To the Editor:

This is an open letter to the Oxford Hills School Board and the concerned citizens who attended the open forum Board meeting at the high school on Tuesday, November 1 regarding the Board’s proposed gender policy.

It was abundantly clear that the vast majority of the attendees were strongly opposed to the Board’s proposed gender policy. I doubt very much that the Board’s proposal would have even a remote chance of passing were it brought to a public referendum vote.

Rather than offering subjectivity, as a medical doctor, I come to this subject from a position of objectively defensible science. In the practice of medicine, we are called to compassionately balance subjectivity and objectivity, with objectivity, by necessity, ultimately winning. Since the dawn of human history, both medical science and simple common sense have recognized this most basic of truths: you are genetically either male or you are female.

One’s birth gender is about as objective as objective can be. Genetic males get male diseases. Genetic females get female diseases. Whatever an individual may think their gender to be should never cause a doctor to compromise medical assessments. Medical science has always recognized that gender dysphoria (or gender identity disorder) is clearly a psychological disorder. To label it as “normal” or a legitimate “choice” is either misinformed, the result of societal brainwashing or an outright lie.

Undoubtedly, there are wide disparities in sexual preferences among the population; one may be attracted to males or females or both, but the creature behind those preferences can only be either male or female. Sexual attraction preference is not the issue here. This is about society attempting to re-define gender itself. I do not stand in judgement of lesbians, gays or bisexuals, but the rest of the alphabet soup is wholly without merit.


Adolescence is already a time of very difficult adjustments to the hormonal changes taking place within the body. The last thing kids need at this tumultuous time in their lives is ambiguity. The human brain’s frontal lobes are not fully developed until around 25-26 years old. Why is this important? Because the frontal lobes are the seat of our emotions, our personalities, rational reasoning, and the governor of our behavioral choices. This is not an issue for which children are yet equipped.

I have seen multiple young people in my medical practice who suffer from gender identity issues and every single one has had underlying, pre-existing, psychological diagnoses, most typically untreated severe anxiety disorder and/or depression. They have the highest rates of suicide attempts of any youth demographic, ranging from 32-50% in various NIH studies. Virtually all have a history of self-harming behaviors.

Gender identity confusion is a psychological illness that deserves our compassion, but not normalization. Afflicted children deserve compassionate psychological care, but the general population of children in our society must not be taught that they have a “choice” in their gender. The Board’s proposal may be well-intended, but it is still promoting an abnormality as a condition for us to accept as normal. This is a monumental social experiment that is doomed to fail.

Advising children on issues of sexuality is not the role of a school system. These are minors who are wards of the parents, not wards of the school. This School Board and the teachers in this school system have neither the qualifications nor, more importantly, the right to offer advice or to make parental decisions for our children on this issue. Yes, we all know that a minority of students have abusive parents, however, we already have DHHS/Child Protective Services to address that tragedy.

Imposing this agenda on those who disagree is the very antithesis of freedom. For the Board to push this agenda on the citizenry is an infringement on the views of the vast majority to accommodate a very small minority.

Finally, the public has a right to know which Board members vote in favor of this policy. At the next election they will discover that their choices have consequences.

Alan C. Bean, MD


Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: