How the transgender campaign produces large-scale child abuse

Summary: Now that rights for gays are becoming established, its time to begin the next slide down the slippery slope — encouraging gender changes. Even encouraging young children (even 4 to 7) to transgender. Here a senior doctor briefs us about this campaign of the Left. (Imagine how quickly this would be moving if Hillary had won.)

Doctor and Little Girl

I’m a Pediatrician.
How Transgender Ideology Has Infiltrated My Field
and Produced Large-Scale Child Abuse

By Dr. Michelle Cretella at the Daily Signal, 3 July 2017
Reposted under their copyright terms.

Transgender politics have taken Americans by surprise,
and caught some lawmakers off guard.

Just a few short years ago, not many could have imagined a high-profile showdown over transgender men and women’s access to single-sex bathrooms in North Carolina. But transgender ideology is not just infecting our laws. It is intruding into the lives of the most innocent among us — children — and with the apparent growing support of the professional medical community.

As explained in my 2016 peer reviewed article, “Gender Dysphoria in Children and Suppression of Debate,” professionals who dare to question the unscientific party line of supporting gender transition therapy will find themselves maligned and out of a job.

I speak as someone intimately familiar with the pediatric and behavioral health communities and their practices. I am a mother of four who served 17 years as a board certified general pediatrician with a focus in child behavioral health prior to leaving clinical practice in 2012. For the last 12 years, I have been a board member and researcher for the American College of Pediatricians, and for the last three years I have served as its president.

I also sat on the board of directors for the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity from 2010 to 2015. This organization of physicians and mental health professionals defends the right of patients to receive psychotherapy for sexual identity conflicts that is in line with their deeply held values based upon science and medical ethics.

I have witnessed an upending of the medical consensus on the nature of gender identity. What doctors once treated as a mental illness, the medical community now largely affirms and even promotes as normal. Here’s a look at some of the changes.

TIME - transgender cover

The New Normal.

Pediatric “gender clinics” are considered elite centers for affirming children who are distressed by their biological sex. This distressful condition, once dubbed gender identity disorder, was renamed “gender dysphoria” in 2013.

In 2014, there were 24 of these gender clinics, clustered chiefly along the east coast and in California. One year later, there were 40 across the nation. With 215 pediatric residency programs now training future pediatricians in a transition-affirming protocol and treating gender-dysphoric children accordingly, gender clinics are bound to proliferate further.

Last summer, the federal government stated that it would not require Medicare and Medicaid to cover transition-affirming procedures for children or adults because medical experts at the Department of Health and Human Services found the risks were often too high, and the benefits too unclear.

Undeterred by these findings, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health has pressed ahead, claiming — without any evidence — that these procedures are “safe.”

Two leading pediatric associations — the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pediatric Endocrine Society — have followed in lockstep, endorsing the transition affirmation approach even as the latter organization concedes within its own guidelines that the transition-affirming protocol is based on low evidence. They even admit that the only strong evidence regarding this approach is its potential health risks to children.

Transgender model Andreja Pejic in Marie Claire.
Transgender model Andreja Pejic.

The transition-affirming view holds that children who “consistently and persistently insist” that they are not the gender associated with their biological sex are innately transgender. (The fact that in normal life and in psychiatry, anyone who “consistently and persistently insists” on anything else contrary to physical reality is considered either confused or delusional is conveniently ignored.)

The transition-affirming protocol tells parents to treat their children as the gender they desire, and to place them on puberty blockers around age 11 or 12 if they are gender dysphoric. If by age 16, the children still insist that they are trapped in the wrong body, they are placed on cross-sex hormones, and biological girls may obtain a double mastectomy. So-called “bottom surgeries,” or genital reassignment surgeries, are not recommended before age 18, though some surgeons have recently argued against this restriction.

The transition-affirming approach has been embraced by public institutions in media, education, and our legal system, and is now recommended by most national medical organizations.

There are exceptions to this movement, however, in addition to the American College of Pediatricians {see their statement below} and the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice. These include the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations, the Catholic Medical Association, and the LGBT-affirming Youth Gender Professionals.

ransgender model Caitlyn Jenner in Vanity Fair.

The transgender movement has gained legs in the medical community and in our culture by offering a deeply flawed narrative. The scientific research and facts tell a different story. Here are some of those basic facts.

(1)  Twin studies prove no one is born “trapped in the body of the wrong sex.”

Some brain studies have suggested that some are born with a transgendered brain. But these studies are seriously flawed and prove no such thing. Virtually everything about human beings is influenced by our DNA, but very few traits are hardwired from birth. All human behavior is a composite of varying degrees for nature and nurture.

Researchers routinely conduct twin studies to discern which factors (biological or nonbiological) contribute more to the expression of a particular trait. The best designed twin studies are those with the greatest number of subjects.

Identical twins contain 100% of the same DNA from conception and are exposed to the same prenatal hormones. So if genes and/or prenatal hormones contributed significantly to transgenderism, we should expect both twins to identify as transgender close to 100% of the time. Skin color, for example, is determined by genes alone. Therefore, identical twins have the same skin color 100% of the time.

Transgender CEO Martine Rothblatt in New York
Transgender CEO Martine Rothblatt.

But in the largest study of twin transgender adults, published by Dr. Milton Diamond in 2013, only 28% of the identical twins both identified as transgender. Seventy-two percent of the time, they differed. (Diamond’s study reported 20% identifying as transgender, but his actual data demonstrate a 28% figure, as I note here in footnote 19.)

That 28% of identical twins both identified as transgender suggests a minimal biological predisposition, which means transgenderism will not manifest itself without outside nonbiological factors also impacting the individual during his lifetime.

The fact that the identical twins differed 72% of the time is highly significant because it means that at least 72% of what contributes to transgenderism in one twin consists of nonshared experiences after birth — that is, factors not rooted in biology.

Studies like this one prove that the belief in “innate gender identity” — the idea that “feminized” or “masculinized” brains can be trapped in the wrong body from before birth — is a myth that has no basis in science.

(2)  Gender identity is malleable, especially in young children.

Even the American Psychological Association’s Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology admits that prior to the widespread promotion of transition affirmation, 75% to 95% of pre-pubertal children who were distressed by their biological sex eventually outgrew that distress. The vast majority came to accept their biological sex by late adolescence after passing naturally through puberty.

Transgender actress Laverne Cox in Variety
Transgender actress Laverne Cox .

But with transition affirmation now increasing in Western society, the number of children claiming distress over their gender — and their persistence over time — has dramatically increased. For example, the Gender Identity Development Service in the United Kingdom alone has seen a 2,000% increase in referrals since 2009.

(3) Puberty blockers for gender dysphoria have not been proven safe.

Puberty blockers have been studied and found safe for the treatment of a medical disorder in children called precocious puberty (caused by the abnormal and unhealthy early secretion of a child’s pubertal hormones). However, as a groundbreaking paper in The New Atlantis points out, we cannot infer from these studies whether or not these blockers are safe in physiologically normal children with gender dysphoria.

The authors note that there is some evidence for decreased bone mineralization, meaning an increased risk of bone fractures as young adults, potential increased risk of obesity and testicular cancer in boys, and an unknown impact upon psychological and cognitive development.

With regard to the latter, while we currently don’t have any extensive, long-term studies of children placed on blockers for gender dysphoria, studies conducted on adults from the past decade give cause for concern.

Transgender Avery Jackson (9) - National Geographic
Transgender Avery Jackson (age 9).

For example, in 2006 and in 2007, the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology reported brain abnormalities in the area of memory and executive functioning among adult women who received blockers for gynecologic reasons. Similarly, many studies of men treated for prostate cancer with blockers also suggest the possibility of significant cognitive decline.

(4) There are no cases in the scientific literature of gender-dysphoric children discontinuing blockers.

Most, if not all, children on puberty blockers go on to take cross-sex hormones (estrogen for biological boys, testosterone for biological girls). The only study to date to have followed pre-pubertal children who were socially affirmed and placed on blockers at a young age found that 100% of them claimed a transgender identity and chose cross-sex hormones.

This suggests that the medical protocol itself may lead children to identify as transgender.

There is an obvious self-fulfilling effect in helping children impersonate the opposite sex both biologically and socially. This is far from benign, since taking puberty blockers at age 12 or younger, followed by cross-sex hormones, sterilizes a child.

TIME cover about transgender

(5) Cross-sex hormones are associated with dangerous health risks.

From studies of adults we know that the risks of cross-sex hormones include, but are not limited to, cardiac disease, high blood pressure, blood clots, strokes, diabetes, and cancers.

(6)  Neuroscience shows that adolescents lack the adult capacity needed for risk assessment.

Scientific data show that people under the age of 21 have less capacity to assess risks. There is a serious ethical problem in allowing irreversible, life-changing procedures to be performed on minors who are too young themselves to give valid consent.

(7) There is no proof that affirmation prevents suicide in children.

Advocates of the transition-affirming protocol allege that suicide is the direct and inevitable consequence of withholding social affirmation and biological alterations from a gender-dysphoric child. In other words, those who do not endorse the transition-affirming protocol are essentially condemning gender-dysphoric children to suicide.

Yet as noted earlier, prior to the widespread promotion of transition affirmation, 75% to 95% of gender-dysphoric youth ended up happy with their biological sex after simply passing through puberty.

In addition, contrary to the claim of activists, there is no evidence that harassment and discrimination, let alone lack of affirmation, are the primary cause of suicide among any minority group. In fact, at least one study from 2008 found perceived discrimination by LGBT-identified individuals not to be causative.

Over 90% of people who commit suicide have a diagnosed mental disorder, and there is no evidence that gender-dysphoric children who commit suicide are any different. Many gender dysphoric children simply need therapy to get to the root of their depression, which very well may be the same problem triggering the gender dysphoria.

(8)  Transition-affirming has not solved the problem of transgender suicide.

National Geographic - Gender Revolution

Adults who undergo sex reassignment — even in Sweden, which is among the most LGBT-affirming countries — have a suicide rate nearly 20 times greater than that of the general population. Clearly, sex reassignment is not the solution to gender dysphoria.

Bottom Line: Transition-Affirming Protocol Is Child Abuse.

The crux of the matter is that while the transition-affirming movement purports to help children, it is inflicting a grave injustice on them and their nondysphoric peers. These professionals are using the myth that people are born transgender to justify engaging in massive, uncontrolled, and unconsented experimentation on children who have a psychological condition that would otherwise resolve after puberty in the vast majority of cases.

Today’s institutions that promote transition affirmation are pushing children to impersonate the opposite sex, sending many of them down the path of puberty blockers, sterilization, the removal of healthy body parts, and untold psychological damage.

These harms constitute nothing less than institutionalized child abuse. Sound ethics demand an immediate end to the use of pubertal suppression, cross-sex hormones, and sex reassignment surgeries in children and adolescents, as well as an end to promoting gender ideology via school curricula and legislative policies.

It is time for our nation’s leaders and the silent majority of health professionals to learn exactly what is happening to our children, and unite to take action.


Michelle Cretella

About the author

Michelle A. Cretella, MD has long service and high qualifications in medicine. She is certified as a First Care Provider and as a pediatrician with a special interest in adolescent mental and sexual health, in practice for 15 years.

She has served on the Board of the American College of Pediatricians since 2005, and as its President since 2015. She has served on the Board of the American College of Pediatricians since 2005, and as its full-time President since 2015.

She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice (formerly the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality). She lives in Rhode Island with her husband of twenty years and their four children: Christopher, John, Michael and Marianna. (Bio source here.

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This can’t be done alone. Find out more about them here.

Other articles about the health care treatment of transgender

Transgender Surgery Isn’t the Solution“, an op-ed by Paul McHugh in the Wall Street Journal, 14 June 2014 — “A drastic physical change doesn’t address underlying psycho-social troubles.”

80 primary school pupils a year seeking help to change gender” by in the Telegraph, December 2015 — “Children as young as four already ‘transitioning’, says Susie Green, chair of Mermaids charity.”

The Tragic Transgender Contagion” by David French at National Review, August 2016 Watch the heartbreaking video of a girl de-transitioning.”

‘Transgenderism’ Is Mass Hysteria Similar To 1980s-Era Junk Science” by Richard B. Corradi at The Federalist, November 2016 — “The movement’s philosophy qualifies it as a popular delusion similar to the multiple-personality craze, and the ‘satanic ritual abuse’ and ‘recovered memory’ hysterias of the 1980s and 90s.” He is a professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Some in the medical profession takes a stand against the fad

American College of Pediatricians statement “Gender Dysphoria in Children“.
June 2017 — Abstract.

“Gender dysphoria (GD) of childhood describes a psychological condition in which children experience a marked incongruence between their experienced gender and the gender associated with their biological sex. When this occurs in the pre-pubertal child, GD resolves in the vast majority of patients by late adolescence.

“Currently there is a vigorous, albeit suppressed, debate among physicians, therapists, and academics regarding what is fast becoming the new treatment standard for GD in children. This new paradigm is rooted in the assumption that GD is innate, and involves pubertal suppression with gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists followed by the use of cross-sex hormones — a combination that results in the sterility of minors. A review of the current literature suggests that this protocol is founded upon an unscientific gender ideology, lacks an evidence base, and violates the long-standing ethical principle of ‘First do no harm’.

For More Information

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about children, about women and genderabout feminism, and especially these…

  1. A look ahead at the New America, after the gender wars.
  2. Books to help us see the strange new world following the revolution in gender roles.
  3. The collapse of gender roles: an unseen revolution with unimaginable consequences.
  4. Martin van Creveld warns about the infantilization of our youth.
  5. Disturbing next steps in the gender revolution.


25 thoughts on “How the transgender campaign produces large-scale child abuse”

  1. Robert M. Armstrong

    The worst child abuse concerns autistic children, especially autistic girls. I have come to the conclusion you can either support civil rights for autistic persons or transgendered persons but not both. Autistic persons emotions are just not developed to the point where they can deal with gender as a creation of the emotions alone.

      1. Robert M. Armstrong

        In order to accurately describe your gender as created by your emotions you have to have an accurate understanding of both your emotions and other people’s emotions. Many autistic people don’t have such understanding. They don’t understand what is meant by the idea of “feeling male or feeling female.” So when asked how they feel about themselves they will give inaccurate answers.

        But once you say you feel like you are the opposite gender to the one your sex organs say you are it is impossible to repudiate this position. Transgender advocates look upon such backtracking as a rejection of what you really are. They assume it is being done because bigots have influenced the person to reject what he or she really is. The parents can’t intervene because they are seen as bigots and haters who reject the child because the child is “transgendered.”

        At this point it might be easier for you to understand the problem by going to this web site to the web site of 4th wave now at

  2. My son is a high school student and comes home telling me about all the weirdness that goes on within it’s walls. This girl identifies as a boy, this boy as a girl, this girl as a cat, and on and on and on.

    I saw a young man in a dress with all the trimmings at a local coffee shop. Just looking at his face he didn’t look all there.

    I really don’t know what to make out of all this transgender stuff. Is it a fad? Is it perpetuated by social media? Are this many people truly transgender?

    I have a heart and want people to be happy and healthy both mentally and physically. But, my gut tells me this more overblown PC nonesense. Advocates who take a perverse joy in poking their finger in the eye of tradional norms.

    1. IMO the root cause of this problem is Americans’ toxic individuality, combined with a lack of opportunity. With so many Millennials destined to be nothing more than over-educated baristas, what is left to set them apart from everyone else?

      Meanwhile, I’m here in The Netherlands under self imposed exile. It is a pretty socially permissive place, but when I tell my colleagues that that number 1 issue for the left in America appears to be the lack of enough transgendered bathrooms, they look at me like I’m crazy.

      1. Rando,

        “With so many Millennials destined to be nothing more than over-educated baristas, what is left to set them apart from everyone else?”

        I’ve long suspected exactly that — that the increasingly weird cultural phenomena in America are desperate attempts to become individuals from people alienated from our society and see no viable place for them except in the dark (and growing darker) bottom rungs. Goths, tats, piercing, sexual oddities, and — above all — drugs. All perhaps stem from this common problem.

        It might be somewhat similar in operation in our culture to syphilis in the body. It’s manifestations are many but with one underlying cause.

    2. I think your question was asked out of genuine concern, so I will answer. I was born intersex (47, XXY/ 46, XX). As a child I had three surgeries, which may have been the removal of a uterus, but it is impossible to say beyond a reasonable doubt because before 1992, intersex children were often operated on without a parent’s consent (and sometimes knowledge). I am also transgender, transitioning to female. I am not autistic, nor do I have any mental health issues. I am a professor, hold a doctorate in adult education leadership, and have published numerous papers on online learning theory (under my male name. I have not changed my name legally yet).

      I know that transgender people, or transsexuals, have been around for a very long time; in other cultures, they were celebrated. In our culture, it was shameful to be transgender, transsexual, or admit you were intersex. While I am glad that things are changing, I do believe that we have a tendency to jump from one extreme to the other. I cannot explain for everyone, but I will share my own thought on the ‘myths’ that many people believe about me.

      1. You ‘want’ to be a woman. – Not at all; in fact, especially today, considering that the GOP’s healthcare changes essentially consider being a woman a preexisting condition, I wouldn’t wish gender dysphoria on my worst enemy. In fact, even though I ‘pass’ (a controversial term used to describe someone who is trans who is seen as the gender they identify with), I still wear male clothing. I have no desire to wear female clothing, and never cross-dressed.

      2. This is a sick fetish. – I acknowledge that there are those who are aroused by the idea of themselves being female – this is called ‘autogynephillia.’ For me, it wasn’t about being male or female – it was about being okay. My gender identity disorder worsened as I got older, and I reached a point where I had to deal with it.

      3. It is a mental disorder. – Perhaps because of me being intersex, the changes I experienced starting hormones were indeed mental; in my teenage years there was this mental fuzziness that got progressively worse over the years, coupled with depression and anxiety that didn’t go away with regular medication but faded away to nothingness when starting hormones. I acknowledge there are studies that show some link between gender issues and autism – I haven’t had time to research this.

      4. All transgender people are liberals. – Not at all; I consider myself a conservative. Granted, I was never an extreme Republican, and although I do support LGBT+ rights, I certainly haven’t left my brain at the door. My goal in transitioning was simply to deal with this issue so that I could continue contributing to society. It has not been an easy journey.

      5. This is a ‘lifestyle choice.’ Aside from a moderate increase in a desire for chocolate, my lifestyle hasn’t changed much since before starting hormones. I garden, play guitar, I don’t deny that there are those who transition and embrace a lifestyle that is in stark contrast to my own.

      We are indeed all individuals, and while the post below (by Roger Calrissian) argues that individuality is toxic, I am not so much convinced that it is toxic as much as people are more free today to make decisions that are not only visible (men in dresses) but that we might disagree with (blue/red hair).

      Looking forward to the discussion (and don’t think I’m ignoring you if I don’t respond right away; I am a busy girl!)

      – Sedgy

      1. Stacy,

        Thank you for sharing your story. But that’s not the subject of this post. As you know, circumstances like yours are statistically rare. For political reasons, powerful groups are disrupting the gender development of children on a large scale — with near-zero scientific evidence justifying their programs, irrespective of the obvious risks.

        It’s a biological version of the “whole language” fad that did so much damage.

  3. The fanatics have crossed the Rubicon when they began to put their hands on the children. They could not have chosen a more emotionally loaded hot button.

    I suspect that many people voted against Hillary on the basis of some of the kookier crusades of today’s unhinged left. But zealots learn slowly if at all. Turning universities into intolerant monocultures is horrific enough. But now they are going after pre-pubertal children. The attention they will certainly receive for this outrage is likely to spread to some of the other lesser known outrages in the federal money driven educational systems from bottom to top.

    They would have been better off to temper their antics before driving so many voters to “the outer limits of the twilight zone.”

    1. alfin,

      Perhaps this is an inflection point. Perhaps it is just a pause for the left, a consolidation period (like others before this) before moving on to even bigger triumphs.

      I have listened to predictions of the Great Day Coming in The Vague Future When The Oppressed Rise UP and Smite our LEFT/RIGHT Oppressors. Color me skeptical. So far both sides each continue to win, in their preferred domains. While the oppressed masses remain apathetic and passive.

  4. simply referring to dr. cretella as a “senior doctor” omits quite a bit about her don’t you agree? if you are unsure, you might have a look at this as an example: dr. cretella is widely known as militant fundamentalist who regards the bible as the ultimate authority in all matters. i think that your readers deserve to know that this person who you present as an authoritative source speaks from a fundamentalist christian viewpoint. her conclusions need to be vetted closely. ultimately, scientific truth seems less important to her than biblical truth.

    1. Jay,

      While it’s quite popular on the Left and Right to consider a person’s ideological or religious views determinative of their factual or analytical statements, pretty much everybody else considers that to be ad hominem. It’s just chaff. Attempts to declare views you don’t like illegitimate. It works well with children and fools.

      If you have useful information — facts, logic, analysis, etc — don’t hesitate to share them.

      “dr. cretella is widely known as militant fundamentalist who regards the bible as the ultimate authority in all matters. ”

      Yep. Just like Newton. Good try, though.

    2. Robert M. Armstrong

      Dr. Certela’s religious beliefs don’t change the fact once you declare as trans you never get to change that decision. Ever. Transgender theory is built on false assumptions concerning the power of emotions and the amount of emotional intelligence every human being has. If your emotions can’t create a unitary personality they certainly aren’t going to create your gender.

      Children who can’t tell the difference between gender and sexual orientation are not likely to give a correct answer to the question of “what gender do you feel like?” Please take a look at the 4th wave web site

  5. “Stacy,

    Thank you for sharing your story. But that’s not the subject of this post. As you know, circumstances like yours are statistically rare. For political reasons, powerful groups are disrupting the gender development of children on a large scale — with near-zero scientific evidence justifying their programs, irrespective of the obvious risks.

    It’s a biological version of the “whole language” fad that did so much damage.”

    Right, I was answering the person who asked ‘Are this many people really transgender?’ The problem I have today is that people who are arguing against against medical intervention or pointing to biology to argue against transgender people tend to completely ignore us, while transgender individuals will often hold us up as an example of how people exist outside the traditional biological male-female sex. Neither side is genuinely interested in seeing us (one pastor commented on a post on Fox News that I should just kill myself).

    All I am trying to do is enter the discussion as a regular person who definitely has a stake in this debate; if people aren’t allowed to transition at all, what does that say about me? If anyone who is seen as transgender is automatically labeled as a sick freak, where is the compassion and acceptance? Then again, if we continue to affirm transgender children to the point where anytime a child says they think they might be a boy or girl they are immediately put on hormones (which I don’t think happens right away; while many states have informed consent laws, like Massachusetts, other states do require letters indicating the child is indeed suffering from gender dysphoria), we indeed run into problems of fertility and regret.

    As the article states, gender is indeed malleable in children. I understand that I was a unique case, but if my parents were trying to figure out which ‘way’ I would go (male or female), I put them through hell. I played with trucks, cars, trains, dolls, and even had an Ez-Bake oven at one time.

    What I find interesting is that while it is true that the medications required to transition (blockers and either testosterone or estrogen) do have risks and complications, isn’t that inherently true for all medications? As an adult who started on estrogen and dutasteride (Avodart) I am well aware of the side effects of these drugs and the other medications I take (that it seems that those who are not on any medication today are viewed as ‘not normal’ is another discussion for another time).

    What I would really like to study, and I think the person I was responding to discussed this in his post, is why today we have kids ‘identifying’ as animals (which is called otherkin, by the way). What is the overall impact of Japanese anime on children, and has that increased the prevalence of gender dysphoria in any way? It’s just something I’m curious about, and there was a post written about this on that I have long since lost the link for.

    – Sedgy

  6. “just like newton”? you may recall that, in addition to physics and math, newton was obsessed with alchemy, believed himself to be a biblical prophet and predicted the world would end in a book of revelations apocalypse no later than 2060. religious beliefs twist and distort the believer’s perceptions and lead to irrational outcomes.

    1. Jay,

      “religious beliefs twist and distort the believer’s perceptions and lead to irrational outcomes.”

      So now you are slamming Newton with your ad hominems? How did that “Law of Gravity” theory work out? Calculus? Laws of motion? Explanation of tides? Do we still believe that white light combines spectrum of other colors?

      Your mode of analysis by ad hominem has got to be one of the dumbest among the 50,000 comments posted here. Given the strangeness of your competitors, that’s quite an achievement!

    2. Jay, I’m with you on this and believe the Fabius response is both myopic and out of line. Myopic, in that Fabius misidentified the operative classical concept–it’s Greek, not Latin . . . ethos, to be specific, or credibility in modern terms.

      Fabius is constantly telling us how great someone is and even putting up nice big pictures (Crevald, Curry et al.) to convince us we should believe them. To Fabius, I say credibility works both ways, kimosabe, and the trust associated with ethos is vital to forming an opinion. [Though in this case, I’m inclined to agree with the author of the post.]

      As for out of line, I find it ironic that today’s (July 13) Fabius post derides the tone of contemporary political rhetoric, while the response below is positively Trumpesque–thin skinned and nasty. Leave it to Fabius to call someone’s post dumb while attacking that someone for inveighing ad hominem. I guess that’s what happens when you’re hemorrhaging readers. (Yes, I know that was ad hominem too–I’m in on the irony.)

      1. JT,

        I don’t understand much of your comment. It does not appear to cite anything identifiable that I wrote. I suggest you reply to direct quotes, so readers know to what you’re referring. You point to one specific, so I’ll address that.

        “Leave it to Fabius to call someone’s post dumb while attacking that someone for inveighing ad hominem. ”

        There is no contradiction. To call a post “dumb” address its content. “Ad hominem” means to attack the author (a person) rather than the what they are saying. An ad hominem fallacy would be a rebuttal saying “the author is dumb.” I did not do that.

  7. On July 11 Fabius writes: “Your mode of analysis by ad hominem has got to be one of the dumbest among the 50,000 comments posted here. Given the strangeness of your competitors.” Note that Fabius specifically references individuals (“competitors”) and comments on their personal characteristics (“strangeness”).

    On July 13 Fabius writes: “‘Ad hominem’ means to attack the author (a person) rather than the what they are saying. An ad hominem fallacy would be a rebuttal saying “the author is dumb.” I did not do that.” Note that Fabius denies referencing individuals two days later. One does not have to have decades of experience teaching argumentation and rhetoric at a research university–though, I do–to recognize ad hominem.

    All of which misses the main point. Jay made a credibility claim about the author of a post. I got it. Aristotle would have, too–he just would have called it ethos. I would have assumed Fabius would get it, as this site is full of fawning respect for myriad contributors.

  8. Michael Cullinan

    @Stacy Sedgewood-Curran:

    “I am a professor, hold a doctorate in adult education leadership, and have published numerous papers on online learning theory (under my male name. I have not changed my name legally yet).”

    What name do you publish under? it’s fine to assert your credentials, but if you can’t back them up, you haven’t really done anything.

  9. When I initially commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added-
    checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment.
    There has to be an easy method you are able to remove me from that
    service? Thanks a lot!

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