I was thinking about weighing in on the recent controversies about laws concerning transgendered people in California. But ultimately I decided not to talk about it directly. In general, you all know my views already and it would get very tiring to comment on every law that comes up in the news about transgenderism or crossdressing. I’d rather spend my time helping people to think through the confused aspects of transgenderism and helping people to find healing from that struggle.
So on that note, here is an interesting article about a psychiatrist who says that scientifically there is no such thing as transgender. The article is called – Psychiatry expert: ‘scientifically there is no such thing as transgender.’
Coincidentally this article is about laws as well, specifically in Canada. But I’m more interested in what the psychiatrist claims. There is no scientific proof or basis for transgenderism. It is simply about people’s feelings. The psychiatrist is blunt and maybe even harsh, but he speaks the truth. But I still use the term “transgendered people” to refer to people who describe themselves as such, and for those who are experiencing emotional pain because they feel like they were born as the wrong sex. I acknowledge that such people exist and have those feelings. But I do not acknowledge that there are people who have the bodies of males but in reality are existentially females somehow in being or in their soul. I don’t even know what transsexuals mean by “soul” if they are not using the Christian understanding of “soul” (and the Bible leaves no room for a division between body and soul such that you could be male in one and female in the other. We are unified beings, mind, body, soul, and spirit). The psychiatrist is right that the only arguments transsexuals can make are based on emotional appeals.
This part of the article is perhaps most striking –
REAL Women provided the committee with evidence that post-operative trans-gendered individuals suffer substantially higher morbidity and mortality than the general population, placing the so-called “sex reassignment” surgery and hormone treatment under continued scrutiny.
They pointed out that a pioneer in such treatment, Dr. Paul McHugh, distinguished professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, stopped the procedures because he found that patients were no better adjusted or satisfied after receiving such treatment.
McHugh wrote in 2004 that “Hopkins was fundamentally cooperating with a mental illness” by catering to the desires of people who wanted surgery to change their biological sex.
“We psychiatrists, I thought, would do better to concentrate on trying to fix their minds and not their genitalia,” he stated, adding that “to provide a surgical alteration to the body of these unfortunate people was to collaborate with a mental disorder rather than to treat it.”
For those of you who are angered by this article, keep in mind that he and I are both advocating compassion and help to those struggling with these issues of sexual identity. We want to help, but believe that genital mutilation does not actually help. Rather the help needs to come in finding healing from the emotional and identity confusion that has developed in a person (through no choice of their own). I don’t deny that surgery might seem to bring about greater feelings of happiness for some (even though studies seem to show it doesn’t for most), but I think surgery doesn’t get to the root of the problems that were causing the gender confusion. I still think the very best thing a person can do, that will bring them the most healing and happiness, is to avoid the surgery and work on accepting themselves as the sex that they truly are, and working through the struggles and emotions that go along with that.