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Leaving Psychiatry Chap 7; Bio-Alchemy
Tabula Rasa or Tabula Ruina?
‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean–neither more nor less.’
‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean different things–that’s all.’
‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master–that’s all’
(Alice and Humpty) Lewis Carroll
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Prologue. April 2023
This chapter, like the others, is an unreferenced draft written in 2019 just before the world fell off the covid cliff. See Introduction and the contents for details. Most of the others deal with issues in psychiatry more philosophical than practical, or at least operating more at the margins. Except for the therapeutic state, these are problems that are static or even stagnant and impact only on a minority. The trans-formative trans hysteria in kids is something far worse, a sign of the times that impacts on us all. Apologies for it being the longest chapter by far. Apologies also for it not being updated. The whole topic is quite revolting, a kind of mental rape if gazing at it for too long. On reflection, some issues are better argued with no argument at all. They are axiomatically right or wrong. we ought to be confident in our assertions and leave the philosophy and science for what isn’t obvious. But I did take the dive and here it is, for what it’s worth. Probably if I were to add anything it would be for the trans critic not to assume all childhood trans is misdiagnosed autism. Not all autism as diagnosed is really autism either. So many fashions within fashions within fashions.
Leaving Psychiatry. Chapter 7; Bio-Alchemy. Mid 2019.
Some say that the road to hell is paved by good intentions, whilst others (myself included) when receiving an unwanted gift will respond sincerely “it’s the thought that counts”. Being strongly disposed to the view good intentions are a good in themselves, this is not to imply that the outcome of an intended good is an unqualified good in fact. Perhaps it is better said that the river to heaven can be flowing with the blood of the victims of good intentions. To all people of conscience whose intentions fall short of the goal, it would be a personal hell to have that much blood on one’s hands. To wit like a scarred Icarus we fall headlong from heaven to hell, the latter especially inescapable if the outcome is both foreseeable and poor. It is at escaping this fall and certain vicious moral spirals that the current chapter is addressed. Come the end of the day, every adult is without excuse.
And so the question is this; a child or adolescent presents claiming to be a boy trapped in a girl’s body. In one corner there are those psychiatrists and psychologists (and other species of the “helping” professions”) who would say that child is, in any essentially meaningful sense it is to be, a boy. And vice versa, a child claiming to be a girl trapped inside a boy’s body will be declared to be a girl revealing herself to the world. What follows are further acts and rituals of (trans)gender affirmation. These include, yet not limited to the following if the child desires it;
-a name in keeping with its “realized” gender,
-clothing congruent to the gender the child identifies with,
-an assertive call to others to relate to the child as being the gender he/she/it/they/ze identify with (bathrooms, personal pronouns, identity documents etcetera). This includes a prohibition against “conversion therapy”, i.e. therapy that in any conceivable way is aimed at challenging the child against it the gender she/he claims to be.
-and at the appropriate times pharmacology to prevent or arrest puberty will begin followed by….
-even more powerful pharmacology to begin to steer the bodies secondary sex characteristics towards the gender the youth identifies with.
The final steps are surgical procedures including replacing as best as the surgeon can a penis with a vagina or vagina with a penis, and mastectomy if the identity trapped inside the female body identifies as being male.
Every single one of these steps is shepherded by adults following an ideology informed and endorsed by the guilds of psychiatry +/- guilds of paediatrics and family medical practitioners (general practitioners).
In the other corner are those who would say such a practice is a kind of madness or moral depravity. We are the sex we are, this being the sex which we were discovered (not assigned) to be the day we were born, or the days to follow in extremely rare ambiguous cases where sexual identity is initially unclear. And if someone’s psyche, a child especially, does not align with the biological facts of the world then whatever this psychological state is, it is not insight into an inner quasi gnostic truth of their personhood. This corner would say that the adults a priori ought to know better. This corner would say it is the (trans)gender affirmatives who are practicing the real conversion therapy.
Now psychiatry cannot weasel its way into talk of diagnosis as a construct in flux and its application to the person as evolving and revealing itself over time, forever dissolving the sins of the present as they can be argued never to have been fully concretised. That is to say one cannot use an endless dialectic as a cover to kick the can of moral responsibility down the street forever. This is a most slippery strategy. Real life isn’t a journey towards verisimilitude without ever reaching a destination. The destination is the “now” within which each person lives, a case in point that in the lobotomized patient the damage is done. They cannot be cured by looking back through the retrospectoscope and saying “ah but we now know better. Sorry but oh well”. Nor can psychiatry say there are various even mutually exclusive ways of formulating a case, all of which are acceptable and true in themselves in some queer truth-fluid pragmatic way. No, the matter must be put more bluntly. In this debate one side are protecting the interests of the child and the other are abusing them.
Viewed through the pro trans lens, one will be the villain of denying the child the ability to be who they truly are inside. This side will simply prolong, if not create, the suffering and stigmatization of being trapped in the wrong body, perhaps inciting the person to suicide. That would be the villainous camp into which I would belong if they are right.
On the other hand, us trans critics will claim that our opponents are psychological, chemical and physical mutilators of children, placing their politics and deranged ideology before young lives, a Munchausen by proxy on the grandest scale.
Which side will you be on and what will you have done about it when the dust settles, and the lawyers begin soliciting for clients? The stakes are very high here. Both sides want the other in prison and both are seriously willing put them there.
A Note on Assigned Gender
All guilds, professional bodies and governments the anglo world over have radically changed the definitions with which to construct our second order hinge assumptions. This has happened at a truly revolutionary pace. Once it was a given that the midwife, obstetrician, paediatrician and all the village would look to the genitalia of the baby and discover as a datum of nature, a fact in the world, what the babies sex is. In cases of ambiguous genitalia this knowledge would come soon after with genetic or other testing, at least in the contemporary setting where such investigations are available. Now the language has changed seemingly overnight. Everywhere one reads they will hear the call of the state pushing us to use the term “assigned gender”, with some further on the fringe refraining from mention of gender at all until the child is old enough to tell us who they are. That is to say, biological sex is no longer determinative of whether the baby is and will be girl or boy, a woman or man. Instead in the use of the word “assigned”, the gender is given as a provisional diagnosis in an otherwise epistemologically ambiguous state that is universalised to everyone. Given and not discovered, provisional and not fixed. We cannot know if this newborn with a penis and testicles is a boy until it grows old enough to tell us what “it” is when we encourage it to “explore gender identities” or be “creative” with gender. It is to say if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck we pencil it in as being a duck until later when it can tell us it is a duck, a chicken, a chicken duck or not a bird at all, perhaps a fish or a tree.
Amidst assigning a provisional uncertain gender, we also have to appropriation terms heretofore the province of the hard science of organic chemistry. Certain compounds may have arrangements of molecular groups attached on the same side (cis) or opposite side (trans) the main chain of carbon. The arrangement significantly affects certain properties of the molecule as a whole. And so from this we have the inspiration for the terms “cis gender” when anatomy and identity align (what I will usually refer to as the anatomical male/female) and trans gender (whose gender identification is misaligned with initially assigned biological sex). By use of such a psycho-linguistic tactic the person is rendered a conglomeration of functional and structural subunits, the metaphorical equivalent of the contents of a test tube. This scientistic tone is only the start of the bio alchemy.
“Assigned gender”, cis/trans gender, gender queer, gender fluid, pan gender and on it goes. All these neologisms, like Bonnevilles revolutionary la langue universelle de la Republique, a necessary violence against all the old language to usher in the new rainbow utopia, itself a perverted appropriation. In the process of the birth of the new republic of sexuality, both women and men, girls and boys, and certainly ladies and gentlemen all face the linguistic guillotine. And the vast majority of conservatives in their cowardice of self censorship march their own language to its death. For shame!
On the Genealogy of Genderosis
So how did this all begin. Our genealogy can begin with Magnus Hirschfeld, the German Jewish (and consequently exiled) gay activist living in the dying days of a libertine Weimar Germany. Hirschfeld mostly fought for gay rights and is said to have coined the term “transvestite” as equivalent to cross dressing in a man identifying as a man. It is also said that he was supportive of transgenderism qua living as another gender, though in believing there were essentially an infinite range of sexualities he effectively sought to dissolve all boundaries. Anything goes was essentially his motto and he was more libertine romantic and activist than analytical and deconstructive in his approach.
Next there is David Cauldwell, the surgeon with a lifelong interest in sexual anatomy who coined the term “transsexual”. His autobiography disturbingly points out that from a young age “"I all but made a fetish of my study of the genital and related organs". This is a strange use of the word “fetish” by one who would presumably know the technical application of it, as a split object that is not in itself the person with whom one has sexual congress, yet necessary for arousal and orgasm nonetheless. Caudwell fell out of favour with his American professors and was to finally graduate from a medical school in Mexico, before going onto a career in surgery and a self-styled career as a psychiatrist and sexologist. He wrote his essay “Psychopathia Transexualis” soon after the Second World War, and was one of the first to promote the idea that psychological sex can differ from biological sex as a valid alternate state of identity. Because he figured that changing the biological sex to align with the mind was not possible given surgical technology of the day, along with his belief that psychological sex was plastic, his entirely pragmatic conclusion was to pathologize the mental aspect of the disharmony and try change the mind instead. Had surgery been more advanced to his standards, he would have loved gone all the way.
Harry Benjamin was one of the first to take up Cauldwells idea of transsexualism and promote it, though also claimed to be the first to coin the term. In truth both were wrong, as a better translation of Hirschfelds work reveals it was he to first use it, or a close equivalent in the concept of 'seelischer Transsexualismus' or “transsexualism of the psyche”. Benjamin, a family physician, was born in Berlin and knew Hirschfeld who introduced him, it seems as only an observer, to Berlins homosexual bars and drag shows which were flourishing at the turn of the Twentieth century. Decades later Benjamin collaborated with the infamous Alfred Kinsey in what both saw was a very rare thing, a young man in his early twenties who wanted to fully and completely transition to become a girl, indeed to be the girl he (or she) was inside. The fact these two sexologists both saw such an occurrence as exceedingly rare underscores the fact that the current spate of transgenderism in childhood and adolescence is socially constructed and socially amplified. The young man, who was named Barry, was discouraged from transitioning by psychiatrists of the day yet affirmed as female at an early age by his mother, who was as equally obsessed as Barry that he be transitioned. Despite the Barry case being oft written as unique and formative, some sources state that Benjamin had encountered other adult transgender like individuals before and after the extreme case of Barry, amounting to many hundreds over the course of a long career. Yet given Benjamins career was over a half century long, and given he was a veritable magnet for alternative sexualities, the reader ought not think that triple digits of cases amount to anything but the tiniest dot on the population landscape. All of Benjamins cases are worth a careful closer look by those who would wish to ignore the question of psychopathology in trans childhood, and think that all trans children are an uncomplicated case of being “x” trapped in the body of a “y”, with any psychological problems entirely after the fact as a result of persecution by a transphobic oppressor. His first patient Otto, as an unselected example, was an anxious boy of a widowed mother. Grist for the mill of both the Freudian and Fliessian (for those familiar with Wilhelm Fliess), he slept with his mother until age 14, was used as a dress model from early childhood, and fantasized that his nosebleeds were menstrual bleeds. Otto dressed as, and identified with, being more female than male. Otto, like many others, would also begin a life of closet autogynephilia. This is to say he was sexually aroused by the image and kinaesthetic feel of himself dressing as a female and would masturbate with himself qua female Otto as the object of sexual desire. Needless to say, autogynephilia is not a normal part of the life of the anatomical girl who is to grow and identify with being a woman, even a lesbian woman. Nor is it normal for the anatomical boy who lusts for the female that is not himself to introject her as part of himself. He imagines being with her, not being her alone with herself. Others such as the Canadian contemporary psychologist Ray Blanchard have to this day attempted to make clear this potential psycho-developmental road towards transgenderism to be at play in at least a sizable fraction of cases, with the predictable resistance by the trans-activists to silence his voice.
Benjamin was funded in part by the exceedingly wealthy transgender female to male philanthropist Reed Erickson, as was Johns Hopkins University, where John Money worked. (A similar ideological contamination into academia is now being injected by the male to female transgender billionaire Jennifer Pritzker and others who have now captured the states funding apparatus). One may speculate the eccentricities and agenda of Erickson might have been in lockstep with that of Benjamin, or influential and biased in any case. Erickson was also heavily involved in the new age movement. Despite his wealth and his transition which was said to be successful, Erickson died an unhappy woman become man from the consequences of drug addiction in Mexico whilst a fugitive from narcotics police. So much for happy transitions.
Harry Benjamin was to live long and die at the age of 101 years. He is remembered by all as being an unusually caring and empathic physician, though one that any critic of the transgender movement would say was nonetheless horribly misguided. In his twilight years an association carrying his name was founded, later to be rebranded WPATH, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.
Next we have John Money, the New Zealand born Harvard educated psychologist who became famous (and later infamous) for the idea that from the perspective of sexual identity children are born tabula rasa. That is to say the hypothesis of which he was convinced was that a child could become either woman or man as a result of rearing and regardless of any biological starting point. Of Moneys many contributions there are two which bear mention here. The first was that it was Money who first entangled the word gender into human sexuality. Before Money there was simply sex, and sex was binary in the human world and divided on male and female lines into girls and boys, women and men, ladies and gentlemen. Gender, on the other hand, was something used in the world of language and linguistics and alien to human life. For example, in Spain and Italy one lives in a “casa” (female) and in Germany “Haus” (neutral). In France “la maison” is female. In Russian the “dom” (transliterated from the Cyrillic) is male. In English an inanimate object such as a house is almost always gender neutral, though it is common to think of particular objects or classes of animal in terms of gender. One may hear for example of a ship as “setting sail on her maiden voyage”. In Spanish a bridge “Puente” is male whilst a German bridge “brucke” is female. Though I heard once that German literature tends to quasi anthropomorphize and describe a bridge in female terms (e.g. as gracefully extended) and Spanish literature often describes a bridge in terms of masculine strength to carry, no one seriously considers either a bridge or a house as a sexual being. The beauty of a language used over centuries is that it is what it is without category errors or people taking leave of reality. I often wonder whether it is the gender-neutral nature of English that takes the romance out of life and makes it easier for us to adopt an objectivist analytical stance. Anyway John Money succeeded in changing the psycholinguistic landscape by taking gender out of the languages and driving it into human psychology (and ontology) as a complicating variable. Conceptually someone could then be female gender despite by all other accounts being a genetic and anatomically sexual male. Moneys victory was literally an enormous re-engineering of language over reality, this adjusting on a grand scale what people believe is the concrete nature of the world. Decades after Money those readers who might reflexively take for granted that gender “is a thing” and separate to biological sex ought to take a pause. Previous centuries would have been thought you insane. And with future adventures in engineering language to the end of inverting reality, future generations might see a human in other radically alien ways, alien even to what a human ipso facto is. The whole affair is akin to a magic where incantations (mere words) can invoke the perception of something out of nothing, with tangible effects in the world.
Moneys other infamous place in history was the testing out of his tabula rasa hypothesis on vulnerable children. All babies were fair game, including those babies who were clearly male and suffering only from a delay of the testicles descending from the abdomen into the scrotal sack (the testes actually start out further around the back). The case that drove Money into posthumous notoriety was that of David Reimer, though not nearly as much into the infamy Money deserved. For an experimental psychologist such as Money, David was the perfect subject. He was an identical twin with a brother raised in the same home. David (born under another name), required a non-elective circumcision as a baby, presumably for phimosis (where the tip of the penis was strangled by the foreskin). Tragically there were complications. The surgeon used a cautery device that was too powerful in a hand that went too far, and David’s penis was essentially burned off. What followed was David being socially and surgically (later hormonally) transitioned from infancy to become a girl, and he would be none the wiser until his adolescence. But try as he might, and despite the herculean efforts of the adults around him, he never thought himself to be a girl. Eventually he was told he had in fact been born male, whereupon he immediately sought to transition back to his natal sex. It was then he adopted the name David, a created persona as battling the Goliath forces of John Money and the cruel fate of the world. David’s surgeons and endocrinologists tried their best to realign David’s body back to his natal sex and he attempted live a normal life as a normal man. Unfortunately, too much damage had already been done. Most, yet admittedly not all, of this damage can be attributed to his role in Moneys experiment. He was always troubled by his sexual inadequacy and had irreparable psychological scars from being forced into the role of a girl for his formative years. His brother Brian had later suicided age 37 years. With trust in the world seriously eroded, he had a troubled relationship with his birth family and also with the woman he had married. He had been conned out of a substantial amount of savings, this to be another blow by another Goliath which whilst not being Money, was an object to which he was sensitized after having been a victim of an experiment and childhood trauma. Someone with more favourable formative experiences might have better weathered the financial storm, the death of the brother and other challenges of adulthood. David himself chose suicide two years after his twin. From the part of Reimer’s childhood when the tide turned against Moneys hypothesis, Money assiduously and deliberately failed report the failure of his experiment of the boy who was turned a girl, resulting in at least two generations of psychologists and psychiatrists educated to believe Moneys tabula rasa hypothesis had been proven when the exact opposite was the case. That’s the problem with secondary reading.
It is arguably from Money and his ilk that we have inspired the gender bread person (now obsolete as a genderbread “person” was considered to appear too masculine and was historically linked to the gingerbread man story) and now the gender unicorn (which a trans critic could reasonably see as a path towards transhumanism). In their gender creativity and exploration, the child is now asked to look at the gender unicorn and other pictographs, and further expected to believe that a) biological sex re anatomical sex, b) perceived gender, c) gender expression (style of dress and toy preference) and d) sexual appetite (who you are attracted to) are each and all completely independent mix and match variables. This is not and has never been true. “Cis hetero” is the overwhelming norm and biological fact.
Next, we have Alfred Kinsey, the PhD entomologist and expert on wasps. As a university academic he was asked to teach a course on human sexuality, this being a formative step in a career making him a household name as the world’s most famous sexologist of his day, and ours also. Kinsey’s interest in human sexuality was as broad as his own personal sexual paraphilic proclivities. And the huge variance of sexual escapades in the animal kingdom with which he was acquainted dulled him against the reality of just how boring and conservative humans are. The belief and promotion of the idea a boy/girl could be trapped in a girl’s/boy’s body was a minor part of his career and trivial compared to a knowledge that some animals could be different sexes at different stages of the life cycle or different sexes at the same time. This is to say nothing of the fact that animals are not fettered by incest and other taboos. To the libertine Darwinist all that is not red and tooth and claw is to be permitted and man can be whatever the animal is, for man is an animal like any other. Kinsey is only of oblique interest to us here in the question of trans children, in the sense that he was a leading light in an anti-conservative tide in middle twentieth century America and symbiotically connected to the above mentioned early transactivists in breaking any and all taboos. Kinseys name is steeped in controversy. There is, for example the infamous tables 30-34 of his text the “Sexual Behaviour in The Human Male”. In table 34 for example, the timing from manual and oral arousal to orgasm (or rather what was taken to be orgasm though it might have been tortured affect) of samples of males of various ages down to infancy are precisely quantified. Were these results concocted? After all, Kinsey was a methodologist’s nightmare, passing off data on the sexual behaviour of prisoners, perverts and prostitutes as if they were representative of the population norm. Was Kinsey merely the recipient of data about which he did not check the veracity? Or was Kinsey himself a participant in the paedophilia, even just as an observer? Were the paedophile “researchers” who provided the data on childhood orgasm one or many? And in the sense in which the soliciting for, and reporting of, this “data” was at least partially prospective, did Kinsey protect the anonymity of monsters before and after the fact of the paedophilic crimes? Any one of the possibilities leads to a damning indictment. In any case, one thing is clear. Kinsey endorsed paedophilia both in the tabulated substance of the text and other direct quotes he had made. To quote one example, this from the companion volume “Sexual Behaviour in the Human Female”, he states
“The adult contacts are a source of pleasure to some children and sometimes may arouse the child erotically and bring it to orgasm. It is difficult to understand why a child – except for its cultural conditioning should be disturbed at having its genitalia touched.”
There are many Kinsey fanatics out there who simply cannot bring themselves to see that there was more to the man than being a methodologist of the poorest scientific quality.
The subject of paedophilia is neither a digression nor to be seen as a cheap shot against the morality of the trans movement. The question is more analytical than that. To my knowledge Kinsey did not ask himself or us an horrific question (I could not stomach reading the whole corpus of his work). Neither does todays trans movement ask it except sub-textually. The trans movement so far as children are concerned would have us believe that a child can know that it is a boy trapped in a girl’s body or a girl trapped in a boy’s body. Fair enough we might say. After all, old fashioned non-trans children also come to acquire a stable sense of what it is to be a boy or girl at a fairly young age. We take what they say as meaningful and true. That said, we must be cautious not to over-interpret a concrete statement by any young child as any form of deeper knowledge without further exploration and elaboration. A four-year-old natal/anatomical boy might say he is a boy yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Yet that same four-year-old boy might believe that placing him in a dress literally makes him a girl. It might not be until age six or seven that the child might really understand what they are as biological boys or girls, though certainly not to the degree of sophistication as that of seen through adult eyes. Adults are there to resolve confusion, not be the victim of it.
In any case, we might ask what it is for the anatomical boy to say he is really a girl, or vice versa. Putting aside for the moment accepting the notion of radical gender fluidity, let us imagine each human being can be only one sex/gender, and this be binary, even if it is different to that “assigned” at birth. There is an implied natural continuance between what an anatomical boy is now, that he will grow to be an adult man. We would see that recognizing (not assigning) the child’s sexual identity at or soon after birth implicitly contains within it the telos in the boy as a man or the baby girl to one day become a woman. And insomuch as 99.9 recurring percent of the time this is borne out to be true, under any reasonable probability calculus we trans critics have the numbers well and truly on our side. We do not need to ask a child its concept of adult man/woman and need not factor this into any decision-making process in which the child participates. Trans critical adults such as I would simply let the girl become the woman, the boy become the man. We affirm nature without apology, and we guide the confused child towards it without need defend our actions. We already have the metaphysical high ground.
Yet the promotor of trans children needs ask themselves this question. If an orange seed claimed the identity of a lemon seed we would need interrogate the seed. The seed needs see further than the beingness of the seed that it is (or thinks it is). It needs to know what it is to be a tree of both the kind it thinks it is and the kind it thinks it is not. It would need to know the beingness of the mature tree it thinks it will become. Because you see if the child claims to being a girl trapped in a boys body, “she” is also committing “herself” to the telos of becoming a woman. But how does the girl trapped in the boys body know “her” telos?
Can the child see into themselves what adulthood is to make the informed declaration to be the opposite sex? Even if we are to accept, as I don’t, that the anatomical boy can know that “he” really is a girl child inside, that “he” really is a “she”, this is necessarily attached to the telos of the girl, i.e. what the girl will be in becoming a woman. The anatomical boy cannot give informed consent to transition to be the girl the it claims to be unless this same child knows what womanhood is, what it is to be a woman. In turn this is complicated as a woman qua adult is a sexual being. What I am saying is that in order for the boy to know he is a girl to the satisfaction of the village, he needs to know he will grow into a woman. This surely is to know what woman is in her variables, including looking at sexual behaviour through adult female eyes. I cannot see how it is possible for the trans movement to grant children the mature knowledge of sexual identity without this entailing some awareness of the selfhood of the adult as a sexual performative creature. If we grant this expansive maturity, we drag into childhood the possibility sexual behaviour can be consented between child and child and between child and adult. And so just as I predicted the move to legalize gay marriage (rightly or wrongly) would rapidly be followed by an explosion of the adult trans movement, I predicted also the adult trans movement would be rapidly followed by an explosion of the children’s trans movement. The final step, more difficult though inch wise to progress nonetheless, will be the trans movement in children as a bridge towards the greater sexualisation of children, without anyone really knowing why they are victims of their own sick logic. This is already happening with so called mainstream media completely oblivious to the obvious. Clearly sexualized drag or trans children are paraded on streets with giant phalluses or dancing in strip bars with the adults cheering on their celebration of diversity.
WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health)
(See also the section to follow on guild and other professional body guidelines.)
WPATH was previously named after Harry Benjamin and borne from a transactivist movement (not science), this being the primary criteria for membership. Academia and appeal to science were attached and detached where this might be suasive, and members came to occupy the hierarchy of a cause already decided on ideological grounds. It is fair to say that almost all the above mentioned US based luminaries of the twentieth century have been heavily influential in WPATHS thought and practice. In fact, many current members are no more than three degrees of separation from having been academic apprentices of these founding fathers of transgenderism, and so the mission and ordination of the fathers could be said to live on in WPATH, if not become more extreme. We can see in the biographies and published work of WPATH chairs, that this pseudo health organization sees political activism as part of its heavy artillery towards social engineering. On the website circa early 2019 (this may later be edited) we have for example the child and adolescent committee being headed by one who WPATH introduces as “Laura Edwards-Leeper, MD”, though Leeper is actually a PhD psychologist and not a physician (not that this matters except as a clue that WPATH do not care about the details, as letters at the end of one’s name are just something to market the argument from authority). Dr Edwards Leeper is convinced of the view that watchful waiting to see what the child will think is its gender when it grows to maturity is harmful, contributing to suicide. Ergo the gender affirming approach as young as possible is the way to go. And we have WPATH’s Sam Winter, PhD; an academic psychologist at Western Australia’s Curtin University. His bio on the Curtin university website makes clear the activist element in his own area of interest, and the degree to which this has become a metric of value to the academy
“We are looking forward to building up research student numbers in sexology, and I am especially looking forward to supervising research students in gender diversity, transgender and transsexual health and rights, as well as in other areas of sexual and gender development, diversity, education, health and rights. In 2015 Curtin was ranked the top university in Australia for LGBTI equality in the annual national 'Pride in Diversity' awards. This was the third consecutive year! And it was judged third best employer nationally. So if you want to research sexual and gender diversity this is a great place to do it.”
Third and last from this unselected sample of the first three names, we have Dianne Berg, PhD, a University of Minnesota psychologist, also a strong advocate of the gender affirmative approach, having authored the apt named “Gender Affirmative Lifespan Approach”, a trademarked education program which in the fact of it being trademarked is also a commercial product. Her interests cut across transgenderism in all ages, including those described as “gender creative children”. Sexual identity a play thing with no more gravitas than finger painting and Lego?
Guild Current Guidelines
World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Guidelines.
Acronyms and published “guidelines” for some reason imply authority and science. This along with strategic positioning have resulted in WPATH cited the world over as the “experts”. The various guilds of paediatrics and psychiatry own guidelines are often just just lazy rebranding of those of WPATH, though many also openly endorse WPATH as source and inspiration. WPATH’s official guidelines might appear to represent the organization as prima facie guarded about affirming transgenderism in children and adolescents. For example they acknowledge the transition rates are low (i.e. trans children tend not to become trans adults if gently managed with watchful waiting and not affirmation), and in the section on early childhood WPATH does acknowledge this area is fraught with uncertainty. Nonetheless they invite parents thus
“parents may want to present this role change as an exploration of living in another gender role rather than an irreversible situation” and also state that practitioners should be supportive in “exploring gender identity” and prior to puberty refer the adolescent “for additional physical interventions (such as puberty-suppressing hormones)”.
The call is also to advocate and educate family, schools etcetera in transgender affirmation. In the section “Psychological and Social Interventions for Children and Adolescents” it is stated
“Psychotherapy should focus on reducing a child’s or adolescent’s distress related to the gender dysphoria and on ameliorating any other psychosocial difﬁculties”.
That is to say, the psychotherapeutic approach should not be affirming the natal sex. The guidelines continue (I’ve included their references within the quote)
“Treatment aimed at trying to change a person’s gender identity and expression to become more congruent with sex assigned at birth has been attempted in the past without success (Gelder & Marks, 1969; Greenson, 1964), particularly in the long term (Cohen-Kettenis & Kuiper, 1984; Pauly, 1965). Such treatment is no longer considered ethical.”
“Mental health professionals should not impose a binary view of gender. They should give ample room for clients to explore different options for gender expression. Hormonal or surgical interventions are appropriate for some adolescents, but not for others.” There is the call to support social transition “For example, a client might attend school while undergoing social transition only partly (e.g., by wearing clothing and having a hairstyle that reﬂects gender identity) or completely (e.g., by also using a name and pronouns congruent with gender identity).”
To the extent that the guidelines make mention of low transition rates (i.e. trans children tending to not to become trans adults), this contribution can be credited to Dr Kenneth Zucker (see Zuckergate, vide infra). The reader will note that the current WPATH guidelines at time of writing this chapter 2019 were issued 2012 and long overdue a revision. In this rapidly evolving unveiling of ideology, 2012 is ancient history. The practice and ideology of the WPATH has now become even more extreme and any tiny sliver of conservatism or caution that might be found in the WPATH of old is long gone. Truth be known it was never there to begin with. Kenneth Zucker is now anathema and the train is going all the way affirmation and transition at increasingly younger ages.
As an example of change, more recently in November 15, 2017 WPATH issues the blanket statement, further breaking the binary into a multiplicity of genders held by otherwise undifferentiated individuals, and age to no longer matter.
“WPATH advocates that appropriate gender recognition should be available to transgender youth, including those who are under the age of majority, as well as to individuals who are incarcerated or institutionalized. WPATH recognizes that there is a spectrum of gender identities, and that choices of identity limited to Male or Female may be inadequate to reflect all gender identities. An option of X, NB (non-binary), or Other (as examples) should be available for individuals who so choose.” Note the word “choose”.
And with the proliferation of the lucrative trans industry and gender clinics (from n=1 to n=dozens in the United States alone this 15 years), WPATH refers to other influencers such as genderspectrum.org which assert
“the concept of insistence, consistence and persistence to help determine if a child is truly gender-expansive or transgender.”
“If your child has identified as the opposite gender since early childhood, it is unlikely they will change their mind. Most people have some sense of their Gender identity between the ages of two and four years old. For most, this awareness remains stable over time. For example, a 12 year old child who was assigned a male gender at birth, but has consistently asserted “I am a girl” since the age of three, will most likely remain transgender throughout life.”
A similar philosophy is to be found at genderdiversity.org and imatyfa.org (i.e. trans youth family allies), the latter of which promotes
“Anyone who will enthusiastically nurture, support, respect and validate a trans, gender variant or gender questioning youth’s inherent right to self-identify and self-express, regardless of their age or where on the gender continuum that expression may fall, or more importantly, may lead.”
It ought not be lost on the reader that all these organizations, like the guilds are 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and as such are exempt from tax, an industry in collusion with the state.
The American Psychiatric Association or APA (USA)
The American Psychiatric Association is the professional guild of psychiatrists in the United States. In a beautifully pragmatic move of plausible deniability, the APA publish material they officially deny is official APA policy, yet nonetheless use the APA platform to vigorously promote transgender affirmation by WPATH as the body that they endorse to be the experts. To this end they even sell a trans affirmative online course. The APA additionally cites their own publication, the DSM 5, and the inclusion of gender dysphoria of childhood as a valid diagnosis and a path in childhood towards transgender affirmation and transition. If the APA acknowledges any controversy, it is that inclusion of transgender persons in DSM 5 as only if dysphoric (emotionally distraught), increases the probability that transgenderism will be stigmatized by the trans-critics whom they demonize.
“The Gender Dysphoria diagnosis functions as a double-edged sword. It provides an avenue for treatment, making medical and surgical options available to TGNC (trans gender non conforming) people. However, it also has the potential to stigmatize TGNC people by categorizing them as mentally ill.”
This is a strange statement. Dysphoria is by their own conceptual schemata a mental state which is not one of wellness (i.e., it is illness), and so the term is not a stigma but a statement of an unpleasant fact. To reify the diagnostic construct is, one could argue, the makings of a stigma. Yet even this does not make sense for dysphoria is seen as secondary to the persecution from others, even if indirectly. It is no more stigmatizing than the diagnosis of “adjustment disorder” which might apply to anyone having difficulty coping with very hard circumstances not necessarily of their making. Why do they not make similar statements of adjustment disorder or PTSD as stigmatizing.
The inclusion of gender dysphoria in the DSM is a mixture of reluctance, ambivalence, opportunism and power politics. Transgender dysphoria in the DSM is a means to retain political power and codify the issue in a way that validates insurance claims and intellectual authority (property ownership) over the subject where psychiatry wants a seat at the table. They want to say that trans is normal and they have the authority in declaring it so, and assist the patient realize its normality in the face of a hostile surround, i.e. by curing the dysphoria. But of transgenderism itself being a sane and valid state of being, the APA are fully sold on the notion that a woman can be trapped inside the body of a man, and a man can be trapped inside the body of a woman. They will say that the psychological malady is only in those who do not accept this as fact. Note that the DSM 5 was released in 2013, and like the current WPATH guidelines is also ancient history in the evolution of the rhetoric.
A 2017 special issue in the journal Psychiatric Clinics of North America is an example of how quickly a revolution can move, the editorial being an explicitly political call to activism. The editorial calls for
“a trans-affirmative treatment paradigm that celebrates the broad spectrum of gender identities and the range of treatment options and outcomes. The editors talk of being “cis gender” and having “gender privilege and unearned advantages”, and later state they “recognize that we have gendered identities implicated in and affected by gender-based oppression”
Such declarations of oppression are pregnant in implication with a call to force the non-believer to heel (and heal).
The UK. (Royal College of Psychiatrists)
The psychiatric guild of the UK issued a position statement March 2018. This also affirms the concept of assigned gender, and invoke the only other alternative diagnostic nosology to that of the DSM 5, i.e. at the time the World Health Organizations International Classification of Diseases version 10 or ICD 10 (note both DSM and ICD are likely become integrated into a globalist nosology in the coming years, the now updated 2019 ICD 11 being a bridge towards this). The RCPsych goes on to say
‘Gender identity disorder’ is the umbrella term used in the 10th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD; WHO, 1992) although it is expected that the 11th edition will adopt the new term “gender incongruence”. The term ‘conversion therapy’ has also been used to describe treatments for transgender people that aim to suppress or divert their gender identity – i.e. to make them cisgender – that is exclusively identified with the sex assigned to them at birth. Conversion therapies may draw from treatment principles established for other purposes, for example psychoanalytic or behaviour therapy. They may include barriers to gender-affirming medical and psychological treatments. There is no scientific support for use of treatments in such a way and such applications are widely regarded as unacceptable.”
In other words, there is to be no attempt whatsoever to challenge the adult transgender person that they may not be as they claim they are. Of the trans child or adolescent RCPsych begins by being notionally more reserved and cautious in stating
“Long-term follow-up studies of young transgender people are needed.”
“….the College believes that a watch and wait policy, which does not place any pressure on children to live or behave in accordance with their sex assigned at birth or to move rapidly to gender transition, may be an appropriate course of action when young people first present.”
Yet read again amidst the watchful waiting any attempt for parents to be, well, paternalistic and align the trans affirming child with their natal (i.e. biological sex) is professionally discouraged. Indeed, watchful waiting is redefined as anything but watchful waiting. Rather it is an affirmation to social transitioning. Professionals are encouraged to advocate thus
“These include tackling bullying, effective safeguarding, parental concerns, and practical considerations (such as appropriate language, use of toilets and changing rooms, and uniforms).”
And the RCPsych cites WPATH and US guilds for legitimacy with the comment
“World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, and the American Psychological Association, that psychological treatments to suppress or ‘revert’ gender-diverse behaviours are unscientific and unethical.”
Along with all this is use of UK legislation in a rather sinister threat against those who would oppose trans affirmation in adults and children.
“…use of conversion therapy with transgender and gender diverse (or lesbian, gay or bisexual) people may be an act of discrimination under the Equality Act (2010).”
Australia, New Zealand and Oceania (including the Royal Australian and New Zealand Collage of Psychiatrists)
In 2018, The Medical Journal of Australia published the position statement “Australian standards of care and treatment guidelines for transgender and gender diverse children and adolescents” in which it is claimed that 1.2% of Australian children are transgender, citing a New Zealand paper in which a further 2.5% of children are said to be unsure of their gender (the implication being that even they might not be their natal sex). Given that these 2.5% of children will be invited to explore their gender ambivalence, this essentially creates a picture unprecedented in history, and surely raising red flags to any who might suspect transgenderism is social contagion and suggestion as opposed to the discovery of a real state of nature heretofore underdiagnosed. It essentially creates a prevalence of 1.2-3.7% where literally every classroom has a gender insecure or incongruent child. This in turn establishes a beachhead from which can be launched further invasions into every child’s perception of sexual identity as binary and in accord with biology. It undermines all parental attempts to insulate themselves and their children from exposure to the ideology. Just as it only takes one peanut allergic child to alter the menu of all (and fair enough), only one supposedly trans-child forces an ideology upon each and every child, including yours!
In the MJA position statement, it is further implied that the distress experienced by these children can only be due to persecution by others, not some underlying neurosis driving both the gender dysphoria and general distress as an alternative explanation.
This statement is endorsed by the Australian and New Zealand Professional Association for Transgender Health, the Oceanic branch of…..you guessed it… WPATH! Essentially the approach is child driven. If the child says they are a different gender to their biological/natal sex, this is not up for debate by the adults in the room. This is to be affirmed and the child is to be placed on the path to transition as the child sees fit. There is not the slightest confession that the pro trans beliefs of the adults around the child are indoctrinating what the child will desire as the driver of their own transition, be it slow or fast, partial or complete. Those family members and professionals who do not support affirmation and transition are seen as requiring education, the implication being that failure to support affirmation reflects professional incapacity or personal bigotry. The positon statement also perpetuates the myth that pubertal suppression is completely reversible and harmless.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists issued a positon statement in March 2019 in which the difference between homosexuality and trans-sexuality is acknowledged through a prohibition of efforts to change sexual orientation (homosexuality). Fair enough for history is littered with failed, immoral, and sometimes painful attempts to attempt to convert gay to straight. However, the final opaque paragraphs seem to conflate the two into “alternative sexualities” and recommend acceptance, support, and identity exploration of all alternative sexualities and a prohibition against “sexual orientation change efforts of any kind”. Elsewhere in position statement 83 issued Sept 2019 the RANZCP uncritically cites the NZ study mentioned above, and conflates alternative sexualities (i.e. LGBTQ+) into one group, the grouping having no sense except in political terms as a coalition in opposition to so called cis gender heterosexuality. What is the evidence for equivalence between adult homosexuality and trans in childhood as both equally valid and both to be affirmed? Absolutely none. This position statement is explicitly trans-affirmative for children.
The Transitioning Process
The trans activists would have us transition a child from as young as the child can communicate gender incongruence, though most will add the qualification that the claim to be a different gender to the natal sex must be “persistent, consistent and insistent”. These three catch phrase criteria are seen as evidence in favour of the capacity of the child to know who they really are, and a signal to the activist masquerading as health practitioner to begin the transition process.
As noted at the opening to the chapter, transition is often elaborated to be whatever the child wishes itself to be, with themselves and their own satisfaction to be the driver and metric towards change. This change might include a change in name to that which is traditionally associated with the opposite assigned sex, a change in the type or style of dress and all the ingredients of which the reader would imagine the appearance of things to be when he becomes she, and she becomes he. The critical observation to make is that social transitioning is just that, social. As such it depends upon the surrounding social actors to either agree with being part of the transaction of transition, or to be forced and coerced to play their part. This is deeply illiberal. Should the trans advocate face opposition they will tell those that oppose, be they family, teacher or whomever, that opposing the child will lead to greater degrees of gender dysphoria and probably death given the high rate of attempted suicide. They want to bully the opposition who might in their weakness want to signal compassion and avoid being blamed as harming the child or adolescent (or adult) with their bigotry. They would then consider themselves re-educated and accepted into the fold if the trans authority accepts the confession and whatever acts of repentance are required. All will then change their tune and join with the party in the march towards the trans-inclusive utopia.
But what if the opposing actor continues on the wayward path, either in the life of the child or that of the adult, either in the life of the individual at hand or on the political stage? It usually does not come to that. Usually fear of group exclusion and self-censorship is sufficient to effect the social change in the cowardly many by the strident cries of the few who have the political power and the nerve to use what power they have. Social ostracism and hierarchical stasis until the transphobe correct themselves is a minimum punishment. If opposition persists, the transactivists will then bare their teeth with threats of stripping the critic of employment altogether. Any effort to cultivate within the mind of the child an acceptance of their biological/natal/anatomical sex will be considered “transphobia”, to be an example of “conversion therapy” and as such unprofessional, unethical and immoral. It cannot be overstated that in small ways or large, directly or in our political assent, all of us are being compelled to partake in social transitioning of the trans child (and adult). Only certain privileged individuals have the luxury to oppose it if they dare, in virtue of being successfully and independently funded and employed or protected by other herd immunity such as the Muslim faithful enjoy.
But what of the trans-critical teacher, the doctor or nurse, the psychologist or psychiatrist specifically? If one of these is confronted with, for example, the natal boy who insists he is a girl what are they to do? If they discover, once again as one example of many, that this boy has been bullied by his father and other boys and found solace in the company of girls, or if he likes what natal girls usually likes, the conservative sceptical practitioner might conclude that he is the boy that he is, with his “gender dysphoria” informed by adverse events in the world resulting in him mis-identifying with being female. They might then like to steer him towards his natal gender by affirming him to be a boy, by encouraging him to join a less bullish boy peer group. In their gentle insistence that his identity conform with the biological reality of the world and the traditional conventions of the village, the practitioner will be consequently labelled a transphobe and accused of practicing conversion therapy. In the eyes of the hysterical transactivist this approach is seen as no different to those occasions in the mid twentieth century when adult male homosexuals were imprisoned, chemically castrated and delivered painful electric shocks to the genitals were he to be aroused by a male image. For the transactivist, any manoeuvre no matter how meek and mild to steer the child towards the natal gender is forbidden upon pain of career death. And the reader ought to make no mistake. Many a career has died and will die by their hand.
Puberty can be a psycho-developmentally challenging affair at the best of times, though seen to be a psychological trauma of the highest order in the trans preadolescent. And so it must be stopped at all costs. Another more positive way to frame puberty is as being formative to character as a built-in initiation ritual. To wit the transactivists project outwards a terror of a confrontation with the rites of passage into maturity, similar to that of some anorexic girls who wish to terminally forestall womanhood by starving themselves into preadolescence. More on puberty as character development anon. To begin, let us look medically at the treatment itself, and its risks. Puberty suppression usually relies upon use of a medication that paradoxically stimulates the release of the pituitary hormones that in turn drive sex hormone production and puberty. In the consistency of the stimulation the medication quickly exhausts the physiology into a state of inaction and puberty comes to a grinding halt before it begins. Some trans gender clinics have been known to commence puberty blockage in natal girls as young as 8 years old, for well-nourished children of the western world tend to begin puberty relatively earlier, this being wildly out of pace with their psychological maturation. On suppressing the production and release of what we can simplify as “male and female hormones”, the role of these medications has traditionally been to starve cancers that normally feed on them. Or they are sometimes used in the case of the girl (or sometimes boy) with precocious puberty, i.e. pathologically early puberty. In this case the goal is to simply slow down the course of nature and actually facilitate a normal puberty, with the drugs removed within the range of age at which puberty normally begins. Treating precocious puberty by temporarily suspending puberty actually improves upon the final height of the child, whose growth would be stunted without temporary puberty suppression. The rate of complications is consequently low and harmonious with the developmental trajectory of the cohort of the patient’s peers, and is an attempt to align with what community has made a community standard, and more importantly the standard of nature also. Yet even here there are some girls whose menarche (first period) is delayed up to a couple years after drug removal and the endeavour of suppression of a precocious puberty is only to be supervised by those who are specialist paediatric endocrinologists. These are serious drugs.
Slowing puberty in the precocious female is not at all equivalent to that of arresting it in the normal natal female, and one cannot extrapolate the results in the former to that of the latter, though trans activists often do. Neither is it true to say that developmental windows can be suspended indefinitely. Needless to say, there is no long term data on the effects of puberty suppression in the trans child, and any differences found would be decades down the track and conveniently confounded by any other endocrine and surgical interventions made thereafter. And it is simply not possible to conduct the crossover experiment where the same child can be compared as having had puberty suppression that is subsequently released, versus never having had puberty supressed at all. The simple fact is that if a child has a few years of puberty suppression and then the child changes their mind, neither they nor their parents can ever know if they come to attain to height, shape, and bone mass they might have otherwise achieved if the transactivist never got their hands on them. Have they merely suspended the future or altered it?
Two arguments are employed in favour of puberty suppression. Neither are coherent with each other on closer inspection. The first argument is that the preadolescent needs time to “explore” and mature so as to make the decision if to continue transitioning, and that puberty suppression is a harmless and reversible intermission between the first act of life, and what to do next. As we have seen above, the claim that it is a harmless interruption is factually wrong and medically minded transactivists know it is.
The second pro transition argument is that secondary sex characteristics are deleterious to the outcome the transactivist seeks, both aesthetically and psychologically. E.g. for the boy to become a woman he ought not pass through a nasty stage of looking like a man. Adams apples and male chins, wide shoulders and narrow hips are phenotypes difficult or impossible to surgically correct for.
The matter is this; what is the value of more time to explore and decide? And from this, what is the truth that the transactivists believe in their own argument? We are expected to believe, as they allegedly do, that the prepubescent child who is consistent, insistent and persistent already knows who they are. Granted a child may change its mind and children often do. This expanded duration of self-reflection would render the transactivist vulnerable to the claim that most trans children are passing through a phase. If you believe a child really does have mature self-knowledge, why wait?
And so the second argument need be ready at hand, i.e. the avoidance of developing incongruent secondary sex characteristics. And yet we cannot escape the first argument. Granted it is not difficult to find sympathy with the individual who finds themselves looking well and truly like the sex with which they do not identify. And no one would advocate people expose themselves to everything in life before we adjudicate that it is not for us (such as leaping off tall buildings). Yet we must ask ourselves if watching for the terrifying first signs of puberty only to suppress it is at least partially an iatrogenic fear of something that ought not be feared. We must also ask ourselves how the child can explore its natal (biological) sex to reject it if not exposed to the very experience which defines the target of exploration, the beingness of its natal sex. An adequate exploration necessarily requires going deep into the territory of puberty or I cannot know what I am rejecting. What if the bullied little boy who thinks he is a girl finds himself in a few years growing taller and more powerful, and likes the feel of himself in his own male body. And he might then like those sideways glances and little flirtations he receives from those who are of the opposite, or the same, natal sex who like the look of his body. I’m not about to debate the age of consent, my views are largely conservative. But by mid late adolescence he might at least like the idea of what this body can do and be in doing and being with theirs. And the same would apply to the natal female. Like many a girl she might hate the growth of breasts and the onset of her monthly cycles. Yet she too might come to feel puberty is worth it when the world starts seeing her as a young woman. She might feel this is something perfectly fine to be. No one can know themselves without a certain quanta of confrontation with themselves and with life. To suggest otherwise is incoherent. Puberty suppression is not an exploration of sexual identity. It is an insulation against it.
Puberty suppression is not simply the suppression of outward sexual characteristics and with it the dialogue between mind, body and world. There is evidence to suggest that gender identity development, far from being a one step process complete in utero (from a neuroscientific point of view), has the potential for a second minor phase in adolescence. In example of such evidence lay in the outcomes for XY boys with a deficiency in the enzyme responsible for producing testosterone in utero, along with other hormones down the biochemical chain. These babies are born with ambiguous or female like external genitalia and brains that might similarly be under virilised (under masculinized). Yet regardless of what “gender” they are reared, they tend to become adults identifying as being male. One hypothesis to account for this is that the brain in utero is exquisitely sensitive to what little androgen is present and only a little will do. Another, and perhaps the most parsimonious, hypothesis is that they are additionally virilised by testosterone in adolescence that can be synthesized by other pathways. Once again, depriving a child of puberty deprives them of the neurodevelopmental experience that could be considered natures “exploration of gender”.
The trans lobby appear to miss the other point that suppression of puberty for purpose of exploration puts a pause on the other non-sexual aspects of development keeping trajectories with age matched peers. Imagine yourself remaining outwardly a child for an extra few years as your friends leap forward in the beginnings of their stages towards man/womanhood. The trans-activist only appears to miss these and other crucial points. They have decided from the outset that transition will and ought to happen.
These and other dirty little inconvenient facts (see Zuckergate below) make for a trans-ideology desperate to halt puberty as soon as possible. The strategy is to make the child blind before they might see.
Cross sex hormones
If puberty suppression persists without exposing the body to sex hormones, growth suppression will sooner or later certainly occur. Additionally, if the child is not released from puberty suppression back to the hormonal milieu of the natal sex, and this be followed in lock step instead by cross sex hormones, the patient rapidly passes from a zone where permanent infertility is increasingly possible to a place where irreversible infertility is guaranteed. Only those adults who passed through puberty before changing genders and who retained their ovaries or testes or who had gametes frozen have any hope of fertility should they change their mind. There are harms all though the process with all parts bound up in the final goal. This is an ensemble plan that aims to sterilize the child whilst they are a young child themselves, the sterilization process beginning at the social transition phase. Each step simply makes it harder to go back and perverts from natures plan. Needless to say the exposure to cross sex hormones irreversibly alters the appearance of the body and face.
The use of hormones incongruent with that of the natal/biological sex (i.e. cross sex hormones) is not to be considered equivalent to the natural release of sex hormones congruent with the puberty of natal sex, i.e. the physician cannot give a girl a perfect facsimile of a boys puberty or vice versa. The physician prescribing specific doses at specific times is a much poorer conductor of the orchestra than the physiology of nature. There is the strong potential for long term adverse outcomes, these being realized over time and which would obviously be higher if the (cross) hormone replacement therapy is begun at a young age. Nonetheless it remains to be seen if female to male trans children treated with testosterone will reach middle or later ages with an unacceptably higher risk of deep venous clots, stroke or various cardiac problems. It remains to be seen if the male to female trans treated with oestrogen will have unacceptably higher rates of the same cardiac and vascular events, to name but a few of the risks they might face. They might become lucky.
Constructing a vagina in a patient with a penis, or vice versa, is needless to say a very complicated affair fraught with risk of complication. Transition requires more than one surgery and surgical transition cannot be considered reversible. Usually a vagina can be constructed by slicing the penis and turning it inwards, often with additional flaps of tissue taken from the scrotum or elsewhere. But often the new vagina need by lined with a short segment of bowel, this either in the first or subsequent surgeries. Complications are legion and include damage to the bladder and fistula (channels) forming between the bowel and the new vagina where faecal material can flow from the former to the latter. No neo vagina can be considered equivalent to the indigenous anatomical form, and the construction of the new vagina needs be supported by the insertion of material such that the structure does not scar down and close. Similarly, the new vagina need be anchored internally like a tent that needs be held up from above, or it risks falling and protrusion (i.e. prolapse). These complications are a tiny sample of problems that can arise. Needless to say, normal sexual function is far from a forgone conclusion and far less likely than what would occur had the anatomical boy been allowed grow into a man.
What of making a male external genitalia? The labia majora can be stretched outward, and in it placed prosthetic non functional testes. Half of these patients suffer complications, chiefly the prosthesis wandering about like a walnut in a cushion and failing to stay in the right place. The patient may opt not so much for a penis to be constructed, as for a clitoris to be surgically more exposed and brought out further. If they opt for a penis, the vagina cannot simply be grabbed and pulled outside like turning a bag inside out. The skin must come from somewhere and generally comes from the abdomen. The substance of the neo penis itself historically has come from bone (some animals achieve erection by way of a bone that descends into the penis, though in humans who have evolved a different erectile mechanism and bone implant often resulted in death to the surrounding tissue), cartilage, and other material including most recently non biological prosthetics with or without urinary outflow. Making a penis that can urinate is an option that requires a catheter that places the patient at interminable risk of urinary infection. The new penis may not be an organ of urination at all if complications are to be minimized. Forearm muscle may also be used for penis construction. Surgically crafted penises are difficult to attach to the pelvic wall, and great post-surgical care must be had so that they do not lose position, twist or point off in the wrong direction. Needless to say neo penises are not spontaneously able to become erect and non -biological erectile structures implanted within the penile shaft have a lifecycle poorer than some organ transplants. No more than approx. 60% achieve orgasm, which would likely be less than that that could have been achieved had the genital mutilation not begun in the first instance and the girl allowed grow up as an anatomical female.
Mastectomies need be seen as the first phase of a surgical approach including breast augmentation with implants, with its own long list of risks. Placing children on the affirmative path can be said to compel them to risk all these complications.
More On the Metaphysics of Identity in Trans Children and Adolescents
A lot of what passes for argument in the trans camp can be formulated as “I am a woman because I feel like a woman”, this said by an individual with a penis, testicles and an XY chromosome compliment. (Or conversely “I feel like a man”, in the case of female to male or “F2M” trans). This is a statement groping for a sense of itself and a ground to stand the claim upon. What is it for the anatomical man to “feel like” a woman? How does he, an anatomical man, know he is feeling like a woman? Has he been an anatomical woman in some previous incarnation and come to access the consciousness of a past life, holding both present and past consciousness’s before himself, the adjudicator some third entity that is also himself (or herself or themselves as the case may be)? If so, is he simply reliving similarities in personality between he and the woman he was in a past life, a kind of transcendental nostalgia? Or does our man who “feels like” a woman possess some peculiar telepathic power to fuse consciousness with an anatomical woman and verify within this fusion state the validity of his claim? Putting all this aside, what is the essential feeling state of womanhood that he identifies with? Might he just be identifying with this woman or that woman as opposed to womanhood as such? And what is womanhood as such, some Platonic ideal form perhaps? And what is this talk about X “identifies with being a woman”. Identity in a philosophical sense most often relates to the individual and a strong argument for sameness. When does X become Y, when in any meaningful way Y is defined as X, and X is defined as non Y?
How does he know what he feels he knows? And how do we know what he claims to know is true? If we are to say that by simply asserting that he feels like a woman that “he” becomes or is in a strong sense “she”, this is an exercise in begging the question, a circular reasoning, a fallacy in petitio principia. If I feel like a woman, what am I? Answer is a woman. And how do I know I am a woman? Because I feel like I am one. This will not do.
I might say I feel like an astronaut, this without ever having piloted a plane and without ever having received so much as a phone call from NASA, let alone having seen the inside of a rocket ship and seen the Earth from on high. Or I might be an athlete committed to the belief I feel like I am a gold medalist, visualising myself standing centre of the dais with my anthem playing. Neither aspiration can change the fact that the measure of the astronaut or the gold medalist are external criteria which are either objective or intersubjective across time and place. Thus even intersubjective criteria achieve a level of stability the likes of which can pass for using the term “objective”. Were this not the case I could demand a place in history alongside Yuri Gagarin and Carl Lewis. I could even be a God if I “feel like” one. I need no apologetic to silence the atheist. I just need make the claim as a fait accompli. I feel like God. Ergo I am God.
Might it not be better said that the human with a penis, testes and XY chromosomes “feels” what it is like for a man to imagine himself feeling like he is a woman. Or to put another way he is imagining what a woman experiences and applies it to himself as a category error of identity. This is altogether immaterial to the question of being itself. He is, was and forever will be a man with a fertile imagination. There are tell-tale signs, for example with certain celebrity male to female trans self-descriptions of internal mental states. They sound a little too conveniently close to the stereotype of what men think a woman’s mind to be.
Now you might challenge me thus; “but what if a community of anatomical females quiz the anatomical male and find in this XY being a kindred spirit, a woman trapped in a man’s body?” This too is a nonsense, for such an adjudication is not merely in what the male thinks of himself as really being a “she”. Nor is the truth in what a group of females think of him. Both would involve an ignoring biological facts, stretching a community standard that can then become fluid and entirely arbitrary. These anatomical women may just as well admit into the club and without consent the most effeminate anatomical males and kick out the tomboy girls because they aren’t girl enough. There is no logical compulsion to include the subject’s self-identified gender when making the judgment based on a groups consensus without an objective biological referent (This lack of an objective referent is, parenthetically, the grave problem of almost all psychiatric diagnoses, and this is why transgenderism and psychiatry are guilty of the same epistemological crimes). The whole affair might become a farce where the group of “women” with the power to decide these matters of womanhood all have an XY chromosome complement and a penis, when all women’s jails and sorority houses are filled with anatomical men and all women’s sports are fought and won by athletes born with testes and penises. And then where will the anatomical woman go to find the purity of her kind, and more importantly where will she locate her true kind in the halls of power?
What of temporality? Can I not say today I feel like a woman and thus I am a woman, whilst tomorrow reverting to being a man? Where is the ontological premium on consistency to define the now of being? Besides, in this transgender Turing test no anatomical woman can know what is in the inner world of the anatomical man who claims to be a woman, only what he says is there. How do you, a woman, know he is not lying to you, after first of all lying to himself? Such an ironic exercise in feminine empathy might come back to bite the caring feminist hand that feeds it. If a man can decide what it is to feel like a woman, might this not be formulated as the gender construction imposed upon women by men, this being every bit what Simone de Beauvoir and the other radical feminists alluded to when saying gender is oppressed upon them. Of course it cuts both ways you might say. The XX anatomical woman might feel like a man, become a man, and be imposing her feminist vision of man upon the enemy sex. Yet in the process of becoming the man she seeks to be or become, one woman is no more. In being recognized as a man “she” immediately ceases to be so says the trans ideology. Indeed “she” never was there in the first place. And so one man creates woman from himself, diluting true womanhood with dissimulation. And one woman annihilates herself in becoming a man. This is not a symmetry of destruction. In the eyes of the feminist the predicate is history as a political power play, with men the architects of the asymmetry from which other asymmetries flow. Ergo the feminist can say with transgenderism we only move from asymmetrical oppression to asymmetrical gendercide, from holding back women to annihilation of women. The trans ideology is a war against both reality and feminism, this said by a middle aged cisgender heterosexual male, and a conservative one at that.
We can take things one step further, this being hardly an argumentum ad absurdum. Or if it is, it finds itself in absurd company. As any scholar in the field of differences in the brain between the sexes knows, we cannot type the sex of a human from substructural brain differences. That is to say I cannot look at a brain and say whether its male or female. But as any anatomist knows, there is that old euphonious dictum of embryology by Ernst Haeckel “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”. This is to say that during development in utero the human foetus has certain anatomical similarities with those animals from whom we are thought to have evolved. Although many of Haeckel’s claims have not stood the test of time, certain example cases remain broadly true. All vertebrates (humans included) pass through a stage where we have structures that resemble gills and tails. We all pass through a stage when our hands are webbed like a tree frog, our heart is not always four chambered and so on. Some people even have third or fourth nipples, or a line of moles along the arc where in other mammalian species multiple breasts grow (imagine a sow and her multiple suckling piglets for example)
So what is it to stop an ostensive human deep in their gnostic self-discovery saying they are a fish, a frog, a monkey, a pig or for those of feline character a common house cat. Here there is at least a biological argument, however tenuous of common origins and developmental signatures. With it we can add what the organism claims to identify with as a statement of being that other animal. I am a monkey or cat trapped in a humans body, albeit a bipedal intelligent one with a drivers licence. I am cat. Hear me purr. My matter came from a star. I have star consciousness.
Or what of age or race? I have often thought I identified with those of the older generation rather than my peers, and often lamented at being born fifty or so years out of place. Find me a time machine and take me back to the inception of modern dentistry I say and damn the internet and the smart phone. But the fact is I am a Gen X’er and this is the beginning of 2019. And I have known a few Caucasian persons who strongly feel to have found their own people in that of the Japanese or Jews indigenous Indian Hindu’s. What is to stop some outwardly young white male stating they identify with being a senior and demanding to collect a Japanese or Israeli age pension? Why limit them if they feel like it and identifying with it? Would you entertain the deluded beliefs of an anatomical human who thought they were a Japanese house cat if they threatened suicide on account of your nippono-feline-phobia? Would you be bigoted if you did not assent? Would you be culpable for their suicide?
Obviously the whole issue becomes amplified to the point of terrifying farce in the case of a child or adolescent, where adolescence is in part defined by an identity in statu nascendi, this being an axiom of all schools of developmental psychology competing for the explanation of how the child becomes the adult. To restate what has been said before, the trans movement will rest their argument on the notion of insistence, persistence and consistency. Which is to say if the child sticks to their guns and affirms being the opposite sex then they are truly what they claim to be. Have these supposed experts never met a child who sticks to their guns in wanting to grow up to be a policeman or superhero or astronaut? Have they never encountered the adolescent or young adult who dabbles for years in a cult, counterculture or alternate politics they will later abandon or even regret, looking back then and saying how foolish and immature they were? The zealots become the apostates and the sceptics become the zealots. We have all met ideologically concrete fifteen-year-olds, losing contact with them only to find them waiting at the bus stop fifteen years later, having happily embraced some other opposite down to their very marrow. Or we have all known those who madly yearn to be a concert pianist. Later find them at thirty not having touched a key in years, and not the slightest desire to. Has it not occurred to so called experts that the child is heavily influenced by the social milieu without, including pro-trans ideology. This is self-evidently obvious. We saw the vulnerability of children to suggestion in the moral panic of a previous chapter, just sacrificial pawns in an adult political game. The child’s lack of self-knowledge is why the adult driven efforts to transition are so frantic, and the suppression of debate so fierce.
What about Disorders of Sex Development (DSD) or Intersex?
The trans lobby often makes the claim that so called disorders of sexual development prove sex (and gender) is a spectrum. We are asked to imagine persons who might formerly have been called the hermaphrodites, later termed intersex conditions, and to whom might also be ascribed the term “disorders of sexual differentiation”. From the fact of these disorders existing and before the fact of knowing anything about them, the laity will then be steered to imagine a vast cohort of people out there with penis, testes, vagina and ovaries all in the same body, with half the brains cells in some sex determining region carrying XY and the other half XX chromosome complements. Consequently they might be asked to imagine what is so special about the conventional anatomical woman or man save for being a place where some of the balls of nature by chance fell in one place, and where in others no balls fall at all. The balls of nature could, and do, fall pretty well anywhere in this stochastic chaos. Or so they might believe, and expect you to believe the same.
This claim can only be made in complete ignorance of what a spectrum conceptually is, along with ignorance around the prevalence and nature of disorders of sexual differentiation. Below I will outline some of these extremely rare conditions, making clear that things are not so opaque.
Klinefelters Syndrome; these babies represent about one in six hundred to a thousand live births. They might have a female type couple of X chromosomes (i.e. XX). Indeed, this is typically the case, though they may even have several X chromosomes. Regardless how many X chromosomes they have, they all have a Y also, and some have two. They might have smaller testes and they might have delayed puberty. They might unusually develop female like breasts if left unchecked, as many obese or anabolic steroid abusing men also grow boobs without losing their sexual identity as men. Yet Klinefelters boys are boys. These boys cannot be used in any meaningful way to construct an argument for sex (or gender) being a spectrum. Even the belief that Klinefelters boys were hypermasculine in their behaviour (especially those with two copies of the Y chromosome) has been put to rest.
Turners Syndrome; These babies are effectively born with only one functioning X chromosome, and the chromosome short hand is represented as XO. Relative to other so called disorders of sex development this one is also common, yet only about one in a few thousand female babies have Turners syndrome. This is a disorder of sex development only in the sense the disorder involves sex chromosomes, the puberty is often delayed and they often fail to fully develop female secondary sex characteristics. Turners babies with the additional complication of having degraded fragments of Y chromosome are exceedingly rare. All Turners patients are girls, and these girls cannot be used in any meaningful way to construct an argument for sex (or gender) being spectrum.
Virilisation of genetic females; The majority of these cases might be specified as having congenital adrenal hyperplasia, though there are other causes besides. These are genetic females (XX) who represent at most approx. one in fifteen to twenty thousand live births. These babies typically have genetic mutations that alters the hormonal milieu towards a male like hormone bias such that they are born with ambiguous genitalia. The clitoris might be enlarged to resemble the head of the penis continuous with the labia minora (the inner folds) which might have partially fused to resemble the root of the penis. Either side of this sits the labia majora, which might be so enlarged and partially fused as to resemble a scrotum within which no testes sit, the absence of testes being a clue as to what might be the underlying condition. These babies are girls and almost always resolved to be the case, with the best outcome being medical and surgical management to this end, and a recognition of who they are as girls. 95% will then grow to identify as women, this majority not being trivial. Many of these women will be lesbian relative to population norms, though this will remain a minority and of only indirect interest to the question of gender identity. Should these genetic females diagnosis be missed in infancy, they may be raised as males. Medical and surgical management to this end will follow. In such cases some continue to identify with being male, though the rates of success on such an occasion are sufficiently poor to encourage correct diagnosis as females as early as possible in infancy. Such lamentable outcomes make clear that raising these girls as boys is not exercising an option, its missing a diagnosis. However forgivable it might be, a mistake is not a choice. This diagnosis cannot be used in any meaningful way to construct an argument for sex (or gender) being spectrum.
Androgen deficiency or insensitivity syndromes; These are under-virilised genetic XY males. The default state of nature is for the embryo to develop into the female (I say embryo as sexual differentiation begins before the foetal stage and often before the mother might even know she is pregnant with her child). The Y chromosome plays a part in a genetic cascade towards being a male through production and action of so called “male” hormones, these being hormones and other factors that are either orders of magnitude higher in levels in the male vs female (or hormones that are male specific and never found in the female). The cascade is only as good as the biochemical production line. If the various genes on the Y or other chromosomes for the various male sex hormone production and action go awry, this biases development away from virilisation (male making) and towards the default female plan. The baby is usually born with testes, though these have not descended and remain in the abdomen. The external genitalia might appear ambiguous or female. These babies are not a homogenous group. Dozens of genetic lesions contribute to androgen deficiency or insensitivity as a class, each of which are individually very rare and variable in their presentation.
The extreme case is complete androgen insensitivity. All male hormones might be normally produced, yet receiving tissues are unable to recognize the lion’s share of them. These XY babies have normal external female genitalia, whilst lacking internal female anatomy such as the uterus, ovaries etc. This will remain unnoticed until years later when as females they are assessed for infertility and amenorrhea in adolescence or adulthood. Then the undescended testes will also be discovered on imaging and the discussion had if to remove them as they carry an increased risk of cancer. Often these women will likely pass through all the formative years identifying as female and none the wiser of what sex chromosome complement they carry. Does the existence of these women challenge the view that sex is binary? Not at all. This extreme represents no more than about a couple dozen adult females in a city with a population of a million persons. Many a paediatrician, endocrinologist or gynaecologist can go a whole career without encountering such a patient. These are women and for multiple reasons it is reasonable to consider them women. For starters it is a hypothesis of considerable strength that the brain was just as under-virilised as was the anlage to the genitalia. This is to be predicted with a very high level of inference based on the knowledge of the cellular biology involved, and does not depend on the identification of a sex determinative multicellular region of the brain. Then there is the fact that in the external female genitalia there is indeed an objective biological referent to the individual being female, a referent that was present at birth and which the community recognized as an objective marker of being female. This was not something “assigned” so much as simply observed ipso facto to be the case. All assumptions and practices within the life of the girl resolved around this fact from the day of her birth onwards. Further, there is the fact that when the diagnosis is made in the adult or late adolescent the past cannot be changed, and the past has fully determined the present without human ideological intervention. But the past was not socially engineered. Both nature and nurture worked as harmoniously as was possible together towards a common end. Now we have an adult identifying as female and who, if challenged, could mount a strong argument as to why this is the case and why the community ought to share in acknowledging her self-identification. And so these exceptionally rare cases do not challenge the binary view of sex. They are the extremely rare occasion when a woman can be XY.
Neither is this challenged by another extremely rare condition known as Swyer syndrome, where the functional sex determining of the Y chromosome is either mutated or lacking. Indeed, this is more the case as the undescended testes are also underdeveloped, the external genitalia are female, and the internal anatomy female also often present, perhaps even to the point of sustaining an ability to become pregnant by artificial means. These too are girls and women.
Gender identification of other cases with only partial androgen insensitivity or deficiency and partial under-virilisation is less clear, yet not entirely vexed. For example, genetic XY males with 5α-reductase deficiency are lacking the hormone largely responsible for in utero development of male external genitalia (which is separate phase to the case of additional development of the genitalia in adolescence). Not surprisingly they often have ambiguous genitalia at birth. Yet these genetic males most often grow to see themselves as male, irrespective of whether they were raised as males or females. The same applies even for those genetic males with 17𝛽-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-3 deficiency, the enzyme responsible for the production of testosterone itself. They are males who mostly come to identify with being males. Steering these boys to being raised as girls was perhaps historically biased by the fact that surgically it is easier to resolve ambiguous genitalia to something resembling female anatomy than male (“easier to dig a hole than build a pole”). Nonetheless medicine and science has every reason to pursue a course of action towards assisting nature in its “intentions”, diagnosing the correct sex early and rearing accordingly. Once again raising the child as female or male is not an arbitrary option or reflecting a spectrum within nature. The sex is not to be assigned so much as discovered as best as one can, and nature supported. It’s getting it right or making a (forgivable) mistake.
Genetic Chimerism; The usual occurrence is for the fertilized egg to divide into genetic copies of itself with (genetically speaking) each cell in the body genetically the same, the exceptions being the production of sperm or ova and certain cells of the immune system also being genetically dissimilar in specific ways not germane to the current discussion. Extremely rarely things go awry whereby a single individual embryo is actually a fusion of two fertilized eggs that would otherwise have developed into two fraternal twins, a brother and a sister, an XX and an XY. These fusion embryos carry some cells with the XY male and some with the XX female pattern of chromosomes. There are other mechanisms how this outcome can come about that might through these other means be more properly considered genetic mosaicism. Collectively chimera and mosaics might amount to no more than one in one hundred thousand persons, though the exact numbers are not known, and so reliable findings about psychosexual development are not clear either. In any case, such a chimera/mosaic can conceivably come to have a mixture of male and female sexual anatomy or genital ambiguity, though this is a very uncommon outcome in extremely rare group. Although there are some cases termed “true hermaphroditism”, nature does not perfectly split the baby down the middle. Nature does not produce a Baphomet baby with a perfectly formed ovary one side and perfectly formed and descended testicle on the other, a uterus in the centre and both a perfectly formed vagina and penis below both, and a half female half male brain above the lot. And nature has never ever produced a human who is a self contained reproductive unit, able to get themselves pregnant.
Usually the outcome of such genetic admixture is an unambiguous male or female. Of those extremely rare cases that are ambiguous, once again the question is whether the baby is a diagnostic and management challenge to conquer, or a simple case of normal variation and diversity. The truth is the former, as these are either boy or girl, not a place on a spectrum. Resolving the facts of nature has consequences. An individual raised male with internal tissue capable of menstruation might have painful bloody urine in adolescence and adulthood. An individual raised as female with internal tissue of a testis might develop a testicular cancer. Both might develop inguinal hernia. These are but a few of many examples of complications of mosaicism that point towards these states being pathologies within a person who has value as a person, not diversities to be celebrated.
XX Ovotesticular Disorder; These are extremely rare genetic females, who might have tacked onto one of the X chromosomes the region that ordinarily sits upon the Y chromosome and which largely activates male development. They might have variant anatomical abnormalities including ovarian and testicular tissue in the one person, similar to the genetic chimeras and mosaics mentioned above, and with similar challenges to diagnosis and management.
Persistent Mullerian Duct Syndrome; these are very rare genetic males with male genitalia. The only thing that they have in common with the woman is the persistence of the embryological structure that in girls gives rise to the fallopian tubes and much of the uterus. They do not actually develop fully formed internal or external female anatomy and are boys in any meaningful sense. They are only of interest to infertility specialists, the surgeons and the paediatricians if the testes remain undescended.
Cloacal exstrophy in the XY male. These can be genetic XY males with testes, though unfortunately lacking a penis or with a penis excessively small on account of a congenital defect where a more primitive structure (the cloaca) that ought to have separated into part of the rectum and bladder is instead retained and impacts on the development of the external genitalia. As stated above, it is easier in these cases to surgically construct female genitalia and raise the child as a female. Such an approach was driven not simply by practical ease for the surgeon, as by the tabula rasa philosophy of John Money as outlined earlier in the chapter. Such an approach would be a mistake. To quote just one paper of patients with cloacal exstrophy in XY males with testes; “14 of 16 subjects were raised as females, Of these 14, 2 were living with “unclear sexual identity” though declared themselves males, and an additional 8 had been living as males. All 16 subjects had moderate to marked interests and attitudes that were considered typical of males”. These babies are best seen as males and medical surgical expertize brought to bear on complete harmony of external genitalia with the other sex characteristics, not what is surgically easier.
In the XX female, cloacal exstrophy results usually in either a bifurcated vagina and a clitoris which also appears partially divided. Females with cloacal exstrophy are females. The existence of this genitally challenging condition is in neither case the basis for argument of gender as a spectrum, and is included here only as an additional refutation to the ideas of John Money.
Concluding remarks on Disorders of Sex Differentiation
When we pass light through a prism, we have refraction into the various colours that we also see in the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet). Yet even these colours are only rendered discrete by the physiology and perception of our own vision, with clear graduation of change between differently perceived colours. These colours exist within a continuous range with a wavelength approx. 380 to 740 nanometres, the range extending beyond into the non-visible expanse of electromagnetic radiation. We call this continuous range within which something might be found a spectrum. Electromagnetic radiation is a worthy example. Now when sperm and egg are refracted through the prism of the bedroom and sexual intercourse, there are only two bands of enormous thickness, with essentially nothing outside of this range. One band is XY with testes and male external genitalia and the other is XX with ovaries and female external genitalia. Between these two bands is a vanishingly thin line. In our analogy it would be too thin to see with the naked eye. And within this vanishingly thin line most of what might be ambiguous can be resolved as an epistemic problem with an ontological solution of boy or girl being the case (i.e. even they are boys or girls). Of the remainder even this is not necessarily a third category, though not proof either of a spectrum. Its members are not homogenous save for the quality of having an anatomy and physiology which is disharmonious with the almost universal norm. Only the most procrustean argument can take these malformations and mutations and turn it into a celebration of diversity or normal variation as opposed to disease. The persons who carry the disease are of infinite value. The disease is not. Now disease is a harsh word I’ll grant you. Yet disease is not an open and inevitable door to stigma and persecution. And the want to save someone from stigma is an attitude that cannot extent to a denial of biological fact. And this is the politically incorrect crux of the argument. None of the colours of the visible light spectrum could be considered physical aberrations. With disorders of sex development, the same cannot be said. Whether one invokes the mind of a divine creator as designing an ideal body plan as female and male or one sees biological sex the outcome of a Darwinian evolution as towards to a harmonious reproductive end, we arrive at the same conclusion. We must similarly face the reality of a couple who visit a fertility clinic, where he cannot produce sperm and/or she cannot be fertilized by non-technological means. They have a fertility disorder, a disease. These are problems with which to be sympathized not persecuted. Yet these are not normal variations or diversities, celebrated or arbitrarily be included in groupings according to political ends. Similarly, sex determining genes mutated away from purpose are gene lesions, not gene variation. An undescended testis is an embryological process failure, not diversity. Or shall we say endometriosis or a congenital hole in the heart is diversity to be celebrated too? A disharmonious combination of brain, sex chromosomes, internal sexual anatomy and external genitalia are similarly all diseases of a kind. And they do not inform the trans argument which, as far as the evidence goes, is personally and socially constructed.
In any case and as stated, biological sex is as far as one could imagine a departure from the concept of a spectrum. It is an almost pure binomial (binary) distribution. And conceptually the term intersex implies the categories between which the “inter” resides. The validity of the suffix “sex” is proved by the prefix “inter”.
But wait? Gender as defined by internal psychological identification. It is different to biological sex you might say. Is not this the gender that exists upon a spectrum? Not so. Much of the current chapter is devoted to this idea being nonsense, illogical and a misapplication of a term better left in linguistics. Until the most recent few years of our collective unravelling into madness, biological sex and gender identification has been so highly correlated as to suggest unity. That is to say the anatomical woman in almost all cases would have identified with being a woman, an anatomical man would identify with being a man. This correlation does not allow for the invocation of the descriptor “spectrum”. I am proposing as a matter of simple fact that biological sex is the only place in which any concept of gender has any meaning as a statement of identity. We might speak of the anatomical man as possessing certain features of personality often found in the anatomical woman, and vice versa. Yet tomboys and effeminate men do not amount to grounding identity rightly defined by other criteria.
One such criteria by which sexual identity might be defined, and one in which there is immediate implied scientific legitimacy, is brain sex. The trans activist might make move towards the innards of the skull. They might say genitalia, chromosomes and the like be damned. They may even strategically ignore the psychological and social world as first causes and legitimate grounding as to the truth of sexual identity, at least for a time to slip and slide to other suasive territory. They would say the mental world is a representation of the biological world of the brain. They posit that in the trans person the brain has the indelible stamp of the sex opposite to the body in which it resides. Brain is all that matters then, and the brain is the sun around which the world must orbit. Very well then. Let us be brutally scientific and get the modal logic right before we start.
Let us remind ourselves of the gravitas of the proposed intervention. Social transitioning is a major event that necessarily impacts on the lives of all in society, and will be psychologically harmful if not grounded in reality. Similarly, all pharmacology that tinkers with the endocrine system has risks. Any medication is potential poison if not medically indicated, just as surgery the likes of which occurs in transitioning is mutilation without an extreme argument in favour of it being indicated.
So what neuroscience might we need before exposing a child’s developing body and brain to powerful hormonal modulators and hacking off breasts and balls?
Firstly, we would need have a specific valid and reliable marker of differentiating the sex of the brain as male or female. Now it is obvious that there are on average sexual differences between the brains of the sexes and that these differences have bearings on behaviour. We know this by inference from animal models and the human also (see the section on intersex for example, or read the early work on rodents where exposing newborn female rats to testosterone has them growing up mounting female rats just as a male does). About this fact much has been written. Yet average differences are not enough to infer that female and male brains have been feminized or virilised in some undefined way. We would need point with a scrupulously straightened finger to something in the brain that validates the claim, this being either a discrete structure, a pattern of organization or whatever. This marker would need be something specific and identified on first principles as being meaningfully related to sexual differentiation and identity, i.e. something that is theoretically meaningful. A large male might have a larger volume of the post central gyrus related to skin sensation than that of the petite female, this obviously in turn related to the differential surface area of skin (more skin stuff means more representation in the brain, more muscle means more muscle representation). And so what? Similarly, male brains are often on average larger than female brains. This also tells us nothing about intellect any more than we could say the same of a blue whale’s brain being larger than a human. Similarly, the area of the brain that is involved with primary somato-sensation of the skin or activation of skeletal muscle has nothing to tell us of the question of brain sex qua gender identity. The brain sex marker would need be determined specific to sexual identity itself, and have discriminative validity vs that of identifying sexual appetite for example, as this co-variation of identity and behaviour seriously complicates things. It would not be possible to construct a meaningful argument if it were found, for example, that male to female transgendered persons have a female type insula. Why? Because I can show evidence of the insula being involved in basic proprioception, body perception, depression, disgust and social compliance, sense of self in social acceptance/rejection scenarios, attention and so called ADHD, nurturing behaviour, inhibition of sexual temptation, anorexia nervosa and so on and so forth. Same for the amygdala (anxiety, fear, sexual arousal, exposure to novel non threatening stimuli, happiness etcetera). Such a difference within a brain region would be only the beginning of the debate as to the meaning of the difference. Amygdala or Insula, corpus collosum or the little boobs of the mammillary bodies. None are either male or female.
But that’s imagine they think they found a sex determinative marker. Having been identified, the marker would need be without significant overlap between the sexes. This is to say that the predictive marker is not meaningfully defined by averages. If behind the screen we are told is an unidentified adult with height 155cm we might have the odds firmly on our side to guess that our unknown person is a woman, though they might also be a short man. Any putative sex identity region (or pattern) in the brain ought not to just be generally different between the sexes if the question is to biologically argue for sex identity as a justification to transition. The difference must be of a quantity that is never seen in non trans members of the natal sex of the subject in question. A 155cm adult person can only be necessarily a woman if there are no or almost no 155cm adult males in the world. And from this finding of class difference the strength of the marker must be such that the prediction can be made with reference to the marker alone and blinded to the other particulars of the individual. For example we would need see the brain imaging result of this marker alone and be able to say that this region with this measured quantity (volume of area of the insula for example) predicts with a very high confidence that the unknown individual is either a natal female/trans minded female in a male body or a natal male/trans minded male in a female body.
Next, the brain marker identified would need be a measure of trans as defined as the sex of the brain that the individual identifies with, and not a third category. This is to say by way of a simple and silly conceptual model; if male brains are blue and female brains are pink, if we were to open the brain of an outwardly anatomical man who says it is a woman inside, we would find a pink brain (or a blue brain to disprove the brain sex hypothesis). We would not find a green or a purple or a rainbow coloured brain. To find a green or purple brain would then define the trans brain as a third category. And it would not be possible to successfully argue that this third category is not pathological. Why? Because the argument was that the trans XY person with penis and testes has a female brain, and their identity argument is bound up in this hypothesis. Further, the finding of a green or purple brain would have thus been proved to be a marker of incongruence itself. And given that the question is attached to the question of what to do about it, surgically and medically correcting the incongruence only remains coherent to the outcome of a pink body to a pink brain. All this is heavily value laden and cannot avoid both ethical and moral debate. It would be tough to argue the third category is diversity and not the result of disease.
Next there would need be evidence of differences in the sex determining/correlative region of the brain of the trans person that are unequivocally not confounded by environmental influences. That is to ask have we created a brain difference (say with xeno-oestrogens) only to say we have discovered a natural kind to be celebrated, when in fact it has resulted from pathological influences (physical or psychological). Now no one by sheer force of will and wearing a dress can magically turn their penis into a vagina. The brain on the other hand is quite plastic within the modules and distributed patterns of function. For example, the brain area devoted to the fine muscle activity of the hand is greater than the comparatively clumsy and oafish foot, and will be greater still in its volume and elaboration in the concert pianist than the musical philistine. Yet in the double arm amputee who learns to paint and type with their feet, the area devoted to the hand will regress and atrophy and the area devoted to the feet will become unusually prominent, essentially an inverted hand. Does this argue for a constitutional difference (i.e. primary causative difference) in the brain of the pianist or the double arm amputee? Not at all. It was the behaviour and environment that altered the brain from what would have been the default natural state. In a similar sense, any study related to the brain sex typing of the trans individual must address the question of the effect upon the brain of living trans, of political and social pressure and countless other environmental inputs. It would need to go beyond that achievable within the boundaries of the brains plasticity to environmental influences both on theoretical grounds and in the life of the patient to say the brain was of itself a different sex. Any studies purporting to have identified a difference in the trans brain would need rely on extremely rigorous controls and not patient report of their lifestyle. Most prima facie controlled studies in humans are not as controlled as the investigators would like us to believe, for the simple fact that the investigator is not present in the life of the subject of their investigation. The use, for example, of non-prescription cross sex hormones is as rife and as underreported a problem in the adult trans world as performance enhancing drugs are in the world of the athlete and bodybuilder, and easily obtained by the user who is motivated, connected with the appropriate in group and has a modicum of social skills. They change the brain. To say the brain was different to begin with is an article of faith.
Next, it would need be proven that the marker applies to the age of the individual in question. It would not be enough to find a brain sex difference in adults and then assume that the same difference explains trans in children in general, much less a specific child or adolescent before us who claims to be trapped in the wrong body. There would need be robust prospective evidence that the marker can blindly predict in advance not simply that the child is a trans child, yet have predictive power that they will certainly be a trans adult and not desist (i.e. not decide as a late adolescent or young adult that they are comfortable in their natal/anatomical sex)
Ideally there will also be natural ablation experiments supporting the hypothesis. For example if there is a rare cis gender adult who suffers a rapid onset gender dysphoria, have they been found to have some stoke, tumour or injury to the area of the brain that is thought to determine sex? If not, then we need revise our model of what constitutes the trans brain. The same is the case if approached from the opposite side. If we have a transgender patient with a brain disease the likes of which by chance results a brain made congruent with their natal sex, does this correlate with a rapid reversal of the trans mindset. Has there ever been a body of cases where the boy trapped inside a girls body suddenly changes on account of trauma or tumor? If not, then once again the model asserting X region of the brain as gender identity determinative would be wrong and require serious revision.
And next and vital to the above, each of these discoveries would need be replicated, i.e. repeated twice or thrice in separate experiments and the same results found to be the case. This is an extremely difficult challenge in the case of rare “disorders”. But science is what it is in the demands it places upon us. Neuroscience and social psychology is rife with studies either which are not replicated or in replication the original findings fail to be repeated the second time round. Social psychology has also been plagued in recent years by multiple occurrences of outright fraud. Journals are notoriously averse to publishing replication studies of failed experiments, resulting in an ever present and justified suspicion that the disconfirming evidence is sitting in a drawer somewhere.
The current chapter was to contain a paper-by-paper review of the literature on brain sex re the question of trans in general and children in particular. In the end this ambition was abandoned. There wasn’t the evidence to critique! At this juncture the trans lobby would do as well to take a step back from the brain and look to other strategies, as they might not like what they likely will not find. On my survey of the literature I can assure the reader that we are not even remotely close to being within a country mile of fulfilling such criteria of evidence as outlined above to warrant the ideological and chemical poisoning and surgical mutilation of the adult, let alone the child or adolescent. The trans lobby simply do not have the evidence. But let us fantasize and grant the opponent enough rope. If brain sex is ever proven in a way that accords with the trans world view, this would not provide a posteriori vindication for what the ideologues do today! If one executes a free citizen who is then after the fact found guilty of a capital crime, the execution remains a murder in not having first passed through the jurisprudential gates of due process. The same is the case in science. One is not proven to be right all along by being lucky or intuitive. The rightness only has its being in the proof.
It is worth illuminating upon the construct incoherence of psychiatry in this regard, this incoherence kept afloat by psychiatrists being expert pragmatists and sophists. In order for psychiatry as a self styled neuro-scientific enterprise to endorse trans kids its needs knowledge of the brain it does not have. In not having this knowledge psychiatry ought to be painfully hoisted on its own petard. Neither can it slither sideways into the world of descriptive criteria as a justification to diagnosis. I will give an example why it cannot do this without abandoning its own semantics as incoherent. You see psychiatry has long divided delusions into delusions in general, and various eponymous and descriptive subtypes of specific delusions. One subtype is the so called “bizarre” delusion. Technically speaking, a bizarre delusion is not simply a belief that is false, fixed, not factual etcetera as per the usual definition of the term. A bizarre delusion is one that is not possible given the knowledge of the physical and biological universe as it stands. So someone might be deluded into thinking their partner is unfaithful and this be driven by a psychotic “illness”. But infidelity is possible. And so the infidelity is untrue, the patient deluded and the delusion is not bizarre. But if a patient were to say that their spouse is both sitting aside them in the consulting room whilst being simultaneously at home sleeping with the pool man that would be a bizarre delusion. Why? because it is physical impossible to be in two different places at the same time. Now we might ask ourselves how psychiatry ought to formulate an individual who claims to be (to be in a strong sense) female when almost every cell carries an XY chromosome pair, and from whose body hangs a penis and two testicles. Is this not a wonderful example of a bizarre delusion? In endorsing such an idea as true, is not psychiatry obliged to diagnose itself by its own lights as suffering from a bizarre delusion? Or might it just reveal its hand as philosophically pragmatic, where truth is always what it wants it to be as measured by the political milieu within which it operates and the ends it wishes to achieve.
Kenneth Zucker was, and is, one of the worlds most pre-eminent sexologists and arguably the worlds leading expert on trans in children and adolescents. Based in Toronto, Zucker headed up the Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic and was a thought leader in the formulation of the relevant section of the DSM and also the 2012 WPATH guidelines before being cast out of the trans Eden of the WPATH. His tale of woe has been summarized in numerous articles by the investigative journalist Jesse Singal, whom I might add has himself been thrust into the same controversial orbit as Zucker for the audacity of being sympathetic to a trans heretic.
Zucker’s work revolved around prospective studies on trans kids, with the incendiary finding that most trans children, if approached with a therapeutic attitude that could be described to “help children feel comfortable in their own bodies,” will indeed grow to feel comfortable in their own bodies. Zucker’s work has been criticized for allegedly being bias by including too many non trans kids who were simply gender atypical. However roughly two thirds at the time did satisfy the diagnosis of gender identity disorder as per DSM IV TR and the remainder with the subthreshold diagnosis would have met criteria under the DSM 5 for gender dysphoria. And all would have been the very kinds of children targeted by the trans movement for affirmation and transition. So yes he worked with trans kids. Other researchers such as Thomas Steensma have found the same results as Zucker, if not more so. A conservative estimate of desistence often quoted is around 80%-90%, i.e. >80% of boys thinking themselves to be girls will have a natural history such that they will reach young adulthood being comfortable with being men. The trans desists. This is a fact that the trans lobby is determined to silence
I have read some of Zuckers work, and also parts of the doctoral dissertation of his protégé Devita Singh which, strangely, is available in the public domain. No work of this kind is completely immune from methodological critique, yet these are works of quality orders of magnitude greater than the trans activists and trans in house journals with bias peer review. I caution the reader against taking anything to be legitimate simply from invocation of the words “scientific journal” or “peer review” or “evidence based”. Five angry drunkards in an ally can also be an occasion of “peer review”. The term does not guarantee a rigorous dialectic with attorneys for both the defence and prosecution of a hypothesis. Real science and real philosophy are intellectual blood sports where only the ideas that cannot be killed off are permitted to survive. Zucker’s findings have also been replicated, replication being something rare in the social psychology, and his work is the best evidence to date. It ought to be the basis for best practice, and an argument that transgender affirmation and transition is the real nefarious practice to which ought to be ascribed “gender conversion therapy”.
You might wonder what was Zuckers penalty for such heresy. In late 2015 whilst on vacation, the university arranged an external review informed by trans-activists. They further arranged the findings to be released in a (more or less) publicly available report. This included patient reports into his conduct, two of which were negative and included the allegation that he told a young trans female (natal/biological male) that she (I would say he) was a “hairy little vermin”. This being Canada, Zucker was afforded no due process of the American jurisprudence of his birth, i.e. he was not assumed innocent until proven guilty, and he was not permitted any reasonable defence against a prosecution that was assiduously weaving its web with him unaware and in absentia. He was simply fired from his post 9 days out from Christmas Eve. Subsequently both negative allegations were found to be false, with substantial evidence that they were concocted with the goal of removing Zucker. And in his person being removed, removed also would be the last bastion of academia against the trans juggernaut. By the alleged complainant’s own admission, someone called him “a hairy little vermin”, yet it was certainly not Zucker.
Zuckergate is equally illustrative of how savage and rapid ideological shifts and moral panics can erupt upon a society seemingly oblivious of themselves sleepwalking toward a radical future. In 2012 Zucker was part of the intelligentsia informing when you the reader are sane or mad and what we are to intellectually make of your sexuality whatever it is. His was the only spirit of temperance in the 2012 WPATH guidelines, a call to watchful waiting and not automatic trans affirmation. In 2015 he was dismissed without trial for unfounded professional misconduct from a unit he headed for 34 years. Yet the tide of acceptable thought and opinion had changed even more. As I write this chapter at the in 2019, Zucker is a pariah with trans zealots systemically freezing him out of the universities, the expert advisory panels and succeeding in de-platforming him from conferences where he was previously welcomed. They are doing this not because they are victims of a mass hysteria. They have seen his truth and they don’t like it.
Zuckers approach can be formulated as more than simple watchful waiting, which would be equivalent to no intervention at all. He did encourage a thorough evaluative process including an exploration not only into the gender affirmed by the child, yet also into the reasons why the child might affirm the incongruent gender in the first place. Such an approach is now seen to be loaded with implications as to motive, and is all too easily interpreted by the trans lobby as a “conversion therapy” (converting the child from the gender the child claims to be, and is assumed to be in this begging of the philosophical question to the natal gender). The trans lobby have proven themselves terrified of what a clinician such as Zucker might find; that gender incongruence might stem from psychologically destabilizing experiences of childhood and that the criterion of “persistence” might not be so persistent after all. As such they have been determined to silence him, and have been most successful in their efforts. Others have been silenced also, and it worth pointing out in this drama what is typical in the trans debate. In the articles I reviewed, the pro trans community were unabashed in being identified to be quoted contra Zucker. They are loud, proud, safe and powerful. Yet those who would defend him had to be quoted anonymously, for fear of losing their jobs also. Who are the victims here? Who is the minority? Those transactivists who claim to be the downtrodden against the conservative Goliath? Or those sober minded scientists or conservatives who rightly intuit they must censor themselves to pay the bills.?
Another more sinister implication can be made from the systematic silencing of Zucker, this being admittedly speculative on my part. Though the vast majority of anatomical boys who think they are girls trapped in the wrong body grow to become comfortable with being young men (i.e. they desist), a large faction of these anatomical boys grow to become homosexual young men. Lesbianism is also overrepresented in adult females who as children believed they were boys trapped in a female body. This ought to be not entirely unexpected. In 1962 Karl Urlich described his homosexuality thus “anima muliebris virili corpore inclusa” or a female psyche trapped in a males body. This was millennia after homosexuality became known to man, though only a few years before the term homosexual was actually coined by another Karl, that being Karl Maria Kertbeny.
Zuckers work opens a Pandora’s box that can be interpreted in more than one way by both sides of the political divide viz a viz homosexuality. On one hand we might imagine it points the way to homosexuality being (at least in some individuals) the outcome of adverse events of childhood that result in some with trans confusion also. The “homophilic” thing to do would not be to affirm trans in childhood at all. Quite the contrary a boy thinking he is a girl would be seen as proto homosexual behaviour in a child who does not yet know, nay cannot yet know, what he is as a sexual being. The homophobic formulation of the same approach would be to interpret trans in childhood as one of the many manifestations of adverse events that define the latter emergent homosexuality as psychopathology. On the other hand, the psychoanalyst power analyst in me can readily formulate the silencing of Zucker and the push to affirm as soon as possible as the trans lobbies attempt to cure the world of homosexuality by converting male children destined to be gay males into heterosexual females, whilst also undermining the identity and power of the feminists as women. In one fell swoop the trans lobby thus would take the reins as the supreme sexual minority to be favoured and protected. In a political sense, LGBTQ+ is an informal coalition which must fight two battles. The first is the battle of the group in opposition to cis gender heterosexuals. The second is an internal battle as factions within the group in opposition with themselves vie for party power.
It is not simply the silencing of Zucker that might be formulated in terms of a, perhaps unconsciously driven, trans vs homosexual politics. Part of the trans argument is that the current explosion in clinics reflects a prevalence in the community that was heretofore until the twenty first century sent underground from extreme persecution and bigotry. They say trans was always there, but trans kids did not disclose for fear of persecution. What to make then of the fact that there were pockets of time and place when alternative sexualities were all able to raise their head and not have their existence challenged. And yet within these times, with the homosexuality as the archetypal alternative sexuality (along with cross dressing cis gender persons), fully fledged cross gender identifying persons were still exceedingly rare. Take for example ancient Greece, notorious for homosexuality and pederasty also. Yet where were trans as trans ideologues currently define the person as being, as X trapped in a Y body? Or what of turn of the century England. We know of Oscar Wilde and Wilde was persecuted for his homosexuality. But where was trans? And what of the sexually liberated quarter of a Berlin in a pre-Weimer and Weimer Germany and the equivalent even more libertine Paris of the fin de siecle. From years before Bismarck decriminalized homosexuality in 1922, the cosmopolitan elite was very homo-tolerant, this being much more the case in the land of the heirs to the Jacobins. Trans was there in Western Europe for sure, yet so exceedingly rare as to make homosexuality look pedestrian. Equally this was the case in Moscow and Leningrad where the social experiment was even more violent in its liberation from church and tradition. From the first years of the twentieth century when revolution was fomenting to just prior to Stalins triumph over Trotskyism (1920-1928 espcially), the avant-garde was hell bent on destroying all conservative sexual identities, consigning the traditional family to history and undoing Czar Nicholas (the first) criminalizing of homosexuality. The communist parties of western Europe all campaigned for sexual liberation and many a western homosexual saw the Soviet Union as the utopia of their future. And yet in the heart of Moscow where amongst the socialist homosexuals, the androgyne soviet females, the celebration of abortions, the legislation enabling an immediate divorce for unhappy couples, and so on and so forth, where in all this do we see trans adults? They were not there. Where do we see trans kids? They were not there either. Not because of oppression. They were not there because they did not exist. This was a century before clown world.
So from this, how on Earth can we arrive at a population level of persons in 2019 who would be trans if not supposedly supressed/oppressed of 0.5%, let alone 1.2% to 3.7% of an earlier mentioned New Zealand study? I can scarcely imagine the rate being 0.00001%. Or are we to believe that trans was more persecuted still than the homosexual and consequently driven almost universally underground? Are we seriously perhaps expected then to believe that the L, B and G and Q have also been keeping the T down all along?
Digressions aside and returning to the matter of desistence, sadly stories of changing one’s mind (or formations of one’s mind) are not restricted to children and adolescence. The trans lobby also seeks to supress growing reports of adults who reach the approx. 10 year mark, regret having transitioned and wish to return to their natal/biological sex. Although the secular reader will recognize the ideological bias of his Pentecostal Christianity and perhaps be uncomfortable with it, I commend the reader to visit the website (sexchangeregret.com) of Walt Heyer, an anatomical/natal male become female become male again. Heyer is contacted regularly by adults with trans regret. Heyers case is an illustration of many things, two of which being that his trans dysphoria, like many others, commenced in childhood and was unequivocally related to small “t” traumatic events of childhood. The second is that if a trans critic happens to have a religious affiliation, the trans lobby will seize upon it to ignore any argument made, no matter how sound it is. The trans lobby also seeks to ad hominem the trans critical American College of Paediatricians (not to be confused with the official American Academy of Paediatricians) as being fringe Christian lunatics, rather than engage with their conservative argument.
There can be one final possible rebuttal to Zucker. There is the work for example of deVries et al in 2011, who looked at desistance rates in those who have transitioned socially in childhood and with puberty suppression to continue onto cross sex hormones. None of the 70 subjects desisted. All 70 continued on into cross sex hormones, this provided as proof of anything the trans lobby wishes to argue (though with a follow up interval that, like a horse race half run, is too short to answer the question if any will have trans regret in future). We ought to be cautious about these and other similar results. This debate is best not evaluated as a competition between success of outcome rates, the likes of which a physician might look for in comparing two different medications with equal side effects. Such data are certainly not proof of the validity of the claim of the child to have been born into the wrong body. That question is asked and answered definitively by Zucker and others in studying the natural history of the condition, and in the fact that desistance is then very high in the minimally manipulated child. Zuckers finding points us to the conclusion nature works and not to mess with it, not whether social engineering is successful. It really ought not to matter to anyone if in the years to come each and every 4 or 6 year old trans child placed on an intensive and immersive path results in adults who universally persist in their claim to be opposite the natal sex (i.e. zero desistence). This would only be proof of the power of an ideology to take a Herculean grip on nature and engineer humanity to their own ends. This is conceptually no different to taking the child who claims not be able to run, maiming them for life and then claiming to have proven them to be congenitally crippled. As any neuroscientist familiar with the works of Hubel and Wiesel can say, you can take a kitten, suture up one of its eyes for the first few months of life, this rendering the kitten more or less permanently blind in that eye for life, when it would have otherwise had normal vision. The outcome of bio-political experiments fails to inform the default ontology of the person, except in the mind of the philosophical pragmatist whose idea of truth is whatever works.
How Did We Get This Far? The Makings of Genderosis
Hopefully by now the reader will be sympathetic with my argument that those promoting transgenderism in children (and perhaps adults also) suffer a psychopathology we might call “genderosis”, though seeing it as a dangerous groupthink Munchausen by proxy disorder will do just as well. The question arises just how did this madness arise? I don’t suppose to know the answer to this question, though I will venture some speculation as to its source and direction beyond that that might be found in the implied motivations of the early trans activists outlined earlier. I’m not suggesting any explanation fit all individuals. And the list of speculations is not exhaustive.
The Role of Psychiatry and Psychology; The business model of a profession is the advancement of guild power, this being a currency as good as money, both currencies to be maximized in the stock of its psychiatrist and psychologist shareholders. Psychiatry’s strategy is to in turn maximize diagnoses in the populace for as long as it is politically possible without tarnishing the brand. Once upon a time to be a political dissident in Soviet Russia or a freedom loving slave in the United States might have provoked psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. Once upon a time to be an emotional woman was to be a hysteric to be locked up and even lobotomized. Even those residing in the modern Camelot were not immune from danger, the case in point being Rosemary Kennedy’s lobotomy. More recently there was homosexuality, taken off the psychiatric table back in 1980 with the issuing of the DSM III (in practice it was de-pathologized many years earlier). Once it was a psychopathology to be transgender, though the tide has also has turned in trans favour. The caring professions in their pragmatism have made a deft move in doublethink and doublespeak, retaining the diagnosis of gender dysphoria defined as being troubled by gender incongruence as a means to both legitimize trans ideology and transitioning as a diversity to be celebrated, whilst retaining the authority to declare it so. By extension the trans critic is placed upon the path of punishment for “stigmatizing” the trans child (a word for secular priests itself laden with religious symbolism). The guilds have deftly managed to ride the tide of political correctness and understand the powerless ones are the trans critics who are to be educated out of their perceived ignorance and prejudice. This transphobic prejudice and the patient’s own conflict (introjected prejudice) are considered the object of treatment. And so psychiatry can breed another disorder, another treatment and another liberation and bask in the light of being the saviours of the people. That is until the suffering that is their product runs its life cycle and they invest themselves in another. If ever the current trans hysteria falls out of favour, the guilds and clinics would quietly pull back and a generation later sell the story that they never believed the nonsense in the first place. I’m not suggesting it’s all power politics, however. The psychiatric impulse is, and fair enough, one of compassion and care. Yet many infractions upon liberty can be cloaked in the language of care, as can absolving the person of personal responsibility. And the language of compassion can be as aggressively weaponised just as suicidality can be weaponised, both employed in the trans issue to silence the arguments of the trans critics. Something I predicted and unfortunately did not publish before the fact was that trans persons would be taught that their suicidality lay in their introjected stigma, i.e. other prejudiced persons drive them to suicide, and transitioning in childhood is necessary to save young lives. By extension the message would be the trans critic who fails to affirm kills the child. Never mind the buried secrets of the trans person as someone who just might have had small or large “t” traumatic experiences of childhood and that their neurosis extends far beyond the trans question, just as David Reimers suicide (see section on John Money) was not so simply captured by one side or the other. Never mind that excellent data exist to suggest that transitioning is not the panacea for neurosis and suicidality and that indeed transitioning is far from a cure. For example in the often considered ultra-liberal Sweden, Dhejne and colleagues show even post operative transgender persons have suicidality far above age matched others. Most alarmingly, sex-reassigned individuals remained five times more likely to attempt suicide and almost twenty times more likely to die by suicide compared to controls in the normal population. Is it not possible that the perceived persecution by bigots is a red herring? The question of suicidality however is provoking a pragmatic question. Let us say that the experiment was rerun in an alternate universe and Dhejnes cohort not had sex reassignment and the suicide rate been even higher still (i.e. higher than twenty fold the population norm). This would suggest that suicide rates are lowered by transitioning, though not cured. It would also suggest a co-morbid neurosis perhaps driving the transgenderism, or at least be congruent with such a hypothesis. It would not be evidence of the trans construct. Nor would it be the basis for a political demand on the world any more than stating “I will kill myself if not recognised as being a house cat and allowed sit on any lap I choose” proves I am a cat. Nor would you threatening suicide morally require me to accept you as a cat. The tragic consequence of a fact does not a posteriori create a different fact entirely. It only does this if one is a philosophical pragmatist. A free person ought never be bullied into assenting to another’s fantasy.
The Overextension of Radical Feminism; When Simone de Beauvoir famously wrote “one is not born, but becomes a woman.” she was not referring to the obvious temporal playing out of a person’s development such that “a woman does not start off as a baby girl”. No she was obviously referring to what she perceived is the oppression placed upon the girl by a patriarchal world to be what men want the woman’s role to be. Nonetheless the seeds were sown. Radical feminism continued down the radical rabbit hole, with Judith Butler describing gender as “a free floating artifice, with the consequence that man and masculine might just as easily signify a female body as a male one, and woman and feminine a male body as easily as a female one.” And so when feminists wanted the right to be treated like men, and a want to openness for men to be like women (e.g. in assuming the role of what might have been called a housewife), for some the next step would be that the woman might actually be a man, and the man actually be a woman. And when applied to childhood, where early feminists saw (rightly) that a girl can be interested in “boy play”, the trans-activists take the liberation further into positing that that girl might be a boy, and vice versa.
The Overextension of Radical Individuality; The trans movement had its start largely on the European mainland. The Netherlands played a key role in this, as it has in other novel medical practices such as doctors murdering people under the euphemism of physician assisted suicide. Yet there is no denying the United States is a thought leader and focus of cultural shift affecting its own citizenry along with that of other Anglo (and many non-Anglo) speaking nations alike. These are often the nations who mock America whilst wilfully becoming her all the same. Part of the American dream in general and especially in the popular self-psychology movement that prevails is the notion that you can be anything and anyone you want. Indeed, you are morally deserved to be whatever you desire. We have all been exposed to the tropes of the adult who needs go “find”, “reinvent” or “discover” themselves when previous generations might have considered these statements evidence of arrested immaturity. There is also the libertarian non-aggression principal that shines on in all those not impacted by psychiatry’s diagnostic march and the overuse of involuntary treatment The social rewards of being seen as hyper-tolerant and liberal can become a call for those of the praise hungry Pharisaic mood to invent new categories of persons to become tolerant about. What necessarily follows is the creation of phantom enemies against which a liberating nation or individual might virtuously fight to save the downtrodden. Ergo “I love trans now build me a monument”. And these aspirations for liberation and liberating can reach dizzying heights from which bombs of many a kind are dropped, and ironically many liberties are seized upon. That is “I love trans kids so much I will destroy the critic to prove my perfect love”. The problem is that someone who can sit back and dream of becoming anything at all in the future is in danger not standing on the realistic ground of knowing and being anything in the present. Every little boy and girl can one day be president the American child is told, being asked to close their eyes to the reality that life does not actually work that way. And so a culture that aspires to radical freedom and lofty aspirations might well be ripe to become a culture radically unanchored to the biological and other givens of the world, and all sorts of experiments in ways of living that John Stuart Mill might have underwritten follow from it. In a country where any little boy (or girl) can become president, any little boy can become a girl. And don’t you dare disagree or I’ll kill myself, the blood being on your hands.
False Certainty and Radical Insecurity; To anyone honest with themselves and who works as psychiatrist and psychologist, if they are old enough they will come to the illuminated though disenchanted view that people are becoming more insecure and infantilized. Now we have a society of adults less able to be adults to their children. Part of the purpose of this book to say that psychiatry and the helping professions, far from curing personality disorders, are breeding them on an industrial scale. Now on the matter of personal identity there are two kinds of persons who are strident, dogmatic and insist the world be made in their image or none at all. One kind are those with hyper surety. The jihadi who straps a bomb to his body must usually be fastened by great faith in the cause and the hereafter to counter the drive to protect their body and life in this world. The other kind of militant individual who cries out to be recognised are those whose identity formation is anything but sure. There is something in the shrill tenor of the trans activists and many of the trans individuals themselves, in frantically wanting children transitioned as soon as possible and in attempting to silence and “de-platform” trans critics. The cries collectively suggest these individuals are anything but sure in their identity and fight against those who fail to recognize it. Quite the contrary. They are, in a classical psychodynamic sense, persons and organizations with borderline personality structures whose identities are diffused. They frantically claw together a sense of solidity in stating they are something they are biologically not. Their identity is as fragile as a butterfly’s wing.
The finger that points towards my claim being the truth of their psyche lay in the fact that the trans movement includes and embraces as valid the gender fluid, the pan gender, and many others crying out for validity. It includes those who say also that their gender depends on the weather, the colour surround and so on. This is an attempt to make solid what is not solid, as if saying it is so makes it so, and screaming it makes it more so. And I’ll venture to speculate that part of their psyche is aware of their own terrifying fragility, making the screams even louder, the demands to censor more insistent and taking children along for the ride as human shields. The transactivists running the show of asserting identity are persons without identity, and in their strident demands they doth protest too much.
The Death of God and the Atomization of Woman and Man; This book is not an apologetic for any faith, and so the faith of the author (or lack of it as the case may be) is something not relevant to the argument. What is vital to consider is whether Nietzsche’s obituary was correct re the death of (the belief in) God. Nowadays Orthodox Christianity does not at all figure in any formulation of humanity and its problems in government, science, medicine and the humanities. All are detached from the faith of old, this fact untouched by whatever attendance the American mega churches gather within and whatever people purport to believe (stated preference in the census is not the same as revealed preference in the world). The only echo of a dead God might be certain principles of ethics that form the basis of what remain of our moral givens. Yet these too are often formulated as if God were never alive to have set the co-ordinates of moral compass to begin with. Instead the appeal is to neuro-ethics, humanist dialectics or a neo-Darwinian utility, with the deity not given his due credit. And with Gods passing passes also the sacred separations and the binaries he announced through the author/s of the book of Genesis. Chapter one is all about separations. Chapter two extends on this to the fundamental variable of the human person in becoming separate from God on one hand, and separated into man and woman on the other. Now in the post-postmodern world man is alone. And man is the sole measure and maker of man. And so man will be woman and woman will be man. And don’t let the technology fool you. Both will be more animal now and more animal in future. And this diffused trans-human will seek to integrate itself into biological and inorganic technologies that may emerge in time and attempt to make man into man’s image of God. The trans human becomes transhuman. Atheist humanists and Orthodox theists alike will see the end of man in the decades and centuries to come. Trans-children are just another step on the road to the tower of Babel inhabited by variations of techno and geno Baphomet.
Related to the above point is man as a free consumer and unit of consumption. Trading in others (i.e. slavery) was abolished in the west, and most racist oppressive separations with it. And rightly so. Certain oppressive separations between woman and men had also been removed, taking for example the victories of the suffragette movement. This too is rightly so. Now the trans movement wants its freedoms too, or so goes the narrative. The problem with this ever-greater demand of freedom for an ever-greater range of identities is not simply that some identities are legitimate and require freeing from persecution. Nor is it that they are illegitimate and require a defence of persecution. The problem is the context of the times within which freedom is exercised. This age is one of consumption and unanchored entitled individualism hiding behind group identity is similarly entitled. Some would say a recognition of an ever-greater fractionation of identities must lead to an affirmation of the individual after seven billion fractionations are complete. This is philosophically sound as you are not me and I am not you. A comprehensive description of each other cannot leave any two individuals the same and defuse the problem of identity politics.
My prognosis is more pessimistic. The current trans movement might simply be a step in a punctuated march towards a bleak future of atomized units where all persons once stood. Were I to imagine myself as the marketeer to consumers or a statist agent with power over the narrative of identity I too would sell trans and many other freedoms and choices besides. I would target a market as young as possible and guilt trip adults and the institution of family against fighting my divisive march. And I would sell a diverse mix and match product line, where the individual can “discover themselves”, be “gender creative” and engineer themselves with biological attributes that in all of human history was labelled as male or female. But now they are increasingly divorced from sexuality and named on purely anatomical lines, i.e. breast, vagina, penis etc. These are products on the shelf. And another marketed item on the shelf would be gender as self-identity, be that male, female, both, neither or any one of the innumerable other possibilities of infinite alethic fluidity. The manufactured choice would be marketed as the exercise of a freedom of choice or a discovered immutable state of being, each depending upon the political tide of what the consumer wants to hear and what I want to sell. And then independent still would be sexual appetites; to have sexual congress with the woman with the penis, the man with the vagina, the gender fluid, the pansexual, the one endowed with both genitalia or whatever is possible. And will the individual choose the wallet or the clutch purse, the dress or the suit or all of the above? All of these “freedoms” or “discoveries” would be made by the consumer whilst being steered by myself as marketeer or the state agent with other agenda as to what it wants the consumer to be in their consumption. Nothing in the person would be solid in time or over time. And so, the individual would be a unit of production by the state for state purposes. Or a unit of production of the market to be consumed by itself. Forget about the nonsense of the left eating itself in wars so called identity politics. Even the individual would coil itself up like some pathetic ouroboros and individual identity would eat individual identity. This aided by transhumanist technology marketed to us by our betters would be the final blowing out of the person and any meaningful notion of identity. What remains in this eschatology would be a being with consciousness and qualia, with drives, emotional states and verbalizations. But we would not recognize this being as something free, individual and human as we know it. It just might think it is. This is not conspiracy. It isn’t inevitable outcome of the enlightenment and modernity. It isn’t “cultural Marxism” or pure capitalist consumerism or post modernism as if postmodern ideas lacked any virtue. There’s no psychological or political jargon up to the task of describing this radical absence of identity.
So what to do about it?
The answer to the trans question is simple. All efforts to convert the child to a gender incongruent with the biological givens ought to be challenged and prosecuted to the full extent of the law as acts of child abuse. However well intentioned, its child abuse deserving every intolerance a civilised society can bring to bear against it. It’s also a test of political leadership and philosophical principle. Ideological warfare is not a place for liberal nice guys. Any conservative/traditionist/old left/centre right politician who fails to take the gloves off on this of all issues cannot be trusted with the rest. Dump them immediately.
All bullying of all persons ought to be likewise challenged by the village as aggressive and uncivil acts. Yet bullying cuts both ways. Trans critics are currently the ones being bullied though trans proponents claim to be the victims. Victimhood does not in dint of claiming to be a victim prove the victim’s belief is true. Truth is not a liberal category and ideas are not people. Ideas are fair game. Some do not deserve respect, and some do not deserve to survive. Threats of suicide, however much they might be held as sincere at the time and however tragic if acted upon, also cannot be allowed to coerce anyone to action about anything. Disagreement is not an act of aggression, and suicide is a choice.
I am further proposing that we consign gender back to the world of language studies and that sex be the sole descriptor applied to the human as something discovered as fact, not assigned as a social construction.
Any adult who claims to be a man/woman trapped in a woman/mans body arrives at the claim having reached the age of majority. The trial by which they must pass is a childhood of affirming the sex of their birth, this being part of a child’s gradual education into the reality of the world. Should it come to pass that the child emerges as an adult still wishing change the public face of their identity to that of identifying with the other sex, like any adult they ought to be free to make their own way in the world unto their own “pursuit of happiness” without prejudice and without special treatment. But they take sole responsibility for the outcome that they wrought on themselves and pay their own way in the process. They ought to place no expectation upon any other to address them as she or he or zee or them. Nor should they expect anyone to perform surgeries upon them or finance the same by the public purse. Amendments to the social transactions of stated pronouns and identity ought to be completed only based on a contract between free persons. An individual who does not assent to identifying them as they wish cannot be forced to.
Epilogue April 2023
In the past four years the conservative/traditionist/old left/centre has continued lose its nerve and we fell off the cliff. The identity mutilating machine is rolling on and accelerating. Many a nations flags are now effectively rainbow and some youths really do believe they are cats. Worse still, some of their adult teachers probably would get them a saucer of milk if they asked. I foresee one of two things will happen. There will be small lacunae where pseudo conservatives or pseudo old left will succeed in rolling back some of the trans hysteria only to the extent to which it will shore up a vote or two. These victories will be perceived out of proportion to the facts of what has been achieved. As unprincipled acts of cynicism, they won’t hold back the vector of decadence. They are, so to speak, there for the optics. Neither can we use or appeal to the analogy of the pendulum swing here for the centre has shifted. That’s the best-case scenario. The worst case is that even these efforts won’t be tried, the Djinn is already out of the bottle and it’s too late to put it back in.
Once all the useful idiots of the sexual libertine revolutionary movement were put away, circa late 1920’s Stalin got to work restoring the traditional family, albeit still on brutalist soviet lines. No such figure will emerge in the west transforming sexual identity of children back along traditional lines. The present age of cannibalistic consumerism and technocracy probably will only continue exploit the opportunity to mutilate identity. The only prospects I see are possibly decades away. 1) via an old left socialist agronomist movement seeking to return the people to the old ways of the village. Traditional sexuality of boys being boys and girls being girls might be the baggage that comes along with going green and small. 2) a centre right Christian theonomy emerging in America that decides its worth the risk to tear an already torn fabric, go for revolution and a formal/informal internal secession. Some states or regions will be rainbow. Some won’t. Each will present a model to the world. 3) China ascends to put a characteristically practical end to the nonsense. 4) Islam takes large sections of the west, its own traditionalism being self-evident. 5) traditionalist cultures of the global south resist the imperialist rainbow flag, migrate, dilute, and transform. 6) along the lines of point two, people of the west migrate to the traditional Orthodox east or south to go where their own traditionalist ideologies can survive and thrive and their own children are not wrapped in the rainbow flag. But this will take co-ordination and collective effort.
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