I just read this article – The Psychopathology of “Sex Reassignment” Surgery: Assessing Its Medical, Psychological, and Ethical Appropriateness. Read it – “here.”
By Richard P. Fitzgibbons, M.D., Philip M. Sutton, and Dale O’Leary.
Wow this was a powerful read. It put into clear written word many of the things I have been thinking about transgenderism / transsexualism. It clearly explains how it is technically impossible to change our sex. It explains how sex reassignment surgery is unethical for doctors to perform as it is mutilation of someone’s body. It explains how this surgery is unethical for those that go through it. It explains how people who have the desire for this surgery actually have psychological confusion about their sex and identity, and that the surgery often preempts the rigorous counseling and self-examination that is necessary to bring healing to the underlying problems and confusion.
The article is full of really interesting stuff. I don’t have time to talk about it all. But I highly highly highly suggest taking some time and giving it a slow read. I know it’s long, but it’s well worth it. I was thoroughly convinced by their arguments. At the end they come at the issue from a Roman Catholic perspective, but the majority of the article I think is convincing even if one does not believe in God at all.
I think gender identity problems are the result of psychological confusion and that sex reassignment surgery is not the solution. I know this is not the politically correct view, but it is the one I hold to. I have no hatred or fear of transsexuals (though I don’t appreciate what I view as deception of the public and those they get into relationship with. That concerns me greatly). Mainly I pity them as they have mutilated their bodies and not appreciated the body that God gave them. They have sought to take away their emotional pain by surgically altering their bodies. But this surgery only changes their appearance and not their underlying struggles, pain, and gender confusion.
One part of the article I thought was especially interesting. Here is a quote –
“Radical feminists embraced the idea that sex—the biological reality—could be separated from gender, which they viewed as an artificial social construct imposed on male and female bodies. For them, sex may be a biological given, but gender is in the mind and because it is constructed by social interaction, it can be deconstructed.
Those calling themselves transsexuals took the separation of sex and gender in a different direction; for them, gender was natural and sex could be constructed—the body modified to fit the mind.”
Such confusion. I think the feminists also are confused. I don’t buy into our culture’s new distinctions between sex and gender. It’s true that gender is a cultural construct. What it means to be male or female changes from culture to culture. But gender is not something that we just construct for ourselves or choose for ourselves. It’s utter nonsense to say you can be the female sex but have a masculine gender. That just means you don’t fit the gender stereotypes of a given culture. But gender stereotypes are stifling and problematic anyway. We’d be much better off to just talk about ourselves as men and women, as people used to do, and not talk about gender as a concept at all. Gender doesn’t actually exist. It’s just the name our culture has given to the stereotypes we have about males and female.
Males are males, even if the act in different ways. Females are females even if they act in different ways. We are born (almost all of us) as a genetic male or female. That is what we are, and it cannot be changed. We don’t then get to choose which gender we want to be, as if we can choose to be the “gender” that is normally associated with females. This is just nonsense and it frustrates me how confused our culture is. Instead of saying, “I’m a woman, but I’m going to live as the male gender.” Instead, she could say, “I am a woman, but the stereotypes in our culture about how women are supposed to live are stifling and wrong, so I’m going to live more assertively, and do a line of work that used to be just considered mens’ work.
Comments? Questions? I hope I’ve been clear enough about why I don’t buy into the prevalent usage of “gender” and “sex” in our culture today. If not, let me know and we can dialogue more about it.