By Gerry Cortez —
God created them male and female. (Genesis 5:2)
What was once self-evident by the social conventions of every human society in world history or established by scientific consensus is now subject to reinterpretation by social engineers in our elite institutions.
Take gender dysphoria, which is the alienation and discomfort with one’s biological sex. This condition was once extremely rare among the advanced industrial-consumerist societies. Less than .01 percent of the population suffered from gender dysphoria, which usually began to emerge in childhood, afflicting males almost exclusively.
But now there is a reordering of society to accommodate this increasingly common condition and entire institutions — universities, major corporations and law firms, Big Tech and the entertainment-media establishment, to name a few, are aligned behind the idea of gender-fluidity.
The social ground has shifted in the current digital era and so has the nature of gender dysphoria. Where once this condition overwhelmingly affected males, today one sees the emerging phenomenon of intact social groups of young females in colleges, high schools, and even middle schools across the country coming out together as “transgender.”
In the words of author Abigail Shrier, there is a discernable “craze” among girls who are becoming convinced that their biology does not correspond to their gender identity.
As the author of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, Shrier asserts this “craze” has both diminished womanhood and “greased the skids toward social and medical transition for confused teens in genuine pain.”
Shrier details a transgender slippery slope where teen or pre-teen girls go through the age-old emotional seesaw of puberty, but otherwise never experience any discomfort with their biological sex until they hear a coming-out story from a speaker at an LGBT-sanctioned school assembly or discover the burgeoning Internet communities of trans “influencers.”
This social template was recently encountered by Brown University public health researcher Lisa Littman. In 2016, Littman was scrolling through social media when she noticed that a group of teen girls from Rhode Island had come out as transgender.
The statistical unlikelihood of this story intrigued Littman who happened to be from the same small town as this group of girls — all of whom were part of the same social group. Littman’s subsequent investigation of this story included direct contact with these girls and led to an alarming conclusion:
“I have interviewed over four dozen families whose teen daughters became caught in this current. Their stories follow a pattern: A girl never expresses any discomfort with her biological sex until puberty, when anxiety and depression descend. The girl struggles to make friends. She immerses in social media and discovers transgender gurus. Or her school holds an assembly celebrating gender journeys, or hosts a Gay-Straight Alliance club pushing gender ideology. At first, she tries out a new name and pronouns. Her school encourages her, keeping all this a secret from her parents. Then, she wants more.”
And so it is in today’s environment of hip sexual ambiguity where large numbers of impressionable girls follow transgender social-media gurus who tout the euphoria testosterone produces.
Some of these girls soon find they can act on their impulses with easy access to sex hormones from suppliers such as Planned Parenthood, which are allowed by law to provide such drugs to minors so long as these suppliers operate under “informed consent” rules.
For the uninitiated, informed consent often means that no therapist note is required to dispense these drugs and children can actually leave the clinic with a very powerful drug based on their own self-diagnosis.
To be sure, public examples of peer pressure and fleeting emotional distress leading to teens or preteens self-diagnosing as gender dysphoric can be an embarrassment to the trans lobby. Increasingly, trans activists and allied organizations find themselves on the defensive against researchers who note this trend and offer explanations for gender dysphoria that run counter to transgender modalities.
This defensiveness has led the trans lobby to engage in peer pressure of its own. As detailed by pediatric endocrinologist Quentin Van Meter, transgender activists have actively sought to obscure serious mental health issues associated with transgender therapies. Consequently, LGBT groups have influenced 14 state legislatures to pass laws making it illegal for therapists to even question child patients who claim to be uncomfortable with their biological sex.
This active LGBT interference in the health treatment of children is likened by Van Meter to a cult protecting its recruitment methods.
“It is so scary, and I am so overwhelmingly worried about the welfare of this population of people 30 years out,” Van Meter stated.
It is clear by now that people of conscience who care about the integrity of children’s healthcare should start to ask about this political warping of the health sciences. Could this departure of rationality now embraced by progressives be another social fad?
Truth be told, gender fluidity and Facebook’s 57 listed genders is not something invented by Millenial pop culture, but can be traced back several generations to iconic researchers and theorists who are celebrated by feminists and the LGBT movement — but not for any scientific rigor.
These icons include influential academics like Dr. Judith Butler of UC Berkeley and sex researcher John Money of Johns Hopkins University. There is also the ironic influence of the rise of the World Wide Web since 1994 that helped fuel the transgender emergence.
Although these names and social factors are mapped to the history and evolution of transgender thinking, remarkably few people are aware of these names and their significance to the emergence of the LGBT+ dogma now fully embraced in the Democratic Party platform.
To be sure, there have also been a number of transgender affirming statements coming from medical professional groups and associations but often these statements come with a distinct political bent that undermines the idea of dispassionate and objective science.
As stated earlier, researchers whose findings contradict the politically acceptable views of the Human Rights Campaign or other LGBT-centric pressure groups can find themselves subject to threats, intimidation, or outright suppression of their research.
This heavily politicized atmosphere where research and scientific evidence is suppressed leads to the easy smear that those who question the LGBT gender dogma are homophobic, sexist and racist.
But one does not merely have to doubt whether Laverne Cox is indeed a woman to be stamped as a hate-monger, as anyone who supports the ideals of the nuclear family is also lumped in with Klansmen and gay bashers.
But predictable name-calling and invective does not change the problematic foundations of transgender history.
The Errant Sexologist & 2nd Wave Feminism
To significant numbers of LGBT-affirming Americans, heterosexuality and biological sex have come to be seen as socially constructed for the purpose of social control and suppression.
This thinking is contingent on the idea that male and female genetics have no effect on gender roles. As such, if one eliminates all cultural conditioning, there is no distinction between a male brain and female brain.
Aside from differences in skeletal structure and muscle mass, men and women are interchangeable on a cognitive level, they assert.
In that scenario, a man could conceivably get radical cosmetic surgery to alter his skeletal frame as well as muscle and hormone levels and not just look female, but assume a female nature that is indistinguishable from a genetic female with xx chromosomes.
This formerly marginal idea was given a powerful push into mainstream pop culture by researchers at the prestigious and influential Johns Hopkins medical school some 60 years ago.
A Johns Hopkins researcher described by colleagues as a “sexual revolutionist” sowed the seeds of gender fluidity theory. His name was John Money.
In the 1950s Money created the “preamble” to the current gender debate. Recently, one of Money’s fellow Johns Hopkins alums, Dr. Quentin Van Meter, spoke about Money’s influence.
“Money came to Hopkins under the auspices of a very noble cause, and then he went off on a tangent because his whole purpose was to be a sexual revolutionist.”
Van Meter, a pediatric endocrinologist who now practices in Atlanta, Georgia, went on to detail how Money and his fellow sexologists Harry Benjamin and the notorious Alfred Kinsey had crafted theories that refuted the normative and accepted male and female sex roles that had been present in every corner of the world since the beginning of time.
To these researchers in the modernist 1950’s, male and female roles were no longer predetermined by genetics. The differences between men and women were superficial at best and were largely determined by nurture, not nature.
Soon afterward, author Betty Friedan and her book “The Feminine Mystique” reignited second-wave feminism. Friedan’s book became an instant part of feminist canon with its attacks on traditional male and female roles and on the nuclear family of the post-war era.
Feminists who found themselves in conflict with marriage and family norms of the time came to see traditional male-female roles as part of an all-encompassing repressive patriarchy. This patriarchal bogey man, exemplified by white males, was soon to play the villain role in the emerging black civil rights movement against racist segregation in the South and elsewhere.
Soon, the feminists latched on to the work of Kinsey, Money and other like-minded thinkers. Embedded in the 2nd wave feminist ideals of “equality” was the curious idea that men & women in a modern industrial society were totally interchangeable — women did not need large muscles to work the farm and could instead work full time jobs outside the house while men nurtured children at home and handled the housework.
This “women’s liberation” challenge to traditional sex roles was easily transported to the arts, social sciences and mass media in the generation that followed but provoked opposition from researchers in the hard sciences and among religious conservatives such as Dr. James Dobson.
At the same time, liberal social activists from the 1960’s denigrated the institution of marriage as a patriarchal invention to subjugate women.
In this revolutionary era of self-fulfillment and self-actualization, the sexual researchers succeeded in influencing Johns Hopkins to begin offering “sex reassignment” surgery.
Understandably, it was necessary for doctors and therapists at Johns Hopkins to begin separating sex from gender using two distinct concepts. First, that sex is biological, determined by a baby’s birth anatomy. Second, gender is cultural, a set of behaviors learned through human interaction.
Dr. Van Meter attributed this thinking largely to Money’s influence. “In the 1970s Money coined the term ‘gender’ and used it as a term to describe an internal sexual identity that might not be in sync with biologic sex,” he explained. “That’s when ‘gender’ was applied to human beings for the first time.
As Dr. Van Meter goes on to describe, the sexual radicals had succeeded in pushing the rest of the culture into a familiarity with sexual ambiguity, even if most of society was not yet approving of the sexual reassignment surgeries performed at Johns Hopkins and other liberal elite medical institutions.
However, by the 1980’s it was becoming clear to many leftist activists and clinicians that this radical social experiment in gender fluidity and sex liberation was coming at enormous social and psychic costs.
On the women’s liberation front, soaring rates of out-of-wedlock births were tied to a cycle of poverty and increased criminality that even caused some ardent feminists to abandon their opposition to marriage. This turnabout also came with embarrassing realizations that marriage was not a patriarchal tool of control but was in fact one of the best social safeguards for the welfare of women and children.
Late in the 1980’s, the “tabula rasa”, blank slate/nurture approach to human development had fallen out of favor in several of the social sciences and also within the hard science disciplines. The 1960’s feminist and sexologist contention that male and female differences came mostly from culture and not genetics became untenable and only a radical fringe in college gender studies departments continued to openly espouse it.
The leading medical schools had also come to reevaluate their earlier enthusiasm for sexual-gender fluidity. Van Meter was a witness to this change.
“We at Johns Hopkins University—which in the 1960s was the first American medical center to venture into “sex-reassignment surgery”—launched a study in the 1970s comparing the outcomes of transgendered people who had the surgery with the outcomes of those who did not.
Most of the surgically treated patients described themselves as “satisfied” by the results, but their subsequent psycho-social adjustments were no better than those who did not have the surgery.
And so John Hopkins stopped doing sex-reassignment surgery, since producing a “satisfied” but still troubled patient seemed an inadequate reason for surgically amputating normal organs.
One case in particular exemplified the real dangers to individual health and well-being caused by transgender advocacy — and led to the professional downfall of John Money.
In 1966, the parents of a little boy whose penis was accidentally burned off during a botched circumcision with inappropriate equipment decided to raise their son as a girl after consulting with Money.
In 1973, Dr. Money ostensibly reported that this castrated boy had adjusted well to a new life as a girl and how the child had accepted wearing dresses and playing with dolls.
This child eventually grew into adulthood but ended up rejecting the gender identity that Money and the parents were convinced would be more suitable for an infant castration victim.
A 1997 report in The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine detailed the tragic consequences as a pair of researchers doing follow-up found that the genetic boy had repudiated his female identity by age 14 and had even had surgery to reconstruct his genitals.
When this information was reported, an uproar soon engulfed Dr. Money, who later found himself criticized in the media. The mutilated man who had reclaimed his sex ended up committing suicide in 2004 and his family blamed Johns Hopkins researchers like Money who had presumed an easy change of their son’s sexual identity.
The Resurgence of Feminist Gender Ideology
At the same time researchers at Johns Hopkins were revising their thinking on gender roles, a trendy theory emerged among tenured feminist professors who were still unwilling to accept the demolishing of 1960’s gender narratives.
It was Judith Butler, a U.C. Berkeley professor of philosophy, who revived the gender-as-social-construct thinking in the 1990’s. Professor Butler’s work soon became fashionable among gender and literary theorists.
Professor Butler’s work is viewed as seminal in the newly minted “queer ideology” within the larger LGBT movement.
Judith Butler identifies as a “non-binary” lesbian whose preferred pronouns are “them” and “they” instead of “she” or ‘her”. Professor Butler had begun to bring the deconstructionist theories of anarchist favorites Jacques Derrida, and Michel Foucault to gender questions.
Professor Butler formulated a premise that male and female identities were “performative” instead of being genetically immutable. Butler and her fellow travelers are careful to describe gender as distinct from sex; to the new queer/trans theorists, sex is indeed genetic but gender is the expression of one’s sexual identity — and as such can be viewed as a mere social construct that is subject to individual whims or feelings.
It is once again important to note the nexus of left wing attitudes on sex and gender roles with questions regarding the marriage institution. Recall how earlier feminists had often opposed traditional marriage as oppressive and patriarchal, and how this had begun changing by the mid 1980’s.
The comeback of positive attitudes toward marriage had an ironic effect on the gay and lesbian community that had been even more hostile to traditional marriage than the feminists.
Before the 1990’s, it was typical to find activist gays dismissing marriage as inconsistent with gay liberation. To gays and lesbians of a certain age, monogamy and the nuclear family were relics of hetero-supremacists. The essence of the gay lifestyle was often viewed in opposition to the archaic and outdated notions of traditional wedlock and family life. As such, gay rights were not often tied to marriage issues.
This changed in the 1990’s in the aftermath of the AIDS crisis. AIDS had greatly tempered the gay (and straight) hyperbolic casual sex scene of the 1970’s. This was soon followed by a change in the attitudes of gay leaders who were voicing more criticism of an uninhibited dating culture in the gay community.
Within a few years, increasing numbers of gays had gone from hostility to sexual moderation to paying lip service to “safe sex”, and finally moving into a surprising affirmation of “patriarchal” hetero-style monogamy.
This change in gay attitudes in the 1990’s led to a more forceful push for government recognition of gay civil unions. These sentiments later morphed into what gays called the marriage equality issue.
At this same time, the establishment of the World Wide Web had begun to transform and disrupt the world’s social landscape. Leading this disruption were the many corporations situated in ultra-liberal Silicon Valley and nearby San Francisco.
Northern California had engendered anarchist and progressive sentiment for over a century and now this region was experiencing the emergence (or re-emergence) of transgender/gender queer ideology coming from people like Professor Butler in Berkeley.
It is not surprising that LGBT influence would wash over the board rooms of the billion-dollar internet firms proliferating throughout the Bay Area.
These California digital firms began to embrace gay partnership benefits on a large scale, their progressive company cultures quickly spreading to Wall Street, Hollywood, and the politically-connected law firms of Washington D.C.
Soon gay marriage became the rallying point for gay and feminist liberation across the country. However, implicit in the newly-minted marriage equality argument of the progressive Left was that a marriage union of a man to another man was exactly equal in character to a union between a man and a woman.
And this is how gay marriage advocacy resurrected transgender theories from the past.
A male-male couple equals a male-female couple equals a female-female couple, according to the progressive calculus. This equation naturally posited that genetic sex was no longer as important to male-female roles as cultural attitudes. It is here where a previously discredited gender-relativism came through a back door into renewed acceptance.
When Barack Obama’s White House joined with four Supreme Court liberal Democrats from New York City to upend marriage laws, the gay marriage argument had the premise of transgender ideology baked in. Transgender equality automatically became the next social domino for the progressive left in general, and the Democratic Party in particular.
This push by giant corporations, giant unions and the Democrats to ignore basic biology in favor of a voguish gender ideology has been abetted by LGBT pressure groups and medical institutions and associations who value political conformity over hard scientific evidence.
Even John Money’s fall from grace has not impacted the political pressure group he and Alfred Kinsey launched called the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). WPATH has continued to push a political agenda for gender ideology based on some of his disputed scientific evidence.
“To be a member in WPATH, you only need to have an interest in transgender issues,” Van Meter said. “There is no professional degree required, no training specifically, no certification. If you want to be a member, all you need to do is pay your dues.”
Despite ample evidence that sex roles are indeed dependent on biology, the progressive hijacking of previously scientific pursuits continues. However, there remain a number of notable dissenting researchers who are pushing back against the LGBT dogma.
In recent years there have appeared op-eds based on papers such as those by Dr. Paul R. McHugh, former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, which argued that transgender identity is a mental illness akin to bulimia and should not be treated with surgery, which can cause more harm than good.
Dr. McHugh is among the most eminent American psychiatrists of the last half-century. It was during his directorship that Johns Hopkins pioneered work with transgender individuals.
McHugh and Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer, an epidemiologist trained in psychiatry and a scholar in residence at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine co-authored a 116-page report, analyzing research from the biological, psychological, and social sciences, and concluded that many of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence.
“Some of the most widely held views about sexual orientation, such as the ‘born that way’ hypothesis, simply are not supported by science. The literature in this area does describe a small ensemble of biological differences between non-heterosexuals and heterosexuals, but those biological differences are not sufficient to predict sexual orientation, the ultimate test of any scientific finding,” the report said
Immediately following the release of the report, the trans lobby went on the attack.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the most powerful lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer advocacy group in the country, labeled the report an “attack on LGBT communities” and threatened to penalize Johns Hopkins University if it did not distance itself from the study. This would be accomplished by downgrading Johns Hopkins in the HRC Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index.
Media Matters for America, the George Soros-funded DNC-aligned activist group, accused McHugh of “ignoring medical consensus and arguing that transgender patients should be denied medically necessary treatment,” namely gender reassignment. Others called McHugh’s views “transphobic” and “a form of science denialism. To these trans ideologues, scientific inquiry that runs counter to leftist politics is automatically equal to climate change deniers.
Amazingly, the administration of Johns Hopkins stood firm against this attack on academic and scientific inquiry. Academic freedom, Johns Hopkins officials noted, is “designed to afford members of the community the broadest possible scope for unencumbered expression, investigation, analysis, and discourse.”
In the meantime, in Toronto, psychologist Kenneth Zucker was treating patients who came to his clinic believing they were born in the wrong body. Zucker was noted for treating over 500 such cases chronicled over a period of about 30 years with patients ranging from three-years-old through adolescence.
In his practice Zucker discovered the undercurrent issue was significant psychological maladjustment to adverse childhood traumas such as divorce, death of a sibling, and sexual abuse. Avoidance or protection mechanisms resulted in the children’s gender dysphoria.
Sadly, Zucker identified a pathology wherein the parents were essentially the cause of the trauma that resulted in childhood gender confusion. But under his treament, 98 percent of the boys ultimately were fine with their biologic sex, as were over 80 percent of the girls.
“It is high time that governmental agencies at the national and local levels return to valid science, which reveals that there are two biologic sexes, and only two: male and female,” said Van Meter, now president of the American College of Pediatricians.
“There’s nothing normal about the environment where these children are brought up,” Van Meter stated. “There are emotional traumas left and right. It is so obvious that what we’re doing is painting over the trauma.”
According to recent studies, Van Meter may be too charitable in his descriptions of transgender therapies. There is mounting evidence that the gender fluidity orthodoxy is having catastrophic effects on the lives of transgendered adults and children.
A 2011 study at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden produced the most illuminating results yet regarding the transgendered, evidence that should give advocates pause. The long-term study—up to 30 years—followed 324 people who had sex-reassignment surgery.
The study revealed that beginning about 10 years after having the surgery, the transgendered began to experience increasing mental difficulties.
Most shockingly, their suicide mortality rose almost 20-fold above the comparable non-transgender population. This disturbing result has not been explained but may reflect the isolation reported by the aging transgendered after surgery. The high suicide rate certainly challenges the surgery prescription.
But this doesn’t seem to impact the thinking of the influential LGBTQ+ lobby on the political Left. Indeed, their cause has been completely embraced by the Democratic Party.
At the recent town hall for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, aired on ABC, a Pennsylvania voter asked Mr. Biden how he would reverse executive orders by the Trump administration that had affected LGBTQ people. The voter identified as Mieke Haeck was noted as the mother of an 8-year-old male-to-female transgender child.
Biden’s semi-coherent response seemed to align with the Democratic Party’s platform.
“The idea that an 8-year-old child or a 10-year-old child decides, ‘You know I decided I want to be transgender. That’s what I think I’d like to be. It would make my life a lot easier.’ There should be zero discrimination,” Biden stated.
This response set off a firestorm of social media postings accusing Biden of co-signing the radical Left’s increasing sexualization of young children via easier access to transgender therapy.
To be absolutely fair to Biden, his muttering response did not directly address the controversy of increasing numbers of very young children identifying as transgender and given drugs to block the effects of puberty.
But as recent history has shown, the Democratic Party’s platform relentlessly seeks to normalize the formerly taboo in the name if civil liberties. If Biden didn’t exactly sign off on mutilating young children for the cause of transgender freedom, it may just be a matter of his party winning the White House before “evolving” their thinking in this direction.
It was Vice President Biden’s gaffe, amounting to a premature endorsement of gay marriage that caused Barack Obama to finally bring his own gay marriage endorsement out of the closet.
Contrary to the Democratic Party Platform, the Trump administration has sought to establish a legal definition of sex under its Title IX enforcement that would ensure individuals’ recorded sex correspond to their actual biology. To the current administration under Trump, gender identity is treated as a social construct, not a biologic one, and the White House point of view is that gender-specific rights have no place in regulation or law.
This approach has led the Trump Administration to force the Pentagon to take a much more restrictive approach to transgenders in the active service military.
The transgender debate will rage on with its uncertainties, despite the heavy-handed conformity demanded by LGTB activists and their allies.
Gender issues and identity are among the deep fissures in the current political and social divisions in American society and these issues will not be settled over the course of one or two more election years.
The history of this debate — and even the science, remains to be written, as disturbing as this may sound to those who maintain a biblical world view.