Friday, June 27, 2014

Reality Is Optional: Doctors Abusing Children By Labeling Them Female or Male

Slate (as usual) is running articles for the reality-optional universe, such as this gem that tells us that doctors arbitrarily deciding that newborns are boys or girls is a form of abuse.  Even Ann Althouse, who supports gay marriage and all the rest of the sexually correct agenda, is taken aback by its insanity.  Doctors who actually study the problem of gender confusion have long known that gender reassignment surgery is garbage.  John Hopkins Medical School (hardly a center of right-wing reaction) stopped doing adult gender reassignment in 1989 because their own follow-up studies found that it wasn't helping people.  The problem wasn't their in their bodies, but in their minds.  This recent press release from Johns Hopkins indicates that the evidence in favor of infant gender reassignment for those born with intermediate sexual organs isn't effective, either.

But now that the LGB are in complete control, the T has to have their chance to run the society, too.

Great comment on Althouse's blog:
This is just the start! So many arbitrary and ignorant assignments are made for us in the first few weeks after birth - assignments that lock us into roles which we are not able to fulfill, and which do us tremendous damage throughout the rest of our misery-filled lives.
I, for instance, am stuck forever in my current role as a white male human - a role decided for me, without my input, in fact without knowledgeable input at all.
Only recently, after a lifetime of confusion, have I realized that I am actually a giraffe . . .


Jim said...

If gender is an opinion, who's to say that one opinion is any more valid than another?

There's also the story of the boy who's penis was cut in a botched circumcision IIRC. So the rest of it was cut off and he was raised as a girl. However he knew he was a male. Thankfully, he grew up, married, and I think he actually had children (don't ask me how). The whole thing is a case study in how stupid the idea that gender and the "personality of gender" is taught. Girls will dress up Barbies and boys will turn them into guns or missiles (on average).

Josh said...

That's a somewhat interesting link, since the mainstream transgender community reaction to cloacal exstrophy is closer to what John Hopkin's recommends than anything else. ((In the worst cases, sometimes trying to create a third-gender setup or really goofy pronouns.)) The critique Salon is trying to form is actually just taking this to an (illogical) extreme : since modifying a child's genitals without care for the hormonal or neurological setup is obviously bad, and dressing someone up in the trappings of a gender that doesn't match their hormones or neurology is usually bad, it might be dangerous to apply the trappings of gender before the hormonal or neurological side shows up.

In practice, I'm not convinced the harm is more significant than the costs or reduced utility from gendering early, but then again, I don't have much a grasp on gender role stuff.

On the other hand, the Hopkins studies (and most other worthwhile studies) only compare transgender folk undergoing gender reassignment (surgical or nonsurgical) versus the general population, which isn't very meaningful. Which tells us that gender reassignment doesn't solve every problem, but it's not really the standard for normal medical care. The FDA checks whether you do better on a drug than untreated folk with the same problem, not whether the drug makes you healthier than already-hale folk. I only did a quick look through your previous posts; perhaps you have better sources I've overlooked.

I'm also somewhat curious about your reaction to forms of sexual atypicality with different phenotypes. There are individuals who have hormonal profiles and development that match their genitals rather than chromosomes, and in rare cases of chimerism different tissues in the same body may be XX or XY.

Joseph said...

I hope he's not one of the giraffes of "Lipidleggin'".

Rich Rostrom said...

The JHU report doesn't quite support what you're arguing.

True gender dysphoria is a neurological condition. This report (and the Reimer case, referenced by above by Jim), show clearly that gender identity is in the brain, not the genitals, and is not "plastic" or "constructed". BTW, the "evil genius" in the Reimer case was a JHU sexologist who claimed it was, and SRS for cloacal exstrophy would appear to rely on the same false idea.

In a small number of individuals, the brain gender does not match the natural genital gender, and cannot be retrained to match, any more than it can for people with surgically imposed gender. (I.e. the failures cited above.)

For such people - and only them - SRS is the alternative to being miserable. This group is small: maybe 1 in 10,000, which is still about 30,000 people in the U.S.

The hard part is distinguishing these people from sexual fetishists (autogynephilia) and children who act out gender confusion, but get over it in a few years if not encouraged.

For those with genuine intractable gender dysphoria, SRS (or at least hormone treatment) before puberty is probably optimal; for anyone else it would be catastrophic.

Clayton Cramer said...

I don't find it impossible that there are people with genuine gender confusion, but the number is so tiny compared to this transgendered movement that it is pretty obvious that this is more about identity politics and sexual confusion than true gender dysphoria.

SJ said...


This is one of those problems where it is really easy for people to start playing "No True, gender-confusion".

I think it helps to distinguish the pyschological condition (gender dysphoria, or whatever the APA calls it) from physical conditions (indistinct genitals, non-typical chromosomes, etc.).

I'd argue that the David Riemer case was one in which a person with XY chromosomes was born with typical genitals.

It looks like medical mistakes led to a doctor removing his genitals.

Thus, I think it more accurate to say that his gender was in his chromosomes, rather than in his brain.

More generally, I suspect that chromosomes (and associated hormomes) are the primary driver for gender.

Rich Rostrom said...

SJ said...Thus, I think it more accurate to say that his gender was in his chromosomes, rather than in his brain.

The chromosomes are supposed to dictate all aspects of gender development, including what is in the brain. And what is in the brain is what the person regards as the true self.

In a few cases, the development in the brain is wrong.

More generally, I suspect that chromosomes (and associated hormomes) are the primary driver for gender.

Chromosomes dictate the formation of primary sexual characteristics - the structure of the reproductive organs. Other parts of the body responnd to hormonal signals generated from the reproductive organs, producing "secondary sexual characteristics" such as voice pitch, breast growth, and facial hair.

However, the hormone signal process is tricky. Males and females produce both kinds of hormones, and the child developing in the womb (when most of this happens) is exposed to maternal hormones. If the balance of all this goes wrong, the child's development may be disrupted. What is in the chromosomes may not be correctly expressed in the body (including the brain).