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The doctor behind American Girl's puberty blocker push

Credit: American Girl

Last week, I wrote about shopping at the American Girl store with my daughter and discovering the "Gender Joy" portion of their book, “A Smart Girl’s Guide: Body Image” by Mel Hammond.

Appalled by this violation of the trust parents place in the wholesomeness of the American Girl brand, I knew I needed to let other parents know what to now expect from them. Clearly, the story hit a nerve with parents just like me who expect to find toys in toy stores, not an ideology that tells them how to change their sex and access chemical castration drugs that lead to infertility. 

Parents are right to be angry. These drugs are hormone suppressants used on an experimental basis and they are sometimes called puberty blockers. On page 38 of A Smart Girl’s Guide: Body Image, Hammond writes: “If you haven’t gone through puberty yet, the doctor might offer medicine to delay your body’s changes, giving you more time to think about your gender identity.”

READ PART 1:  American Girl wants to trans your daughter

Not long after publication, outraged parents all over the country declared that they are done with the American Girl brand.

As the story spread and parents raised their voices, American Girl doubled down, issuing a statement first to TMZ and then to USA Today.

The American Girl representative stated: "The content in this book was developed in partnership with medical and adolescent care professionals and consistently emphasizes the importance of having conversations and discussing any feelings with parents or trusted adults.”

I couldn’t help but notice the recurring, manipulative language used to obfuscate the truth. They think that partnering with medical and adolescent care professionals should make parents unquestionably trust their advice.

I started to wonder, who exactly are these “medical professionals”?

On Mel Hammond’s website she thanks Dr. Carly Guss, an adolescent medicine specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, who helped to “bring this book to life.” While I don’t know to what degree Hammond collaborated with Guss for this book, which was published in February, she did thank her by name.

As soon as I read about some of the research Guss is involved in and, more damningly, some of her public commentary, the way Hammond phrased and advocated experimental hormone blockers started to make sense. Reading Guss’ work, the deceitful language became more clear.

For example, Hammond's book tells girls that if they are uncomfortable with their bodies, a doctor may give them “medicine” to delay the changes that puberty brings. Notice Hammond didn’t say “puberty blockers.”

The word “medicine” sounds values-neutral whereas “puberty blockers” increasingly strike people as strange and even dangerous amid greater awareness of the dangers of these drugs, which have been used to chemically castrate sex offenders. Concurrent with this growing public awareness in the U.S., nations like Sweden, Finland and the United Kingdom are moving away from this treatment protocol for gender dysphoria. Even The New York Times has started asking questions about the costs of blockers. 

Wouldn’t you know, amid increased scrutiny from the general public about this mass experiment being perpetrated on children, Dr. Guss is telegraphing her language manipulation suggestions to fellow colleagues. In a Nov. 1 article in the JAMA Pediatrics medical journal that she co-authored with Dr. Catherine M. Gordon titled “Pubertal Blockade and Subsequent Gender-Affirming Therapy,” her linguistic manipulation is on full display.

Guss and her co-author claim that the administration of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogue (GnRHa, the technical name for puberty blockers) “delays the development of irreversible pubertal changes and, in some cases, eliminates the need for subsequent surgery.”

Did you catch that? These drugs, which have never been FDA-approved to treat gender dysphoria in children and have not been subjected to any long-term tests, are being sold as the solution so that youth don’t have to have their otherwise healthy body parts amputated later. She also lies by saying that blockers are safe and reversible. Indeed, the FDA recently issued a warning about these blockers, noting that they cause vision loss and brain swelling.

Guss goes on to write about the need to “individualize care,” as if, individualizing toxic drugs makes this experimental protocol more palatable and carefully considered.

Then, and this is maddening, she suggests that clinicians start “moving away from the term ‘puberty blocker’” and instead describe “mechanistically and clinically how these agents work.”  Employing this rhetorical strategy, she continues, “will help return the focus of gender care to what matters most: the health and wellness of the child or adolescent.”

It’s sinister manipulation dressed up as level-headed medical ethics. Notice also that by avoiding referring to “puberty blockers” and describing them in technical-speak, she can distract (or, as she puts it, “return the focus”) from what’s really happening.

Presumably, normal, everyday parents are too dim to understand this complicated “medicine,” when really she’s setting up our children for sterilization and ghastly body mutilation while gaslighting us into believing that she’s looking out for their health.

Parents like me are not fooled. We are incensed.

If all this wasn’t horrifying enough, elsewhere in the adolescent clinic guidelines that Guss authored for Fenway Health, the Boston doctor promotes breast binders and genital “tucking.” Not like it’s any consolation, her guide frowns upon using duct tape to complete these appalling practices.

The guidelines include asking parents to leave the room during the exam “so youth can learn to take responsibility for their own health,” and “if parent shows reluctance to leave, reframe it” so the “focus is on adolescent self-responsibility and self-reliance.”

Remember that this is the doctor with whom Hammond collaborated to write the book that is now stocked on American Girl store shelves.

To every parent reading this, it’s abundantly clear that they are after our children.

It's time to fight for our children in prayer and in the public square.

We must understand that many doctors in elite positions of prestige and influence are out to destroy our kids.

Though physicians generally carry great social trust in our society, these particular doctors do not deserve our trust in the least. The doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital and other clinics nationwide are carrying out a monstrous medical experiment and what they are doing is breathtakingly evil.

That is not hyperbole, it is the undeniable truth.

We are not deceived by their manipulation and body-hating propaganda. We will not stand for this child abuse. We will not believe the lies, and no amount of mass media cheerleading for it will convince us otherwise.

American Girl’s promotion of this insanity is only the latest example in this parade of horrors aimed at children. And neither they nor any of the hospitals and academic institutions or doctors like Carly Guss who are pushing these vile practices must ever be able to live down these atrocities being committed against our kids.

As parents, we cannot allow ourselves to forget that American Girl celebrated their partnership with doctors who sterilize and maim children, and are actively destroying the image of God inscribed on their bodies as male and female while calling it “health care” and “body positivity.” 

Anne Young is a mother of two daughters.

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