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  #101  
Old 08-30-2018, 12:51 AM
Kimstu Kimstu is online now
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Originally Posted by Riemann View Post
I'm just trying to understand the preferred terminology. Since the term birth sex or biological sex includes the genetic component, should we describe SRS as changing anatomical sex to align with gender identity?
Well, I don't actually know what would be the best or preferred terminology. (And apparently there's no solid consensus on it, given that the Wikipedia page for SRS lists synonyms including "gender reassignment surgery, gender confirmation surgery, genital reconstruction surgery, gender-affirming surgery, or sex realignment surgery".)

"Anatomical sex reassignment" sounds reasonable to me (although the more I think about it, the weirder the word "reassignment" seems in this context. Sounds like a personnel management decision or something. "Corporal, we're going to reassign you to Company XY for the duration of this maneuver. Please change your uniform and insignia and report to your new commanding officer.")

Last edited by Kimstu; 08-30-2018 at 12:52 AM.
  #102  
Old 08-30-2018, 01:07 AM
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Well, I don't actually know what would be the best or preferred terminology. (And apparently there's no solid consensus on it, given that the Wikipedia page for SRS lists synonyms including "gender reassignment surgery, gender confirmation surgery, genital reconstruction surgery, gender-affirming surgery, or sex realignment surgery".)

"Anatomical sex reassignment" sounds reasonable to me (although the more I think about it, the weirder the word "reassignment" seems in this context. Sounds like a personnel management decision or something. "Corporal, we're going to reassign you to Company XY for the duration of this maneuver. Please change your uniform and insignia and report to your new commanding officer.")
Perhaps there's just a motivation to avoid the word "change" altogether without clear context, since the typical misconception is ignorant gossip like "Susan used to be a man, you know".
  #103  
Old 08-30-2018, 03:12 AM
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Pretend for a moment that there exists a society that is incredibly bigoted towards tall people. If you're under 6 ft, people treat you normally but if you're over 6 ft, then you face all sorts of discrimination, both subtle and overt.

Now pretend that a group of people have invented a "cure" for tallness which involves literally lopping off your feet and cauterizing the stumps so that you become an "acceptable" height. Sure, you will have troubles walking for the rest of your life and you'll be in constant pain, but once you have the bottoms of your limbs removed, other people will treat you normally from then on.

Now, I think most people would agree that parents who are afraid of their children growing "too tall" and force their kids into height reduction surgery so they can maintain their respectability in the community are absolute monsters. But what about people who grow up in such a society and then completely voluntarily want to chop their own limbs off to conform to societal expectations? I think most people would also say that this shouldn't be allowed, because it's clear in this example that the problem isn't with people's height, it's with society's bigotry.

This analogy is deliberately absurd because we've all lived in societies where people of all heights are able to live in perfect harmony and it's clear that height is not some debilitating condition. Similarly, people who have lived in environments in which homosexuality is accepted as just another spectrum of human expression very quickly realize that there's no intrinsic harm that comes from being gay, the only harm comes from society's structural oppression of gay people. Thus, even if gay conversion therapy was able to "fix the problem" for a given definition of "fix", it should still be illegal because the problematic part of that statement is not "fix", it's "problem".
This is a very salient point and one that needs to be brought up. If being gay traumatizes you, then the right question is "why?" not "how do I stop being gay". It's about social pressure and religious bigotry. It really isn't quite as simple as "he wants it, let's give it to him" - just like the question of wearing a Niqab doesnít simply come down to "the woman wants it so she should do it". There are layers of social pressures that make a big difference.
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  #104  
Old 08-30-2018, 08:05 AM
Scylla Scylla is offline
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Yes, a person who wishes to change their sexual orientation has the equal right to attempt it and seek help as a trans person does to seek help with reassignment.

You say the counselors helping the people change their orientation do harm. By what criteria? One could argue that the doctors helping a transgender person who later regrets their reassignment have done immense harm by maiming an individual.

What argument could you make against a gay conversion counselor that you couldn’t make against a reassignment counselor?


I think success depends on the satisfaction of the one paying for services.

The picture is pointless. I personally know gay people who have had sex with females and achieved orgasm, and many straight men engage in homosexual activity while in prison and then return to solely straight activity when they get out. Sexuality is both malleable and opportunistic to a significant degree. The evidence for that is clear.

Last edited by Scylla; 08-30-2018 at 08:06 AM.
  #105  
Old 08-30-2018, 08:15 AM
Shalmanese Shalmanese is offline
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What argument could you make against a gay conversion counselor that you couldn’t make against a reassignment counselor?
There was a recent reddit change my view thread that explained it the best I think:

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If you were born with one arm and had a pretty strong sense that you were supposed to have two arms would you prefer a pill that made you feel like you should have one arm, or a surgery that gave you a second arm?

Your argument is claiming there's something wrong with a transperson's brain. The transperson is saying there's something wrong with their body.
In both cases, we give primacy to the brain over the body. We believe that, unless we can demonstrate actual harm from an identity, we should take people's identity as what it is and adapt society to make that person feel maximally comfortable in their identity. Gay people want to be straight because of society's bigotry against gay people, trans people want to be their preferred gender in spite of society's bigotry towards trans people, that's what makes the cases different.

Last edited by Shalmanese; 08-30-2018 at 08:17 AM.
  #106  
Old 08-30-2018, 08:21 AM
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One could argue that the doctors helping a transgender person who later regrets their reassignment have done immense harm by maiming an individual.
An individual, but not each and every individual.
  #107  
Old 08-30-2018, 08:31 AM
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Some people (men, at least, usually) do have sex with other men without ever thinking of themselves as homosexual, and not necessarily because there is no alternative in their situation. And some anecdotally do "change" - the British writer and jazz singer George Melly, who was homosexual through all his days in the Navy and for quite a while thereafter, described in his memoirs how he was passed by a large group of cyclists on the road, and realized he'd been checking out the women rather than the men, and remained heterosexual and married for the rest of his days.
No, he was obviously BISEXUAL. In a case like that, one could actually choose between the two because one is attracted to BOTH sexes. This is quite common. I have a bisexual friend who alternates between men and women based on her mood and based on actually getting tired of being with one sex and simply wanting to be with the other one.

What you consider "proof" is very disturbing to me.
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  #108  
Old 08-30-2018, 09:03 AM
Scylla Scylla is offline
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Originally Posted by Shalmanese View Post
There was a recent reddit change my view thread that explained it the best I think:



In both cases, we give primacy to the brain over the body. We believe that, unless we can demonstrate actual harm from an identity, we should take people's identity as what it is and adapt society to make that person feel maximally comfortable in their identity. Gay people want to be straight because of society's bigotry against gay people, trans people want to be their preferred gender in spite of society's bigotry towards trans people, that's what makes the cases different.
I donít think you can assume the motivations of gay people who wish to be straight. It is doubtful that they all have the same motivation, and itís not for you to assign one.

The same goes for trans people. Their motivations will not likely all be identical nor do you get to assign them.

If I felt in my brain that I was a giant dragon, I doubt any health professional would seriously help me physically become one. So, we clearly donít give primacy to the brain, and rightly so, because the brain engages in fantasy on occasion.

The analogy of the man with one arm wanting two is also off. a Man with one arm does not have a complete human body. A trans person usually does. The analogy would fit better if you were to say that a man with two arms felt strongly that he should have only one arm.
  #109  
Old 08-30-2018, 09:09 AM
Scylla Scylla is offline
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An individual, but not each and every individual.

I probably should clarify that I believe that a great many if not all Practitioners who claim that they can change sexual preference, are charlatans, or practicing bad science or both. So are chiropractors, diet doctors and life coaches and a host of other professions. We tolerate these for various societal reasons but most likely because people get to choose for themselves within reason, and because progress is made at the frontiers and fringes.
  #110  
Old 08-30-2018, 09:29 AM
Shalmanese Shalmanese is offline
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Originally Posted by Scylla View Post
I donít think you can assume the motivations of gay people who wish to be straight. It is doubtful that they all have the same motivation, and itís not for you to assign one.

The same goes for trans people. Their motivations will not likely all be identical nor do you get to assign them.
This is pretty specious know-nothingism. How many LGBT people do you know and have talked to about these issues? The number of gay people who deeply want to become straight independent of societal pressures is roughly the same as the number of straight people who deeply want to become gay independent of societal pressures, aka: a statistical blip. The fact that there aren't any straight conversion therapies tells you about as much as you want to know about "you can't assume motivations".

Similarly, for trans people, *all* trans people have the option of passing for cis. That transpeople voluntarily give up this option because they find it so intolerable to live with their bodies tells you about as much as you need to know about their motivations. Yes, there are some people who are doing it for the attention or because they're young and confused. Guess what, everyone in the trans community is aware of this issue and the vetting process at every step of the way is built to handle this. The only people who believe this is a "problem" are cis people who have never talked to anyone in the trans community.

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If I felt in my brain that I was a giant dragon, I doubt any health professional would seriously help me physically become one. So, we clearly donít give primacy to the brain, and rightly so, because the brain engages in fantasy on occasion.
Yes, because the crux of the argument is that we should give primacy to the brain unless we can demonstrate actual harm from an identity. The dragon argument makes no sense because its clear to everyone that this is a contrived example just to make a point. The entire point of much of the LGBT movement has been to demonstrate that the harm from LGBT identity comes entirely from societal oppression and not anything intrinsic to the identity. LGBT people who are allowed to live normal lives are just as happy and well-adjusted as non-LGBT people.
  #111  
Old 08-30-2018, 09:57 AM
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The number of gay people who deeply want to become straight independent of societal pressures is roughly the same as the number of straight people who deeply want to become gay independent of societal pressures, aka: a statistical blip.
What do you mean by ďindepependant of societal pressures?Ē Humans are social animals and virtually every behavior we exhibit, from covering our nose when we sneeze, to wearing clothes, or combing our hair is a result of ďsocietal pressures.Ē There are lots of different and conflicting societal pressures that go into behavior. The fact is that you donít know which ones people are prioritizing or responding to.

[quote{Similarly, for trans people, *all* trans people have the option of passing for cis. That transpeople voluntarily give up this option because they find it so intolerable to live with their bodies tells you about as much as you need to know about their motivations.[/quote]

Again, you are taking a group and assigning a single motivation to everyone within the group who takes a given action. Thatís oversimplifying. The fact is that there will be multiple reasons, weighted differently, and not all those reasons will be shared throughout the group.

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Yes, there are some people who are doing it for the attention or because they're young and confused. Guess what, everyone in the trans community is aware of this issue and the vetting process at every step of the way is built to handle this. The only people who believe this is a "problem" are cis people who have never talked to anyone in the trans community.
I donít consider it a problem. In fact, I would go so far to say that as a generality I think this aspect is handled extremely well.



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Yes, because the crux of the argument is that we should give primacy to the brain unless we can demonstrate actual harm from an identity. The dragon argument makes no sense because its clear to everyone that this is a contrived example just to make a point.
Yes. I contrived that example to prove a point. Thatís what people do in discussions. They contrive examples to test ideas. Itís a perfectly ok thing to do. You just canít dismiss a point because you say itís contrived. The point still stands.

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The entire point of much of the LGBT movement has been to demonstrate that the harm from LGBT identity comes entirely from societal oppression and not anything intrinsic to the identity. LGBT people who are allowed to live normal lives are just as happy and well-adjusted as non-LGBT people.
Once again, you oversimplify. I think there are many points the the LGBT movement. Most of them very positive. The one you are referring to and that I identify strongly with is the ethic of personal freedom, and live and let live. That is, that if what you are doing is not demonstrably harmful to others than it is nobody elseís right to infringe upon it.
  #112  
Old 08-30-2018, 10:02 AM
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That is, that if what you are doing is not demonstrably harmful to others than it is nobody elseís right to infringe upon it.
Then you should support banning gay-conversion therapy, which has been demonstrated to be harmful.
  #113  
Old 08-30-2018, 10:20 AM
Scylla Scylla is offline
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Then you should support banning gay-conversion therapy, which has been demonstrated to be harmful.
Where was this demonstrated? How harmful? More harmful than chiropractic or nutritional supplements, or marijuana, or booze and tobacco.

I strongly suspect that praying the gay away and such are harmful and ineffective. But, I think the burden of proof of harm is very high before you get to ban something. Are all gay conversion therapies equally harmful? Will they all always be harmful or will somebody maybe figure something out that is helpful to somebody in a way that they want?

I Donít know that gender reassignment surgery in its current form isnít a harmful thing. (This is not a veiled argument against transgender is. I mean exactly what I say. I donít know,) But it is absolutely not my decision to make for anybody else, and it is absolutely not my business to make decisions for other people.

I apply the same ethic to those who want to change their sexual preference. Iím not sure itís a great idea and Iím not sure that the attempt wonít be harmful. Itís simply not for me to decide.

I choose to err on the side of freedom and noninterference in these things, and letting consenting adults decide what they want.
  #114  
Old 08-30-2018, 10:40 AM
Shalmanese Shalmanese is offline
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What do you mean by ďindepependant of societal pressures?Ē Humans are social animals and virtually every behavior we exhibit, from covering our nose when we sneeze, to wearing clothes, or combing our hair is a result of ďsocietal pressures.Ē There are lots of different and conflicting societal pressures that go into behavior. The fact is that you donít know which ones people are prioritizing or responding to.
We're not talking about fashion or social customs or anything here, we're talking about the choice for a gay man to voluntarily submit themselves to gay conversion therapy. There's not a lot of different, conflicting societal pressures behind that decision, there is one and only one societal pressure: widespread, systematic homophobia that makes gay people feel like they are not normal. It's like arguing that maybe in the absence of [a particular form of Islam crossed with localized social pressures], some women will just *want* their genitals to be mutilated so we should keep some Female Genital Mutilation centers around, just in case someone walks in. It requires a special form of deliberate ignorance to espouse that view.

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Again, you are taking a group and assigning a single motivation to everyone within the group who takes a given action. Thatís oversimplifying. The fact is that there will be multiple reasons, weighted differently, and not all those reasons will be shared throughout the group.
Oh, so what are those multiple reasons then? Please inform us. Again, this is like arguing if you see someone on the street with a cast on their leg, we shouldn't assume their motivation. Like, sure maybe they're cast fetishists who enjoy sexual roleplay in public or maybe they're smuggling drugs, but if you eliminate all of the incredibly tiny, unlikely motivations, all you're left with just one single big motivation which is that they're using it as a medical device to make their bones heal. It's not some big mysterious thing where you can't divine their motivation without some deep inquiry.

Similarly, transitioning is a medical procedure aimed at lessening gender dysphoria, that's it. There's no other strange, big mystery behind it. Besides, transitioning is something only the cis community is obsessed about. Within the trans community, the majority of people have no plans or desire to transition. They correctly recognize that it's an extreme measure to deal with gender dysphoria that should only be undertaken if the pros outweigh the substantial cons and there are many, much less extreme methods to cope with the wide spectrum of gender dysphoria conditions.

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Yes. I contrived that example to prove a point. Thatís what people do in discussions. They contrive examples to test ideas. Itís a perfectly ok thing to do. You just canít dismiss a point because you say itís contrived. The point still stands.

I made the argument of the form of "If (X and Y), then Z" and your response was essentially "Yeah, but if (X and not Y), should it also be Z?". It's perfectly valid to dismiss your point because it didn't actually engage with my argument at all. I'm perfectly willing to admit there's a lot of complexity behind my very large simplifications but if you want to argue against it, you have to actual engage with the argument.
  #115  
Old 08-30-2018, 10:52 AM
Shalmanese Shalmanese is offline
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I Donít know that gender reassignment surgery in its current form isnít a harmful thing. (This is not a veiled argument against transgender is. I mean exactly what I say. I donít know,)
Well, maybe instead of arguing in this thread, you should go out and actually go talk to some transgender people and learn? Coming back with actual concrete findings instead of vague suppositions would help a lot with the quality of this debate.
  #116  
Old 08-30-2018, 11:12 AM
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Shal:

You are saying the only reason a person would voluntarily submit to gay conversion therapy is the ďsocietal pressure: widespread systematic homophobia.Ē

Wrong.

It is dangerous and false to apply blanket motivations and single causes to complex issues. There are many reasons why someone may wish to change beyond.

Hereís one: The traditional family structure is appealing regardless of sexual preference. A gay person may want that, and it may be more important to them than sexual fulfillment. It might work better if the person actually desired their partner sexually, so they might want to work at doing so, and try to change their preference to better suit the role they wish to live.

This happens quite a lot and I know of two instances among my acquaintances where this is the case.

***

Multiple reasons for transgenderism?

1. I think I am a person trapped in the body of the wrong sex.
2. Transgenderism seems interesting and exciting and I would like to explore it because Iíve always wondered how the other half lives.
3. Some of my friends are transgender and I feel left out.
4. I am seeking attention
5. I have problems and issues and I believe that my gender identity is the key to fixing them

Etc.
  #117  
Old 08-30-2018, 11:15 AM
Scylla Scylla is offline
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Well, maybe instead of arguing in this thread, you should go out and actually go talk to some transgender people and learn? Coming back with actual concrete findings instead of vague suppositions would help a lot with the quality of this debate.
Your making an assumption about my experience while knowing nothing about who I have and havenít talked to.

Since you made a suggestion iíll Offer one in return. How about you donít make blanket assumptions about other peopleís motivations and stop assigning simplistic unitary causes to complex phenomena?
  #118  
Old 08-30-2018, 11:18 AM
Shalmanese Shalmanese is offline
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Multiple reasons for transgenderism?

1. I think I am a person trapped in the body of the wrong sex.
2. Transgenderism seems interesting and exciting and I would like to explore it because Iíve always wondered how the other half lives.
3. Some of my friends are transgender and I feel left out.
4. I am seeking attention
5. I have problems and issues and I believe that my gender identity is the key to fixing them

Etc.
Yeah, 2, 3 & 4 are not real reasons, they're cis stereotypes of trans people that arise from never having actually met or talked to trans people. Nobody has ever gotten anywhere close to actual transitioning because "it seems exciting" or "all my friends are doing it", it's an absurd and frankly insulting characterization of trans people.

Distinguishing between 1 & 5 is the reason why transitioning takes multiple years and a long checklist of steps before doctors are willing to support surgical transition. The process isn't perfect but it's as hell as close to it as we can come right now.
  #119  
Old 08-30-2018, 11:28 AM
Scylla Scylla is offline
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Yeah, 2, 3 & 4 are not real reasons, they're cis stereotypes of trans people that arise from never having actually met or talked to trans people. Nobody has ever gotten anywhere close to actual transitioning because "it seems exciting" or "all my friends are doing it", it's an absurd and frankly insulting characterization of trans people.

Distinguishing between 1 & 5 is the reason why transitioning takes multiple years and a long checklist of steps before doctors are willing to support surgical transition. The process isn't perfect but it's as hell as close to it as we can come right now.
Actually, Brown put up a study a few days ago that showed that people who had friends that were trans were more likely to be trans, and that there was an environmental correlation.

It got pulled down. I guess some found that insulting to trans people.

I donít see why. That one is malleable and adaptable based on their environment is hardly surprising.

Also, if one person is trans because it seems exciting and interesting I donít think that insults or demeans someone who is trans because they feel they are trapped in the wrong body.

If you are going to say they are not truly trans you are making a no true Scotsman fallacy.

Free people doing free things without hurting others is AOK.
  #120  
Old 08-30-2018, 11:31 AM
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Are 2-5 just stereotypes perpetrated by cis folks who donít know better, or are they the reason it takes multiple years to transition so that the people in those categories get weeded out?

You are making both arguments simultaneously and they are mutually exclusive.
  #121  
Old 08-30-2018, 07:47 PM
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Iím not sure itís a great idea and Iím not sure that the attempt wonít be harmful. Itís simply not for me to decide.

I choose to err on the side of freedom and noninterference in these things, and letting consenting adults decide what they want.
Do you think agencies like the FDA should be disbanded and people should be able to decide whether they want to swallow pills that don't work and can kill or harm them?

Do you think that people should have the freedom to decide that they want the adrenaline rush of trying to outrun trains on the tracks?

There are many, many things that are controlled or prohibited. None of us has the absolute freedom to decide to do things known to be likely to kill or harm us.

Another point on this topic. Sexual or romantic relationships involve TWO people. You might manage to have yourself tortured into "doing it" with a woman, but what about HER? Doesn't she deserve to have somebody who is really into her as her partner? This whole "get yourself fixed, get yourself married" has women as chattels.

Sex can be "letting somebody" or it can be enthusiastic. Everyone deserves for it to be enthusiastic.
  #122  
Old 08-30-2018, 11:17 PM
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If I felt in my brain that I was a giant dragon, I doubt any health professional would seriously help me physically become one. So, we clearly donít give primacy to the brain, and rightly so, because the brain engages in fantasy on occasion.
Nah. There are valid criticisms to be made on all sides of the brain/body primacy debate, but this isn't one of them.

Having a (brain) gender identity that doesn't correspond to one's (body) anatomical sex characteristics is not analogous to believing oneself to be a giant dragon. Because male and female human beings are in fact very similar to each other, and it only requires comparatively tiny hormonal and other changes during fetal development to give a genetically male (XY) fetus characteristics of a genetically female (XX) fetus, or vice versa.

AFAIK the current state of the science strongly suggests that transgender identity generally does in fact accurately reflect scientific reality: namely, the reality of developmental differences in the brain structures that influence gender identity and in the determination of gonadal and phenotypic sex characteristics.

In contrast, there is absolutely no scientific mechanism by which humans can naturally develop the biological characteristics of different species, even real ones like dogs or cats or monkeys, much less mythical ones like giant dragons. So it's completely legit to treat transgender identity as a normal though rare variant of actual human development while treating "giant dragon identity" as an irrational delusion.
  #123  
Old 08-31-2018, 08:27 AM
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Nah. There are valid criticisms to be made on all sides of the brain/body primacy debate, but this isn't one of them.

Having a (brain) gender identity that doesn't correspond to one's (body) anatomical sex characteristics is not analogous to believing oneself to be a giant dragon. Because male and female human beings are in fact very similar to each other, and it only requires comparatively tiny hormonal and other changes during fetal development to give a genetically male (XY) fetus characteristics of a genetically female (XX) fetus, or vice versa.
Sex is set at the moment of conception. Itís dependent on whether the the spermicide carries a Y or an X chromosome. So no, itís not really that malleable. While prepubescent development is similar, there are serious differences. Immediately after birth female babies respond more to faces than male newborns. Males respond to movement than females.

But what you are saying about the differences between a human and a dragon clearly is true, and I concede that it is not as reasonable a change to propose. So let me try another: suppose I am born with two arms, but I feel that is not me, and I am in the wrong body. I strongly assert that I should have only one arm.
Should a doctor help me amputate?



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AFAIK the current state of the science strongly suggests that transgender identity generally does in fact accurately reflect scientific reality: namely, the reality of developmental differences in the brain structures that influence gender identity and in the determination of gonadal and phenotypic sex characteristics.
Iíve read that a couple of times and Iím not sure what you are trying to say. It seems like you are trying to say that if female brain is put in a male body, it will grow breasts. I know thatís not true, and I donít think believe thatís what you are trying to say. I guess I donít understand what you are saying. Could you explain further?

Quote:
In contrast, there is absolutely no scientific mechanism by which humans can naturally develop the biological characteristics of different species, even real ones like dogs or cats or monkeys, much less mythical ones like giant dragons. So it's completely legit to treat transgender identity as a normal though rare variant of actual human development while treating "giant dragon identity" as an irrational delusion.
ďOntegeny recapitulates phylogeny.Ē

Our genes carry the DNA from all the way back when we were fishes, and sort of replays it in the womb as we develop. We even have gills.

If I selected from the reptilian days I could likely produce a good version of a dragon naturally from human DNA (assuming of course such a sophisticated tool exists, which it doesnít)

So, actually I could have an all natural dragon created solely from genetic traits expressed in human DNA.

Thatís a fun exercise, but it does not refute your larger point which I take to mean that it is easy to see how a relatively minor birth defect could create gender dysphoria that could be corrected, by societal accommodations and/or surgery.

It would not be credible to claim that a similar birth defect put me, a dragon in the body of a human, because here there be no dragons, and there never were.

Yes. Good point. I retract that line of argument.
  #124  
Old 08-31-2018, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Scylla View Post
Sex is set at the moment of conception. Itís dependent on whether the the spermicide [sic, ha!] carries a Y or an X chromosome.
Broadly. Typically. Generally. Not always. There exist XX males and XY females, f'rinstance.

And it remains important to differentiate between sex and gender.
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Old 08-31-2018, 09:47 AM
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Broadly. Typically. Generally. Not always. There exist XX males and XY females, f'rinstance.

And it remains important to differentiate between sex and gender.
I actually thought about that very briefly when I was posting, and then I thought about the urban legend that Jamie Curtis is an XY female.

I didnít think the exception was worth going into, since I was already conceding the point which it would be supporting.
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Old 08-31-2018, 12:32 PM
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Fair enough.

But my point is only that "XX==woman, XY==man," while broadly true, is an overly simplistic perspective. We're barely scratching the surface of how genetic sex determination works, let alone how sex and gender are influenced by gestational development. We have considerable evidence that there is not a rigid association between brain and genitalia.

For many humans, arguably the vast majority, we are able to say that "XY==male sex==male gender."

But not all. Those outliers exist, and they are real people with real brains that do not match their real anatomy.
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Old 08-31-2018, 12:56 PM
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In cases of gender dysphoria, attempting to treat it by reinforcing the sex of the individual tends to fail miserably and cause harmful results. Whereas Gender reassignment therapy typically causes a fairly drastic psychological improvement.

Meanwhile, with homosexuality, the exact opposite is true. Reaffirming one's sexuality typically works to remove the stigma and make people mentally healthy, while gay conversion "therapy" is ovsrwhemingly harmful.

Food for thought.
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Old 08-31-2018, 01:03 PM
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ďOntegeny recapitulates phylogeny".
I know you retracted the dragon argument. But as the Straight Dope is dedicated to fighting ignorance, I cannot let this stand. Recapitulation has been disproven. OTTOMH Stephen J Gould's book Ever Since Darwin, the essay "Racism And Recapitulation." I give quotes and cites but my copy is several hundred miles away at the moment.
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Old 08-31-2018, 02:16 PM
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I know you retracted the dragon argument. But as the Straight Dope is dedicated to fighting ignorance, I cannot let this stand. Recapitulation has been disproven. OTTOMH Stephen J Gould's book Ever Since Darwin, the essay "Racism And Recapitulation." I give quotes and cites but my copy is several hundred miles away at the moment.
I am completely unaware of any racist arguments founded on the recapitulation principle. Wikipedia notes no racist arguments founded on it.

I certainly was not making any.

Further googling seems to support what you have said regarding this theory being discredited.

So, I stand corrected.

Well, at least we still have Lamarckism.
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Old 08-31-2018, 02:20 PM
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I am completely unaware of any racist arguments founded on the recapitulation principle. Wikipedia notes no racist arguments founded on it.

I certainly was not making any.
Oops, I was unclear. I am not accusing Scylla of making any racist arguments. Gould's essay is about recapitulation being wrong, and about racists using pseudo science and discredited hypotheses. I genuinely apologize if I implied that you were making a racist argument. Again, that was not my intent.
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Old 08-31-2018, 02:32 PM
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Fair enough.

But not all. Those outliers exist, and they are real people with real brains that do not match their real anatomy.
Maybe.

Remember when one identical twin is gay, there is a 50% probability the other is. This is much higher than the general population, so is a strong indicator of a biological factor. With identical brains, we would expect it to be 100% if biology was the only determinant. It appears that there is also an environmental determinant.

Extrapolating what this tells us about biology and sexuality to the issue of transgenderism, May suggest that the brain not matching the body hypothesis is likely flawed.

My current shorthand model for the mechanism of sexual determination goes like this:

The brain is a computer. You can install an o/s on it when you partition the drive for either Windows (male) or Mac (female). Once thatís been done, you are pretty much committed and canít switch without losing everything.

Stretching the analogy, there are also partial formats and formatting problems and errors, and some stuff that might let you run both but may contain malware, etc. etc. you get the picture.

So, it seems unlikely that it is the brain itself that is the issue. There is no lab test that will show someone is transgender.
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Old 08-31-2018, 02:36 PM
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Oops, I was unclear. I am not accusing Scylla of making any racist arguments. Gould's essay is about recapitulation being wrong, and about racists using pseudo science and discredited hypotheses. I genuinely apologize if I implied that you were making a racist argument. Again, that was not my intent.

I didnít think you were. I just wanted wanted to make sure somebody else didnít pick up what you were saying and use it that way.
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Old 08-31-2018, 06:10 PM
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So, it seems unlikely that it is the brain itself that is the issue. There is no lab test that will show someone is transgender.
There is no lab test that will show that I have bipolar affective disorder (manic depression). But according to numerous shrinks and the DSM, I have it. There are definite problems in my brain (who's surprised by this? Show of hands!) but no lab test currently known to science will show them.
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:07 PM
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There is no lab test that will show that I have bipolar affective disorder (manic depression). But according to numerous shrinks and the DSM, I have it. There are definite problems in my brain (who's surprised by this? Show of hands!) but no lab test currently known to science will show them.

Yes, and that is no knock on you or on transgender people. It’s just a fact.

It’s a shitty fact because if there were such a test, than there might be a treatment that addresses the causes.

You are arguing as if by my suggesting there is no lab test, that somehow means that it’s not real. I’m not. If anything, the opposite That’s why I made the whole operating system analogy. If your computer is busted because a cable is loose, or a board got fried, well shit. That sucks. The problem though is clear and you can probably address it directly and have a fix, and get back to work. However, if the operating system is screewed up somehow and you’re staring at the blue screen of death, that’s a big problem without a simple fix.

So yes, I understand, and I sympathize.

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  #135  
Old 09-01-2018, 01:18 PM
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So, it seems unlikely that it is the brain itself that is the issue. There is no lab test that will show someone is transgender.
This is not true, actually. The problem is that the test requires dissecting the patients brain. So not much use as a diagnostic tool, but it does point to transgenderism having a physical root cause.
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Old 09-01-2018, 01:42 PM
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This is not true, actually. The problem is that the test requires dissecting the patients brain. So not much use as a diagnostic tool, but it does point to transgenderism having a physical root cause.
Thatís news to me. Do you have a cite you can provide. I would like to read about it.
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Old 09-01-2018, 03:17 PM
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Brains “with features that are consistently at one end of the “maleness-femaleness” continuum are rare,” (researchers led by Daphna Joel of Tel Aviv U) said. “Rather, most brains are comprised of unique ‘mosaics’ of features, some more common in females compared with males, some more common in males compared with females, and some common in both females and males.”
As with just about everything, it is more spectrum than binary.

And I think this is also true of sexual preference. Most likely, the people on the hard ends of the Kinsey Scale are uncommon. There are some genuine heterosexuals who could not ever engage in same-sex activity, and there are some genuine strict homosexuals, but most people fall somewhere in between.

There may even be some natural migration across the scale of sexuality. I seem to be different than I was decades ago. Trying to move me to a solid position on one end of the spectrum would be like trying to make me not gag on green bell peppers.

“Therapy” is never about modifying you, it is about helping adapt to how you are. Modification is “surgery”, “training” or “indoctrination”. You might want to “err on the side of freedom”, but should that erring support deceptive labeling? I think we ought not be tolerating these kind of lies.
  #138  
Old 09-01-2018, 04:24 PM
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Thatís news to me. Do you have a cite you can provide. I would like to read about it.
It's fascinating stuff:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...sgender-brain/

https://neurosciencenews.com/transgender-brain-9234/
  #139  
Old 09-02-2018, 11:48 PM
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Sex is set at the moment of conception. It’s dependent on whether the the spermicide carries a Y or an X chromosome. So no, it’s not really that malleable.
This only refers to genetic sex, i.e., whether an individual has XX versus XY chromosomes (and I'm assuming you meant "sperm" there rather than "spermicide", which would be very confusing).

As others have noted, there is plenty of variation among humans even at the most basic genetic-sex level. There are women with an extra X chromosome (about 0.1% of the female population), men with one or more extra X chromosomes (about 0.1-0.5% of the male population), men with an extra Y chromosome, etc. If you consider any group of a thousand random people, the odds are quite high that at least one of them will not fall into either of the simple binary genetic-sex categories XX and XY.

More importantly, though, the sex chromosomes are not the only factor determining things like reproductive anatomy, secondary sex characteristics, and gender identity. Other genetic or developmental factors can produce people with XY chromosomes but female anatomy, or XX chromosomes and a penis, or any of a wide variety of other "intersex" characteristics. These are people whose sex chromosomes are absolutely ordinary XX or XY, mind you: it's just that their sex chromosomes didn't ultimately produce the ordinary combination of uniformly "male" or "female" bodily characteristics.

And as andros's cites explain, research on human development is strongly indicating that innate gender identity is one of those characteristics that usually---but not always---corresponds to genetic sex. Your sex chromosomes, your reproductive anatomy, your secondary sex characteristics, your gender identity, and your sexual orientation are all different aspects of your physical self, and any one of them can be atypical with respect to the others. E.g., you can be an XX feminine-appearing female-identifying male-attracted individual who has a penis, or an XY feminine-appearing female-identifying male-attracted individual who has a vagina, or an XY masculine-appearing female-attracted individual who has a penis and identifies as female.

All these variations are rare, but they're real, and they involve real people who are just as human as anybody else. It's insufficient and kind of dismissive to treat them as analogous to unsuccessful installations of an operating system. They're outcomes of an infinitely variable and complicated organic process, not errors or failures.

Last edited by Kimstu; 09-02-2018 at 11:48 PM.
  #140  
Old 09-03-2018, 10:41 AM
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...usually---but not always...
That might be the money quote to get us back to the OP.

Straight people are usually straight--but not always. Gay people are usually gay--but not always.

If we accept, as Saint Kinsey (PBUH) argued, that sexuality is a spectrum, then it is entirely possible that someone who is a lifelong confirmed heterosexual could fall in love with someone of the same gender. It's even possible, Scylla, that you are close enough to the middle of the scale (legit bisexual) that you could work to repress your sexual attraction to women and seek out romantic and sexual relationships exclusively--and happily!--with men.

I don't see it happening. One man, maybe? The right man for you? Ok. But "changing" from straight to gay? Nossir. I do not buy that, regardless of how much pressure society might place on you.

If that pressure did exist, though, sufficient for you to feel you had to turn yourself gay or lose social status, or the love and respect of your family and peers, or be seen as a broken, insane, deviant failure...yeah, you might seek out recourse in the form of brainwashing reprogramming "conversion therapy."

And it would not work.

You, who (for the sake of the argument) have never checked out a guy's ass before, who have never had a crush on a man, who have never fantasized about men while masturbating...you're pretty dang straight. That's part of who you are--you dig women, you don't dig men.

This hypothetical change you'd want to make--from straight to gay--requires three basic steps:

First, you have to accept the pressure from society and family and church that you are wrong. That you are broken, malformed, dirty, even hellbound. That who you are, how you feel, what arouses you, who you love...is all wrong and must be changed. That's what we're really saying when we talk about "societal pressure."

Second, it requires you to suppress the desire for women that you have always possessed. "Nope, I gotta be gay now, no more women for me!" (Seriously, how realistic is that for you? To never once idly glance at a nice set of tits, a long pair of legs, a pretty face?)

Finally, it requires that you create, pretty much from whole cloth, a sexual and romantic desire for men. Their faces, their bodies, the cultural connotations of masculinity. You'd need to check out a guy's ass as readily and as casually as a straight guy might check out a woman's, and with the same subtext: "Damn, that's hot." Hell, you'd need to somehow create within yourself the desire to check men out in the first place; merely forcing yourself is hardly the goal, is it?


Going back to Kinsey, maybe you are close enough to the middle of the scale that the last step is not a deal-breaker. Maybe you're openly bi, maybe you acknowledge your bisexuality but don't talk about it, maybe you deny being bi and have fully suppressed your attraction to men, whatever. That still leaves the first two steps in your "straight conversion" therapy: you have to accept that you are damaged and disgusting and then you have to repress all the romantic and sexual desires you've always had for women.

I submit that the former is inherently harmful and the latter is doomed to failure--and therefore also harmful.

Tell me again how it's like quitting smoking or training for a marathon?



All that is just a roundabout way of saying that I kind of agree--if someone wants to buy poison, we generally as a society do not stand much in their way. Rational adult, make your own choices, fine.

But we do and should limit who can sell poison, and how, and to whom.


And we most assuredly should keep people from selling poison while calling it heath food.
.
  #141  
Old 09-03-2018, 04:32 PM
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Ö But we do and should limit who can sell poison, and how, and to whom.

And we most assuredly should keep people from selling poison while calling it heath food.
Check the current regulatory frameworks, because it is looking, to me, a lot like avarice has honor pinned to the mat right now.
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:43 AM
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Andros:

The evidence would suggest that people are a lot more malleable than you propose, both historically and in the present day.

Many cultures have had a tradition where an otherwise straight man takes on a gay lover as a matter of course; the Greeks and Romans, for example. The Sacred Band of Thebes was an elite fighting force. In joining, you entered into an exclusive homosexual relationship with another member.

Heterosexual men in prison may engage in homosexual behavior, and then stay that way when released or revert back to heterosexuality.

Men and women high strong homosexual tendencies may get married and stay hetero.

So, there are many cases of people switching.

And just what is sexual preference? How many married men would prefer that their 50 year old overweight wife looked more like a supermodel?
He has sex with her, because she is available and she is what he is used to.

Sexual preference is a compromise between what one would prefer and what is available.

This would indicate that the idea that we are locked into our sexuality is probably the exception rather than the norm.

Additionally, itís practically impossible to separate sexual preference from social and environmental influences.

So, I am not claiming anything special when I say that I would probably be homosexual given the proper environmental and social incentives. The evidence suggests most of us would.

As for the snake oil nature of gay conversion therapies, I too suspect that they are near enough to being wholly bullshit that it is not worth quibbling.

Still, if you want to ban that, will you also ban Tony Robbins and the whole self-help industry? Bad diets? Chiropractic? Nutritional supplements? Skin ďrejuvenation cosmetics?Ē There are a whole host of things that we allow that harm far more people than gay conversion therapy, which, compared to any of the above is a laughingly small industry.

What these things have in common is that people want them, and some people claim they work for them. Likely this is erroneous or part of the placebo effect, but the placebo effect is very real.

I also donít buy the blanket condemnation of Gay conversion therapies. I understand the reason why people of goodwill and compassion are vehement in their denouncing of them, and I agree with those reasons. I donít like the idea of some 15 year old kid who is perfectly happy how he is being forced by his parents to a brainwashing camp to pray the gay away. I donít like the idea of someone who is troubled being taken advantage of by a charlatan.

At the same time, I canít say that some people havenít come out of gay conversion therapy, with a positive experience. They claim it is so. Who are you or I to say it didnít help them?

People get pressured into many harmful things by their families, by peer groups, and even by society. This is phenomenon is not limited to sexuality and a little thinking will suggest that gay conversion therapy is a vanishingly small part of the massive damage done by family, peer, and societal pressure.

Sometimes this pressure, channeled correctly has a positive effect. We are social animals, and we make decisions based on how that will effect our social status. This pressure is neither the villain nor the hero. It just is.
  #143  
Old 09-04-2018, 10:58 AM
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No, he was obviously BISEXUAL. In a case like that, one could actually choose between the two because one is attracted to BOTH sexes. This is quite common. I have a bisexual friend who alternates between men and women based on her mood and based on actually getting tired of being with one sex and simply wanting to be with the other one.

What you consider "proof" is very disturbing to me.
I don't consider it proof that anybody can be made to change, rather the opposite: that the fact that it does occasionally happen isn't evidence that it actually matters one way or the other. Consequently, the idea that anyone can be made to change is pointless nonsense.
  #144  
Old 01-04-2019, 03:00 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Bumped.

A recent AP article - elections, films help effort to ban gay conversion therapy: https://www.thestate.com/entertainme...223713800.html
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Old 01-04-2019, 03:32 PM
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It should be pointed out that all the bans currently enacted in the US law are banning conversion therapy in minors, not adults. Which seems to me the correct balance legally speaking.

Gay conversion therapy is clearly utter bullshit. But mentally competent adults can choose to undergo all sorts of utterly bullshit, possibly harmful, "medical" treatments (chiropracty, homeopathy, goop enemas, etc. etc.) Hell they can choose to refuse medical treatment (like blood transfusions) that will almost certainly result in their death. Why should this particular bullshit treatment be any different?

Last edited by griffin1977; 01-04-2019 at 03:34 PM.
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