“their ridicule creates a problem which they then use to justify the same ridicule. It is an irrational enterprise with a goal of conforming the world to ancient chronicles and religious dogma.”
|Steven W. Mosher
Steven W. Mosher is president of Population Research Institute (PRI), a Virginia operation with annual revenues just over $1 million. PRI is a conservative Catholic organization dedicated to stopping reproductive choice. It also seems to be dedicated to thwarting academic studies of overpopulation that do not conform to religious dogma. He notes that he studied biology in college. None of these things provide qualifications to have opinions about transgender people. His views are shaped by religious belief, not science.
Mosher has authored: Transgender people are suffering, and indulging their delusions will not help them. In one phrase, the title of a polemic, Mosher has invalidated a mountain of scientific research. I know that it is tedious but I am compelled to repeat that religion is a belief system based on faith. Science — in this instance medical science — is based on evidence.
Speaking of tedium:
Everything except babies, apparently, who, as everyone knows, come into the world bearing distinctly male or female parts. Even if those parts are later surgically removed or altered, at the cellular level, every cell of every transsexual’s body continues to proclaim its maleness (XY) or femaleness (XX). Bathing the body in artificial hormones may sprout beards and breasts, but IT has absolutely no effect on this underlying biological truth.
Does an original argument exist in Christendom? No one disagrees that most people have male or female chromosomes. No one — no one — has ever suggested that transgender people can do anything to alter their chromosomes.
Perhaps I take biology a little too seriously. But then I take gravity seriously as well, and for the same reason: those who ignore reality will sooner or later be punished by it.
Later on I will revisit that remark about ignoring reality. I am ignoring a great deal of religious content in Mosher’s post.
From biology to the requisite victimology:
The forces that insist we do are certainly growing apace. You can now be banned from Twitter for “misgendering” someone. In Great Britain, you will even be visited by the police on suspicion of having committed a “hate crime.” There are those in the U.S. and Canada who want to send you to jail for refusing to engage in the pretense that “he” is who “she” says “he” is.
Well no. In the United State one is free to say anything, no matter how idiotic. We do not imprison people for their speech or for their views. As a society we expect people to be courteous to others. Deadnaming or misgendering people is a rather petty way of demonstrating religious disapproval. Doing so to transgender people is comparable to calling me a kike. Twitter has published an acceptable use policy. If people cannot comply then no one is forcing them to use the platform.
While the rest of us may be confused by gender-shifters, those who actually shift genders may suffer real harm. For them, in truth, the cure may prove to be worse than the disease. Much worse.
As psychiatrist Christian Spaemann has noted, “transsexuality is a cause of great suffering, above all for the people in question, but also for their family members and especially for their children. Hormonal or surgical means … cannot entirely remove [this suffering]. Studies show that transsexuals, even after sex-reassignment surgery, have a higher-than-average rate of psychological disturbances and suicide attempts, and an almost twenty-times-higher-than-average rate of suicide. Moreover, there are ever more cases of persons requesting reversal surgery.”
I have no idea what a “gender-shifter” is. Mr. Mosher is confused. Transgender people do not shift their gender — They affirm their gender. Spaemann is the son of ultra-conservative German Catholic philosopher Robert Spaemann and the piece that he is quoting from appeared in the ultra-conservative Catholic outlet First Things. Most of that quote is true except for surgical reversals, unless he can offer some evidence to support his contention. I cannot find any peer reviewed research on this subject, authored by Christian Spaemann and published to a respected academic journal.
Transgender people do have a higher rate of suicide after gender affirmation regardless of whether that is through attire, hormones or gender confirming surgery. Spaemann apparently missed the part about the Meyer’s minority stress model in his studies. Transgender people suffer considerable ridicule and prejudice. If the Defenders of the Faith© would stop their ceaseless denigration of trans people that might save some lives.
In other words their ridicule creates a problem which they then use to justify the same ridicule. It is an irrational enterprise with a goal of conforming the world to ancient chronicles and religious dogma. Earlier Mosher made claims about “ignoring reality.”
Again, does an original argument exist?
Consider the disorder known as Body Integrity Dysphoria (BID). Like gender dysphoria, sufferers experience a mismatch between the mental image of one’s body and the actual physical reality. BID is frequently associated with an intense desire to become deaf or blind, or for the amputation of a leg or arm. Brugger and Lenggenhager report that the person sometimes has a sense of sexual arousal connected with the desire for loss of a limb or sense. The sexual parallel here with the current transgender craze is obvious.
Mosher is confused again. The condition he is referring to is BIID, body integrity identity disorder. BIID cannot be compared to gender dysphoria. Putting forth an extreme argument that is easy to argue against is the very definition of the logical fallacy known as a straw man argument. Moreover, Mosher wants to pass off a form of body integrity identity disorder (BIID) as similar to gender dysphoria (GD). They are as similar as door knobs and thermostats. By the way BIID is a condition so rare there aren’t proper estimates of its prevalence. There is nothing new or novel in this argument.
Gender denial is about as intellectually honest as climate denial:
The vast majority of physicians would never purport to “treat” a patient with BID by amputating the offending limb…
They are more than ready to cut off the penis and testicles of a young man who is suffering from the delusion that “he” is really a “she.” They are more than willing to surgically create an artificial penis — a prosthesis — for a young woman, destroying her fertility in the process, simply because she has somehow convinced herself that “she” is really a “he.”
The construct of gender is not a delusion. We all have a gender. For me and probably Mr. Mosher our gender aligns with our natal sex. However roughly 0.5% of the population have an incongruence of gender and natal sex which causes enough distress to cause them to affirm their gender.
For these individuals, affirming their gender provides relief from the suffering caused by gender dysphoria. There is no intervention known to medical science to address gender dysphoria. These nitwits never posit a reasonable alternative. It is: Let them suffer lest they offend God. The whole thing is preposterous. It has no more validity than claiming that women with red hair are witches.
Blend together: 1 cup bigotry, 1 cup ignorance and 1 cup rehydrated bullshit:
It is no surprise that those who have “transitioned” are much more likely to commit suicide. Imagine the disappointment of a young man who discovers that simply cutting off his boy parts and growing hormonally induced breasts leaves his disordered mental state — the actual source of his problem — untouched. His pain must be indescribable, made all the worse by all of the supposedly educated and experienced therapists, counselors, and physicians who “accompanied” him on his journey and “affirmed” his choice to embark upon this life-changing course.
There is no evidence that transition increases suicide! None. There is considerable evidence of just the opposite. There is also common sense:
- Gender dysphoria creates (among other things) anxiety and depression.
- Most suicides are the result of depression.
- Gender affirmation considerably reduces anxiety and depression.
- Ergo, gender affirmation reduces suicide in people with gender dysphoria.
- The remaining suicidality is the result of minority stress.
Mosher is focusing on people who have gender confirmation surgery and he is making arguments from ignorance. In order to qualify for surgery people must live according to their gender for at least a year or two. During that period of time they must receive intensive counseling. After surgery they will continue to receive intensive counseling.
Why are pronouns so fucking difficult for these douche-bags?
…the sexual revolutionaries among us insist that the real source of the transsexuals problem is…we. If only we accorded those proclaiming a new sexual identity the “social recognition” they deserved, we are told, all of their problems would go away.
This is nothing more than an attempt to shift blame for the unhappiness of those suffering from gender dysphoria onto society at large. The insistence — upon threat of punishment — that we never, ever use the wrong pronoun is the nub of this effort.
One more time. Misgendering people is done to express religious disapproval. It causes additional distress for transgender people. There is no reason to use pronouns other than those associated with a person’s gender. Imagine if people routinely referred to “Papist Steven W. Mosher” or some other obnoxious term reflecting our disapproval. Mosher would rightly call us insensitive and bigoted and he would be correct.
Here comes the kitchen sink:
Let us say such-and-such a person imagines herself to be a cat. Would we want to play along with cat-woman’s fantasy on the grounds that it is not harmful? Any such fantasy is likely to collide with reality at some point, either in the realm of physical limitations (e.g., if she throws herself in the air, thinking that a cat always lands on its feet, she might do considerable harm to herself) or in the lack of social affirmation.
This is a subset of moronic BIID arguments. None of this crap has anything to do with transgender people. Gender dysphoria is a widely understood medical condition that does not respond to therapy. How many people identify as cats?
Another helping of BS:
It is no wonder that many transsexuals eventually come to see their lives as a cruel joke and choose to end them. The high suicide rate alone suggests that such transitions ought not to be encouraged. If any other drug, device, or medical procedure were known to cause this level of harm, it would surely be proscribed.
Where is Mosher getting his data from? God-is-pissed-so-it-must-be-bad emporium? According to research, gender affirmation is highly effective. According to recent research into gender confirmation surgery (QoL=Quality of Life):
Postoperative satisfaction was 94% to 100%, depending on the type of surgery performed. Eight (6%) of the participants reported dissatisfaction and/or regret, which was associated with preoperative psychological symptoms or self-reported surgical complications (OR = 6.07).
Mosher’s diatribe consists of nearly 1,600 words — nearly 10,000 keystrokes. He offers no alternatives and he assumes that all transgender people have had surgery. Gender incongruity is a serious medical condition. Transgender people should not be subjected to religious opprobrium. What they need is acceptance. The religious set is determined to actively and visibly reject them to defend the faith. It is as compelling as religious disapproval of, say, ulcerative colitis.