AMAZE was recently brought to my attention from a Twitter thread by Chris Elston. In the thread, Chris describes in detail a 30-minute audio recording made in a 7th grade (kids aged ~12) classroom on the topic of gender.
In that recording, following a muddled discussion about pronouns and sex “assignment,” the children were made to watch a video. A Twitter user pointed out that the video is from an organization called AMAZE, which describes its mission thusly:
AMAZE harnesses the power of digital media to provide young adolescents around the globe with medically accurate, age-appropriate, affirming, and honest sex education they can access directly online—regardless of where they live or what school they attend.
AMAZE also strives to assist adults—parents, guardians, educators and health care providers around the globe—to communicate effectively and honestly about sex and sexuality with the children and adolescents in their lives.
They are also creating “Toolkits, lesson plans, promotional materials and other resources to help educators and health care providers refer students and young patients to AMAZE as an available, free and fun resource to learn about sex and sexuality.” Their YouTube channel currently boasts 177K subscribers and, as the 30-minute recording reveals, their materials are actively making their way into children’s classrooms. This is all to say that their reach is not insignificant.
After watching the video described in the recording, I explored the AMAZE YouTube channel and was shocked at some of the content, which I will share with you.
The first video is the one from the recording about gender identity. Please watch it (below). I have also provided a transcript for reference.
Video 1: Range of Gender Identities
MOM: All right, folks, here we go. A Romaine and kale salad with avocado, cucumber, shishito peppers, and four kinds of cheese. Sprinkled in balsamic straight from Italy.
UNCLE JAY: Wow! In my day, salads only had two ingredients, a rock hard wedge of iceberg lettuce and a stinky old dried up tomato.
DAUGHTER: Sorry, guys, I'm going to have to eat fast. Alex is stopping by in a few minutes to work on a robotics project.
UNCLE JAY: Alex, is that the girl with that weird dog or the boy with the hat with the wings that flap?
DAUGHTER: No, Uncle Jay, this is Alex.
UNCLE JAY: Oh, OK. I remember. A very nice young, hmm. Come to think of it, well, is Alex a boy or a girl?
DAUGHTER: Actually, Alex doesn't define themselves as boy or girl.
UNCLE JAY: What else is there?
SON: Back in your day, most people understood the world in terms of just boys and girls. But now, we know gender is more complex than that.
UNCLE JAY: Wait. Aren't we just talking about whether you're born with a hoo-hoo or a hee-hee?
DAUGHTER: When you're born, your sex is assigned in a medical way. But the sex listed on your birth certificate may not necessarily match your gender identity.
SON: Gender identity is a person's inner experience of who they are in terms of gender. Their deep personal sense of being male, female, a blend of both, or neither.
DAUGHTER: And while many people have a gender identity that's the same as their assigned birth sex, a female or male, that's not always the case because gender exists on a spectrum. Like transgender, which means a person whose gender identity is not consistent with their assigned birth sex. Non-binary, which means a person whose identity doesn't fall in the category of either male or female. And genderqueer or genderfluid, which means a person who does not identify themselves as having a specific gender at all.
UNCLE JAY: Does gender identity have to do with being straight or gay?
SON: Actually, no. Gender identity has to do with the way you feel about yourself. While sexual orientation is based on the way you feel toward others, the people you may or may not be attracted to.
UNCLE JAY: You know I really like Alex. And I can tell they're a good friend to you. But I'm still pretty confused about all of this.
MOM: That's OK. You don't have to fully understand someone to respect them. To start, try not to make any assumptions about a person's gender. And use the name and pronouns that they ask you to. Above all, be a friend or ally for people of all gender identities.
DAUGHTER: That's right, mom. Alex is here. Come on in.
ALEX: Hey, everyone.
UNCLE JAY: Oh, hey, Alex. Care for some salad? The balsamic's right from Italy, you know.
This video expresses something that I and others have been pointing out for a long time: gender ideology is defining what it means to be a boy or a girl based on sex-related stereotypes of masculinity and femininity. For instance, they define someone who is transgender as “a person whose gender identity is not consistent with their assigned birth sex,” and non-binary as “a person whose identity doesn’t fall in the category of either male or female.” But what does it mean for one’s identity to not be “consistent with” their sex? This is not stated. It is merely a feeling.
In 2019 I co-authored an article in Quillette titled “No One Is Born in ‘The Wrong Body,” that argued:
In most cases, the thing that is now called “gender identity” likely is simply an individual’s perception of how their own sex-related and environmentally influenced personality compares to same and opposite sexed people. Put another way, it’s a self-assessment of one’s stereotypical degree of “masculinity” or “femininity,” and it’s wrongly being conflated with biological sex. This conflation stems from a cultural failure to understand the broad distribution of personalities and preferences within sexes and the overlap between sexes.
When a girl reports that she “feels like a boy” or “is a boy,” that sentiment may reflect her perception of how her personality and preferences compare to the rest of her peers. If the girl has an autism spectrum condition, she may even perceive “sex-atypical” behavior that does not actually exist, and thereby falsely self-diagnose as male even without experiencing any actual male personality traits.
The complete avoidance of activist organizations like AMAZE to draw a sharp distinction between biological sex and gender identity is surely causing more confusion than clarity. In one sentence the above video appears to draw a distinction between sex and gender when they state, “When you’re born, your sex is assigned in a medical way. But the sex listed on your birth certificate may not necessarily match your gender identity.” Note how they never describe sex as a biological reality, but instead refer to sex as something “assigned” or simply “listed on your birth certificate.”
The video then circularly defines gender as “a person's inner experience of who they are in terms of gender. Their deep personal sense of being male, female, a blend of both, or neither.” But “male” and “female” are not identities, they are biological sexes that are wholly independent of identity. This needs to be made absolutely clear for children, because confusion about the relationship between their innate personalities, preferences, and behaviors to their sex may cause gender nonconforming children to believe that they are perhaps “born in the wrong body” and need to medically transition.
The next video from AMAZE is called “What Is Transgender?” and further demonstrates the complete conflation of biological sex, gender as a societal role and expectation, and gender identity.
What Is Transgender?
What is transgender? Well, when you’re born, the adults in your life decide your gender identity based on two particular features: There’s a penis—it’s a boy! Vulva—it’s a girl! And if someone is trans their gender identity doesn’t match what society says, so they can feel that they’re a boy when society is saying that they’re a girl, or the other way around. Or you can also not identify with any gender at all. So what’s important is to remember that transgender people are worthy of love, safety, and respect, just like everyone else.
This is a very confused video that forwards the bizarre notion that doctors are prescribing “gender identities” on infants instead of simply observing and recording their sex. “Boy” and “girl” just refer to a non-adult male or female child, respectively.
This definition of transgender also conflates “gender” defined as the social roles and expectations society places on individuals based on their perceived sex, with gender identity. If a child is gender nonconforming and bullied because of it (society enforcing gender roles), this video suggests that their gender identity doesn’t match their sex, i.e. they’re transgender.
As you’ll see in the next video, this depiction of transgender may cause them to pursue interventions such as puberty blockers, which are falsely portrayed as a pause button that simply allow children to buy more time to think about their identities and transitioning.
Puberty and Transgender Youth
Transcript (my emphasis):
A person who is transgender is someone whose internal sense of their gender—being a boy, girl, or something else—doesn't match their physical body. People who feel this way sometimes feel anxious when they begin to reach puberty and their body starts to change in ways that don't match their internal sense of their gender. These feelings are totally normal. If you feel you want more time to explore how you feel about your gender before your body starts to change, it's important to talk with a parent, counselor, therapist, or doctor about the feelings you have regarding your gender. After some discussion and counseling, you may be referred to an endocrinologist. Endocrinologists specialize in hormones, and they're the most likely to prescribe puberty blockers for someone who wants them.
Puberty blockers are medications that will stop your body from changing. They're usually given as an injection or an implant. They block the production of hormones to stop or delay the physical changes of puberty. The effects of the medication are only temporary, so if a person stops using puberty blockers, the physical changes of puberty will begin again. Whether you identify as male, female, genderqueer, or something else, you're perfectly normal. And there are lots of ways to manage puberty so that it can be a fun, exciting time rather than a scary or stressful one.
Again, this “internal sense of their gender” is likely interpreted by children as their own perception of how her personality and preferences compare to the rest of their peers in terms of masculinity and femininity, which is wrongfully being conflated with one’s “true” sex.
This video then suggests that this confusion (which is likely a direct result of how the ideology talks about sex and gender) may be a sign that a child is trans, and that they can “talk with a parent, counselor, therapist, or doctor” about these feelings and obtain puberty blockers if they “want more time to explore how [they] feel about [their] gender before [their] body starts to change.” They also describe the effects of puberty blockers as “only temporary” despite the long term effects of puberty blockers being entirely unknown.
Indeed, the UK’s National Heath Service (NHS) now accurately reports the current state of the research on puberty blockers:
Little is known about the long-term side effects of hormone or puberty blockers in children with gender dysphoria.
Although GIDS advises this is a physically reversible treatment if stopped, it is not known what the psychological effects may be.
It's also not known whether hormone blockers affect the development of the teenage brain or children's bones. Side effects may also include hot flushes, fatigue and mood alterations.
We should all be very concerned that organizations like AMAZE have made their way into our children’s classrooms. Despite claiming their videos are “medically accurate” and “honest,” this is far from the truth. In reality, these videos are highly ideological and are likely making children incredibly confused about sex, gender, and sexuality.
If you are aware of this material being taught in your child’s class, please contact the school and voice your concerns.
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