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Katie McCoy guides mothers, ministers in addressing female gender dysphoria

DALLAS (BP) – It’s not about pink dresses, blue button-downs, 18-wheelers or Barbies. For theologian Katie McCoy, dispelling gender dysphoria rests on Scripture undiluted by cultural stereotypes society assigns.

Neither is Scriptural truth in conflict with the science of gender dysphoria, McCoy told Baptist Press upon the release of her latest book intended to guide mothers and ministers in addressing the rapid onslaught of gender dysphoria among females.

“The theology of humanity, and the evidence that we’re seeing about all of gender dysphoria, its source, its treatment and its affects, they are in harmony,” McCoy said. “In other words, what secular sociologists, psychologists, endocrinologists, sexologists are all describing from their own perspectives of expertise, harmonizes with the truth that we find in Scripture of how God created humanity.”

Some of the scientific evidence is difficult to find, McCoy said, as it is typically not reported in mainstream media, or is dispelled to protect “politically prescribed narratives.”

“But when all of the facts are known, the world of nature and the laws of nature confirm the laws of God,” McCoy said upon the release of To Be a Woman: The Confusion Over Female Identity and How Christians Can Respond.

McCoy, director of women’s ministry at the Baptist General Convention of Texas, gives guidance amid an onslaught of gender dysphoria and the denial of God’s created bilateral gender.

Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria, as termed by Brown University physician-scientist Lisa Littman, overwhelmingly affects biological females. Gender dysphoria was rare decades ago. It was more prevalent in boys, typically presenting itself between ages 2 and 4. But in the last decade, McCoy’s research shows, it has skyrocketed. In 2007, the U.S. had only one gender clinic for adolescents; by 2021 there were at least 50.

“Gender confusion is not only just growing,” McCoy said, “it’s erupting, and by a landslide it’s girls who seem to be most affected by the explosion.”

McCoy likens it to a crockpot of soup.

“The way we arrived at this moment is a little bit like throwing a lot of ingredients into a big pot to make a big soup. And into this soup are ideas about what it means to be human, to be happy, to be fulfilled, our relationship to society, and then even our relationship to our own bodies,” McCoy said. “And these ideas have been allowed to simmer for decades, and we are just now seeing them come to fruition.”

McCoy wrote the book, she said, to assert that “female identity is socially guided, philosophically formed, relationally confirmed, biologically grounded and theologically bestowed.”

Gender dysphoria should be addressed with God’s Word and with love, two variables which are not in conflict. The problem should be addressed with an admission of societal sins and an acknowledgement of who God is.

“Jesus said the truth sets us free, and what a confession is, is to acknowledge with God what He says about who we are, what we believe and what we’ve done,” she said. “We are presenting a truth that does not belong to us, because it doesn’t originate with us. We are messengers. We are ambassadors. And we’re not trying to make the world, somehow, exclusively, socially different. This is about protecting the image bearers of God from the self-inflicted harm that comes from denying their creator.”

She describes gender dysphoria not as a sin, but as a symptom of an underlying problem, trauma or a sense of not fitting into a societal peg.

“It can stem from things that are wrong, but the feeling of gender dysphoria is a feeling. It is something that is indicating an inner issue that is out of alignment,” she said. “And for so many girls and young women who have gender dysphoria … when they get to the root of it and fix that, so many times the gender dysphoria dissipates or resolves.”

To get to the truth of what it means to be a woman, McCoy dispels cultural stereotypes of gender that society has used for generations.

“We need to separate that which comes from the Bible and that which comes from culture,” McCoy said. A biblical woman “will be a woman who evidences courage and boldness, but she does it according to her femaleness. And that will express itself in a different way, or present itself in a different way, than a man.

“This is where the cohesive union between our biological selves and our gender selves comes into play, because we don’t have to systematize these behaviors. Rather, if you have a woman who is trying to follow God faithfully in all of her life and relationships, she’s going to express that in her marriage relationship, in her ministry in the church, in her relationship to her children, in her priorities,” McCoy said, acknowledging that statements of faith are more detailed.

“In other words, if we allow simply how God created women to be and allow the Holy Spirit to guide them in their lives and relationships according to His Word, I believe we’re going to see the true meaning of biblical womanhood.”