The Heritage Foundation's Jarrett Stepman appeared on Wednesday's edition of CBN's Newswatch to discuss YouTube's decision. Newswatch is seen weekdays on the CBN News Channel. For a programming schedule, click here.
YouTube has dubbed a video by a leading pediatrician discussing the treatment of transgender children as "hate speech," and has banned it from its internet platform.
Dr. Michelle Cretella, a long-time pediatrician, and executive director of the American College of Pediatricians is seen in The Daily Signal video giving her rationale against current consensus treatment for children who believe they are not their biological gender.
"See, if you want to cut off a leg or an arm, you're mentally ill—but if you want to cut off healthy breasts or a penis, you're transgender," she said in the 2017 video.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, YouTube says it's this statement that violates their policy against "promoting violence or hatred against individuals or groups" based on "gender identity and expression."
Unless that sentence is removed, YouTube refuses to allow the video on its platform.
Controversial in these days and times, perhaps, argues The Heritage Foundation spokesperson Genevieve Wood, but not hate speech.
"By any objective measure, Dr. Cretella did not violate the hate speech policy," Wood said, according to The Beacon. "We agree with the spirit of the YouTube policy, that every person should be treated with respect and that every conversation should be civil. But here's where we disagree; as our nation debates the whole issue of gender identity and parents consider whether to give their children hormone treatments, we need to have a robust, fact-filled serious debate."
Dr. Cretella goes on to dispute the current "gender affirmation" treatment approach, saying in the video, "If I walk into my doctor's office today and say, 'Hi, I'm Margaret Thatcher,' my physician will say I am delusional and give me an anti-psychotic. Yet, if instead, I walked in and said, 'I'm a man,' he would say, 'Congratulations, you're transgender.'"
To read the full transcript of Dr. Cretella's banned arguments, click here.
Axios reports that YouTube's decision to censor the video comes after months of dispute and discussion with the Heritage Foundation, whose content arm is The Daily Signal where the video was posted. It quotes sources saying that the tech giant offered to re-list the video, but only if The Signal removed the transgender reference by the doctor. Heritage refused, seeing that choice as censorship.
With censorship of viewpoints, is a "robust, fact-filled serious debate," like Heritage is calling for even possible? Dissenters say the debate is being hijacked by the push for a radical new gender ideology that ignores scientific evidence.
As CBN News reported earlier this week, some doctors and researchers are refusing to jump on the "medical consensus" bandwagon and are questioning treatments like puberty blockers and the injection of opposite sex hormones for children and adolescents who may have questions about their gender.
Dr. John McHugh, a distinguished professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University, calls this chemical treatment of minors who are uncomfortable with their birth sex "reckless and irresponsible."
"Many people are doing what amounts to an experiment on these young people without telling them it's an experiment...You need evidence for that, and this is a very serious treatment. It is comparable to doing frontal lobotomies," McHugh explained.
He believes there could be a link between feelings of transgenderism and poor mental health.
"I think their mental problems, often depression, discouragement, are the things that need treatment," McHugh noted. "I'm not positive about this. It's a hypothesis, but it is a very plausible hypothesis, and it would explain why many of the people who go on to have treatment of their body discover they are just as depressed, discouraged, and live just as problematic lives as they did before, because they did not address the primary problem."
Lisa Littman, an assistant professor of behavioral sciences at Brown University, found in her research a "contagion effect" among young people if they knew of someone or had a friend questioning his or her gender, resulting in "rapid-onset gender dysphoria." In other words, if friends questioned their gender, they began to think they also might be transgender.
Gender confusion among young people, McHugh said, is "mostly being driven by psychological and psychosocial problems these people have," which, he added, "explains the rapid onset gender dysphoria Lisa Littman has spelled out."
Endocrinologist Dr.Wiliam Malone told The Christian Post that this kind of problem used to be treated with compassionate counseling with very good results.
"Until very recently, these children and adolescents were supported and cared for with counseling," Malone said. "With counseling, or even watchful waiting, an average of 85% of these children would have a resolution of their distress by early adulthood. There are currently 10 studies in the medical literature demonstrating this."
But current guidelines encourage "gender affirmative care" and instead opt for facilitating children, with the help of chemistry, to become whatever gender they choose.
Dr. Michael Laidlaw, a California endocrinologist, says those guidelines encouraging puberty blockers and other chemical treatments are being written by the most extreme elements of the medical profession, according to the CP.
"These radical trans activists were involved in writing the Endocrine Society guidelines in 2009 and 2017. These are low to no quality evidence guidelines, and anyone can read for themselves the poor evidence they have for these treatments for children and adolescents. There is no long-term evidence for benefits for these treatments," Laidlaw stressed.
In the United Kingdom, the same kind of push for a radical treatment regimen seems afoot as well.
The Telegraph reported that Oxford University professor, Dr. Michael Biggs, accused the National Health Service's clinic for transgender children of hiding negative evidence about the effects of puberty blockers on children. Instead, Biggs claimed, the clinic is continuing experimental treatment on adolescents without solid evidence of its long-term effects.
The decision to censor Dr. Cretella's speech on YouTube reportedly came from one person's complaint, according to The Daily Wire.
Despite the complaint, it's obvious the debate over transgender children and how they should be treated is far from over.
Rob Bluey, vice president of communication at the Heritage Foundation told Axios, it shouldn't be over on YouTube.
"As one of the largest content platforms in the world, YouTube should welcome more discussion rather than eliminating speech at the mob's command," he said.