I have been clear about this for years. Regarding transgender people, we are all in the same boat and we have a common opponent for the same reasons. Chad Felix Greene did not get the memo. According to Greene: New Study Suggests Playing With Dolls Proves A Boy Is Transgender.
No it does not. Greene has it backwards. The fact that a trans girl prefers dolls over trucks is not evidence that a male child who plays with dolls is transgender. The study never looked for evidence of gender identity. DSM-5 provides the criteria for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria in children (which is separate from that of adults).
Greene’s subtitle reads:
How do we encourage parents to give dolls to their sons and trucks to their daughters if those behaviors are considered scientific evidence of gender dysphoria?
I doubt that Greene is capable of sarcasm. Thus, that sentence makes no sense at all. The study that Greene is referring to is titled: Similarity in transgender and cisgender children’s gender development. It was published on November 18 to the very prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The peer review process took five months (the editor is Dr. Susan T. Fiske who is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology at Princeton University). The study was supervised by Dr. Kristina Olson at University of Washington.
Last year Olson received the the National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award. She was also the recipient of a substantial MacArthur “Genius Grant.” As the founder of the TransYouth Project, Dr. Olson understands how to study transgender kids.
Measures and scoring included toy preferences. Also included were clothing preferences, peer preferences and scoring on the Gender identity Implicit Association Test. They also considered the outfit that the child wore on the interview (scored by two independent researchers).
According to Greene:
Study Contradicts Itself, Exudes Bias
The study does, however, ignore some striking concerns and makes remarkable assumptions that should be addressed. Study author Selin Gülgöz said the study was limited in scope due to the fact that all of the transgender children were already moving towards increased identification with the opposite sex and lived with families that encouraged their dysphoria.
Bias? Does that apply to someone who writes “lived with families that encouraged their dysphoria?” Dysphoria is defined as a state of unease or generalized dissatisfaction with life. Suffice it to say that families did not encourage their children’s dysphoria. Families were supportive of their children’s gender identity.
Greene’s “dysphoria” continues:
She notes this means the study’s conclusions might not apply to children who do not live in families who do not enable feelings of gender dysphoria. Interviewing children aged 3 to 12 who have already adopted an opposite-sex gender identity to determine a biological origin of transgender identity is, on its face, biased.
Obviously that is not what Gülgöz “noted.” Families do not “enable feelings of gender dysphoria.” Gender dysphoria is independent of family. Many parents learn to accept their child’s gender incongruence. This is the result of counseling and the appreciation of medical science.
Some parents of a conservative religious bent do not accept their child’s incongruent gender. Those are the kids who are at the greatest risk for self-harm. They would be impossible to study because they would be in crisis.
Absent from the study are children with some measure of gender dysphoria who have not transitioned. Many of those kids will never transition and will outgrow gender dysphoria. Persistence of the condition is a function of severity.
Therefore, the study was essentially of children who were most severely affected by their condition. I have no clue where Greene came up with an effort “to determine a biological origin of transgender identity.”
There were many hypotheses in advance of the actual research. None of them had anything to do with “biological origin.”
It’s Innate, But It Might Change Anyway
The final and most important aspect of this study that should be concerning is the absolute reliance on young children supernaturally divining their own nature in spite of their physical selves. The study notes, “Gender expression or identity for some of them might shift in the future, or their level of support and affirmation might change.”
Ugh. There is nothing “supernatural” about gender identity.
This Undermines Homosexuality
LGBT advocates who hold this study in the air as proof of inherent gender identity fail to realize they are arguing against advocates of inherent sexual orientation who have long insisted gender stereotypes do not determine sexuality.
In truth, this study erases gay people entirely by implying any gender non-conforming behavior in young children is evidence of transgender identity which requires altering a child’s persona and physical body over time. If it were to become widely accepted and practiced, a large percentage of gay individuals would be denied the chance to grow up into healthy gay adults.
Who, exactly, has insisted what, exactly? I have no idea what this nitwit is saying. He doesn’t know what he is saying. Nowhere does this study suggest that “any gender non-conforming behavior in young children is evidence of transgender identity.” In fact, nowhere does it suggest that anything is evidence that a child is transgender.
It was the other way around. What behaviors do transgender children exhibit? How ingrained are those behaviors? How persistent are they? How do they compare to comparable behaviors by cisgender children? Greene might understand that if he actually read the study and the collateral materials. Rather than being a healthy skeptic, he had an agenda. He wanted to discredit a study for some reason that I do not fully understand.
What the study concluded is that a transgender kid is as confident of his or her gender as a cisgender kid. Trans kids are absolutely certain of their gender. A prepubescent trans girl will never say “I wish I were a girl.” She will say “I am a girl.”
Gender identity and sexual orientation are entirely separate continua. Transgender people have the same range in sexual orientation as cisgender people have. Some trans females, for example, are lesbians. Others are heterosexual. Others are bisexual.
Nothing “undermines” a person’s sexual orientation. Some people undermine any notion of having a functional cerebral cortex.