Tag Archive for: children

2 Steps to Prevent the Sexual Abuse of Millions of Children

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” — Benjamin Franklin


And with your help, we are moving far beyond a mere ounce of prevention.

Dalma* forced a watery smile as she bid her last patient of the day goodbye.

She closed the door, then slumped against it, letting her head fall backward until it thumped on the hard wood. Shutting her eyes, she blew out a slow, steadying breath.

When Dalma had decided to become a therapist for child sexual abuse survivors, she’d known it wouldn’t be a pleasure cruise. And it was worth it. It was rewarding, journeying with people through their long process of healing.

But sometimes … Sometimes, Dalma just wished she had a time machine, rather than a PhD in psychology. Because more than anything, Dalma wished her patients didn’t have to heal.

She wished they’d simply never been hurt.


Time machines, alas, do not exist.

But although we cannot employ time machines to undo the harm suffered by child sexual abuse survivors, we can prevent others from experiencing the same harm.

In our efforts to end sexual abuse and exploitation, NCOSE seeks out the highest impact tactics that will prevent harm for the greatest amount of people. This is what we call “mass-scale prevention.”

Together, we are preventing the sexual abuse of innumerable children—not just striving to put on band-aids and patch up wounds after they’ve already been abused (though survivor services are of course extremely important as well).

Two tactics which have an especially large impact in preventing child sexual abuse are:

  1. Preventing predator’s online access to children
  2. Preventing childhood pornography exposure, an established risk factor for child sexual abuse perpetration and victimization.

Preventing Predator’s Online Access to Children

Social media apps, gaming platforms, and other interactive technologies are major avenues by which predators gain access to children for purposes of sexual abuse and exploitation. For example, a 2020 quantitative research study found that 1 out of 4 kids aged 9–17 reported having a sexual interaction on social media with someone they believed to be an adult. Further, an analysis of U.S. sex trafficking cases active in 2020 found that the most common means by which sex traffickers accessed victims was the Internet.

This is why one of our core strategies is pressing on tech companies to better protect children by making it more difficult for predators to contact and groom them.

For example, let’s look at the cases of TikTok and Instagram, two of the most popular social media platforms with teens. When you joined us in putting public pressure on these companies, both agreed to stop allowing adults to send unsolicited direct messages to children they don’t already know. This eliminated the main way predators where reaching and grooming children on these platforms.

The scope of impact of these changes is absolutely enormous. Globally, almost 360 million teens use TikTok on a monthly basis (32.5% of 1.1 billion monthly users) and almost 190 million minors use Instagram (8% of 2.35 billion monthly users). That’s hundreds of millions of children who are now better protected on these platforms, thanks to your action!

This is only one example of countless major victories we’ve achieved together. Take action below to continue pressing on tech companies to prioritize child safety!

Preventing Childhood Pornography Exposure, an Established Risk Factor for Child Sexual Abuse Perpetration and Victimization

An often-overlooked element in efforts to prevent child sexual abuse is pornography. Research has established that childhood pornography exposure is a major risk factor for both perpetration and victimization, making it vital to address.

Pornography Exposure Increases a Child’s Odds of Sexually Aggressing Against Other Children

When we talk about child sexual abuse, it’s important to understand that children are not only victimized by adults; they are also victimized by other children. In fact, research shows that male adolescents aged 10-17 are responsible for 35% to 65% of child sexual abuse contacts. And pornography plays a huge role in fueling this.

A longitudinal study following 10-15 year-olds over a period of three years found that exposure to violent pornography predicted a nearly six-fold increase in self-reported sexually aggressive behavior later on. To be very clear: violent content is not a small subset of the pornography kids are seeing. A 2022 study found that 52% of teens exposed to pornography reported seeing violent forms of pornography such as choking (36%), someone in pain (37%), or depictions of what appears to be rape (19%).

Considering that children often learn by observing and imitating the behavior of others, is it any wonder that pornography is teaching them to sexually aggress against other children?

In fact, some children even outright acknowledge that pornography was their teacher. Nancy Green, the Director of child advocacy group Palmer Place, states:

“We have had [cases of where] the child has already said, you know, ‘I learned that from the Internet.’ And we’ve had children that basically are describing an addiction to pornography. And then they’re trying it out.”

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Heidi Olson attests to seeing the link between pornography and child-on-child harmful sexual behavior “on almost a daily basis.” Among the many stories she shares, she speaks of a 13-year-old boy who sexually molested his 2-year-old sister; they found pornography all over the boy’s phone. Olson also describes cases where the children appear to be imitating classic scenes from mainstream pornography.

Pornography Consumption Can Escalate to Consumption of Child Sexual Abuse Material

Research also shows that early age of exposure to pornography is a significant risk factor consuming child sexual abuse material (CSAM, the more apt term for “child pornography”) later on in life.

For children and adults alike, consumption of pornography often escalates towards more extreme content, as many users grow desensitized and need to seek out novel, stronger stimuli in order to achieve the same level of sexual arousal. One study examining the self-identified motivations of CSAM offenders found that some participants reported escalating towards CSAM after prolonged exposure and desensitization to legal pornography.

Further, consumption of child sexual abuse material and contact abuse of children are heavily linked. For example, one study found that, although 75% of imprisoned CSAM offenders were not known to have committed a contact offense at the time of their sentencing, following a 60-week treatment program, 85% of the CSAM offenders admitted to having in fact committed at least one contact offense.

Pornography Exposure Increases a Child’s Odds of Being Sexually Exploited

Pornography is not only a risk factor for perpetration; it is a risk factor for victimization as well. A meta-analysis of 37 studies found that exposure to violent or rape pornography increased a child’s odds of experiencing sexual exploitation by nearly three times.

Exposure to pornography can effectively groom children into accepting sexual abuse and exploitation, even seeing it as normal. For example, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Heidi Olson tells the story of a 12-year-old girl who was violently raped by a 16-year-old boy in a parking lot but said she “didn’t mind.” It turned out that the girl had been using pornography every day since she was 5 years old.

Pornography exposure is also associated with self-generating child sexual abuse material through “sexting.” Sexts are frequently redistributed without the sender’s consent; one Canadian study found that 42% of youth who had sent sexts had experienced at least one being shared or posted online without their consent. This non-consensual redistribution leads to devastating mental health impacts on the survivor, and also contributes significantly to the proliferation of CSAM across the internet. In fact, self-generated imagery now accounts for nearly a third of web pages featuring CSAM. (Learn more about the serious risks sexting poses to youth here)

Progress We’ve Made Together

All these facts underscore the importance of preventing childhood exposure to pornography, as a preventative measure for child sexual abuse and exploitation. Together, we’ve already made significant progress towards this end!

For example, with your help, we influenced Google to automatically blur pornographic images on Google Images, as well as block pornographic search results for children signed into under 18 accounts. That’s 8.5 billion Google searches per day (99,000 searches per second) that are significantly less likely to expose unsuspecting children to pornography!

We are pressing on other tech companies to proactively protect children from pornography, and are also supporting legislation that would require smartphones and tablets to automatically turn on existing filters for pornography when it is activated for use by a minor.

If you are interested in passing filtering legislation, or other online child protection bills in your state, you can sign up for state-specific announcements and opportunities for action below. Our Public Policy team will keep you updated!

AUTHOR

EDITORS NOTE: This National Center on Sexual Exploitation column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Meta Is ‘Manipulating Platforms to Make Kids More Addicted’: State AG

In the wake of strong evidence pointing to the link between the declining mental health of young people and the rise of addictive social media sites, 41 state attorneys general have filed suit against Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, for manipulative business practices that they say intentionally target kids in order to ensnare them in social media addiction.

In October, 41 states and the District of Columbia filed litigation against Meta as reports of record high levels of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and suicide, continue to surface. Studies have shown that American teenagers have experienced a significant rise in depression over the last two decades, as the share of teens experiencing major depressive episodes steadily rose from 7.9% in 2006 to 14.4% in 2018. Since then, the persistent increase has continued unabated. In February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that three out of five teenage girls felt depression and one in three had seriously considered suicide in 2021.

As psychologists such as Jean Twenge have observed, the rapid increase in youth mental health issues has dovetailed almost exactly with the ubiquitous rise of smartphones and social media apps. Twenge’s most recent book “Generations” details how Generation Z’s skyrocketing use of social media directly correlates with less time spent in person with friends, less sleep, and increased loneliness.

The issue has become so alarming to health officials that in May, the U.S. Surgeon General released an unprecedented advisory warning that social media use poses a “profound risk of harm to the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents.”

As a result, public officials have decided that studies and advisories are not enough — they believe that the architects of social media themselves must claim some amount of responsibility for the crisis. On Tuesday, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey (R) joined “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” to discuss the litigation he has filed against Meta.

“We’ve exposed the manipulative practices of the Meta platform that designed features in order to make kids addicted,” he contended. “And lo and behold, screen time is bad for kids. And I think one of the problems here is that Meta has hidden their head in the sand and refused to obtain data or scientific studies to measure the negative harmful impacts on kids, and deprived the public of access to that information. … [T]hey were manipulating their platform[s] to make kids more addicted, [and] they were doing it to obtain personal information to maximize their profits. And it’s putting kids at risk.”

Bailey went on to argue that Meta’s actions specifically violated his state’s consumer protection laws.

“The mental and emotional impact of the addictive features of Big Tech social media platforms, specifically Meta in this instance, have been immediately impactful on children in a harmful way, and it violates the consumer protection laws of the state of Missouri,” he asserted. “[T]he platform is depriving parents of access to information necessary upon which to make good decisions about the health and safety of their children when they’re there, fraudulently attempting to make the kids addicted to the platform that violates the law, and we’re going to hold them accountable.”

Bailey further observed that the litigation showcases a rare example of bipartisanship, in which a coalition of 41 Republican and Democrat state AGs are coming together to put pressure on Meta for allegedly harming the mental health of children.

“[C]hild safety should be a bipartisan issue,” he underscored. “I’m proud to have joined with like-minded colleagues in other states that want to put the safety of children first and hold wrongdoers in the Big Tech social media world accountable. And certainly we’ve seen a repeated pattern of behavior from Meta, not only to abuse children in this context and to deprive the public of access to information, but to violate our constitutional rights to free speech by acquiescing to government censorship demands. … [T]his is a full court press, all hands on deck approach to make sure we’re holding this monolithic monopoly accountable.”

The Missouri attorney general also highlighted specific goals that the state litigation seeks, including monetary compensation for victims. “We … think there should be some monetary compensation for the victims,” he maintained. “We’ve got to build a fund to study this problem, figure out how bad it is, the negative emotional and mental impacts on kids, and make sure that they’re treated and taken care of in the aftermath of this fraudulent behavior.”

Bailey concluded by pointing out the parallels in the social media case with the evidence that was uncovered in the 1990s of tobacco companies attempting to hide evidence of the addictive nature of their products. “I think history will look back on this moment in time and celebrate that we took a stand to protect children against this pernicious behavior very quickly.”

AUTHOR

Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Biden-Equipped Taliban Ask Iran for Passage to Israel to Join The Jihad War Against Israel

So not only is Biden’s billions to Iran funding this genocidal war, but Biden’s unimaginable militaria left to the Taliban. Billions of dollars in operational US military equipment left behind by the Biden mis-administration’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Biden gave them enough militaria to arm and aid a world army.

Taliban has reportedly asked Iran for passage to Israel to help Hamas continue it’s terror against the Jewish state.

Remember how Team Biden got journos to run interference for them and downplay what a catastrophe this was?

“The Taliban won’t be able to use them.” “Where are they going to get spare parts?” “They already had some of these anyway.”

‘Biden” gave them enough militaria to arm and aid a world army. And now family members of suicide bombers who killed Americans will be rewarded with plots of land and cash payments by the new Taliban government in Afghanistan, group leaders announced.

Taliban ‘vows to conquer Jerusalem if Iran, Iraq and Jordan allow passage to Israel’

Hamas terrorists launched a deadly attack on Israel earlier today as at least 198 Palestinians have been killed after Israeli forces retaliated.

By Charles Harrison, The Express, Oct 7, 2023

Taliban supporters parading for the second anniversary of their return to power (Image: Getty)

The Taliban has reportedly asked Iran, Iraq and Jordan to grant them passage to Israel so that they can “conquer Jerusalem”.

Hamas terrorists launched a surprise assault on Israel today, launching thousands of missiles into the country and crossing the border with armed militants.

Israel has retaliated with a series of airstrikes that have killed just under 200 Palestinians, according to latest estimates.

A statement widely circulated online suggests Taliban’s foreign office has contacted Middle Eastern governments requesting passage, seemingly to aid Hamas terrorists and promising to take control of Jerusalem.

Read more.

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

As Fentanyl Overdoses Rise, a Child in New York Dies of Exposure

Records concerning the fentanyl epidemic started being kept in 2020, and the latest numbers show that the issue is getting worse. According to Breitbart, August marked a new record of overdose deaths in San Francisco, with approximately three deaths per day due to fentanyl. As reported by The San Fransisco Chronicle, the city “is on track to see 845 overdose fatalities this year.”

London Breed, the mayor of San Francisco, declared the fentanyl crisis a “state of emergency” in 2020, and since then the problem has continued to worsen across the U.S. This week, in an at-home day care in New York City, a one-year-old boy, Nicholas Dominici, died due to drug exposure, with three other children hospitalized. While the tragedy is still under investigation, the presence of fentanyl has been confirmed. Grei Mendez and Acevedo Brito, the owner and tenant of the day care where the deaths took place, have been charged for murder, manslaughter, and assault and “ordered to be held without bail.”

Ashwin Vasan, the City Health Commissioner, said in a news conference, “I’m very sorry, but one of the things that my child care inspectors are not trained to do is look for fentanyl. But maybe we need to.” Otoniel Feliz, the father of Nicholas Dominici, shared, “In what mind does it make sense that you’re going to mix narcotics with children?”

In 2021, the U.S. witnessed more than 100,000 people across the nation being killed by drug overdose — the highest it had ever been in a single year. According to BBC News, over 66% of those deaths were directly related to fentanyl. As reported by BBC, a recent study revealed “virtually every corner of the US, from Hawaii to Alaska to Rhode Island, has been touched by fentanyl.” Experts say nearly “300 individuals a day [are] dying from overdose, and almost all of those are fentanyl related.”

Joseph Backholm, senior fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement at Family Research Council, commented to The Washington Stand, “Certainly the consequences of sin have often lead people to medicate their pain through drug use. That’s not a new phenomenon, but it is evidence of sin.”

He continued, “The problem with fentanyl is that it’s killing people who aren’t trying to use it, like the children in New York.” For Backholm, this tragedy can be traced back to homeland security issues. “We have a completely open southern border,” he said. “Virtually anyone from anywhere can walk across the border into the U.S. … [It] is killing a lot of Americans and enriching cartels who are able to benefit tremendously from the human and drug trafficking opportunities it provides.”

In a reflection on how to respond to the fentanyl crisis earlier this year, The Christian Post’s Matthew Barnett wrote, “Light shines brighter when darkness hovers. We can see farther at night, out into the expanse of stars surrounding us than we can during the day. These truths remind us that we must hold onto hope during [the] fentanyl crisis.”

AUTHOR

Sarah Holliday

Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

DHS Awards Anti-Terror Grant for LGBTQ Group to Indoctrinate 6-Year-Olds

The Biden administration has awarded an anti-terrorism grant worth more than half-a-million dollars to an LGBTQ activist group, which distributes condoms and “sex education” material, to expand its “in-school support for LGBTQ+ youth” as young as age 6. The manifesto of its school-based group — which is based on the Black Panthers — calls for the “abolition” of the police, the erasure of the U.S. border, and the “reclamation” of all “stolen lands” by indigenous people.

Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL) had received a $530,000 Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) grant late this week. Although the TVTP grant is intended “to prevent targeted violence and terrorism,” the grant synopsis explains that the SMYAL “will provide in-school support for LGBTQ+ youth, training for school staff and youth service providers, [and] resilience programming for LGBTQ+ youth ages 6-24.” The grant will address both “the risk of violence and negative mental health outcomes faced by LGBTQ+ youth” in Washington, D.C., and nearby Montgomery County, Maryland.

GSA Networks Seek to Abolish the Police, Borders, and ‘Cisgender Heterosexual Patriarchy’

SMYAL’s latest 990 form states that its members run the “DC Regional GSA,” or Genders & Sexualities Alliance (GSA) Network clubs, which aims to “lead the charge for LGBTQ rights and social justice.” Formerly the “Gay-Straight Alliance,” the group renamed itself the Gender & Sexualities Alliances Network in 2015 to signal that its leaders “have moved beyond the labels of gay and straight, and the limits of a binary gender system.” GSA boasts of 4,000student-run clubs operated by 40 state chapters.

The GSA Network’s “Truth Nine Point Platform” calls for “the Abolition of the Police, ICE, Borders and the Judicial System”; “an End of the Cisgender Heterosexual Patriarchy”; “Reparations for all Indigenous and Black Peoples,” including “Indigenous reclamation of stolen lands”; and “free and non-compulsory education for all ages.”

“The manifesto was inspired by and builds upon the Black Panther Party’s Ten-Point Program, the Young Lord’s 12 Point Program and Platform, and the Third World Gay Revolution,” GSA Network states, as it promises “to bravely and ferociously fight for our communal liberation.” The Black Panther Party “advocated the use of violence and guerilla tactics to overthrow the U.S. government,” according to the FBI.

“We invite our comrades in struggle who align with our principles, including those who have yet to self-determine their relationship to the struggle, to join us in solidarity, coalition, and liberation — remembering the revolution is a relationship,” the GSA Network platform concludes.

SMYAL activists “connect with and provide assistance to teachers, staff, administrators, community members and partners to start and grow local GSAs,” according to its tax filings.

SMYAL Distributes Condoms, Gives LGBT Adults Access to Children without Parental Supervision

The first item listed on SMYAL’s “sexual health” program is “condom distribution.” SMYAL operates a “Peer Health Fellowship” for children ages 13-24: “Fellows serve their their [sic] schools and communities as health educators. Fellows serve their community as role models, leaders, and trusted friends by distributing condoms and safer-sex information,” according to the group’s most recent tax filings.

SMYAL operates numerous youth groups for children who identify as LGBT or “who are exploring or questioning their identities.” The youngest group, known as Little SMYAL, combines children from 6 to 12, although teens may opt to continue attending. The next level includes programs for children from early adolescence through their mid-20s.

“Little SMYAL’s is a group for queer and trans 6-12 year olds to provide young people a safe(r) space hang out [sic] and meet new people,” its website states. “To best meet the needs of our youth, we have programs that are designed for 6 to 9-year-olds (who we call Unicorns) or 10 to 13-year-olds (who we call Rainbows),” the group explains. “If your child is 13, they may choose to continue attending Little SMYALs programs or age up into SMYAL’s drop-in programs for youth ages 13+.”

“Some programs are open to all youth within this 13-24 age range,” SMYAL notes.

SMYAL actively seeks to separate children or adolescents from their parents, asking for access to young children without parental supervision. “We invite caregivers to attend a ‘Welcome to Little SMYALs’ session to make sure their child is ready to participate in future programming. We then encourage caregivers to give their child some space to allow them to meet new friends and participate fully in this environment,” SMYAL’s website states. “[S]ome parents/caregivers have enjoyed getting coffee down the street together during in-person programs.”

SMYAL also offers “clinical services to LGBTQ youth ages 6-24,” including “trauma-enforced yoga, sound healing, and mindfulness.” Its Youth Leadership Development program holds workshops on topics ranging from “allyship” to “gender and sexuality 101.”

‘Beyond Ridiculous’

Giving an anti-terrorism grant to a child-focused LGBTQ activist group is “beyond ridiculous,” Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for Education Studies at Family Research Council, told The Washington Stand. “Anti-terrorism and violence prevention money from DHS is supposed to prevent another 9/11 bombing — actual violent terrorism. It’s not supposed to impose sexual ideologies on children or adults. That’s child abuse and taxpayer abuse.”

“When people say they want to close agencies like the FBI, CIA, or DHS, programs like this one are part of the reason for that sentiment,” she said.

The taxpayer-funded DHS grant will greatly enhance SYMAL’s budget. The $530,000 TVTP grant represents 15% of the $3.6 million in revenue the group reported in 2021. (In all $2,061,623 of its $3,632,170 came from government grants.) SYMAL spent $351,123 promoting the GSA Networks’ agenda. It also spent $350,363 on its Peer Health Fellowship and $302,248 on its Youth Leadership Development Program.

Awarding SMYAL and other politically polarizing organizations DHS grants shows that “the national security industrial complex is too big and too focused on perceived threats to government from American citizens rather than on actual national security threats: cyberattacks on public schools and other organizations; lawlessness at the border; child trafficking rings; drug trafficking rings — all with international ties,” Kilgannon said.

“It’s not the job of DHS to make people feel good about their own sex lives and enforce societal endorsement of sex acts,” she concluded.

AUTHOR

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Debunking Child Trafficking Myths in the USA & Facing the Truth

Child trafficking is a heinous violation of human rights, with many misconceptions obscuring the real issues. Let’s unpack and demystify these myths, offering a transparent lens into the truth about child trafficking in the USA.

What is Child Trafficking?

The sale and exploitation of children, often for the purposes of forced labor or sexual exploitation. It involves the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of minors through force, deception, or coercion. Tragically, child trafficking treats children as commodities, prioritizing profit over their well-being and fundamental rights. This heinous crime occurs globally, transcending borders and socio-economic barriers, and demands urgent attention and collective action to safeguard the vulnerable youth. Read more.

Recognizing the Signs of Child Trafficking:

  • Children traveling alone or with non-relative adults.
  • Children appearing dominated by an accompanying adult.
  • Unexplained school absences or frequent transfers.
  • History of runaways or homelessness.
  • Child labor with long hours or low pay.
  • Expensive possessions or inappropriate clothing.
  • Overcrowding or unsafe environments.
  • Tattoos or branding hinting at commercial sex trafficking.
  • Performance of sexual acts or prostitution.

Read more.

Dispelling Myths:

Myth 1: Child trafficking mostly happens in developing countries.

Reality: The USA is the main source and destination for child trafficking, with an estimated annual income of $50 billion from child sex trafficking.

Myth 2: Child trafficking mostly involves kidnapping.

Reality: Trafficking methods vary, and most trafficking isn’t through abduction. Kidnapping is one of many tactics, but statistically, it’s the minority of the instances of child trafficking. Over 90% of the time, children are trafficked by family members and/or friends.

Myth 3: Trafficking victims come from low-income backgrounds.

Reality: While socio-economic vulnerabilities can play a role, children from all economic, racial, and social backgrounds can become victims of trafficking. It’s not restricted by socio-economic status, region, or neighborhood type. Traffickers often exploit areas where they believe they won’t be suspected or caught.

Myth 4: If they wanted to leave, they could.

Reality: Many assume that victims of trafficking can easily leave their situations if they wanted. However, traffickers often use manipulation, threats, violence, and other coercive tactics to control and keep their victims from seeking help.

Myth 5: Trafficking involves moving across borders.

Reality: Trafficking doesn’t always involve the transportation of victims across state or national borders. It can occur within the same state, city, or community.

Myth 6: Trafficking children can be easily identified.

Reality: The truth is, most victims are scripted and show subtle signs that may not be obvious to most. Many may overlook a child who is attending their school or church, unwitting to the harsh reality that child may be facing in their home life.

Myth 7: Law enforcement can easily spot and handle trafficking.

Reality: Trafficking cases can be complex, and specialized training is often needed to recognize and handle them appropriately.

Myth 8: Traffickers are sinister strangers: 

Reality: It’s a common belief that traffickers are always unknown to the victim. In many instances, traffickers can be family members, friends, or acquaintances who exploit the trust and vulnerability of the child.

Myth 9: ​​Child trafficking is only for sexual exploitation.

Reality: While sexual exploitation is rampant, children face trafficking for many sinister purposes, including forced labor and organ trafficking.

Myth 10: Only girls are trafficked.

Reality: Trafficking doesn’t discriminate by gender. Boys are also victims of trafficking for both sexual and labor exploitation.

Echoes of Trauma: Effects on Child Trafficking Survivors

A. Psychological Trauma:

  • Deep-rooted trauma and PTSD become a part of many trafficked children’s lives. This impacts their mental health, relationships, self worth, and perspective of the world.
  • What may seem normal or even comforting to the average person may be very off putting and even distressing for survivors. Compassion, grace, and understanding, along with quality trauma-informed therapy are paramount to supporting a survivor’s healing journey.
  • If untreated, the persistent trauma can lead to long-term mental and physical health challenges.

Read more on healing and overcoming trauma.

B. Physical Aftermath:

  • Trafficked children frequently face health complications and injuries from their experiences. Many have lasting physical symptoms even decades after the trauma.
  • Many victims were deprived of basic needs and suffered additional trauma due to subpar living conditions.
  • Survivors may take a while to get comfortable around other people, especially crowds or strangers, and feel safe in their surroundings.

Our Collective Role Against Trafficking:

  • Government Measures: Strengthen and enforce laws, amplify awareness, and establish dedicated local and federal task forces.
  • Community Vigilance: By spotting and reporting suspicious activities, communities can reduce the predator’s ability to operate and prevent countless children from trauma.
  • Personal Duty: Awareness, support, and action. Support the organizations on the front lines of the fight against child trafficking in the USA.

In Summary:

Child trafficking remains a dark shadow in our society. The myths and misunderstandings surrounding it only hinder our fight against this crime. With a better understanding and collective responsibility, we can not only raise awareness but also put an end to this atrocious act.

Act now. Dive deeper into preventative strategies in our “Tools & Education” section and stand up against child trafficking in the USA!

EDITORS NOTE: This Veterans 4 Child Rescue column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Transgender Surgery Leaves People Lonelier, Depressed: Study by Transgender Surgery Dept. Chair

The head of a facility that carries out so-called “gender-affirming care” has published a study confirming that transgender surgeries do not improve mental health and make people feel lonelier than those who avoided surgical intervention altogether.

“In our study, the level of life satisfaction in transgender people was not increased in transgender people who had undergone gender-affirming surgery as compared to those who were unoperated,” says a study published Tuesday in BMC Public Health, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

“[O]ur data indicate that transgender and gender diverse people, who have undergone gender reassignment surgery feel lonelier” than transgender-identified people who have not elected to have surgery, finds a separate study by the same four researchers, originally published online May 11 in the journal Healthcare (Basel).

The researchers also reveal that people who identify as members of the opposite sex experienced greater isolation if they played sports. “[H]igher loneliness levels were significantly associated with … already having a gender reassignment surgery [and] more than 4 [hours] a week of sports activities,” as “compared to no sports activity.”

The German experts collected the data informing both studies from those seeking transgender surgery at a Hamburg surgical center. The respondents were “104 transgender people who had joined self-help groups to get and share information about the gender-affirming surgeries performed at the Division [Department] of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.” The facility carries out such common transgender procedures as “labiaplasty” and “breast augmentation,” as well as “other surgical services.”

One of the authors of both studies, Dr. Marco Blessmann, has chaired that university’s plastic surgery department since its creation in 2014.

Both studies also list co-author Katharina Grupp’s affiliation as a member of Blessmann’s plastic surgery department (although the university website refers to her as a member of another surgical department; Blessmann’s department states that it collaborates with other departments).

The most recent study finds that people who identify as transgender have lower overall life satisfaction than the general population — and young people suffering from gender dysphoria have worse mental health than older people. Blessmann, et. al., found 31% of transgender-identifying people felt “dissatisfied” or “extremely dissatisfied” with life, while 17% said they were “satisfied” and just one percent felt “extremely satisfied.” People who identify as transgender were 1,290% more likely to describe themselves as “extremely” dissatisfied” than “extremely satisfied” with their lives.

Additionally, “higher levels of life satisfaction were associated with higher age. Previously, authors described that transgender youth was associated with disproportionally high rates of depression, anxiety, suicidality, and non-suicidal self-injury.”

“Such factors are known to be associated with lower life satisfaction,” the authors write.

The latest study, released two days before the beginning of LGBTQ “Pride Month,” is sure to provoke conversation as states debate SAFE Acts to protect minors from the transgender industry and internet searches for such terms as “am I gay” and “am I trans” have increased 1,300% in 19 years, even in the most conservative states.

The latest conclusions come as no surprise to experts. “This finding is sadly consistent with other studies,” Mary Beth Waddell, director of Federal Affairs for Family and Religious Liberty at Family Research Council, told The Washington Stand. “One study showed that the suicide completion rate for those that had undergone surgery was 19 times higher than the general population.”

study taken in transgender-friendly Sweden concluded, “Persons with transsexualism, after sex reassignment, have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behaviour, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population.”

Despite those studies, members of the transgender surgery industry often insist children will commit suicide unless parents agree to submit their children to life-altering surgeries. “A common tactic was for doctors to tell the parent of a [girl], ‘You can either have a living son or a dead daughter,’” explained Jamie Reed, a far-Left LGBT activist and whistleblower who worked for four years at The Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Scientists have long known mental illness and gender dysphoria are correlated. “Clinical evidence suggests that schizophrenia occurs in patients with GID [gender identity disorder] at rates higher than in the general population and that patients with GID may have schizophrenia-like personality traits,” said a 2014 study. “Toxoplasma infection, reduced levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), early childhood adversity, and links with autism spectrum disorders, may account for some of this overlap.” A 2020 study found people who suffer from gender dysphoria are up to 636% more likely to have autism, as well.

“The only way individuals dealing with gender dysphoria will come to live happy, healthy, and authentic lives is by addressing the source of their dysphoria and pursuing healing,” Waddell told TWS. “Many of the individuals who identify as transgender do so because of trauma, abuse, adverse childhood experiences (which may or may not be traumatic), and other such reasons. Until these root issues are properly dealt with, these individuals will not be completely satisfied.”

Transgender-identified adolescents were more than twice as likely as to report childhood sexual abuse, 161% more likely to endure physical abuse, and 184% more likely to experience psychological abuse than their peers, according to researchers from the University of Pittsburgh. “Transgender adolescents (TGAs) exhibit disproportionate levels of mental health problems compared with cisgender adolescents (CGAs),” reported their 2021 study, published in the journal Pediatrics. “[R]esearchers should examine how more frequent experiences of abuse during childhood could contribute to disproportionate mental health problems observed within this population.”

The evidence shows the best thing parents can do for children questioning their biological identity is to prevent them from having permanently disfiguring surgeries or potentially sterilizing hormone injections. “Even the American Psychiatric Association, which supports gender identity ideology, acknowledges that a high percentage of children will desist from feelings of dysphoria if allowed to go through puberty naturally. This is why we need to pass legislation like the Protecting Children from Experimentation Act of 2023 and the End Taxpayer Funding of Gender Experimentation Act of 2023,” Waddell told TWS.

“Allowing children to go through the natural transitions of youth without interference allows them to come into their own and make wiser decisions about their future.”

AUTHOR

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘Leave them kids alone’, sang Pink Floyd in 1979. Now it’s: ‘We’ll convert your children’

Parents need to wake up to the possibility of LGBTQ+ indoctrination.


February 2023 is the month where the LGBTQ+ juggernaut ramped up its attempt to convert our children and to destroy any notion that heterosexuality has a God-given beauty.

Let’s start with WorldPride 2023.

In the run-up to the global fleshfest (and you’ll see why I chose that word as you read on), several stories have enraged local residents in Sydney, and rightfully so.

Public pornography

The first was the “gay bear mural” of a large hairy, naked man, dressed in bondage straps, with a teddy bear’s head smiling at onlookers. This was strategically positioned near to Wynyard, one of Sydney’s central city stations. This is hardly an image a healthy society would want little city kids to stare at on their way to school.

Someone took matters into their own hands and painted over the controversial gay pride mural, daubing over it with the words “leave the kids alone”. Of course, Australia’s leading gay newspaper denounced the defacers as “homophobic vandals”, and yet I have several gay friends who tell me they believe it was a wholly inappropriate image.

The next case was multiple identical images spread across the city of Sydney. Created by @Scottie.Marsh, they were a play on the angel wings mural street art now found in most cities. This one wasn’t heavenly focussed but was crudely called #dickwings. It was made up of 124 images of penises compacted together instead of feathers.

The distributors of this perverted image did not forget about the children. Oh, no. They were painted low enough for toddlers and children to pose in a rainbow of phallic symbols, a picture for the family photo album. Yes, the words “Man’s Best Friend” were placed alongside the lower mural so as to get distributors out of trouble, claiming it was meant only for animals at that height, but my Sydney friends speak of kids being pressured into being photographed by reckless adults — just “as fun” of course. Quietly and subtly, the kids are converted.

If this isn’t indoctrination, what is?

Impressionable targets

“Leave them kids alone”: this is exactly what LGBTQ+ activists don’t want to do. Minors are unquestionably their focus.

The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus told us this brazenly through their “Message from the Gay Community” in their video “We’ll convert your children” in 2021. If you never read their lyrics, then just some of them are as follows:

You think that we’ll corrupt your kids
If our agenda goes unchecked
Funny, just this once, you’re correct

We’ll convert your children
Happens bit by bit
Quietly and subtlely
And you will barely notice it

Just like you worriеd
They’ll change their group of friеnds
You won’t approve of where they go at night
Oh, and you’ll be disgusted
When they start finding things online
That you’ve kept far from their sight

We’ll convert your children
Reaching one and all
There’s really no escaping it

Pink Floyd had had us all screaming “Teacher, leave them kids alone” in their classic hit, “Another Brick in the Wall”. That was 1979. Unacceptable then — now it’s all but mandatory, and nowhere more visible than through the falsely-named ‘Safe Schools’ pro-LGBTQ+ material sown throughout many Australian students’ schooling years.

The never-ending LGBTQ+ propaganda machine, which operates on the three stages of desensitisation, jamming and conversion, is outlined in Paul Rondeau’s famous article, Selling Homosexuality to America. Its penultimate paragraph is:

“Gay rights is not about the attainment of truth nor social justice but the achievement of power. The battle centers on the control of public discourse through marketing and persuasion, to shape what society thinks about and how they think about it. Homosexual activists envision that a decision is ultimately made without society ever realizing that it has been purposely conditioned to arrive at a conclusion that it thinks is its own.”

Our kids are being indoctrinated online by videos from drag queens like Trixie Mattel and Katya. One of their hundreds of videos has nearly 7 million views. Its topic is “Straight People”. The drag queens say:

“… backpedalling to the true monsters — the heterosexuals”

“straight people are gross”

“I think of the oppression that we escape as gay people, and I think of straight people living it forever.”

Sometimes we hear the excuse that anything the LGBTQI+ community does and says is permissible: “Sorry, can’t help it — I’m gay!”. But public displays of perversion, intolerance, bigotry and hatred cannot be justified because of a minority’s sexual feelings. It appears that LGBTQI+ activists don’t know how not to be overtly sexual and how not to distribute and celebrate depravity.

Stifling choice

Anthony “Albo” Albanese prides himself on being the first Australian prime minister to march in Sydney’s Mardi Gras, claiming to news cameras, “Everyone should be respected for who they are and tonight’s a celebration of that, and it’s a great example of what an amazing country this is.”

Everyone should be respected, Albo? What about the disrespect shown to traumatised same-sex attracted or gender dysphoric citizens who want to pursue proven, life-giving therapy (and prayer) which has already been banned in one territory and two of Australia’s six states, with the remaining four states possibly on the way unless parents and concerned others speak up now?

These laws disrespect same-sex attracted and gender dysphoric people and cause them grave harm. They are already leading to greater mental anguish in the lives of those who can no longer access services which previously for some have made the difference between living life and existing on the brink of death.

I end with news coming out of the UK, which often experiences events that swiftly land on Australian soil.

Dr Bernard Randall, 50, a school chaplain, at a private Christian high school, Trent College, in Nottingham, has been sacked for defending the right of his students to question the new LGBT policies which were enforced upon them.

The school authorities decided that his sermon was harmful to pupils and secretly reported him to the anti-terrorism Prevent programme — which normally identifies those at risk of radicalisation. Then they fired him.

“We will appeal, so it takes up yet more of my life,” he said. “But it is only one battle in the war to preserve free speech and the liberal values which built our country.”

Disagreement with LGBTQ+ policies is terrorism? Every parent, grandparent, and safeguarder of children should be speaking up. I can assure that this Orwellian intolerance is on the way. As a former gay activist, I see WorldPride 2023 as a World Attack on Heterosexuality 2023. Australia has little to be proud of after hosting this event.

AUTHOR

James Parker

James Parker was a gay rights’ activist. He now facilitates True Identity, an informal network that supports those struggling with sexuality & gender identity issues. More by James Parker

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EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

The Number of Children Growing Up in Intact Families Is Rising

Amidst the negative news surrounding the state of marriage and the family in the U.S., a bright spot is beginning to emerge: the number of children being raised by their married mothers and fathers is slowly rising.

new analysis from Lyman Stone, a research fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, found that “[s]ince a low ebb around 2014, the share of kids living with their parents has actually risen by about 1.5 percentage points.” While the relatively low growth rate might seem inconsequential, it stands in stark contrast to the overall pattern of decline in stable American families over the last 50 years. From the early 1960s until around 2014, the share of children living in intact families steadily nosedived from 87% down to around 62%.

As Stone observes, there are a number of reasons behind the increase in stable households for children. Even though marriage rates are falling, so is divorce, which means that the marriages that are happening are more stable. On top of this, the rate of children born to married parents has remained stable. At the same time, writes Stone, “birth rates of unmarried women have fallen very rapidly” over the last 20 or so years. So despite falling fertility and marriage rates, “the children who are born are more likely to live with two married parents.”

This is good news for children, as an abundance of studies show that kids raised in an intact, two-parent household have vastly better life outcomes than their peers who are raised in single-parent households. One recent research brief found that children raised in intact homes are “more likely to be flourishing economically, educationally, and socially” with regard to child poverty, college graduation rates, and rates of incarceration than their counterparts in single parent homes.

In addition, a summary of the effect that family structure has on children noted that kids who grow up with their married mother and father are more often involved in community activities like sports and other extra-curricular activities, spend more time with their fathers, are 20 to 35% more physically healthy, score higher in cognitive tests like verbal reasoning, and are less likely to exhibit problematic behavior at school than their peers from non-intact families.

As family sociologist Brad Wilcox and other researchers have observed, there has been a notable recent challenge to the social scientific consensus on the benefits that intact families give children in outlets including The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Harvard Gazette, which argue that family structure has negligible consequences on children. But as Wilcox contended, these arguments ignore what the consensus in the sociology field has been for decades. “It is simply the truth that white and black children usually do better when raised by their own mother and father, compared to single-parent and stepfamilies,” he wrote.

According to Stone’s most recent analysis, this means that the future is looking a little bit brighter for America’s children. “All in all, the decline in intact families in America appears to have bottomed out for now,” he wrote. Stone also noted that not even a global pandemic could stop the rising trend of children growing up in intact families.

“Naturally, these trends could change in the future, but as of now, it appears that not only did COVID fail to undo the trend of rising intact families, it may have accelerated it for certain groups,” he pointed out.

AUTHOR

Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

The Real Problem with Greta Thunberg Is Not Her Age

Greta Thunberg first came into the public light in 2018 when she started a school strike on climate in front of the Swedish parliament.


March 15th saw enthusiastic worldwide school student protests inspired by passionate appeals from 16-year-old Swedish school girl-turned-global-leader Greta Thunberg. Thunberg first came into the public light last year when she started a school strike on climate in front of the Swedish parliament. She rose to worldwide fame in January when she addressed the audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Predictably, a lot of the reactions from those who are skeptical of climate change alarmism seem to focus on Thunberg’s age. Even Bjorn Lomborg seems to have alluded to her in his remark about how the predominant narrative about climate change makes children scared.

I disagree with this perspective. I believe that 16-year-olds have as much intellectual capacity as legal adults to understand the issues related to climate change and the potential measures that could be taken to mitigate it. However, if 16-year-olds desire to seriously contribute to important political debates, they should, like anyone else, do it without engaging in demagoguery and scaremongering.

It is here that Greta Thunberg—in spite of all her genuine sincerity and passion—has failed spectacularly and made the legions of her fans, as well as people who may face the consequences of the panicky measures she advocates, a great disservice.

To get a taste of the content of Thunberg’s preachings, let us consider her recent remarks to European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker:

We have to focus every inch of our being on climate change. Because if we fail to do so then all our achievements and progress have been for nothing. […] According to the IPCC report, we are about 11 years away from being in the position where we set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control. To avoid that, unprecedented changes in all aspects of society need to have taken place within this coming decade.

There is no place for nuance here, no trace of uncertainty, no appeal to actual facts or pragmatics of politics—only the demand for total commitment and sacrifice because the absolute urgency of our predicament is supposed to be self-evident since none other than IPCC purportedly said so.

I would wager that it would be pointless to ask Thunberg any serious questions about the actual science underlying the climate change issue—to ask her how much the Earth has warmed so far since 1979 compared to computer model predictions; that the bulk of the recent warming occurred during the El Niño stages of the ENSO climate oscillation; or whether she is aware that the doubling of CO2 can only in itself cause only about 1°C of warming and that to postulate alarmist scenarios one needs to postulate uncertain positive feedbacks, whereas, in reality, the net feedback may be zero or negative; that a lot more people die from cold temperatures than from hot ones and that it is not extreme cold temperatures that are the most deadly; that increased CO2 concentrations are good for plant life, and so on.

Let us focus on an easier issue and ask whether the latest IPCC report even in the (as usual) distorted summary for policymakers says anything remotely similar to Thunberg’s 11-years-left-till-Apocalypse-unless-we-act claim. Unsurprisingly, the summary—biased as it is in favor of alarm—says no such thing. Thunberg seems to be wildly misinterpreting the statement on page 6 of the summary that “global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 (till which date 11 years remain) and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate.” There is no implication in the summary that this extent of warming may cause catastrophic planetary consequences.

Even if we take what Thunberg claims about the inevitable impacts of an unaddressed climate change at face value, she does not appear to be cognizant that the only viable way of reducing CO2 emissions is switching to nuclear power. Writing for that famous den of climate change deniers, MIT Technology Review, last July, James Temple cited an estimate that if even California, with its abundant sunshine, were to switch to 100 percent renewables, that would make the price per megawatt-hour skyrocket to $1612.

Instead, we hear from her the usual platitudes that massive emissions reductions should be made immediately using renewable energy sources. Added to this are calls to abandon the focus on competition and focus on equity as if that clearly had anything to do with climate change or handling it.

We must also reflect on the fact that Thunberg is considered by many people to be a global hero. She has even been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. But is it really brave or enlightened to advocate a cause that has long enjoyed the status of conventional wisdom? To which one can only sadly hear widely disseminated public objections from the likes of President Trump, who is admittedly as clueless on the issue as the most religious alarmists are and who does not care about the outrage his remarks can cause?

It is sad if this is what is taken for Nobel-worthy heroism these days. Countless Venezuelans, for instance, risk their freedom, health, and lives every day, protesting against the Maduro regime that has lost any semblance of connection to reality and plunged the formerly richest country in Latin America into the literal darkness of the pre-industrial age. It is people like them who should be invited to global fora to tell their tale. Them, not a girl from one of the richest and most comfortable countries on Earth who is in too much of a panic because she cannot make herself actually read up on the actual science about climate change and the real state of the potential solutions.

The real problem with the climate change activist sensation Greta Thunberg is not that she is 16 years old. Rather, it is that she is a clueless fanatic who is considered brave and enlightened for promoting a cause that almost everyone agrees with without any study or reflection. And it is the duty of anyone who does not want clueless fanaticism to determine policies affecting billions to call it out as such.

This article is republished with permission from Medium.

AUTHOR

Daniil Gorbatenko

Daniil Gorbatenko is a free-market economist living in Aix-en-Provence, France. He obtained his PhD in economics from Aix-Marseille University in 2018.

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EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

$30K a year, and my kid can’t tell the difference between a boy and a girl

Parents must hold their local school systems accountable for what is taught to their children.


Everything has a price.

Like every American family, our family runs a constant cost/benefit analysis on our lives. There are the small decisions: is it worth the time to drive to Target for the cheaper diapers? Or should I just get the pricier ones at the grocery store? And there are the bigger ones: like, should I live in the suburbs and pay lower taxes but more for car expenses and gas? Or flip that decision?

For our family, one of the toughest decisions was where to send our kids to school. We could send them across the street to the poorly performing public school for free. They’d meet a wide variety of kids and learn some valuable self-advocacy skills, but they would not be academically challenged. For $30k, I could send them to the nearby private school, where they’d benefit from engaged teachers, kids, and families. We’d have to drop the music lessons and fancy trips, but hey — I don’t like Disneyland anyway.

So, with some scholarships, sacrifices, and family assistance, we made the choice to send our kids to a fancy private school. The benefits have been great: warm, caring, patient teachers; outstanding academics; beautiful buildings; even a pretty good lunch. But there’s been a hidden cost, beyond the incredibly painful tuition bills: my kids can’t tell the difference between a boy and a girl.

This seems shocking, I know. How can a concept so obvious, so instinctual that nearly every 2-year-old on the planet can master it, be an idea that my very expensively-educated children don’t understand?

Simple-minded educators

Because some teachers don’t understand it. Because some administrators don’t understand it. And this is where I have to remind myself of something true: half the world is dumber than average.

I know this sounds incredibly snobby. I know this sounds judgmental and awful, but this is true. And this fact helps me take a breath, find some compassion, and slow down.

These teachers are good people. They are kind. They like kids, and want the best for children. They believe that education can make the world a better place. And additionally, they were hired for their people skills: they are empathetic, good communicators, patient, and open-minded. Those are exactly the skills my tuition dollars are paying for.

But these teachers are not well-trained critical thinkers. They were not hired for their ability to analyse complex research studies, nor to follow the various paths of different complex scenarios. They are not philosophers, ethicists, or religious scholars. They are not lawyers or developmental psychologists. They are not endocrinologists or pediatricians. They are experts at connecting to kids and explaining the types of K-12 content that kids should learn. Thank god for teachers and their talents and skills. Our society needs them. But they are not the experts here. They are just trying to do their jobs.

So when faced with the concept of “gender identity” — the idea that “people have an innate feeling of being female or male,” the typical teacher will say “Sure — that makes sense. I’m female, I know it. That’s not a controversial idea.”

When faced with the diagnostic definition of “gender dysphoria”, the idea that “some people have great distress with their biological sex, and wish they were the opposite sex,” these teachers say, “Sure — I know about Jazz Jennings and Caitlyn Jenner. That’s a real thing.”

When faced with the fact of “Disorders of Sexual Development” (formerly known as Intersex conditions), the scientifically observed and natural phenomena of various biological sexual characteristics and markers, teachers say, “Yep — I learned about that once.”

And when urged to consider the negative impacts of the difficulty of being an outlier, and the impacts of social isolation and/or ostracism, the teachers say, “Not on my watch. My cousin was gay and poorly treated. I won’t let any of my kids be bullied or left out.”

So when teachers combine all these ideas and impressions and blend them into their natural “be nice” personalities and “open-minded” natures, they are primed to become believers and advocates of transgender ideology. If Johnny likes skirts and thinks he’s really a girl inside, who are we to judge? We really can’t blame the teachers. They were born this way.

So our society has laid yet another burden of expectation on teachers. They must educate kids, they must socialise kids, they must address and resolve the emotional and behavioural dysfunctions of these kids. And now they must be responsible for nurturing, protecting, and advocating for the “internal feeling of being female or male” for a kid, otherwise they’ll be held responsible for the kid’s ostracism.

This is nuts. These teachers don’t stand a chance.

To the top

So we can’t fight the teachers. We’ve got to get the administrators and school boards to stop, listen, and think. These people were hired to be critical thinkers, to balance different opinions, to consider the different consequences of different choices. They still aren’t likely to read the studies or think through the ethical or philosophical consequences of different complex scenarios, but they are primed to consider one thing above all: legal threats.

Right now, principals and school boards are hiding behind the guidelines that WPATH (an activist-led organisation), the American Psychological Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals have created. These organisations have good intentions, but they are also human and flawed (and remember — half their members are below average). Even the ACLU seems to have lost its mind on this topic.

I suggest American parents adopt the “Maya Forstater Approach.” This strategy, based on the case in England, relies on fundamental and constitutional American legal rights: free speech and free religion. I don’t care if you haven’t been to church ever. This is what you say to your school board:

“For scientific, religious, and social reasons, I do not believe that you can change your sex, and I do not want my children to be taught “gender identity”, the belief that you have a gendered soul, and that your gender soul feelings trump your biology. How is your school protecting my family’s religious beliefs and our right to be free from compelled speech?”

Ask your school’s principal this question every Fall. Send it as a statement to your kids’ teachers every fall. Tell them to inform you of any lesson on gender identity before it happens so that your children can have a substitute lesson. Ask them what their policy on requesting pronouns is, so that your child does not feel compelled to use certain speech. Ask them how they balance different opinions on this topic in the community.

I can guarantee you they do not see this as a religious issue, but as a social justice issue. Say the magic words “freedom of religion/freedom from religion” and “freedom of speech” and see if that works. We’ve got a long history of protecting underdogs in this country, and right now the culture glorifies the status of victim. Use this knowledge wisely.

And here’s the thing: this is going to cost you. Be ready. Do the cost/benefit analysis. Whether your kids are getting a free public education or an expensive private one, when you ruffle the feathers of the principal, the winds blow. Then again, if you remain silent, your kid may not understand that sex never changes. Be prepared. Everything has a cost.

This article has been republished from Parents with Inconvenient Truths about Trans (PITT).

BY

Anonymous author

In exceptional circumstances, MercatorNet allows contributors to publish articles anonymously. Sometimes the author’s privacy or safety might be at risk. More by Anonymous author.

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The LGBT Agenda is to Destroy America by Sterilizing Our Youth

Sterilizing American youth, the newest line of effort for destroying American people, culture and history.


BREAKING: DOJ sent a letter to all states THREATENING doctors who won’t chemically neuter or surgically castrate patients w/gender confusion.

America First Legal sued to stop HHS from carrying out this vile threat:

AFL Sues to block radical Biden edict forcing doctors to provide unethical transgender treatments, erasing biological sex from medicine

WASHINGTON, D.C. — America First Legal sued the Biden Administration on behalf of a class of doctors, seeking to prohibit the Department of Health and Human Services from forcing medical professionals to provide unethical transgender-related medical services.

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act prohibits “sex” discrimination in any health program or activity that receives federal funds. Three months ago, HHS announced that it will “interpret and enforce” section 1557 to prohibit: (1) “discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation”; and (2) “discrimination on the basis of gender identity.” But nothing in section 1557 prohibits discrimination on account of “sexual orientation” or “gender identity”—and nothing in this statute requires doctors and health-care providers to deny biological reality by providing “gender-affirming” healthcare.

HHS’s interpretation of section 1557 threatens every medical provider who refuses to bow to the demands of homosexual and transgender activists. It allows anyone to file a complaint against a doctor who refuses to provide services or referrals that violate his ethical or religious beliefs, and if HHS determines that doctor engaged in discrimination based on “sexual orientation” or “gender identity,” that doctor would face significant consequences—including fines, penalties, and lack of access to patients who use federally-backed insurance plans (such as Medicare and Medicaid).

AFL is proud to represent the class of doctors in this case to stop the Biden Administration from using the government as a cudgel to advance its radical anti-science, anti-medicine, and anti-religious-freedom agenda.

Statement From America First Legal President Stephen Miller:

“In perhaps no area is it more dangerous and destructive to erase biological sex than the field of healthcare. Treatment, medicine, pharmaceuticals, surgery, and other care must comport with biological reality and anatomy—or the results can be irreversibly damaging, even lethal. There is no plausible reading of this statute that would, or ever could, compel doctors to treat biological males as females or biological females as males. By any definition, this Biden edict is unlawful, unconstitutional, and medically unconscionable. This Orwellian decree denies science, denies medical reality, denies objective academic truth, and endangers patients, children, and the whole medical profession. If we wish to maintain our status as an advanced and civilized nation, then we must safeguard the medical profession from radical woke ideologies enforced through raw government power. Doctors must be free to follow their medical conscience and to follow the medical science. America First Legal will vigorously, passionately, and relentlessly fight this Biden edict in federal court—and we will fiercely defend the rights of medical professionals and the scientific integrity of medicine itself.

Read the full lawsuit here.

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CLICK HERE to read the PDF – 4 page DOJ letter.

EDITORS NOTE: This Vlad Tepes article by Eeyore. ©All rights reserved.

New Netflix Film Sexualizes Children

Video streaming giant Netflix is drawing criticism once again, this time for hosting and promoting the film “Cuties,” which sexualizes 11-year-old girls. Having failed to learn its lesson after the trailer generated outrage last month, Netflix has gone ahead and made the movie available on its platform, despite many critics describing it as “child pornography.”

Republican lawmakers took swift action. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wrote a letter to Attorney General Barr, calling for an investigation into whether Netflix broke any federal laws relating to child pornography. The letter states: “These scenes in and of themselves are harmful. And it is likely that the filming of this movie created even more explicit and abusive scenes, and that pedophiles across the world in the future will manipulate and imitate this film in abusive ways.”

Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) wrote a letter to the CEO of Netflix, demanding that he explain the company’s decision to publish this harmful content. He asked why the film was rated “TV-MA” for language with no mention of the sexual content, whether Netflix considered the psychological and emotional impacts from the sexualization of minors or the effect of the film on children, and why the company marketed the film so suggestively.

Netflix is deeply intertwined with the agenda of the sexual revolution. Just last year, Netflix threatened to boycott Georgia if a pro-life law went into effect. Legalized abortion perpetuates the myth that there are “no consequences” to engaging in sex outside of marriage, and it is often used by sexual abusers of children to cover up their crimes. By releasing the film “Cuties” to its viewers, Netflix is now actively participating in the sexual exploitation of minors.

Parents should be aware that Netflix may try to market the film to teens. A 2020 Report from the Parents Television Council found that over half of the content in categories for teens was rated “R” or “TV-MA.”

Parents have their work cut out for them if they want to protect their kids from the propaganda of the sexual revolution and its anti-Christian ideology. Even once-safe kids programs like ArthurSesame Street, and The Baby-Sitters Club are pushing LGBT propaganda, while public schools seek to sexualize children at increasingly earlier ages.

My family ended our financial support of Netflix’s immoral programming long ago, but many more are canceling their subscriptions now. A Change.org petition to cancel Netflix subscriptions in response to “Cuties” has earned over 650,000 signatures.

It’s clear that Netflix believes it is too large to be held accountable for its despicable content. But parents can and should send the company a clear message by refusing to sponsor the sexual exploitation of children.

EDITORS NOTE: This FRC-Action column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

School Choice Shines This Week

School choice was a policy star this week at the Republican National Convention. President Donald Trump capped off the week by stating his desire to “expand charter schools and provide school choice for every family in America” during his speech Thursday night, the final night of the convention.

A slate of speakers throughout the week made impassioned cases for school choice, including Rebecca Friedrichs, famous for bringing a legal challenge to the forced collection of union dues. Her effort resulted in the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of teacher freedom in the case of Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., also made powerful arguments for education freedom. Scott called a good education “the closest thing we have to magic in America… When a parent has a choice, a kid has a better chance.”

On Wednesday, Tera Myers, an Ohio mother who helped launch that state’s school choice program for children with special needs, spoke about how life-changing school choice had been for her son, who has Down’s syndrome.


How are socialists deluding a whole generation? Learn more now >>


The teachers’ unions were none too pleased. American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten tweeted in part, “Tonight we heard over and over about ‘school choice.’ This is their way [of] pushing to defund public ed.”

Her tweet begs the question: Why would giving parents a choice defund public education?Implicit in her tweet is the recognition that given an option, many parents would chose something other than their child’s assigned district school.

There are numerous policy changes Congress could make to advance school choice immediately, recognizing the particular urgency of the moment (most public schools across the country are still closed to in-person instruction). That includes:

1. Repurposing Existing Federal Programs

There are dozens of federal programs that are ineffective and inappropriate for Washington to manage. Instead of those dollars flowing to district public schools that are largely closed, Congress should redirect funding for those programs to families to use at an education option of choice.

There are many to choose from, including:

  • Supporting Effective Instruction (Title II, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act)—which would yield $2.13 billion per year for education choice.
  • Teacher and School Leader Incentives Fund (Title II, Part B)—$200 million per year.
  • Literacy for All (Title II, Part B)—$192 million per year.
  • Student Support and Academic Enrichment (Title IV, Part A)—$1.2 billion per year.
  • 21st Century Community Learning Centers (Title IV, Part B)—$1.2 billion per year.
  • Education Innovation and Research Grants (Title IV, Part F)—$190 million per year.

2. Allowing Portability of Title I and Individuals With Disabilities Education Act Dollars

To help students with special needs and children from low-income families, Congress should allow Title I dollars and funding from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to follow students to learning options of choice.

For example, public schools receive $13.5 billion annually in federal the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act funding for students with special needs, ages three to 21. Federal policymakers could do a better job of serving these students by allowing them and their parents to access micro-education savings accounts worth approximately $2,000 per year, carved out of those existing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act funds.

Similarly, the design of the federal Title I program for low-income students has become cumbersome and obsolete, with distributions today having little connection to district-level poverty. Congress should allow states to make their Title I dollars portable, following a child from a low-income family to a private school or education option of choice.

3. Creating School Choice for Populations That Congress Is Directly Responsible for Educating

Finally, for education purposes, specific populations of students fall under the jurisdiction of Congress. That include children from active duty military families, Native American students living on tribal lands, and children residing within the District of Columbia—a federal city. Congress should provide education options for these populations.

That includes providing education savings accounts to military-connected children, education savings accounts to Native American children living on tribal lands, and transforming the Washington, D.C., into an all-choice district through expansion of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.

States Should Lead Charge to Expand Education Choice

Most importantly, states should heed the call to advance education choice. COVID-19 has demonstrated how ill-prepared districts were to meet the needs of students when the pandemic hit. Six months later, most remain closed to in-person instruction, leaving children without access to their schools and friends.

It doesn’t have to be this way. American taxpayers spend more than $700 billion per year on K-12 education. If that money funded children directly instead of defaulting to a district school system, families could have maintained education continuity by directing dollars to learning options that were open, or to private tutors, learning pods, online education, micro-schools, and homeschooling co-ops. But the inflexible nature of the existing system precludes that.

States should be doing everything they can right now to provide emergency education savings accounts to families.

COMMENTARY BY

Lindsey M. Burke researches and writes on federal and state education issues as the Will Skillman fellow in education policy at The Heritage Foundation. Read her research. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE: ‘Nice White Parents’ Responsible for Failing Public Schools, New York Times Says


A Note for our Readers:

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For years, “Democratic Socialists” have been growing a crop of followers that include students and young professionals. America’s future will be in their hands.

How are socialists deluding a whole generation? One of their most effective arguments is that “democratic socialism” is working in Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Norway. They claim these countries are “proof” that socialism will work for America. But they’re wrong. And it’s easy to explain why.

Our friends at The Heritage Foundation just published a new guide that provides three irrefutable facts that debunks these myths. For a limited time, they’re offering it to readers of The Daily Signal for free.

Get your free copy of “Why Democratic Socialists Can’t Legitimately Claim Sweden and Denmark as Success Stories” today and equip yourself with the facts you need to debunk these myths once and for all.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

#FreeSpeechBus Tour Successful, Reveals Violence and Hate of LGBT Extremists

LGBT extremists did everything in their power to prevent us from completing the #FreeSpeechBus tour to promote a national conversation on the biological nature of gender – including engaging in violence, property damage and acts of intolerance, as well as coordinating with anarchist groups – but I’m pleased to say that we overcame them and completed the tour this morning in Washington, DC.

NOM joined with CitizenGO and the International Organization for the Family (IOF) to sponsor the tour as a way of provoking a national discussion about the biological truth of gender and to hit “pause” on the headlong push by the left to redefine gender based on “identity” and “feelings.” Throughout the tour we encountered the ugly side of the LGBT movement, which repeatedly engaged in violence and assault, and inflicted substantial property damage, in a failed effort to derail the bus tour.

Shockingly, we also discovered the deep coordination that exists between Democratic politicians, LGBT groups and extremists, including anarchists who are bent on destroying civil society.

As you may remember, within hours of launching the tour, the bus was attacked by two LGBT activists while parked near the United Nations in New York City. They assaulted the African American bus driver and destroyed several of the bus’s windows with a hammer, while also using graffiti to cover the bus with militant “trans liberation” messages. After repairs, the bus continued the tour to Boston, New Haven, Philadelphia, and concluded in Washington, DC. Along the way, it was frequently met by an angry mob of LGBT extremists and anarchists.

One of the major developments uncovered by the tour was how closely prominent Democratic politicians are in coordinating with LGBT extremists and their active participation in promoting activities that result in violence and hate.

In Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney’s office was deeply involved in organizing the violent demonstrations against us, which were attended by anarchist groups that are closely watched by the FBI. The mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs proudly referred to themselves as ‘an accomplice’ in organizing protests which turned violent, with attacks on the bus and on police officers by gay activists and anarchists. At least one of them was arrested and we were prevented from speaking, an act of intolerant bullying the Mayor’s office takes pride in. Meanwhile, while we were being prevented from engaging in a discussion with these protestors, the mayors of both Philadelphia and Boston ordered LGBT/transgendered flags to be flown at City Hall.

What we encountered throughout the bus tour was a sustained, violent, coordinated attack designed to shut us down and force us to just go away. They failed to stop the tour or silence us, and, ironically, in the process made our very point that they don’t want to debate the issues and instead will use force and political power to silence Christians and all Americans who understand that biology determines gender.

Sadly, this kind of behavior is not limited to public demonstrations such as promoting our bus tour. Average Americans are routinely subjected to acts of intolerance whenever they speak up in defense of the obvious truth that gender is determined by biology and that nobody can change their gender.

The #FreeSpeechBus tour demonstrated in clear and stark terms why it is essential for Congress to move forward immediately to pass the First Amendment Defense Act, legislation which would prevent the federal government from discriminating against people of faith based on their views of gender, marriage and similar matters. No American should be subjected to discrimination or harassment by the government simply for standing by their deeply held beliefs about marriage, gender and human sexuality.

NOM will continue to work to counter the dangerous gender ideology of the left, and stand for the truth that we were all created male or female, and that gender is based on biology, not “identity” or emotions.

Faithfully,

Brian S Brown

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EDITORS NOTE: The #FreeSpeechBus tour was a taxing and expensive undertaking. Readers may make a financial contribution to help NOM recoup and replenish their resources.