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Hey progressives, these are the sorts of actions that trans rights activists do the name of inclusivity and their ‘rights’. Still feel like you’re on the ‘right side of history’?  This is male anger and violence directed toward women for daring to hold a conference about women (FiLia2021).

How novel.

Women hold a meeting and talk about, amongst other things, male violence against women…and two “Men’s Rights Activists” sit outside with aggressive slogans about genitals.

Sums up exactly what’s been going on.    So marginalized and so oppressed…

Protesting at a women’s rights conference today. And you can see their point. Women who won’t have sex with them, be naked in front of them, be intimately examined by them or touch their genitals are, as these protesters say, unconscionable bigots who deserve corrective rape.

 

 

So to summarize the nature of transactivism and their inhabiting of the ‘right side’ of history –

 

Arguing with gender ideologues can be a very disparaging and fruitless task.  Many of the argumentative styles they adopt are purely reflexive and will be based in goading or shaming the person they disagree with into silence or compliance.  The ‘social pressure’ dodge will be part three of this series.  However, the topic today is the ill considered use of the term “intersex” and intersexed people in general when used as rhetorical ammunition in a gender identity debate.

The Intersex ploy goes something like this:

There are several deformed ideas going on in this fine slice of twitter, so let’s parse them out.

1. The notion that intersex individuals are somehow outside of the sex binary.

2.  That self identification somehow trumps the biological reality of sex (i.e non binary and trans men).

3.  The notion that this third sex or sex spectrum is somehow supported by credible scientific sources.

 

Firstly, people with intersex conditions are genetically unambiguously male or female.

 

No third sex to be seen here.  Also, from the Endocrine Society this definitive assertion:

“Sex is an important biological variable that must be considered in the design and analysis of human and animal research. The terms sex and gender should not be used interchangeably. Sex is dichotomous, with sex determination in the fertilized zygote stemming from unequal expression of sex chromosomal genes. By contrast, gender includes perception of the individual as male, female, or other, both by the individual and by society; both humans and animals have sex, but only humans have gender.”

Secondly, gender beliefs mirror religious beliefs.  They have no root in the material reality we all share.  Illustrated here.

A big hat tip to Logic vs Pseudoscience for accurately framing the belief in ‘gender identity’.  We should not be expected to play a pivotal role in someone else’s self perception.  Not ignoring the data our senses accurately report is not a crime, nor is it violence against a person with gender identity claims.

Just like we don’t have to accept the religious claim that is our jesus saviour, we can also show the same skepticism for a male that claims to be woman because he self-identifies or feels like it.  Not going along with risibly outlandish claims about reality is a reasonable stance to take.

Thirdly, the bullshit that is mentioned most often in the intersex ploy is a piece by by Anne Fausto – Sterling.   Claiming there are 5 sexes and the percentage of intersex people in the population is 1.7%.  Fausto-Stirling’s claims have been debunked.

AFS ‘walks-back’ her claims –

Yeah, so I’m thinking ‘tongue-in-cheek’ assertions are not quite the rigorous science based arguments gender ideologists would like us to think they are.  As for the second mistake, her figures are based on a category error and corrected in this paper here.

“Anne Fausto-Sterling s suggestion that the prevalence of intersex might be as high as 1.7% has attracted wide attention in both the scholarly press and the popular media. Many reviewers are not aware that this figure includes conditions which most clinicians do not recognize as intersex, such as Klinefelter syndrome, Turner syndrome, and late-onset adrenal hyperplasia. If the term intersex is to retain any meaning, the term should be restricted to those conditions in which chromosomal sex is inconsistent with phenotypic sex, or in which the phenotype is not classifiable as either male or female. Applying this more precise definition, the true prevalence of intersex is seen to be about 0.018%, almost 100 times lower than Fausto-Sterling s estimate of 1.7%.”

Oops…  So be wary of individuals quoting Fausto-Sterling’s ‘facts’ when it comes to the intersex ploy in particular and gender identity arguments in general.

So much ink has been spilled in the quixotic attempt to placate gender confused males.  It would be sadly funny, but because trans ideology centres itself on the destruction of female boundaries and rights leaving little room for jocularity .

The very definition of women is under attack.  Women = adult human female is now a controversial stance to uphold because it may injure the self perception of males who think they are women.  It is a travesty that we would allow male gender feelings to take precedence over the very material realty of being actually female in today’s society.

 

 

 

This rhetorical dodge frequently appears in arguments about the preservation of female only spaces in society.  It is simply this, do you want this trans identified female in female only spaces?  We are presented with a picture of a female that has masculine features and dressed stereotypically male.

Can you see the false equivocation?  It goes like this, since we expect trans identified males to use the male washroom then also, we must expect trans identified females (like the dudette pictured above) to use the female washroom.  The ‘gotcha’ continues, sometimes alluding to butch lesbians being questioned in female only spaces.

What this argument glosses over is that, back in reality, the class of females and the class of males in our society are socialized in very different ways and despite any gender pretenses have roughly the same capacities of the sex they were birthed into.  So, women do not (in most cases) represent a threat to men in society this holds true regardless of how they ‘identify’.  (The solution the gender religious do not want to hear is that every male space should be ‘gender inclusive’ while female spaces remain protected.)

The contrapositve is not true though.  Men, regardless of how they identify, inhabit the class of people that do present a threat to women.   Male and female standing and socialization in society is not equal, and trying to fudge this fact in an argument about female safety and spaces is patently dishonest.  Therefore trans identified males – since they are male – are a threat to female safety and thus should not be in female only spaces.

If there is one feature that so many gender ideologues gloss over it is the current material conditions in society that we live in still work regardless of how one identifies.   We still live in a society that has many patriarchal features that do not magically disappear if we start erasing females and their boundaries.  On the contrary, corrupting female autonomy and boundaries increases the oppressive features of society for women.

It would be nice if the gender-woo was consistent.  But it isn’t.  Quelle Suprise.

 

There has been much controversy over lately at Science Based Medicine as they seem to have been institutionally captured by gender ideology and turning away from the foundations SBM was founded on.  When gender woo-magic takes precedent of science based facts the lambasting by those who keep their scientific integrity intact is inevitable, hence this letter by Emeritus Editor Kimball Atwood to Steve Novella about his decent into gender-woo.

 

Thank you for Jessie Singal for posting the letter.

 

 

Hi Steve,

Harriet has told me that you stated that her article “dragged SBM into a raging controversy.” She feels, and I agree, that it was your retracting that article and replacing it by very bad articles written by advocates of “gender affirmation” that dragged SBM into a raging controversy. I’ve attempted to explain why previously, but here I’ll mention a couple of the most obvious reasons.

You claimed that Harriet’s article was below SBM’s minimal standard for “high quality scientific evidence and reasoning to inform medical issues.” Yet you replaced it with articles stating things such as the following:

  • “Biology is a binary and differences of sex development (DSDs) are vanishingly rare”. False. DSDs are as common as 1 in 5,000 births, and increase to 1 in 200 or 1 in 300 if you include hypospadias and cryptorchidism. Biology is very, very well known to be a spectrum.

[Lovell attributes the sentence in quotes to Shrier; I’ve been unable to find it in her book]

Do you, Steve, think that sex is a spectrum? Yes, I know Lovell wrote “biology is a spectrum,” but that is an incoherent claim. Her implication is that sex is a spectrum. If that were true, it would upend all that we know about sex in mammals and many other life forms, including sexual dimorphism, reproduction, and selection. Do you think that Lovell’s statement constitutes “high quality scientific evidence and reasoning”? OMG, apparently you do. What’s happened to you?

Do you think that hypospadias and cryptorchism are DSDs? They are not, and to suggest that they are does not meet SBM’s minimal standard for reasoning about medical issues.

The citation is to a paper that discusses real DSDs, not cryptorchism or hypospadias, and makes no claims about a “spectrum.” It supports the very statement that Lovell claims to be false (even though Shrier seems never to have made that statement). Where was the editor here?

According to Eckert,

  • Throughout her book, Shrier refers to her subjects as “biological girls,” a term that conflates sex with gender and mischaracterizes Shrier’s subjects. The reason is that a person’s sex refers to the identity assigned by doctors, parents, and medical professionals at birth, most often based on external anatomy (genitals).

Do you, Steve, think that Shrier’s subjects were not biological girls? Do you think that this characterization conflates sex with gender? Do you think that sex is an “identity assigned by doctors,” rather than a fact noted by everyone in the delivery room in almost every case? Do you think that “human” is also an identity assigned by doctors? How does such an absurd passage meet SBM’s minimal standard for scientific evidence and reasoning? Do you really think that “this is good scientific practice—not political correctness”? How can you be so naive?

Finally, I’ll remind you of a previous objection that you haven’t answered, which refutes the crux of Lovell’s claim about “gender affirmation” for biological girls “lead(ing) to improved psychological outcomes”:

“Lastly, as clearly noted in the American Academy of Pediatrics statement, complete with many citations of their own, we use affirmation, pubertal suppression, and hormone therapy in youth because it leads to improved psychological outcomes. The literature is abundant and clear on this topic.”

The “abundant” link is not to several studies or a review of several studies, as the adjective implies, but to a single study that is irrelevant to Shrier’s thesis because it looks at a group of pre-pubescent, transgender children (age 3-12) undergoing only social transition, not at adolescent girls. It’s also not a good study because it controls its cohort with a cohort of non-transgender children, rather than with the appropriate control group (transgender children not undergoing social transition).

The “clear” link is to a paper that does not reveal whether its subjects were gender dysphoric (GD) in childhood or not, but whose abstract states:

Implications for impact: This study suggests that gender-affirming hormones are a helpful medical intervention for transgender youth. Gender-affirming hormones were found to be associated with decreases in suicidality and improvements in general well-being.”

That is all most SBM readers will read, if they even bother to click on the link. But in the discussion (behind a paywall; I got it on ResearchGate) we see this:

“Hypothesis 3 (i.e., those assigned female at birth will experience greater improvements in general well-being and larger decreases in suicidality) was not supported.” (My italics; parenthetical phrase in the original)

Need I mention (again) that this is the only outcome of the study that is relevant to Shrier’s book? Where was the editor here?

Speaking of editors, it appears that there have been none at SBM other than the original five. Of those, two ruled to retract Harriet’s review, two (Harriet and I) would have kept it, and one is dead. I knew Wally well enough to feel confident that he would have voted to keep the review, and that he would have been shocked, probably to the point of resigning, when you published the embarrassments by Lovell and Eckert and when you banned Andy Lewis from commenting.

No, it was not Harriet who dragged SBM into a raging controversy. It was you and David, because of some very poor choices, made worse by your doubling down after every reasonable objection by Jesse Singal, Andy Lewis, Michael Shermer, Jerry Coyne, Abigail Shrier, me, and several others.

Sincerely Yours,
Kimball

Ellyn Kaschak, Ph.D. is Professor Emerita of Psychology, San Jose State University

Watch out for Dr.Kaschak as she’s violated the first rule of Trans Club – You don’t talk about Trans Club…

 

“The diagnostic of “gender dysphoria” actually came into existence as “gender identity disorder” and replaced the pathologizing of homosexuality (eliminated in 1973) in the DSM, the psychiatric bible. These diagnoses are adopted by popular vote of the American Psychiatric Association members, democratic rather than scientific. They have the strongest investment in construing psychology in terms of health and pathology. The association members had been convinced by lobbying groups and research, to vote to “normalize” homosexuality. In doing so, they wanted to leave a diagnostic possibility for those who remained conflicted about their sexual orientation. Diagnosis permits treatment via the official approval of the insurance companies, who today control the professions to a frightening extent. Thus was born “gender identity,” seemingly a harmless and even generous compromise.

Proponents of the transgender movement actually hijacked this diagnosis, along with the 50 years of feminist theory, practice and discoveries about the social construction and contextual nature of gender and spun them into a human rights movement, but not one for women. In fact, this movement actually infringes on many of the hard-won rights of women, including not only the right to assemble as a sex-based group but the right to call ourselves women, mothers and daughters. It even attempts to destroy the very concept of sex by conflating sex and gender, but make no mistake, lifetimes of research support unequivocally the difference between sex and gender. They may influence each other, but they are not the same thing. And sex can not be changed. It is a biological reality.

Perhaps the cruelest cut of all is to use our own half-century of feminist research and writing against us. These ideas are not an extension, but a perversion of feminist thought. The most radical goal of gender research, which has been only partially successful, has been to eliminate gendered categories and strictures rather than to multiply them. Feminists tend for obvious reasons to be social constructionists. But physical constructionists never. Feminists tend to respect and live in accord and peace, not try to dominate Mother Nature, not to outdo her or destroy her. We come in peace.

Here are some more important questions. If psychologists and psychiatrists are going to pathologize and diagnose, a questionable practice at best, then shouldn’t they diagnose carefully, as lives depend upon it? Are they then considering and eliminating such diagnoses as narcissism or sociopathic disorders, sexual fetishes, dissociative disorders or even delusional disorders? Is transitioning more like self-cutting or eating disorders than like homosexuality? Increasingly many patients are self-diagnosing, a practice not offered by the professions to any other group.”

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