By Kathleen Gilbert
GAINESVILLE, Florida, April 6, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The American College of Pediatricians has cautioned educators about the management of students experiencing same-sex attraction or exhibiting symptoms of gender confusion, saying that a pro-homosexuality attitude could disrupt a natural uncertainty in youth for the worse.
“As pediatricians, our primary interest is in the health and well-being of children and youth,” Dr. Den Trumbull, Vice President of the College explains. “We are increasingly concerned that in too many instances, misinformation or incorrect assumptions are guiding well-intentioned educators to adopt policies that are actually harmful to those youth dealing with sexual confusion.”
These concerns are outlined in a letter and fact sheet sent by College president Thomas Benton, MD, to all 14,800 school district superintendents in the U.S.
Dr. Benton also alerts them to a new web resource, FactsAboutYouth.com, which was created by a coalition of health professionals to provide factual information to educators, parents, and students about sexual development.
The College reminded school superintendents that it is not uncommon for adolescents to experience transient confusion about their sexual orientation, and that most students will ultimately adopt a heterosexual orientation if not otherwise encouraged. For this reason, the doctors warned that schools should not seek to develop policy which “affirms” or encourages these non-heterosexual attractions among students who may merely be experimenting or experiencing temporary sexual confusion.
Such premature labeling, they said, can lead some adolescents to engage in homosexual behaviors that carry serious physical and mental health risks.
Because there is no scientific evidence that anyone is born gay or transgendered, the College noted, schools should not teach or imply to students that homosexual attraction is innate, always life-long and unchangeable. Research has shown that therapy to restore heterosexual attraction can be effective for many people.
Family Watch International, a pro-family advocacy group, backed the pediatricians' letter and urged parents to spread the crucial information.
"While the ACP can lay out the facts to educators, it is up to parents and other concerned individuals to now follow up with them," wrote FWI president Sharon Slater in an email to constituents. "We must make sure schools do not simply ignore the facts for such reasons of personal bias or political correctness."
Arthur Goldberg, a board certified counselor and expert on assisting individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction, told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) that, "Unfortunately prior to the American College of Pediatricians' (ACOP) effort to develop the new web site www.FactsAboutYouth.com and the factual material they sent to school district superintendents, hundreds of false and misleading books, pamphlets, films, and other materials were absorbed - with our taxpayer dollars - into America's public school systems."
Goldberg cited as one example a pamphlet distributed in 2008 by the National Education Association and the American Psychological Association entitled "Just the Facts," which he says was "issued for the distinct purpose of radically impacting how schools dealt with the sexual consciousness and behavior of school age children." The booklet discourages discussion of therapy to change same-sex attraction, and upholds homosexuality as a "normal expression of human sexuality."
Contrary to the booklet's claims that homosexuality is unchangeable, said Goldberg, "there is clear and convincing evidence that many factors can lead an adolescent into homosexual behavior - including curiosity, a feeling of not fitting in, the experience of earlier molestation, and a desire for attention or a sense of belonging. Teen years often serve as a transitional phase when affectional, emotional and identification needs can be too easily sexualized."
"Because the premature gay self-labeling that is encouraged by 'Just the Facts' and other such material presents major public health risks, ACOP, as a medical organization dedicating to best practices in child-rearing, has performed a major public service by making their material available to school administrators, students and their parents," he said.
For more information, including printable factsheets on the dangers of encouraging homosexuality in children, visit FactsAboutYouth.com.