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Why Girls Become Boys

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PragerU is out with another great video, this one on why girls become boys. Watch this important and timely video below (transcript available below the video):

If you know any middle or high school girls today—or if you are one yourself—it would not be surprising if you know someone who identifies as transgender.

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The latest statistics indicate that 2% of American high school students now identify as transgender—and the overwhelming majority of them are teenage girls. Between 2016 and 2017 alone, the number of females seeking gender surgery in America quadrupled.

But if you graduated high school over a decade ago, it was unlikely that you knew anyone who was transgender because, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the condition underlying it afflicted roughly 1 in 10,000 people, or .01% of the population.

Almost none of these cases were teenage girls. In fact, before 2012 there was no scientific or medical literature discussing adolescent girls who wanted to transition to the opposite sex.

That doesn’t mean that we didn’t know about transgender individuals. Gender Dysphoria—the severe discomfort in one’s biological sex—has been studied for nearly one hundred years. It almost always involved boys who began feeling it between the ages of 2 and 4 and were strong and persistent in their assertions to everyone around them that they were really girls.

When a phenomenon that affects one half of a population—boys—suddenly begins affecting the other half—girls, and when its age of onset shifts from preschool to adolescence, something significant is happening.

In 2016, Brown University public health researcher Lisa Littman began studying the sudden spike in trans identification of teenage girls. She concluded that peer influence and social media influence had a lot to do with this trans teen phenomenon. After all, based on parent reports, none of these girls had exhibited symptoms of gender dysphoria at the age that it typically first presents: early childhood.

YouTube, Reddit, Tumblr, TikTok, and Instagram all host popular social media influencers—today’s version of Hollywood stars—who insist that if you feel uncomfortable in your body, you’re probably trans. Many promise that if you start a course of testosterone, all of your problems will go away.

There’s every reason to believe that these girls are experiencing real psychological pain—rates of anxiety, depression, and instances of self-harm are all at record levels for this generation. A quick fix becomes very tempting. So it doesn’t take much—a YouTube video, a friend’s suggestion—to get a troubled girl to buy into the fantasy that gender transition is the answer.

Unfortunately for these girls, who do not have typical gender dysphoria, gender transition rarely offers relief. And it’s a catastrophic mistake for psychologists, educators, and the medical establishment to rush these teens towards “a solution” that will almost certainly harm rather than heal. Because here’s what’s not in dispute: unnecessary medical gender transition causes irreversible damage—high risk of infertility, sexual dysfunction, and the creation of a permanent medical patient.

Tragically, we’ve made it far too easy for kids to take this path—long before they’re ready psychologically or emotionally to make such a life-altering decision. Testosterone is easily obtained by today’s teens. In Oregon, a 15-year-old can walk into a gender clinic—yes, there are now gender clinics all over the country—and walk out the same day with a prescription for testosterone without her parents’ permission. Sixteen-year-old girls have been able to undergo double mastectomies—the removal of both breasts—without even a therapist’s note.

Predictably, hasty gender transition—remember, we’re talking about teenagers here—is now leading to a lot of regret. New testimonials appear on YouTube almost every week from teens who acknowledge they made a terrible mistake and warn others not to make the same one.

So how do you protect your daughter from being drawn into this dangerous and growing trend?

First, limit their exposure to social media as much as you can. Several academic studies have already linked the alarming rates of anxiety and depression to young girls’ punishing experience on social media—a place that often makes them feel sad, unattractive, and alone.

Second, oppose the teaching of gender ideology in your kids’ school. In California, gender identity education begins in kindergarten and proceeds through high school. The theme is that kids’ gender identity is totally independent of their physical sex and something that only they can know. Schools can and should insist that every child be treated respectfully without sowing gender confusion in an entire student population.

Third, and most importantly, remember that a teenager is still just a teenager. You don’t have to agree with every identity proclamation your daughter comes up with. Knowledge of her identity will develop over time. Until then, being the adult in the relationship is the most loving thing you can do.

I’m Abigail Shrier, author of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, for Prager University.

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Faith

A Nation of Unsung Heroes

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The movie, Unsung Hero, is not only a great movie. It’s a movie that captures the struggle and hard-earned survival and eventual success of millions of Americans who have had to overcome struggles to earn their own American Dream. For two centuries, Americans have been known for their resourcefulness and resilience, and we are not done yet!

We are again living in difficult and challenging times. Surveys suggest that nearly 60% of American families are living paycheck to paycheck. Their solutions to their plight won’t be coming from politicians in Washington. Their success, as always, depends on their will and resourcefulness in overcoming daily obstacles, their ability to survive on limited resources, their scrounging for work that allows them to survive another day, and help from those who care.

That common but heart-rending struggle is conveyed in an inspiring way in Unsung Hero. The film focuses on the early struggles of the Smallbone family in the early 90’s. We watch as David Smallbone’s once-thriving music business as a concert promoter in Australia falls apart. They lose their home, their car, and their life’s savings. With no opportunities in Australia, David moves the family halfway around the world to Nashville to secure the only job he could secure. After missed flights and a long and tiring journey to Tennessee, David learns that his promised job had been given to someone else.

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As their dreams fall apart, you watch as the steady faith and creativity of Helen Smallbone, played by Australian actress and mother Daisy Betts, pulls the family through one setback and challenge after another to find a way through. With six children and another on the way, every member of the family is challenged to do their part to keep them afloat. They do yard work, any work that would fill their jar of savings. They couldn’t let it be empty, and they didn’t. They kept finding a way.

They were Australians with no friends, no family, no car, sleeping on beds made out of clothes. To nurture their faith, they began attending a local church. Aware of their needs, church members found ways to help in any way they could. In a foreign country living in a city with over half-a million people, it took finding a loving faith community who cared enough to help. Watch the movie, to find out the rest of the story. Bring plenty of tissue and be ready for a few tears along the way.

America needs this movie right now. Why? Too many people are feeling hopeless in the face of growing inflation and lost jobs. They face frustrating obstacles and enormous challenges, and the answer is summed up by a quotation of Mother Teresa shared in the movie, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” Luke Smallbone, the producer of the film, acknowledged the importance of that truth, “That is really the heartbeat behind the film.” It is also the local solution that has always helped Americans find their way through-the power of family and the presence and support of their local “family of God.”

Washington may send you money, but they can’t provide the flexible and persistent support needed. It’s one’s local family, friends, and faith communities who can encourage resilience and help shape a needed recovery. Solutions come from a local community’s caring and support. It used to always be that way, and it needs to be that way again.

Our nation is full of unsung heroes who are helping their family and friends, and they are more needed than ever. If you don’t have anyone helping you, stop looking to Washinton for the help that will never come no matter who is elected President. Get involved again in your family and your community. Call your family and let them know you need help. Get back involved in your church or synagogue and let God work through them to help you get back on your feet. Investing in community is an adventure that allows you to help and be helped to the glory of God and country.

When you get involved, you most likely will not make any headlines. That is left for terrorists, violent demonstrators, and other disasters and threats out of your control. But America is strong because of millions of unsung heroes who make it all work and seldom get acknowledged. This column is dedicated to you. You deserve to be honored and applauded for all you have done and will do to keep America the country it has been and must remain. May it continue to be so in your adventure!

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Elections

Let’s Reclaim America’s Optimism Advantage

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On this New Year’s Day, America needs more than a parade and great football games; our people need renewed optimism in living our American Dream. Instead of looking for government fixes or some magical new president who will make things right, we need a kick in the pants to get busy making America work no matter what obstacles we face.

At the 1992 Republican Convention, Ronald Reagan shared what he considered the secret of his success as our President: “I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears, to your confidence, rather than your doubts.”

Oh, how we need leadership like that in America today. As we start this year, too many people feel powerless. Inflation may be coming down, but high fuel and food prices have taken their toll on far too many Americans. Watching the invasion on our Southern border means too many of our cities are being overwhelmed with no end in sight. We wonder if there is anything we can do but watch. The sense of despair and helplessness is contagious, but so is optimism. What attitude do you spread?

There is more than you think within your control. Every day, you make choices to make your situation better or worse. Studies of optimism find that optimism comes from a track record of overcoming obstacles. If you have had obstacles the last few years and are still making it work, pat yourself on the back. Be a proud survivor, not a victim so many seem to take pride in claiming to be.

Make each day count by starting your day doing one thing to make your situation better. Find one way to cut expenses. Find a way to increase your resources. Make a call or visit to nurture your network of colleagues and friends. Learn from your mistakes and celebrate your successes, both big and small. Nurture your faith realizing that God gave you gifts and give thanks every day for the blessings you have. Lest you forget, you’re blessed to live in America. People risk everything to come here, and few want to leave.

Yes, this is an election year, and it would sure be a gift to have a leader who would nurture the hope and optimism of all our citizens. So as the campaigns progresses and you listen to potential leaders vying for your support, ask yourself a few key questions:

Do they want to control your choices or ensure your freedoms?

Do they want to make you more or less dependent on government?

Do they want to increase the size of government and entitlements and the taxes needed to fund them or decrease them?

Do they want to force your children to go to public schools that don’t’ get the results your children deserve, or are they willing to give you the freedom to pick the schools your children need?

Do they disagree with their opponents and state why, or do they demean them and call them names?

Do they want to grow the size of government and its debt, or do they want to decrease both?

Do they believe in the citizens they represent, or do they convey that they are the answer to America’s future?

Do they take responsibility for their mistakes and actions or quickly deny responsibility and blame others?

No President is perfect. It’s easy to promise and a lot harder to deliver. Reagan focused on three things: an optimism based on free-enterprise innovation, smaller government, and lower taxes. He delivered on all but smaller government. As Reagan advisor Arnold Laffer confessed, “When it came to cutting welfare payments and school lunch,…it was very hard. Someone would come over and say, ‘How can you cut school lunches?’ Reagan would reply, ‘I guess you’re right; I’ll tell them not to cut that one.’”

The pressure to keep growing government is tempting and easy to understand, but it is not what America was created for. America’s form of government was designed to protect citizens from an over-controlling, over-taxing government. We need to reclaim that passion for freedom and self-reliance. Our founding citizens wanted the opportunity to pursue happiness, not happiness given to them at the expense of other taxpayers.

The election is months away. So I’m going to borrow on the optimism of Ronald Reagan to inspire us all on this first day of 2024: “I’m not taking your time…to ask you to trust me. Instead, I ask you to trust yourself. That is what America is all about… It’s the power of millions of people like you who will determine what will make America great again.”

Reagan wouldn’t want us to wait for the next election. We’ve had enough of eloquent politicians who think they have all the answers. We need to believe in ourselves and get busy living our own dreams. Then, in November, let’s elect a leader who will stay out of our way and give “We the People” freedom again—freedom to fail, succeed, and thrive in our own American Dream!
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