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The Social Contagion

My little brother, who is now a grown adult, has extreme trust issues and it's my father's and my fault. Let me explain. When my brother was little, he would ask questions and my father would make up some wild insane story, that was not true, as the answers. For example, you know the indentation that you have just above your lip and below your nose? My brother asked where that came from...He's probably 7 or 8 years old..My father looks at him, STONE COLD, and starts demonstrating the machine that they put on your head after you're born and the device that comes down and slices your lips open so that you can breathe outside of the womb..That indentation is the place where the device rests on your face as it cuts your lips open. The man doesn't flinch, he doesn't laugh and my brother believes him......FOR YEARS....It wasn't until MUCH later in life that my brother discovered there was no such machine. He was so angry with my dad. I'm crying laughing re-telling this story, by-the-way.

Another funny story was when my brother believed that my father and I could speak Chinese to one another. We would make arbitrary noises to one another, that meant absolutely nothing, but we would both pretend that we knew what the other was saying and my brother would get ENRAGED because he couldn't understand us. He begged over and over and over again to have the tapes so he could learn, too. He's probably 10 or 11 when we did this and he was probably 14 or 15 years old before he realized that we couldn't speak Chinese. While this may seem awful in today's world of parenting, he always eventually learned the truth, but my father had an....unorthodox way of teaching us to critically think and not trust everything you see, are told or read. Try telling my brother something even remotely close to unbelievable, now, and let me know how that works out for you. LOL

You're probably wondering why I started this with these two stories. It's to illustrate the fact that children are impressionable. They are malleable and gullible. They have very little life experience to reference when encountering new concepts and they rely on the adults close to them to guide them and teach them. As a parent, one must let their children fail. They need to struggle. They need to feel and experience disappointment, even failure. Negative experiences and emotions are learning opportunities. When those moments occur, it's an opportunity for children to learn adequate and appropriate coping mechanisms. Somewhere along the way, parents began shielding their children from these things. It was like a collective *woosh woosh* from the helicopter parenting movement drowned out the clank of the latch key kids. Participation trophies were introduced, equity and affirmation became token talking points, medication replaced discipline and electronic devices and digital media became the parent.

The children who were raised on needing constant validation have entered the work force. They occupy positions like parents, pediatricians, therapists, social workers and teachers. They are now projecting their inability to cope onto the impressionable children they interact with. As a disclaimer, I am not saying that every person in these professions/roles are like this. It does appear, though, that many of them chose these roles in society to "help" children. This brings me to my next point....Help.

If my daughter decided she was overweight and stopped eating, she would be diagnosed with a feeding and eating disorder, likely anorexia nervosa, per the "Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition aka DSM-5. Following diagnosis, she would receive a treatment plan. That treatment plan would not reinforce the disorder. Doctors would not look at my daughter and say, you know what? If this is how you feel, we will support you. We will affirm your decision to consume 200 calories a day because you are 10 and you know what is best for yourself. You believe that your stomach is too fat? We understand how you feel, we'll perform reconstructive surgery until it looks the way you want it to.

Likewise, gender dysphoria is also a mental health disorder on the DSM-5. For some reason, though, the "treatment" plan is affirmation of the disorder in the form of medications like puberty blockers, gender reassignment surgeries that include all manner of irreversible damage to the body (mental and physical). Another disclaimer, here, if you are a grown adult and you choose to live your life as an anorexic, schizophrenic or different gender I am not speaking about how you are living your life. The question I am posing that I believe needs to be heavily investigated is why are grown adults and licensed professionals not only affirming mental health disorders in children, but introducing them and encouraging them? Social contagion is defined as an omnipresent process by which information, such as attitudes, emotions, or behaviors, are rapidly spread throughout a group without rational thought and reason. Usually this process is pretty harmless, such as people following fads (hello 80's bangs), trends (parachute pants called and MC Hammer would like them back), or rituals. They are not necessarily dangerous, but when social contagion leads to harming individuals, as in clusters of violence or self-harm, it is a concern for public and mental health. As mentioned above, eating disorders, cutting behavior, and suicide are affected by social contagion processes and are prime examples of the possible harmful effects of social contagion. Gender dysphoria isn't being treated this way, as a matter of fact, studies and organizations are going out of their way to say that this is NOT social contagion. (Just type social contagion into google and look at what results you get.) According to the DSM-5 the rate of gender dysphoria is .005% - .014% for males and .002% - .003% for females. However, according to a recent report released by Reuters, in 2021 42,167 children *on MEDICAID* between the ages 6-17 were diagnosed with gender dysphoria, this is nearly triple the number of 15,172 diagnoses just 3 years prior in 2017. Now I know...You're thinking....Well, the population probably increased...More people would mean more diagnoses. I would tend to agree with you if the birth rates in the United States hadn't been plummeting over the past five decades. Between 1976 and 2018 the mean number of children born per woman declined from three to two. Not to mention, these numbers only reflect Medicaid patients; it excludes private healthcare patients. As if that statistic isn't alarming enough, during the same time frame, 4,780 children were placed on puberty blockers which suppress sex hormones and stop the onset of secondary sex characteristics such as breast development and menstruation in females and inhibit the development of a deeper voice and Adam's apple growth, facial and body hair and limit the growth of genitalia in males. 14,726 minors started hormone "therapy." After suppressing puberty females will take testosterone and males will take estrogen to promote the development of what they call "secondary sex characteristics." Some of the side effects of these drugs include females experiencing fat redistributed from their thighs and hips to their stomach, arms and legs appearing more muscular, the brow and jawline more pronounced and their body hair may course and thicken. For males, their body hair can soften and thin, fat is redistributed from the abdomen to their butt and thighs, their testicles can shrink and their sex drive will diminish. Notably, some of these changes are permanent and can leave the adolescent infertile, especially coupled with the puberty blockers. MOST NOTABLE, the experts say, that and other side effects are not well-studied. But by all means.....We should continue affirming in lieu of treating. In addition to these methods, 776 children on Medicaid between the ages of 13-17 had a mastectomy between 2019 and 2021. You, me, and everyone else who pays taxes are funding experiments on and mutilation of children through government sponsored healthcare. Josef Mengele would be proud.

In addition to the egregious medical community decisions being made for these children, the larger, looming issue is the parents of these children. Your job when you give birth to a child is to protect them, nurture them and teach them to be productive individuals in society. They are not your friend. They are not a commodity to display and exploit like the latest Fendi purse. They are not a rung on the ladder of social status for you to put your foot on as you climb your way to perceived virtue. If I want to take my 10yo daughter to an all male review like Magic Mike (I don't and would never) that would be illegal and the club would likely call CPS on me for even thinking about showing up with her. On the contrary, if I want to take her AND my 3yo son to a drag show where men theatrically pretending to be women in scantily clad clothing dance and gyrate provocatively, not only would it be acceptable and encouraged to take them, it would be funny and TikTok worthy to put dollar bills in their hands to slip in the g-strings of the performers. If my daughter's gymnastics team has a male that wants to compete as a female, I'm supposed to shut my mouth and be okay with it because the social contagion suggests that I reinforce and affirm a male's mental health disorder at the expense of her entire team. And before you come at me with a suggestion that there is "no evidence that a male pretending to be a female has a physical advantage" I ask that you present me with all the females who are now competing in male sports and dominating them at the highest level. You won't be able to because it isn't happening. Tampon commercials are using men for advertising, a man was given the International Women Award, makeup companies like Ulta and Sephora are using men to market their latest palettes and men like Dylan Mulvaney who was a male for 25 years has been made famous to the point of interviewing the President and has a clothing line of "Days of Girlhood" for his 1 year journey of being a female. I understand and acknowledge that there are people who suffer from gender dysphoria where they feel that they were born in the wrong body. When they are adults and have gone through puberty and have the life experience and mental fortitude to understand the decisions they are making and the long term ramifications of those decisions, then that is their decision to make. But the continual effort to influence, manipulate, mutilate and sexualize children is disgusting, appalling and abusive.

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