Breaking Down Point 6 of “Gender Ideology Harms Children”

For those just joining us, please read the following links to catch yourself up:

Introduction

Point 1

Point 2

Point 3

Point 4

Point 5

Children who use puberty blockers to impersonate the opposite sex will require cross-sex hormones in late adolescence.

Seriously, why am I even having to explain this?

  1. Trans people are NOT impersonating the opposite sex.  A trans person is someone who’s gender does not match their physical sex.
  2. Any person with two brain cells to fire knows that due to the fact that a trans person normally doesn’t produce the hormones required by their gender due to their sex, HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) is recommended and often times used.
  3. NOT EVERY TRANS PERSON DOES HRT OR EVEN HAS SEX REASSIGNMENT SURGERY!
  4. CHILDREN are not using puberty blockers.  Adolescents (which is an entirely different category in the DSM V and in medical guidelines) take puberty blockers.  We already discussed this….

Repeat after me, “Sex is not gender and gender is not sex.”  It’s absurd that we’re still having to say this at point six!

Cross-sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen) are associated with dangerous health risks including but not limited to high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke and cancer.

Once again, the ACP is attempting to conflate sex and gender in an attempt to confuse people and to push the narrative that one cannot change their genetics so therefore they cannot successfully transition so that their gender and their physical body match as much as possible.

Like with puberty blockers (which I covered in point number four of this breakdown) no doctor with any sort of ethics would prescribe medications of any sort without letting the patient know of the risks beforehand.  I would also like to remind everyone that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or cross-sex hormone therapy is not done on children. The general age for HRT to begin is around 16 years of age, and even then it is done on a case by case basis based on the mental, emotional, and psychological preparedness of the individual.

Like with medications such as birth control, psych medication, and many others, the doctor is required to inform the patient of both the benefits AND the risks when discussing medications.

And now….on to their citations….

Olson-Kennedy, J and Forcier, M. “Overview of the management of gender nonconformity in children and adolescents.” UpToDate November 4, 2015. Accessed 3.20.16 from http://www.uptodate.com.

Link: http://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-the-management-of-gender-nonconformity-in-children-and-adolescents

Outside of the overview and introduction, everything else is behind a subscriber wall.  HOWEVER, if we are looking at the information available to those of us who do not have access to all of the data, it appears that the citation the ACP used is well…going against their narrative.

Moore, E., Wisniewski, & Dobs, A. “Endocrine treatment of transsexual people: A review of treatment regimens, outcomes, and adverse effects.” The Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2003; 88(9), pp3467-3473.

Link: http://press.endocrine.org/doi/full/10.1210/jc.2002-021967

Well good news is that this one at least isn’t behind a pay wall.  The bad news (for the ACP) is that it doesn’t fit their narrative except for pointing out that trans people will need HRT if they are to transition.  Swing and a miss once again!

FDA Drug Safety Communication issued for Testosterone products accessed 3.20.16: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm161874.htm.

….I have no clue why they cited this.  It doesn’t say anything to match their narrative nor does it even have anything to do with the point they are trying to make.  Wait, wait, I spoke too soon! The information to supposedly support their narrative is all down in the “related information” section!

Never mind, spoke too soon again.  The information is nothing more than what any ethical doctor would already discuss to a patient who would be taking testosterone (cismen and transmen).  Not only that, but none of the information is relating to transmen!

On to the last citation before my brain implodes.

World Health Organization Classification of Estrogen as a Class I Carcinogen: http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/ageing/cocs_hrt_statement.pdf.

Wow!  I can’t believe they would classify estrogen as a class 1 carcinogen!  Holy crap!

Wait…

Now that I’m actually reading the statement, it doesn’t way any of that!

In fact, they didn’t even cite this correctly!

The actual title for their citation is “Carcinogenicity of combined hormonal contraceptives and combined menopausal treatment” and the link doesn’t even discuss what they are claiming.  I can’t believe (yes I can) that the ACP would flat out lie to its readers just to try to push a narrative!

As loathe as I am to use Sheldon Cooper for something, this picture pretty much sums up how I felt after going through their citations and finding out they were either flat out lying, or just trying to sound official.

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-Continue on to point 7-

Breaking Down Point 5 of “Gender Ideology Harms Children”

For those just joining us, please read the following links to catch yourself up:

Introduction

Point 1

Point 2

Point 3

Point 4

Gender Dysphoria is shortened to GD for convenience.

According to the DSM-V, as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.

First of all, the children are not “gender confused”.  That term is used when people want to play down the effects and symptoms of GD.  Same goes for “eventually accept”. Trans people have accepted their biological sex, there’s no discussion that one.  Trans people know they will never be able to change their biological sex (chromosomes), and we’ve been over this multiple times.  It’s insane that it’s still part of the discussion. And as for the statement that these children accept it after passing “naturally” through puberty is incorrect, but more on that later.  For now, let’s look at those numbers shall we? Forgive me for being blunt, but those numbers look rather…fishy to me. Thankfully the ACP has provided their explanation on how they got to their numbers!  Ready to see some really devious and rather disingenuous math?

Regarding Point 5:  “Where does the DSM-V list rates of resolution for Gender Dysphoria?”

On page 455 of the DSM-V under “Gender Dysphoria without a disorder of sex development” it states: Rates of persistence of gender dysphoria from childhood into adolescence or adulthood vary. In natal males, persistence has ranged from 2.2% to 30%. In natal females, persistence has ranged from 12% to 50%.”  Simple math allows one to calculate that for natal boys: resolution occurs in as many as 100% – 2.2% = 97.8% (approx. 98% of gender-confused boys)  Similarly, for natal girls: resolution occurs in as many as 100% – 12% = 88% gender-confused girls.

Now, I’m not going to make you go out and purchase the DSM V because that thing is expensive.  I know, I bought it. So let’s fact check some of this stuff, shall we? And while we’re at it, let’s see what the guidelines and suggestions are for children with GD.

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As you can see by the screen shot of the DSM V, there are some pretty specific requirements for the child to meet before he or she can even be considered to have GD.  The child has to show signs for at least six months, or have the condition to the point that there is significant distress or impairment in almost all important areas of functioning.  A boy who likes to play with Barbie dolls is not going to get diagnosed with GD unless the doctor is a doctor with extremely low ethical standards. This is why we don’t see all children being diagnosed as having GD, just a small percentage of them.  On top of all of this, these conditions do not include adolescents or people who have hit puberty yet. There is an entirely different set of criteria that need to be met for adolescents and for adults.

So, on to the next point.

Do some children grow out of or adapt to the point that they no longer qualify as having GD?

While some children will grow out of their GD, there are specific reasons behind the numbers of kids who don’t continue to have GD once they reach adolescent.  Key point here, these are children who don’t continue once they reach the stage of adolescent, not “naturally passing through puberty”. Remember when I said the ACP is really good about using words to twist the truth to fit their message?  

Because expression of gender dysphoria varies with age, there are separate criteria sets for children versus adolescents and adults. Criteria for children are defined in a more con- crete, behavioral manner than those for adolescents and adults. Many of the core criteria draw on well-documented behavioral gender differences between typically developing boys and girls. Young children are less likely than older children, adolescents, and adults to express extreme and persistent anatomic dysphoria.

…..

A very young child may show signs of distress (e.g., intense crying) only when parents tell the child that he or she is “really” not a member of the other gender but only “desires” to be. Distress may not be manifest in social environments supportive of the child’s desire to live in the role of the other gender and may emerge only if the desire is interfered with.

So as we can see, the criteria for children is different than those for adults or adolescents.  In most cases, the criteria for GD in children focuses more on the behavior over instead of physical forms of GD.  So keeping that in mind, let’s look at those numbers that the ACP are using to show that only a teeny tiny percentage of children with GD continue having GD on through adulthood.  The DSM V specifies that the percentages that are listed are specifically listed under, Gender dysphoria without a disorder of sex development.

So first, let’s look at the numbers for natal males (Xy chromosome)

In natal males, persistence has ranged from 2.2% to 30%

The ACP took the smallest number, 2.2% and subtracted it from 100% to get their number of children “growing out” of their GD.  Instead of being honest and saying that the range of “growing out” of GD ranges from 70% to 97.8%, they instead said:

…as many as 98% of gender confused boys…

Are we noticing that by playing the statistics game the ACP is able to make it look like almost 100% of natal boys “grow out” of their GD?  By wording it with posting on the topmost percentage and essentially hoping that people wouldn’t fact check them, they can make it look like it’s the parents that are trying to claim that the child has GD and not the child actually having GD.

Reading further on, we see the following about the children who “grew out” of their GD:

For natal male children whose gender dysphoria does not persist, the majority are androphilic (sexually attracted to males) and often self-identify as gay or homosexual (ranging from 63% to 100%).

Hold on a second, didn’t the ACP say something about homosexuality? (Here, here, here)  So they’re OK with the kids being gay, so long as they aren’t trans?  This is all quite confusing.

Now let’s look at the natal females. (XX chromosome)

In natal females, persistence has ranged from 12% to 50%.

So up to 50% of natal females who as children have GD will continue on to have GD up through adolescence to adulthood.  Doesn’t saying “up to 50%” sound much more positive than as many as 88% of natal females were merely gender confused and grew out of their GD.

Shall we take a look at the sexuality for these natal females that “grew out” of their GD?  Just to have a bit of fun?

In natal female children whose gender dysphoria does not persist, the percentage who are gynephilic (sexually attracted to females) and self-identify as lesbian is lower (ranging from 32% to 50%).

So…from 32% to 50% of natal females identify as lesbian?

So let’s look at the final point I would like to make about this whole debacle of bad math, muddying the waters with using specific words and phrases to twist the truth, and what happens to the children who “grow out” of having GD?

The ACP seems to rather have these children grow up to be gay or lesbian than to have the child have GD.

If you would like to read through the DSM V for yourself and come to your own conclusions, you can download it or view it from this website.  The section regarding GD begins on page 452 and covers child, adolescent, and adult GD.

-Continue on to point 6-

Breaking Down Point 4 of “Gender Ideology Harms Children”

For those just joining us, please read the following links to catch yourself up:

Introduction

Point 1

Point 2

Point 3

Puberty is not a disease…

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While people might call it many things, such as painful, annoying, life changing, traumatizing, or downright bullshit, I have yet to see someone seriously refer to puberty as a disease.  Curse maybe, but then again I’ve also heard people refer to a woman’s period as “The Curse”. There are however, diseases related to puberty, and even a condition called Precocious Puberty, but puberty itself is not a disease and no sane person would think that.

Puberty can cause problems for people with Gender Dysphoria though.  While as children they might look mostly androgynous and thus have an easier time dealing with their gender and their sex not matching up, the development of secondary sex characteristics, bodily changes, starting to menstruate, and other things people without Gender Dysphoria would merely look at as a sign of their body changing from that of a child to an adult; a person with Gender Dysphoria may wind up seeing their symptoms taking a turn for the worse.

Speaking from personal experience, while I was able to handle the fact that my body didn’t look like that of other boys when I was younger, I was devastated when I started my period and my breasts began to grow.  I felt like my own body was betraying me and I began to develop severe body image issues because of it. It wasn’t until years later that I am able to look back and go, “Oh, that was why I was having so many problems, my gender and sex don’t match.”

While I was able to “successfully” repress my dysphoria for several years, not everyone can, and puberty can be that make or break moment in a trans youth’s life.  If the youth also happens to suffer from other mental illnesses, such as depression, it could drive the youth to the point of suicide if measures aren’t taken.

puberty-blocking hormones can be dangerous.

And that is why an ETHICAL doctor will warn parents and the youth of the potential dangers and side effects BEFORE putting the child on them.  The trans individual will have most likely been in some form of therapy for a while depending on when they came to the realization that their gender and sex didn’t match, and the doctor would have to be in contact with their therapist before talk even could begin on the subject of puberty blockers.

At least one study (though it’s a rather small study size) shown that puberty blockers can be beneficial to trans youth, but at the same time, due to the fact that it has only been fairly recently that we have been dealing with the issue of trans youth (openly) there is still more to learn.

This is why the doctor, therapist, parents, and trans individual must weigh the pros and cons of puberty blockers and not just make a snap decision.  

Another BIG thing to note, is that puberty blockers are not the same as giving a trans youth sex hormones (testosterone or estrogen).  So the ACP using the term “puberty blocking hormones” once again is an attempt to muddy the waters and bring to mind the thought of testosterone and estrogen as they are the most common things one thinks about when they hear the term “hormones”.  Sex hormones are an entirely different hurdle that doctors and patients have to tackle once the patient reaches a certain age (generally around 16).

There is no “set age” and it is all done on a case by case basis based on mental, emotional, and psychological preparedness.

Reversible or not, puberty- blocking hormones induce a state of disease – the absence of puberty – and inhibit growth and fertility in a previously biologically healthy child.

So wait, if someone doesn’t start puberty until really late, that means they’re suffering from a disease?  Puberty blockers have been shown to be successfully used in children for years, and according to Dr. Courtney Finlayson, “We have a lot of experience in pediatric endocrinology using pubertal blockers.  And from all the evidence we have they are generally a very safe medication.” Yes, using puberty blockers to treat trans individuals is still relatively new (first case was in 2007), but the data so far is showing that the people taking them don’t suddenly develop a “state of disease”.

It is interesting that the ACP talk about the fertility of a “previously biologically healthy child”.  Fertility problems can arise for a number of reasons, and there are not enough studies (if any at all, since I couldn’t find any) that show that puberty blockers can inhibit the fertility of a person taking them.

Also, look at the language used.  They are attempting to again conflate sex = gender and that a child with Gender Dysphoria is “biologically healthy” when they technically aren’t.  They wouldn’t have Gender Dysphoria if they were “biologically healthy” as that term can encompass both physical and mental health.

My final issue with this point is their citation to back up their claims.  Remember when I said the first case of treating trans individuals with puberty blockers was in 2007?  Their citation is from 2009. This article is being written in 2016.

That’s SEVEN years of research and changes to the guidelines that they are ignoring.

Not only that, but some of the studies that their citation is citing are even older than that!  At least one of the citations regarding fertility after using hormones (not puberty blockers) is from 2001.  That’s 15 years ago! Do these people really think that there hasn’t been new data collected since then?

So to sum up this point, the ACP is relying on ignorance of the reader regarding the difference between puberty blockers and hormones, assuming doctors do not communicate with patients and just prescribe things on a whim, muddying the waters by mixing terms, and citing studies that are over seven years old (that cite studies over 15 years old).

If I was a teacher and this was a paper being turned in for grading, they would receive a giant F on this point.

-Continue on to point 5-

Eating Disorders and Body Image Issues

I’ve discussed before about being diagnosed with an eating disorder, as well as dealing with body dysmorphia (which either led to the disorder or added to it). It took me several years to actually get a diagnosis because many of the doctors I dealt with looked at my weight and said I couldn’t have one. This of course plays into the stereotype that eating disorder = skinny or malnourished, which isn’t true.

But I’d like to discuss what goes on in my mind, even after working to overcome my eating disorder and working towards a healthy diet and body image. I will fully admit that I still have a ways to go, even if I’ve for the most part overcome the issue.

Imagine you’ve been working out, eating right, and you’ve been slimming down and toning up. You’re feeling good about yourself and how you look. A friend calls you up and invites you out, so now you’re going out to eat.

Now think about what you want to eat, doesn’t matter what it is, think about it and that you’ve decided to order it.

It comes to the table, you’re smelling the food, your mouth is watering….

And then suddenly you think about how you’ve lost weight recently and eating this will make you gain it all back. Your mind leaves the thought of eating this delicious meal and begins screaming at you that if you eat even the tiniest of bites, you will balloon into this giant fat and ugly person. You see the fat dimples on your body, you feel the shame of not being skinny, of not looking like what people say you should look like.

You push those thoughts away as best you can, because this is something you REALLY want to eat, you’ve got your favorite dish in front of you, and you really REALLY want it.

But you just can’t stop thinking about how you’re going to get fat again.

You take a bite, and it tastes better than you remember it, but that taste quickly sours as you swallow that bite, your mind’s eye showing that piece of food going directly to your stomach and you can swear you feel your pants becoming tight, even though you know you’ve dropped a size and they’re loose on your hips.

You tell yourself that it’s all in your head, that you’ve lost weight, you’re looking good, and this meal isn’t even that bad for you (if at all). You just can’t shake that image though. Each bite you take makes you feel worse, the mental images getting stronger and stronger to the point that you don’t even want to finish. You try your coping techniques, you go through the steps you’ve learned while working to overcome your disorder, and it brings a small bit of peace to you.

You finish the meal, but you feel guilty. You didn’t need to finish it all, you finished it because you’re a pig, you could have easily only eaten half and saved the other half for later! Only pigs finish the whole meal! OINK OINK!

You feel the urge to go and find something to get the food out of you, but you know that your go to method would require you to eat more (specifically carrots and apples) and the thought of doing that makes you want to cry.

You make it home and you write it all down so you can tell it to your doctor, that you still need help, but as you’re doing so the voice tells you it’s pointless, because what’s the doctor going to do? Tell you to work on your coping skills more? To seek mental help perhaps? All things you’ve done and have done for years.

So what do you do? How do you cope? Do you backslide and struggle again, or keep pushing forward as best you can?

More people than we know deal with eating disorders every day, going through struggles like this, even people who are supposedly “cured” still struggle at times. The stigma of being overweight adds to the issue, especially with the common belief that eating disorder = skinny. If you are someone who is struggling, you are not alone, and there are resources and support structures out there. The hardest step though…is to reach out and say you need help.

Breaking Down Point 3 of “Gender Ideology Harms Children”

For those just joining us, please read the following links to catch yourself up:

Introduction

Point 1

Point 2

A person’s belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking.

This significantly downplays the suffering and struggle that people with Gender dysphoria go through on a day to day basis.  Confused thinking is “where did I leave the remote?” not, “I want to rip my breasts off because they don’t belong there!”.

Yes, Gender Dysphoria (and before that, Gender Identity Disorder) are listed in the DSM V as mental disorders, no one is denying this.  The reason it is listed there is that Gender Dysphoria is a symptom of being transgender, and can actually be treated with therapy, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and surgery.  Gender Dysphoria can “go away” or significantly lessen when treatment is applied, but the person still remains trans. The citation that the ACP uses even states that the reason Gender Dysphoria is in the DSM V is “Persons experiencing gender dysphoria need a diagnostic term that protects their access to care and won’t be used against them in social, occupational, or legal areas.”

When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such.

Transgendered individuals are suffering in both mind and body and the DSM V covers that in depth.  What the ACP is hoping for in this point is that people either won’t have access to the DSM V (which runs from $19.99-59.99 to rent on Amazon, or between $52.00-124.78 to purchase) or that they will take what they say on faith because they are after all doctors and they would know this sort of stuff…right?  For those of us who have access to the DSM V, we can see that it covers the fact that Gender Dysphoria itself is a mental illness which can cause physical and psychological effects.  When treated, the effects of Gender Dysphoria either lessen or in some cases go away all together. We are beginning to see that mental disorders have physical effects, so stating that the “problem exists that lies in the mind not the body” is at best misleading and at worst disingenuous and dangerous.  

On top of this, using the phrase “otherwise healthy biological” child muddies the waters and pushes back to that point that transgender people believe they can somehow change their chromosomes

(Just an FYI, we know we can’t change our sex chromosomes.  We’re not stupid)

These children suffer from gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria (GD), formerly listed as Gender Identity Disorder (GID), is a recognized mental disorder in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-V).

This is probably the only honest thing they have said so far in this article.  However, to downplay Gender Dysphoria to just a “mental disorder” would be like saying an eating disorder is merely a “mental disorder”.  There are very noticeable physical effects in both disorders. In fact, many mental disorders have physical symptoms and effects.

The psychodynamic and social learning theories of GD/GID have never been disproved.

Not only have they not been disproved, but they are constantly being evaluated and improved/evolved as new data arrives.  We used to consider Gender Identity Disorder to be a paraphilia (a sexual disorder where the person is aroused by abnormal sexual desires, such as necrophilia or pedophilia), but now we know that the disorder has nothing to do with sexuality or sexual arousal.

Here is some “clarification” provided by the ACP:

Regarding Point 3: “Where does the APA or DSM-V indicate that Gender Dysphoria is a mental disorder?”

The APA (American Psychiatric Association) is the author of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition(DSM-V). The APA states that those distressed and impaired by their GD meet the definition of a disorder. The College is unaware of any medical literature that documents a gender dysphoric child seeking puberty blocking hormones who is not significantly distressed by the thought of passing through the normal and healthful process of puberty.

From the DSM-V fact sheet:

“The critical element of gender dysphoria is the presence of clinically significant distress associated with the condition.”

“This condition causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.”

I will be discussing the portion about puberty blockers and hormone therapy in a later point, however I would like to point out that even the ACP is admitting that there is no literature (studies, documentation, etc) that backs up their personal views.  This allows us to question even further whether or not the ACP is merely cherry picking their data, twisting data, or simply ignoring facts that exist that do not support their personal opinions. We can already see this in their other articles on topics such as abstinence only education, gay adoption, and sex education.  Because of this, we need to continue on carefully, calling to account each point they make and demanding evidence of their claims, as opposed to allowing them to simply get away with being taken as truth due to their status as an “authority”.

Citations used:

DSM V Fact Sheet

Gender Dysphoria: DSM 5 Reflects Shift in Perspective on Gender Identity

-Continue on to point 4-

Breaking Down Point 2 of “Gender Ideology Harms Children”

For those just joining us, please read the following links to catch yourself up:

Introduction

Point 1

DISCLAIMER: Please remember that the natural science side of studying and understanding gender is still in its infancy as far as science goes.  What is stated within this blog may be updated as new information arrives. While the social science side of gender has been studied for far longer, it too is still in its infancy in the official sense.  Historically speaking though, the concept of gender has been around since ancient times.

No one is born with a gender. Everyone is born with a biological sex. Gender (an awareness and sense of oneself as male or female) is a sociological and psychological concept; not an objective biological one.

Let’s break this one down by each point, shall we?

No one is born with a gender.

This is a line that is repeated over and over in many of the anti-trans movements and even in many of the less accepting feminist circles out there.  Currently there is no definitive study of when our sense of gender appears, but general consensus is that we start to become aware of our gender identity around the age of 7-9 (sometimes earlier depending on circumstances and development speed).  Having siblings of a different sex can also “speed up” awareness of one’s gender identity.

One thing so far is clear when it comes to gender identity:  We need to have a sense of self before we can have a sense of gender.

So at least on this aspect, the ACP is correct.  Since we are not born with a sense of self, we technically are not born with a sense of gender, which could be perceived as not being born with a gender.  However, the science community is still out on that topic, so we may learn someday that we are in fact born with our gender and it merely takes until we are self aware before we are aware of our gender.

Everyone is born with a biological sex.”

I have yet to see anyone argue this point.  This is like saying “water is wet”. Yet in this simple statement is something that glosses over people with various disorders or chromosomal differences.  This leads to the assumption that one is born either physically male or physically female and disregards those who are intersex, androgynous, or who are born with any number of chromosomal abnormalities (48,XXYY, 48,XXXY and 49,XXXXY)

Gender (an awareness and sense of oneself as male or female) is a sociological and psychological concept; not an objective biological one.

Once again I would like to state that the natural science side of gender is still in its infancy.  While we are aware of gender as a sociological and psychological concept (as well as historical and anthropological), we are still just barely scratching the surface as to what gender is when we look at it through the lens of such fields as biology (neurobiology), chemistry, neuroscience, genetics, and many other fields.  As it stands right now, the most commonly cited study out there among deniers of gender is “Sex beyond the genitalia: The human brain mosaic“.  The problem with this study is that most people read it and ran with the narrative that there is no such thing as a male or a female brain (as can be seen here, here, and here), while the study itself says something entirely different.  Just from reading the box labeled “Significance” we can see that the narrative being spread is not what is being said in the study:

Sex/gender differences in the brain are of high social interest because their presence is typically assumed to prove that humans belong to two distinct categories not only in terms of their genitalia, and thus justify differential treatment of males and females. Here we show that, although there are sex/gender differences in brain and behavior, humans and human brains are comprised of unique “mosaics” of features, some more common in females compared with males, some more common in males compared with females, and some common in both females and males. Our results demonstrate that regardless of the cause of observed sex/gender differences in brain and behavior (nature or nurture), human brains cannot be categorized into two distinct classes: male brain/female brain.

Did you notice that last part?  Where it says that brains cannot be categorized into two distinct classes?  That is what people are using to justify the statement that there is no such thing as a male or a female brain.

This is highly problematic on many fronts.  

First of all, we need to remember that the common statement is that gender is a spectrum, not an either/or sort of deal.  So this study does actually back up that statement. It also states that there are some features that are more common in males than in females and vice versa.

This study focuses on trying to prove/disprove sexual dimorphism, which is not the same as proving/disproving gender (which a lot of people like to use it for).

But moving past the study, let’s look at a well documented case example that leads one to wonder if gender is at least in part biological in nature.  For those who have taken college level psychology courses, you are probably familiar with the case of John/Joan.  This case followed a man who was born biologically male but was raised female due to a botched circumcision.  While there was a sexual reassignment surgery done, and hormones and hormone blockers were administered to the child, and the parents did everything in their power to raise John as Joan, the child failed to identify as female.  Even though everyone around him was raising him to be a female, and he was given everything that should have convinced his body that he was a female, his gender identity still told him he was male.  He eventually transitioned to living as a male full time by the age of 15.

One interesting fact to note on the case of John/Joan is that he was one of a set of twins.  Twin studies are often preferred for things such as this, to see whether or not something is nature or nurture.  It allows scientists to look into something known as behavioral genetics, which you can read more about here.

Does this mean that gender is 100% biological/genetic and that culture and society have no influence on it?  Not in the slightest! There are definitely aspects of gender out there that are social constructs, such as what we define as feminine and masculine (toys, colors, sports, cooking, etc).  But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t also biological factors at work when it comes to gender.

What this means is that instead of just closing the book on the topic, like the ACP has done, we need to keep up with the research and see what all we can learn and discover!

-Continue on to point 3-

Breaking Down Point 1 of “Gender Ideology Harms Children”

For those just joining us, please read the following links to catch yourself up:

Introduction

“1. Human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: “XY” and “XX” are genetic markers of health – not genetic markers of a disorder.”

The term human sexuality is misleading as the term can mean either “the characteristic quality of the male and female reproductive elements.” or “the constitution of an individual in relation to sexual attitudes or activity. This is a broad concept that includes aspects of the physical, psychological, social, emotional, and spiritual makeup of an individual. It is not limited to the physical or biological reproductive elements and behavior, but encompasses the manner in which individuals use their own roles, relationships, values, customs, and gender.” according to the Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health. In general context, the discussion of sexuality deals with who the person is sexually attracted to, not their sexual chromosomes.

On top of this, no one is disputing that what is defined as sex (not human sexuality) is in relation to the type of gametes produced, in most cases XY and XX. What this point is doing it setting up confusion between sex (chromosomes) and gender (Category to which an individual is assigned by self or others, on the basis of sex). While gender and sex are often used interchangeably in general conversation, they are not the same thing. On top of that, gender is often based off of sex, and while most times gender and sex match up, such as a person with a set of XY chromosomes identifying as a man. There is however, a small percentage (.3%)1 who do not identify as their chromosomal sex. Those people are referred to as transgender.

Another thing that the point is doing in muddying the waters is conflating the term sexuality, which is used in both medical and general context to mean the sexual attraction one feels to another person, to sex.  Think about it, if you are best known for your platform against homosexuality, and many people accidentally (due to lack of proper information) think that transgender people are also almost always homosexual, it would serve one’s purpose to make sure that anyone reading the article would start to equate the two so as to push forward one’s agenda.

Transgender people can be homosexual (like myself) or they can be heterosexual.  If a transgender woman is dating a cisgender man, then she is a heterosexual. Unfortunately many people (myself included for the longest time) can’t seem to wrap their heads around how someone who was once a “man” can date another man and not be considered homosexual.  For anyone who is actually confused on this, let me explain:

Transgender woman = woman
Transgender man = man
Cisgender woman = woman
Cisgender man = man
Transgender woman + Transgender woman = homosexual relationship
Transgender woman + Cisgender woman = homosexual relationship
Transgender woman + Cisgender man = heterosexual relationship
Transgender woman + Transgender man = heterosexual relationship
Transgender man + Transgender man = homosexual relationship
Transgender man + Cisgender man = homosexual relationship
Transgender man + Cisgender woman = heterosexual relationship

So right off the bat we can see that they relying on an appeal to authority and people not fact checking them when it comes to their claims. When one actually stops and checks the information they are presenting, the “facts” that this group (which is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center) are putting forward quickly crumble and reveal their true faces.

To recap this first point, let me state the following:

  1. No one is disputing that sex in a medical context (and even in a general context) is referring to chromosomal sex (gametes XX and Xy)

  2. Human sexuality as they define it is not the same as the generally accepted definition and thus is used to muddy the waters for the points to follow.

  3. Gender is not the same as sex

  4. Sex is not the same as sexuality

1http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Gates-How-Many-People-LGBT-Apr-2011.pdf

-Continue on to point 2-