The other side of the transgender debate…

Transgender--Time--Tipping Point

As the media and much of the American public celebrate the transition of Bruce Jenner to Caitlyn Jenner, there is an unreported down side to the realities of “gender fluidity.”  Only a few journals, blogs and websites have discussed the dark side of attempts at “gender reassignment.” 


Here are four of those articles, along with brief introductory quotes, beginning with two by Dr. Paul McHugh, former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  Dr. McHugh also served as University Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine before his retirement.


1.        Surgical Sex:  Why We Stopped Doing Sex Change Operations” by Dr. Paul McHugh was published by First Things (This article is from 2004 and is useful in providing additional details beyond the second article published recently in the WSJ.)


Two issues presented themselves as targets for [the Johns Hopkins] study. First, I wanted to test the claim that men who had undergone sex-change surgery found resolution for their many general psychological problems. Second (and this was more ambitious), I wanted to see whether male infants with ambiguous genitalia who were being surgically transformed into females and raised as girls did, as the theory (again from Hopkins) claimed, settle easily into the sexual identity that was chosen for them. These claims had generated the opinion in psychiatric circles that one’s “sex” and one’s “gender” were distinct matters, sex being genetically and hormonally determined from conception, while gender was culturally shaped by the actions of family and others during childhood. …


2.       Transgender Surgery Isn’t the Solution:  A drastic physical change doesn’t address underlying psycho-social troubles” by Dr. Paul McHugh was published by The Wall Street Journal.


[P]olicy makers and the media are doing no favors either to the public or the transgendered by treating their confusions as a right in need of defending rather than as a mental disorder that deserves understanding, treatment and prevention. This intensely felt sense of being transgendered constitutes a mental disorder in two respects. The first is that the idea of sex misalignment is simply mistaken—it does not correspond with physical reality. The second is that it can lead to grim psychological outcomes. …


3.      I Was a Transgender Woman” by Walt Heyer was published by Public Discourse, an online publication of the Witherspoon Institute.


I want to tell you my story. I want you to have the opportunity to see the life of a trans-kid, not in a polished television special, but across more than seven decades of life, with all of its confusion, pain, and redemption.


The Trans-Kid


It wasn’t my mother but my grandmother who clothed me in a purple chiffon dress she made for me. That dress set in motion a life filled with gender dysphoria, sexual abuse, alcohol and drug abuse, and finally, an unnecessary gender reassignment surgery. My life was ripped apart by a trusted adult who enjoyed dressing me as a girl. …


4.      “‘Sex Change’ Surgery: What Bruce Jenner, Diane Sawyer, and You Should Know” was written by Walt Heyer and also published in Public Discourse.


Bruce Jenner and Diane Sawyer could benefit from a history lesson. I know, because I suffered through “sex change” surgery and lived as a woman for eight years. The surgery fixed nothing—it only masked and exacerbated deeper psychological problems.

The beginnings of the transgender movement have gotten lost today in the push for transgender rights, acceptance, and tolerance. If more people were aware of the dark and troubled history of sex-reassignment surgery, perhaps we wouldn’t be so quick to push people toward it. …


The next post, this coming Thursday, June 18, 2015, will look at how deep cultural changes facilitate the increasingly widespread acceptance of gender fluidity.



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