Those outraged by the article range from Tufts students who called for his resignation and painted "Tufts loves trans. Does Ablow?" on a canon (the campus landmark is already well accustomed to serving as a soapbox) to Lewis Black who told the Daily Show's audience: "I don't know if letting your kids watch Chaz Bono will turn them into transsexuals, but I'm pretty sure letting them watch Keith Ablow will turn them into assholes."
No less than the American Psychiatric Association's president responded (fittingly, to TMZ) that "There is no evidence that viewing a television game show with a transgender contestant would induce Gender Identity Disorder in young people."
GLAAD is calling on "responsible medical and mental health professionals to continue to clarify the unscientific misinformation promulgated by Keith Ablow and other anti-transgender activists."
As a medical professional with a media platform and a penchant for muckrakery I am happy to oblige.
Ablow attempted to stem the onslaught against his views by showing off his bona fides in a follow up Fox News column. He considers himself hot stuff:
Now, as for those journalists who contend that I have no experience from which to opine about gender identity disorder or sexual reassignment surgery or the influence of media on public behavior, please note I graduated the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where I studied with [Paul McHugh] himself. I also studied with Dr. Fred Berlin, director of the Sexual Behavior Consultation Unit at Johns Hopkins.
Paul McHugh is well known for questioning the wisdom of gender reassignment surgery. Little mystery there. But what about Fred Berlin, the other pivotal mentor Ablow cites to further pad his credibility? What does he think of his former protege?
So I asked him. In short, if Ablow was planning on using his connection to the esteemed Fred Berlin to burnish the validity of this particular opinion, he can forget about it already.
If children are aware enough to ask questions about Chaz Bono's sexuality, then that's a good opportunity for parents to have the conversation with their children, Berlin says. If anything, Chaz's presence on Dancing With the Stars offers parents a chance to teach their kids one of life's great lessons: Just because people are different doesn't necessarily mean they shouldn't be treated with respect.
"To not let kids know about the real world, to not take the opportunity to try to instill values that we think are important -- it seems to me as to miss an opportunity. I respect Dr. Ablow, but I look at this rather differently than he does," Berlin tells me. Even parents who might fear seeing their own kids make Chaz's choice should have plenty to say on the matter: "Certainly I would hope that we could all agree that there ought not to be bullying and intolerance."