Alternative Considerations in Gender Dysphoria and Transgenderism



          Transgenderism is increasing in the Western world, especially in the United States.  According to a 2018 study, there has been a nearly 4,000% increase in cases of transgender related treatments between 2000 and 2014 (Canner, Harfouch, and Kodadek et al).  This is concerning, because transitioning a person’s gender usually does not resolve their mental health issues, and this is true even after controlling for social stigma and discrimination.  It’s also had a significantly negative impact on society.  This paper will examine possible causes of transgenderism, and why it is more harmful and misguided than helpful.

          While it is often confused with being an illness, transgenderism itself is supposed to be a form of “treatment” for a condition called “gender dysphoria,” which is the illness.  According to the DSM-5, a person only needs to meet two out of six criteria to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria, all of which can be summarized as some aspect of wanting to live and be treated as the opposite gender.  These feelings could very well caused by any number of traumatic events, such as childhood neglect or abuse, which could be corrected through simple counseling, and should not cause a mental health practitioner to immediately jump to the recommendation of transitioning the person’s gender.  Unfortunately, in places like the State of Oregon, if a patient presents such symptoms to a therapist, the law requires that the therapist encourage transitioning, and forbids therapeutic goals that do not involve transitioning (Oregon Statute 675.850, 2017.)

          To better understand part of what makes a person confused about their gender, it’s best to first examine what gender is; in particular, what is “masculinity” and “femininity?”

          Masculinity is a set of concepts and traits connected with being male that are biologically derived.  Such traits are (but not limited to) confidence, ambition, aggression, dominance, and objective oriented thinking.  These are all traits you want to have in a firefighter, a police officer, a soldier, a scientist, and numerous other occupations.  Used improperly, these are also the traits you’ll find in drug dealers, thieves, murderers, and other criminals.  Femininity, on the other hand, is associated with traits like acceptance, supportiveness, agreeableness, empathy, compassion, emotionally centered thinking (as opposed to objectively centered), and friendliness, which are again biologically derived.

          Leftist ideologues will put forward that these characteristics are all “socially conditioned,” but that’s simply not the case; it ignores millions of years of evolution, as well as volumes of documented medical facts.  For example, personality traits between prepubescent boys and girls are quite similar, but upon reaching puberty, the personality traits begin to markedly diverge, and this happens both cross-culturally and cross-historically.  This would not be the case if it were a simple matter of social conditioning, because then we would not see such a consistent divergence at exactly when puberty begins, and have it remain that way for life.  But that’s only one example; a wide variety of biological differences between men and women’s brains have been documented (Bruce Goldman, 2017).  The Female Brain, a book written by Louann Brizendine in 2006, also meticulously documents differences in brain development between men and women, and how these differences are connected to our evolutionary history.  The “social conditioning” theory is completely dead, is without merit, and has been for decades.

          Where then, does the idea of being able to transition genders come from?  Note the list of behaviors from earlier associated with being male.  One might ask, if a woman does these things, isn’t she then acting “masculine?”  Also, people taken on various conceptual identities all the time: Republican, Democrat, American, British, Christian, Muslim, etc.  If these identities are mostly conceptual, and a person becomes them when their personal experience informs them accordingly, then why shouldn’t a person identify as a man or woman the same way?  There are a few answers.  First, none of those other identities are backed by biological and medical reality; some are entirely conceptual in nature.  Second, those identities aren’t associated with a suicide rate that is nine times higher than the national average, even after correcting for social stigma (Dhejne, 2011).  Moreover, the rate of depression for transgender individuals is 62%, while it’s only 16.6% for the general population (Hoffmand, 2014).  If being Christian increased your chances of suicide by 9 times, we’d have it banned.  Third, transgenderism is most often arrived at by total ignorance of what gender roles are, a lack of strong gender role models, and is often associated with some type of extreme degree of abuse that isn’t addressed or resolved by transitioning.  So it is not merely the case that transgenderism is only about identifying as the other gender, and therefore is totally harmless and should always be allowed.

          Why then, does a person want to change their gender in the first place?  What happens to a man that makes him want to become a woman?  Ironically, it’s here that the social conditioning aspect comes into play.

          Men are bombarded from childhood with a never ending onslaught of extremely negative messages about their masculinity.  They’ve been told they think of sex every seven seconds, even though this is clearly not the case: see https://www.cbsnews.com/news/men-think-about-sex-every-7-seconds-what-study-says/.  They’ve been told if they have any sexual thoughts or feelings about a woman, that they’re “objectifying” them: see http://www.apa.org/education/ce/sexual-objectification.pdf.  They’ve been told that masculinity, itself, is “toxic.”  See https://www.apa.org/about/policy/boys-men-practice-guidelines.pdf .  In popular media, being a man means being stupid, bumbling, or generally incapable, often as the butt of a running joke: see https://www.huffpost.com/entry/retire-the-bumbling-husband_b_5602054.  Even common everyday behaviors are being criminalized; when a man sits with his legs slightly too far apart, he’s accused of “man-spreading.”  If a man disagrees with a woman and engages in rational debate, he’s accused of “man’splaining.”  Even in Capella University’s ethics course, a man is considered “ethically inconsistent” if he dares to show any preference in when he sees the nearly-naked body of a woman (just imagine calling a woman out for having such preferences, and the howling from feminists that would go on for days).  In fact, simply type “white male” into google’s search bar, and marvel at page after page of results that come up, blaming men for absolutely everything.  Could one imagine that this is perhaps why the male suicide rate is three times higher than it is for women?

          Now imagine internalizing all of these messages that have been funneled into popular media for decades.   Combine this with the rise in single mothers, where a boy does not have a strong male role model at home, has only women teachers throughout grade school, and does not even see strong role models on TV thanks to the prevalence of the “bumbling dad” trope.  This makes for a grown man who genuinely knows nothing about masculinity, what it is, how it works, where it comes from, or how to properly express it.  The only thing he does understand is “masculinity is bad.”  Is it any wonder we’re seeing the rise of so many effeminate men?  Masculinity is something men either do not understand, or are trying their best to get away from.  And that’s one reason why we’re seeing such a substantial rise in transgenderism in such a short time.  Put on a dress, call yourself trans, and suddenly you’re not this absolutely horrible thing called “a man” anymore.  In fact, you’re special!

          And just how special are you?  According to the now infamous Brown University study by Lisa Littman in 2019, 60.7% of pre-college aged children who came out as trans reported being more popular at school among their friends.  In that same study, 60% of children who came out as trans belonged to a friend group that openly mocked non-trans and non-LGBT individuals.  From the study: “They are constantly putting down straight, white people, for being privileged, dumb and boring.”  Another participant elaborated, “In general, cis-gendered people are considered evil and unsupportive, regardless of their actual views on the topic.  To be heterosexual, comfortable with the gender you were assigned at birth, and non-minority places you in the ‘most evil’ of categories.”  Later, this same study describes how coming out as transgender makes you “untouchable” in terms of bullying, because teachers are now “at all pains to be hot on the heels of any trans bullying.”  The study also strongly suggest that coming out as trans, due in part to all the factors mentioned, is a kind of “social contagion,” where a person says they’re transgender because it’s popular, encouraged, and as discussed earlier, gets a person further away from being masculine.  This clashes heavily with the figures about transgender depression cited earlier.  If being trans makes you more popular and protects you from bullying, then the depression that effects more than half of all trans people is absolutely not being caused by social stigma.  It’s being caused by the act of transitioning itself, and trying to be something you’re not, for all the wrong reasons.

          And what happens when a person finally does understand what it means to associate and relate with their birth gender?  There is one case study of Athena Brown, prominent male-to-female transgender activist in Portland Oregon, who, after conducting her own research on the matter, de-transitioned and went back to being male.  This was after being medically diagnosed with gender dysphoria, receiving her medical paperwork, legally changing her name, and living as a woman for 3 and a half years.  Being informed on what masculinity is, what it is not, and working through personal issues stemming from internalizing a vast amount of negative social messages about being masculine, helped Athena transition back to his birth gender.  And he’s not the only one.  A documentary released by Russia Today covered more examples of transgender regret, and de-transitioning: see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pxxBQm114k.  It’s more common than people are aware of.  Simply typing “detransitioning” into youtube search brings up page after page of examples of individuals explaining their de-transition stories, and interestingly, they often include all the privilege they experienced while trans, and all the stigma and discrimination they faced from the LGBT community upon detransitioning (which, aside from debunking the myth that trans people do not have privilege, flies in the face of the claim that this is only about being your true authentic self).  Many of these individuals are now stuck with life-long alterations to their mind and body that cannot be reversed, including permanent sexual dysfunction.  But even more of such people commit suicide somewhere in the midst of all this, because transitioning genders is not a successful treatment.  It should only be reserved for individuals where all other avenues have been explored and have failed.

          Some people really are “born into the wrong body,” or have intersex conditions.  These people may, after lengthy exploration of all the options, benefit from transitioning genders.  That’s not in dispute.  The problem is how our society is actively encouraging anyone who even thinks they might have gender dysphoria to undergo life-altering treatments that have been shown to be overall more harmful than helpful.  This needs to be stopped, and other, more traditional therapies, should always be explored first.


ALTERNATIVE CONSIDERATIONS WHEN TREATING TRANSGENDERISM

References

Brizendine, L. (2016). The female brain.

          This reference was used only to prove the point that the differences between the male and

           female brain are extremely well documented.  The entire book does a good job of this, so

           no particular pages were needed, and the point stands.

Canner, Harfouch, and Kodadek et al. (2018). Temporal trends in gender-affirming surgery

          among transgender patients in the United States. US National Library of Medicine,

          National Institutes of Health. 
CBS News. (2011). “Men think about sex every 7 seconds? What study says”.  Retrieved from:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/men-think-about-sex-every-7-seconds-what-study-says/.

Dhejne, C. (2011). Long-term follow-up of transsexual persons undergoing sex reassignment

          surgery: cohort study in Sweden.  US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of

          Health.

Goldman, B. (2017). Two minds: the cognitive differences between men and women.

          Stamford Medicine, Sex, Gender, and Medicine.

Hoffmand, B. (2014). An overview of depression among transgender women.  US National

          Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. 

Huffpost. (2014). “Retire the bumbling husband: he isn’t helping”.  Retrieved from

          https://www.huffpost.com/entry/retire-the-bumbling-husband_b_5602054
Littman, L.  (2018). Parent reports of adolescents and young adults perceived to show signs of

          a rapid onset of gender dysphoria.  Plos One.  Par 44, 45, 48,

Oregon Statute 675.850. (2017). “Prohibition on Practice of Conversion Therapy; Definitions;

          Discipline.” Retrieved from https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/675.850

Rabinowitz, F. Englar-Carlson, M.  McDermott, R. (2018). APA guidelines for psychological

          practice with boys and men. Retrieved from

https://www.apa.org/about/policy/boys-men-practice-guidelines.pdf

          It is difficult to cite a page number for this source, as nearly every single paragraph is

          chock-full of far-left ideological nonsense that is completely devoid of any scientific

          validity, and is meant purely to reinforce cultural-Marxist dogma.  Though reading pages

          two through nine should be sufficient to demonstrate the claims in this document, and how

         they attempt to claim that masculinity is “toxic”.

Russia Today. (2018) “I Want My Sex Back: Transgender people who regretted changing sex

          (RT Documentary).”  Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pxxBQm114k.

Szymanski, D. Moffitt, L. Carr, E. (2011). Sexual Objectification of Women: Advances to Theory

          and Research. American Psychological Association.  Retrieved from:

          https://www.apa.org/education/ce/sexual-objectification.pdf.
          This reference was also used only to prove that the concept of “sexual objectification”,

          is treated seriously by the media and the psychiatric industry.  The paper did not explore

          that this concept is nonsensical and immediately refutable on its own merits with little

          need for additional research.

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