What a mess we have gotten ourselves into on gender

Below is a trailer for a film called Seahorse. I came across it on the Guardian a few days ago now. The YouTube video is sub-headed, ‘trailer for new documentary about the dad who gave birth.’

I do take the view that pumping oneself full of testosterone and having surgery does not make one a man. By the same token, pumping oneself full of oestrogen and having surgery equally does not make one a woman.

It is interesting that, in the trailer, there are clearly some messages that say something to the effect, ‘men cannot be pregnant.’ The implication is that this is a terrible thing to say. But, until only very recently, it was viewed as patently obvious. Despite what has been obvious to everybody for millennia, suddenly the question has been deemed worthy of investigation.

The big problem is that – not for lack of trying to find it – there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that there are any more than two genders, fixed at birth, according to one’s sex. Some insist on arguing that sex is what is between your legs whilst gender is what is between your ears. But there has been no scientific evidence produced to show that there are such things as ‘male’ and ‘female’ brains. In fact, the evidence points to the contrary.

In the face of such evidence, however, we continue to insist that gender is merely whatever your self-identification happens to be. We have found ourselves in a perverse situation in which we have insisted that gender stereotyping is wrong and yet, at the same time, typically as a result of stereotypical views of masculinity and femininity, we have determined that such may explain your desire to be a different gender. There seemed to be no irony in the claim that ‘men get broody too’ without noting that the person saying it was born female and had now been pumped full of testosterone to make the body match a felt sense of who they really are. If a girl wears a fake beard, nobody assumes that she must be male as a result. It is entirely unclear why doing the same thing through the use of chemicals render our judgement any different.

Perhaps, most heartbreaking of all, is the mother who claimed that all you want is for your children to be happy. But most of us say ‘no’ to our children over many things that they think will make them happy but ultimately will cause them greater unhappiness in the long run. I am reminded of this video called I want my sex back.

The argument that frequently comes up is that if we do not help people to transition to a new gender they will commit suicide. One of the gentlemen in the video who detransitioned, and is now involved in the work of helping others who wish to do the same, makes the startling claim that 40% of those attempting suicide are those who regret ever changing gender.

The Obama Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – commenting on the largest and widest study conducted in Sweden – pointed out the 19-times-greater likelihood for death by suicide among transgender people. They note:

The study identified increased mortality and psychiatric hospitalization compared to the matched controls. The mortality was primarily due to completed suicides… We note, mortality from this patient population did not become apparent until after 10 years. The risk for psychiatric hospitalization was 2.8 times greater than in controls even after adjustment for prior psychiatric disease (18 percent). The risk for attempted suicide was greater in male-to-female patients regardless of the gender of the control. Further, we cannot exclude therapeutic interventions as a cause of the observed excess morbidity and mortality. The study, however, was not constructed to assess the impact of gender reassignment surgery per se.

The Heritage Foundation

Ryan T. Anderson, author of When Harry Became Sally, comments:

These results are tragic. And they directly contradict the most popular media narratives, as well as many of the snapshot studies that do not track people over time. As the Obama Centers for Medicare and Medicaid pointed out, “mortality from this patient population did not become apparent until after 10 years.”

So when the media tout studies that only track outcomes for a few years, and claim that reassignment is a stunning success, there are good grounds for skepticism.

The Heritage Foundation

Anderson offers more extensive stats and figures in his article, and more again in his book, but these serve the point well enough.

What a mess we have gotten ourselves into.