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  #851  
Old 02-03-2018, 10:36 AM
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A significant difference between schizophrenia and transgender conditions is that people who are transgender can often function effectively for decades from the standpoint of personal hygiene, holding down a job, paying their bills, obeying the law, etc. even without treatment whereas untreated schizophrenics tend to struggle or fail at all of those.
  #852  
Old 02-03-2018, 10:39 AM
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A significant difference between schizophrenia and transgender conditions is that people who are transgender can often function effectively for decades from the standpoint of personal hygiene, holding down a job, paying their bills, obeying the law, etc. even without treatment whereas untreated schizophrenics tend to struggle or fail at all of those.
Another significant difference is that they are not in any way even vaguely similar in any sense whatsoever.
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Old 02-03-2018, 11:51 AM
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Pretty much, yeah.
  #854  
Old 02-05-2018, 05:26 AM
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Another significant difference is that they are not in any way even vaguely similar in any sense whatsoever.
IIRC the comparison between them comes at least in part from the idea that you can "treat" gender dysphoria with a certain antipsychotic. This isn't actually true, mind you, but some people believe it.
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  #855  
Old 02-05-2018, 05:50 AM
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IIRC the comparison between them comes at least in part from the idea that you can "treat" gender dysphoria with a certain antipsychotic. This isn't actually true, mind you, but some people believe it.
You can pretty much treat anything with anything if you aren't particularly concerned about efficacy.
  #856  
Old 02-05-2018, 05:59 AM
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The right-ear-to-left-brain-to larynx route is shorter, more efficient. It creates right-lateralization. The left-ear route is longer for several reasons. A strong right ear creates a strongly dominant left-brain in the integrative processes of the cerebral hemispheres. A weak right ear forces the left ear into dominance or partial dominance and causes left-lateralization.
Sure, but under Grey's Anatomical Variations as set out by Stovold, moving right ear to left brain to larynx will put you in Nidd, and then where will you be? At least by engaging left lateralization you can play tonsils-amygdala-philtrum and as everyone knows it's a short hop from there to your ultimate goal.
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Old 02-05-2018, 09:49 AM
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Sure, but under Grey's Anatomical Variations as set out by Stovold, moving right ear to left brain to larynx will put you in Nidd, and then where will you be? At least by engaging left lateralization you can play tonsils-amygdala-philtrum and as everyone knows it's a short hop from there to your ultimate goal.
If the poster is indeed Laurna Tallman, she has written books on her supposition that playing music in the right ear can cure a wide variety of mental illnesses. She has described herself as a "citizen scientist", but I can find no references as to what formal training or degrees(if any) she might have, and no formal papers published in reputable journals, either. Any corrections and/or additions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-05-2018, 10:07 AM
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Well, on looking at this;

http://northernlightbooks.ca/dir/

Doesn't appear to be any actual science.
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  #859  
Old 02-09-2018, 05:10 PM
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Is it your opinion that homosexuality is an "aberrant behavior" and, if so, what are you basing your opinion on?
Aberrant -departing from an accepted standard.
- different from what is typical or usual, especially in an unacceptable way

Just by definition homosexuality and transgender people are aberrant.

I have nothing against either, but that's what aberrant means.
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:11 PM
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Aberrant -departing from an accepted standard.
- different from what is typical or usual, especially in an unacceptable way

Just by definition homosexuality and transgender people are aberrant.

I have nothing against either, but that's what aberrant means.
Except that neither is "unacceptable", and heterosexually is not (or doesn't have to be) an "accepted standard".
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:19 PM
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Aberrant -departing from an accepted standard.
- different from what is typical or usual, especially in an unacceptable way

Just by definition homosexuality and transgender people are aberrant.

I have nothing against either, but that's what aberrant means.
"Aberrant" is a loaded term with negative connotations. There are hordes of other terms that denote the same thing without the baggage of such connotations, including "variant", "unusual", "atypical", "different", etc.; I'd make the same point if you'd used "deviant", another word with skin-crawley connotations.



I wish people would quit bumping this damn thread. The thread title itself annoys the fuck out of me every time I read it.
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:50 PM
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I wish people would quit bumping this damn thread.
Uh....
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  #863  
Old 02-09-2018, 06:05 PM
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Except that neither is "unacceptable", and heterosexually is not (or doesn't have to be) an "accepted standard".
Heterosexual is the accepted standard sorry.
It's just another fact, like the definition.

And there is quite a large population that finds it unacceptable as well.

Once again, not me.
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:27 PM
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"Aberrant" is a loaded term with negative connotations. There are hordes of other terms that denote the same thing without the baggage of such connotations, including "variant", "unusual", "atypical", "different", etc.; I'd make the same point if you'd used "deviant", another word with skin-crawley connotations. .
People put their own connotations on a word, and then argue about these instead of the actual thing itself.

I didn't use the word, I responded to a question about the word, by supplying the definition, and answering the question by definition alone.

Aberrant -departing from an accepted standard.
- different from what is typical or usual, especially in an unacceptable way


I agree there are negative connotations, as most people perceive it.

That however does not mean one can change the definitions of things to suit your own agenda.

So ,gays are aberrant by definition, but so are genius's, prodigies, most basketball players, redheads, and on, and on.
  #865  
Old 02-09-2018, 07:28 PM
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You seem really invested in this.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by AHunter3
"Aberrant" is a loaded term with negative connotations. There are hordes of other terms that denote the same thing without the baggage of such connotations, including "variant", "unusual", "atypical", "different", etc.; I'd make the same point if you'd used "deviant", another word with skin-crawley connotations. .
People put their own connotations on a word, and then argue about these instead of the actual thing itself.
People live in a social context. Please don't be abstruse and obtuse. "Nigger" is a mispronunciation of a Spanish word meaning "black", but I don't suggest you go around using it and then shrugging innocently and saying "but it just means 'black', why get upset?" The word "aberrant" has connotations that I did not put there and which you are not likely to be ignorant of; you live in the social context in which "aberrant" has negative connotations, same as I do.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:44 PM
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And we're off....

Please substitute your own facts at will.
  #868  
Old 02-09-2018, 10:00 PM
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Word definitions aren't facts. They're arbitrary conventions.
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  #869  
Old 02-12-2018, 07:02 AM
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And we're off....
Was that your intent?

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Please substitute your own facts at will.
No, we're using the "accepted standard" for facts, thank you.
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  #870  
Old 02-12-2018, 07:33 AM
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People put their own connotations on a word, and then argue about these instead of the actual thing itself.
Connotations matter. "Eugenics" is, in theory, a perfectly neutral word, meaning "the science of improving a population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics." Sounds reasonable, right? Sounds like something we could do intentionally to humans to make the human race better. Except that in the past, we've tried that, and the word has gotten some downright gruesome connotations attached to it.

Similarly, when you call something an "abberation", you are putting a negative spin on it. You are specifically choosing a word with those negative connotations to describe something as "different, not typical", when as others have pointed out there are many other words you could have chosen which don't have that connotation. That says something, and if it's not your intent to say that, you should stop using that word to refer to various minority groups.

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I agree there are negative connotations, as most people perceive it.

That however does not mean one can change the definitions of things to suit your own agenda.

So ,gays are aberrant by definition, but so are genius's, prodigies, most basketball players, redheads, and on, and on.
When's the last time you heard someone say, "Geniuses are aberrant"? It... generally doesn't happen, right? It sounds weird, and wrong in a way. Same with "pro basketball players are aberrant". It's a really weird thing to say! Even if the definition technically works, and all you mean is "most humans are not geniuses/pro basketball players", saying "geniuses are aberrant" sounds off. It sounds less like the kind of thing you'd hear from someone neutrally describing characteristics of geniuses, and more like something you'd hear shortly before the call goes out to round up everyone who can read.
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:40 AM
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So what you're saying is that his use of the word "aberrant" is aberrant?
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  #872  
Old 02-12-2018, 12:53 PM
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Sure, but under Grey's Anatomical Variations as set out by Stovold, moving right ear to left brain to larynx will put you in Nidd, and then where will you be? At least by engaging left lateralization you can play tonsils-amygdala-philtrum and as everyone knows it's a short hop from there to your ultimate goal.
Is that, like, a REALLY esoteric version of rock-paper-scissors?
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:08 PM
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Is that, like, a REALLY esoteric version of rock-paper-scissors?
More like Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock, using the rules book from Diplomacy, sprinkled with a bit of Shoots and Ladders, and played on a Twister mat. Of course, this only applies to the 1974 Tunderhill Codicil. Other variants are too esoteric to be mentioned in polite conversation.
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:12 PM
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And we're off...<SNIP>
You know, letting Laurna Tallman provide her own response to Czarcasm's questioning of her chosen terminology was also an option.

Especially since it's VERY unlikely that a non-negligible percentage of the participants in this thread actually NEEDED your etymology "lesson." Just as it's probable that YOU didn't strictly REQUIRE the subsequent explanations of semantics and semiotics that were offered to you.


(N.B. to the thread participants at large: I require some reassurance, at least. Did I use "semiotics" appropriately, above?)
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Old 02-12-2018, 01:19 PM
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More like Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock, using the rules book from Diplomacy, sprinkled with a bit of Shoots and Ladders, and played on a Twister mat. Of course, this only applies to the 1974 Tunderhill Codicil. Other variants are too esoteric to be mentioned in polite conversation.
Just don't play with the Free Parking rule. It's not official and it ruins the game.
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Old 02-12-2018, 04:02 PM
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More like Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock, using the rules book from Diplomacy, sprinkled with a bit of Shoots and Ladders, and played on a Twister mat. Of course, this only applies to the 1974 Tunderhill Codicil. Other variants are too esoteric to be mentioned in polite conversation.
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Just don't play with the Free Parking rule. It's not official and it ruins the game.
You guys might want to be careful. I derailed a Pit thread into a sidetrack about fonts when I made a joke about Comic Sans. Y'all could be headed down the same path...

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  #877  
Old 02-13-2018, 04:31 AM
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You guys might want to be careful. I derailed a Pit thread into a sidetrack about fonts when I made a joke about Comic Sans. Y'all could be headed down the same path...
Sure, but you can take that path to Turnham Green via the adenoids.
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  #878  
Old 02-15-2018, 10:30 AM
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I'm late to this party and I didn't read all 11 pages, but to answer the original question. Most transgendered people have a fundamental denial of an observable fact. This does not mean that they are mentally ill. Mental illness is a cultural construct. A schizophrenic can be seen as we tend to see them as somehow fundamentally flawed, or they could be seen as a mystic capable of speaking with other worldly beings. Similarly someone with depression could be considered mentally ill, or they could be considered simply melancholic. A person that enjoys killing other people can be seen as a sociopath or they can be seen as a brave warrior. Moderns tend to like to place diagnoses on thoughts or behaviors that we see as deviating from an 'idealistic' norm, but that's only one way of viewing things. In a case where moderns don't diagnose a behavior, we could point at climate-change deniers. I'm sitting in 66 degree weather in West Virginia in February and it's not supposed to get below freezing for the next ten days. This has become an established pattern that didn't exist 30 years ago when I was a child. It's pretty obvious that something about the climate has changed, but we don't call people who deny this observable reality mentally ill (despite the fact that they may engage in self-harming behaviors like driving unnecessarily large vehicles or voting for people who want to make fossil fuels cheaper to use.)

So, to sum up. Transgendered people have no rational scientific basis that they either 'are' or 'are supposed to be' a gender different than their biological sex. This self-assessment can lead to behaviors that may be considered harmful to themselves(for instance, pre-pubescent hormone therapies or gender reassignment surgeries) but not all transgendered people do engage in behaviors that harm themselves(For instance, a transgendered person who expresses themselves through cross-dressing or through participating in activities stereotypically associated with another gender.) Whether that is mentally ill or not is a decision that culture has to make.
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Old 02-15-2018, 05:48 PM
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Most transgendered people have a fundamental denial of an observable fact.
False. Most transgender people are fully and consciously aware of the observable facts about the genitalia they were born with, and about the roles and behaviors that society traditionally associates with that type of genitalia. They are not in the least denying those facts.

All they're doing is giving those facts a lower priority in their own lives than the less easily observable facts about their own feelings and their own perceptions concerning what gender identity seems comfortable and natural to them.

There is nothing at all anti-factual or "in denial" about somebody saying, for instance, "I was born with a penis and a Y chromosome but I've always instinctively perceived myself as female and been more comfortable identifying as female. I think that my own well-established feelings about my gender identity are more important to my life and happiness than the anatomical/genetic sex characteristics I happened to be born with. If I choose to self-identify and present as female, it's no business of anybody else what's in my underwear, unless they are one of the few people who are authorized to be poking into my underwear."


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Originally Posted by senoy
Transgendered people have no rational scientific basis that they either 'are' or 'are supposed to be' a gender different than their biological sex.
Sure they do. There's nothing irrational or unscientific about gender-identifying differently from one's biological birth sex, if that's the way you personally feel about it.

The only thing that would make it seem irrational or unscientific would be if we insisted on the irrational and unscientific notion that personal, subjective gender identity always has to be identical to biological sex at birth.
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:19 PM
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There's a good deal of irony in a post that criticizes people for ignoring the science on climate change as support for an argument that ignores the science on gender identity.
  #881  
Old 02-16-2018, 01:43 AM
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Most transgendered people have a fundamental denial of an observable fact.

[...]

So, to sum up. Transgendered people have no rational scientific basis that they either 'are' or 'are supposed to be' a gender different than their biological sex.
(Kinda splicing this together to make it clear what you're talking about.)

Can you maybe define your terms? Because I don't want to get you wrong, but I think someone is a little confused here.

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Mental illness is a cultural construct.
Okay now this is just funny. Gender is an observable fact, but mental illness is a cultural construct. Hoo boy.

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A schizophrenic can be seen as we tend to see them as somehow fundamentally flawed, or they could be seen as a mystic capable of speaking with other worldly beings.
One of these characterizations is a bizarre strawman of the position "Schizophrenia is a mental illness we should treat"; the other is just batty. I've met a fair few schizophrenics. Many of them suffer as a result of the things going on in their head. Their brains work in ways that are different (we know they're not "speaking with other worldly beings"), and this causes them a lot of harm. These people aren't "fundamentally flawed" in any meaningful way, but they are generally sick. If their schizophrenia doesn't bother them, it's not schizophrenia. That's part of the basic definition of a mental illness - it has to actually harm the person who has it. Otherwise, there's not necessarily any real reason to treat it.

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Similarly someone with depression could be considered mentally ill, or they could be considered simply melancholic.
Hahahahaha no.

I have depression. It is not "being melancholic". I've been sad before. It's not pleasant. When my SO dumped me a while back, I was pretty miserable for a while. That's not depression. There's a metabolic problem with my brain that causes it to bombard me with negative intrusive thoughts. I spent a week last month terrified that I was going to kill myself, even though I don't want to kill myself. I felt worthless and terrible, even though I intellectually knew that I had a lot of people who loved me and cared about me. And my case was minor - there are people with depression who are completely incapable of seeing any joy or pleasure in anything they do, where their feelings are just completely numb all the time. They'd kill themselves to make it stop, and the main thing stopping them from killing themselves is very literally that they cannot find the energy to do it.

Depression is not just "being sad". It's a lot worse, and you'd do well to look into what it actually means.

This may sound harsh, but trust me, there's a reason for it. This mistake is really dangerous, because it's easy to make (especially with teenagers), and because depression is a legitimately dangerous disease. 50% of people who attempt suicide have major depression; 15% of people with depression die of suicide. Seriously - this is a disease that kills more than one in ten people who have it! And that sucks, because it's also very treatable, with the vast majority of people (80-90%) responding well to treatment. You just have to detect it first.

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A person that enjoys killing other people can be seen as a sociopath or they can be seen as a brave warrior.
Sociopathy isn't even an official term in psychiatry. The closest thing is antisocial personality disorder... but people with this disorder are not necessarily good soldiers. And taken out of that context, it's not even a question - this is a mental illness. Antisocial personality disorder can make you a danger to yourself and to others.

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Moderns tend to like to place diagnoses on thoughts or behaviors that we see as deviating from an 'idealistic' norm, but that's only one way of viewing things.
The DSM-V has a categorization for what it considers a mental illness:
Features

A
a behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern that occurs in an individual
B
the consequences of which are clinically significant distress (e.g., a painful symptom) or disability (i.e., impairment in one or more important areas of functioning)
C
must not be merely an expectable response to common stressors and losses (for example, the loss of a loved one) or a culturally sanctioned response to a particular event (for example, trance states in religious rituals)
D
that reflects an underlying psychobiological dysfunction
E
that is not solely a result of social deviance or conflicts with society
F
that has diagnostic validity using one or more sets of diagnostic validators (e.g., prognostic significance, psychobiological disruption, response to treatment)
G
that has clinical utility (for example, contributes to better conceptualization of diagnoses, or to better assessment and treatment)

Other Considerations

H
no definition perfectly specifies precise boundaries for the concept of either “medical disorder” or “mental/psychiatric disorder”
I
diagnostic validators and clinical utility should help differentiate a disorder from diagnostic “nearest neighbors”
J
when considering whether to add a psychiatric condition to the nomenclature, or delete a psychiatric condition from the nomenclature, potential benefits (for example, provide better patient care, stimulate new research) should outweigh potential harms (for example, hurt particular individuals, be subject to misuse)
Three key things: it hurts or disables the person who has it, it's not a normal response to typical stimuli, and it has an underlying psychobiological cause. Does that sound arbitrary to you? Because it doesn't to me. It sounds like we're treating diseases of the brain the same way you would treat diseases of any other organ. It's not about differing from "the norm". In fact, they go out of their way (largely in recognition of how they've screwed up in the past) to exempt things that are merely a matter of differences with society, so as not to pathologize things like homosexuality.


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This self-assessment can lead to behaviors that may be considered harmful to themselves(for instance, pre-pubescent hormone therapies or gender reassignment surgeries)
Um... No. No, this is not harmful to them. This is literally treatment for them. It helps them.

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  #882  
Old 02-16-2018, 09:21 AM
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Culture determines what is or is not mentally ill. A culture decides what behavior and thoughts it considers out of the norm and therefore worthy of treatment. This isn't something particularly controversial. We can actually see it ourselves. Homosexuality was a 'mental illness' within many people's lifetimes and now it's considered normal. You can say, "Well, we learned more about it," but that's not true. We just changed our mind as a culture about whether or not it was something that needed to be changed. There are some 'mental illnesses' that 'enjoy' nearly universal agreement that they are ill (Not too many people saying a catatonic schizophrenic is 'normal') Others are more debated. Depression is actually a great example because what people consider suffering from depression has shifted dramatically in only 30 years. Many more people are being diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders than even a short time ago. Most of this is simply that we have chosen to broaden our definition of depression and anxiety disorders. We have decided that people we would not have called mentally ill 30 years ago actually are mentally ill. It's a cultural call. We have decided that roughly 1/4 of people will have a mental illness at some point in their life. Other cultures might find that number itself to be a sign of serious problems with our society. Since most people live with a great deal of cultural superiority complex, we would say those societies are ignoring their mental health problems and they would say we just need to put more feet up people's butts instead of coddling them. I don't have an opinion on the matter.

To get back to the topic at hand, the very idea of 'gender' as defined by how one considers themselves rather than what equipment they got born with is a cultural construct. We as a culture have decided that you can actually be a gender different than what your genitals suggest. This is not a universal claim. Many cultures would consider the idea that someone with a twig and berries is actually a woman to be ludicrous and someone that thinks that about themselves to be mentally ill. There's no biological or rational basis for most beings (barring those with indeterminate sexual features) to think that they are anything other than their genitals suggest. One does not become a different 'gender' simply because one thinks themselves to be that gender. It's a belief that defies empirical and objective evidence to the contrary. We as a society though have determined that this belief is not mental illness, merely some other thing within the bounds of what we might call 'normal' thought. (I do want to say that much of what we call reality is socially constructed. This isn't a bad thing, it's simply how human societies work. I digress.) We have decided that the way to help them is to submit them to dangerous surgeries and hormone treatments so that they are more comfortable with what they see in the mirror. Whether this is helpful or harmful is a cultural decision, not an objective one. We have decided it's better in this particular case to treat the physical for the sake of the mental rather than treat the mental for the sake of the physical. It's a cultural call. What we have said is that when people have a disconnect between what they think their gender is and what their biology suggests their gender is, then we think it normal to change their biology, not their minds. That's fine, but I think we have to acknowledge that that's just what our culture is saying and it's not based on any objective truth.

If I truly believed myself to be an amorphous blob that biology somehow screwed up and began surgically removing my bones, you would likely say, "Wow, that person has a mental illness. We should try and see how to convince him that his body is normal and that he is mistaken in his belief that he is actually an amorphous blob." But, you are only saying that because 1) there aren't a whole lot of people thinking themselves to be amorphous blobs, so it's easy to say that my belief is 'abnormal.' and 2) our culture doesn't have a tradition of people who want to be amorphous blobs. If for some reason, 10000 years ago a random mutation in our brains led to large numbers of people thinking they are amorphous blobs, it is completely possible that right now, we would say that 'amorphous blobbians' are normal expressions of humanity and that we should be paying for bone removal surgery to help them escape being trapped in these 'false' bodies. The bottom line is that we construct what we consider normal and what we consider ill and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Last edited by senoy; 02-16-2018 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 02-16-2018, 09:30 AM
Gyrate Gyrate is offline
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So you're disagreeing with the DSM-V and prevailing medical science with regard to transgenderism and mental illness in general?
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Old 02-16-2018, 09:52 AM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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Culture determines what is or is not mentally ill. A culture decides what behavior and thoughts it considers out of the norm and therefore worthy of treatment. This isn't something particularly controversial. We can actually see it ourselves. Homosexuality was a 'mental illness' within many people's lifetimes and now it's considered normal. You can say, "Well, we learned more about it," but that's not true. We just changed our mind as a culture about whether or not it was something that needed to be changed. There are some 'mental illnesses' that 'enjoy' nearly universal agreement that they are ill (Not too many people saying a catatonic schizophrenic is 'normal') Others are more debated. Depression is actually a great example because what people consider suffering from depression has shifted dramatically in only 30 years. Many more people are being diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders than even a short time ago. Most of this is simply that we have chosen to broaden our definition of depression and anxiety disorders. We have decided that people we would not have called mentally ill 30 years ago actually are mentally ill. It's a cultural call. We have decided that roughly 1/4 of people will have a mental illness at some point in their life. Other cultures might find that number itself to be a sign of serious problems with our society. Since most people live with a great deal of cultural superiority complex, we would say those societies are ignoring their mental health problems and they would say we just need to put more feet up people's butts instead of coddling them. I don't have an opinion on the matter.
Agreed so far.

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To get back to the topic at hand, the very idea of 'gender' as defined by how one considers themselves rather than what equipment they got born with is a cultural construct. We as a culture have decided that you can actually be a gender different than what your genitals suggest.
Gender is a cultural construct, period. We as a culture, over a long time, attached an immense and complex significance to the sexual equipment people were born with, and over time it came to have a life of its own — that is, the contents of gender drifted pretty far from having anything directly to do with the sexual equipment per se.

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This is not a universal claim. Many cultures would consider the idea that someone with a twig and berries is actually a woman to be ludicrous and someone that thinks that about themselves to be mentally ill
Many cultures would continue to insist that the complex contends of gender were all characteristics of the sexual equipment when, in fact, that ain't so. You could, if you so desired, characterize such cultures, as cultures, as "mentally ill". It would be a metaphor, but "mental illness" is already a metaphor (minds don't have illness; brains could perhaps have illness but to consider someone to have a brain disease every time you find their thoughts indecipherable or weird is definitely metaphorical).


Quote:
There's no biological or rational basis for most beings (barring those with indeterminate sexual features) to think that they are anything other than their genitals suggest.
Here's where you're wrong. Gender is not the genitals. Gender is the entire mass of that complicated conceptual infrastructure that got associated with the genitals. And since more and more if it doesn't really have diddly squat to do with what kind of plumbing fixtures you pee from and get your erogenous tingles in, yet persists as social categories that affect how people are perceived, it's not batshit insane to decouple gender from the original biology, it's batshit insane to insist that gender is still all about biology.

It's not.


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One does not become a different 'gender' simply because one thinks themselves to be that gender.
That's somewhat true. Gender is not just one's self-identification. It's how one is perceived and treated as well -- the imputed gender, if you will. That's why transgender people come out, and it's why they modify their presentation so as to shift perceptions in other people's heads -- to obtain the imputed gender that matches their internal gender, their self-identification.

Last edited by AHunter3; 02-16-2018 at 09:52 AM.
  #885  
Old 02-16-2018, 10:22 AM
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So you're disagreeing with the DSM-V and prevailing medical science with regard to transgenderism and mental illness in general?
I am not disagreeing with anything. I'm saying that the DSM-V is a cultural construct. Just as the DSM-III which defined transgenderism as a mental illness was a cultural construct and just as the DSM-VI which we have no idea what it will call transgenderism is a cultural construct.

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Originally Posted by AHunter3
Here's where you're wrong. Gender is not the genitals. Gender is the entire mass of that complicated conceptual infrastructure that got associated with the genitals. And since more and more if it doesn't really have diddly squat to do with what kind of plumbing fixtures you pee from and get your erogenous tingles in, yet persists as social categories that affect how people are perceived, it's not batshit insane to decouple gender from the original biology, it's batshit insane to insist that gender is still all about biology.

It's not.
That's you creating a social construction of what you believe gender to be. There is no empirical or objective evidence to back up your claim. It's a philosophical claim without evidence and thus one which can be challenged by someone coming from a different culture. There is no empirical evidence that gender is anything more than biology. In fact, there's no empirical evidence that our minds are anything more than biology. It's up to a culture to decide which biology is wrong, the brain or the body.

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Originally Posted by AHunter3
That's somewhat true. Gender is not just one's self-identification. It's how one is perceived and treated as well -- the imputed gender, if you will. That's why transgender people come out, and it's why they modify their presentation so as to shift perceptions in other people's heads -- to obtain the imputed gender that matches their internal gender, their self-identification.
I'm not sure where you're going with this. It's true that a culture can define what it believes a gender to be and how it should be interacted with, but I don't think it has anything to do with mental illness. What society believes a person to be or how they should be treated has little to do with what they believe themselves to be. I think that we also have to differentiate between taking actions associated with a gender and actually believing oneself to be that gender. I am cisgendered male. I do many things that one might stereotypically consider female. Within a cultural context, I am performing female activities, but this does not mean that I believe myself to be female. I look in the mirror and say, "Hey look, there's the old block and tackle. I am definitionally male. I just happen to like ice dancing, fruity drinks and Broadway Musicals." It is conceivable that I could be someone that enjoys wearing dresses and high heels and does not care for anything culturally male. People who are unaware of my genitalia may even believe me to be female. This doesn't change what is biological fact, nor does it change whether or not I myself deny that objective reality or not.
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Old 02-16-2018, 10:30 AM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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One does not become a different 'gender' simply because one thinks themselves to be that gender. It's a belief that defies empirical and objective evidence to the contrary.
As AHunter3 and others have noted, you're mixing up gender with biological sex. They're not the same thing, any more than sexual orientation and biological sex are the same thing.

It makes no more scientific or rational sense to assume that having a penis and testicles inevitably correlates with a male gender identity than it does to assume that having a penis and testicles inevitably correlates with being sexually attracted to women.

Of course, it used to be that pretty much everyone in our society did make both those assumptions. But we eventually found out some more about the science, and in consequence people's assumptions have gradually started to shift to a greater awareness of the actual realities of sexual orientation and gender identity.



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Originally Posted by senoy
Mental illness is a cultural construct. A schizophrenic can be seen as we tend to see them as somehow fundamentally flawed, or they could be seen as a mystic capable of speaking with other worldly beings. [...] A person that enjoys killing other people can be seen as a sociopath or they can be seen as a brave warrior. [...]

Culture determines what is or is not mentally ill. A culture decides what behavior and thoughts it considers out of the norm and therefore worthy of treatment. [...] Homosexuality was a 'mental illness' within many people's lifetimes and now it's considered normal. [...] We just changed our mind as a culture about whether or not it was something that needed to be changed. [...] It's a cultural call. We have decided that roughly 1/4 of people will have a mental illness at some point in their life. Other cultures might find that number itself to be a sign of serious problems with our society. [...]

[...] the very idea of 'gender' as defined by how one considers themselves rather than what equipment they got born with is a cultural construct. We as a culture have decided that you can actually be a gender different than what your genitals suggest. [...] One does not become a different 'gender' simply because one thinks themselves to be that gender. It's a belief that defies empirical and objective evidence to the contrary. We as a society though have determined that this belief is not mental illness, merely some other thing within the bounds of what we might call 'normal' thought. [...] We have decided it's better in this particular case to treat the physical for the sake of the mental rather than treat the mental for the sake of the physical. It's a cultural call. [...] I think we have to acknowledge that that's just what our culture is saying and it's not based on any objective truth.
Has anybody else noticed this sort of "mental illness is a cultural construct" rhetoric about transgender issues as a weird kind of parallel to the "well hey, we're all sinners" rhetoric in opposition to gay rights?

It's that same peculiar vibe of an attitude that's superficially tolerant and sympathetic and nonjudgemental, but underneath the surface solidly rooted in rejection and condemnation.

"Gosh no, I would never judge or condemn homosexuals for what they do! That would be very arrogant of me, because we're all equally sinners in God's sight! (But my ideal of a loving sexual relationship is approved by God while theirs is fundamentally wrong and forbidden.)"

"Gosh no, I would never say that transgender people are all just delusional nutcases who oughta have their heads examined! That would be very narrow-minded of me, because mental illness is just a cultural construct! (But my perceived gender identity is self-evidently true and natural while theirs is obviously an unscientific reality-denying illusion.)"

Last edited by Kimstu; 02-16-2018 at 10:31 AM.
  #887  
Old 02-16-2018, 10:33 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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We as a culture have decided that you can actually be a gender different than what your genitals suggest.
There's no reason why genitals suggest anything about gender. There's no biological reason to have gender at all. Gender is entirely a societal construct.

The genitals tell you whether a particular pair of otherwise physically healthy individuals can conceive through biological copulation.

The genitals don't tell you anything about how those people as individuals should be considered by society. Gender is an entirely unnecessary concept as far as biology is concerned.

For whatever reason, we have structured society to have genders, and societies throughout time have structured it in different ways, with differing numbers of genders, and varying fluidity. No particular societal gender regime is dictated by biology.

Our gender system tells us things like how we should dress and how companies should market goods to us. Sometimes those things are benign for the most part. Sometimes they are discriminatory, like telling us what genders are appropriate for what kinds of employment.

But there's no biological reason why people of X gender should wear dresses, have long hair on their heads, and remove all other hair from their bodies, and people of Y gender should have short hair on their heads, let their body hair grow naturally, and wear trousers.

We know that these things are arbitrary because we can observe these fashions varying from place to place and changing repeatedly even during our lifetimes.

I live in a city in which more than 99 percent of men wear trousers, but when I occasionally see a man in a skirt (that is, a kilt) it isn't particularly remarkable, because we have a lot of Scottish cultural organizations locally. I know a man who wears a kilt pretty much every day. Probably 60-80 percent of the women on the streets are also wearing trousers, but it's not unusual at all to see one wearing a skirt or a dress.

If it were possible to sit in one place here and take a speed trip through the history of the town, you would see gender-based behavior constantly changing. There's nothing immutable about gender-based societal rules, or even the particular structure of the gender system.
  #888  
Old 02-16-2018, 10:47 AM
senoy senoy is online now
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I think we're talking at cross-purposes. If you define 'gender' to be things stereotypically associated with either the bearing or begetting members of our species, then you are correct. It's entirely and completely societally constructed and wanting to behave in a manner that society says doesn't correspond to whether you biologically bear or beget is really nothing more than preference.

That's not what we're talking about. Transgendered people are not saying, "I am male, but I like flowers and dresses." That's not a mental illness, that's an opinion (although again, mental illness is a cultural construct.) These are people saying "I have a penis, but deep down, I am a being that shouldn't have a penis; therefore, cut my penis off." That's a very different thing than merely saying that society doesn't like boys to cry, but you can if you want to.

Last edited by senoy; 02-16-2018 at 10:48 AM.
  #889  
Old 02-16-2018, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimstu
Has anybody else noticed this sort of "mental illness is a cultural construct" rhetoric about transgender issues as a weird kind of parallel to the "well hey, we're all sinners" rhetoric in opposition to gay rights?

It's that same peculiar vibe of an attitude that's superficially tolerant and sympathetic and nonjudgemental, but underneath the surface solidly rooted in rejection and condemnation.
This almost seems ad hominem. I come at it from a social constructionist viewpoint. Social Constructionism is a well-respected branch of sociology and applies to much more than just mental illness. It is just particularly apropos to mental illness.

Besides, it's heavily evidenced and you yourself likely have first-hand experience with social construction of both mental illness and reality. It's not simply apologetics for hate.
  #890  
Old 02-16-2018, 11:08 AM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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I think that we also have to differentiate between taking actions associated with a gender and actually believing oneself to be that gender. I am cisgendered male. I do many things that one might stereotypically consider female. Within a cultural context, I am performing female activities, but this does not mean that I believe myself to be female. I look in the mirror and say, "Hey look, there's the old block and tackle. I am definitionally male. I just happen to like ice dancing, fruity drinks and Broadway Musicals."
Now you're mixing up gender, biological sex, and gender conformity (or culturally determined gender roles).

Here's a handy reference sheet for telling the various concepts apart, from one layperson to another:

Genetic sex. The number and type of your sex chromosomes, as in XX, XY, XXY and other variants. Usually but not always determines a simple binary division between XX/uterus/female and XY/penis/male.

Anatomical sex. Your genitalia and other physical characteristics related to sex. Usually but not always correlates to genetic sex; exceptions include people with androgen insensitivity syndrome, who have XY chromosomes and internal testicles and no uterus, but female external genitalia, breasts, etc.

Assigned sex at birth. Your mother's obstetrician's best guess as to whether you should be classified biologically male or female, based on what they observe of your genitalia and if necessary genetic testing.

Gender identity. Your personal instinctive perception, beginning very early in childhood, of whether it seems more natural and right to think of yourself as male or female (or some combination, variant or alternative). Usually but not always correlates to genetic/anatomical/assigned sex.

Gender. A societal, cultural and legal label of "male" or "female". (Some cultures officially recognize a third gender status in addition to those two. Linguistic gender uses three categories, namely masculine, feminine and neuter.)

Gender roles/expectations. Culturally determined requirements, prescriptions and taboos about what kind of behaviors, appearance, etc., are appropriate for people in which gender category.

Gender conformity. The extent to which an individual's behavior and appearance matches the gender roles/expectations in their culture for the gender they're identified as.

Sexual orientation. The relation between your own sex/gender category and the sex/gender(s) of people you're sexually attracted to.

So, senoy, your self-description indicates somebody whose sex is (cisgender) male, whose gender identity and gender are also male, but who's slightly gender-nonconforming according to your culture's gender roles.

Nothing wrong with that. But it does not in any way invalidate or contradict the fact that some people can genuinely have both male assigned sex and female gender identity. And that has nothing to do with whether or not they like fruity drinks or ice dancing, or anything else concerning their gender conformity to either traditionally male or traditionally female gender roles.
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Old 02-16-2018, 11:34 AM
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I looked up "Social constructionism" on Wikipedia. The entry offered this as an example on social constructionist analysis (bolding mine):
Quote:
Ian Hacking, having examined a wide range of books and articles with titles of the form "The social construction of X" or "Constructing X", argues that when something is said to be "socially constructed", this is shorthand for at least the following two claims:
(0) In the present state of affairs, X is taken for granted; X appears to be inevitable.
(1) X need not have existed, or need not be at all as it is. X, or X as it is at present, is not determined by the nature of things; it is not inevitable.

Hacking adds that the following claims are also often, though not always, implied by the use of the phrase "social construction":
(2) X is quite bad as it is.
(3) We would be much better off if X were done away with, or at least radically transformed.

Thus a claim that gender is socially constructed probably means that gender, as currently understood, is not an inevitable result of biology, but highly contingent on social and historical processes. In addition, depending on who is making the claim, it may mean that our current understanding of gender is harmful, and should be modified or eliminated, to the extent possible.
In the words of Arte Johnson: verrry interesting.
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  #892  
Old 02-16-2018, 12:33 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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TThese are people saying "I have a penis, but deep down, I am a being that shouldn't have a penis; therefore, cut my penis off."
That is not the definition of transgender.

A transgender man is someone who wants to take on the societal traits of the masculine gender and be treated by others in ordinary societal interactions as someone of the masculine gender.

That doesn't necessarily have any connection to whether that person wants to have a penis.
  #893  
Old 02-16-2018, 12:45 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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I am not disagreeing with anything. I'm saying that the DSM-V is a cultural construct. Just as the DSM-III which defined transgenderism as a mental illness was a cultural construct and just as the DSM-VI which we have no idea what it will call transgenderism is a cultural construct.


That's you creating a social construction of what you believe gender to be. There is no empirical or objective evidence to back up your claim. It's a philosophical claim without evidence and thus one which can be challenged by someone coming from a different culture. There is no empirical evidence that gender is anything more than biology.
Sure there is. In our society, the wearing of skirts is part of femininity. It's part of gender. It doesn't have a goddam thing to do with biological sex equipment. To varying extents and across the timeframe of different decades, gender has been built into whether or not you have long hair, whether or not you can vote in elections, whether you do or do not need to register for the draft, the length of the heel and shape of the uppers of your footwear, whether a reputation for having a lot of sexual experience is sought or avoided, whether you can get credit in your own name, whether your own name is in fact the one you were born with or not after you get married, whether your summer shorts are cut to 1" below the crease of your legs or 1: above your knee, whether you do or don't wear lipstick and eye shadow and foundation and rouge, and a host of other things that don't have anything to do with whether your sex organs are innie or outie type or whether your genotype is XX or XY.

That's empirical data. It can be measured in experiments and it's predictable and repeatable.
  #894  
Old 02-16-2018, 01:00 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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Transgendered people are not saying, "I am male, but I like flowers and dresses."
That's not universally true. Do you know what the definition of "transgender" is? Transgender means your gender is something other than the gender that was "assigned to you at birth" (this is what I called "imputed" gender, above -- and it is usually anchored in other people's evaluation of your biological parts as male or female).

Nowhere does that definition require a transgender person to reject the body they were born with. Many do — they want their body to match their gender — but some do not, and some would use the word "male" to reference their biological bodily sex and use some other term to describe their gender —probably something other than "I like flowers and dresses".


Quote:
These are people saying "I have a penis, but deep down, I am a being that shouldn't have a penis; therefore, cut my penis off." That's a very different thing than merely saying that society doesn't like boys to cry, but you can if you want to.
It's not as different as you think. Let's go back to imputed gender, the gender that other people assign to you, attribute to you, generally on the basis of how you look. (your "presentation"). Let's say you're one of those people who was born male but, as you put it "likes flowers and dresses", except that it's more than just liking flowers and dresses, it's a complicated and rather wide gamut of characteristics. And let's say you are convinced that if people thought of you and treated you as one of the women, you would be regarded and treated more like who you really are. So you want that. Society doesn't like boys to cry "but you can if you want to", but the fact that you can if you want to doesn't keep other people from treating you differently than they treat girls if you do cry. You don't want them to treat you as a crying man or a crying boy if you do cry.

At what point, and after how many additional examples on top of "likes flowers, likes dressed, and cries", does it start to make logical sense to present as a woman so that people perceive you and treat you as one?

Everyone focuses on the penis-cutting part. Very few people with a full beard park their Harley in the parking lot and spit out their tobacco and go in to have the surgeon cut off their penis and give them a vagina and then go forth to live their everyday life looking like a very conventionally masculine man but with a vagina instead of a penis in their pants. So the penis-cutting thing really needs to be understood as part of an overall decision to present to the world as a female person in order to be understood and treated and interpreted and regarded as a woman.

If you think it is easy to get people to accept a male person as a feminine womanly person without getting reassignment surgery and putting on makeup and getting rid of facial hair and otherwise presenting as female, let me disabuse you of that.

Last edited by AHunter3; 02-16-2018 at 01:02 PM.
  #895  
Old 02-26-2018, 09:07 AM
Lannister Lannister is offline
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Gender dysphoria suffer

Felt like I was the wrong sex since about 12, now 27 and was depressed for most of this period. I didn't transition because I knew I wouldn't be happy with the results and nothings going to hide my ridiculously deep voice. I would just be a slowly balding dude in a dress... If I could take a pill to actually be a woman then I would take it without hesitation.
Think there's a trend of people doing it because their fetishistic tendency more than something more deep down.
Luckily for me I met a girl who was very open minded me and said something that really stuck with me. "It wasn't until my father was in his late 40s, he figured out what type of man he wanted to be".
I'm learning to accept myself and my masculinity, slowly but surely. By not calling it a "mental health" issue, you're robbing people of getting help and accepting themselves.
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Old 02-26-2018, 09:56 AM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Felt like I was the wrong sex since about 12, now 27 and was depressed for most of this period. I didn't transition because I knew I wouldn't be happy with the results [...]
I'm learning to accept myself and my masculinity, slowly but surely. By not calling it a "mental health" issue, you're robbing people of getting help and accepting themselves.
Nobody is claiming that transgender people can't have mental health problems. Of course people with depression, whatever their gender or gender identity or anything else, should be able to get help and accept themselves.

Yes, there are plenty of people for whom resolving their psychological issues with gender identity doesn't mean identifying as transgender. And that's fine. But it is not helpful to them or anybody else for society just to slap a one-size-fits-all "mentally ill" label on transgender identity.

What you should have been told back when you were 12 is not "If you ever think or feel that you're somehow 'the wrong sex' then you're mentally ill and you should get treated right away", but rather "If you have feelings of depression or dissatisfaction about your gender identity, there are a lot of possible reasons for that, and you should probably talk to a mental health professional knowledgeable about gender-identity issues to figure out how to resolve them".
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Old 02-26-2018, 10:20 AM
Lannister Lannister is offline
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Nobody is claiming that transgender people can't have mental health problems. Of course people with depression, whatever their gender or gender identity or anything else, should be able to get help and accept themselves.

Yes, there are plenty of people for whom resolving their psychological issues with gender identity doesn't mean identifying as transgender. And that's fine. But it is not helpful to them or anybody else for society just to slap a one-size-fits-all "mentally ill" label on transgender identity.

What you should have been told back when you were 12 is not "If you ever think or feel that you're somehow 'the wrong sex' then you're mentally ill and you should get treated right away", but rather "If you have feelings of depression or dissatisfaction about your gender identity, there are a lot of possible reasons for that, and you should probably talk to a mental health professional knowledgeable about gender-identity issues to figure out how to resolve them".
Well i'm certainly not arguing against people getting professional help, I feel like it's gone so far the other way. Transitioning people seem to be pushed onto taking the pills before they've exhausted physiological help, should be a last resort.

I can't help but think if you're talking to a mental health professional, then by definition, you have a mental health issue.

On an aside. Suicide rates are distributing high, maybe encouraging these people to transition isn't always the best thing to do. The biggest challenge transgender men in particular is loneliness. I would say most of these men are straight and lesbians aren't interested in MtF. Transitioning in my opinion, is a short term fix to a long term problem.
  #898  
Old 02-26-2018, 02:40 PM
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Posts: 57,108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lannister View Post
Well i'm certainly not arguing against people getting professional help, I feel like it's gone so far the other way. Transitioning people seem to be pushed onto taking the pills before they've exhausted physiological help, should be a last resort.
What exactly do you mean by "exhausted physiological help"?
How much time and/or money should be spent on this before they are allow another option?
  #899  
Old 02-26-2018, 11:08 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 33,806
The existence of biological male humans and biological female humans does not require the existence of a male gender and a female gender in society, just as languages can have varying numbers of genders of no genders at all.

Gender is like the existence of "the" in English, il/elle in French and der/die/das in German.

A human doesn't have to have a gender any more than the word "the" needs to have a gender. Or needs to have one of only two unchanging genders defined by biological sex.

A gender is a role in society. Roles in sciety need not be defined by whom you want to have sex with or whom you can conceive a child with biologically.

Last edited by Acsenray; 02-26-2018 at 11:13 PM.
  #900  
Old 02-26-2018, 11:20 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lannister View Post
I feel like it's gone so far the other way. Transitioning people seem to be pushed onto taking the pills before they've exhausted physiological help, should be a last resort.
Do you have any reason to believe that this feeling is justified by facts?
Reply

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