Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Does Anatomy Determine Gender?

As I predicted yesterday, the Trump administration decision to consider defining gender by genitalia is producing something of a national conversation. Unfortunately, the New York Times, when offering the opinions of experts, has chosen an expert who is a leader of the transgender movement.

The paper of record completely ignore the views of Dr. Paul McHugh, the Johns Hopkins psychiatrist who did pioneering work in the field and who persuaded Hopkins to stop doing gender reassignment surgery… a very long time ago.

The principal Times expert is Dr. Joshua Safer, who is designated as:

… an endocrinologist and executive director of the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Mount Sinai Health System in New York. He is also president of the United States Professional Association of Transgender Health.

Since we know, from yesterday’s post, that Mount Sinai performs gender reassignment surgery, we can state that Dr. Safer has a vested interest in defending himself from performing surgeries that tend to render people suicidally depressed. And he has a vested interest in believing the transgenderism is a real condition, and not just a belief. If he is wrong, Dr. Safer’s career is a sham and he should probably be indicted. To call him an objective expert strains credulity… to the breaking point.

The Times begins thusly:

Defining gender as a condition determined strictly by a person’s genitals is based on a notion that doctors and scientists abandoned long ago as oversimplified and often medically meaningless.

Researchers who have studied gender issues and provided health care to people who do not fit the typical M/F pigeonholes said that the Trump administration’s latest plan to define gender goes beyond the limits of scientific knowledge.

“The idea that a person’s sex is determined by their anatomy at birth is not true, and we’ve known that it’s not true for decades,” said Dr. Joshua D. Safer….

The key word here is “strictly.” We all know that some few babies are born genitally anomalous. Thus, an ocular examination of the genitalia might not give you the truth about their gender. And yet, in all but a miniscule number of cases, anatomy correlates perfectly with gender.

I would add that social organization and social structure and social roles are typed for gender. We are not going to restructure society because some babies are born genitally anomalous. If over 99% of human babies are born with one or the other external genitalia, should we upend human society to favor the small percentage that are not?

Not surprisingly, the experts, like Dr. Safer believe that gender identity is all in your mind. This is so mindless that it has attracted adherents:

Researchers say gender identity comes from the brain, not the body. Some put it more bluntly: It originates between your ears, not between your legs. But the forces that acted on the brain to shape that identity are not understood, and physical or chemical differences in the brain that might relate to gender have not been well defined.

No one knows for sure why body and mind sometimes do not match. But being transgender is not a matter of choice, Dr. Safer said. It is not a fad or a whim. For transgender people, it is generally an overwhelming sense that their gender is not the one on their birth certificate. And gender is not about whom they’re attracted to — it’s about who they are.

Of course, the brain and the mind are not really the same thing. Yet, this physicians talks as though they are. As for the question of who these people are, the question of being… that is a philosophical issue. Practically speaking, no physician is competent in that field. After all, this expert does not even know the difference between mind and brain. And precisely which branch of medicine defines anything in terms of “an overwhelming sense?” Whatever does that mean?

If, for example, a child born male finds himself attracted to males, he might accept that he is gay. Or he might decide that he is really not male, but that he is female. If this form of transgenderism-- it is not the only form-- feels like homophobia, we should not be so quick to say that it just came down from the moon. And we also know, because we have covered it for some time now, that efforts to mainstream transgenderism has produced more transgenderism. In truth, it is a belief and nothing more than a belief.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has not told physicians that they should accept a child’s word about what he or she believes to be his or her true gender:

The pediatric statement urged a “gender-affirming approach,” which translates as respecting and supporting children, even young ones, in “their self-expressed identity.” The society also noted that transgender young people “have high rates of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance use, self-harm and suicide.”

Perhaps these physicians should concern themselves with the mental health issues, among which is transgenderism. And we all know that accepting the word of child leads inexorably to puberty blocking hormones. That is, to mutilating children.

Apparently, the experts want to tell us that gender identity is hardwired into the brain. They assume that this revelation explains why some people believe that they are of a different gender than their anatomy says. Of course, hardwired into the brain is not the same as belief. Even though delusional beliefs are so impervious to evidence that one assumes them to have a biological basis. True, there are cases of hormonal anomalies, just there are cases of anatomical anomalies, these do not create a new human gender.

Anyway, the Times closes with an account of what happened decades ago when physicians decided to treat hermaphroditic children with surgery... to give them facsimile female genitalia:

Some of the most compelling evidence for the idea of gender identity being hard-wired into the brain comes from medical reports on people who were born in the 1950s and 1960s with birth defects involving their genitals. Doctors thought the humane solution, to spare such children from being ostracized, was to perform surgery to make them one sex or the other.

Since it is easier for surgeons to make a vagina than a penis, most of these babies were made female. Their parents were advised to raise them as girls and never to tell them about their condition at birth. The general belief was that their upbringing — a triumph of nurture over nature — would make them truly female.

The idea was a failure. As they matured, many had a clear sense that they were male. According to a study of 16 of them, more than half wound up identifying as male.

“Considering the fact that you can brainwash some people about just about anything, failing with so many is catastrophic,” Dr. Safer said in an email.

Don’t these experiments prove definitively that people are their gender, the one that is inscribed in their chromosomes and nearly always in their genitalia? And that castrating a male does not turn him into a female, even if everyone is telling him that he is female.

Note the last phrase: you can brainwash people into believing just about anything, why should that not apply to transgender children who have normal genitalia. True enough, gender anatomy is not foolproof. True enough, chromosomes are more important. If chromosomes are more important, a child with XX chromosomes is male, even if he believes completely that he is female.

But, has anyone considered that anatomy is right so often that only the most deluded individuals would suggest that it should be tossed aside in favor of something that cannot be determined quickly and objective. And that no one is the past knew about.

If Dr. Safer concludes that gender identity has strong biological roots, then why does he also seem to believe that it’s all in the mind?


Dan Patterson said...

Next question.

Dr. Irredeemable Dreg said...

Appropriating the words of the great Wolfgang Pauli, Safer is not even wrong. He is, however and in my opinion, a scam artist preying on the gullible.

First, the words "gender" and "sex" are not synonyms. Gender is for nouns, electrical plugs, and pipe fittings. Sex is a biological/genetic reality. Beyond that brute fact, there is nothing left to "have a conversation about". If some guy wants to surgically attach a couple of silicone-filled bags to his chest, make himself a eunuch, wear panties, and tiptoe through the tulips, that's his business and his problem, not mine. If he offs himself as a result, it's a bummer but life goes on. At least the ZPG deep ecologists and the neo-malthusians will get some joy.

Also, the statement "it is easier for surgeons to make a vagina than a penis" is wrong. Surgeons can make neither. Surgeons can punch a "front hole" or attach a grotesque bit of dangling tissue that, I guess, one can pee through standing at a urinal, but that hardly qualifies as making a functioning organ.

The real tragedy is that Western intellectuals are destroying the value of, and indeed Dumptyizing, human language as a useful communication channel. I think I'll talk about that next Wednesday night at my Ghostmasters meeting. We're hosting a female astral teleportation engineer from Mogadishu Technical Institute, and I'd like to get her opinion.

JPL17 said...

Gee, I hope this "overwhelming sense" test catches on! Because ever since early childhood, I've had "an overwhelming sense" that I'm King Farouk. I know this because my Mom would tell me this all the time when I was growing up.

So to everyone out there, please get used to calling me "Your Highness". No less authorities than Dr. Safer and the NY Times say you have to!

Anonymous said...

"I was a male trapped in a woman's body. Then I was born."
--- Chuck Norris

Anonymous said...


We spend the better part of nine months trying to get out of a woman's body and a good percentage of the rest of our lives trying to get back into a woman's body.

Anonymous said...

Holy mo!

The comments keep getting more and more hilarious. Keep it on and I won't be able to take it anymore I will laugh myself a new sphincter

Anonymous said...

"Does Anatomy Determine Gender?"

^This is such an unusually cruel and loaded question that I won't attempt to answer it. It was crafted to be mean. At the very least replace "anatomy" with something a bit more specific such as "genome" (still lame I know but still better than anatomy) so that the average normal person that isn't into chicks with dicks won't default to the immediate reactionary answer (ie trapped by their own rational pre-programmed sensibility and survival bias).

It would probably take a SERIES of very well crafted questions given tedious thought and backed with many references to guide us to a meaningful satisfactory answer.

There are easily TONS of far fetched hypothetical scenarios (disembodied minds scenarios, 'midcourse' sex change via genetic manipulation, etc) that immediately show the limitations of the question asked. Most people don't have the patience for that kind of creative bio-ethics banter.

I'll attempt to answer the original question above just for fucks sake:

Yes, anatomy determines gender BUT ONLY IF a Boot determines the shape of the bruise imprinted into an ass that just got kicked.