I’ve taken a large leap from the normal kind of books I read, and am reading about science. I am interested in science, and I think it’s good for pastors like me to keep on learning about science, even if some of the stuff in science books is over my head. From one pretty complicated science book I’m reading now I gained some helpful knowledge that actually relates to our crossdressing struggles.
The book talks about “biological fatalism” a popular belief in our culture. Our culture assumes that people do not have much freewill but really have to follow their preset biology. So whatever behavioral problem a person has whether an eating disorder or someone who wants multiple sex partners or someone who gets angry a lot, they are told it’s not their fault. Their genes, their brain, and their biology made them do it. They can’t help it. Their brain’s pleasure center turns on when they do it, so they can’t be held accountable. (Sound at all like what people say about crossdressing?)
But this popular notion in our culture actually goes against the latest scientific and psychological research. I have been reading about how when you change your way of thinking, you change the way your brain wires itself. The book explains how this takes a great amount of work and can take a while. But they say change is possible, and changing our brain patterns is possible too. The book talks about how we must not give in to the belief that our biology determines our behavior, but realize we have the freedom to make choices.
For Christians then, this means that we do have the ability to go against temptations. Whether the temptation is alcohol or crossdressing or being unfaithful to a spouse, we have a choice. Some of our choices will mean losing out on pleasures. Some of our choices will go against what our body naturally wants. But the more we make the right choices, the more our body and brain will get used to making those right choices. The more we get pleasure from the things we should get pleasure from, the more our brains will line up with it so that we will want what is right more and more, and want what is wrong less and less.
I take great hope from this knowledge. And in fact, in my almost 1 year of not crossdressing, I think my brain has been starting to rewire itself. Sex with my wife is easy and more pleasurable than its ever been. I never have to worry about not being turned on by her anymore. And crossdressing, while still surely a temptation deep down, is rarely an issue. Most days I don’t think about it at all. And I honestly cannot remember the last time I desired to do it. My brain is relearning what it wants to get pleasure from, what it is used to getting pleasure from. The brain is a complicated thing beyond my understanding, but I believe in some ways the circuits and wiring for crossdressing in my brain are being overwritten.