to health, and that routine questioning about lists of internal organs to establish every patient’s sex, for any chance of the right treatment, is not only wasteful of clinicians time in understaffed hospitals but unnecessarily expensive.

And that six out of seven gender clinics approached by Cass refused to share any data (supposing they even had any, on the negligent GIDS model) is outrageous for taxpayer-funded NHS services: let alone in the cause of adult health.

The madness is pervasive and will not be easily shifted.

Susan Scheid
Susan Scheid
1 month ago

Dr. Stock’s insightful read of the Cass Report is most welcome, and incisively summarized in this quote: “Perhaps unusually for a medical review, it is clear from Cass’s overtly respectful tone and at times still-euphemistic language that her aim is not just to inform these readers but also to deprogram them.”

m_dunec
m_dunec
1 month ago
Reply to  Susan Scheid

Great comment, great quote! Couldn’t have agreed more. and i hope to hell she’s right! A much needed read indeed – thank you for sharing, Dr Stock!

Jan Brogan
Jan Brogan
1 month ago

Let’s root for rationality

Eve K
Eve K
1 month ago

Great article. As an aside, Merseyside’s CMAGIC still links to the webmaster/secretary’s sissy porn stories, just a click away

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 month ago

time and again in Cass’s report she is forced back into the conceit that the most pressing problem for contemporary gender medicine is the lack of good evidence for such interventions either way.
Let us help the good doctor: first, do no harm. That should resolve the “either way” false choice. Chopping off normally functioning body parts does not meet any definition of medical care. If adults choose to have those parts removed, that’s another matter.
I may not agree with it but part of believing in individual freedom is upholding a person’s right to make what could be bad decisions, so long as others are not harmed in the process. This, of course, does not apply to children, whom we do not allow to get tattoos or do a host of other things for obvious reasons.

Mark epperson
Mark epperson
1 month ago

To ALL parents, critical-thinking adults and children, and all of the needless victims of this bullshit, time to go to the barricades. Pull out all of the stops and don’t stop. Your children’s and the worlds children are depending on you. I have been fighting these amoral, weak personalities for a few years and it does work.

Bruce Thorne
Bruce Thorne
1 month ago

I think Dr C needs to use language of “scientific evidence” for lots of reasons but it also gives cover to Starmer, Streeting and saner Labour ppl likely to be in power come end of year, to face down pro-trans extremists in own party. Some gender critical activists are too critical of Cass and need to see that dimension

Graham Bennett
Graham Bennett
1 month ago

Great piece Professor Stock! It seems to me that the trans-gender cult, rightly identified here, is part of a wider retreat in Western society from the body into the mind – hence the precipitous privileging of ‘mental’ over physical health in recent years by politicians, the NHS, NGOs, and any number of other quangos one can think of. The mantra of mental ‘wellbeing’ has now become all pervasive. The perceived ‘stability’ of mind must be preserved at all costs over inconvenient and potentially redundant body parts, the theory goes. In a world where the absolute liberty of the sovereign individual reigns supreme, self- or assisted-mutilation of the body is the ultimate and most cathartic form of self-affirmation. This way of ‘progressive’ thinking is symptomatic of wider techno-utopian movements in the West (of which I include gender identitarian ideology) that seeks worldly withdrawal, into the cyber realm (including the ‘safe spaces’ of the imagination), as a solution to the problems of personhood and the ‘traumatic’ limitations of the (physical) world. It is a fanatical type of liberation theory, entirely bought into by the cult physicians at Gids. Immersive computer games, the internet, and the ‘metaverse’ are all part of it, leading to cyborgian aberrations that aim to ‘re-centre’ normality (i.e., ‘cis-gender’, the realm of the ‘queer’, etc., etc.). These are extremely powerful drivers for the radically disaffected. This fight is far from over, I’m afraid. It is literally the fight for civilisation as we know it, nothing less.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
1 month ago

There are very sound reasons why the law doesn’t allow minors to get married, drive a car or get a job. So why do trans activists think they should be allowed to consent to life changing, highly invasive and risky medical treatment? Or maybe I’ve got it wrong, and they think that children should be allowed to undertake all those activities.
The next thing will be demands for children to be allowed to ‘consent’ to sexual activity.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
1 month ago
Reply to  Eleanor Barlow

The UN’s got that one covered.

Graham Bennett
Graham Bennett
1 month ago

Why does Unherd keep deleting (censoring) my completely reasonable comment? I thought it was the forum of free speech? Evidently, I was wrong!

Graham Bennett
Graham Bennett
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Bennett

Let me try again:
Great piece Professor Stock! It seems to me that the trans-gender cult, rightly identified here, is part of a wider retreat in Western society from the body into the mind – hence the precipitous privileging of ‘mental’ over physical health in recent years by politicians, the NHS, NGOs, and any number of other quangos one can think of. The mantra of mental ‘wellbeing’ has now become all pervasive. The perceived ‘stability’ of mind must be preserved at all costs over inconvenient and potentially redundant body parts, the theory goes. In a world where the absolute liberty of the sovereign individual reigns supreme, self- or assisted-mutilation of the body is the ultimate and most cathartic form of self-affirmation. This way of ‘progressive’ thinking is symptomatic of wider techno-utopian movements in the West (of which I include gender identitarian ideology) that seeks worldly withdrawal, into the cyber realm (including the ‘safe spaces’ of the imagination), as a solution to the problems of personhood and the ‘traumatic’ limitations of the (physical) world. It is a fanatical type of liberation theory, entirely bought into by the cult physicians at Gids. Immersive computer games, the internet, and the ‘metaverse’ are all part of it, leading to cyborgian aberrations that aim to ‘re-centre’ normality. These are extremely powerful drivers for the radically disaffected. This fight is far from over, I’m afraid.

Stewart Dixon
Stewart Dixon
1 month ago

Prof Stock thanks. Subtle comment on the matter of harms, for which thanks, that can be simplified to the broad categories of things patients fear: Pain, Anxiety, Disability, Disfigurement, Death. A young person embarking on gender-affirming care has good reason to fear all of those.

Graham Bennett
Graham Bennett
1 month ago

Great piece Professor Stock! It seems to me that the trans-gender cult, rightly identified here, is part of a wider retreat in Western society from the body into the mind – hence the precipitous privileging of ‘mental’ over physical health in recent years by politicians, the NHS, NGOs, and any number of other quangos one can think of. The mantra of mental ‘wellbeing’ has now become all pervasive. The perceived ‘stability’ of mind must be preserved at all costs over inconvenient and potentially redundant body parts, the theory goes. In a world where the absolute liberty of the sovereign individual reigns supreme, self- or assisted-mutilation of the body is the ultimate and most cathartic form of self-affirmation. This way of ‘progressive’ thinking is symptomatic of wider techno-utopian movements in the West (of which I include gender identitarian ideology) that seeks worldly withdrawal, into the cyber realm (including the ‘safe spaces’ of the imagination), as a solution to the problems of personhood and the ‘traumatic’ limitations of the (physical) world. It is a fanatical type of liberation theory, entirely bought into by the cult physicians at Gids. Immersive computer games, the internet, and the ‘metaverse’ are all part of it, leading to cyborgian aberrations that aim to ‘re-centre’ normality. These are extremely powerful drivers for the radically disaffected. This fight is far from over, I’m afraid.

Joann Robertson
Joann Robertson
1 month ago

The World Professional Association for Transhealth, WPATH, has been exposed as the ideological association it is. I have been posting this information on all the social media I use since March 4th. The power of the cult is such that I have not seen any mention in the MSM, nor have I seen much elsewhere. Please look at the interview by Jordan Peterson with Michael Shellenberger on YouTube and other sources.
The more people who get informed the quicker the damage to vulnerable children will be stopped.

Joann Robertson
Joann Robertson
1 month ago

It seems UnHerd will not allow me to post anything about WPATH. I don’t know how to get around that If this passes the censors please Google WPATH

Graham Bennett
Graham Bennett
1 month ago

It won’t let post about anything. Not sure why?? I have said nothing offensive or ad hominem. I thought it was a forum for open, rational debate?

Graham Bennett
Graham Bennett
1 month ago

Unherd seems to employ some kind of AI bot that decides what’s permissable, and we know that such bots are geared towards a left-wing view of the world. Disappointing.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago

Clinics are not responsible for the out come.
These people need locking up with life sentences where life means life
The majority of these child abusers have started the same horror as private practitioners and the government and liberal elite will not stop them
Different day same outcome
Much the same as the report Britain is not instructionally racism. Load noises and then hidden and the nonsense has not stopped.
These are more than cults of mass hysteria it is aim is driven from somewhere to destroy Britain

william langdale
william langdale
1 month ago

It used to be the poor who picked up the tab for the stupidity of liberals but in this case is has been the young.The BBC’s coverage of the report might as well have been written by Stonewall.

Dr E C
Dr E C
1 month ago

It probably was…

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
1 month ago

Some say that in the event of a large meteor hitting the Earth, you shouldn’t try to blow it up with an atomic bomb because the potential destruction of many small high-energy meteor impacts is the same if not worse than the potential destruction of one large impact. I believe that the Cass Report is the like an atomic bomb that has metaphorically blown up the Tavistock Clinic – in the same way, the many smaller “regional gender clinics” that are set to take its place look set to have a much bigger desctructive power than the one large clinic.

Virginia McGough
Virginia McGough
1 month ago

A thought-provoking article, marred for me by the claim that some Roman Catholics will put their mortally ill children through medically invasive treatments to prolong life, if only for a very short time. The Catholic church does not sanction such treatment because the harm outweighs the benefit.The decision about when to move to purely palliative care has to be made in the best interests of each individual patient. No responsible clinician of any faith or none would sanction prolonging life at the cost of increased suffering.

Colorado UnHerd
Colorado UnHerd
1 month ago

A great pleasure of reading Kathleen Stock is her rescue of the English language — intended to clearly communicate material reality — from the obfuscating clutches of gender ideologues, who sadly include not only confused youth, hapless parents and practitioners who have lost sight of the Hippocratic Oath, but “woke” minions who preach the cult Stock describes. These are the folks who have given us “preferred pronouns” (accurate pronouns apparently being inadequate), “assigned at birth” (i.e. describing a child’s obvious sex), “affirmative care” (medical and surgical mutilation), pregnant “people” (women), “transwomen” (men) and other absurdities. Language capture precedes policy capture; may every thinking person who cares about the varied and serious harms done by gender ideology rebuke it.
Professor Stock: In a world that often seems to have gone insane, your sanity and willingness to speak truth to this powerful delusion — and cowardice, and quasi-religious dogma — is ever appreciated. Your sharp wit also routinely makes me laugh, no small feat in these troubling times. Thank you.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago

One of the big problems in the UK is the BBC which was in the vanguard of this issue, as it is with every issue where there is a “progressive” side.
Never forget that during lockdown the bbc was teaching our nation’s children that there are over 100 genders as a scientific fact.
The BBC distorts every issue by its constant drizzle of the “progressive” (ie leftwing) rain descends on every subject, distorting the national discourse.

The gender myths have been well known in academia but were repressed, and largely because the bbc (and others) called anyone with a sensible point of view as a bigot or a purveyor of hate speech, these views were suppressed.

It is interesting to consider too – is this report illegal in Scotland?

Bruce Thorne
Bruce Thorne
1 month ago

With the devastating condemnation of the affirming model by Cass review, can we now ask schools to stop trans awareness and/or give parents an opt out for their own kids? Can we say: the issues are too divisive & exhausting for our kids? Society needs to work things out first

Veronica Lowe
Veronica Lowe
1 month ago
Reply to  Bruce Thorne

Stop schools making uniform and toilets gender neutral, and stop libraries filling their children’s book areas with subversive persuasive books.

Phil Mac
Phil Mac
1 month ago

I hope for credit to Andrew Doyle, who regularly publicises the truth on his weekly show, and the most grovelling apology and – if possible – redemption for Graham Linehan.

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
1 month ago

You can grow your hair long, protest against the clubbing of seals, become a vegan and live in a commune. If you change your mind, it will be undone. Cutting of body parts cannot be undone. It is not a culture war. It is far more insidious. Thanks professor Stock for this excellent contribution.

David Lewis
David Lewis
1 month ago

Whilst welcoming the Cass report I am wary that it perpetuates a central myth.

Many life experiences simply do not fit, and should not be forced into, a medical model. ‘Gender dysphoria’ is an emotional reaction, not a ‘diagnosis’, just as we would never dream of classifying the euphoria of a positive life event a ‘diagnosis’

Furthermore, within a medical model, the success or failure of a ‘treatment’ for ‘gender dysphoria’ must be based not on objective, reproducible, scientific measurements, but on ‘patients’’ responses in questionnaires. Responses that may or may not be truthful, and may or may not be influenced by interested third parties/soshal meeja

If Dr Cass had found ‘medical evidence’ in support of puberty blockers, I suggest we should have been just as sceptical. WE ARE USING THE WRONG MODEL.

David Morley
David Morley
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lewis

Some interesting thoughts. Though not sure where we go with them.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago

Yes. The tiptoeing round about path Cass has to take is the one we’ve all had to toe since trashing the Devil. At least, I envy people still able to recognise his footprints, because they haven’t yet purged his name from their vocabularies, and had to fill the void with a lot of long-winded understanding or excuses. A spade’s a spade… ! When did I become responsible for how you interpret that?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 month ago

This is going to cost the NHS billions over the next 30 years.

j watson
j watson
1 month ago

Author is right on many levels here. Group Think/Cult did predominate. Not so much though that another NHS clinician hasn’t punctured the edifice they’d built.
But most reading her Article won’t have read the full Cass report. Crucial within this is the finding that huge gaps in more general CAMHs provision left GiDs without the other key multi-disciplinary inputs that would almost certainly have acted as ‘brakes’. We need to further address that and the solutions relate to workforce and thus not quick.
I’d be interested where Author is on the banning of smart technology/social media for children and the over supervision by adults of children’s activities – Jonathan Haidht’s key conclusions.
More broadly we also need to find out more about what is going on at a hormonal level scientifically. Maybe not much, but it’s hugely complex science and if too much artificial oestrogen flushed into rivers can cause changes in some fish we can’t be entirely sure what other environmental exposure is taking place with an impact on sexuality in humans.

Rachel Taylor
Rachel Taylor
1 month ago
Reply to  j watson

But young people suffer from a vast range of conditions, not all of which receive plentiful multi-disciplinary assistance from the NHS. It is not clear at all why this tiny group needs to take priority over all the others. The priority itself seems to be based on a cult obsession, not on evidence.

j watson
j watson
1 month ago
Reply to  Rachel Taylor

The process Cass refers to is that most of these would have been screened out by proper CAMHs assessment first but couldn’t access that.
That doesn’t justify what GiDs then did, and she says that, but it does mean children needing broader assessment didn’t get it. We can’t lose sight of that either if we really care.

Rachel Taylor
Rachel Taylor
1 month ago

Good to see an intellectual critique of the report. Cass seems to have avoided the broader questions of gender identity and alleged dysphoria, to concentrate on a much easier target: medical intervention.
I wonder where we now stand with “Conversion Therapy”? The non-medical intervention sounds like therapy to me. If it is illegal to dissuade a child from this nonsense, and if it is mandatory to provide therapy, then it sounds very much as though the therapy mut be affirmative, or “Forced Conversion”.

Nicholas Taylor
Nicholas Taylor
1 month ago

I think this would be better without throwaway lines like “other obvious signs of religious commitment — the mantras and incantations, sacred texts, citations of high priests, annual holy weeks, and so on”. There is a risk that UnHerd, like any other periodical, preaches to the converted. I don’t doubt that the mentality described exists, but hard evidence should be the killer.

William Brand
William Brand
1 month ago

The woke religion is often pointed toward satanism. Since we are so close to the Tribulation this is to be expected.