Why I Oppose Banning Gender-related Therapies for Kids

One of (not the only) the reasons why I oppose bills that limit the types of medical care available to children (including transgender therapies) is because think parents are better-suited to make these kinds of decisions along with their children than are state governing authorities. I certainly I want my own kids to see that I believe this—that what happens to them ought to be up to us as a family, and no one else.

And I’d bet that many (not all) proponents don’t really think their kid could desire to transition genders. So they see this as a law for “them” that won’t affect “us.” Therefore, as sacrosanct and parental authority may be in other areas of life, it’s worth the “loss” here because, well…it’s not really a loss if you’re convinced it can never happen to you.

(I’m open to pushback on that being a common perspective among proponents of laws banning transgender therapies for children. I can’t read people’s minds, after all.)

But whether I’d win or lose that bet, I’ve been there (“This can’t be happening to me…”) one too many times to let that shape my thinking about these issues.

I suppose all this adds up to the simpler point that:

I believe there can be reasonable exceptions to the general idea that irreversible gender-related therapies for minors are bad. And if there are reasonable exceptions, then sweeping legislation is not the right answer.

Politics and Nutty People

Wisdom from Robert Higgs’ Facebook page:

When I was growing up, without ever dwelling on the matter, I thought of most people as “normal,” that is, like me. What I saw, they saw; what I felt, they felt. Of course a few were weird, and even fewer were bat-shit crazy, but these outliers dwelled, or so I supposed, well outside the realm of us normal people.

As I passed beyond my youth, I became more and more cognizant that the crazy ones were much more numerous than I had supposed while growing up, and I learned rather early in my adult life that I was one of the crazy ones. What I saw, many others did not see; what I felt, many others did not feel; and vice versa.

Now, at an advanced age, I am inclined to regard “normal” people as quite unusual in the overall population. I don’t mean to suggest that lots of people are psychotic or schizophrenic—that is, completely nutso. But I do mean that almost everyone has some twisted or bizarre psychic aspects that make people shake their heads, even those who are equally nuts but in a different way.

In view of how common crazy people are in the overall population, it’s nothing short of a miracle that society and economy hang together at all. That they do testifies, I think, to the fact that even nutty people can usually respond rationally to incentives, that they are sane enough to continue to play a value-yielding role of some sort in the socio-economic order. When they engage in political life, however, their nuttiness is free to run rampant without immediate, visible adverse consequences for them—indeed, they may even be rewarded for acting crazily—so nuttiness tends to be the norm in mass political participation.

Robert Higgs