American College of Pediatricians: Sex Differences are Necessary for Health and Equality
2 March 2021
Quentin Van Meter, MD, FCP, President
In the midst of modern culture’s infatuation with gender ideology, the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) is concerned that the field of medicine and society at large are coming close to denying the reality of biological sex. ACPeds explains the danger of erasing biological sex in its position paper “Sex is a Biological Variable of Medical Significance” released today.
ACPeds Vice President and co-author Dr. Michael Artigues stated, “Biological sex differences are real and impact all organ systems. They affect the tendency to develop certain diseases, alter responses to drugs, toxins and pain, and also result in important physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral differences between the two sexes.” For these reasons, the NIH recognizes sex as a binary biological variable in research and medical practice.
Acknowledging the fact of inborn genetic sex differences is also crucial for creating sound public policy. Genetics is why a male who self-identifies as female remains male, and explains why giving estrogen to a male does not transform him into a female. While it is true that a male using estrogen will lose muscle strength and impair other aspects of his physiology, he does not alter his genetics; he remains male at the cellular level in all body systems. Similarly, a female who self-identifies as male remains female, and giving her testosterone does not transform her into a male. In terms of genetics, she remains female at the cellular level.
Dr. Michelle Cretella, executive director of the ACPeds and co-author of the statement explained, “Females, who self-identify as male, including those on testosterone, remain genetically female and should not be housed with males in homeless shelters or prisons, nor should they be competing against males in sports. Males, who self-identify as female, including those on estrogen, remain genetically male and have no objective reason -- let alone a right -- to be housed with or competing against females. Just as a female doping testosterone would be prohibited from competing against other females, so too should all males be barred from competing against females.”
The paper makes the important point that people with disorders of sex development (DSD), more commonly referred to as intersex conditions, represent males and females with congenital disorders affecting the external genitalia and/or the reproductive organs among other systems. These rare DSD conditions are frequently associated with reduced fertility reflecting the fact that they are biological disorders not additional sexes. Individuals with gender dysphoria are separate from people with DSD conditions and yet self-identify as something other than their biological sex. Individuals with DSDs may require medical and/or policy accommodations depending upon their specific diagnosis.
The scientific bottom line is that acknowledging the innate differences between males and females in health care and public policy is critical to ensuring the health and safety of children and adults alike.
Read the statement: Sex is a Biological Trait of Medical Significance
About the American College of Pediatricians
The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) is a national medical association of licensed physicians and healthcare professionals who specialize in the care of infants, children, and adolescents. It was founded by a group of concerned physicians who saw the need for a pediatric organization that would not be influenced by the politically driven pronouncements of the day. The mission of the ACPeds is to enable all children to reach their optimal physical and emotional health and well-being. The ACPeds is committed to fulfilling its mission by producing sound policy, based upon the best available research, to assist parents and to influence society in the endeavor of childrearing.