Is Gender Dysphoria Harming Our Children?

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Although reliable data is limited, there is reason to believe that the increased awareness and tolerance of gender ideology is adversely affecting children. Data from the United Kingdom suggests that an over-exposure to gender ideology is resulting in an increased number of children who are confused about their sexuality.[1] In the United Kingdom a Telegraph article titled “Rise in Child Transgender Referrals” reports, “The number of children aged 10 or under who have been referred to the NHS because of transgender feelings has more than quadrupled in five years, according to new figures. … A spokesman said: ‘It is probably fair to say that young people are increasingly interested in exploring gender.’”[2] Likewise, according to a BBC article titled “Child Gender Identity Referrals Show Huge Rise in Six Years,” “The Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) said 969 under-18s have been referred in the UK in 2015–16, including nearly 200 aged 12 or under. This compares to just 94 in 2009–2010.”[3]

Additionally, the American College of Pediatricians has released a statement declaring its belief that gender ideology harms children.[4] As gender fluidity becomes increasingly accepted and promoted within society, children are more likely to become confused and to embrace a lifestyle that is harmful to their health and well-being. According to the American College of Pediatricians’ statement:

Conditioning children into believing that a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse. Endorsing gender discordance as normal via public education and legal policies will confuse children and parents, leading more children to present to “gender clinics” where they will be given puberty-blocking drugs. This, in turn, virtually ensures that they will “choose” a lifetime of carcinogenic and otherwise toxic cross-sex hormones, and likely consider unnecessary surgical mutilation of their healthy body parts as young adults (emphasis removed).[5]


This rise in sexual confusion is concerning because sexual confusion makes one vulnerable to sexual immorality. The Bible repeatedly condemns sexual immorality as sinful behavior (Matt. 15:19; Gal. 5:19) in rebellion to God’s will (1 Thess. 4:13) that results in judgment (Jude 1:7; Rev. 2:20–22). The Christian is told to flee from sexual immorality  (1 Cor. 6:18), to put to death this carnal impulse (Col. 3:5), and to refuse to indulge in sexual immorality (1 Cor. 10:8). The Bible clearly identifies sexual immorality as harmful behavior which is offensive to God, as our Creator; therefore, we must guard against anything that encourages or makes one vulnerable to such immorality.

Be sure to read Timothy Zebell’s book Transitioning: A Biblical Understanding of Transgenderism.

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Timothy Zebell

As a former missionary to Asia for twelve years and the author of several books, Timothy is passionate about helping people understand the relevancy of God's Word in today's world. His goals are to help Christians discern truth from error, empower Christians to speak into cultural matters with relevancy, and to help Christians capitalize on the opportunities that these matters provide for sharing the truth about God and His gospel message.
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1. McKenzie, Calum. “Child Gender Identity Referrals Show Huge Rise in Six Years.” News. BBC, February 11, 2016. Accessed May 17, 2016.

2. Donnelly, Laura. “Rise in Child Transgender Referrals.” News. Telegraph, April 7, 2015, 1:00 p.m., BST. Accessed May 17, 2016.

3. McKenzie, “Child Gender Identity Referrals Show Huge Rise in Six Years.”

4. American College of Pediatricians. “Gender Ideology Harms Children.” March 21, 2016. Accessed May 25, 2016.

5. American College of Pediatricians.


Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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