Bradford Richardson
Bradford Richardson

According to Bradford Richardson, a Washington Times polemicist: “Growing body of research rejects transgender movement.” That is intellectually dishonest. That title us a lie. It is unlikely that Richardson’s spew is going to make anyone really believe that there is new and revealing research about transgender people or that there is an expanding amount of such research that rejects gender affirmation as a means of mitigating the symptoms of gender dysphoria.

However, it does cause those who already disapprove of trans people to harden their views. It makes them less capable of receiving accurate information based on science in contrast to theology. Ultimately, Mr. Richardson further marginalizes a small and vulnerable group of people who have a medical condition that does not seem to conform to scripture. This amounts to the deliberate promotion of ignorance.

Richardson goes on to write:

Is Caitlyn Jenner a woman? A growing body of research from scientists, philosophers and feminists says no.

The latest contribution to the debate is “When Harry Became Sally,” a just-released book by Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Ryan T. Anderson, who critiques the transgender movement on the grounds of metaphysics, medicine and public policy.

Really? Where is the peer-reviewed research published to a scholarly journal positing that Caitly Jenner’s gender is not female? Where Mr. Richardson? Ryan T. Anderson was a music major who has a PhD in philosophy. What other medical condition can we philosophize about? From dandruff to lethal cancers there is an enormous range of conditions. Surely our treatment of some of these should be influenced by theology or philosophy. I just want to know which ones are on Anderson’s list.

Mr. Anderson is a defender of the Catholic Church. That is his raison d’être. His intertwined religion and philosophy form a belief systems which is based on nothing more than faith. The care of people who have gender dysphoria is based on medical science. Science is evidentiary. Apparently Bradford Richardson is incapable of understanding and appreciating the difference between faith and evidence.

Getting back to Ms. Jenner, she has male chromosomes and a female gender. Incongruent gender and natal sex are what define gender dysphoria. She expects — and deserves — to be treated as a woman. Doing so is socially correct and scientifically mandated. Any questions, Mr. Richardson?

Contrary to the transgender movement’s central claim — that “gender identity” determines whether someone is a man, a woman or something else — Mr. Anderson said the only rationale for determining an organism’s sex is “by that organism’s organization with respect to sexual reproduction.”

This has nothing to do with some transgender movement, if one even exists. It is the overwhelming consensus of medical science that, when gender and natal sex are incongruent, gender usually prevails. Anderson’s theology is entirely irrelevant to the science. Why should we care what Anderson thinks? What are his qualifications to opine about a medical issue? Anderson has simply re-worked his losing arguments relative to marriage equality which were all about procreation. Procreation became sexual reproduction.

“Apart from that, all you have are sex stereotypes,” Mr. Anderson said Wednesday at a Heritage Foundation gathering. “There’s no other objective standard for identifying the sex of an individual.”

Human beings are a “sexually dimorphic species,” with complementary reproductive systems that are either male or female, Mr. Anderson said. One’s sex is evident in DNA, can be tracked in the womb and manifests itself “in many of our bodily systems and organs all the way down to the molecular level.”

Gibberish. First of all, we are not strictly dimorphic. A surprising percentage of the population has some form of sexual ambiguity. More importantly, Anderson refuses to consider the construct of gender. He is not speaking to the real issue. It is as if he believes that if he doesn’t mention gender it no longer exists. That coincides with the teachings of the Catholic Church but not science. Not reality.

[Anderson] took pains to direct his critiques not at transgender people themselves, but at the activists who promote the ideology.

A medical condition is not an ideology. This is all reminiscent of people claiming that activists were indoctrinating young people by promoting homosexuality. The only thing that I, or the Human Rights Campaign, or anyone else is promoting is for transgender and gender nonconforming people to be treated fairly. That starts with an appreciation of the fact that being transgender does not define who or what someone is. Neither Anderson nor Richardson seem capable of accepting that simple precept.

People with gender dysphoria are suffering, Mr. Anderson said, and as many as 41 percent of those who identify as transgender will try to commit suicide at some point in their lives.

Now the schmucks are predicting the future. With proper medical care and reasonable accommodations the suicide rate can be drastically reduced. The Meyer Minority Stress Model is certainly a factor. When it comes to trans suicidality, Anderson is a carrier. One way to guarantee that the suicide rate increases is to prevent young people from transitioning. Were a parent stupid enough to listen to Anderson rather than an experienced clinician then that parent might very well be guilty of child abuse.

The latest research demonstrates that, when treated early, first with puberty blockers and eventually with hormones, transgender teens have levels of anxiety and depression nearly comparable to the general public. Removing the two dominant stressers decreases the potential for self-harm.

“It’s important that our response to them be one of compassion and respect for their struggle,” he said. “But we also need to beware of the harm that activists are doing by promoting their ideology.”

This is the identical compassion bullshit that the Church uses for gay people while, at the same time, calling them “objectively disordered” (which is a vicious lie). Trans people do not need Anderson’s phony compassion. What they need is not to be discriminated against.

Later on:

Mr. Anderson said the transgender movement’s emphasis on surgical and cosmetic procedures is inconsistent with the notion that “gender exists primarily between our ears.” If gender is a mental phenomenon, “why do we then have to radically transform people’s bodies?”

Among idiotic arguments this takes a special prize. Allow me to answer the question:

  1. There is no known medical intervention that cures, or even diminishes, gender dysphoria and;
  2. Many people who transition — affirm their gender — enjoy considerable relief from their suffering. It should be perfectly obvious that no one is going to transition if it makes them feel worse.

Ironically no one is promoting “transgender ideology” (which doesn’t even exist). However, Anderson and this article are promoting ignorance in service to the Catholic Church and that is despicable. The treatment of medical conditions should not be subjected to what amounts to nothing more than superstition.

It’s Sunday. Let’s cut to the chase:

In 2016, Dr. McHugh co-wrote a special report with Lawrence S. Mayer, a biostatistician and epidemiologist, that was published in The New Atlantis. The paper, “Sexuality and Gender: Findings From the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences,” reported that many of the LGBT movement’s claims are “not supported by scientific evidence.”

“Gender dysphoria — a sense of incongruence between one’s biological sex and one’s gender, accompanied by clinically significant distress or impairment — is sometimes treated in adults by hormones or surgery, but there is little scientific evidence that these therapeutic interventions have psychological benefits,” the researchers wrote.

We have a mechanism for separating religious crackpots from real scientists. I am referring of course to publishing articles to respected journals that subject submissions to double-blind peer-review. The New Atlantis is nothing more than a pretentious conservative Catholic blog which suits McHugh perfectly (McHugh is an orthodox Catholic).

McHugh is pushing 90 and he has not practiced medicine in nearly two decades. Lawrence Mayer is, as disclosed, a biostatistician and epidemiologist. Those pursuits do not qualify him to opine on the treatment of people with gender dysphoria. It is a medical sub-specialty requiring considerable training and clinical experience.

Two unqualified individuals posting to a religious blog does not constitute reliable research. Another unqualified individual (Anderson) writing about it does not give the underlying nonsense any credibility. As for Richardson writing about Anderson writing about McHugh and Mayer, why bother with the intermediary? I don’t know what Richardson’s qualifications are but he is merely regurgitating intellectually dishonest pablum with no critical thought whatsoever. Anderson has a religious objection to gender affirmation. That simple sentence would save everyone a great deal of time and it is more honest than anything any of these people have written.

Presumably the Moonies who own the Washington Times are getting their money’s worth. I am going to stop there. Here is my Sunday gift to you all.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.