Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I'm Sure Who Is Raising Him Has Nothing To Do With It

An October 17, 2011 FoxNews report concerning what some medical experts consider a very bad idea:

A lesbian couple in California who say their 11-year-old son Tommy who wants to be a girl named Tammy are giving their child hormone blockers that delay the onset of puberty -- so that he can have more time that he can have more time to decide if he wants to change his gender.

The couple’s supporters say the Hormone Blocking Therapy has only minor side effects and is appropriate for a child who is unsure of his gender. "This is definitely a changing landscape for transgender youth," said Joel Baum, director of education and training for Gender Spectrum, a California-based non-profit group. "This is about giving kids and their families the opportunity to make the right decision."
 The report interviews Dr. Paul McHugh, professor of psychiatry at Johns-Hopkins University (one of the most highly regarded medical schools in the world, and hardly a center of Young Earth fundamentalism), who says, "It is a disorder of the mind. Not a disorder of the body. Dealing with it in this way is not dealing with the problem that truly exists."

According to the "parents," Tommy threatened to mutilate his own genitals at age 7 because he was so upset about being a boy. I am sure that many children are raised by gay couples who turn out okay.  (Probably no worse than many kids raised in shattered straight marriages.)  But can anyone see a reason why a boy growing up in a lesbian couple home might end up with some gender confusion?


  1. I wouldn't trust anyone from Johns Hopkins on this issue. The notorious John Money was a professor there when he perpetrated the Reimer disaster.

    Money persuaded a Canadian couple whose infant son had suffered accidental genital mutilation to raise the boy as a girl, including immediate genital surgery.

    Money claimed that the child had adapted happily to "her" assigned gender, which was cited by numerous feminists as proof that gender was socially constructed.

    In fact the child was miserable until finally (age 14 or so) his mother told him what happened. After that, he could be a boy, at least hormonally and socially.

    Ironically, this confirms the claim underlying the diagnosis of "gender dysphoria": that each individual has an internally determined gender identity which is independent of external appearance and influences. Genuine transsexuality occurs in the rare cases when that identity is conflict with the body's physical gender.

    McHugh is right when he says "It is a disorder of the mind", but as there is no way to alter the mind, the only resolution is to alter the body. If he claims there is a treatment which can effectively change a person's internal gender identity - I'd say he is as much of a huckster as Money was with his claim that gender identity was completely malleable.

  2. Money is part of the reason the whole gender reassignment thing is in disrepute now.

    Disorder of the mind may indicate that someone has been damaged into thinking that they are really the other sex. I concede the possibility that there may be genuine mismatches, but too many examples I have seen have involved situations like this one, or really weird forms of sexual abuse: a little boy whose mother wanted a daughter, and kept painting his nails, making him wear dresses, while the very macho Marine father became increasingly upset about his sissy son.

  3. Isn't seven about the time that the child seeks to disattach from mommy and affiliate with daddy? I've seen it as a sort of steroidal case of "I wanna be like Daddy", right down to sitting on the couch in the same pose, eating food at the dinner table in the same manner, and even (or especially) walking like daddy. Who can this child emulate, and how?
    And I go back to my observation about sexual dismorphia contrasted with Lycanthropy (the belief that one is a wolf-man). We treat Lycanthropy with drugs and therapy, and not the drugs that cause profuse hair growth all over the body.