Biblical men and ancient history men had long hair. Guess they were not men men! Really, now going down the rabbit whole of hair length?
Hi, Thanks you for your thoughtful and helpful post. But the notion of what has been termed “desistance” as it relates to transgender children and youth, is a common myth, even among those who are reasonably well informed. The studies that created this idea, were very flawed and have been shown to be so. Further recent and ongoing work continues to show this is not the case. The underlying issue with the studies that were done that purport to show this, is they used incorrect/inappropriate definitions of transgender identity, and thus included a majority of individual that do not meet clinical guidelines that have been in place for some time now, relating to juvenile transgender identity.
One other thing I’d like to point out, gender variation is on a spectrum/continuum that has several significant factors that weigh in, none which individuals control. These elements include, genetic, epigenetic, developmental (in utero), brain construction based in early development (in utero), and even socially. Thus transgender, gender non-conforming, people, are not deviations, they are variations along the spectrum or continuum. This process of human development that God put in place, to create unique individuals requires the variation, that creates transgender, people, just like it creates all the variation we see in the people around us.
Thank you. Finally a little science-based sanity on this topic. As a biologist I deal mostly with the genetic/developmental side of the gender shaping process, and anyone who knows genetics/developmental biology knows that a spectrum of gender identities, from fully masculine to fully feminine and everything in between, independent of physical sex, is observed and fully expected. If there were not such a spectrum of outcomes, we biologists would think there was something wrong. It is perfectly normal to have this kind of variation in populations of organisms, and humans are no exception. Why people want to pathologize those outcomes that are counter to their conception of “normal” is more the question we should ask. Using theology to beat up on transgender people is damnable.
At which point on that spectrum does a male become female?
*By that I mean, what are the objective characteristics by which one can categorize a male and a female on that spectrum?
Why must we always require categorization? What is wrong with letting individuals decide? What is wrong with some people just considering themselves nonbinary, i.e. categorized as neither male nor female? In biology we often make provisional taxonomic decisions as well, and as new data accrue the decision can be changed. Living organisms are messy, due to inherent variation in populations. Live with it.
Because it creates problems and discord in sexually specialized society and biology?
I hope you won’t deny sexual specialization in human biology.
Dee Roberts and Bryan Ness, I am glad to stand corrected and enlightened. It makes sense that high percentages of reported desistance would be incorrect if individuals who did not meet the clinical guidelines were included in the original number. And yes, terminology here is very important. I will speak about gender variations rather than deviations in the future. I have a mathematical biologist friend who would absolutely concur with Bryan’s remark. What we are seeing is a perfectly normal distribution. Could we perhaps have more articles in Spectrum about the science behind gender and gender variance? Church leaders and members need to be better informed. Also, while we are debunking common myths, could one of you please address the idea of “rapid onset gender dysphoria,” which is gaining traction among conservative Christian authors? If I understand it correctly, ROGD is also based on flawed studies and skewed interpretations of those studies. Thanks.
I agree that more needs to be put out there to help people better understand this topic. I did write an article a while back on it, but more is needed, I think. Here is a link to the one I wrote: There is More to Human Sexuality than XX and XY
Poorly, or even badly designed studies provide bad answers. ROGD, is simply bunk. When your sampling of parents is drawn from social media groups that are hidden and private, and that are hostile to transgender people, and in many cases their transgender child, the results are pretty easy to understand. First, the basic sample is highly squeed and is not representative. Second, it is based on parental perception and response not the reality of the child/ youth represented by the parental response in the studies. For the parents, it seems to them that it is rapid onset, because they had no foreknowledge or “indication” that their child/youth was sorting out gender questions, or was just too afraid to say anything, or just didn’t have adequate language to talk about themself. So when the child comes out, it is sudden to the parents, but is not remotely sudden to the young person. In contrast to the parents sense of suddenness, the young person in the vast majority of cases has been navigating this space and issues for years, coming out being the next step in navigating their understanding of who they are. It is commonly understood within human developmental study arenas, that one’s sense of gender is begins to emerge at around the age of three years, and is almost universally fully in place by around age six years. This becomes a bit complicated as family and community setting, and thus knowledge of language to relate what a three to six year old my sense about themself and how then to communicate it to adults is available. Further if for any number of reasons, the child perceive that revealing their self-understand, will not be well received, they will attempt, and in many cases very successfully hide themself, and their reality from the adults and community they are in.
Within the society as information and knowledge about the reality and the existence of transgender and gender variant people has increase, across all age spectrums, people to include young people are gaining language and knowledge to be able to relate there reality to other, and connect to others with shared experience.
There is actually excellent research that was publish in 2007, Femke Olysager and Lynn Conway, that should that wholly upset the notions of frequency within the scientific communities that had studied and published work on the prevalence of transgender people. At the time the article was published it was commonly thought that transgender/transsexual prevalence was about 1 in 30,000 people. What Olysager and Conway showed was that the prevalence was, on the low end was 1 in 500. This work cause a large uproar in the research community, but in the years since, and the research that has been done and is ongoing demonstrates, 1 in 500 is even a very conservative number. Researches now acknowledge that between .75 and 1.5% of the population self identify as transgender.
I hope this is helpful.
Just quoting the Bible here. The only source of truth on the earth
1 Corinthians 11:14 - Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
1 Corinthians 11:15 - But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
Christ was/be shamed! Thanks for another journey down the rabbit hole!
And if gender identity is self-created, why must other people accept it as reality? If we should be free to choose our own gender reality, why can some people impose their idea of reality on others just because they identify as transgender? Where is the consistency? Where is the science?
Now think about your question again. What is wrong with letting individuals decide? The decision has already been made, when they were born of course. It’s not rocket science.
I decided, the other day, that I was a police officer. Now I am trying to figure out why I need to pay a fine for impersonating an officer. They just don’t understand me!
I don’t know, maybe because we want to respect another person’s self-concept and help them feel loved and accepted?
I already alluded to the science in another comment. A certain number of transgender individuals are expected due to normal gender variation. My comment in reference to letting the trans person decide is that there is no objective way to identify that a person is transgender, so part of that determination must depend on the person’s own self concept. Given that, how can we not let transgender individuals participate in deciding that they are or are not trans?
Thank you so much for this detailed reply! It is, indeed, very helpful.
Reality is what it is. Facts are what they are. There is no science with facts to validate transgenderism. For a man to say he feels like a woman is to say he ignores reality. The shower and restroom uses show the reality one cannot ignore.
Now if a person wishes to act and dress like the opposite gender we can choose to let them live in their world. That’s respect. If they expect others to make allowances and arrangements for them, that is imposing and disrespectful on their part.
Man looks on the outward appearance and God looks on the heart (and brain).
A patently false statement. I would give you some references that give the lie to this statement, but you do not appear to be interested, as you are already fully convinced of your stance. I will pray that God will help soften your heart.
I am going to say this again for about the 100th time. One in fifteen hundred infants born, are born with both male and female genitals, and often with internal organs of both sexes. That amounts to about 10,000,000 people on the earth who, through no choice of their own, were saddled with a condition in which they have been persecuted, maligned, disenfranchised, disqualified, ridiculed, and disbarred from everything imaginable, and in many middle east countries killed, and for what? Who’s fault is it? Because, it certainly isn’t theirs. So many of you call this sinful. Exactly how can this be sinful in light of the fact that they came out of the womb this way in over 10,000,000 cases that we have before us living on this earth today? Really, I want to hear an answer that makes any sense at all…I do.
I get so angry with the self-righteous hypocrisy that we seem willing to throw these people over to the filth of the religious-right.
I can’t hardly wait to hear God’s take on this. It will be my first question.
Please read my statement above…you have demonstrated that you are ignorant of the facts.
The science is obviously clear under the clothing. God has created and spoken life into existence. Male and female He created us.
Guard your heart from the foggy and false “clarity” of the great deceiver’s deceptions of old.