Follow the Science -- Except for Sex and Gender
Throughout the real-life science fiction movie called COVID, we have been told to “follow the science.”
The face of COVID, Dr. Anthony Fauci, condescendingly proclaimed, “I am the science.” It comes to light now that most of his assertions turned out to be incorrect.
Gender and sex are the latest battlefront in the realm of “science,” and this, too, is turning out to defy actual science and common sense. But as both COVID and gender are now political and advocacy issues rather than the science once taught in biology class, we are no longer following science and instead engaging in magical thinking.
What’s the difference between sex and gender? Once upon a time they were interchangeable terms. But that changed. Did the science change or did these terms become politically charged?
The word ‘sex’ has other connotations, so it was an easy transition from sex to gender as the latter had no acts associated with the word. Yale School of Medicine summed it up the “new science” well, “What do we mean by sex and gender? Aren’t these terms interchangeable? Perhaps at some point in time they were used as synonyms, but this is no longer true in science.”
How did the science change? In the past, one could pull down one’s pants and observe both sex and gender with a quick downward glance, just as the obstetrician does when announcing at the moment of birth, “It’s a boy!”
The new science goes like this, “The term sex should be used as a classification, generally as male or female, according to the reproductive organs.” While “The term gender should be used to refer to a person's self-representation as male or female, or how that person is responded to by social institutions on the basis of the individual's gender presentation.”
In other words, sex is science and gender is magical thinking.
Can this thought process be applied to species? Can a dog identify as a cat or vice versa? There are humans who identify as animals, for example “furries”. There are rumors of schools providing litter boxes for students identifying as cats. Apparently, this is just a rumor, but not long-ago males competing against female athletes was also viewed as a far-fetched rumor, and here we are.
This all might be considered frivolous but when it comes to medicine, the stakes are exponentially more significant.
As recently reported by The Telegraph, “Endometriosis is not a gynaecological condition, the founder of a charity supporting women with the disease has suggested, after appointing a transgender woman as its chief executive.”
Let’s break that down. The Cleveland Clinic describes a gynecologist as, “A physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the female reproductive system.” No politically incorrect mention of “women.”
Notice how they cleverly avoid the obvious, that gynecologists care for women. The Merriam-Webster dictionary is less woke and defines gynecology in a clearer manner, “A branch of medicine that deals with the diseases and routine physical care of the reproductive system of women.”
Years ago when I was in medical school at Northwestern, my obstetrics/gynecology rotation was at the Prentice Women’s Hospital. Not the “Prentice Female Hospital.” And not as Merriam-Webster dictionary would name it as, “Prentice ‘sex that typically has the capacity to bear young or produce eggs’ Hospital.” What a mouthful. Imagine putting that on a sign or brochure. Has the science changed that much in a few decades?
What is endometriosis? Let’s ask Mayo Clinic,
Endometriosis is an often-painful condition in which tissue that is similar to the inner lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. It often affects the ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining the pelvis. Rarely, endometriosis growths may be found beyond the area where pelvic organs are located.
Notice the mention of female reproductive organs, even though they studiously avoid mentioning the word ‘female,’ which according to the Cleveland Clinic, falls under the care of a gynecologist. This is not complicated. By logic, endometriosis falls under the province of gynecology, despite what the new CEO of Endometriosis South Coast asserts.
The science is clear that endometriosis is a disorder of women and that gynecologists, who by definition treat women, manage this disorder. Using pretzel logic to avoid explicitly stating the obvious is not good science.
Sure, endometriosis can rarely occur in men, with 20 cases reported. This would be due to an overabundance of estrogen, usually from hormone therapy to treat prostate cancer. But that’s the rare exception.
Medicine always has rare exceptions, but we practice based on likelihoods. When you hear hoofbeats, at least in America, it’s likely a horse, not a zebra. Citing the odd exception is not an excuse for turning science on its head.
Why is such precision important in medicine? Because many conditions or diseases are exclusive to men or women, but not both. The most common example is pregnancy.
If a woman of childbearing age presents to the emergency room with cramping abdominal pain, a pregnancy test is at the top of the list of diagnostics. A man of the same age presenting to the ER with similar pain would not be given a pregnancy test.
But if one sex or gender identifies as the other, then what? Particularly if they have had gender reassignment surgery and their true gender is not readily apparent. What if the patient is unconscious or in too much pain to provide a detailed history? Misdiagnosis in this situation can be fatal.
Prostate cancer is another example as a prostate gland is only present in men, regardless of gender identity or preference. For the sticklers out there, women can “sort of” get prostate cancer, not in the prostate but in the Skene’s glands which are similar to the prostate. But like endometriosis in men, Skene gland cancer in women is also extremely rare. Or as we would call it, “a zebra.”
But prostate cancer in trans women is a hot topic of research. A paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association discusses prostate cancer in transgender women. The “science” says that trans women are still biological men, and even if they have had gender reassignment surgery, still have a prostate gland.
This was a study of patients in the Veterans Affairs Health System. Apparently, such research is more important in finding out why there are so many homeless veterans in the US and fixing the problem. Or why, according to the CDC, “71% of young people in the United States would not be able to join the military if they wanted to” due to health issues and obesity.
As China grows its military, you can be sure they are watching the priorities of the American defense system.
Instead, the emphasis should be on the obvious, that men who identify as women are still men and still at risk for prostate cancer. Just like women who identify as men, are still women who can get endometriosis. Is there more important medical research to be performed than this?
Today “the science” is playing word games to disguise the obvious. Why isn’t the medical establishment figuring out why life expectancy in the US has dropped two years in a row, with COVID far in the rear view mirror.
This is the science that affects individuals, families, and society, not whether endometriosis is a gynecological condition. The medical community has obfuscated and spewed misinformation throughout the COVID pandemic, seriously damaging its credibility.
How about a course reset, trying to “follow the science” for a change. And start with sex and gender.
TRANSGENDERISM, THE LEFT’S OFFENSIVE AGAINST WESTERN CIVILIZATION
But the left’s commitment to those ideas is total; it’s the hill on which they are willing to die. Those who disagree with them are vilified as transphobic, haters or terrorists. Trans activists may well be the least tolerant “community” in the country.
Recently, a young trans girl/boy posted a video of what five years of testosterone have done to her; she regrets her transition. The comments posted below her video are vicious. There are probably hundreds of similar regret videos but there are many more videos that promote gender transitions, even for the very young. Planned Parenthood promotes cross sex transition and has become a giant of the industry.
Matt Walsh, who made the film that asks “What is a Woman,” began taking the film to college campuses this past week, and shockingly, is filling auditoriums. But the events draw angry protesters, some of them Antifa, who scream and chant their profanities in their attempt to disrupt the screenings. They have not been successful.
The film is a must-see; the damage done to young people by the doctors and psychologists who see themselves as advocates for those suffering from gender dysphoria, a mental condition, is catastrophic and irreversible. People who submit to the “top surgeries” (breast removal) or bottom surgeries (genital reconstruction) become patients for life. They will live with pain the rest of their lives.
In the meantime, leftists are busy stocking school libraries and classroom bookshelves with all manner of pornography, especially promoting homosexuality and normalizing transgenderism. As parents across the country have become aware of this subterfuge, they are fighting back, showing up at school board meetings to complain. According to AG Garland, these parents are to be designated as “domestic terrorists.” If reported, he will sick the FBI on them.
Someone, some organization, is paying for “family friendly drag queen shows” in cities and towns all over America. Small children are encouraged to watch, even touch, drag queens dressed in provocative outfits in which they twerk and otherwise behave in sexually inappropriate ways. Who are the parents who take their small kids to such events? Likely the same ones who embrace the transgender movement as “compassionate” rather than devastatingly pernicious.
So just who is paying for those drag queen shows in the most unexpected places? Candace Owen’s spectacular documentary, The Greatest Lie Ever Sold,” tells the true story of George Floyd’s death, and the millions donated to Black Lives Matter that have never been used to benefit any black lives but those of the insiders. The film documents that of the many millions of the nearly $90m taken in, much of it has gone to transgender groups of vague and mysterious origin. In the film, Owens calls many of them; only one had a phone number in use. Owens seems to prove that BLM is a fraudulent organization that has benefitted no one but the grifters who founded it. The film is a must-watch. Our corrupt media crafted the George Floyd story and little of it had any resemblance to the truth.
As if the damage done in the name of transgenderism were not enough, the Democrat party has single-handedly destroyed women’s sports by allowing trans women (men) to compete against girls. Young female athletes simply cannot win in any sport against competitors who were born male. And as an added feature to this brand of moonbattery, males who identify as female must be allowed in women’s restrooms and school locker rooms. Any discomfort caused for young girls? Too bad. It is as if these people who claim to value women’s rights are actually trying to erase women altogether. Or is their agenda the erasure of gender, male and female?
Three years ago Peter Skurkiss wrote here that “…transgenderism is being forced on society not from the ground up but from the top down by the ruling elite.” He rightfully cites the “media, academia, the entertainment industry, major corporations as the soft power behind transgenderism with its incessant propaganda” and big tech’s willingness to censor any opposing views. The Democrat party is to blame for the laws they get passed, the judges they appoint.
Read the whole column. Skurkiss blames George Lukacs, the father of Cultural Marxism; Lukacs advocated for “cultural terrorism.” And that is exactly what we are dealing with at this moment in time. The Democrat party has perfected cultural terrorism. They do not care who many lives they destroy in the process. They have brought us to the edge of an abyss. Along with the globalists, the Democrats intend to transform America into something it was never meant to be. They cannot be allowed to win.
Your biological sex is determined by your genes, from the moment of your conception. It's coded in your DNA. XX means female. XY means male. You cannot have your chromosomes changed from XX to XY or vice versa.
A very small number of people may have some male and female sexual characteristics. They are intersex. But they will still regard themselves as either male or female. Intersex is a diagnosable, externally observable and well-characterised medical condition.
Some people say they believe they have been 'born in the wrong body'. But you cannot separate your mind from your body - the brain influences the body and vice versa. The belief that the mind and body can be separated has its roots in the ancient heresy of gnosticism.
FAQ on Gender Identity Disorder and "Sex Change" Operations
What is the issue?
Sex-change operations are not necessarily new; the first occurred in 1953 (Christine Jorgensen). But more and more people are seeking such operations now. This has forced Catholic and Christian institutions to address the morality of sex-change operations since such actions may become part of mandatory insurance coverage, or employment in Catholic schools, or legislative mandates requiring Catholic hospitals to perform such procedures.
What is a sex-change operation?
A typical sex-change operation is two-pronged. First, the person undergoes rather extensive psychological testing. Then he or she is placed on a hormonal regimen, and then, he or she undergoes surgery where the (original) genitalia are removed and replaced with the desired genitalia. In the case of a male-to-female surgery, for example, the penis is removed along with the testicles and in their place a make-shift vagina is constructed. For a female-to-male operation the woman undergoes a hysterectomy and mastectomy and a non-functional penis is constructed and attached. A sex-change operation invariably renders the person infertile. It should be noted that the hormonal regimen continues the rest of the person’s life so that the secondary sexual characteristics can be maintained, e.g., a higher or lower voice, the presence of absence of facial hair, etc.
A sex-change operation should be distinguished from certain procedures performed on sexually ambiguous persons, for example, those suffering from congenital adrenal hyperplasia (a species of which is anrdogen insensitivity syndrome), mosaicism, chimerism, or some other congenital cause of mixed sexual identity. These disorders present ambiguous sexual identity and certain operations done to confirm a person in the “dominant” sex aims to correct a pathological condition. Such operations should not be thought of as changing a person’s sex, but rather confirming what is originally ambiguous.
What is immoral about a sex-change operation?
Properly understood, a person cannot change his or her sexual identity. For persons not suffering the disorders mentioned above (e.g., hermaphroditism) a person is either male or female. A person is the unity of soul and body, and ‘soul’ should be understood not as an immaterial self, but as that which makes the body be what it is, namely, a human person. We are either male or female persons, and nothing can change that. A person can mutilate his or her genitals, but cannot change his or her sex. Changing one’s sex is fundamentally impossible; these procedures are fundamentally acts of mutilation.
Mutilation results in a person being rendered impotent or sterile and dependent for the rest of one’s life on a hormonal regimen which makes one appear to be other than what he or she is. There is nothing wrong with the genitalia of persons seeking such operations. But they are removed in order to conform to the person’s subjective belief about who he or she wants to be. Doing violence to one’s body when there is nothing wrong with it is an unjustifiable mutilation. Furthermore, seeking such a mutilation manifests a self-hatred inconsistent with the charity we owe to ourselves. Persons seeking such operations are clearly uncomfortable with who they really are. Loving such persons properly demands addressing the beliefs and self-understanding that give rise to this fundamental rejection of self.
Are not these arguments “physicalist” in that they say that changing one’s biology is immoral?
Two clarifications are worth noting: first, one cannot change one’s sex. A person can change what genitalia they have, but not one’s sex. Receiving hormones of the opposite sex and removing genitalia are not sufficient to change one’s sex. Sexual identity is not reducible to hormonal levels or genitalia but is an objective fact rooted in the specific nature of the person. Second, what makes genital-changing operations immoral is that the person’s body is being mutilated. We should no more respect a person’s wish to become a cyborg by cutting off his limbs and replacing them with prosthetics than respecting a person’s wish to become a different sex by cutting off and morphing his genitalia.
May not someone think that he (or she) really believes that he (or she) is a woman (or man)?
The moral judgment that genital-changing operations are immoral does not entail that people cannot have false beliefs, or that their feelings and attitudes cannot be irrational or not in conformity with reality. A person’s sex identity is not determined by one’s subjective beliefs, desires or feelings. It is a function of his or her nature. Just as there are geometrical givens in a geometrical proof, sexual identity is an ontological given. Psycho-therapy and loving acceptance of such persons suffering from sexual identity confusion is the proper way to love them. Mutilating their bodies is not.
What is the Difference between Sex and Gender?
Sexual identity is not a social construction but is an objective fact rooted in our nature as either female or male persons. The most obvious fact about us is that we are either male or female.
Of course there is an important distinction to make in this regard between sexual identity and gender. Sexual identity refers to the property of being male or female. It refers to the specific sex of the human person. Being male (or female) is an essential property of who we are as persons. For example, a man simply cannot as a male, bear or gestate children. Men do not have such a potency, but women do. Thus, being male (or female) is essential to what we are. Gender, on the other hand, refers to certain emotional dispositions or traits characteristic of femininity or masculinity. ‘Femininity’ and ‘masculinity’ are gender terms and refer to specific traits or dispositions. A male can have feminine-like characteristics; in fact, male psycho-therapists have many feminine characteristics such as listening, nurturing and so forth, but remain sexually male. Female police officers or military personnel have many masculine-like characteristics but remain sexually female. So, while there is nothing intrinsically wrong with trying to acquire certain characteristics or traits available to any human person, it is wrong to mutilate one’s body as one’s sexual identity cannot be changed. Seeking such an operation manifests a dislike and disrespect for who one is fundamentally.
Does not the position outlined above put too much emphasis on the body and not on the person’s mind – i.e., on what the person believes and feels? Some may think that when the state of one’s mind does not match up with one’s body, why defer to the body? Why let the body dictate what one’s sexual identity is and not one’s mind?
These questions are important and bring us to the heart of the issue. It is granted and well accepted that a person’s self – the constellation of beliefs, desires, emotional dispositions and character traits – constitute someone’s self-image and self-understanding. But it should also be granted that not all of our beliefs, desires, and self-understanding conform to the truth. Our reasoning capabilities, memory and even basic sensation such as visual perception can err and give rise to false beliefs. The response we take in those cases is to correct the false beliefs. When our self understands something false about us, this needs to be corrected as well, not acceded to.
To answer the questions directly, those who hold this position assume a dualism between mind and body. Properly understood, persons are either male or female. The body (of the person) is a fundamental indication of what sex we belong to. It is a physical, empirically verifiable reality that does not change simply because our beliefs or desires do. Once the dualism behind the question is rejected, and one recognizes that our sex is indicated by our bodies, we can see that sexual identity is an objective, readily discernible fact about us. As some philosophers put it, we are bodies.
What seems to happen in these cases of mutilating surgeries is that the individual attempts to capitulate to the emotional disorder through surgical means rather than addressing it as what it truly is, a psychological disorder.
Medical science acknowledges that your organs are also 'sexed'. That is why in transplant surgery people who receive organs from someone of the same sex typically do better than if they received organs from the opposite sex.