Friday, May 6, 2016

Please, Tell Me This Doesn't Scream of Some Serious Trauma

5/5/16 Daily Mail article about how India is going to become the new bargain priced sex change location:
A former US soldier flew to India to have a sex change as part of a growing trend of foreigners traveling out to the country to have operations at budget clinics.Dressed in a bright blue sari and wearing ornate Indian jewellery, Betty Ann Archer, 64, who was born Dale, said she felt trapped in the wrong body.'I attempted to kill myself twice...I didn't like myself. I didn't like my body at all. I couldn't be myself', she explained. 'I became very ill in 2011 and almost died. While I was recovering I came to the conclusion that I had to transition or die.'Seeking an affordable operation she travelled to India where procedures are cheaper and have no waiting lists.  

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And the picture:
 As I have said in the past sex changes make homosexuality look squeaky clean by comparison.

UPDATE: One reader suggested Bruce/Brenda/David Reimer was an example of miswiring.  The Wikipedia article is persuasive the other direction.  The Wikipedia article says he was born male, and a botched circumcision destroyed his penis.  He was then subjected to Dr. John Money's experiments intent on proving that gender was socially determined.  Those experiments certainly sound like a weird form of sexual abuse:
Reimer said that Dr. Money forced the twins to rehearse sexual acts involving "thrusting movements", with David playing the bottom role. Reimer said that, as a child, he had to get "down on all fours" with his brother, Brian Reimer, "up behind his butt" with "his crotch against" his "buttocks". Reimer said that Dr. Money forced David, in another sexual position, to have his "legs spread" with Brian on top. Reimer said that Dr. Money also forced the children to take their "clothes off" and engage in "genital inspections". On at "least one occasion", Reimer said that Dr. Money took a photograph of the two children doing these activities. Dr. Money's rationale for these various treatments was his belief that "childhood 'sexual rehearsal play'" was important for a "healthy adult gender identity".

For several years, Money reported on Reimer's progress as the "John/Joan case", describing apparently successful female gender development and using this case to support the feasibility of sex reassignment and surgical reconstruction even in non-intersex cases. Money wrote, "The child's behavior is so clearly that of an active little girl and so different from the boyish ways of her twin brother." Notes by a former student at Money's lab state that, during the follow-up visits, which occurred only once a year, Reimer's parents routinely lied to lab staff about the success of the procedure. The twin brother, Brian, later developed schizophrenia.
For the first thirty years after Dr. Money's initial report that the reassignment had been a success, Dr. Money's view of the malleability of gender became the dominant viewpoint among physicians and doctors, reassuring them that sexual reassignment was the correct decision in certain instances, resulting in thousands of sexual reassignments.[12]The report and subsequent book about Reimer influenced several medical practices, reputations, and even current understanding of the biology of gender. The case accelerated the decline of sex reassignment and surgery for unambiguous XY infants withmicropenis, various other rare congenital malformations, or penile loss in infancy.[12] 


Rich Rostrom said...

I'm going to repeat this again and again. Gender identity is wired in the brain. There is conclusive evidence of this. e.g the case of Bruce/Brenda/David Reimer. In a very small number of people, the wiring is wrong. It has nothing to do with childhood trauma.

Conflict between a person's physical and neurological gender produces discomfort, which can be intolerable.

Those are the genuine cases of gender dysphoria. Part of the problem now is that those cases are conflated with transvestite fetishism ("autogynephilia"). Another part is that young people are encouraged to adopt fashionable "transgressive" behaviors.

(It is ironic that many "LGBT advocates" argue that "rigid gender identity" is oppressive and should be done away with. For the genuine transsexual, gender identity is as rigid as the iron bed of Procrustes, even to requiring the removal of body parts that don't fit.)

Clayton Cramer said...

There may well be such cases, but there's a lot of stuff like this confused person.

Clayton Cramer said...

The Wikipedia article is persuasive -- the other direction.

Rich Rostrom said...

You have completely misread my reference to the Reimer case.

Bruce/Brenda/David Reimer was made "gender dysphoric". Under the influence of John Money, the Reimers had Bruce's damaged genitals removed, and then attempted to raise him as a girl.

But "Brenda" resisted being treated as a girl, insisting "I'm a boy." "Brenda" had no genitals, so how did "Brenda" know this? From the gender identity "wired" in his brain.

In other words, "Brenda" was in the same condition as an intact person who is "miswired": absolute unconditional perception of a particular gender despite a complete lack of physical evidence for it.

Money's theory of "socially constructed gender" has been conclusively disproven. If it was true, there would be no gender dysphoria, and no demand for SRS except from fetishists.

But that demand does exist. It is easy to dismiss gender dysphoria as a mere delusion, since it contradicts the person's visible gender - but then how does one explain Bruce/Brenda/David's certainty that he was actually male?

The Reimer case is proof that gender identity exists in the brain, independent of the gender identity established by external genitals or secondary sex characteristics. Therefore, it is possible for the two identities to differ.

Clayton Cramer said...

Brenda was not born that way but a victim of medical failure and abuse. How many people are born with gender dysphoria, not the result of sexual abuse? The fact that only about 0.3% are Trans makes me suspicious that this is an inborn problem.

Rich Rostrom said...

"Brenda was not born that way but a victim of medical failure and abuse."

Yes. We agree completely on this. The Bruce/Brenda/David Reimer case is evidence for innate gender identity that is independent of the person's external gender. It is not evidence that such cases ever arise naturally, only that they are possible, and a convincing example of what could happen if such a case did arise naturally. Bruce/Brenda/David's response was similar to that of professed transsexuals, which strongly suggests that their cases are as real as his.

"How many people are born with gender dysphoria, not the result of sexual abuse? The fact that only about 0.3% are Trans makes me suspicious that this is an inborn problem."

Why? There are many much rarer congenital illnesses. Incidentally I would consider an 0.3% rate to be far too high; that would imply about 1M cases in the U.S. 0.01% would be 33,000 cases, which is still a substantial number (about 400 per year).

Consider Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, in which a child with XY chromosomes does not respond to testosterone produced by the gonads, and grows up completely feminine in appearance. The incidence of CAIS is about 1/20,000 XY births, i.e. 0.005%, or about 100 per year. The specific genetic defects leading to CAIS are identified.

Clayton Cramer said...

Therre are people convinced that they are transspecies (werewolf and vampire), but that they have come up with convincing arguments is not persuasive.