I read this article – The Psychopathology of “Sex Reassignment” Surgery: Assessing Its Medical, Psychological, and Ethical Appropriateness. You have to download it as a pdf. It is written by Richard P. Fitzgibbons, M.D., Philip M. Sutton, and Dale O’Leary.
This was a powerful read. It put into clear written word many of the things I have been thinking about transgenderism. It clearly explains how it is technically impossible to change our sex. It explains how sex reassignment surgery is unethical for doctors to perform as it is mutilation of someone’s body. It explains how this surgery is unethical for those that go through it. It explains how people who have the desire for this surgery actually have psychological confusion about their sex and identity, and that the surgery often preempts the rigorous counseling and self-examination that is necessary to bring healing to the underlying problems and confusion.
The article is very interesting, but I will not comment about it all. I was thoroughly convinced by their arguments. I think gender identity problems are the result of psychological confusion and that sex reassignment surgery is not the solution. I know this is not the politically correct view, but it is the one I hold to. I have no hatred or fear of transsexuals (though I don’t appreciate what I view as deception of the public and those they get into relationship with. That concerns me). Mainly I pity them as they have harmed their own bodies and not appreciated the bodies that God gave to them. They have sought to take away their emotional pain by surgically altering their bodies. But this surgery only changes their appearance and not their underlying struggles, pain, and gender confusion.
One part of the article I thought was especially interesting. Here is a quote –
“Radical feminists embraced the idea that sex—the biological reality—could be separated from gender, which they viewed as an artificial social construct imposed on male and female bodies. For them, sex may be a biological given, but gender is in the mind and because it is constructed by social interaction, it can be deconstructed. Those calling themselves transsexuals took the separation of sex and gender in a different direction; for them, gender was natural and sex could be constructed—the body modified to fit the mind.”
Such confusion. I think the feminists also are confused. I don’t buy into our culture’s new distinctions between sex and gender. It’s true to some extent that expression of our gender is shaped by culture. Expressing our masculinity or femininity changes slightly from culture to culture. But gender is not something that we just construct for ourselves or choose for ourselves. It’s utter nonsense to say you can be the female sex but have a masculine gender. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say in such a case that you don’t fit many of the gender stereotypes of a given culture. When we do not fit in with all of the gender stereotypes of our culture, the solution is not to try to change our bodies, the solution is to have courage to be yourself regardless of what people think! Be a man who is slightly different in personality from other men. You are still a biological man.
Males are males, even if the act in different ways. Females are females even if they act in different ways. We are born as a genetic male or female. That is what we are, and it cannot be changed. It’s not that we are born with a sex, and then get to choose which gender we want to be. If you really think this through, you realize this does not make any sense. Since genders are defined by their connection to biological reality, “male gender or female gender,” it doesn’t make sense to think that anyone could choose a gender or be a gender that is disconnected from their biological reality. Instead of saying, “I’m a woman, but I’m going to live as the male gender“, she could say, “I am a woman, but the stereotypes in our culture about how women are supposed to live are stifling, so I’m going to live more assertively, and apply for a job that is mostly occupied by men with only few women.”
Questions? I hope I’ve been clear enough about why I don’t buy into the common distinctions between “gender” and “sex” in our culture today. If not, let me know and we can dialogue more about it.