Friday, September 29, 2017

An Epidemic of Gender Dysphoria

I have long suspected that the current brouhaha over gender dysphoria was producing more transgendered children. Since the means of transmission would be cultural, not biochemical, we cannot simply run an experiment to prove the point.

The more transgenderism is normalized and even glorified, the more children will grasp it as it a solution to whatever anguish they feel.

Recently, Jon Miltimore has collected some of the evidence on his Intellectual Takeout blog (via Maggie’s Farm.)

He begins by suggesting that since children no longer seem to want to rebel against authority, they are now rebelling against nature. What good is political correctness if it does not teach you that dogma trumps facts and science?

He writes:

When we think of teen rebellion in the modern era, we tend to think of a revolt against authority. Think James Dean or Jack Kerouac in the 1950s. But many teens today seem to be rebelling against something greater: nature.

I would add one caveat: today’s adults are increasingly unwilling to exercise authority. A child cannot effectively learn science and math or even historical facts if he does not respect authority—in this case, a teacher’s authority. See my post about Lenore Chu’s experience of having her children in school in Shanghai.

If children no longer respect authority they are taught the art of self-discovery. How does it work? Today’s Platonists tell students that they already know everything that is worth knowing, but that they need only to plumb the depths of their minds. The self-discovery method is a powerful means of persuasion. It tells students that they need not accept anyone’s authority, but need only to introspect to discover innate ideas that are lying dormant in their minds, awaiting an awakening.

Of course, this is rhetorical manipulation. In its more radical form it’s called brainwashing. A child who suffers this manipulation can come to believe that his inner truth is that he has always been a member of the opposite sex. And that the belief has not been imposed on him by any adult authority.

And yet, the idea is in the culture. Camille Paglia had previously called it a sign of cultural collapse. Now, according to Miltimore, she calls it a fashion or a fad. I think that she is downplaying the problem, which more closely resembles mind control. Fashion is something you put on… for favor or for fun. Transgender children believe that they really are the gender they think they are.

Miltimore continues:

Gender dysphoria, a condition described as “strong, persistent feelings of identification with the opposite gender and discomfort with one's own assigned sex,” is quite common in young people today.

The causes of gender dysphoria are “complex” and “not fully clear.” While many medical sites say gender dysphoria is caused by hormonal imbalances, some scholars believe the rise in gender fluidity is primarily a cultural phenomenon.  

“I think it’s become a fashion,” Camille Paglia said during a recent public interview. “The transgender definition has become a convenient label for young people who may simply feel alienated culturally for other reasons.”

Paglia, a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and one of the world’s foremost intellectuals, went on to suggest that gender fluidity is simply the new face of the counter-culture.

What is called gender dysphoria is becoming more common. Its presence corresponds well to the media mayhem over it. And also to the media insistence that it is dogmatic truth, never to be questioned.

The statistics tell the story in Great Britain.

Increase of Gender Dysphoria

At the least, the statistics tell us that it cannot be hormonal:

Could the hormones of people living in the UK have changed that much in six years? Almost certainly not. Medical experts told the BBC that “the growth in numbers was likely to be due to greater awareness of gender identity issues.”

This suggests the change indeed is cultural.

Pundits, sociologists, doctors, and culture warriors can debate whether our culture is confusing young people or simply allowing people to become who they are by creating a more tolerant society—but it’s difficult to refute the idea that the forces behind the rise in gender dysphoria cases are sociological.

The question is, are teens capable—emotionally and intellectually—to make these determinations on their own?

Easily the worst part of this cultural degradation is the fact that children, as young as five years of age, are allowed to choose their gender. On the basis of these decisions, be given puberty blocking hormones, opposite sex hormones, and gender reassignment surgery.

I have already noted that I consider this to be child abuse. And that any parent who contributes to this process should be prosecuted and jailed.

Miltimore offers a similar view:

Children under 18 can’t smoke a cigarette or get a tattoo. Children under 16 can’t legally drive a car without supervision. Research suggests children under 14 aren’t even capable of crossing a busy street without assistance. Yet it is permissible to allow children to transition (in some cases as young as age 4) to the sex they choose to be identified as?

If Paglia is correct, and culturally alienated children are merely rebelling from gender as part of a newer and darker counter-culture movement, does our society not do them great harm by serving as their accomplice? I suspect that Patrick Mitchell and his mother would say we do.

See my post on Patrick Mitchell.


Jack Fisher said...

Kids have got to be rebels, its how they experiment with and find their individual identities. So the question is what are they rebelling against. James Dean's iconic "What've you got?" is not the real answer. In sane families, during high school or extended high school aka college, kids rebel against the normal family life they were brought up in (what else is there?). This is until they grow up, encounter taxes, rent, insurance, babies, jobs and asshole bosses like myself, then they realize, mostly, that mom and dad have gotten a lot smarter.

But when mom and dad are unhinged morons, you wind up with lunatics like the subject of this story.

whitney said...

Stacy McCain of The Other McCain blog pointed out that gender dysphoria in children is a perfect vehicle for Munchausen moms. They can get a lot of attention from their different child and nobody will question them at all. And I think we all know children can be influenced.

Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: A child cannot effectively learn science and math or even historical facts if he does not respect authority—in this case, a teacher’s authority.

As a person with a math and science background, working for an engineering company, I find this statement incomprehensible. Teachers who do not allow students a chance to question and challenge assertions show themselves not as authority figures worthy of respect, but bullies who deserve to be ignored.

The first and last lesson of science is objective facts trump appeals to authority. Did Galileo fail at science because he submitted to the church, and a belief the earth was 6000 years old because the bible said so and 2000 year old philosophers could not be questioned?

Of course scientists are not perfect, and perhaps we're all often limited by the beliefs we construction when we're young, and older scientists may resist letting go of their long held mistakes just as effectively as any religious dogma, and scientific progress occurs one funeral at a time.

Ares Olympus said...

On "Gender Dysphoria", I don't personally know anyone who experiences this, or who has admitted this publicly. Overall it still looks like a very minor thing.

It does make sense to me that there are many sorts of "dysphoria", many causes, and some causes can't be identified because of the source contains some sort of "unacceptable truth", like sexual abuse by a parent for example. So when there is an unacceptable source, it makes sense that alternative explanations may arise that are more socially acceptable. Of course in the past "Gender Dysphoria" itself wasn't socially acceptable, so it was less likely to come out as an explanation. OR in reverse, if we accept "Gender Dysphoria" as real with biological causes, while it was not conceivable in the past, its numbers would not rise to even a fraction of its reality until it became more acceptable to discuss.

The closest I've observed in kids of friends my age, is that it is fashionable now for young boys to have long hair, and prepubescent boys and girls biologically can look very similar, and even voice quality can be similar. So this causes social problems in the sense that we don't often know if a given say 8 year old is male or female by appearance alone, even if sometimes you can tell by behavior, interests, etc, but not necessarily instantaneous certainty, which can be frustrating. And it may be to the degree you can clearly identify gender differences, it is because of choices of a child - to express stereotypical gender expresses, including long hair for girls, short hair for boys, and then kids who have less need to confirm to peer pressure, they may or may not be teased, and may or may not care if they are, because they're smart enough to "be themselves" and find friends who will accept them as such.

So none of that is directly related to "Gender Dysphoria", but it does seem much more prevalent, more than 0.01% of the population, perhaps 10-20%. And as much as I'm frustrated by my inability to instantly identity gender of kids I just met, I'm glad they have parents who don't force them to conform to gender stereotypical dress code or grooming.

I'm willing to be open to the idea that some kids would benefit by parents who say "You are boy, act like one", to kids who are confused, and some kids, once told who they are, will strive to earn the love of their parents by conforming to expectations, and feel better about themselves, than to decide for themselves who they are. I just don't know if I was a parent, even if a psychologist would tell me this is what I'm supposed to do, I'm not sure I could do that.

trigger warning said...

AO: "As a person with a math and science background..."

Developing long-distance high voltage superconducting electrical transmission equipment, I presume.