Included in this week’s issue:
Is Bruce Jenner Simply a Woman Born in a Man’s Body?
There has been a great deal in the news regarding transgenderism from Olympian super-star Bruce Jenner to Laverne Cox of the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Are there really people who are simply born in the wrong body? Does God create such people?
The feelings of being “transgender” are primarily issues of the mind rather than the body. There are no biological or otherwise objective measures a medical doctor can find to determine one is transgendered. Kenneth Zucker, one of the world’s leading experts and clinicians on this condition, told National Public Radio that it was “astonishingly naive and simplistic” to assume transgenderism is just another way of being human. Clinicians like Zucker and others hold that it’s similar to other conditions that drive one’s obsessive desire for radical body modification such as:
- Anorexia nervosa where a nearly emaciated person believes she/he is grossly overweight and will risk their own life to bring their body in line with their belief.
- Xenomelia or Apotemnophilia, where a patient absolutely believes that a limb or digit of their body is not their own and have an obsessive (sometimes sexualized) interest in being an amputee. They can even have the desire to be confined to a wheelchair and seek surgery to make them the immobile person they “know” they have always been.
Paul McHugh, the long-time psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, explains that,
“At the heart of the problem is confusion over the nature of the transgendered. ‘Sex change’ is biologically impossible. People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women. Claiming that this is a civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder.”
Love and compassion for those suffering from gender dysphoria are essential. But supporting the effort to pretend that a psychological condition is really just another way of being human is not compassionate. It is the misguided support of what Professor McHugh calls a “psychiatric misadventure”.
Cutting at the body and changing one’s clothing style does not cure gender identity disorder because body shape and clothes are not really the problem. How do we know?
A cutting edge, long-term examination of individuals in Sweden who have undergone sex-reassignment surgery finds, when compared to the general population, they are tragically:
- 20xs more likely to die by suicide
- 5xs more likely to attempt suicide
- 3xs more likely to require psychiatric hospitalization
Such findings led these scholars to conclude that “sex reassignment…may not suffice as a treatment for transsexualism.”