Friday, 16 September 2016

The Transgender Con: Rending Bodies and Twisting Minds

Written by  Selwyn Duke

Boys can be girls and girls can be boys, and rye can transform into wheat, wheat into barley, and ideology into “science.” Believe it or not, all these things have been claimed, but only one has actually occurred, with ideology having been, to be precise, transformed into pseudoscience.

As to this, the claims about grain transformation were made by proponents of Lysenkoism, a pseudoscientific theory named after Soviet biologist Trofim Lysenko. Proposing the heritability of acquired characteristics and rejecting the concept of genes, it was an official theory of the USSR for almost 45 years. And scientists departing from it were fired, imprisoned, and sometimes executed. It’s not known if they were called “bigots” and “haters,” but, after all, that’s hardly necessary when you can avoid the preliminaries and send dissenters straight to the gulag.

In at least one way, though, Lysenkoism wasn’t nearly as destructive as this article’s subject: the “transgender” agenda. To wit: No grain of wheat ever became confused by claims it could become barley. No grain of rye ever tried to “transition.” And no oat ever felt its oats and demanded it be with the wheat when the bracts are stripped away. But it’s not nearly as harmless telling a child he might be — and could be — a member of the opposite sex.

Of course, proponents of “transgenderism” claim that rejecting their theory harms children, that forcing little Justin to suppress his “identity” and not become Justine is psychologically damaging. And many Americans find this compelling. They’ve read articles about supposed “male and female brains,” insufficient masculinization of boy babies due to intrauterine testosterone deficiencies, “intersex” anomalies, and about how sex is a “continuum.” And surely there wouldn’t be governmental bathroom dictates and medical doctors recommending people for “gender-reassignment surgery” were there not sound science behind the “transgender” diagnosis, right? This common assumption — and misconception — is precisely why any intelligent discussion of this matter must begin with the science.

Let’s Run a Test

Imagine I went to a psychiatrist and said, “Doc, I just know that I’m a woman trapped in a man’s body; I’ve been certain of it for as long as I can remember.” If my feelings have been intense and have persisted for more than six months, he’ll diagnose me as having “gender dysphoria,” as I’ll have met its criteria. And the fashion now is to say that this isn’t just a psychological issue, that, rather, there’s an innately induced incongruence between my physical brain (or, perhaps, innately induced feelings originating within it) and physical body. There’s the rub. Since a psychological problem demands a psychological remedy but a physical problem a physical one, treatment hinges on this judgment.

This raises an obvious question: What physiological markers will the physician look for to verify that I truly am, legitimately, “transgender,” suffering with a supposed brain/body incongruence? Don’t feel bad not knowing.

There isn’t a so-called expert alive who could answer the question.

There is no brain scan for gender dysphoria. There is no genetic test. There is no hormonal test. There are no physiological markers of any kind. Yet on the basis of “strong and persistent feelings of cross-gender identification” — and on that basis alone — psychiatrists can and do refer patients for the mutilation known as “gender-reassignment surgery” (GRS). And on that basis alone, doctors may recommend that a young child be allowed to live as a member of the opposite sex. It’s no different from telling a cardiologist you feel certain you have heart disease and, without performing tests to confirm the diagnosis, his saying, “Oh, have the feelings been strong, persistent and extant for longer than six months? Okay, well, then I’ll cut open your chest and do a bypass.”

Given this reality, it isn’t surprising that some of the very latest research indicates that the only real “trans” here is a transgression against science. At issue is a report co-authored by Dr. Paul McHugh, former chief of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital and distinguished service professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, and Arizona State University Professor of Statistics and Biostatistics Lawrence Mayer. Published in the fall 2016 edition of the New Atlantis journal, the report found, wrote The New American’s Raven Clabough August 24,

that “gender identity” is not separate from biological sex. “Examining research from the biological, psychological, and social sciences, this report shows that some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence.…The hypothesis that gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex — that a person might be ‘a man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’ — is not supported by scientific evidence,” stated the researchers.

How credible are “transgender” claims when the physical “remedy” of GRS can only have a psychological effect? After all, such surgery doesn’t give a man a woman’s body or something possessing its function, but merely something resembling a woman’s body; sure, the person may feel better, for a time, but no deeper-than-skin-deep brain/body congruence could be thus achieved. This is why former “transsexual” Alan Finch has said, “You fundamentally can’t change sex.... Transsexualism was invented by psychiatrists.” It’s why less “inventive” psychiatrist Dr. McHugh  likewise stated, “‘Sex change’ is biologically impossible. People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women.” And it’s why we shouldn’t shrink from saying that “transgender” is but a made-up sexual status (MUSS).

We also might ask the following about claims that gender dysphoria cannot be a purely psychological phenomenon: Is it reasonable to say that it couldn’t be so in even one in a thousand cases? That would be a radical assertion. But given there’s no proof to the contrary, then it could be so in two of a thousand, correct? If this is possible, however, it could also be psychological in 10, 20, 50, 100, or, for that matter, 500 of the thousand. Nonetheless, psychiatrists will prescribe GRS despite no proof of the MUSS activists’ claims, thus hurting with a physical “cure” those who may have a purely psychological “disease.”

This matters not just because it affects the rare individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria, but for a far more significant reason: The mainstreaming of the MUSS-agenda mental disorders — telling everyone, including children, “Your ‘gender’ can be whatever you want it to be” — is based upon its unproven theories. Yet a simple point is almost universally missed here: As far as legitimizing something goes, it matters not at all if it’s inborn or acquired, psychological or physical in nature. In fact, that notion serves as misdirection, a magician’s trick. This is because none of these possibilities tell us anything about normality and healthfulness.

Abnormalities Abound — Fix Them

In reality, there is no shortage of inborn abnormalities, a few examples being spina bifida, Down syndrome, cleft palate, hemophilia, Huntington’s disease, and microcephaly. We remedy them or at least ameliorate their negative effects whenever possible, show compassion regardless (hopefully), but there is one thing we never, ever do: portray them as normal variation or a desirable state of being. Yet, in what may be one of the most destructive social-engineering efforts in history, this is precisely what is happening with the MUSS agenda — and America’s children are in the cross hairs.

They had names such as Shanice Oliver, Coy Mathis, Daniel McFadyen, Mia Lemay, and Tim Petras. Some of their names are different now. These are just a handful of the children who’ve been allowed to “transition,” to embrace a made-up sexual status. The oldest of them was 12.

The youngest was three.

In other words, children too young to choose their diets and eat ice cream for dinner have been allowed to choose to masquerade as a member of the opposite sex and, in certain cases, take puberty-blocking hormones. This is especially tragic because, reports the American College of Pediatricians, “According to the DSM-V, as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.” And what can be the consequences of disrupting this natural process? As the aforementioned Dr. McHugh explained in “Transgenderism: A Pathogenic Meme,” “When ‘the tumult and shouting dies [sic],’ it proves not easy nor wise to live in a counterfeit sexual garb. The most thorough follow-up of sex-reassigned people — extending over thirty years and conducted in Sweden, where the culture is strongly supportive of the transgendered — documents their lifelong mental unrest. Ten to fifteen years after surgical reassignment, the suicide rate of those who had undergone sex-reassignment surgery rose to twenty times that of comparable peers.” This is no doubt why Dr. McHugh, referencing his psychiatrist-in-chief days, wrote, “At Johns Hopkins, after pioneering sex-change surgery, we demonstrated that the practice brought no important benefits. As a result, we stopped offering that form of treatment in the 1970s.”

Even more damnably, while the MUSS agenda is used to justify the encouraging of gender-dysphoric children to live as an opposite-sex member, it’s driven by MUSS adults who, in certain cases, have prurient motives. Dr. McHugh explains that some MUSS men he and his colleagues studied over the years weren’t gender dysphoric but rather had “autogynephilia,” which is when a man derives sexual excitement from dressing as a woman. “These men wanted to display themselves in sexy ways, wearing provocative female garb. More often than not, while claiming to be a woman in a man’s body, they declared themselves to be ‘lesbians’ (attracted to other women),” reported McHugh. Despite this, these men are part of the “transgender” pool of “witnesses” who justify using gender dysphoria as a pretext for childhood opposite-sex “transitioning.” Yet as McHugh explains, citing ex-Olympian Bruce Jenner as a likely autogynephiliac, “Most young boys and girls who come seeking sex-reassignment are utterly different from Jenner. They have no erotic interest driving their quest. Rather, they come with psychosocial issues — conflicts over the prospects, expectations, and roles that they sense are attached to their given sex — and presume that sex-reassignment will ease or resolve them.”

Of course, that people would try to justify their sexual inclinations and bring them out of the closet is neither surprising nor new; just witness the homosexual agenda. But it’s a dark day when perversion shapes policy that twists young minds.

Logic in the Toilet

Speaking of twisted minds brings us to a May 13 Charlotte Observer editorial entitled “Taking the fear out of bathrooms.” The paper not only dismisses concerns that sexual predators could use transgender-oriented “bathroom laws” to their advantage, but shockingly states the following: “The thought of male genitalia in girls’ locker rooms — and vice versa — might be distressing to some. But the battle for equality has always been in part about overcoming discomfort.” But should all discomfort be overcome?

The philosopher C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Sex is not messed up because it was put in the closet; it was put in the closet because it was messed up.” Bearing witness to this are millennia of pagan sexual perversion, such as ancient Spartan military camps wherein, we’re told, pederasty was institutionalized. And it’s ironic that in an age of great awareness of (and paranoia about) child sexual abuse — in which churches and other entities institute policies stating that adult volunteers mustn’t be alone with a child — other forces are working to allow strange adults to be naked with a child of the opposite sex.

And words are interesting. Another way of saying “overcoming discomfort” is “breaking down barriers” between people, both of which sound like they describe a quite enlightened aim. But certain barriers exist for a reason. Apropos to this, consider the following line concerning child-predator strategies from author Robert Moore’s book Cybercrime: Investigating High-Technology Computer Crime: “Grooming refers to a process whereby a pedophile will attempt to prepare a child for a future physical relationship by breaking down barriers.” (Emphasis added.) And one step in this process, Moore informs, is to “convince the child that being naked in the presence of others is an acceptable behavior.”

Of course, it’s easy for MUSS activists to scoff at the above, as it’s never as clear-cut as one policy change taking us from a perfect to a perverted world. But just as grooming one child is a step-by-step process, so is the societal phenomenon of sexualizing millions of them. Sexual predators try to eliminate taboos in a child’s mind; is this not easier if we eliminate the taboos in the wider society to begin with? In fact, there should be multiple barriers between a child and sexual activity with an adult; does getting children to “overcome discomfort” at seeing naked opposite-sex strangers not eliminate one of them? And as the Independent Sentinel’s S. Noble put it, in very simple terms, “Does anyone else see how this could be a problem — nude boys and girls running around, perhaps saying they are the opposite gender?”

Then there is the flip side of the Lysenkoist coin. When traditionalists warn that the MUSS agenda — or any sexual agenda (e.g., homosexual one) — can distort children’s identity or sexuality, they’re essentially told it’s all in the stars, today’s version being genes. “You won’t be anything you’re not born to be,” is the thinking.

But this again is wholly unscientific. One major warning about child sexual abuse has long been that it can twist a child’s sexuality, that the abused are more likely to become abusers themselves. But what is sexual abuse but destructive sexual influence? And does grossly incorrect, seductive teaching about sex and sexual identity not qualify? Moreover, aside from homosexuality, bestiality, pedophilia, and variations thereof, countless other “paraphilias” (noticeably harmful or obsessive fetishes) exist; these include the truly bizarre, such as deriving sexual excitement from vomit, being an amputee, drinking blood, being robbed, exhibitionism, trees, stuffed toy animals, fire, being strangled, corpses, and robots. And aside from gender dysphoria, there is “species dysphoria,” the belief that one is an animal trapped in a human body; and Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), the intense sense that one or more body parts (e.g., eyes, legs) don’t belong on/in your body, not to mention delusions such as believing one is Napoleon or the Queen of England. Would anyone claim that all these sexual desires and personal “identities” are “inborn”? Good scientists long ago realized that man’s state of being is explainable only by way of nature and nurture. Yet just as Lysenkoists unscientifically denied the former, today’s MUSS activists resurrect their agenda-driven spirit, stubbornly denying the obvious and significant role nurture plays in child sexual development.

And what could distort a child’s sexual development — already complicated by possible adolescent sexual-identity crises — more than saying, “Don’t worry about whether you’re attracted to your own sex, because your sex may not even be your own!”? Negotiating adolescent development is difficult enough without confused adults telling youth that this development is negotiable. The MUSS agenda is child abuse just as is using a hot iron to sear flesh — only, it sears souls.

Speaking of agendas, it’s also interesting that this radical denial of nurture’s impact only occurs when it facilitates one. For example, the Left long ago removed shows such as Amos ‘n’ Andy from television, certain that racial stereotypes presented therein influenced people wrongly. But what of research, such as that reported in 2014 in Time and other outlets, indicating that babies are born “racist”? Note that far from embracing this inborn identity (“I’m white and look out for number one! Yeah!”), Time didn’t shrink from saying such instincts must be tamed.

The point is that no one, anywhere outside a straitjacket and rubber room, would give free rein to every impulse or sincerely claim others should do so. As C.S. Lewis put it in his book Mere Christianity, “Every sane and civilised man must have some set of principles by which he chooses to reject some of his desires and to permit others. One man does this on Christian principles, another on hygienic principles, another on sociological principles.” “The real conflict,” he explained, only involves what principles will be invoked “in the control of ‘nature.’”

So nature, nurture, or both, children’s desires and natures must be guided when necessary — properly — and sex and sexual identity are no exception. So when it is said, reflecting a rubber-room mentality, that we mustn’t place children in a “gender straitjacket” and impose sex-specific norms on them, know that it’s a recipe for social anarchy and seared psyches. Why, we could just as easily counsel against placing children in a “species straitjacket”; while species dysphoric people — who may believe they’re a dog, cat, or something else — might agree, we nonetheless impose human-specific norms. We force children into clothing and to restrain violent instincts; and teach them manners, morals, customs, language, and a host of educational disciplines. We do not allow them to be feral so they can “make up their own minds later on” as to whether, perhaps, they really are a human or a ferret.

And just as humans will be humans, boys will be boys and girls will be girls. Just as our humanness is (on a physical level) indicated by our DNA, so is our sex. As the American College of Pediatricians puts it, “Human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: ‘XY’ and ‘XX’ are genetic markers of health — not genetic markers of a disorder. The norm for human design is to be conceived either male or female. Human sexuality is binary by design with the obvious purpose being the reproduction and flourishing of our species. This principle is self-evident.” The rare abnormalities that exist do not change this fact. And that there are two different sexes makes clear why there traditionally has been sex-specific child-rearing, now impugned as “sex stereotyping.” Just as we give a child gifted in music different training than one whose talent lies in science, a sane civilization — to an appropriate extent — trains boys and girls differently so they can fulfill their potential as men and women.

Boys cannot become girls, or vice versa. But they can, when subject to bizarre nurturing, become twisted boys and girls. Thus and as is also self-evident, norms must be based on normality, not abnormality. Doing otherwise with children is to visit a most monstrous child abuse upon them.  Doing otherwise, with everyone, makes the whole of society a mental institution writ large, with the inmates running the asylum. And the only question for a land going this route is whether the lies will collapse — before they collapse civilization.

Photo: AP Images

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