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Making a Disorder a Right

July 9, 2011

In 2006, a group of self-styled human rights experts met in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and outlined a set of principles designed to totally redefine human rights — principles which they argued should be binding on all states.[1] These so-called principles would make absolute sexual freedom the measure of human rights and trample over freedom of religion, freedom of speech, parental rights, and national sovereignty.[2] The Yogyakarata Principles demand that all discrimination in the public and private spheres on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity be eliminated.

Of course, violence against any person should be prosecuted. Of course, each person is entitled to full protection under the law. However, under the Yogyakarta Principles those who refuse to recognize same-sex marriages or sex changes could be charged with hate crimes and subjected sanctions, even if their statements are based on scientific studies or strongly held religious views.

Many of those pushing ‘gender mainstreaming’ are social constructionists, who believe that the differences between men and women are artificial. However  in public, gay and transgender rights advocates use essentialist arguments. They are act as though homosexuality and transsexuality were biologically determined – that people are born that way and can’t change, and that homosexuality and transsexuality are normal, healthy manifestations of human diversity. There is no scientifically replicated evidence supporting these assertions and if you read gay literature carefully, you will notice that they hedge such claims.[3]

There is substantial evidence that early childhood experiences leading to childhood Gender Identity Disorder accounts for most same-sex attraction and transsexual identity disorders. Susan Bradley, who is an expert in the treatment of children with Gender Identity Disorder, suggests that Gender Identity Disorder can be connected to problems with attachment, separation, and identification in early childhood.[4]

There are numerous studies documenting change of sexual orientation, particularly among women.[5] A birth cohort study conducted in New Zealand found substantial changes in sexual orientation.[6] Sexual Fluidity, by Lisa Diamond as the title suggests discusses the dynamics of changes in sexual attraction among women. In her study the majority of women changed their sexual identity at least once in a ten year period. Some several times.[7]

Persons with same-sex attraction have demanded and in some place won the right to enter into legal marriages. The public may believe that these relationships are comparable to marriage between a man and woman, but they differ in significant ways. They cannot be consummated in a marital act and are infertile. Every child acquired by a same-sex couple has been permanently and purposefully separated from one or both biological parents and such separations are perceived by the child as a loss. Male couples are almost never faithful over time. While gay advocates push for marriage, there are many in the gay community who view marriage as a restriction on the absolute sexual freedom that is the essence of the gay lifestyle. There is substantial evidence that the goal of the same-sex marriage movement is not to bring the gay community into conformity with traditional morality, but to impose gay values on the larger community.

The claim that gender identity should be added to the protected categories is even more problematic. The public has been led to believe that some people are born with a male body but a female brain, or a female body but a male brain and therefore need surgery to correct nature’s little mistake and give them the body they were meant to have. According to the Yogyakarta Principles, such person’s documents should be changed to allow them to live undetected as the sex they want to be rather than the sex they were born.

It is important to realize that protections for “gender identity” would lead to a string of legal deceptions. While those presenting themselves for surgery claim to have always believed they were not the sex they were born, there is substantial evidence that those who want surgery know that the only way they can convince the surgeons to operate is to tell the right story – the  male body/female brain myth. In fact, the etiology of a desire for surgery can be traced to several different psychological disorders.

Gender Identity Disorder in young boys can lead to an imitation of female behavior and dress. While these boys are labeled as effeminate or girlish, they don’t resemble normal little girls, these little boys are fearful, anxious, restricted, compulsive, and use their mother’s clothing to self-comfort. What distinguishes them from other boys with GID, who if left untreated are at risk to become homosexually attracted in adolescence, is that these boys are attracted to heterosexual men and believe that by becoming the male fantasy of a woman they can attract such men. Their impersonation of womanhood is based on a stereotyped image of a big busted, always sexually available woman. Many of these homosexual transgendered men earn money for their sex change working as prostitutes.

Another category of men desiring surgery is autogynphiles, men who are in love with the image of themselves as a woman. This syndrome begins with transvestite paraphilia, self-comforting masturbation in adolescence while looking in a mirror and dressing in women’s clothing. Such men are attracted to women, often marry and have children, and then later in life, perhaps a period of stress, decide that secret cross-dressing is not enough, they want to be women. These men tend to make unconvincing imitations of women.

As a woman, I find the stories of men who think they are women unconvincing. They talk about how nice it will be to wear silky undergarments, or gossip or shop, but know nothing of real womanhood.

It is interesting to note that radical feminists and lesbians are conflicted about men who claim surgery made them women and particularly concerned about those men who after surgery claim to be lesbians. Janice Raymond, a radical feminists and author of The Transsexual Empire denounced such men for embodying the most negative stereotypes of womanhood and for invading women’s space.[8] Some feminist gatherings are restricted to women born women, living as women.

Many professionals involved in treating transsexuals are not convinced that surgery really changes sex. They believe that these men suffer from psychological disorders, but because they refuse therapy and threaten suicide or self-mutilation, they are okayed for surgery. George Burou, a Casablancan physician who has operated on over seven hundred American men admitted, “I don’t change men into women. I transform male genitals into genitals that have a female aspect. All the rest is in the patient’s mind.”[9]

Ethel Person, who interviewed a number of men in the process of transition, wrote:

“What I do accept is that men and some women, who undergo transsexual surgery, are terribly alienated from their bodies, so alienated that they think little of mutilating them. I accept the fact that transsexual have suffered an enormous amount of psychical and emotional pain. But I don’t accept the fact that someone’s desire to be a woman, or a man, makes one a woman or man. Or that the instrumentality of hormones and surgery creates a real woman or man.” [10]

According to Jon Meyer and John Hoopes, who conducted a study which led to the discontinuation of the sex change surgery program at Johns Hopkins:

“In a thousand subtle ways, the reassignee has the bitter experience that he is not—and never will be—a real girl but is, at best, a convincing simulated female. Such an adjustment cannot compensate for the tragedy of having lost all chance to be male, and of having in the final analysis, no way to be really female.”[11]

Charles Ihlenfeld was initially involved in sex change surgery, later left the field. He explained:

“Whatever surgery did, it did not fulfill a basic yearning for something that is difficult to define. This goes along with the idea that we are tying to treat superficially something that is much deeper.”[12]

Even John Money, who was instrumental is pushing sex change surgery, recognizes that the female personality of men desiring surgery is a creation of their idea of what it means to be a woman and excludes true maternal feelings. He wrote:

“The male transsexuals ‘female personality is’,  in part, his conception of those traits and behavior patterns which typically constitute femininity… It simply excludes traits such as an urge to fondle the new-born and erotic arousal not be visual and narrative stimuli, but by touch, because they are normally outside male experiences and comprehension.”[13]

The desire for a sex change among women has increased in recent years as women who experienced GID in childhood and became masculine-identified lesbians decide they want to be accepted as male. Some opt for breast removal and hormone treatments. Others request a total hysterectomy and a few undergo surgery to create a non-functional simulation of male genitals. Interestingly, this trend has not been well received by other lesbians, including the partners of those who transition; it is viewed as going over to the enemy.

While some jurisdictions have allowed persons who have undergone surgery to change their documents, those pushing the transgender agenda demand that any person who wants to be accepted as the other sex be allowed to change their identification whether or not they have had or intend to have surgery.

In addition, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered alliance has expanded to include persons who self-identify as “queer.’ Such persons don’t want to be restricted to one “gender” Some demand the right to be neither men nor women.[14]According to Riki Wilchins, a contributor to Genderqueer:

“…gender is the new frontier: the place to rebel, to create new individuality and uniqueness, to defy old, tired, outdated social norms, and, occasionally drive their parents and sundry other authority figures crazy.”[15]

Is it really a good idea to grant special protection to those in rebellion against parents and other authority figures?

The problem with legal rights for the transgendered and queer is that it legalizes deception. Those who claim a sex other than their own, want to lie to sexual partners, wipe out their past, and create a false one. It is interesting to note that some transsexuals become tired of living a lie and decide to live as open transsexuals, sometimes in relationships with other transgendered persons.

The transgendered delight in ‘passing” — deceiving others as to their true sex–  but that is not enough, they want to define discrimination as anything that makes them feel bad, such as referring to them with the wrong pronouns or not accepting that their new identity. They want everyone to go along with deception. Some are prone to narcissistic rage. When their deception is not accepted or their psychological health is questioned, they claim victim status and mount vicious campaigns against opponents.[16]

People cannot change their sex and to force the public to go along with the transgender deception violates freedom of thought, speech, and religion. The following quote from Theodore Dalrymple, explains what happens when people give into a state imposed deception:

“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself.  One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed.”[17]

This post is part three of the original draft of a speech entitled “A Woman’s Perspective on Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective,” delivered in May, 2011in Hungary

[1] Yogyakarta Principles, http://www.yogyakartaprinciples.org/index.php?item=25,

[2] Piero Toggi, “Six Problems with the “Yogyakarta Principles” IORG Briefing Paper,  revised May, 2008

[3] John DeCecco, David Parker, Sex, Cells, and Same-sex Desire (NY: Harrington Park, 1995)

[4] Susan Bradley,  Affect Regulation and the Development of Psychopathology, (NY; Gilford, 2000)

[5]  Stanton Jones, Mark Yarhouse, Ex-Gays (Downers Grove,IL: IVP Academic, 2007)

[6] Skegg, Ibid

[7] Lisa Diamond, Sexual Fluidity, (Cambraidge MA: Harvard U.P., 2008)

[8] Janice Raymond, The Transsexual Empire (NY: Athene, 1994)

[9]Ibid, p. 10.

[10] Ibid, p. xxiv.

[11] Jon Meyer and John Hoopes, “The gender dysphoria syndromes: A position statement on so-called transsexualism,”  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, (1974), p. 450

[12] ____ “A doctor tells why he’ll no longer treats transsexuals,” National Observer,  Oct. 16, 1976, p. 14

[13] John Money, Clay Primrose,  “Sexual dimorphism in the psychology of the male transsexual”( in Richard Green, John Money, Transsexualism and Sex Reassignment,” Baltimore: Johns Hopkins,; 1969) p.131

[14] Riki Wilchins, “A continuous nonverbal communication (in Genderqueer,Los Angeles: Alyson, 2002) p.14

[15] Ibid,  p. 13

[16] Anne A. Lawrence, “Shame and Narcissistic Rage in Autogynephilic Transsexualism,” Archive of Sexual Behavior (2008) 37: pp. 457–461.

[17] Jamie Glazov (2005) “Our Culture, What’s Left of It,” Frontpage Magazine, August 3. quoting Theodore Dalrymple, Our Culture, What’s Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses

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