And you thought that Ryan T. Anderson cornered this market.

Bryan R. Cross is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He has penned Gender Ideology and the Catholic Church at Witherspoon Institute’s pseudo-intellectual blog.

There are two reasons I care about Catholic dogma in spite of the fact that I am not Catholic:

  1. The Catholic Church has a well documented history of attempting to impose its teachings on public policy and;
  2. There are children of observant Catholics who have gender dysphoria. Those kids have enough problems without parents preferencing religious beliefs over medical science.

The only part of this very lengthy treatise that I am going to quote is the lengthy subtitle:

Many people have difficulty with the Catholic Church’s teaching on sex and gender because they fail to recognize its philosophical dimension. As inheritors of twentieth-century positivism, many today assume that the quantitative sciences are the arbiters of truth, and that any other way of knowing, except that privileged and direct access to one’s own internal subjectivity, can be no more than private opinion or pseudoscience. This philosophical error silences objection and shuts down dialogue by defining disagreement with itself as hateful and anathematizing.

The above is called an inoculation. The bottom line is that gender identity and gender incongruence are not philosophical matters. They are not subject to debate. When a child’s gender is incongruent with natal sex (gender dysphoria) that child has a very serious medical condition. According to the highly esteemed Dr. Deanna Adkins at Duke University (emphasis added):

With the exception of some serious childhood cancers, gender dysphoria is the most fatal condition that I treat because of the harms that flow from not properly recognizing gender identity. Attempted suicide rates in the transgender community are over 40%, which is a risk of death that far exceeds most other medical conditions. The only treatment to avoid this serious harm is to recognize the gender identity of patients with gender dysphoria and differences of sex development.

In this regard, medical science is the arbiter of truth because science is evidentiary. Gender dysphoria is no more responsive to philosophy than ALS.

Gender incongruence does not have an esoteric “philosophical dimension.” Again, it is a medical condition and Dr, Adkins’ treatment plan is consistent with the overwhelming consensus of medical science and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

There is a mounting body of evidence that children who are supported by their parents and school and able to express their gender identity have levels of anxiety and depression that are close to those experienced by the general population. Anything that might interfere with what is medically best for a child is indefensible.

Gender is not an abstract or arcane concept. We are dealing with the very real lives of very real children at considerable risk. People who would never intervene if a child had a cleft palate, feel free to meddle in issues of emotional health. Board certification of a psychiatrist is no less rigorous than the board certification of the surgeon who will correct that cleft palate. Philosophers are wholly unqualified to render opinions in matters of medical science. Doing so is a display of supreme arrogance.

People are parroting the very unoriginal and intellectually dishonest phrase “gender ideology.” It is as if the contrived nomenclature can change the meaning of a scientific concept and make it subject to the whims of philosophers. Gender is not a doctrine. Gender is not a philosophy. Gender is most certainly not an ideology. Gender is a well understood construct in the realm of medical science. People use “gender ideology” to, in effect, create a straw man.

Mr. Copernicus had his hands full.

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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.