“Boys Can’t be Girls!” …Transitions in Transgender Acceptance

Nov 21, 2014

By Sarah Morehead 

The first time I experienced a friend coming out to me as an openly transgender woman, I was stunned. I hadn’t ever known anyone “like that” and didn’t know what to think, or how to process such a bizarre (to me) and abrupt (to me) change in someone I’d always known as a man. I had known a couple of out and proud gay men as dear friends on my long path away from religious fundamentalism, and those relationships sparked a huge domino effect in my personal growth, but the concepts outside of the gender binary “norm” were still pretty foreign to me.

Please understand what I mean by personal growth here – after years of effort to overcome the bigotry caused by decades of sermons like this, I’d finally realized that no one chooses homosexuality any more than they do heterosexuality. I understood that “they” lived lives as typical as any of “us,” and that life went on without incident even when they got legally married, or ran a scouting troop, or coached a youth team. It no longer bothered me to see same sex couples interacting in public, and I really thought I’d grown beyond all of the prejudices so deeply infused into the morals and values taught to me all my life. Despite growing up seeing demons of homosexuality cast out (here’s an example), I no longer thought it was bad or even a personal choice to be gay. I felt pretty enlightened, and after all, I even watchedBrokeback Mountain! But regardless of who they were attracted to, people (in my mind) were either declared men or women at birth, and that seemed clear enough to me (barring some chromosomal error or birth defect). Sure, men could be gay, and women could be lesbians, but men “becoming” women? Women “becoming” men? That messed my head right back up. You might not wake up one day and decide to be gay, but living as the opposite gender? That decision seemed pretty clear, and pretty optional in my mind.

I’ll call him Jim for the purposes of this article, but he was a longtime family friend who had known us and our kids for many years. I remember talking to him for hours at a time while he was going through a brutal divorce in another state, celebrating his kids’ birthday parties together, having family picnics in local parks, meeting his girlfriend (and eventual wife), and soon after their beautiful daughter.

I wasn’t a fundamentalist by the time he told me the news of his upcoming transition. I recall I was in my ‘spiritual but not religious’ stage (probably yellow on the Spectrum of Disbelief – see image on the right), but I distinctly remember trying to understand how something “like this” could happen. I also worried about what to tell my kids, who at the time ranged in age from infant to teens (those kids are now teen – adult). Voices whispering condemnation echoed from the wooden pulpits I thought I’d stashed far away in the dark corners of my memory. They clashed noisily with the caring friendship I’d always had with this person – his her goofy grin shone throughout our photo albums for so long. Why did he she want to do this? What about his her kids? What about mine? What do I call him her now? What did this mean for our friendship? It was tremendously confusing to me, and unsurprisingly my greatest concerns were pretty self-centered.  It seemed to change everything about how I viewed him her, and while my response to him her was supportive and accepting, my own confusion couldn’t have been more obvious.

Judgment and disdain seems to be a common reaction when people view something as a choice instead of an inherent right or need being fulfilled. It’s so much easier to slip into the smug luxury of presuming WE would have chosen differently when looking at the “sin” of others, and of course we’d choose better if presented with the same situation! When something is understood to be a biological need, at least regarding the people I’ve interacted with who overcame similar prejudices, it seems a lot easier to accept even if we don’t yet understand it entirely. Homosexuality was like that for me. Once I understood the complexities behind the biology of sexual orientation, learned you can’t “fix” homosexuality through reparative therapy, and realized same-sex activity is seen throughout the Animal Kingdom, I eventually learned my lesson about how wrong I’d been all those years. But outside of hateful slurs and whispered rumors of dirty, perverted men cross-dressing, I had barely even heard the term transgender, much less understood it, so trying to even comprehend the idea as it related to my friend was an incredible challenge.


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74 comments on ““Boys Can’t be Girls!” …Transitions in Transgender Acceptance

  • I don’t understand why this is not seen a a neurological disorder. I have personally known more than one transgender person who is attracted to the same sex they were trying to be! Wanted to be lesbians! They should be treated with respect but this might be a treatable disorder. Think scientifically and rationally and rewrite your article! Pathos should play no part in a scientific hypothesis



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  • Honestly I try to be open minded but I have to agree with Clayton here that there’s something else going on. I’ve used the example of Furries in the past. If I were to declare that I was a racoon trapped in the body of a human and dressed in a fur suit I might be tolerated but it’s doubtful that tolerance would extend to finding a surgeon who’d alter my body to resemble a 200 lb racoon. It’s even more socially intolerable to decided that you’re the wrong race. I for sure can’t check off the African American box on a form when it asks for race and expect to get away with it!

    Excluding some very rare but also very obvious genetic disorders I can no more claim that I should really be a female than I can declare I’m the wrong kind of vertebrate. If you have the genes and the plumbing there’s no reason to think that any urges to the contrary exist anywhere outside of you brain.



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  • To the best of my knowledge, they’ve yet to develop a pill that can dissolve Y chromosomes. I have no problem at all with anyone choosing to live as the opposite gender of what they are, as it has no effect whatsoever on my life. However, should they enter the dating world, I do believe it is incumbent upon them to immediately be up front about what the person they are dating can expect to see, the first time they are naked in front of each other. For the most part, transgenders seem to agree with me on this (if YouTube is any indication).



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  • Another example of god’s unintelligent design. Plumbing that’s wonky. Two hot taps and two cold taps, or varying permutations. Brain’s and bodies out of alignment. I’d sue god.

    But it does make the homophobic religious look pretty stupid when they try to argue choice and then making it a sin, or worse, a crime. It is one of the greatest sins of the modern world that we discriminate against anyone on the basis of sexual orientation or body parts. Get over it.



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  • Trangenderism (hopefully this term is neutral enough, I’d ask you to treat is as neutral anyway) is a very large subject. And to make things worse it has a massive “moral” overcast over it, which makes rational arguments especially difficult. I’m trying to initiate one, but I can’t make any promise.

    Psycological research on the matter is still ongoing: we do not know what is the cause of transgenderism. Specifically, we don’t know how much of a “choiche” it is and how much “hard wired” it is. More precisely: we don’t know whether an individual can choose to be a transgender or if that is a part of his phenotype -much like a preference for homosexual behavior is phenotypical and not choosen.

    I do not have very reliable data for what I’m about to state in this paragraph, and if someone does have them it’s very welcome (and not only by me) to reference them: transgenderism is more common among men than among women. This observation is based on the work of a psychologist I know, who works with transgenders since years and, so far, she only saw one woman transitioning to a men against dozens of men transitioning to women. If such an asymmetry is confirmed, I’d take it as a proof of hard wiring against choice, since women and men are not different in the ability to choose for themselves (and I hope nobody even tries to disagree on this).

    Another aspect that I would consider is: it is possible to establish (up to an uncertainty, like everything in science) whether an individual claiming to be a transgender is actually one or she/he is just pretending to be one in response of some other psychological knot she/he might have -for example, an individual who’s refusing his/her homosexual tendencies so much that a change in gender would be preferable than acceptance. And this evaluation is not just based off a sheet of paper you put crosses on (there are them as well, and they are a very big bundles of pages), but also a good number of interviews. The possibility to tell “true” transgendes from “false” transgenders could also be taken as an argument in favour of it being a hard wired behavior rather than a matter of choice.

    Another interesting bit of research which can be done -but I didn’t do it yet, except in a very superficial way is: do chromosomical aberrations regarding the sexual pair affect the matter of individual gender perception? I’d expect to see at least correlation. But, again, I’m not aware of any research on this matter. And yet another interesting question you can ask is whether transgenderism does appear among animals other than Homo S.Sapiens.

    A concievable indication of a choosen bevaiour would be, though, the fact that transgenderism manifests itself relatively late in life. But then again, genes are not all expressed in the same manner from the embryo to death…

    That said, whether it is a choosen behavior or not, it does not damage society in any possible way. It’s a matter that affects only the transgender individual and, eventually, the partner -who is also free to walk away, although I doubt she/he would do that. This does not affect any third party.

    I consider way more damaging for society to (continue to) discriminate, on a very quesionalble moral basis, against people who choose to -or just are bound to it by their genes- change their gender or have a certain sexual orientation. The quality of an individual at work, in the family or among others is not a sexual organ, and her/his choices and phenotypical aspects regarding the shape or the usage of her/his sexual organs must be left out while evaluating those qualities.



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  • It is one of the greatest sins of the modern world that we discriminate against anyone on the basis of sexual orientation or body parts. Get over it.

    I absolutely agree.



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  • 7
    Katy Cordeth says:

    Your furries argument reminds me of the one sometimes employed by those who oppose marriage equality. To wit, if people of the same gender are allowed to get hitched, what’s to stop someone who wants to wed his favorite dog from going ahead and booking the church? Raccoons and human beings do have a common ancestor, as everything does, but that’s going back several million years. Although it may not always seem like it, men and women belong to the same species. Consider fraternal (dizygotic) twins of different sex. I don’t think there’s ever been an instance of a human female giving birth to twins one of which was human and the other procyonid, although I’m happy to be proven wrong.

    The racial argument doesn’t work either, because race is a superficial, social construct. If you want to identify as African, you’re welcome to. I understand there’s even a t-shirt for sale on this very site with which you can do just that.

    Clayton’s own argument is invalid because gender identity isn’t about what sex one is attracted to, even if the occasional intellectually challenged individual seems to think some men are such pervs they would willingly cut their own cock off if it meant they got to peek at ladies in a state of undress.

    Excluding some very rare but also very obvious genetic disorders I can no more claim that I should really be a female than I can declare I’m the wrong kind of vertebrate. If you have the genes and the plumbing there’s no reason to think that any urges to the contrary exist anywhere outside of your brain.

    What about hormones? I’m sure I remember hearing something once to the effect that if a couple has only boys, the chances of one being born homosexual increases as they continue to reproduce. Something to do with evolution’s providing this family with a second nurturer rather than another mammoth hunter who will abandon the cave and start his own brood as soon as he comes of age. The father doesn’t produce enough girl sperms, or his boy ones are just such fast swimmers, that the mother’s body eventually decides to squirt a few lady hormones onto fetus number five or six; it can’t do anything about the Y chromosomes but it sure as heck can feminize this latest boy.



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  • I have never had any problem with F -> M transsexuals. If I found myself in a female body, it would be a very high priority to get out. M -> F acceptance is much more of a problem. It seems so strange to want to give up all the benefits of being male, and taking on onerous tasks around appearance, dress and grooming. It seems like a terrible trivialisation of life. My ex (male) was fascinated by transsexuals. It did not click until after he dumped me he too was contemplating a sex change. Later a male friend transitioned and became an extremely glamorous female. He had had been an unusually homely male. He was just radiant. Whatever floats your boat.

    The person I have the least trouble with is a M -> F who is an engineer. She is super competent at absolutely everything. There is no way being female inhibits her in any way.

    The big problem of a transition is it limits your choice of partner. Not that may people are willing to consider a transsexual as a partner. The sad part is most transsexuals cannot save enough money for the operation until relatively late in life.



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  • Lorenzo Nov 22, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Trangenderism (hopefully this term is neutral enough, I’d ask you to treat is as neutral anyway) is a very large subject. And to make things worse it has a massive “moral” overcast over it, which makes rational arguments especially difficult. I’m trying to initiate one, but I can’t make any promise.

    Many of the problems come from the discontinuous mind which wants classifications in boxes as absolutes. Physical and mental developmental diversity across species, does not work like that.

    Psycological research on the matter is still ongoing: we do not know what is the cause of transgenderism.

    We do however know what causes physiological developments associated with this.

    http://10e.devbio.com/article.php?id=266
    * Classifying newborn infants as to whether they are male or female is usually straightforward. One looks at the phallus and sees whether it is a penis (long) or clitoris (short). One looks to see if there are two labia (vaginal lips) or if they have fused into a scrotum. One also can look to see if the urethra (the excretory tube from the bladder) opens through the phallus (as in males) or if it has a separate opening (as in females). However, sometimes nature does not give you an either/or situation. Guinet and Decourt (1969) for instance, described 98 cases of “true” hermaphroditism, wherein a person had both ovarian and testicular tissue. In some cases, the phallus is somewhere in between that of a penis and a clitoris. In some cases, the labia were partially fused and the urethra ran close to the phallus. In such cases, the menstrual blood exited during urination. Some hermaphrodites had penises and large breasts*.

    Hermaphrodites have created some interesting situations. In 1843, Levi Suydam, a 23 year old resident of Salisbury, Connecticut, asked the town magistrates to validate his right to vote as a Whig in a particularly divisive local election. The opposition party raised objections, saying that Levi was really a woman and therefore unable to vote. A doctor examined him and declared that he had a penis and was therefore a man. Duydam voted and the Whig candidate won by a single vote. Within a few days after the election, Suydam had his monthly menstrual bleeding (Fausto-Sterling, 1993). Hugh Young (1937) relates that one of his patients, a hermaphrodite named Emma had a penis-sized clitoris and a vagina. Raised as a girl, she could have “normal” heterosexual relationships with both men and women. And she did. She functioned sexually as both male and female all her adult life.

    In the animal and plant kingdoms, there are many hermaphrodite species, some of which change gender part way through their lives.

    http://www.coralscience.org/main/articles/development-5/fish-sex-change

    Much of the human confusion is from those “educated” by dogmatic mythology rather than science!



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  • 10
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    One question that comes to mind is…. Do transgenders have any possibility of a sex life after a surgical procedure? For example in a F–> M scenario, the person ends up with equipment that looks like a penis and testicles but from what I’ve read, the equipment is non-functional. Doesn’t undergoing such a procedure necessarily imply giving up one’s ability to have real sex?



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  • 11
    Katy Cordeth says:

    I would imagine female-to-male gender reassignment surgery recipients have a better chance of enjoying a sex life following the procedure than those who undergo the male-to-female change. If I understand things correctly, in the former instance the clitoris remains intact and through the introduction of male hormones grows to become a small penis, the clitoris and penis being homologous. All pleasure-providing nerve receptors remain intact. In the latter, the testicles are removed, essentially creating a eunuch, and the penis hacked up and inverted to fashion a vagina. I don’t see how any sensation could remain after this. The prostate gland is still there, though, so who knows?



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  • 13
    Lorenzo says:

    Many of the problems come from the discontinuous mind which wants classifications in boxes as absolutes. Physical and mental developmental diversity across species, does not work like that.

    That is very true. And if you begin to think about how you make make a distinction between women and men, say, walking down the street you fell into a very weird rabbit hole. The procedure is largely automatized and it’s also very prone to mistakes -once you set apart your own pride, you really have to admit it.

    This also taps in the related field of the gender image construction.

    Hermaphrodites have created some interesting situations.

    Hermaphroditism and transgenderism are different phenomena: you have hermaphrodites which develop more into one gender than in one other and perfectly defined -phisically- individuals which develop in a direction which is either hybrid or mostly different from their physical gender. For the reason I listed above, I think it’s more likely that the devolpment of the gender is somewhat independent from the individual’s will. Further studies are needed (and much technical development as well).

    In the mean time, and also in the future, discriminating against those individuals who happen to have a mismatch between their gender and their physical attributes is barbaric and actively damages the society, just like any discrimination out there.



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  • 14
    Bradford says:

    It’s not a neurological disorder because it doesn’t harm the individual to be transgender. You claim that this is unscientific, but it’s clear that you feel shocked morally, and THAT is what is really unscientific. It’s not typical to be transgender, but it’s not typical to be a genius either or to be ambidextrous, and we agree that it’s not a disorder to be an ambidextrous genius. It’s acceptable to be an ambidextrous genius, but trans people face discrimination, and that’s because people view gender through a strong emotional bias. The worst part is, you’re on a scientific skeptic website promoting this intolerant rubbish!



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  • 15
    Bradford says:

    Don’t be silly. There is no physiological basis other than schizophrenia for a human to identify as a racoon. Most trans people are not schizophrenic. You’re not making a valid analogy. Even if the transgender identity exists only in the brain, that doesn’t mean it’s not real.

    Neurology shows us that there is a PHYSICAL explanation for identity and consciousness. If you do an MRI on me while I’m listening to spoken Mandarin, my brain would visibly react differently than that of a non-speaker. You wouldn’t argue that there’s no physiological basis for THAT, would you? I have no Chinese ancestry – does that make my Mandarin listening comprehension ability factitious solely for that reason? Maybe we don’t yet understand WHY people are transgender, but we should accept that there is a physiological basis for their identity that is not a disorder.



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  • 16
    Bradford says:

    Obviously, I’m not “transethnic” (not likely a real thing) because what languages I speak have nothing to do with my body image. The point is, there’s a physical explanation for how a person thinks, and something atypical can’t be labeled a disorder unless it’s harmful.



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  • 17
    Clayton says:

    Not schizophrenic, but if there were no problem, what’s the point of the drastic physical alterations? It isn’t about sexual attraction either ( so I’m told and have witnessed). Whatever is making transgender people feel the way they do must be horrible! Don’t you feel there needs to be more research into why certain people are unable to live with the reproductive organs they were born with?



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  • That’s all nice but it doesn’t change the fact that a majority of gender assignment operations are performed on physically healthy human beings and amount to nothing more than mutilation to achieve a cosmetic effect. Because it in some way relates to sexuality in the minds of most it’s given a pass on any sort of objective judgement.



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  • Transgenders who carry out gender reassignment surgery are twice cursed. Their dissonant identification with the opposite gender not only has negative consequences for those who know them – family, friends, colleagues – but even more grave consequences for the transgender person himself/herself.

    Personally the folks commenting on this thread may have no problem maintaining status quo ante relationships. Most people, including myself, will feel unease in the presence of the bearded, muscular, deep-voiced “Joe” who has been radically transformed into the big breasted, smooth faced, swishing, soft-voiced “Mary.” Some will proclaim, “that’s your problem.” No it isn’t. Most people, especially transgenders, simply recognize sex-gender as a holistic element of personhood for social, cultural and biological reasons. (Sexual orientation, though related, has lost much of its stigma affecting perceptions of personhood.) People seldom lose awareness of the gender of the person they are relating to. Speaking as a cisgendered older man (I hate the word “cisgendered”), I’m still charmed and attracted at an emotive level – devoid of romantic or sexual fantasy – by a beautiful young woman I’m conversing with at a dinner party. Surely the effect she has on men does not escape her attention.

    Having said that, transgenders in fact do not surrender personhood and in no way should be regarded as less-than-human freaks. We must educate ourselves to shift perspective on gender from “essential” to “constructed” in the very, very rare cases of transgenderism or hermaphroditism. Perhaps over future generations, society will learn how to shift gears on perspectives of gender mis-identification to integrate the tiny handful of transgenders into the social mainstream. Those who maintain that we should simply hitch up our trousers and do it because it’s “right and easy” are out of touch with reality.

    To be sure transgenders cannot help the way they are. Their gender mis-identity is usually hard-wired neurologically and, in cases, not rooted in psychological disorders, they have no choice. “Choice” however rears its ugly head when the transgender person elects to undergo gender reassignment surgery. The surgery is highly invasive, prolonged and painful. The purpose is to reconfigure the physical features of genitals, the chest, and secondary sex characteristics using sex-specific hormonal treatments affecting body hair, breasts, fatty curves replacing muscle mass, etc. in order to simulate the physical appearance of a person of the opposite sex. People may reasonably describe the extensive operations and treatments as voluntary disfigurement. Postmodern arguments labor to make the distinction between “sex” and “gender” with some helpful insights, but there can be no argument that hysterectomies, castration, mastectomies, breast implants, chest reconstruction followed up with hormone treatments are all physical procedures designed to change physical sex characteristics separate per se from any gender identification issues in the patient’s mind.

    The transgender person must live with the physical, psychological and social consequences. Those who come to regret it must live out their lives in irreversible misery. Those generally content or pleased with their “new” bodies must confront psychological ambivalence about the dissonance between their surgically/hormonally transformed gender appearance and their birth sex/gender appearance. They must also accept various social distancing reactions others may exhibit excluding, of course, any violations of their civil and human rights.



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  • David Another example of god’s unintelligent design. Plumbing that’s wonky. Two hot taps and two cold taps, or varying permutations. Brain’s and bodies out of alignment.

    Like



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  • 22
    Bradford says:

    I can’t adequately explain gender dysphoria because I’m not trans, but I imagine that the gender-related stress comes largely from our society’s behavioral expectations. As for the reproductive organs, it’s not exclusive to trans people to have body image issues. There certainly will be more research into this subject in the coming years. With the medical imaging technology available these days, I’m sure this puzzle will be solved. Until then, I’m content with being fair and polite to transgender people. I think a lot of men find gender-bending to be a threat to their own masculinity, but I’m confident enough as a dude to just not care how other people live their lives. As I see it, I’m not less of a man’s man for tolerating other peoples’ identities.



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  • 24
    Clayton says:

    I wouldn’t place gender reassignment surgery in the same category as a nose job. It must be much worse to be cursed with an ailment that makes you so uncomfortable in your own skin that, regardless of social stigma, you decide its better to go under the knife than to go on living with the gender you were born with. There’s got to be an alternative treatment to surgery. Its nearly impossible to make the appearance of a transgender female passable after puberty. Can’t really make a truly functional penis



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  • Clayton,

    Since the EU was formed, they have been trying to classify the perfect banana, sausage etc, so that we can class and price variations. Are we comfortable with doing that to humans? Surgery is not a treatment. It’s an acceptance that there is more than just the reality in your head. IMO.



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  • and amount to nothing more than mutilation to achieve a cosmetic effect.

    Oh, and greater happiness and a livable life.

    Ain’t folk funnier than you can imagine?

    Yep. Yes they are.



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  • Its nearly impossible to make the appearance of a transgender female passable after puberty.

    Or we could accept them as they are, or how they choose they want to be, without judgement. It’s none of our business.



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  • fact that a majority of gender assignment operations are performed on physically healthy human beings

    Imagine that. Try to improve on god’s perfect design that made them that way in the womb.

    @wdbailey. Maybe if we didn’t make it an issue in society, it wouldn’t be an issue with a person born transgender, or anyone else born somewhere other that “normal” on the human sexuality spectrum. Maybe they wouldn’t be so desperate to confirm to the norms of societal sexuality, that they even need to undergo surgery.



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  • David R Allen Nov 23, 2014 at 1:51 am

    Maybe if we didn’t make it an issue in society, it wouldn’t be an issue with a person born transgender, or anyone else born somewhere other that “normal” on the human sexuality spectrum.

    There are whole ranges of media generated problems of mental body images, based on fantasy “ideal” body forms presented by the fashionistas of TV, magazines, and Hollywood!

    These result in psychologically weak people seeking steroids, implants, enhancements and reductions, to comply with some fantasy air-brushed media “norm”.

    There are also issues of the effects of advertised junk-food, “wonder diets”, and magic pills which are supposed to take over individual responsibility for healthy eating, and compensate for the greasy-burger, chocolate, and sugar diet!

    Then there is the cosmetics industry which invents “image problems” which its expensive products are sold to “remedy”!

    The slaves of commercialism and “group-think”, really have their confidence undermined, so they can be milked for their hard-earned money!



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  • There are whole ranges of media generated problems of mental body images, based on fantasy “ideal” body forms presented by the fashionistas of TV, magazines, and Hollywood!

    Alan speaks the truth. Listen to the voice of this elder.

    This is a saying I made up once. I put it on one of my TShirts. “Love me for who I am, not what I look like.”

    Sometimes I wonder whether humanity is not just another Shakespearean tragedy. Or maybe god is laughing at us. Turned up his creation dial on the intelligence scale and realized that that doesn’t work. The most intelligence species that has ever existed on this planet, yet so shallow and stupid that we may be the first species to ever voluntarily go extinct.



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  • Maybe if we didn’t make it an issue in society, it wouldn’t be an issue with a person born transgender,

    But mostly it would. From all that I’ve seen and read, it is about how you feel on your own. Meeting people is not the issue. (Transvestism can usually cut it for those anyway.) It is seeing yourself in the mirror and not recognising yourself.



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  • 33
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    Thanks for the video. It was very touching and quite an eye-opener. I look at that child and I see a person who not only looks like a girl but talks and acts like a girl and has girl tastes. IMHO, this is not a person with a mental condition but a person with the genuine identity of a girl. Of course, young age does play a factor in the appearance but still…

    I’m happy for her that she has good parents who are loving and supportive but at the same time, I feel sorry in advance for the ordeal that awaits her should she decide to go ahead with the HRT and surgery. Her life will not be an easy one, regardless of the path she chooses.



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  • The 1986 film, “Children of a Lesser God,” dramatized the romantic relationship between a speech teacher and a deaf girl with some insights into the “culture” of the deaf. Following on the heels of the release, a spate of articles emphasized the pride that the deaf took in their own identity, especially sign language communication. Ardent deaf proponents of the culture scorned procedures which might restore hearing insisting on the unique virtues of their special identity.

    Herein lies the intractable dilemma, the anguished ambivalence which emerges from the comments on this topic. No one wants to marginalize human beings with physical or mental disabilities fearing the slippery slope to ridicule, discrimination and ostracism. Our better nature wants to embrace afflicted people as equals in every sense. We mollify ourselves with disingenuous sentiments like: “If I think there’s something wrong with them, it’s my problem not theirs.”

    Sadly most people, however well intentioned, cannot achieve the ideal. We do internalize judgements of conditions and behavior along a spectrum which locates a variable range of preferable “normal” outcomes based on reason, morality and emotion. Outside the range of what we perceive as normal from a specific point of view, we reflexively make negative judgements great and small. The politically correct idealist striving for a utopian society is in vehement denial of this aspect of human nature.

    The transgender person feels that he-she is trapped in the sexual body of his-her opposite gender. Consistent with the observations of Clayton and others I cannot imagine a more dreadful place to be.
    I do not observe this principally from my own perspective. Although some trans folks are nominally content with their condition, I would suspect, based on accounts, that the vast majority suffer through life with nightmares of unimaginable horror.



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  • and the penis hacked up and inverted to fashion a vagina. I don’t see how any sensation could remain after this.

    On a documentary about this surgery, they take a small are of the penile hood, the nerves that produce orgasm and graft it in the clitoral position. I understand from recipients of this surgery, that they can enjoy a “full” sex life.



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  • mutilation is a very emotive and judgemental term but if you feel it’s correct then we could point out that many forms of permanent physical changes are made by apes, from tattoos and body piercings to cosmetic surgery for example, which have the same basic need, insomuch as the individual chooses to make that permanent change to their body to suit their own ends. Because they feel it’s who they are, that they want a body that fits their personality.

    After all it’s what’s inside that matters isn’t it? no nelightened human could ever honestly feel they are in an objective position to make a judgement on someone else right?

    After all even the most god fearing must know god doesn’t make proper humans, they’re all too sexual so he has instructed his followers to finsish up for him, just take of the bits they might like when they’re older….

    of course infant/child gentital mutilation is a different thing altogether isn’t it? because they don’t make the decision



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  • As a transsexual woman – i simply cannot believe the amount of hurtful, ignorant and downright transphobic prejudice I have read on this thread – I would have expected more from people that purport to be adherents to scientific principals.

    Also; the incorrect use of he term transgender is deeply offensive and insulting – people are transgender – they are NOT ‘transgenders’.

    Those that are guilty should be ashamed of themselves – and just goes to show how much ignorance regarding this subject needs to be addressed.

    Here’s the long and short of it: We are all transgender in some small way shape or form. Think about it – you have a mother and a father, and you are a combination of their genetic material. All Human Beings are conceived female and in later life as both the natal male and female of the species ceases to produce the previously enjoyed levels of primary sex hormones, both old men and women begin to display characteristics associated with the other gender at puberty – old men develop breast tissue, and old women; facial hair.

    Some of us develop with a physical bias that tends one way and mental bias in the other direction – It’s called Gender Dysphoria, and as the name suggests, it isn’t pleasant; and often the only effective treatment is to realign the body to better match the perception of the brain.

    If you find it difficult to understand this fact – and lack compassion for those of us that have suffered the ignominies of having to live, to all intents and purposes, ‘a lie’, then I might humbly contest that you are on the wrong page – in the wrong group and woefully – and maybe even willfully: ignorant.



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  • 41
    Let's Think says:

    Let’s think critically.

    How does one know that they are someone they are not? As a woman, I know I am a woman because I have a female reproductive system. Aside from being biologically female, my sense of “femaleness” is not innate. I am constantly de-constructing this identity and realizing that it is a taught identity. It’s not that I feel female so therefore I am female, it is that I am female and therefore I feel female. My dress is not a choice but a uniform. It is what I was taught to wear and like. My reactions to events are based on socialization.

    I think the problem occurs when our personalities don’t match social pressures for our sex.

    When I have spoken to people who identify as trans-gender, they have ALL said that the reason they identify as trans, or as a gender that “doesn’t match their assigned sex” (their words), is because they don’t feel they match their assigned sex. In fact, it often seems that, because our society has such a strict binary of gender, that if you don’t fit the expectations of one, you must be the “other”. To me, this “others” and appropriates the gendered identities of people whose life experiences and socialization is something which you have not experienced as someone who was socialized differently. One born-male friend said he has always likes more feminine things and never felt masculine. To me, this just means he has a feminine personality. But to him, the pressure of not being “man enough” made him think it would be better to present as a woman. But being a woman is more than just “feeling feminine”. It’s a whole process through a lifetime of experiences. Again, how do you know you share the identity of people whose lives are not your own?

    I think it is extra hard on boys and men. They have a limited spectrum of socially appropriate emotions, with most of them being feminized out of their reach. Many boys express being “angry”. Fathers often lose custody disputes because they’re not seen as “care givers”. We have feminized all sorts of behaviours and feelings. What does an already feminine feeling boy do when he can’t “measure up”?

    Although rare, I have also spoken to “ex-trans” people; people who spent years, and sometimes decades, living as trans or as a gender that doesn’t match their sex. In the end, they decided to revert back to the gender that “matches” their sex. What each one had in common was that they all said something along the lines of, “I learned to accept myself and to express myself however I like, without feeling the need to identify as someone I’m not.” If my born-male friend, who recently transitioned to presenting as female, saw life this way, and if society would let them, this friend would be able to be comfortable with his biological maleness and the feminine personality he possesses. It wouldn’t be necessary to take essentialized tokens of female expressiveness to feel validated in that personality and sense of inner self. Men should be able to wear makeup and dresses and still feel fine about having a penis. Likewise, women should be able to be masculine and still feel fine about giving birth.

    All people deserve respect, and I’m not advocating an anti-trans agenda, but I am asking us all to think critically about this. I think that gender is learned. What we call feminine and masculine are just labels that change through time. Pink used to be a man’s colour. High-heel shoes were originally for knights. Whether you like something or feel something doesn’t make you masculine or feminine, and so nothing needs to “match” your sex. If your inner feelings don’t “match”, I don’t believe it’s because you’re in the wrong body. You have the right to be who you are in the body you have. I also believe that our gendered identities are taught; for example, a man might go running alone at dusk to see a sunset without a second thought, while a woman might not even consider the risk in the same area. I feel it can be harmful to appropriate the identities of others, especially because they’re “others”. The reason I am concerned about this is because I know a person who is trans (born male) and that person constantly says things like, “I walk alone at night downtown and it’s perfectly safe.” This person grew up with that privilege, so of course it’s easier for that person to feel safe in that situation, but that person is speaking with the identity of “woman”, and so disregards the background and history of what it means to grow up not having that privilege. So basically, be yourself and own your body. Make whatever identity comes naturally to you, and if that means wearing “women’s things” and behaving “feminine”, then do it. But don’t steal and appropriate the socialized identities that are unique to others.



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  • 42
    Nunbeliever says:

    I find this topic interesting for several reasons. The whole gender discussion in general has gravitated toward the idea that gender is mainly a social construct. In other words, whether you feel you are a woman or a man has little to do with your body, but your identity. Hence, it’s a bit ironic that the same groups that push this view of gender are generally also the groups who push for acceptance of sex change. But, in a way this contradicts the idea that gender is a social construct. If it was, then why would it matter whether you have penis or a vagina? From a “gender as a social construct”-perspective it seems like people who want to change sex are fixated by their physical appearance. They don’t like what they see in the mirror. They do not like their appearance, because it does not reflect their inner image of themselves.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not in principle against sex changes. I just find this phenomenon very interesting, and (if studied properly) can possibly give us great insight into the human mind and human biology. My point is, that if we accept that people can be “born into the wrong body” we have to conclude that gender is in large part based on biology. If we on the other hand say that gender is mainly a social construct, then we have to conclude that transsexual people are not really all that different from other people who are obsessed by physically changing their appearance. Is it a disorder? Well, I don’t think we have enough research to draw any definitive conclusions in this regard. I think this is a topic that should be studied more in great detail. We should not discriminate against or be afraid of these individuals. On the contrary, they can teach us something important about the human condition. Whether it’s a disorder or not, we should do everything we can to help these people feel well and live meaningful and happy lives. If a sex change operation is the best way for them to feel comfortable with themselves, then by all means. At the same time, we should of course make sure that there isn’t an underlying psychological condition in the background. In such cases, performing a sex change operation might be devastating in the long run.

    I’m not against the idea of gender as a social constructs. But, I think the biological perspective (read sex) is widely ignored in this day and age. In fact, I think transsexual people might be evidence that biology is way more important with regard to gender identity than what is politically correct to admit in this day and age. Hence, I ask whether the liberal groups who promote acceptance with regard to sex changes are willing to take this into consideration. Or are they just going to ignore the elephant in the room?



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  • 43
    Let's Think says:

    From my perspective, I would change “a physical bias that tends one way and mental bias in the other direction” to “a physical body that tends one way and a social bias in the other direction”. I don’t believe in the medicalization of non-conformity. Male and female brains are exactly the same. Our bodies are different. All people’s personalities are different. Having a personality and inner sense of self that doesn’t match what society says you need to have for your body isn’t a dysphoria. It’s not something that person needs to “fix”. It’s society’s problem. By accepting this as some kind of “condition”, we’re letting society get away with it.



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  • 44
    Let's Think says:

    This person also thinks they have Dissociative Identity Disorder, which is a coping mechanism and definitely a socially inappropriate one, but controversial whether it’s a disorder at all. Usually people with DID are on the Asperger’s spectrum and aren’t aware of how they are being perceived – their usual day-to-day actions are only mimicking social rules anyway, so having multiple personalities seems logical. To someone who is tuned in to social rules, they wouldn’t dream of “faking it” because it would be silly and they’d think they’d never get away with it. Since people on the Apserger’s spectrum are forced to appropriate behaviours, I can see how DID would be accepted, and this goes for appropriating gender identities too.



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  • 45
    Let's Think says:

    “If such an asymmetry is confirmed, I’d take it as a proof of hard wiring against choice, since women and men are not different in the ability to choose for themselves (and I hope nobody even tries to disagree on this).”

    I take it as evidence of choice. Here’s why: women can be masculine and still be accepted a women. We can wear pants, we can choose not to wear makeup, we can choose not to shave, we can be assertive but we can also be loving, we can be care-givers but we can also be career-driven. Men, on the other hand, are more limited. If they want to wear a dress, not possible. If they want to wear makeup, not possible. If they want to shave their legs, not possible (well, okay, they could be a swimmer or something, and this is slowly changing, but the pressure on a man against being “feminine” is still very much alive), men are expected to be assertive over loving. Men are expected to be career-driven over being care-givers to their children. What are the worst insults you could call a man? All variations of “woman”, which are all meant to mean “weak” (e.g. P**sy, c***, run like a girl, hit like a girl, etc.) While women can express a broad spectrum of emotions, interests, goals, and appearances, men are much more limited in their identities. It doesn’t surprise me at all that there are more men who are trans than women. We don’t accept feminine men.



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  • Just for the record- I am supportive of transgendering. However, I am not going to pretend to know much about it. I am just a person who has come to the realization that “natural” is not equivalent to “good” or even “acceptable”.

    That said, I started watching (and listening) to the video above, and I had to stop. I found the immense contrast of the white skin and the super black eye make (and what I consider weirdly unattractive drawn in eyebrows) to be distracting to the point of not properly listening.
    I know- it’s my problem if someone cultivates a look that others find distracting. I get that- I live in Portland, Maine and there are many people who look really different either naturally, or by design. I like that. The suburbs bore the hell out of me.

    Still, if someone cultivates a look that will be distracting enough to a certain percentage of the population, are they not just making a poor decision?
    I am not a conservative person and I enjoy diversity.
    I feel like I really wanted to hear the whole video but knew I couldn’t pretend I wasn’t distracted.

    I think this person’s look is super cool, actually! In this context it works as a negative for me.



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  • 47
    Let's Think says:

    I agree, because appropriating the identity of someone whose life experiences are unique from yours means essentializing it and using tokens to prove that identity as legitimate; it assumes that if you don’t fit what you think you should fit, you must be the “other”.



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  • “Male and female brains are exactly the same. “-
    Huh?
    Desperately avoiding semantics, even if they are (and I have no idea), hasn’t neuroscience shown us that male and female brains more often than not come to different conclusions with the same information?



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  • 49
    Nunbeliever says:

    Interesting and thoughtful response. I agree with many of the things you say. Still, there is one big problem with this view that male or female identity is mainly a social construct. If that was the case, then why are there (to my knowledge) no examples of societies with much less strict boundaries between men and women? There might be an exception or two, but in the overwhelming majority of all societies there have been clear distinctions between women and men. From what we know of the our ancient forefathers this seems to be the case as well. In fact, this seems to be the case with regard to all species that sexually reproduce. Males and females might play very different roles in comparison to humans, but they all seem to have distinct roles.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think the term gender is a legitimate term. The way men and women express themselves have varied quite a lot between cultures and different time periods. In that sense, gender as a social construct is definitely a legitimate concept. My point is, that men and women (regardless of cultural expressions) in practically all cultures have had distinct gender roles and identities. Anyone who claims that these identities are mainly socially constructs needs to answer why that is, and why it’s true for pretty much all other species as well (that reproduce sexually)? What sort of annoys me, is that many regard it as taboo to talk about gender roles in terms of biology. This has, in my opinion, for example led to societies where we (by force) are trying to make women interested in engineering and men in nursing and health care. Even though, that might be a futile enterprise limited by our biology. Again, don’t get me wrong. I am a man, and I work as a public health nurse. So, clearly men can be interested in traditionally female professions and vice versa. Clearly, some men have feminine traits while some women are very masculine. Whether that is mainly due to biology or sociology is another discussion.

    My point is, that when you look at the population as a whole it might very well be that men are more likely to be attracted to certain professions while women are more likely to be attracted to others. It might be that women are more likely to have certain traits, while men are more likely to have others. And it might very well be due to biology. This recent trend (as I perceive it) to make men and men identical, instead of equal might very well be a futile enterprise to begin with. I long for a society where traditionally male traits would not be considered more important than traditionally female traits. In fact, I think the world would benefit a lot from having more “feminine” leaders. I think many wars and financial melt downs could have been prevented by that. I don’t care whether we have feminine men or masculine women. I want everyone to be able to express themselves in whatever way they like to. At the same time, we have to be able to look at the world as it is. I experience, that it’s a taboo to acknowledge that men and women might in some ways be inherently different. I don’t know why that upsets so many people. I guess, it has a lot to do with that they think people who say such things insinuate that women are in some way inherently inferior to men. But, that does not need to be the case. I mean, is it not kind of weird that women have to act like men in order to become successful leaders in this world? That does not strike me as equality to me. That strikes me as a very unequal world, where women can’t express themselves as women but have to pretend they are men in order to succeed.



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  • 50
    Let's Think says:

    I agree with you in principle (I’m of the gender-is-a-social-construct line of thought). And I surely agree that people who identify as trans should be treated with equal respect. I do have a line I draw. An example I gave early was a born-male person who identifies as “woman”, who goes around saying that women are “being silly” for not wanting to walk alone at night and that they do it all the time and it’s perfectly safe. This person grew up male and only transitioned to “female” in adulthood; so they still show these privileges. On the one hand, that person is challenging the environment in which women are taught to fear, perhaps making walking alone at night more accessible to women; on the other hand, it de-values the life experiences of women and the genuine concerns they have for their safety – all while purporting to share the same identity. This same person also says that “most women who cry rape are liars”, and other very misogynistic musings.



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  • 51
    Let's Think says:

    You raise a lot of really good points. I think the first thing to consider is that we only know of our written history, and an interpretation of pre-history. Since written history is the start of civilization, and the start of civilization meant the start of specialization; the start of defined roles. So we know that men and women have “always” had defined roles only as far back as can tell, which isn’t very far in terms of our whole human history. For the hundreds of thousands of years before civilizations, roles are less clear, especially gender roles. So when we compare ourselves to history, it’s important that we note that most of our human history is one big black void where we don’t really know what happened or how it worked. We do know that the hunter-gatherer diet came mostly from plant materials, and Marshall Sahlins wrote in Stoneage Economics that that goes against the romanticized notion of “man the hunter”. I’ll leave it at that.

    It’s important not to ignore biology. Human men and women have moderate sexual dimorphism (physical differences between sexes), with men being larger and more “rugged” at the bone structure, and women being smaller and “smoother” (I’m thinking of the skull in particular; brow ridges being more defined in men, having a larger hook on the back to hold muscle, etc.). But our physical traits only limit us so much, although they may make certain options look more desirable. I think of “Shanidar 1”, a Neanderthal skeleton found in Shanidar Cave that was elderly and severely deformed. Since the body showed extensive healing, he would have lived far beyond the years of his deformities, probably requiring the care of others. He was still valued as part of the community even though his disability would have severely limited his contributions. So even though we do have physical differences, I don’t think this means we are innately going to do certain things, but it might make certain things more desirable (physically). Neuro-scientists have constantly said that men’s and women’s brains are exactly the same.

    Your point about women having to act like men to be successful leaders strikes me deeply (not in a negative way), because I have often thought the same thing. Women often get a bad rep in the workplace; especially the business office. They get stereotyped as bitches because they’re so bossy. But if they’re not bossy, they’ll be seen as weak and indecisive. If a woman has to leave early to pick up her kid, it’s annoying. If a man does it, it’s honourable or noble for him to, in a way, reduce himself in his role to “getter done” (it’s not expected of him, so it’s “nice” when he does). A man can afford to be nice in a leadership position, and still be thought of as a leader. If a woman does it, she’ll be seen as indecisive. It would be nice if everyone could just be themselves.



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  • 53
    Nunbeliever says:

    If you change the word transgender with homosexual this comment could very well have been written by a cisgendered older man a few decades ago (or sadly yesterday in many parts of the world):

    Their dissonant sexual attraction to the same gender not only has negative consequences for those who know them – family, friends, colleagues – but even more grave consequences for the homosexual person himself/herself. Most people, including myself, will feel unease in the presence of the bearded, muscular, deep-voiced “Joe” acting like a sissy and being sexually attracted to other men. Some will proclaim, “that’s your problem.” No it isn’t.
    Having said that, homosexuals in fact do not surrender personhood and in no way should be regarded as less-than-human freaks. We must educate ourselves to shift perspective on gender from “essential” to “constructed” in the very, very rare cases of homosexuality. Perhaps over future generations, society will learn how to shift gears on perspectives of sexual mis-identification to integrate the tiny handful of homosexuals into the social mainstream. Those who maintain that we should simply hitch up our trousers and do it because it’s “right and easy” are out of touch with reality.
    To be sure homosexuals cannot help the way they are. Their sexual mis-identity is usually hard-wired neurologically and, in cases, not rooted in psychological disorders, they have no choice. “Choice” however rears its ugly head when the homosexual person chooses to practice his/her sexual perversions.




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  • The suicide rates of non-reassigned and reassigned transgender people are not too dissimilar, which is depressing especially as both rates are around a fifth of their populations. What is notable is that the latter fraction is going down, most probably because pre-vetting, pre-counsellling, reassignment treatments and follow up care are all improving…as we would expect.

    The Royal College of Psychiatry are clear in their support of the practice given their guidelines, and I am fully happy that the (detailed and elaborate!) process is in safe hands and will result in a continued improvement in outcomes.

    There are no philosphical positions to be taken and certainly no religious ones, only ethical and pragmatic ones of reducing harms.



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  • Let’s Think Nov 24, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Male and female brains are exactly the same. Our bodies are different.

    Not according to research into neuroscience!

    http://www.pnas.org/content/111/2/823.abstract
    Sex differences in human behavior show adaptive complementarity: Males have better motor and spatial abilities, whereas females have superior memory and social cognition skills. Studies also show sex differences in human brains but do not explain this complementarity. In this work, we modeled the structural connectome using diffusion tensor imaging in a sample of 949 youths (aged 8–22 y, 428 males and 521 females) and discovered unique sex differences in brain connectivity during the course of development. Connection-wise statistical analysis, as well as analysis of regional and global network measures, presented a comprehensive description of network characteristics. In all supratentorial regions, males had greater within-hemispheric connectivity, as well as enhanced modularity and transitivity, whereas between-hemispheric connectivity and cross-module participation predominated in females. However, this effect was reversed in the cerebellar connections. Analysis of these changes developmentally demonstrated differences in trajectory between males and females mainly in adolescence and in adulthood. Overall, the results suggest that male brains are structured to facilitate connectivity between perception and coordinated action, whereas female brains are designed to facilitate communication between analytical and intuitive processing modes.



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  • 62
    Lorenzo says:

    Men, on the other hand, are more limited. [all of what’s in the middle] We don’t accept feminine men.

    The list you have compiled has everything to do with gender-image construction, and very little, if nothing, to do with gender selfperception, it seems to me. I’d remind you that the world is not the western world. Or very particular bits of it.

    I’d also advise caution, because transgenders aren’t any more like those you see displayed on TV to generate entertainment than women are like a 50s pinup. Please, beware of stereotypes!



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  • Let’s Think Nov 24, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Neuro-scientists have constantly said that men’s and women’s brains are exactly the same.

    Nope!

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hope-relationships/201402/brain-differences-between-genders

    It’s no secret that boys and girls are different—very different. The differences between genders, however, extend beyond what the eye can see. Research reveals major distinguishers between male and female brains.

    >Scientists generally study four primary areas of difference in male and female brains: processing, chemistry, structure, and activity. The differences between male and female brains in these areas show up all over the world, but scientists also have discovered exceptions to every so-called gender rule.



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  • @Let’s Think

    Male and female brains are exactly the same.

    This is the untruth that must be overturned. This false belief is a source of justification for great injustice around the world. This is what the religious say, when they claim sexual orientation is choice. It is a crime. I hear it all the time.

    Further to Alan4D’s link, your sexual orientation is determined by your brain, not your plumbing. The research is trending towards this as the mechanics. All foetus are technically female brained in the first 3 months gestation. At the 3 month point, the gonads, male of female kick in, together with a contribution from the mother they FORCE the sexual identity. If this doesn’t work correctly, you can end up with a male body, with a female brain. Or less often, a male brain in a female body.

    Ask yourself. Why are there 7 times more homosexual men that lesbian women. Why. The above explains it. It is easier to create a male homosexual because something fails to happen. The hormone levels were low or absent. The masculinization of the brain failed. But to create a lesbian, you need an excess event, hormones, to create a male brain in a female plumbed body. Ergo. The are many more male homosexuals that female lesbians.

    Here is some breaking research from over on New Scientist. Appears there may be a genetic component as well…..

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22429963.700-gay-gene-discovery-has-good-and-bad-implications.html#.VHPNxWcdSuM

    And before you start typing, this is not either / or, black or white. It is a spectrum. During a lecture on the subject, a dumbbell graph was used. Large clumping at either end, male / female, but with a linking handle in the middle accounting for various levels of sexual / brain disorientation.

    This explains the OP piece. It explains what we see in the real world.

    So Let’s Think. Do your own research, but I suggest you do harm by making this statement.

    Male and female brains are exactly the same.

    BUT IT IS NOT CHOICE. Religion be damned for your persecution and discrimination against gay people.



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  • An alien David Attenborough visiting earth doing a documentary for Milky Way Planetary Cable TV Company (A division of FOX) would find both of these videos are consistent with the sexual and display behaviour of almost every other animal on the planet. The native African adolescent one reminds me of the Birds of Paradise documentary from Papua New Guinea. It’s a very common male display regime across many species.

    The American one is pure stone age tribal warrior behaviour being acted out by groups of males to improve their sexual reproduction chances, left over from 30,000 years ago. The fact that it continues today into western society, suggests it has been hard wired by evolution into our male brains. Young males participating in testosterone charged risk taking. If you survive, you’re the great warrior. You get to mate. If you fail, you take your genes out of the gene pool.

    Why don’t male brains fully mature until they are 25 years old. The areas of the brain that lag behind are those that govern risk taking behaviour, and taking into account consequences. This makes perfect evolutionary sense. A tribe needs a ready supply of expendable under 25 males to slay the mammoth or dispatch the heretics in the next valley. At my age, I’m not going to run at a mammoth with a wooden spear, yet the tribe needs this behaviour. But those young males don’t have a clue that they may be hurt. This explains why young males continue to die from doing stupid things under the age of 25 years. A traffic police superintendent once said. “It is our job to keep them alive until 25. After that, they will be OK. ”

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=141164708

    Well, actually, one of the side effects of these changes in the reward system is that adolescents and young adults become much more sensitive to peer pressure than they were earlier or will be as adults. So, for instance, a 20 year old is 50 percent more likely to do something risky if two friends are watching than if he’s alone.

    This type of behaviour is no longer necessary but we’re not smart enough as a species to override our evolutionary brains.

    But neither video adds to the discussion on the OP. There is good evidence that misalignment of sexual orientation with your plumbing is biological, mechanical and genetic. It is not choice.



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  • There is good evidence that misalignment of sexual orientation with
    your plumbing is biological, mechanical and genetic. It is not choice.

    Never thought any different David its all about our twisted perception and that is what I tried to point to.



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  • The site technology automatically puts most posts containing links into a pending area requiring moderator approval before they appear. We deal with them as soon as we’re back online.
    The mods



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  • 73
    iwomyn says:

    I’ve met a few transgener people, male to female, and one conversation with a young guy, 17 years old stuck. He said that what he found difficult was that he couldn’t discuss the female experience. He spoke specifically to being around the girls and listening to them talk about getting a period for the first time, getting pregnant and the fear of getting pregnant. He didn’t have the girl brain that had been taught about menstruation, PMS, sex and relationships. He said he felt like an alien talking with girls his age (not letting them know he had gone through a transition) and couldn’t see how he could ever fit in. He also couldn’t relate to how the girls reacted to boys. He figured he had to decide whether to let them in on the secret or learn how to lie about the female experience. Sounds like some people could have a really tough time transitioning from one gender to another. And is it really a complete transition when there is a whole gender-specific identity piece missing?



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  • There seems to be some progress on this related front.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-30552144

    .China has ordered a psychiatric clinic to pay compensation to a gay man who was given electric shocks in an attempt to make him heterosexual.

    The man, Yang Teng, said a Beijing court had decreed that the Xinyu Piaoxiang clinic would have to pay him 3,500 yuan ($560; £400).

    The decision has been hailed as a legal milestone by gay rights bodies.

    Homosexuality has not been classified as a mental illness in China since 2001 but anti-gay prejudice remains common.

    Mr Yang said the procedure involved him being told to have sexual thoughts about men at the same time as receiving electric shocks.

    He said that there were also attempts at hypnosis and that the procedures harmed him both mentally and physically.



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