“Scientists have found that transgender people have brain structures more consistent with their gender than their natal sex.”

Peter Sprigg

At the World Congress of Families anti-LGBT hate-fest in Moldova, Peter Sprigg lectured about gender identity. Sprigg’s uninformed and illogical presentation has now been reduced to a blog post titled: Five Myths About “Gender Identity”
. Gender identity is in quotes to suggest that it doesn’t really exist.

Peter Sprigg has no training in medicine or psychology (he is a Baptist pastor). Sprigg, an anti-LGBT propagandist for Family Research Council — an anti-LGBT hate group — is claiming expertise in human sexuality. It is erudition that he simply does not possess. The idea that gender identity does not exist would come as quite a shock to the people who do have the requisite training and expertise.

1. If the mind is in conflict with the body, the mind is right.

[ … ]

But why should anyone believe that?

Contrary to the claims of the transgender activists, this belief is not “scientific.” In fact, since science deals with an examination of the physical world, the rejection of the physical body is anti-scientific.

The belief that the mind is right and the body wrong when they conflict is a philosophical—almost a religious—viewpoint. It has nothing to do with science.

The Sprigg has just redefined science while, at the same time, dismissing psychiatry as a medical specialty. Science deals with the physical and natural world. Psychiatry is a branch of medical science. Moreover, mind and body are not isolated from each other as Sprigg suggests. Many, if not most, psychiatric issues are associated with brain chemistry. Pharmacology treats disease by altering brain chemistry. Gender as a separate construct from sex has been in the medical literature for nearly a century.

Scientists have found that transgender people have brain structures more consistent with their gender than their natal sex.

Sprigg is dedicated to his religion, a belief system based on faith. Science is evidentiary. The simple scientific fact is that when natal sex and gender are incongruent, gender usually prevails. Sprigg’s assertion is illogical because if gender did not control sexuality then no one would suffer from gender dysphoria.

2. Gender non-conforming children will always grow up to be transgender adults.

Actually, there is much evidence that the vast majority of such children, if left to themselves, eventually accept their biological sex.

First of all that is dishonest. No one has ever made that assertion. Moreover, Sprigg does not understand what gender nonconforming means (it is cross-sex behaviors without necessarily presenting as the opposite sex).

Dr. Kristina Olson has done the best research on desisters. Many children with gender dysphoria do, in fact, grow out of it. However, once the condition is severe enough that the child insists on transitioning they are likely to be transgender for life. Sprigg’s comment is irrelevant. What is he suggesting? That children should be prevented from transitioning? Sprigg has neither the training nor experience to make him qualified to weigh in on the treatment of children with gender dysphoria.

3. Gender transition (hormones and surgery) is “medically necessary.”

This is the claim that transgender activists make in order to justify forcing government health programs and private health insurance companies to pay for these expensive procedures.

This claim has everything to do with money, and nothing to do with medicine.

The vast majority of people who identify as transgender are physically normal, physically healthy people. Hormones and surgery do not help their bodies work better—instead, they destroy healthy body systems and healthy body parts. … [ad nauseum]

Sprigg is not qualified to opine about what is, or is not, medically necessary. Furthermore, transition may not involve hormones or surgery. Again, Sprigg is dismissing a behavioral health condition as imaginary. A large body of peer-reviewed science says otherwise.

All medical procedures have consequences. Taking aspirin for a headache can cause ulcers. The practitioners who treat people with gender dysphoria (often a team) are not mad scientists with Igor assisting. Their patients are not stupid. No one takes hormones or has surgery without fully informed consent; knowing the upsides and the potential downsides. People are usually required to have one year of counseling before gender affirming surgery.

The bottom line is that hormones or surgery can dramatically improve the quality of life for some people. Some insurance covers both. Some insurance does not. Sprigg goes on to mis-characterize (with selective quotes) a decision memo from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The intended inference is that CMS denied coverage because there is no proof that transition treatments are effective. Baloney!

What CMS said is that there was insufficient research data to make a national decision one way or the other:

In the absence of a NCD [national coverage determination], coverage determinations for gender reassignment surgery, under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act (the Act) and any other relevant statutory requirements, will continue to be made by the local MACs [Medicare administrators] on a case-by-case basis. To clarify further, the result of this decision is not national non-coverage rather it is that no national policy will be put in place for the Medicare program.

4. “Gender identity” discrimination is a form of “sex discrimination.”

In the United States, the majority of states have not added “gender identity” as a protected category in laws against discrimination, nor has the U.S. Congress.

Therefore, transgender activists have begun urging courts to interpret laws against “sex discrimination” to include “gender identity.” Since our federal law against sex discrimination in employment and in education were passed in 1964 and in 1972, it is unlikely that legislators intended “sex” to mean anything other than being biologically male or female.

Nondiscrimination laws regarding gender identity do exist in many states and municipalities. Furthermore, in March of this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that workplace discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Furthermore, while the language of Title VII does not expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity the US EEOC has taken a broad approach to enforcing Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination. The commission argues that it includes both gender identity and sexual orientation.

Comparable rulings from U.S. courts are bound to follow as suits progress. Meanwhile, it is Mr. Sprigg who is full of, … mythology.

5. The transgender movement is a progressive movement.

This may be the most surprising for me to list as a “myth.”

Although we speak about the “LGBT movement,” there are many “LG”—self-identified lesbians and gays—who are concerned about the “T” (those who identify as transgender). They are not happy that masculine girls and feminine boys—who at one time might have grown up to identify as lesbians or as gay men—are now being told that they are actually the opposite sex.…

There is no such thing as the “transgender movement.” The third paragraph is BS. There do not exist many gay people who are concerned about transgender people as part of the community. The major organizations, HRC, GLAAD, GLSEN, etc. are all supportive of transgender rights because they are supporting of sexual minorities. I am a gay man supportive of transgender rights. I debunked “Drop the T” three years ago (it was one anonymous individual).

Overall it is Peter Sprigg who is promoting mythology. He does so because he has a religious objection to transgender people which makes about as much sense as having a religious objection to people on chemotherapy. His religious beliefs are based on the mythology that his Bible is the inerrant word of his god.

Sprigg’s job is to be an anti-LGBT propagandist for a hate group. That is what this is all about.

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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.