ABSTRACT: Transgenderism has many challenges for the modern world. In sports, it is damaging the ability of genetic women to have physical success in competition, which also limits their ability to academically succeed through scholarships. Transbeing has been shown to be rising as a social construct and spreads memetically as a social contagion, with the recent inclusion of transitioning young children as supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The constructs under which transgender theory operates are self-defeating in precise logic, and challenged by statistical analyses of population studies of the two sexes and human sexual dimorphism; it is also autophagic under more general analysis, which awkwardly places it in opposition to scientific, atheistic thought, and into the realm of the experiential and spiritual. Transitioning can be deleterious to the person experiencing gender dysphoria, but there are different schemata which can be embraced to provide long-term health benefits to those people suffering from it.
While this article is titled “War on Women,” it is also a war on straight, lesbian, gay, and bi sexualities, which will be explored under the section “Metaphysics of Being and Transbeing.” Before I mention anything else, I need to be up-front and say that being vicious, cruel, and unloving is simply not needed, nor is it profitable. There is a tendency to lose perspective, and to become human steamrollers, covered in spikes and fueled by bile. This is not what any of us are called to do, nor should we behave so unbecomingly. Every life should be regarded as having amazing potential, no matter how much we disagree with its current state.
That said, examining ideas carefully and with charity can be helpful in considering a portion of the population that is seemingly statistically worse-off. We must always be vigilant to tear down ideas, but not people. I also hope that it might be understood that I detest injustice; I will go to bat for anyone who is being oppressed, as I am able, because I highly value the human life, and have been helped in the past by those whom I have only hurt.
With this charitable mindset in view, I present the following thoughts, which represent a mere fraction of what informs my opinion, and I hope that I present them not stridently, but with some gentleness, and in a way that, should you disagree even most emphatically, is not angering. I have attempted to utilize secular and LGB community sources, including a number of progressive professors and research scientists. While I have a worldview which includes God, much of the discussion can be had tangential to that, as will be evidenced.
⇢Transgenderism Conquering Women
The article in this link is about about a male-to-female transgender athlete, pictured above. I consider this to be a part of the war on women, but in a much newer way, and starkly more deleterious. In essence, a young man didn’t do stunningly well when competing against men, but upon “becoming” a woman, he beat all of his female competitors soundly. This makes sense, as he has a different skeletal structure and chromosomes; the internal writing of his cells, with which he was created, are different than those of his competitors.
It is notable that, meanwhile, three Connecticut high school track-and-field athletes have filed a federal Title IX discrimination complaint over the state’s athletic transgender policy, stating that it has put them at a competitive disadvantage and harmed their chances of earning college scholarships.
Dr. Rachel McKinnon, a transwoman, recently won a world championship in cycling. Representing Canada, McKinnon won gold for the sprint event in the women’s 35-39 age category at the 2019 Masters Track Cycling World Championships. McKinnon also set a woman’s world record in the qualifying event. McKinnon is an “AMAB” person, which means “assigned male at birth.” That is to say, McKinnon’s body produces sperm, not eggs. McKinnon, who goes by Dr. Veronica Ivy online, posted the following after winning:
As you can see, the disadvantage presented to genetic females is stark, and as we’ll discuss later, transgender individuals have higher rates of morbidities. Combined, there is great reason to investigate transgenderism with a view toward ameliorating both issues.
In order to understand what transgenderism is, it’s important to understand why it’s becoming more prevalent and apparently more popular. In other words, we need to know how it is spreading. Atheist Richard Dawkins would say that the spread is seemingly “memetic.” That is, once it entered into the public consciousness, it spread in a manner that is almost viral; in the past 10 years, the prevalence of transgender-identifying individuals has doubled.
Reason.com hosted a podcast with Drs. Christina Hoff Sommers and Debra Soh called, “Let’s Talk About Sex Differences with Christina Hoff Sommers and Debra Soh.” In the podcast, they note that transgenderism is primarily a social contagion, and that the studies which show this don’t fit in with the ideologies of some in academia, so the scientists studying the rise of transgenderism often come under attack. I transcribed a small portion of the podcast:
Previously when we looked at say, gender clinics, of children it would be for male patients—so be mostly boys who were very feminine. And then in the last ten years there’s been a sudden switch in the sex ratio and now it’s predominantly girls…and I’ve written about this issue before. It’s called rapid onset gender dysphoria—not necessarily all of these girls, but there is definitely this phenomenon of young girls who have no history of being gender dysphoric, so I don’t know if that’s necessarily the case of your son’s classmates, but these girls will come out as transgender, often completely out of the blue, one after the other; in some cases in friend groups it’ll be more than half of the friend group coming out as transgender, which suggests that it is like a social contagion.
Lisa Littman (she’s a physician and researcher at Brown University), she published the first study on this, and then all hell broke loose after. It “disappeared;” it’s quote unquote “under review” right now, even though it was peer reviewed before it went out, so it meant that other experts would have looked at it and vetted it and said this is good to go to the public, and then it’s since been deemed needing to be reviewed because of its “methodology.”—Debra Soh, beginning ~28:25
Soh and Sommers note that transgenderism is often encouraged by parents, who want their children to have compassionate family members who are proactive in transitioning them—even the American Academy of Pediatrics is harmfully pushing this viewpoint, which is not scientific. This leads to huge mistakes. As Soh notes, it’s important not to base life decisions on the expressions of a prepubescent child. “Kids say all kinds of things and the thing is, especially for very young children, when they say they are the opposite sex, what they really mean is they want to do things that the opposite sex does, and that’s the only language that they have.”
Transgenderism affects women negatively, has higher rates of morbidities, and spreads in a seemingly viral fashion. Many are encouraging people to become transgender in spite of this, and based on flawed worldviews, leading possibly to far more harm, though done out of a spirit of encouragement. We’ll discuss this more in the coming sections.
⇢Gender Constructs (general objections)
I would like to more thoroughly discuss some of the logical struggles of transgenderism as it is being popularly espoused, and to provide some scientific resources for review. After this section, we’ll go from the precise logic to the general metaphysics.
Typically, the gender-theories are presented in roughly one of two ways.
- I.) Gender is nothing but a social construct and is not based on genetic sex.
- II.) Transgender individuals typically alter exterior morphology/phenotypical expression (how they appear) through “transitioning” to appear as the opposite genetic sex.
Note that this “transition” is in opposition to the statement that gender is a social construct and not attached to geneotype (your DNA and chromosomes)/determined by biology. Transgenderism as an ideology (that is, not a clinical dysphoria to be ameliorated by centering the mind around the physical, but trying to supervene the minds thoughts upon the genetic makeup) has a panoply of metaphysical absurdities, though, and so we look at
- i.) you can be a man born in a woman’s body (biologically deterministic argument—that is, you have no choice in this matter at all, and your DNA is determining who you are)
- ii.) gender is socially constructed (we are determining what sociocultural expressions are attached to DNA, which is directly contradictory to the above, point i)
- iii.) it’s a personal choice (also contradicts i)
Those contradictory viewpoints, often held concomitantly with one another, are not unexpected, as many in academia and popular culture are promulgating the notion that there is no such thing as truth, and that there is no such thing as free will or even intentional states of consciousness. But the above points eat themselves; they’re a metaphyiscal ouroboros. In the spirit of sharing something that I found amusing, and which I apply to myself, always assess your premises and ask, “do they eat themselves?”
In essence, though, the arguments in I-II and i-iii above boil down to this: they believe that there are no meaningful differences between men and women, yet they rely on rigid sex stereotypes to argue that “gender identity” is chock full of meaningful distinctions. To add some levity, what if I start referring to myself as a trans-man? When people ask if I was born with a penis (I sure was), I’ll just reply that biology doesn’t determine gender.
Said another way, gender has typically been called “how one feels” about ones sex or masculine/feminine traits. Transgender people tend to transition to the “opposite” of what they currently are. As a crude example, perhaps a male would have his genitals altered, wear pink, and get boobs. At the same time, this belief holds that gender stereotypes (girls like pink) are not true, and that biology holds no bearing on gender. If that is true, why transition one’s exterior morphology to the “opposite?” What are you actually transitioning from and to if biology holds no bearing on gender and if gender isn’t binary?
I should hasten to note, too, that in order to further muddy the waters, some in academia are saying that there are unlimited biologic sexes, and that biologic sex is a social construct, whereas gender identity is one’s manifest destiny. (But please show me a third gamete; I’ve only seen sperm and eggs, and no intermediate or third option.) Dr. Deanna Adkins of Duke University says,
“It is counter to medical science to use chromosomes, hormones, internal reproductive organs, external genitalia, or secondary sex characteristics to override gender identity for purposes of classifying someone as male or female.”—Dr. Adkins, Duke University
One of the biggest blows to the type of worldview under view here is on gender vs biologic sex (including the viewpoint that there are unlimited biologic sexes, and please ignore that there’s only an egg and a sperm behind the curtain). Genetic males and females simply behave differently, and these broad traits do not go away simply because they choose to identify with the “other” genetic sex.
We have overwhelming, firm, well-researched science that shows this, and it shows that traits, such as aggression, agreeableness, etc., which some say aren’t linked to your chromosomal makeup, in fact are. If you have time to read any publication in the next week, I’d recommend checking our Dr. Scott Kaufman’s article on this, called “Taking Sex Differences in Personality Seriously: New approaches are shedding light on the magnitude of sex differences in personality, and the results are so strong and pervasive that they can no longer be ignored.” If you have further time, it’s well-cited and will give you a treasure trove of reading if you follow the citations.
Dr. James Cantor also has a great deal of good research, so visit his site and get some of his publications. For example, he has a research paper on how the rot of deleterious transgender ideology has suppressed and overpowered science in the American Academy of Pediatrics, putting little kids at risk:
American Academy of Pediatrics and trans- kids: Fact-checking Rafferty (2018)
—James M. Cantor, PhD, CPsych, Director, Toronto Sexuality Centre, Toronto, Canada | Associate Professor, University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, Canada
Although the American Academy of Pediatrics once recommended watchful waiting with children who make mention of perhaps being mis-gendered, they now recommend proactive steps to transition the children. They say that waiting until the child hits puberty is “arbitrary” and may result in further harm to the child, withholds the child necessary support, etc. Yet the research they cite shows just the opposite, and in fact all the sources indicate children tend to almost exclusively cease having gender dysphoric feelings post puberty. That makes sense; the human brain isn’t even fully developed until around 25 years of age, so choosing to proactively alter someone seems massively misguided.
As we can see, transgender ideology tends to be anti-scientific and self-defeating. It denies that gender and sex are related while stipulating that there are no binaries, yet encourages sex as a basis for externalizing gender expression (again, the example of a male getting boobs) along binary lines. Furthermore, it is being promulgated throughout academia an in medical institutions and some are encouraging proactive altering of children, which can lead to increased self-harm and suicidal ideation further down the road.
⇢Metaphysics of Being and Transbeing (specific objections)
Transitioning one’s gender often entails surgeries and hormone therapies which cannot be reverted easily or at all. Having mastectomies, orchiectomies, hysterectomies, genital surgeries, taking hormones— these things have serious side effects for life. Detransitioning can be life-altering, both in having the transitioned ingroup hate the detransitioner, and in having a body which has been changed forever. It is not a light subject; the import is in some cases so devastating that it’s terminal. We must discuss this subject not in terms of popular culture or mere ideology, but toward a view of human health in the long term.
Medically, “being trans,” or “transbeing” is not a diagnosis. The only thing we have to point to is gender dysphoria. What, then, is gender dysphoria? The DSM-5 has a set of criteria, and we can observe that it’s based entirely on the reporter’s feeling and beliefs. In other words, the basis of the diagnosis is not in any physically observable characteristics (such as lab blood values, neuroscans, genetics, etc.), but instead all on self-report.
The words used in diagnosis are “conviction,” “dislike,” “preference,” “desire,” etc. The diagnosis is made based entirely on desires. A person who has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria has received, in essence, a response from a clinician which is, “The patient told me their feelings. They don’t like their body.” It’s a self-referential diagnosis.
The word “dysphoria” means “anguish.” Being diagnosed with gender dysphoria means that one’s body causes one to feel unhappiness and even anguish—doctors are not diagnosing people with having the wrong body; they can’t do that. They’re diagnosing that one doesn’t like one’s body. So how do we treat anguish? Especially given what we’ve seen above: the anguish may be a social and mental construct that’s transient and based on one’s social ingroup, as Drs. Soh and Hoff Sommers mentioned. I.e., it’s most often an anguish based in part on peer-pressure that will pass in the years to come.
Should first-line treatment be hormone replacement therapy? Surgeries? Encouragement to embrace a different gender construct which hates one’s body? These are questions that we’ll address in a bit.
For now, let’s drill down on what being trans is. If we say that a diagnosis of gender dysphoria means that you’re “trans,” then being anguished about one’s body and genetics signifies that you’re “in the wrong body.” What sort of tests can we perform to show that you’re in the wrong physical body?
There are no such tests. And that brings us to the foundation of the philosophical problems in the murky waters of transgender thought as it’s popularly promulgated:
A “wrong body” diagnosis makes no sense unless you believe a person “is” a disembodied, gendered soul which can be “in” a body. But that’s not how science understands it—at best, that’s religious thought. You’re not “in” a body. Your body is you. It just is what it is. If you have one you dislike, well too bad. Not only that, it’s a necessary consequence of the state of the universe, and I’ve provided a synopsis of the science behind this multiple times before. The deep-thinking, atheist scientists are firm on this: there is no free will, no soul, and no meaning to anything, including gender dysphoria, which is simply a thought that arises in the mind and has no ability to be mapped onto reality.
I firmly believe that we have souls, and also in body-mind dualism, which is best described in the book “The Self and Its Brain: An Argument for Interactionism,” by Nobel Prize winner Sir John Eccles (AC FRS FRACP FRSNZ FAA PhD) and renowned philosopher of science, Sir Karl Popper (CH FBA FRS PhD). For those reasons, I reject transgenderism as a logically-coherent set of ideas, and believe that this rejection can lead to an ideology which gives people free will back, and also allows them to challenge their dysphoria, which can be terribly painful for them, especially if they proceed ahead with gender reassignment surgery, hormone replacement therapy, etc.
⇢Improving Human Health
The rise of transgenderism is not just about the challenges to competitive sports and the problems of logic, though. Trangenderism is also associated with a high-rate of co-morbidities. According to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center,
“30 percent of transgender youth report a history of at least one suicide attempt, and nearly 42 percent report a history of self-injury, such as cutting. The study also discovered a higher frequency of suicide attempts among transgender youth who are dissatisfied with their weight.”—”Suicidality, Self-Harm, and Body Dissatisfaction in Transgender Adolescents and Emerging Adults with Gender Dysphoria. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior” (19 AUG 2016)
At the most fundamental level, I think that encouraging gender transition is not only damaging, but also represents a profoundly troubling view of the human body and mind. Under this view, the body may become a persistent and seemingly loathesome impediment to the mind, as one sees the two as entirely disconnected. Broadly speaking, there are three views of the mind-body interaction in this regard. They can be construed as,
- A. The body provides guidance as to who one (the mind) is and how one lives one’s life.
- B. The body is disconnected from the mind and provides no guidance, but may act as an impediment to the mind/spirit.
- C. There is no such thing as the will or mind, and such is an illusion. (This is the terminus of atheistic thought, as I’ve noted before.)
Transgenderism seems to fall along the lines of view “B” above, although it is sometimes mixed with C. The body has no guiding force in one’s life; it is a mere collection of cells; an allocation of atoms that, in some cases, are seen as having given one a collection of 50% of the wrong chromosomes. It causes a person to ask,
“Why should my body, my identity as male or female, have any voice in my moral choices, what I do sexually? Why should my chromosomes determine in any way who I am?”
More specifically, Jessica Savano, a male-to-female model, commented, “Why are you even looking at my penis anyway? I am a woman!” Jessica requested funds on Kickstarter stating,
“Jessica’s mission lies in helping people love themselves and break free from dogma and mediocrity and to live a life of true fulfillment and Joy.”
Yet it seems that with the memetic spread of transgenderism, true fulfillment does not result. How can it? At the most basic level, it’s a view that is thoroughly disrespectful to the human body, which says, “No, my body is not my authentic self.” And so, the implication is that all that counts really is my mind, feelings, and desires. Consider an article on NBC titled, “For transgender men, pain of menstruation is more than just physical.”
The article discusses Kenny Jones, pictured below, a person born with a vagina, but who was allowed to embrace the concept that she was a “he.” Step back and look beneath the surface of Jones’ following comments. Consider, for a moment, that there is something much more distressing than the face-validity of them:
“I didn’t believe that having periods would be a part of my lived experience. I felt isolated; everything about periods was tailored to girls, yet me, a boy, was experiencing this and nothing in the world documented that.”—Kenny Ethan Jones
“Having a period already causes me a lot of [gender] dysphoria, but this dysphoria becomes heightened when I have to shop for a product that is labeled as ‘women’s health’ and in most cases, is pretty and pink,”
This poor person feels mental anguish seeing reminders that “he” is actually a “she” in the form of pink tampon boxes. That’s already a terrible existence to embrace as one’s authentic self. Now imagine the feeling of looking down at your pelvis and knowing that the skeleton there is not in the shape a male’s. Of looking down in the shower and seeing no penis, because that’s not who you are, nor can you ever, really be. Imagine having a uterus, but being raised in a way so that having a period is a shell-shocker.
Is this healthier for the person? Healthier than if they’d embraced their genetics? It would seem that it isn’t; it’s just a struggle that’s bashing their being in, and which can be walked away from.
But consider the desires. A person wishing to transition to a different gender often attempts to model the exterior, classic appearance of the other sex as well. That is, one denies that gender is based on exterior genitalia or chromosomes, but, when transitioning, still desires to mimic the exterior of the other sex (upon, which, remember, we are saying that gender is not based).
How can one have true fulfillment when one knows that, no matter the external change, one’s external genitalia have been altered? That, no matter what, one’s skeletal structure is different than that of what one wishes to be? That one’s entire chromosomal makeup is 50% “incorrect?” It is a creeping thorn in the flesh that one can deny, but of which one can never truly be rid.
It seems to me that we have a number of different options. We can encourage people to take atheism to its terminus, in which there are no actual choices or free will, and in which case, none of this matters. We can teach people that their DNA—the information that makes them, them—is not only faulty, but that their bodies are not their authentic selves, and that this must be challenged, altered, and trod upon, but can never be truly conquered.
Or we can teach people to embrace and love the bodies they have been given; to align the mind and body in harmony. A memetic spread that appreciates the body as a part of the authentic self might perhaps have a population wherein the following is not true:
“30 percent of transgender youth report a history of at least one suicide attempt, and nearly 42 percent report a history of self-injury, such as cutting. The study also discovered a higher frequency of suicide attempts among transgender youth who are dissatisfied with their weight.”
There is much more that we should all examine, and ultimately, it is my firm conviction that we need to decide if there is anything such as the mind/spirit, or if determinism is fully sound.
With love, always,
Note: Idea-laundering and memetically-spread social contagions are both on the rise in academia and the world at large. For a PG-13 dialog about Dr. Boghossian’s fake academic research and the disturbing state of social justice affecting science, please see Reason.com‘s podcast, “How To Have Impossible Conversations in Terrible Times.” They are also featured on The Babylon Bee’s podcast (search number 15: How Social Justice Is Like Gremlins.) and on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, which is worth an R rating, but very informative. Also see a recent Reason podcast which features two professors “in exile” for a deeper look at social justice’s potential for deleterious impact on science—Let’s Talk About Sex Differences with Christina Hoff Sommers and Debra Soh: Podcast.