News & Politics

A Rational Response to Transgender Activists

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Ryan T. Anderson, a senior research fellow at Heritage Foundation, just released a book that rebuts almost all of the arguments used by transgender activists in promoting “gender identity.”

When Harry Became Sally refutes the primary contention of activists; that “gender exists primarily between our ears.” Anderson sought to disprove that notion using something the activists don’t bother with; science.

Washington Times:

Contrary to the transgender movement’s central claim — that “gender identity” determines whether someone is a man, a woman or something else — Mr. Anderson said the only rationale for determining an organism’s sex is “by that organism’s organization with respect to sexual reproduction.”

“Apart from that, all you have are sex stereotypes,” Mr. Anderson said Wednesday at a Heritage Foundation gathering. “There’s no other objective standard for identifying the sex of an individual.”

Human beings are a “sexually dimorphic species,” with complementary reproductive systems that are either male or female, Mr. Anderson said. One’s sex is evident in DNA, can be tracked in the womb and manifests itself “in many of our bodily systems and organs all the way down to the molecular level.”

Believing otherwise is doing enormous damage to the lives of some troubled people.

He took pains to direct his critiques not at transgender people themselves, but at the activists who promote the ideology.

People with gender dysphoria are suffering, Mr. Anderson said, and as many as 41 percent of those who identify as transgender will try to commit suicide at some point in their lives.

“It’s important that our response to them be one of compassion and respect for their struggle,” he said. “But we also need to beware of the harm that activists are doing by promoting their ideology.”

That “harm” includes nothing less than child abuse. Transgender activists recommend a four part standard of care for young children that includes encouraging children to transgender “socially” if they express “consistent, insistent and persistent” identification with the opposite sex. Drugs should be administered that prevent them from “going through puberty in the wrong body.” And then during puberty, they should be given hormone treatment from the opposite sex.The final stage is undergoing gender transformation surgery.

The problem with this regimen, as Anderson points out, is that 80-95% of kids that exhibit gender confusion at a young age eventually grow out of it.

And Anderson points to the activists’ primary intellectual inconsistency:

Mr. Anderson said the transgender movement’s emphasis on surgical and cosmetic procedures is inconsistent with the notion that “gender exists primarily between our ears.” If gender is a mental phenomenon, “why do we then have to radically transform people’s bodies?”

He also said the concept of social transition, “in which girls play with dolls and boys play with trucks,” relies on “rigid sex stereotypes” that progressives would normally reject as relics of a misogynistic era.

Well, few have ever tried to prove that liberalism is intellectually consistent.

Dr. Paul R. McHugh, a university distinguished professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, is frequently cited in Anderson’s book. His medical and scientific conclusions about transgenderism are radically different than the uninformed and politically motivated activists.

In his capacity as psychiatrist in chief at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, a position he held for 26 years, Dr. McHugh pioneered sex change surgery as a way to treat gender dysphoria. After studying the results, however, he concluded that the procedures brought no benefit to his patients and stopped offering the treatment in the 1970s.

Today, he recommends that patients with gender dysphoria seek psychosocial treatment, and he compares the malady to anorexia and other body-dysmorphic disorders.

In 2016, Dr. McHugh co-wrote a special report with Lawrence S. Mayer, a biostatistician and epidemiologist, that was published in The New Atlantis. The paper, “Sexuality and Gender: Findings From the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences,” reported that many of the LGBT movement’s claims are “not supported by scientific evidence.”

“Gender dysphoria — a sense of incongruence between one’s biological sex and one’s gender, accompanied by clinically significant distress or impairment — is sometimes treated in adults by hormones or surgery, but there is little scientific evidence that these therapeutic interventions have psychological benefits,” the researchers wrote.

The problem isn’t that transgenderism doesn’t really exist. It does. The problem for activists is that gender dysphoria is extremely rare — only one or two live births for every 100,000 newborns. Activists have convinced some parents that childhood behavior that is well within the norm — boys playing with dolls and girls playing with trucks, for example — is a sure sign that the child is “trapped” in the wrong body.

Amazingly, clinics catering to this nonsense have sprung up all over the country. “There are more than 45 pediatric gender clinics have opened their doors to our nation’s children,” Mr. Anderson said. Some doctors know a good scam when they see one.

Recently, the bizarre and utterly unscientific notion has arisen that there are dozens and dozens of genders — each gender being equally valid because the individual who identifies by that gender says so. The LGBTQ community sees the gender revolution as the next great civil rights arena, which means individuals from each and every one of these made up genders will be eligible to sue for discrimination, and vie for our pity because they are bullied or made fun of.

Anderson’s book will be ignored for obvious reasons; too rational, too reasonable, and worst of all, too many facts. It’s a shame. More people who understood the madness that is growing in the country might have prevented what’s coming.