One of the most glaring parts of “born this way” transactivism that rings false is the idea that there have always, always been trans people who have experienced gender dysphoria in similar ways to people today.
This is pretty clearly not the case.
Listen to the trans narratives coming out of people today, and listen IN PARTICULAR to the trans narratives coming out about children. Children who tried to cut off their own genitals, children who absolutely insist upon being treated as the opposite sex, children who scream and cry when clothing for the opposite sex is put on them (ignoring, of course, that at many points in human history, clothing for infants and young children was not gendered, that boys wore dresses, that boys wore much more pink than girls, et cetera)–now, think about this for a minute.
In all the medical and psychiatric literature of the 18th through 20th centuries, where were these children? Here are just a few examples of “trans children” who are said to have attempted self-mutilation of their genitals. Imagine, if you will, what Freud would have done with this–the field day that any psychologist of the early 20th century would have had if they’d encountered children with such significant dysphoria that they were hacking away at their body parts! There are plenty of records of various psychological and physical maladies–some real and some not-so-real–in 18th and 19th century records. Where are the children who insisted that they were the opposite sex and simply would not be moved? Doctors at those times were NOT afraid of reporting and documenting supposedly “deviant” behavior. It absolutely beggars belief that if transgenderism is inborn and manifests as children taking drastic and even mutilating steps toward their chosen gender, not one psychiatrist or psychologist or physician would have said, “wow, this is interesting, I’d better get a syndrome named after me!”
Because, see, that’s what actually happened with other types of issues that start to manifest in childhood. We have records of children with autism. We have records of children with cancer. We have records of children with major psychological and neurological problems. There was no conspiracy of silence surrounding transgender issues.
Now, had trans children started to “come out of the closet,” as it were, it’s true that they’d have
probably been subjected to all kinds of horrific medical and psychiatric interventions designed to “correct” their dysphoria. Some people will say that this means trans children stayed closeted, for their own good. But how would trans children know? No one would say to them, “by the way, if you think you’re the opposite sex, you can expect electroshock treatment to start in a couple of weeks.”
We have documentation of hundreds of medical and psychological conditions going back literally thousands of years. To cite just a couple of examples, multiple sclerosis had been thoroughly described by the mid-19th century. So had bipolar disorder (which was described by several different psychiatrists before the 20th century rolled around). Ditto schizophrenia. Autism was well-described by the mid-20th century (and had only missed out on earlier description because it was considered a form of schizophrenia). Case studies abound involving people with all kinds of incredibly unusual physical or mental workings–and yet, there was no penis-cutting epidemic, not even when children had less adult supervision and more access to cutting implements a lot more grown-up than safety scissors.
Trans activists today claim that without surgical intervention, dysphoria can be and often is fatal, because it will compel them to acts of self-harm. Trans activists also claim about half of trans people have attempted suicide because of their desire to transition. Where was this epidemic of pediatric death-wishes before doctors started telling parents that the only solution to their children’s dysphoria was expensive surgery and hormones?
Oh right–I know where it was. It didn’t exist. Listen, grownups: transition if you want, it’s very little skin off my ass. But having your children medically sterilized, delaying the onset of their puberty, feeding them enough bullshit about gender that they have a desire to chop off their organs before they even know what those organs are for? It’s Munchausen’s by proxy, and it’s child abuse.
“Born that way” makes it possible for doctors to alter little children’s genitals before they are old enough to consent, and to pump them full of drugs that have not been studied for use in pediatric patients or over the long term. To keep their newfound gender, the children in question will have to pay, and pay, and pay, for the rest of their lives, just to stay on the hormone treatments. “Born this way” transactivism isn’t just a problem because it enshrines gender as an innate human quality. It’s also a problem because it makes ordinarily perfectly sane liberal people totally fine with allowing medical procedures on children that they would never, ever allow otherwise.
The trans child phenomenon is a product of our gender-obsessed, individual performance-obsessed culture, along with parents who think it’s sure fun to parade around their child in front of news cameras so they can talk about how special their kid is and how oppressed. Munchausen’s by proxy, and the parents just SOAK UP the accolades. Well, history foils you again, parents of “trans kids.” Every shrink and doctor in the last 200 years–hell, 2000 years–would have given his or her eyeteeth to have had such a juicy disorder that it was causing little boys to chop off their penises. They’d have come up with all kinds of specious reasoning for it based on their conception of the body and mind at the time, and we’d all be saying, “wow, if only they’d known those kids were trans and could be cured with surgery and hormones!”
But that’s not what’s happening, is it? It’s all new territory, and any idea of talk therapy is immediately derided as transphobic and an erasure of trans identities. It’s surgery and hormones–or at least the possibility of surgery and hormones, delaying puberty to make these things easier–or nothing at all. This, in spite of the fact that surgery and hormones are shown to have little or no effect on the suicide rates of trans people or their levels of depression and anxiety.
Don’t end up on the wrong side of history, fifty years from now when a whole lot of these trans kids tell us what was actually going on in their homes, or when they lash out angrily at the people who altered their bodies permanently and prevented them from reproducing, all based on parental reactions to the child’s normal reactions to enforcement of gender roles.
75 thoughts on “Why Trans Children Actually Give the Lie to “Born This Way””
Reblogged this on There Are So Many Things Wrong With This and commented:
Wow, thanks for this post. I’ve not really thought of how insane it is that this is becoming so commonplace when in most of our recorded history children’s gendered upbringings were a lot more ambiguous. Somehow that ambiguity did not confuse them even though the roles they entered into were a lot more oppressive than they currently are. Somethings off.
This article is unscientific, agenda driven crap. Does your (white-centric) history account for the experiences of gay and bisexual children before electroshock therapy became a thing? Are you going to deny gay and bisexual children exist and existed? Honestly, acting like you know the history of experiences you could never understand, when you don’t even acknowledge there are cultures other than your own one with its “history” written by straight white men. But you know who Freud is right so you must be clever or something, give me a break. This is just absolutely looking for excuses to be hateful – inventing your own unscientific theories out of your own hate is the sort of thing really really dangerous people do.
Of course gay children existed. They’re phenomenally well documented in history. Children trying to mutilate their genitals? Nope.
well, I think there was a roman emperor who wanted a vagina (?), dressed up as a woman, and who tried to pay surgeons of his time to get him surgery, but he was quite insane, and ended up murdered by his bodyguards on the toilet at 18.. so 1 person isn’t a great example…plsu he did it as a teen/adult as far as we know.. and he didn’t mutilate himself as far as know.
However, regardless of that, if someone is trying to cut a healthy body part off, they are insane. It shouldn’t matter if it’s a sex organ or not.
I also think it’s pretty ironic that you’re accusing ME of hating these children, when it’s the pro-trans community that thinks the right way to approach these kids is to artificially delay the onset of puberty and start artificial hormone therapy of dubious utility.
Poor Sarah, giving new meaning to “projection”. And trumpeting a revival of the work of the likes of Mengele.
White centric–what a load of horse shit. Good god how stupid does it get? Try again.
Transgender is not gay. And no, these children have only existed since they could be mis- used by fetishistic men to gain political and social legitimacy and also by medical people that want some easy money. Gay/Trans is a false analogy used to garner pity/legitimacy and to manipulation and convince people–yeah this okay.
Science realizes that transgender linked to gay is flawed and only a political alliance. This piece is absolutely correct. Transgender has no social or scientific history to it. You want cultures okay Gay is documented in ancient Babylonian texts, Aramaic, Sumerian, Canaanite, Hebrew, Persian and “transgender” is not–not ever. Enough cultures for you–2000 years of written cultures. And no trans.
You seriously think the whole world is ignorant? And we both know if it ever had been word one woo hoo the Trans would have a party. Alas there isn’t. One would think that if it was so really like gay and had always been around across cultures as a human condition it would have been documented at lest once. Although men that cross dressed are documented and associated with the sex trade and with auto erotic behavior. So where does that leave all that historical legitimacy? You really don’t think people are questioning and some things are not hard to prove.
No doubt that body modification surgery and chemicals are mearly an extension of cross dressing and have no real medical validity. Which is fine, people can do what they want to themselves. They just can’t demand anyone else play along with the delusion, they can’t use children, and they can’t threaten women because they have a penis that becomes erect in high heals. Mens’ arousal is not a new civil rights cause–sorry. The wrong side of history is here and you are on it.
Great blog–have taken down two of the main lies–the victims of violence and now the born this way.
…and the two-spirit dodge.
Actually no Motherhood, “Gay” is not documented in any of these cultures, or else I challenge you to show one source.
Same-sex relations had by people also in other relationships (“bisexuality” in modern parlance) are documented. Women electing not to have relationships with men and to live with each other only (“political lesbian” in modern parlance) is documented. A specific kind of people who are only really “made” for same-sex relationships are NOT documented.
The Gay identity is a specific part of Western culture. Just like the Trans identity. It is so because Western culture gives much more value to individual identity than other cultures.
You are correct the behavior was documented, not an as identity. They also had no identity called heterosexual. Although some had up to 4 types that might be considered “genders” and not a single one would be what is considered “trans.” It is child abuse and a fad. It is not going to look so good in the future.
So, both “gay” and “trans” are identities specific to Western culture. Q.E.D.
Both behaviours are also documented but were called different names and had different specifics. Whose who we would call trans people, especially trans women, did not care that much about passing. People with homosexual tendencies did not demand marriage but instead married women and had children with them, while enjoying same-sex relationships and sometimes extolling them as “higher” than “mundane” marriage”.
Just why one should be accepted and the other rejected, then? If you want to reject the developments in modern Western culture, it would be logical to go all the way. A third gender/no gender designation for trans, with development of dedicated third/fourth gender spaces but no access to spaces of the other sex. And no gay marriage – instead encouraging gays and lesbians, at least those intending to reproduce, to marry for childbearing/rearing with the mutual understanding that their sexual interests lie elsewhere. That would be in tune with the majority of human historical practice.
Homosexual behavior, though not identity, was understood and documented. Sexual IDENTITIES, as such, are basically made up. They’re political groupings people belong to based on things in their own head. Sexual behavior, orientation, preferences? Those are all very much things that can be observed and have existed for a very long time. Sexual identities, on the other hand, are recent phenomena. That’s why gender identity disorder is new–because the entire idea of a separate “identity” is, well, pretty damn new in and of itself.
Misguided political correction got the best of me in that last comment, I apologize for what, on review, reads as erasing women. “Men with gay tendencies” should be substituted for “people with homosexual tendencies”.
Women often had no choice, orientation notwithstanding. While Western culture is far from perfect in that regard, it has a great degree of freedom for women that is, as far as I am aware, unprecedented in recorded history (note “recorded” as opposed to reconstructed). We do have examples of women bondign together to reject male dominance, but how much of that stemmed from their desire for other women is unclear and indeed they had bigger problems than just desire.
I do tend to think “West is best”. You don’t have to agree. What is illogical, in my view, is to accept Western views on gay identity but not on trans identity.
“That’s why gender identity disorder is new–because the entire idea of a separate “identity” is, well, pretty damn new in and of itself.”
BINGO. My point exactly.
Now see my question to Motherhood. Sex-related identities as they exist in Western cultures are all new. Why embrace some but reject others?
In my view, the emphasis on individuals is the good part of Western culture. Therefore any debate around identities and rights should be on a Western basis – balancing individual interests, including those individuals who chose to form a group. This analysis rejects the notion of objective pre-existing classes. But I understand this is not just a Western, but specifically a liberal Western view. (In the original/European sense of “liberal”, although American Liberalism grew out of this school too).
I understand opposing views exist, but I do expect consistency. (Yes, the notion of consistency does presuppose that logic as such transcends culture). I don’t see any reason for arbitratily rejecting trans identities because they are culturally bound, even while accepting GLB identities that are equally culturally bound.
I have no problem with sexual identities like gay and straight ALSO being considered culture-bound–in fact, I very much believe they ARE culture-bound. Even in black American culture today, a number of men engage in sexual relations with other men without considering themselves gay-identified. I also don’t feel that gay people create the same sorts of complex privilege interplays that transgenderism can in some situations. If people choose to have a sexual identity of any sort, in a way that makes sexuality something about the core of their soul instead of just a matter of taste for them, that’s fine. When people do the same thing with gender, I’m all for making sure they have the right to be unimpeded in their lives, in terms of having legal protections. But I also think children should have legal protections that prevent their parents from potentially thrusting an identity upon them, or changing their body to match an identity that they may not still hold as adults.
I have a feeling the medical industry is so in favor of transgenderism in children because they know they’ll make money both ways: first from the fad of parents with GID kids, and another wave from the de-transitioning kids some years later, who’ll have a whole new need for surgeries and enhancements to undo what was done in childhood as much as possible.
The question of where informing stops and “thrusting upon” starts is a complex one worldwide. In my native Russia, a law was recently passed that forbids “propaganda of homosexuality to children” because the lawmakers believe that positive information about homosexuality might push children to experiment with homosexual relations.
I tend to agree that actual body modification by chemistry or surgery (as opposed to just being treated as the preferred gender) should generally be avoided before at least 16, which would mean a start of the WPATH-recommended two years from initial transition to surgery, and thus no surgery before 18. (Coincidentially I also see 16 as a sane age of consent; places like California and Ireland overdo it in my view. By 16 a person should be able to make serious decisions affecting themselves if not others).
I think, however, that activist support for early treatment is mostly an overreaction to the immense tragedy that often accomplishes late transitions. Transsexuals denied treatment tend to overcompensate (it is interesting to see the exact same pattern repeated in Kraft-Ebbing and in modern observations on both FtMs and MtFs – given that Kraft-Ebbing is largely forgotten, displaced in public perception by the much less scientifically sound Freud). Overcompensation only pigeonholes them deeper into a role they are not able to accept, and to create social ties that can be painful to break, including family. In places without a state-funded medical system, an additional factor in late transitions is affordability.
For people who had to go through a late transition or to see someone else go through it, it is quite natural to desire that this tragedy be avoided at all costs. Been there done that on a different topic – I so hated Communism growing up under it that I was drawn to extreme libertarianism for a time.
You and Ayn Rand both! In my house, as a child, we hosted a Soviet exchange student who became a Ukrainian student while in the U.S. because the USSR collapsed. Things I heard about the USSR from Yulia were why, for a time, I also had a flirtation with extreme libertarianism in my teens.
So you even approve inflammatory comments, but my comment showing from actual literature that your claim is directly wrong and transsexual children were described gets held?
For the attention of those reading the exchange much later, I want to leave it documented here that the above suspicion was false. It turned out that my comments triggered an obscure limitation in WordPress commenting.
(Sorry for wasting space, CBG. But the larger debate is just too hot and I do not want proliferation of false accusations. Even upon those I do not agree with).
Thanks, I totally appreciate it. 🙂
If the comment got held because it was too long here is a short version. The real late 19th century authority on sexual and related psychopathology was not Freud but Krafft-Ebing and he does describe both transsexuality in general and at least one case of its being evident from childhood.
http://archive.org/stream/psychopathiasexu00krafuoft/psychopathiasexu00krafuoft_djvu.txt is his principal work, which first published in 1886. It is extremely long-winded so:
– to find transsexuality search for “Antipathic Sexuality is the total absence”. Under these words you find a list; (c) is transsexuality. Harry Benjamin was not even born at the time this was penned.
– to find a VERY lengthy case study of a lifetime transsexual woman (biological male) starting from her childhood, search for “Born in Hungary”.
So, the syndrome is real and was described. But I could not find any peer-reviewed record of success of talk therapy as an alternative to sex reassignment in properly diagnosed (as per WPATH) transsexuals.
You think that someone describing a person who straight-up says that they want to be a woman because they’re *attracted to women’s clothing* and who believes he actually has a period, and is obsessed with what he perceives as having been “treated like a girl” at various times is the same thing as the children who try to cut off their genitals? This is someone who, by his own account, didn’t feel genital dysphoria until substantially later in life when he had a hallucinatory drug trip in which he saw his doctor as having a potato for a head and his wife having the full moon in her thorax.
This isn’t discussing a trans child, it’s talking about the experience of someone who became a fetishistic transvestite and after a drug trip experienced lasting dysphoria. Read my “Two Stories, True Stories” post for why I don’t quite buy when we only hear about these long-held childhood feelings of being a woman from people who have long since become adults.
Where, oh where, in the literature is ANYTHING involving actual children being brought to doctors or psychiatrists with the idea that their genitals were wrong, or having cut off their own genitals? It would have been perceived in those times as a terrifically salacious paper, the journals would have gone nuts for it. So why is there nothing except people’s inevitably distorted recollections of long-ago?
Length limit SEVERE, cutting in two.
Apart from classics like Krafft-Ebing’s book, old psychiatric literature is not easy to find without access to a specialized library. However, even by online searching I did find a reference one case, apparently described in 1963 – thus before the publication of Harry Benjamin’s work; moreover by the publication the patient was at least 35 and the genital self-mutilation started at age 6, so it must have occurred before the Second World War.
An article by N. Eke http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1464-410x.2000.00438.x/full has “one boy started sequential GSM at the age of 6 years and by the age of 35 years, he had removed his testes, scrotum and penis . His wife is reported to have remarked that with this completion, their life together would become more pleasant.”
The reference number 15 is: Blacker KH & Wong N. Four cases of autocastration. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1963; 8: 169 76 .
The abstract of that 1963 article can be found here http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=488279 but this abstract has no reference to the age. It does refer to older reports starting from 1901 and it does state that it is common in “transvestites” (the term “transsexual” did not exist in 1963); however it is unclear from the abstract whether such reports involve children. Yet, unless one can accuse Eke of a misquote (and this is not an activist article so that’s unlikely), we have at least one actual case nabbed. Note the description of what would be, in modern terms, likely named a lesbian relationship between a cis woman and a trans woman; here the cis woman actually believes her trans partner is better off without the male genitals.
I wonder if I could lay my hands on the journals without actually being a medic and at least without leaving Ireland…
(Oh, please kill the comments “awaiting moderation” – I now have gauged the length limit and adjusted accordingly)
Did some further (re)searching. Correction – the term transsexual did exist in 1963, though was not very well accepted. In English it was introduced by David Cauldwell – and the “trans-critical” crowd might want to spend some time researching David Cauldwell. He has apparently (I just have Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Cauldwell) proposed a theory that is critical of sex reassignment because it sees transsexualism as a mental issue linked to gender socialization. Yet he championed acceptance of homosexuality and transvestism. Sounds like a better match for gender-critical authors than the fundamentalist works of McHugh (popularized by Blanchard) and Zucker-Bradley, yet somehow forgotten?
Back on topic. It seems that the first case Harry Benjamin himself treated with hormones, back in 1948, was a child! However, note “seems”, as it is stated in Wikipedia and the reference link is dead. Moreover, according to the article, Harry Benjamin sent the child to Germany for surgery then lost contact – and this was in 1948, so we are talking about occupied Germany.
See Wikipedia on Harry Benjamin for that. It seems that posts with over 1 link get held.
Also I can not accept your evaluation of the person as a fetishistic transvestite, given that the preference for female form, social interaction, and attire preceded sexual maturity. Unless one subscribes to the McHugh dogma that just sees ALL transvestism as fetishistic, there is no reason to suspect fetishism here.
When describing herself (and I will stick to the prefered identity here) at about age 12, she says – “But I was careful not to allow this to be noticed ; and yet I am sure that I should not have shrunk from the castration-knife, could I have thus attained my desire.” Yes, she was taught enough self-discipline not to try the knife herself, and she was also made to learn that no change was possible. So, as is *common* among trans people, she tried to hypercompensate by “doing boyish things” and avoiding girls, basically a form of self-“therapy” along Zucker-Bradley lines.
It did not end well. She shows signs of increasing disturbance from late teens, like being unable to sleep for fourteen days (probaboly by reason of anxiety).
The case seems to be a clear example of “nuclear”/”primary” transsexuality, where allowing her to live as her preferred gender from her teens should have been preferred. (Whether or not any chemistry or surgery should have been involved and at what time is a different question).
In 1918, “Jenny June” (a name much like “Jane Doe”) aka Earl Lind (also a pseudonym) wrote “The Autobiography of a Androgyne”… was just such an individual… and documented and detailed her life as just such an individual, feminine from early childhood, exclusively homosexual, and who voluntarily chose to be castrated in order to stop any further masculinization as she grew up. In her follow up 1923 book, “The Female Impersonators” she went into even further detail about those like her who lived a good deal of their lives as women in society. She even includes a very homophobic news item written by a New York police commissioner on the evils of “fairies”, given a very clear picture of teenaged transkids who move to New York to live as women… and how society needs to get rid of them. Yes, such transkids did exist. Aspiring to be anatomically female by such MTF kids. On the other hand, the first known FtM to avail himself of modern surgery was in 1917, Dr. Alan Hart. He lived his whole life as a man… and he was not alone, nor was he the first. Seriously, history documents many individuals who lived as the opposite sex as best as the could, given what technology / techniques were available. To say that transkids didn’t exist simply because we didn’t have modern SRS, or our modern social categories is just silly and ahistorical.
But, lots of children were taken to therapists (or other quacks) long before today’s understanding of transkids… but just as today, most kids grow out of their gender atypicality and/or dysphoria, to become conventional homosexuals. Only a VERY tiny subset of gender dysphoric children grow up (persist) to be adult transsexuals: http://sillyolme.wordpress.com/2011/02/28/age-of-innocence/ Thus, it would be no surprise that earlier authors did not see transkids in any numbers. It takes our present and ubiquitous internet to get that kind of coverage.
But I do have another comment to make… I don’t know where you got this idea that transkids are trying to cut off their own genitals… as that particular behavior is usually only seen in the other type of transgendered person, autogynephilic transsexuals. So… this is either AGP community hyperbole, or a red herring from somewhere else. I transitioned as a teenager myself… four decades ago… and in all of that time, I’ve never heard of a transkid attempting to cut off their own genitalia !!!
Now… for the other shoe… I also don’t buy into most adults recollections of their early childhood days, first because of “childhood amnesia” and second because most MTF transsexuals are autogynephilic and have VERY strong incentives to reinvent themselves and their histories, given that their early experiences were of being sexually aroused by cross-dressing… only only became interested in living as, and “identify” as women in mid-adult years, unlike transkids: http://sillyolme.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/the-origins-of-cross-gender-identity-in-transsexuals/
For far more information on this topic, please visit and READ all of the info here: http://sillyolme.wordpress.com/
Specifically, the “children threatening to cut off their own genitals” thing has come from many stories from parents of trans kids. I believe still that many of these parents are Munchausen’s by Proxy-ing their kids in a way that will lead to sterility and lifelong dependence on the medical system.
(also, sorry, your comment got caught in moderation, it might do that to comments above a certain length and I had enough comments and activity that I didn’t see the notification. You’re welcome to keep posting here, I like you!)
Thank you very much!
I got the point about larger comments. I really should get my own WordPress and have the lengthy quotes there – they will be handier to find, too.
Experimentation (not intentional) has revealed that posts with over 1 link apparently get held, regardless of length. Not very conducive to discussion with citing sources, but at least I have the rules nabbed.
Please kill the held posts. I did not intend to make so many!
The author’s central arguement is flawed. Its a bit like saying prostate cancer didn’t exist because doctors didn’t pick up on it and name it a certain way until year x. It is indeed a physical condition with a pre-natal causality.
Prostate cancer had been described from the 16th century onward. It’s precisely because of the LACK of this kind of thing and the sudden rash of parents all discussing the exact same symptom–a child wishing to self-mutilate to remove his genitals and being caught in just the nick of time to avoid self-injury but at a time when the parents could see what the child was doing–that I’m extremely skeptical about these parents and their motives.
Try again Roz.
Brain sex does not exist, Roz, if it did the whole world would know it because male scientists have been trying to prove that since the dawn of formal scientific study.
one big thing missing from this is the role role parents take in actually creating GID. as sick as it sounds kids transition to explain away their parents fucked-upness, and parents accept rather than take responsibility for it. the real answer, if there is one, is getting both parties to accept the entire truth. i don’t hold out much hope 😦
It IS child abuse, nothing more, nothing less. Well said.
I read the first article in the Fail and…god…seriously?? Dad believes in strict gender roles, poor kid wasn’t allowed to just be a boy who liked wearing pink sometimes, and they’re surprised the poor kid ‘wants to be a girl’?? At 2 they don’t even know what gender is.
The poor child is probably happier due to y’know, not being dragged to psychiatrists and given powerful psychoactive medications…also being left alone by the parents instead of being castigated for wanting to do ‘girly’ things. FFS. It actually makes me sad. I hope s/he has sorted this out by age 15 and doesn’t do anything drastic and irreversible – and yes, 15 IS too young to make that kind of decision. I wasn’t allowed to make a far less potentially life-affecting although still serious decision about whether to have some surgery alone at that age – I mean, I did make the decision, but my parents rightly guided me. What this poor child id being fed by such irresponsible parents I’d hate to think.
Like the trans cult, Christians are very willing to believe that gender is essential, and when they have a little girl or boy who wants to play with the “wrong” toys they start shaming, and are themselves shamed and start putting on the pressure. Especially the women, mothers, are blamed, as they are in two instances here on this thread.
“It absolutely beggars belief that if transgenderism is inborn and manifests as children taking drastic and even mutilating steps toward their chosen gender, not one psychiatrist or psychologist or physician would have said, “wow, this is interesting, I’d better get a syndrome named after me!”
Spot on. You are so brilliant.
This simply isn’t true. Trans people or third gendered people have existed throughout history, in the middle east and India. Just because you haven’t found it in your research, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
“or third gendered people”? That’s a pretty big lumping-in. Were they considered “born this way” and expressed extreme dysphoria to the point of self-mutilation as children?
“Born this way” is just a Western specific view that applies to gay and trans identities as seen in this culture. The feelings behind the identities, however, are more or less universal – same sex attraction (sometimes combined with lack of opposite sex attraction) and sex incongruence (not just gender, but sex). Social accommodation has been different in different cultures, of course – with more collectivist cultures either perfecting a suppression machine or working out a collective in which to include the deviant person.
Self-castration is a reported occurrence throughout history, too, starting at least with ancient Egypt. The only open question is whether specifically children did it – or rather people seen in those cultures as children. The Western view of “childhood” as lasting until 16 if not 18 (if not 21) is a pretty recent invention.
P.S. I got a WordPress account, but when I comment with it, the messages get held. I’ll try sending a “friend request” – could you accept it and then I hope this stops happening?
It does it with any “new” commenter (so judged by wordpress). 🙂
I don’t imagine you’ve ever actually met or spoken to a child who transitioned young? Parents of a child? The child’s therapist? Doctors? Teachers? Friends?
This is the difference between being a know-it-all blogger, and actually confronting in real life the issues you presume to know so much about.
In the late 19th century and early 20th, the emerging field of sexology documented people with “born this way” cross-gender identities. The medical professionals (physician psychologists, neurologists, and psychiatrists) stated that this type of sexual inversion was advanced, congenital and incurable (could not change a person’s psychical sex traits – their sense of being a man or a woman). They even believed that the psychical sex traits modified the patient’s bodies toward the sex with which they identified. See Westphal, Ulrichs, Moll, Kiernan, Krafft-Ebing, Lydston, Ellis, Hirschfeld. There are more – read their footnotes to discover additional scholarship.
You have also failed to understand what “sex” meant at the time. Sex has been understood as one-sex (males and inverted males), two mono-sexed sexes (males and females with no overlap) and bisexual (all people having characteristics of males and females – for example nipples and clitorus/penis).
You could also benefit from reading up the history of childhood to better understand why trans children are not reported as trying to change their bodies one hundred or so years ago. Kids were not considered sexed until puberty. In advice columns and books for parents, very young were referred to as “baby” or “it”. Parents were warned not to dress or treat children as masculine or feminine (that was considered inappropriate because the terms were for grownup sexual people, not children). Boys wore dresses until mid childhood in the 1800s. American’s began to “breech” boys earlier (put them into trousers by age 6 or 7) in the early 1900s. So children were not as aware of the physical differences – most of the differences were social (clothing, haircuts, habits, chores, etc).
Sorry – forgot to clarify with the sexologists – they saw this as manifesting in early childhood cross-gender identities, behaviors, interests, habits, etc. “True” cases of congenital advanced sexual inversion (having a male brain in a female body) was seen as a lifelong affliction that revealed itself very young. But again, how it revealed itself reflected the beliefs of the time – children were kept “generis neutris” (neither sex) as long as possible and so they would have displayed their gender dysphoria in asserting social changes not physical ones.
Sorry for all of the typos – I’m up way too late! Off to bed now.
Argh. I said I was going to bed. But one more thing – on a personal note – I identified as a boy (my earliest memories — 3 years old – praying every night to wake up a boy) but never said a word to my family until I was 40 and undergoing transition. I was silent growing up because the gender rules in our culture were very clear to me from a young age. I knew the consequences of breaking them was severe. How did I know? I knew because every day I was corrected, punished, chastised, teased, bullied, threatened, and harassed by parents, teachers, peers, and strangers for how I stood, talked, walked, sat, played, looked — I never said I was a boy and I never insisted on wearing boys clothing. Why would I? I was tormented enough by social stigma and its consequences. I hear very similar stories from other trans adults – we kept our mouths shut for survival.
And the statistic for trans suicide ideation – 41% of trans people report attempting suicide at least once in their lifetimes (26 times the national average). The rates are tied to social stigma (not status of one’s transition) – Trans people are routinely (regardless of transition status) discriminated against, beaten, disowned, sexually assaulted, harassed, fired / not hired, refused housing, refused basic health care, being denied services in public places and government offices, being targeted violently by police when calling for help … that’s what leads to high suicide rates. Not being trans but being treated like dirt.
That is absurd but works to try to garner pity. Jews were treated like dirt they did not claim they had suicidal ideation, women raped and murdered at about 10 a day are not threatening to off themselves, POC, live in a war zone lately? Male arrogance knows no bounds and assumes people will care–oh a man that feels like a women suffers more that the teenage girl gang raped because he is really scared and in soo much danger. Oh but you would have people believe that the white men in dresses suffer the most of any group ever–hand wringing grief. All the ideation is self reported and that’s not exactly the most accurate measure. Men from 40-70 are the highest rate of suicide which covers a large percentage of M2T. Many if you look at the stats and reports are hangings and these men are often dressed en femme undergarments–I would put that down as auto-erotic asphyxia. How many women kill themselves in Victorias Secrete garter and fishnets? Yeah.
I don’t know any trans people who want pity – yours or anyone else’s. Trans people just want what other people want – social and legal equality and a life free of being targeted routinely simply because of their gender.
Trans women of color are the most at risk of trans people. They are systematically underemployed, denied housing, physically and sexually attacked, refused public accommodations and government services, denied medical services, abused by authorities (including law enforcement), and murdered at astonishingly high rates.
Unfortunately, victims of rape also report high rates of suicide thoughts (33%) and attempts (13%). The same is true for people living in war zones – even the soldiers have incredibly high rates of suicide ideation and attempts. Going back to Nazi Germany, studies show that suicide rates were quite high there as well (among Jews and non-Jews).
I don’t believe any of these folks want your “pity” – just equality and an end to sanctioned abuse.
did psychologists publish ANY case studies about children (on any topic) one hundred years ago?
Child psychology was in its infancy (pardon the pun!). But the sexologists one hundred years ago included lots of descriptions of cross gender assertion in childhood by those who had “advanced” cases of contrary sexual instinct (this included same-sex sexual desire and cross-sex nonsexual behavior, habits, preferences, identities, etc). I’ll grab my thesis notes and cite a few cases.
First “scientifically” studied cases of “contrary sexual feeling” reported by Carl Westphal in 1870. He explained his new terminology by stating, “It is intended to express the fact that the sexual drive as such is not always simultaneously involved, but rather it is the feeling of being alienated from one’s own sex according to one’s entire inner being, more or less an underdeveloped stage of the pathological phenomenon.” The first case he presented was a person assigned female at birth who reported a lifetime of cross-sex identity and behavior and who stated, “In general I feel like a man and would like to be one.” Westphal in his analysis concluded, “It can be viewed as beyond any doubt that in this case involving a 35-year old girl the phenomenon of the reversal of the sexual feeling, the feeling of representing a male being, existed from earliest youth independently of any deliberate or self-delusion.”
From Krafft-Ebing: He described the advanced stages of inversion: “In this group are fully developed cases in which males are females in feeling; and vice versa women, males.”
Case 129 – liked to play with sisters who treated him as a girl. “I must have already been on the road to become just like a girl.” And “I can still well remember how it was always said, ‘He is not intended for a boy.’” As an adult reported feeling female.
Case 130 – as a girl, patient preferred boys’ sports, played very independently outdoors in nature, “had not taste for dresses and finery,” and was delighted to be dressed in boys’ clothing for a school performance. As an adult patient felt the body and mind to have become those of a man.
CASE 145 – As an adult patient played the female role and reported that the soul was of feminine character. As a child, patient never cared for boys’ games, sports, habits, only for cooking and girls’ work.
CASE 161 – Even in patient’s earliest childhood, preferred playing at soldiers and other boys’ games, was bold and boyish, and tried to excel other boys. Never had a liking for dolls, needlework or domestic duties. As an adult, appeared to be a man in women’s clothing.
CASE 162 – Felt like a man. Even as a little child patient had an inclination only for the play of boys, and loved to hear shooting and military music, was always much excited by them, and would gladly have gone as a soldier. As an adult, lived as a man whenever feasible.
CASE 164 – Reported “Her genitals could not be right.” When a child patient preferred playing with boys. When playing at “robbers” , would be the captain and chose a girl for wife, but without any sexual moment. At sixteen patient felt self to possess “the qualities of a man…and bewailed the fact that she was not born a man.” Lived as a man until discovered.
CASE 165 – When a child, patient had a preference for horses and masculine pursuits, and never any interest in feminine occupations…desired to wear hats and coats of masculine type. Since 1869, had worn short hair parted it on the side as men did. Did not regard self as a female…looked upon self as a man.
From Havelock Ellis: He noted that “in most, the inverted tendency seems to be instinctive, and appears at a somewhat early age.” In most of his cases, “the abnormal instinct began in early life,” in over half before puberty (before age 11) and for some as young as their earliest memories.
* He observes that in England and the U.S., where “all our traditions and all our moral ideals, as well as the law, are energetically opposed to every manifestation of homosexual passions,” an individual would have to have “a very strong impetus to go against this compact social force.” In other words, it would have been no small feat to assert oneself as inverted under such conditions. The inner drive would have to have been quite strong. He considered sexual inversion to be inborn and, in some people, to be so powerful that it “forces its own way in spite of all obstacles” even at an early age. He described inversion in childhood as nonsexual inverted gender behavior, preferences, identity, etc.
* Discusses inversion found in indigenous cultures around the world, in some cases with children being reared as the other sex from an early age. “The sarimbavy have sometimes been brought up as girls because their parents desired to have a girl, but in other cases the impulse toward feminine habits and vocations arises and persists in spite of the parents protests.”
* In one case, he notes “As a little girl, she [the daughter of a Hula chief] always preferred playing boys’ games, and by all accounts she played them well. As she got older she stuck to boys and their games, preferring them as companions and avoiding her own sex. She refused to adopt the girls’ petticoat for some time, but at puberty was compelled by threats to do so…She now works in the garden man-fashion, using heavy digging-sticks, and carries burdens man-fashion.” She had not had homosexual relations but had had sex with men.
* He lists cases who had “spent the greater part of their lives in men’s clothing and been generally regarded as men.” Citing one case, “As usual in such cases, her masculine habits appeared in early childhood.” In adulthood, patient “regarded herself as practically a man” and had a female partner who was devoted to her husband (the patient).
in other words, a lack of evidence is not proof.
krafft-ebing, ellis, hirshfeld, and other leading sexologists publishing 100 years ago classified gender transgression, cross-sex identity, and “same”-sex desire as *congenital* sexual inversion – i.e., they concluded after decades of study and debate that inverts were “born this way.”
QUOTE: ” It’s all new territory, and any idea of talk therapy is immediately derided as transphobic and an erasure of trans identities. It’s surgery and hormones–or at least the possibility of surgery and hormones, delaying puberty to make these things easier–or nothing at all. This, in spite of the fact that surgery and hormones are shown to have little or no effect on the suicide rates of trans people or their levels of depression and anxiety.”
I am not sure where you got this information from but it is completely contrary to what is actually happening on the ground. In fact talk therapy is the first thing that happens when a child declares her/himself of the sex that is contrary to her/his reproductive configuration. Delaying puberty is done in those extraordinary cases where as a result of talk therapy and careful medical anamnesis and diagnosis there exists the possibility that in fact the child is transsexual. Your bold statement that remedial medical procedures have no effect on suicide rates is also contrary to the research that has in fact been published. Outcome studies in the Netherlands and Sweden have for instance found that 80% of fully transitioned transsexuals have experienced a marked improvement of their quality of life and that suicide rates are low post op. The same is true for the significant reduction and removal of Axis 1 mental health concerns and specifically depression.
Current research on a genetic level is underway in New Zealand to determine on a very large cohort, whether the findings of a previous but small cohort (200) study can be confirmed. The preliminary study found that transsexuals are born with specific tags on their androgen receptor genes which are linked to both body sex and brain sex differentiation during gestation.
I am concerned that you let your political views get the better of you.
Cohen-Kettenis, P. T., Delemarre-van de Waal, H. A. and Gooren, L. J. G. (2008), The Treatment of Adolescent Transsexuals: Changing Insights. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 5: 1892–1897.
Cohen-Kettenis, P.T., & van Goozen, S.H. (1998). Pubertal delay as an aid in diagnosis and treatment of a transsexual adolescent. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 7, 246–248.
Currently, large scale research is being conducted in the US by Dr. Johanna Olson, Medical Director, Center for Transyouth Health and Development, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and professor of clinical pediatrics at USC Keck School of Medicine
Given your concern for trans children being “mutilated”, I presume you feel strongly about intersex genital mutilation? Hm, funny, why can I never find people like you talking about that?
I think intersex genital mutilation is horrible, and that ambiguous genital configurations are just fine. Kids with intersex conditions should be allowed to grow up with the parts they have, without being constrained into arbitrary gender boxes.
Reblogged this on Critiquing Trans & Gender Identity Doctrine.
If transgenderism in the sense of an identity “target location error” (which may or may not be inherently erotic) is recent, it might be because it is caused by a virus or recessive allele that has only recently become common.
Reblogged this on one woman province and commented:
This is what I think
I’ve heard of ancient cultures that acknowledged four “genders”: Masculine men, masculine women, feminine men & feminine women. But 0 that advocated mutilating their genitalia, taking irreversible hormones with lasting health effects or pushing puberty blockers like Lupron on physically healthy children. That is as absurd as giving a bulimic a laxative prescription or helping a psychotic install a surveillance system to watch for black helicopters. Maybe WORSE when you consider the dire effects of hormones & endocrine disruptors on the brain & body.
The fact is that the vast majority of “trans kids” fall into one of two categories: 1.) gay/autistic kids who will desist with time & perspective, and 2.) kids who have developed Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria as a sort of social contagion from the media or their friends. (There is often some overlap between these two groups). The tiny remainder are actually transsexual or being abused by narcissistic/Munchausen parents, but they’re a minority. I suspect transsexualism to be caused by prenatal exposure to substances like diethylstilbestrol, which has been shown to cause gender dysphoria & other issues in “DES Sons” (male offspring of mothers who took the drug while pregnant). That’s only one example of an endocrine disruptor in our environment; there are many others. It’s an interesting topic.
Anyway, true transsexual people have ALWAYS been a tiny fraction of a fraction of the population & used to present as drag queens, butch lesbians, transvestites or other various expressions of themselves. But the key difference is they didn’t require drugs & body modification for themselves or their kids, and they didn’t demand that the rest of the world address them as the opposite sex OR ELSE.
That’s where the whole thing has gone off the rails in the last 2 decades or so.