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Is Gender Realignment Surgery just a Genital Lobotomy to please the Post Modernist Mindset?

October 27, 2009

Is Gender Realignment Surgery just a Genital Lobotomy to please the Post Modernist Mindset?

I have always been skeptical when I hear people claim that they were a woman born in a man’s body or a man born in a woman’s body. However for some people this is not even worthy of discussion, the matter is settled because they have the power to enforce what they believe. It is worth noting that the term Transgender may have slipped into our common day language without so much as debate about its merits. Yet this is typical of the postmodernist mindset that seems to wallow in absurd minority causes and self declared inalienable rights. Everything seems to be broken down to rabid individualism where there is no right or wrong, no good or evil and no objective reality. All we are left with is a very existential understanding of personal experience where personal conscience rules supreme. The question of an informed conscience is exorcised from the mind if it disagrees with a personal view.

The headline I chose deliberately to capture the attention of the reader and ask them to think beyond the shallow mantras of tolerance and to ponder what they must be tolerant of.

Australia’s only Sex Change Clinic has been forced to temporarily close its doors following investigations into misconduct towards patients. The director of the clinic has also had to resign in the midst of this controversy. It stands accused of taking patients with psychological problems, wrongly diagnosing them as transsexuals and encouraging them to have sex change operations.

73 years old Psychiatrist Trudy Kennedy who co-founded the clinic 34 years ago was told by Southern Health that she can no longer run the facility.

So far it is believed that 8 former patients have claimed that they were misdiagnosed. Some have tried to commit suicide after having the irreversible surgery. One who calls himself ‘a mutilated freak’ was awarded damages after claiming that Dr Kennedy misdiagnosed him. Others have come from backgrounds of sexual abuse. One 66 year old patient was given the operation despite medical notes from another psychiatrist stating that ‘surgery would make little difference to his life.’

The clinic does not provide much in the way of patient follow up, so other cases may exist but have not come to light.

Dr Kennedy blamed the same “political forces” that tried to shut down abortion clinics are trying to close the gender dysphoria facility. However the closure comes after 5 years of investigation by the State Government and review in 2004 led by the Victoria’s Chief Psychiatrist that was never made public. Another review in 2006 showed that nearly half the patients had underlying psychological problems, borderline personality disorders and psychotic depression. Many patients were immediately put on hormone therapy and referred plastic surgeons before being sent for a psychiatric assessment.

It is perhaps a tragic reflection upon the mindset where all things are permissible that so little has been done to question this clinic in its 34 years of operation. In the 1950’s the cure to many clinical psychiatric problems was hailed as a breakthrough: This was the Ice Pick Lobotomy. The accusation that fell on deaf ears was; that eager surgeons had tried to exchange brain damage for mental illness. Instead they produced a brain damaged patient that was never cured of their original condition. In the case of a so called ‘Sex Change’ operation we must ask whether we are trying exchanging mental illness with mutilation. The clinics make their money and the patients are left with two problems, one is their original psychological problem and the other is mutilation.

There is a new twist along a similar line of reasoning where patients are rejecting the ownership of their healthy limbs and demand amputations. Whether a person cuts off their healthy left leg, right leg or middle stump it is still amputation. Leaving people to deal with amputation as a cure seems very counterproductive.

Genital Lobotomy anyone?

http://www.theage.com.au/national/sexchange-clinic-got-it-wrong-20090530-br3u.html?page=-1

Update: 7-11-2015

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/johns-hopkins-psychiatrist-transgender-mental-disorder-sex-change

CNSNews.com) —  Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry, said that transgenderism is a “mental disorder” that merits treatment, that sex change is “biologically impossible,” and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder.

“’Sex change’ is biologically impossible,” said McHugh. “People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women. Claiming that this is civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder.”

Update: 23-2-2016

A reality check by a former Transgender patient who gives the inside story about what sees as an industry. Worth watching.

sexchangeregret.com

Highlights:

  • Says that underlying mental illness are being ignored
  • Suicide rates post operation don’t change
  • People who undergo surgery only delay their issues by about 10 years

 

Update 15/4/2016

This is beyond silly. The ABC website has advice on how to be a good person and not question the deeply held dogmas of the LGBT…etc community.

A 10-point guide to not offending transgender people

Editorial Comment:

I can understand that people do get upset after reading something that questions their deeply held dogmas.

However, Dr. Paul R. McHugh is offering a counter view to the endless propaganda that the ‘Pro-Gender Realignment Surgery’ activists would have us believe is hard science.

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62 Comments leave one →
  1. October 28, 2009 10:21 pm

    Some facts you’re probably not aware of. Most people aren’t.

    Extracts from an e-mail from Prof. Sidney Ecker:

    “Hi Zoe,

    Yes, we gave our presentation to 60 plus psychiatrists from the US, AU, FR, IT, EU, UK, Holland etc.

    We spoke for 2 1/2 hours on why cross gender identity was a normal inherited variation of humans. We showed how Transgender Brains think, smell, and hear like the opposite sex. We presented internationally accepted guidelines for hormonal treatment of transsexuals to be published Summer 2009.

    My greatest personal compliment came from Frank Kruijver, from Holland, whose research of the human brain in TSs started it all. He thought we have taken his work very far in our understanding of the human brain. Hope you can do something with this.

    Sid Ecker, M.D.”

    Think, smell and hear like the opposite sex…. those are things that can be objectively measured, using not just dubious psychological statistics, but by examining fMRI imaging while the subject is performing cognitive tasks.

    Males and Females differ in their neuroanatomy. This can be seen in the autopsies of miscarried children as early as the 26th week after conception.

    This isn’t just a matter of gross brain size, nor even relative sizes of different structures within the brain: it’s a matter of proportion of various cell types within those structures, and extends to the cellular level: males and females have differ in their cellular neurotransmitter receptors.

    Prof Ecker referred to seminar S10 at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting.

    S10. The Neurobiological Evidence for Transgenderism
    1. Brain Gender Identity Sidney W. Ecker, M.D.
    2. Transsexuality as an Intersex Condition Milton Diamond, Ph.D.
    3. Novel Approaches to Endocrine Treatment of Transgender Adolescents and Adults Norman Spack, M.D.

    None of the speakers were psychiatrists; they were experts in biology, neuro-anatomy, urology, and endocrinology. Nothing “post-modern” about it, just objective, repeatable measurements regarding sexually-dofferentiated (neuro)anatomy.

    The thing is, that transsexual people have (partly) cross-sexed brains. Their external appearance doesn’t match their lymbic nucleus, right frontal gyrus, BSTc layer of the hypothalamus, and possibly other structures yet to be investigated.

    Why this invariably leads to a cross-gendered Gender Identity, we don’t know, but we’ve never found an exception. We have a good hypothesis that fits the facts, but testing it would be difficult.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof: so here’s some of the hundreds of papers on the subject, many available online.

    1.DF Swaab, WC Chung, FP Kruijver, MA Hofman, TA Ishunina
    Structural and functional sex differences in the human hypothalamus
    Horm Behav. Sep, 2001; 40(2): 93-8.

    2. DF Swaab
    Sexual differentiation of the human brain: relevance for gender identity, transsexualism and sexual orientation
    Gynecol Endocrinol. Dec, 2004; 19(6): 301-12.

    3.IE Sommer, PT Cohen-Kettenis, T van Raalten, AJ Vd Veer, LE Ramsey, LJ Gooren, RS Kahn, NF Ramsey
    Effects of cross-sex hormones on cerebral activation during language and mental rotation: An fMRI study in transsexuals
    Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. Mar 2008; 18(3): 215-21.

    4.H Berglund, P Lindstrom, C Dhejne-Helmy, I Savic
    Male to female transsexuals show sex-atypical hypothalamus activation when smelling odorous steroids
    Cereb Cortex. Aug 2008; 18(8): 1900-8.

    We can reliably induce transsexuality in experimental animals by appropriate adjustments to the foetal hormonal environment. But pace Dr Mengele, doing this to people is right out. However, those children exposed to the drug DES in the first trimester of development have a 1 in 5 chance of having “gender issues”. Certain Intersex conditions, with external anatomy matching neither a male nor a female stereotype exactly are also fruitful subjects to study – they are “Nature’s Experiments”, especially the rare cases (though more common than you’d think) of dichogamy, where the appearance at birth changes later in life. In some cases this amounts to an apparent “natural sex change”, usually due to either 5alpha-reductase-2 deficiency (5alpha-RD-2) or 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-3 deficiency (17beta-HSD-3).

    It’s more complex than you think, and less wishy-washy. Based on measurements and objective data, rather than religious or political philosophy. About as far from post-modernist relativism as you can get, which is why Gender Studies departments aren’t aware of any of this.

    Like

    • October 29, 2009 5:22 pm

      Zoe

      Thanks for your comprehesive comments.

      Since I am not familiar with Prof Ecker, nor in a position to read his entire report or any counter reports, it is difficult for me to put forth any proper judgments to its validity. That being said there is a lot of data there that I will try to chase up in the future.

      Not to belittle Dr Echer but when he writes “we gave our presentation to 60 plus psychiatrists “, it does not sound like a very big confrence.

      I did venture to American Psychiatric Association website http://www.psych.org/ and searched the words Transgender.

      There are serveral links that refer to the subject vaguely or refer to societies specifically set up for transgender studies. But I am not sure how that makes them valid.

      Like

      • October 30, 2009 1:27 pm

        See:
        http://aebrain.blogspot.com/2009/05/brain-gender-identity-presentation-by.html

        List of references:
        http://cs.anu.edu.au/~Zoe.Brain/BGI REF 3.pdf

        Powerpoint as a PDF
        http://cs.anu.edu.au/~Zoe.Brain/BGI 3.3.2.ppt

        I’ll see if Prof Diamond has a copy of his to send to me. He tends to speak ex tempore, but I believe his presentation was recorded.

        “Dr. Sidney Ecker is a former Clinical Professor of Urology at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC and Chief of Urology at the DC VA Medical Center, where he has cared for Transgender patients. ”

        Unfortunately, all three transgender seminars were held simultaneously.

        S6 was on at the same time:

        S6. “In or Out?”: A Discussion About Gender Identity Diagnoses and the DSM (DSM Track DM03)

        1. The DSM-V Revision Process: Principles and Progress William E. Narrow, M.D.
        2. Beyond Conundrum: Strategies for Diagnostic Harm Reduction Kelley Winters, Ph.D.
        3. Aligning Bodies With Minds: The Case for Medical and Surgical Treatment of Gender Dysphoria Rebecca Allison, M.D.
        4. The Role of Medical and Psychological Discourse in Legal and Policy Advocacy for Transgender Persons in the U.S. Shannon P. Minter, J.D.

        The discussion about what is obviously (now) a biological issue being classed as a mental illness, when it doesn’t conform to the definition of one. Still, that’s an improvement on it being called completely volitional moral corruption.

        Like

      • October 31, 2009 7:11 am

        Zoe

        Not that I do not appreciate the effort that you have gone to respond to my post but upon further investgation I found that your first comment was little more than a cut and paste from a post you wrote months ago.

        This leaves me with impression that it is more of a press release than a genuine response to what I wrote.

        I normally get curious when people do this and begin to wonder why?

        The other thing that you should have done is identify your self as an activist.

        Your blog site stipulates very clearly that you are indeed an activist but here my readers were left in the dark:

        ref:http://aebrain.blogspot.com/

        About Zoe Brain
        Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
        Actually, I am a Rocket Scientist. Also hormonally odd (my blood has 46xy chromosomes anyway) and for most of my life, I looked male, and lived as one, trying to be the best Man a Gal could be. Anyway, in May 2005 that started changing naturally for reasons still unclear, and I’m now Zoe, not Alan : happier and more relaxed not to have to pretend any more.

        If I had any doubt then I need only read the first review you haave displayed on your homepage:

        Reviews
        This blog, written by a rocket scientist, is a fascinating collection of information, both personal and scientific, regarding intersex, transsexualism and related psychosocial and psychosexual issues.

        However I do like what I found near the bottom of your page:
        Tip Jar
        Via PayPal – Credit Cards Accepted

        The bottom line of this is one of genuine disclosure.

        An activist writing a response is in a different arena than some one who not an activist. Activism tends to concern it self with PR, Spin and Selling the Message more than it does with objectivity. Some activists also have the habit of cherry picking evidence (often in the form of scientific reports) that support their case and ignore all reports that counter their case.

        I am not angry that you did this but I think that readers should be aware of all matter pertaining to evidence being presented as rock solid and irrefutable.

        Like

      • October 31, 2009 8:46 am

        Not so much an activist as someone who knows about the issue.

        Feel free to look through my blog. I give all references to back up what I say.
        And I have been asked by Professors of Medicine and Psychology to instruct their students on the issue.

        It’s entirely possible for a Scientist to give an imbalanced view of a subject, to cherry-pick data. On the other hand, if the controversy is over whether the Earth is Flat, not finding too much credible evidence that it is in a discussion isn’t necessarily evidence of bias.

        That the diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder in the DSM-IV-TR – the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of psychiatry – unlike every other condition in it – does not meet the definition of a “mental illness” contained in the self-same DSM is not controversial. No psychiatrist disputes this. No non-psych either who’s read the manual. It’s self-evident.

        That there is a serious conundrum is also not in dispute. Informed consent is required for surgery to be authorised: but someone who is mentally ill concerning that area obviously cannot give informed consent. Yet without a diagnosis of a serious medical condition, no surgery can be authorised either.

        It’s been put in the realm of psychiatry because it seemed to belong there for obvious reasons, just as everyone thought stomach ulcers were caused by anxiety. Chronic and severe stomach ulceration was treated with ECT, and even lobotomy and leucotomy. It was less than ten years ago that we found the helicobacter organism actually responsible, and now antibiotics rather than psychosurgeries are used.

        In an Australian context, as far back as 2003, when the evidence was far more scanty, the Australian Family Court said :

        At paragraph [247]: ‘In my view the expert evidence in this case affirms that brain development is (at least) an important determinant of a person’s sense of being a man or a woman. No contrary opinion is expressed. All the experts are very well qualified. None was required for cross-examination, nor was any contrary evidence called’.

        At paragraph [248]: ‘In my view the evidence is, in essence, that the experts believe that the brain development view is likely to be true, and they explain the basis for their beliefs. In the circumstances, I see no reason why I should not accept the proposition, on the balance of probabilities, for the purpose of this case.’

        At paragraph [252]: ‘The traditional analysis that they are “psychologically” transsexual does not explain how this state came about. For example, there seems to be no suggestion in the evidence that their psychological state can be explained by reference to circumstances of their upbringing. In that sense, the brain sex theory does not seem to be competing with other explanations, but rather is providing a possible explanation of what is otherwise inexplicable’.

        At paragraph [270]: ‘But I am satisfied that the evidence now is inconsistent with the distinction formerly drawn between biological factors, meaning genitals, chromosomes and gonads, and merely “psychological factors”, and on this basis distinguishing between cases of inter-sex (incongruities among biological factors) and transsexualism (incongruities between biology and psychology)’.

        At paragraph [272]: ‘In my view the evidence demonstrates (at least on the balance of probabilities) that the characteristics of transsexuals are as much “biological” as those of people thought of as inter-sex’.

        (Re Kevin – Significant findings of Justice Richard Chisholm in respect of the expert medical evidence in that case as to the causation of transsexualism and as strongly affirmed by the Full Court on appeal – see Deakin Law Review Vol 22 2004)

        Like

      • October 31, 2009 10:14 am

        Zoe

        Having called out on you obvious activism you decide to ramp up the propaganda.

        Perhaps you were hoping that the readers would not notice.

        You are a 51 year old activitist trying bury a PR crisis in a pile selective quotes and prepared sound bites. By 51 you should hardly be a novice in activism.

        If you were a 20 something I might be inclned to let it pass. But I think you are old enough to face the reality that :

        a: You run an activist site

        b: You failed to metion this on you first comment

        c: You seem to have the impression that I do not recognize a propaganda blitz when I see one.

        I wrote an essay to ask a people to think beyond the motto and slogans of an activist campaign. Instead I get an activist campaign from you.

        Like

      • October 31, 2009 3:24 pm

        So any argument backed up by multiple sources of evidence that you don’t agree with is dismissed as “activism”, while your own opinions backed up with no evidence whatsoever are…. what, exactly?

        Like

    • October 31, 2009 5:03 pm

      Zoe

      Any one who drops dozens of prepared quotes in such a short period of time raises the suspicion that they are flogging an agenda.

      Multile sources is one thing but credible sources is another.

      You run a site that has an acivist agenda. That puts a different light on the credibility of your sources and how you sellected them. I noticed that never included any papers that disagree with these peoples finding. Did you even bother to look for them?

      Also:
      I make no demand for people to believe any thing have writing. They are free to accept or dismiss it as they will.

      It seems to me that you are another person who has not bothered to follow the link to the original story published in The Age newspaper.

      Then again I am not on your site and tryng to fillabust it with a mountain propaganda.

      Like

  2. Cristan permalink
    October 28, 2009 11:18 pm

    Wait… so, you are saying that out of 34 years of clients ONLY 8 regret it?!? ONLY 8??? Lets just say that the clinic did 100 surgeries a year. That means that they have a 99.998 success rate.

    Gowd, how many women get their implants removed because they figure out that they didn’t like it? Eight – ONLY 8 – makes an existential crisis? By what standards are you measuring?

    Like

    • October 29, 2009 5:27 pm

      Cristan

      Thanks for your reply.

      I think that for the 8 people involved it is a serious matter.
      If you read the original article you see that the clinic stands accused of refering people for surgery before they were properly assessed.

      There may be more.

      The link is on post above. I think that t is worth reading.

      Like

      • Cristan permalink
        October 29, 2009 8:17 pm

        So, a 99.998 success rate is seriously bad?

        If there were twice as many and the clinic had a 99.996 success rate, I guess by your standard, this would be something analogous to an epidemic?

        ALL plastic surgery is aimed at reducing psychological suffering. I think you would be hard pressed to find any other cosmetic surgery center with a better success rate. Shutting down an entire practice over a .002% error rate is out of step and completely unreasonable. I think that the only reason it was shut down was *because* it was a center for transgender surgery and it therefore makes for really sensationalistic news.

        Like

      • October 29, 2009 9:50 pm

        Cristan

        If you read the original article you would see that the temporary closure came after a 5 year investigation and a report from Victoria’s Chief Psychiatrist.

        Like

      • Cristan permalink
        October 29, 2009 9:59 pm

        “…closure came after a 5 year investigation and a report from Victoria’s Chief Psychiatrist”… whose position is affected by political opinion and who, AFTER 5 YEARS, found that the center has an almost 100% success rate.

        Like

      • October 29, 2009 10:38 pm

        Cristan

        I really don’t think discussion is going anywhere.
        We are obviously looking at it from two different angles.
        I can’t speculate about the Victoria’s Chief Psychiatrist’s without evidence to support that claim. And since it is not my style to do so I will move on.

        So I think I let you go for now.

        Like

    • Cristan permalink
      October 30, 2009 7:59 am

      But don’t you see that you are, in fact, speculating about Victoria’s Chief Psychiatrist? You assume that a politically appointed office is immune to a sensationalistic news frenzy. I think it is incredibly naive – if not obtuse – to infer that a surgical center that has an almost 100% success rate is deficient because a political appointee says so after sensationalistic news stories broke.

      While the Chief Psychiatrist will never come out and say that he was influenced, you can’t disregard the standards for success by which this and other facilities are measured is completely out of step. A success rate of almost 100% is damn fine be any standards. To not question why this facility is being singled out simply myopic.

      Like

      • October 30, 2009 10:20 am

        Cristan

        Perhaps the Chief Psychiatrist eats babies too.

        One thing I will not be engaging in is a a cheap smear campaign.

        You are speculating and accusing without even the slightest prima facie evidence.

        Unless you have a point that pertains to what I wrote or the original article by The Age newspaper then I am unable to engage further with your imaginary world.

        Like

      • Cristan permalink
        October 30, 2009 2:04 pm

        Yes, of course you won’t. Your postulation are built upon a belief that a political appointee won’t act like a politician.

        You are the one who is making the comparison between the successful work of this clinic to lobotomies. It is you who bears the burden of proof. By what industry standard do you proclaim that this clinic is a failure? Quoting a politician is not evidence and pointing to a success rate of over 99% is not evidence either.

        Please produce prima facie evidence do you have to support your stated skepticisms? It is easy to make armchair critiques, but it is equate another to back up your pompous insinuations with actual evidence.

        Like

    • October 30, 2009 4:13 pm

      Cristan

      You have won me over by your logic.

      I do however, get the feeling that you have limited knowledge in how things work in Australa.

      I also get the impression that had the Chief Psychiatrist said everything was alright then you would be singing his praises. Just an impression mind you.

      But since you have asked me to engage in disproving a negative.

      Hmmmm….?

      Yes I have been won over by your logic.

      Like

  3. Cere permalink
    October 28, 2009 11:36 pm

    It’s safe to say that anybody that calls it mutilation can be completely ignored as transphobic.

    Like

    • October 29, 2009 5:30 pm

      Cere

      Thanks for your comments.

      I am not sure whether you want a reply to you comments.

      However : reductio ad phobic

      Anyone who questions is labelled as suffering from fear.

      Like

  4. October 29, 2009 5:20 am

    So misdiagnosis is a reason to dismiss an entire disorder now? Gosh the psych field has been doing it wrong for every disorder in existence. Guess bipolar, depression and schizophrenia aren’t real, cuz some places have misdiagnosed them. So glad you could offer such shiny wisdom, packed in such a *snerk* logical package.

    The fact is, post modernism is not the defining element of being trans. Beyond what Zoe pointed out, the entire basis of being trans is pain and dissatisfaction with being a given assigned gender or “sex” (sex being the arbitrary lines used to describe certain very wide spanning developmental pathways, that often overlap) or simply their body structure (as it pertains to certain characteristics, like say a penis)

    None of this is postmodernism. In any sense of the word. This is people in pain, who are dealing with their pain. That’s about as objective as it gets. The pain is measurable, definable and of a psychological and mental variety.

    Of course some trans folk are post modernists, substantial amounts of cis folk are as well. What I find fairly dismaying here is someone who claims to value objective reasoning can’t achieve said objective reasoning regarding this subject. You pull claims out of your ass based on a terribly obvious strawman of trans folk, use a red herring example of a clinic doing very bad things that are not characteristic of GID as a diagnosis as a whole and then string it all together to troll the internets. Post modernists would be proud of how light your grasp on objective reality is here. But at least you got to display irony, right?

    Like

    • October 29, 2009 6:25 pm

      Genderbitch

      Thanks for your comments.

      I think you have misread my entire article (including the headline).

      The key word here is “Surgery”.

      I am still skeptical about claim of men being born in women’s bodies or women born in men’s bodies. Just as people were skeptical about icepick lobotomies several decades ago.

      Yet my greatest concern here is that (as the articleI linked to this post to explains) is one of exploitation and manipulation of mentally ill patients.

      The blind acceptance of the mentality that people are being permanently disfigured to treat a mental illness is very disturbing.

      Like

      • October 31, 2009 5:42 am

        The claim of men being born into women’s bodies or women being born into men’s bodies is simply an attempt to articulate something for which our language has no real effective means of articulating.

        How do you describe to someone that the elements of your body that are male esque cause you psychological pain? How do you describe to someone that (through simulation or just through inference) you’ve determined that having female esque parts in place of the male esque parts actually removes that pain entirely?

        Now me, I’m a scientist. I can sum this stuff up really effectively. Other people? Not so much. In fact, they may not comprehend the pain as being anything other than a metaphysical “I was never supposed to be a man/women/etc” and vice versa. This does nothing to negate how this pain functions and the only ways it can be treated.

        The article you linked (as I said in my comment, if a bit sarcastically) is irrelevant to the disorder as a whole. These people exploited individuals without GID and misdiagnosed it. That has no impact on the disorder’s viability, nor it’s treatment. The same thing has been done with hundreds of other disorders.

        Disfigurement assumes harm. It isn’t disfiguring when it is wanted, accepted and intensely beneficial to the individual’s mental health. And really, you’ve got a poor comprehension of what mental disorder means if you think they should only be treated mentally. Mental disorder is characterized by symptoms that take place in the brain: Emotional pain, psychological mess ups, etc. It doesn’t mean the causes are in the brain by any measure.

        Beyond which society had been trying to treat GID mentally for beyond decades. They failed. Completely. Surgery and hormones on the other hand? High success rates and the successes were indeed full successes. I.e. the symptoms (pain, dysphoria, foreign feeling, etc) were /completely/ eliminated. Soak that in for a bit. The symptoms were eliminated entirely by the surgery. There are very few psychological and mental disorders that are treated by medication and therapy where the symptoms are completely eliminated. Controlled? Sure. Mediated? Yep. Suppressed or reduced? Definitely. But most disorders treated through mental means aren’t fully treated. Their symptoms are not completely removed.

        GID however has such results from surgery and hormones.

        With a success rate and success level like that, I find your attempts to get us to go back to completely ineffective and useless methods of treatment (therapy, medication, shock treatment, etc) far more disturbing than anything here.

        And that is an objective statement on the matter. Far better than just someone “feeling disturbed” by something he or she doesn’t understand.

        Like

      • October 31, 2009 8:32 am

        Genderbitch

        I think I can sum up your response as you being agressively in favour of surgery.

        Cut something off to cure the mind.
        Hmmmm?

        edit 18/11/2009 to add additional information:

        From Genderbitch’s Twitter site:
        “genderbitch Myapologetics is a stupid piece of shit & a pseudointellectualist. He seems to be unable to form coherent thought on subjects beyond him.”

        I will apass on responding to this ‘coherent thought’. However it is typical of people who cannot stand the though of anyone disagreeing with their views. Go slag them off somewhere else.

        Like

      • October 31, 2009 9:25 am

        If a problem can only be cured by surgery – and there’s zero evidence of any other treatment being effective – then it strongly suggests that it’s the body that is at fault, not the mind.

        Surgery was originally only used as a “last resort” back in the 60s on humanitarian and pragmatic rather than scientific grounds. Lacking any effective psychiatric treatment, and with the high mortality rate without effective treatment, such surgery was seen as horrible mutilation, but a necessary evil to avoid greater harm. A stop-gap while research for the “Holy Grail” of a psychiatric cure continued.

        Some objected to this, seeing it as a political and philosophical issue rather than a medical one. For Example, Dr Paul McHugh wrote in “Psychiatric Misadventures”:

        Moral matters should have some salience
        here. These include the waste of human resources; the confusions
        imposed on society where these men/women insist on acceptance, even
        in athletic competition, with women; the encouragement of the
        “illusion of technique,” which assumes that the body is like a suit
        of clothes to be hemmed and stitched to style; and, finally, the
        ghastliness of the mutilated anatomy.
        But lay these strong moral objections aside and consider only
        that this surgical practice has distracted effort from genuine
        investigations attempting to find out just what has gone wrong for
        these people–what has, by their testimony, given them years of
        torment and psychological distress and prompted them to accept
        these grim and disfiguring surgical procedures.
        We need to know how to prevent such sadness, indeed horror.
        We have to learn how to manage this condition as a mental disorder
        when we fail to prevent it. If it depends on child rearing, then
        let’s hear about its inner dynamics so that parents can be taught
        to guide their children properly. If it is an aspect of confusion
        tied to homosexuality, we need to understand its nature and exactly
        how to manage it as a manifestation of serious mental disorder
        among homosexual individuals. But instead of attempting to learn
        enough to accomplish these worthy goals, psychiatrists collaborated
        in a exercise of folly with distressed people during a time when
        “do your own thing” had something akin to the force of a command.
        As physicians, psychiatrists, when they give in to this, abandon
        the role of protecting patients from their symptoms and become
        little more than technicians working on behalf of a cultural force.

        Those views were current 50 years ago: that if we just searched hard enough, we’d find the psychiatric cause – but in the meantime to perform surgery was “co-operating with a mental illness” as he wrote in the religious journal “First Things”. That such surgery was purely to cater to the popular counter-culture of the 60’s, the fad and fashion of the time, to “do your own thing”.

        Flower Power and Bell-bottom jeans, love beads and long-hair hippiedom are now seen as quaint oddities of history rather than vibrant political idiologies. Yet surgery and hormone replacement therapy remain the only effective treatment, despite half a century of a sometimes frantic search, inspired by McHugh, for a post-birth environmental cause.

        In one sense, I have no dog in this hunt. I’m technically a protandrous dichogamous pseudohermaphrodite. Biologically obviously Intersexed rather than transsexual, and excluded from a diagnosis of GID – Gender Identity Disorder – because of that. Yet apart from the somatic oddities I have, psychologically speaking I’m identical to transsexual women. I used to look male, but had a female gender identity. One thing McHugh got right was to describe that situation as “years of torment and psychological distress…sadness, indeed horror.”

        It turned out that I was biologically female after all (well, more female than male) – that was only found out when I had a partial puberty at age 47. I now look normal for the first time in my life – there were always some anomalies in the male appearance, though I hid them – but like classic, normal, common-or-garden transsexual women, I had to have surgery to achieve that. They have normal male genital anatomies, I had an ambiguous mess that needed reconstruction just so I could micturate, but it was surgery all the same. The surgeon had to be creative, as I lacked the usual raw material, but I think we’re straying into the realm of TMI now.

        Like

      • October 31, 2009 10:25 am

        Zoe

        I see that you have a whole bag full of quotes ready to cut and paste.

        Let us save each other some time by you posting the web links only.
        That way those who wish to read the campaign sheet can do so at their own leasure.

        Your last statement filled with random thoughts special pleadings and non-sequiturs makes me wonder whether have a point at all. I now you have an agenda. But a clear and understandable point seems to be missing.

        Like

  5. Boo permalink
    October 31, 2009 11:41 pm

    The author of this post appears to have a severe reading comprehension problem:

    Your blog site stipulates very clearly that you are indeed an activist but here my readers were left in the dark:

    ref:http://aebrain.blogspot.com/

    About Zoe Brain
    Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
    Actually, I am a Rocket Scientist. Also hormonally odd (my blood has 46xy chromosomes anyway) and for most of my life, I looked male, and lived as one, trying to be the best Man a Gal could be. Anyway, in May 2005 that started changing naturally for reasons still unclear, and I’m now Zoe, not Alan : happier and more relaxed not to have to pretend any more.

    So… where exactly is this stipulation that she’s an activist? Or is it your position that her biological state automatically makes her an activist?

    If I had any doubt then I need only read the first review you haave displayed on your homepage:

    Reviews
    This blog, written by a rocket scientist, is a fascinating collection of information, both personal and scientific, regarding intersex, transsexualism and related psychosocial and psychosexual issues.

    So is it collecting information that makes her an activist? Does that mean all librarians are activists?

    Or are you just terribly offended that the people who disagree with you are able to back up their points with facts and logic, and so far you can’t? When you dig yourself in a hole, the first rule to getting out is to stop digging.

    Like

    • November 1, 2009 7:06 am

      Boo

      Thanks for your comments.

      When trying to respond to a post it is prudent and good manners to respond to what s written rather than side issues and red herrings.

      I can sum up your comment as someone who has logged in anonymously (you have no profile) and wants to call obvious one eyed activism an innocent comment. Since I am not a novice I do recognize certain underhanded tactics when they are being used.

      Readers need only go to the site left by the people who comment and see whether they have an agenda or not. I make the call based upon what I saw.

      My assessment of the site is that it is set up for aggressive marketing of a politcal point of view. It is not a site of scientifc content presented in a neutral manner. It is a site that selects evidence to match the argument and then misreresents that as the only possible answer. Very much in the same style as the PRO Smoking lobby does on their sites.

      The fact that a person does not address my post but instead tries bury it in a pile a hardcore propaganda is dead obvious after the second attempt.

      The fact his original came with a SPAM warning that I chose to override is my mistake.

      Like

      • Boo permalink
        November 1, 2009 11:17 pm

        When trying to respond to a post it is prudent and good manners to respond to what s written rather than side issues and red herrings.

        You mean like when someone points you to a pil eof scientific studies that prove you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about and your repoionse is a bynch of handwaving about activism and propoganda? Yeah, I hate it when people do that.

        I can sum up your comment as someone who has logged in anonymously (you have no profile) and wants to call obvious one eyed activism an innocent comment. Since I am not a novice I do recognize certain underhanded tactics when they are being used.

        No, I was calling the fact that you cited quotes from Zoe’s website as proof that she’s got an activist agenda when in fact the quotes said no such thing. Now, it’s possible to cite other parts of her website in support of your point, but there really ought to be a positive relationship between the qords you write and the point your trying to make. So far, the only postmodernist in this comment thread is you.

        My assessment of the site is that it is set up for aggressive marketing of a politcal point of view. It is not a site of scientifc content presented in a neutral manner. It is a site that selects evidence to match the argument and then misreresents that as the only possible answer. Very much in the same style as the PRO Smoking lobby does on their sites.

        Translating from your postmodernspeak to english: There’s a lot of studies that say I’m completely wrong, and since I can’t think up a logical counterargument and forgot to actually go and find evidence in support of my position, I’m going to dismiss science as political points of view and hope no one notices.

        If you are convinced that Zoe is misrepresenting the science, then obviously you must know what’s wrong with the studies she cites, or know of studies that contradict them. So…?

        The fact that a person does not address my post but instead tries bury it in a pile a hardcore propaganda is dead obvious after the second attempt.

        “The fact” is that you refer to science that directly contradicts your claims as hardcore propoganda. Having been shown you were wrong, your response is to stick your fingers in your ears and Shout “Nyah nyah nyah! Propaganda! Politics!”

        Zoe’s got the data. Unless you can actually address the data rather than dismiss it with handwaving, you’re wrong. Try acting like an adult, and just admitting it.

        Like

  6. November 1, 2009 7:27 am

    Why people condemn gender therapy on the basis of occasional problems when they would never do that for any other surgical techniques. I mean back surgery has a lousy record. “I have always been skeptical when I hear people claim that they were a woman born in a man’s body or a man born in a woman’s body” yes, indeed. Well don’t let the facts disabuse you of such a tightly held prejudice. Get a grip because your piece is a much bigger hack job than the therapy you condemn.

    Like

    • November 1, 2009 9:03 am

      Kevin

      Thanks for your comments.

      To call skepticism prejudice is an interesting twit on the defintion of the word.
      Therefore all skepticism is prejudice.
      I am not sure whether many people would agree with that observation.

      There is a difference between a erson who undergoes back surgery and whole goes for a sex change operation.

      Back surgery is there to respond to a physical disorder.

      The sex change operation is there to respond to a mental attitude.
      How the mental attitude came to be is anyones guess.

      Is surgery the correct answer? Particularly when it leaves no return path if the mental attitude changes?

      As for the effect of my humble little post.
      I hardly see that it going to move the lawmakers in this nation.

      It is just a point of view.

      Like

  7. November 1, 2009 7:57 am

    General information for reader. So that they are aware of the facts rather than swept along by an emotional journey of he said/she said type of conversation.

    You need to ask why a reletavely small and new blog site suddenly becomes the centre of such attention.

    Unfortunately I cannot allow Zoe’s last comment through to my site because it has been flagged as SPAM by the automated systems on WordPress.

    You are free to visit his site where I am certain all the links are intact.

    I will quote one segment from his latest comment:

    That will do as a start. Once you’ve read them – and some are fairly heavy going, which is why I only give selected highlights – I’ll give you the other batches. It’s only going to be a surperficial treatment of the subject, as much of the works are dead-tree only, or pay-per-view.

    I’ve never actually encountered a Fundamentalist Post-Modernist before, who viewed scientific journal articles as nothing more than “activist campaign sheets”.

    I eagerly await the evidence you had for forming your own, contrary views.

    “I’ll give you the other batches.”
    Batches? And am I to believe that this is not a deliberate campaign.?

    “Fundamentalist Post-Modernist?”
    Name calling is just not on.

    BTW there were dozens of links to papers written at high level.

    What I do find telling is that the whole attempt to bury this post in a pile links never once refered to the article writen by The Age newspaper.

    Everything else is just hot air.

    Also the attention that this post recieved in such a short period of time created a sudden spike in my stats. Statistical spikes make me curious. So I chased it up.

    It appears that my humble little post has been placed on the transgenda yahoo page:
    Here is the link:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/transgendernews/message/42275

    I also noticed that Zoe has decided to spill his disagreements with me onto his own site.
    Here is the link:
    http://aebrain.blogspot.com/2009/10/activist-moi.html
    Not that I would accuse him of trying gather some more troops for the fight. But it sure looks that way to me.

    Hence because of these factors the comment fields have very high probability of being produced by an extremely narrow demographic.

    Like

  8. Eric permalink
    November 1, 2009 12:28 pm

    I just love it when pseudointellectuals talk. They’re so easy to pick out, as they use the language of intellectuals, but just don’t quite grasp it. They also seem to like showing off their artificial vocabulary while ignoring the citations of the other side. Why don’t you address the brain structure differences already? Why don’t you address the massive success rate? 8 failures is very minor. Yeah, it sucks for them, but you ignore the successes and the 8 losses all context. Every single aspect of the medical field is going to have failure, the goal is to minimize them and for many people srs is an effective treatment that improves quality of life.

    Like

  9. November 1, 2009 12:56 pm

    Eric

    Thanks for your comments.

    The reason why i am not addressing all the side issues that you have demanded that I address is because you are demanding, not asking. I do not respond well to people thumping the metophoric table and demanding snap answers.

    eg: “I just love it when pseudointellectuals talk” Thanks for the condecending intro.
    BTW: When have I claimed to be an inellectual? (pseudo or otherwise) Answer: never.

    Secondly, the focal point of this article was linked to one in The Age newspaper. I wonder why no one wants to read it. 8 plus another 5 that The Age knows about so far. With next to no long term patient follow up.

    Thirdly, it would take 6 months to read all the paper linked. And another 6 months chase up all their references to ensure that they were anything more than a submission that has not been peer reviewed, and had every claim was checked from multiple sources. Frankly I do not have the time. Demanding an instant answer on a pile of thousands of pages is beyond stupid. And I am anything but stupid.

    Finally, when is skepticism a bad thing in science?

    Like

    • Cristan permalink
      November 1, 2009 3:41 pm

      Ugh! You are stuck on your converse fallacy of accident argument. You are pointing to the exception and generalizing it in order to give it a measure of gravatus.

      Skepticism is a bad thing in science; the Scientific Method is a good thing. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary states that skepticism is, “an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object”. The Scientific Method is ” principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses”. One is an attitude and the other is a commitment to discovering the truth by examining the evidence.

      In you reply you excuse yourself from bothering with examining the truth by becoming a drama queen. Six months? Really? Common now. The truth is that you are too lazy to care to educate yourself. It is much easier to be an armchair critic who owes no allegiance to truth because it is harder to put actual effort into learning about something.

      The newspaper article you point to doesn’t have anything to do with your so-called “Genital Lobotomies”. I don’t care if the newspaper finds twice as many people because even then we are talking about an amazing success rate. It is the norm that pre-transitional clients present with significant “disorders” such as significant depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc. The norm is that these issues go away after transition.

      You’ve allowed yourself the freedom belittle of a medical service you know little about and have little motivation to learn about and then go on to imply that because a handful of people regret it, the entire program is BS. Don’t you see the logical fallacy you are building your argument upon?

      Like

      • November 1, 2009 5:49 pm

        Cristen

        I can see that you are one of these people who likes preach and pounce when your mental empires are challenged in any way.

        BTW thanks for you deconstruction of the Dictionary. It gave me a good laugh.

        I really do not think that a person who likes to fling insults in place of anything better to say has much of an understanding about logical fallacies. Agumentum ad Hominum etc… etc…

        eg: “In you reply you excuse yourself from bothering with examining the truth by becoming a drama queen. Six months? Really? Common now. The truth is that you are too lazy to care to educate yourself. It is much easier to be an armchair critic who owes no allegiance to truth because it is harder to put actual effort into learning about something. ”

        Drama Queen? Lazy? Armchair critic? Now that just hurts.

        Also this:
        “I don’t care if the newspaper finds twice as many people …” I think this quote sums up your whole attitude. Why is it that I suspect that you would not care if it was 4 time or even 20 tmes as many?

        Other than that I think you are just fishing. Like you did with your unfounded accusation in revious comments.

        Anyway, I wish you well with your future efforts in vitriol on someone elses site for a change..

        Like

  10. Mouse permalink
    November 1, 2009 4:56 pm

    Comment 31I noticed that never included any papers that disagree with these peoples finding. Did you even bother to look for them?
    Did you? Please present them.

    Comment 37Unfortunately I cannot allow Zoe’s last comment through to my site because it has been flagged as SPAM by the automated systems on WordPress.

    You are free to visit his site where I am certain all the links are intact.
    Your not-so-subtle disrespect of Zoe (by referring to her using masculine pronouns) is hereby noted. It weakens the case for your argument being based in skepticism rather than prejudice.

    Comment 37I also noticed that Zoe has decided to spill his disagreements with me onto his own site.
    Seeing as it did not get published here despite your ability to override spam warnings…
    (Comment 34The fact his original came with a SPAM warning that I chose to override is my mistake.)

    Comment 40Demanding an instant answer on a pile of thousands of pages is beyond stupid. And I am anything but stupid.
    Yet you’re quite stridently espousing an opinion, in ignorance of this data.

    Comment 34The fact that a person does not address my post but instead tries bury it in a pile a hardcore propaganda is dead obvious after the second attempt.
    That a person does not address, or apparently care about the information informing the other side of the argument is also dead obvious after the second attempt.

    Comment 38There is a difference between a erson who undergoes back surgery and whole goes for a sex change operation.
    There is also a difference between a person who undergoes a lobotomy and one who undergoes a sex-change operation.

    Comment 31Multile sources is one thing but credible sources is another.
    And peer-reviewed literature is not credible how? That so many researchers support a biological basis to transsexualism is in itself support for the hypothesis.

    Like

  11. November 1, 2009 7:21 pm

    Mouse

    Thanks for your comments (perhaps)
    It seems to me that somewhere in this world pronouns are the biggest issue on the planet.

    As for me I could not care less.. Read what infrence you wish into them as you wish. I am sure you will.

    I see you are the kind of commenter who wnts to cut and paste every para inorder to have all your questions answered. Am I being interrogated?

    Anyway I will play this game once for your sake. Usually it bores me to tears and offers nothing more than an adversary understanding of where some one is coming from.

    Comment 31I noticed that never included any papers that disagree with these peoples finding. Did you even bother to look for them?
    Did you? Please present them.

    Hold the phone! I am the one said who I did not notice any papers that disagree with those papers. I am the one who was asking for the papers because they were not resented. Now you ask me to present what I asked for. Um Pass.

    Next comment:
    Your not-so-subtle disrespect of Zoe (by referring to her using masculine pronouns) is hereby noted. It weakens the case for your argument being based in skepticism rather than prejudice.

    Your insistance that I adhere to your PC rules is also noted. I am not very PC BTW. I never did get the point of it.

    Next comment
    Comment 40Demanding an instant answer on a pile of thousands of pages is beyond stupid. And I am anything but stupid.
    Yet you’re quite stridently espousing an opinion, in ignorance of this data.

    My answer:
    What ever data I might or might not had when I wrote the post has never been revealed so you have no knowledge how I formulated that opinion. Any data that is presented after an opinion is published is only relevant if I was considering writing a follow up piece.

    Since the so called new evidence is from high level papers it requires high level interpreation and verification with a brain specialist and equally qualified medical professinals. I would not want to misread the papers and put a false interpretation on them. Yet some people seem to think it can be done in the flick of an eye.

    Also demanding that only read your selected sources of evidence is very narrow minded.

    Next Comment
    Comment 34The fact that a person does not address my post but instead tries bury it in a pile a hardcore propaganda is dead obvious after the second attempt.
    That a person does not address, or apparently care about the information informing the other side of the argument is also dead obvious after the second attempt.

    My response:
    I think I was more than generous when allowed Zoe’s and others statement to be published on my site. I toke the first comment in good faith but when I chased up a few they went all over the place. My interpreation is that I was handed a slick PR pack. Further investigation showed me that is precisely what it was.

    I do not mind people posting honest comments but I will tollerate activsts trying to hijack my site. To sell their narrow, narrow agenda. They are free to publish their PR packages on their own sites. But not on mine.

    Next Comment:
    Comment 38There is a difference between a erson who undergoes back surgery and whole goes for a sex change operation.
    There is also a difference between a person who undergoes a lobotomy and one who undergoes a sex-change operation.

    My response:
    Finally someone has been able to ask the obvious question. I wondering how long it would take. Obviously they are different things. One takes place in the head and the other up the other end. It was a rhetorical question using a very broad analogy.

    If people managed to read the second para then that would have been obvious.

    I am trying make people think back 50 years ago when there was just as much data floating about in favour of lobotomies and very little in the way of oversite.

    Next comment:
    Comment 31Multile sources is one thing but credible sources is another.
    And peer-reviewed literature is not credible how? That so many researchers support a biological basis to transsexualism is in itself support for the hypothesis.

    My response:
    The key word here is hypothesis. Thus there is plenty of room for disagreement and skepticism. However when people demand that an hypothesis is treated as fact then it does resemble an science that I recognize. It doe however echoe an ideology.

    Finally
    This was a free shot. I’ m not the kind of person who spend all day and night responding to posts and jibes. I do have a life. I do not have time to answer eery trivial question.

    I am also annoyed that the transsexual Yahoo group plagerized my copywrite material and published it on their site. Don’t these buggers have their own writer? But that has nothing to do with you. However it will skew the demographic of respondents to those that subscribe to that Yahoo room. Not sure why they think it was okay to do so wth out so much as asking my permission.

    Like

  12. Mouse permalink
    November 1, 2009 10:40 pm

    Hold the phone! I am the one said who I did not notice any papers that disagree with those papers. I am the one who was asking for the papers because they were not resented. Now you ask me to present what I asked for. Um Pass.
    and (first)
    I noticed that never included any papers that disagree with these peoples finding. Did you even bother to look for them?
    You are stridently espousing a point of view in contradiction of the available evidence. A spanning set of this evidence has been presented to you, which you have done nothing but belittle and ignore.
    The point that I and other commenters are making, is that there is no credible evidence that gential realignment surgery is a ‘mutilation’ and that the disorder it treats is a mental illness.
    You have been asked to provide evidence for your assertions (presumably peer-reviewed papers that are of the same or higher calibre than those presented by Zoe and disagree with them), or (implicitly), accept that they do not exist and that your opinion is uninformed and incorrect.

    The key word here is hypothesis. Thus there is plenty of room for disagreement and skepticism.
    The hypothesis is quite well supported. There is actually very little room for disagreement. And like other commenters have suggested, you are not showing skepticism, you are ignoring evidence.

    Like

    • November 2, 2009 5:44 am

      Mouse

      You want me to disproove the negative. Nice try. Move on.

      Now you wish to insist that a hypothesis you personally support must be accepted as fact.
      This is not science but fanatacism.

      Let me go through the steps of scientific certainty so that you do confuse your self.

      First we have congeture. Whish is a scenario with no evidence.

      Then we have hypothesis. Which is a scenario with some evidence to warrant further study in order to proove or disprove.

      Theories have much more evidence than a hypothesis but no absolute proof.

      Now you engage in more uncertainty: “presumably peer-reviewed papers”
      Well in many cases the publication of the paper is so that it can be peer reviewed. Presumtion is never evidence.

      Then try to call me ignorant.

      Nice try (Anony)Mouse but I think that you should look at you own ignorance first.

      Like

  13. November 2, 2009 12:25 am

    It doesn’t matter. My object in commenting was to present the data, not gain amusement by witty repartee and dielectic.

    I’ll quote from a very clever person’s blog. Someone skilled in disputation, and with a frighteningly keen wit. Someone who I quite like for their cynical sense of humour, and ability to wrote well:

    Even the most irrational decisions can be claimed as rational when enough words are spoken. However it is not whether someone claims to be a rational person that is important, it is whether they can substantiate that claim.

    and

    The side of reason needs more than just partisan loyalties and blind obedience. It needs a reason. It needs to know that it is seeking the truth in the right direction.

    If someone claims to be the ‘voice of reason’ and only provides you with recited answers; insults; bullying; and a total lack of evidence, is it not fair to conclude that they are not ‘the voice of reason.’ If someone claims to be a ‘rational thinking person’ but bases all their opinions upon bigotry, racism and prejudice isn’t also fair to conclude that they are not as rational‘ as they claim.

    I particularly liked the article Pseudo Intellectualism for beginners and Learning to Fake it with the Best.

    Knowledge is Nothing

    Do not get confused about this heading; knowledge is what you imagine it to be. Yet the importance of anything can be reduced in your mind if you want it to be so. You must be able to ignore important evidence if it makes what you say look bad. It does not exist if you don’t pay attention to it. It ceases to exist if the information is lost or forgotten about, so hone your diversionary tactics. Fill the air with so many words that they cannot be understood, you must be able to frustrate any opponent to the point that they can no longer be bothered with you. Then you can tell everyone else about your great victory over this person.

    I concede victory in the argument. But then, I wasn’t playing that game. I’m not trying to “win” some competition. I’m not even trying to convince anyone of a particular point of view. I am trying to present information, with references, all the scientific stuff being from reputable peer-reviewed journals, and letting the reader make up their own mind. I do sometimes try to simplify complex problems, and may indeed over-simplify at times. But I always provide a link to he original data so people bcan come to some judgment about its reliability.

    I have neither the right nor the desire to argue – except on the basis of evidence, Since no evidence has been forthcoming, despite repeated requests for the evidenciary basis of the blog author’s position, my work is done.

    I thank the blog author for his giving me a foru, to present the evidence.

    Like

    • November 2, 2009 6:22 am

      Zoe

      “It doesn’t matter. My object in commenting was to present the data, not gain amusement by witty repartee and dielectic.”

      My take is that you saw an opportunity to open your sludge pump of propaganda and you took it. I am not angry that you tried, (because that is the nature of activism,) but I am disappointed that you thought I would not notice.

      I see you have taken an interest in my other postings. Not that I mind but what is the point of posting random quotes from them here?

      “I’m not trying to “win” some competition.”
      Yet you posted dozens of links when one to your own site would do.
      You did the same thing again and demanded that I respond instantly to them with a snap judgement. Not only is that dishonest but also impossible.

      I do find it rather hypocritical of others to demand that read all of your information package when there is no indication that they have done the same.

      Again I have to give you credit for your condecending tone in the way that you say: “Since no evidence has been forthcoming, despite repeated requests for the evidenciary basis of the blog author’s position, my work is done.”

      Evidence of what? You never seem to make that clear.
      Evidence of skeptism? Give everyone a break will you. The world is not filled with dolts.

      I have only made three assertions:
      One is verifiable through the link to The Age newspaper.
      The other is a philisohical one pertaining to post modernism (no right or wrong answers can be proven either way)
      The third, which seems to have fired you up the most, is my skeptism. How dare I ever be skeptical?

      Incidentally, the ferocity at which you pounced has not made me less skeptical.

      I also doubt whether your informtion pack will be read by anyone other than you.

      I will choose my own sources of reference, if do not mind. They seem to be more reliable than an activist emergency PR package.

      Like

  14. November 2, 2009 1:36 pm

    It seems to me that you have incorrectly conflated the operation of the Gender Dysphoria Clinic at Monash Center with the more general issues that transsexualism in fact presents.

    I haven’t personally seen the report that calls into question the operation of that clinic, so I will take the article at its word that the clinic was operating in a manner that was contrary to the principles laid out in the WPATH Standards of Care. (That being the only internationally recognized protocol for treating transgender patients that I am aware of) If this is indeed the case, then it is entirely conceivable that harm was being done to patients in the process.

    That said, the balance of your post then goes on to question the validity of treatment for transsexuals at all – likening it to the use of lobotomy procedures in the early part of the 20th century. Such might be the case, except for a few little bits of reality that significantly differentiate Gender Reassignment Surgery from lobotomies.

    First, where the effectiveness of outcomes for lobotomies did not stand up to long term scrutiny, the long term outcomes for transsexuals who have GRS are well documented and favorable. (Pfaefflin et. al., 1992 being a seminal survey paper on the matter, covering outcomes from the early 1960s onwards)

    Second, one of the most curious things about transsexualism is that it has been persistent and non-responsive to “change therapy” techniques of any sort. Even if the client is willing, the condition is not typically responsive to those efforts. (I suggest reading K. E. Stuart’s “The Uninvited Dilemma” for more insight here)

    Third, if the WPATH Standards of Care are being properly implemented, the decision to have GRS is arrived at by the client ONLY after a thorough process of self evaluation and actual experience living in the chosen gender (at least one full year). At that point, chances are very good that the patient is well settled in their new gender.

    Which brings me to my final point – someone who is living in a particular gender having GRS to align their body with their psyche and the reality that they are living is not “mutilating” anything. It is in fact arguable that in such a circumstance not having GRS would be a greater deformity for them to live with.

    Like

  15. November 2, 2009 3:33 pm

    Zoe’s last comment was deleted for being a persisant nag and an absolute bore.

    So much for not wanting convert others. Says one thing than does the opposite.

    Zoe has every right to nag anyone on his own blog site.

    However 500+ word preachy responses are nothing more than fillabusters and a diversionary tactic.

    Zoe has been warned more than once not to use my site as an activist propaganda platform.

    Case closed, go see the boss if you are not happy.
    Then again I am sure that there will be a blog post all about it. Which I will not be reading.

    And propaganda that gets pumped on my site the more skeptical I am becoming.

    Like

  16. stephendavid72 permalink
    November 2, 2009 4:55 pm

    In deciding the status of gender dysphoria as a mental illness or otherwise, it is useful to consider animal models of the disorder:

    The most commonly known example would be that of freemartins, which are female calves who are exposed to the testosterone of a male twin in utero. The freemartin heifer is sterile and acts like a bull – i.e. tries to mount other female cattle.

    Similar things can be done to mice. For instance depriving male mice of estrogen in the neonatal period makes them unable to act like males. “MtF” mice.
    You can also go the other way and make female mice display male agression and mating behaviour by knocking out a particular estrogen gene. “FtM” mice.

    Mice, in particular, are a very common model for human illnesses and given that researchers can knock out genes and/or alter hormones in utero and thereby create mice that behave as the other gender, it is extrordinarily likely that a similar process occurs in humans.

    Ergo gender dysphoria is NOT a mental illness and therefore surgical treatment of gender dysphoria is not exchanging anything for mental illness, certainly not mutilation.

    Like

    • November 2, 2009 5:25 pm

      Stephandavid

      Thanks for your comments.

      I do have a very real concern when people cite a study based on animals and project then findings to humans.

      Apart from the physilogcal and hormonal differences there are other crucial factors. Humans are rational thinking beings capabable of acting beyond instinct. Cows and mice are not. In short just because mice will, from time to time eat their own young, it does not mean that humans should do the same.

      Comparing mice and humans genetically is problematic because we simply do not know enough about how genes function and malfunction.
      There is also the problem of genotypical traites failing to express themselves phenotyically. It becomes the old nurture verses nature argument that no one has every been able to resolve.
      Again saying ‘likely to’ puts the whole argument in the area of conjecture. Therefore unresolved.

      You will have to give me your definition of Ergo gender dysphoria as there does not seem to be any clear reference to it on the internet and wiki. Most sites do not ment the Ergo variety. They all look at the situation from a gender identity crisis. Then they try to decide whether it is a mental illness or not. This gives me an impression that opinions are split on the matter.

      Like

  17. kamododragon permalink
    November 3, 2009 1:26 am

    “It turned out that I was biologically female after all (well, more female than male) – that was only found out when I had a partial puberty at age 47. I now look normal for the first time in my life – there were always some anomalies in the male appearance, though I hid them – but like classic, normal, common-or-garden transsexual women, I had to have surgery to achieve that. They have normal male genital anatomies, I had an ambiguous mess that needed reconstruction just so I could micturate, but it was surgery all the same. The surgeon had to be creative, as I lacked the usual raw material, but I think we’re straying into the realm of TMI now.”

    If you think Zoe’s that bad, Wait until she starts claiming that “Intersex is a subset of Transsexuality”. Zoe will use that line to claim being an intersex when in reality, Zoe is a transsexual in a very deep denial of the fact that Zoe is a transsexual and not an intersex. Zoe will try to claim being intersex by claiming to have 5ARD or 17BHDD or she will claim to have a natural sex change.

    The fact is Zoe puts up facts and tries to claim being intersex when in fact Zoe is a transsexual. You have to ask Zoe those hard questions, such as how can Zoe fathered a child and claim to be intersex at the same time when it’s next to impossible for intersex people to father a child. You also have to ask Zoe how come her original UK birth certificate says Male and Zoe was married to a woman prior to having a SRS and moving to Australia. Also you have to ask Zoe, where’s the proof of Zoe having 5ARD or 17 BHDD when Zoe dosen’t show any proof or clinical signs of either one.

    Here’s my blog, where I posted about Zoe
    http://kallmannssyndrome.wordpress.com/

    Like

    • November 3, 2009 5:55 am

      kamododragon

      Thanks for your comments.

      I was aware ofthe inconsistancies in Zoe’s blurb but I try to stear clear of fights that involve personal details of an individual. I was also aware of the conflicts of interest in Zoe’s data gathering.

      There is not much more I say about Zoe because I have to block his user account from my site for using underhanded gutter tactcs to promote a partisan cause. One or two links back to his site would have been enough but dozens indicates hard core activism (and an absolute intollerance of anyone elses viewpoint.)

      That being said there are still some people out there who are just as skeptcal as I am. Since you have left you link here they can go to your site and read an alternative view.

      Like

      • kamododragon permalink
        November 3, 2009 7:28 am

        Thanks. I know people are starting to wise up to Zoe and are becoming very skeptical of Zoe’s claims of intersex. The fact is Zoe dose that because Zoe is very much in deep denial of Zoe being a transsexual. Zoe won’t admit that she’s a Transsexual because she’s still projecting other intersex peoples histories and claiming that she’s Intersex. Zoe has a habit of cut and paste facts to suit her own agenda which includes calling all intersex people transsexuals and trying to say that transsexuality is another form of intersex. Zoe’s been outed as a transsexual, but Zoe will still deny it when the facts are very clear in front of her and for all to see

        Like

      • November 3, 2009 8:16 am

        kamododragon

        I am not going to discuss individuals personal problems as that is not my style.

        My focus was a story writen by The Age newspaper several months ago and trying to raise questions about:
        Wilful misdiagnosis, psychological self diagnosis and self obsession. I wanted people to question whether fetishes are sometimes being passed off as medical conditions to please a very small demographic.

        Like

  18. mgs09 permalink
    November 3, 2009 12:25 pm

    In the DSM II, transsexualism was listed alongside other sexual paraphilias.

    However, it hasn’t been treated as a sexual paraphilia (fetish in cruder terms) for some years – because it does not fit the general understanding of those conditions.

    Similarly, neither does it fit the characteristics of clinical delusion (something else that is often levelled at transsexuals). Both the WPATH SOC and the DSM IV TR are quite explicit about this.

    While there is no external way to quantify what a transsexual says they are experiencing, that is precisely the reason that the WPATH SOC are so carefully designed to ensure that irreversible steps (such as GRS) will only be available at the end of a fairly lengthy process of evaluation.

    To classify transsexualism as a fetish is a gross oversimplification of the condition itself and an established treatment protocol that is demonstrably effective for the patients.

    As I commented earlier, the clinic mentioned in the article you cite may well have lost sight of their responsibilities to the patients, and in doing so have engaged in professional misconduct. These events should be evaluated on their own terms, and should not be used to evaluate the condition itself or the broader topic of its treatment.

    There have been other treatment programs and surgeons who have chosen to operate outside of the guidelines of the WPATH SOC and the respective ethical boards of certain disciplines. These people have almost always left a trail of tragedy and destruction (one surgeon in Mexico back in the 80s comes to mind in particular), but they are the exception and not the rule.

    Yes, transsexuals are a tiny minority – but there are many medical conditions that are rare and poorly understood. That does not mean for a minute that they do not deserve appropriate treatment. (and no, “ex-Transsexual” therapy techniques are not known to be generally effective)

    Like

    • November 3, 2009 5:14 pm

      mgs09

      Thanks for your comments.

      One thing I am trying to do is reduce the jargon.

      The other thing that I am uncomfortable with is the presumption that because some feels very strongly that they are a disaffected minority that it automatically makes their grievances valid. More disafected people claim that they are misundrstood or oppressed, some may be correct but others carry on as if they have no sanity at all.

      That being said, it is quite possible that the clinic ignored some internationally agreed self regulation. Unfortunately they were never mentioned in the artical so the question is unswerable. The other problem is whether the clinic was a signatory to such a protocal. Of course such standards only matter if you think that self regulation produces no conflicts of interest. however regardless of what self regulation an industry puts in place such things have no precedence of the law ofthe land. This is where the clinic is in trouble. Self regualtion and protocols are nice sounding lofty ideals but coming from irrelavent authority.

      Now we are left with a situation where people can fall into two catogories:
      Those with a physical disablity or genetic abnomality
      and
      Those who have no such physical ailments.

      Without physical evidence any claims of absolute proof falls apart.

      Like

      • mgs09 permalink
        November 4, 2009 12:38 am

        One thing I am trying to do is reduce the jargon.

        I don’t think you can meaningfully examine the issues that transsexualism presents without first understanding a lot of the language and research that has gone on since the 1940s. I’m sorry, but jargon is a fact of life in all disciplines today. It might be annoying, but it is a fact of life.

        The other thing that I am uncomfortable with is the presumption that because some feels very strongly that they are a disaffected minority that it automatically makes their grievances valid.

        The problem with your claim here – if you are in fact claiming that transsexualism is “not valid” – is that there is a substantial body of research that clearly shows otherwise. Again, I will cite Pfaefflin et. al. 1992 as a survey source covering a broad enough period of time (some 30 odd years as of 1992) to establish the understood reality.

        however regardless of what self regulation an industry puts in place such things have no precedence of the law ofthe land. This is where the clinic is in trouble. Self regualtion and protocols are nice sounding lofty ideals but coming from irrelavent authority.

        This is substantially incorrect – especially in the arena of health care in general. For the most part, governments end up relying on the research and clinical practice community drafting reliable treatment protocols for medical conditions. Whether we are talking about heart surgery or transsexualism, the principle remains the same.

        In Canada, and I imagine Australia is similar, doctors are what is known as a “self regulated profession” – in other words, the government delegates the details over managing the profession largely to the professional board/college/association responsible for it, and only intervenes in the most egregious of cases (often criminally so). So to dismiss “self regulation” as arising from “irrelevant authority” suggests that you are in effect claiming that in general that all of the self-regulated professions are so flawed as to be beyond redemption. I do not agree that this is a reasonable claim given that on the whole, these professions seem to function quite well the majority of the time.

        Those with a physical disablity or genetic abnomality
        and
        Those who have no such physical ailments.

        Without physical evidence any claims of absolute proof falls apart.

        Again, I must disagree with you. There are a great many things in the world which we must use principles such as induction to examine rationally. (a great deal of particle physics has evolved this way – we can’t “see” the individual particles, but we can observe their effects. Mental health issues are, for the most part, in this same category. That doesn’t make them any less real, or any less valid than something which can be addressed through the more tangible, physical evidence of direct inspection.

        Lastly, it is in fact this very issue that Zoe was really addressing to you. There is a growing body of evidence linking transsexuality to a series of physical variations. While I will agree that this evidence is far from achieving the “cause-and-effect” clarity that we have with Newtonian mechanics, it is significant and should not be overlooked – especially in the context of the kind of persistence that is described in K. E. Stuart’s “The Uninvited Dilemma” (which is actually based on her PhD thesis).

        Some of the more interesting research that I have become familiar with in the last few years involves the examination of brain activation patterns in transsexuals – both pre-hormone therapy and during. Again, although the results aren’t conclusive, they are interesting indeed. (The short version: Male to Female TSes frequently show substantially female brain activation/utilization patterns even before HRT)

        Like

      • November 4, 2009 8:10 am

        mgs09

        I am happy to discuss the pros and cons of jargomized some other time. However my view point is that it alienates readers who are not up to date with buzz words and catch phrases. There also a tendency for some people use jargon that is emotionally loaded. If it cannot be exlained in simple language then we might as well be talking French.

        As for self regulation. It has done marvels for the banking sector. Then again there is always the chance that the self appointed overseers create a toothless tiger. Since there is no mention of what self regulation protocols this clinic agree to we are left with no where to speulate about what they have or have not broken. Even if we are to presume that they were a member of a self regulation agreement there appears to be a break down in accountability, oversight or enforcement. If self regulation is so good why would the law ever need to step in?

        You mentioned Pfafflin as a source of reference and so I looked it up.

        Here is link to a paper that extensively quotes Pfafflin and Junge:
        Transsexual Surgery: Its Pros and Cons

        By Anne Lawrence, M.D.

        http://www.jenellerose.com/htmlpostings/transsexual_surgery_its_pros_and_cons.htm

        The bottom line was that surgery is still a controversial matter even within the medical profession.
        Again this brings us back to the problem of which expert do we believe. The one in favour or the one against?

        Like

  19. mgs09 permalink
    November 4, 2009 12:40 pm

    (1) Some subjects require specialized language – transsexualism is one of those subjects. One can hardly talk adequately about particle physics without adopting the language of that domain; the same applies when you are talking about transsexualism.

    (2) I will point out that for the most part, those who object to GRS, do so on philosophical grounds – and do not meaningfully address the realities of clinical treatment. With the possible exception of Irvine, all of the other citations come from people arguing from a variety of non-clinical positions. (Raymond, as an example, is a hard-line feminist, not a clinician)

    Thank you for taking the time to at least look for Pfaefflin’s paper – I’m disappointed to note that the Symposion online copy of the translation has been taken down. Here’s an alternate copy of the Pfaefflin paper: http://www.iiav.nl/ezines/web/IJT/97-03/numbers/symposion/ijtc0202.htm

    (3) With respect to self regulation, I will point out that there is a considerable difference between regulating individual practitioners (e.g. law, medicine, accountants etc.) and regulating corporate bodies such as banks. Self regulation does not work effectively when we are talking about large collective entities such as banks.

    Hospitals have had somewhat greater success in this realm by establishing separate, but equally powerful, entities responsible for the financial operations (“The Board”) and for ethical and moral issues (“The Ethics Board”) .

    Like

  20. November 4, 2009 2:25 pm

    mgs09

    I am not going to get bogged down in tedious semantics. BTW Carl Sagan seemed to be able to explain partical physics without buryng the viewers in techno jargon. Also I was always taught that if you cannot explain it simply then you do not know it well enough. And I usually take George Orwells advice about never using a big word where a small one will do.

    On you second point I may also point out that the ideological bias of supporters of transgender theory can be equally come from non-clinical sources. For example activist organization often preare selected reading lists to give the appearence overwhelming scientific support for their cause. In the end it becomes difficult to work out .

    Let me give the example of the link you provided:
    “Aletta’s objective is to increase knowledge and to promote research. This is our contribution to the emancipation of women in all their diversity.” This is an ideological position. Why wasn’t the document published in one of the major scientific medical journals where it would permanently stored on the net? That I cannot answer but it does raise questions.

    I read the artivcle you linked hoping for some clinical testing results with a clear indication of cause and effect.

    Instead I got history lesson that referred to pioneers of the business and little else.
    I am sorry but this must be the wrong article.

    On the issue of self regultion; I keep stating that there was no mention of in regard to clinic. Talking about what self regulation should have done is only valid: firstly if it exists; and secondly if it more than just set of nice sounding platitudes. Where is the teeth need to stop a rouge in its tracks? Where is the oversight if the self regulation is just a bunch of empty words?

    Like

  21. mgs09 permalink
    November 5, 2009 12:08 pm

    First off, let me apologize for an incorrect link – that wasn’t the paper I had in mind (it’s interesting in its own right, but for other reasons).

    I had to go digging through web.archive.org to find an extant copy of Pfaefflin’s 1992 paper:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20050306054652/www.symposion.com/ijt/pfaefflin/1000.htm

    My point regarding self regulation is that you are tarring the entire concept while conveniently ignoring the situations where it is in fact largely a functional model that works. The legal constructs to “stop a rogue” do exist, and for the most part, they work quite nicely. It is far too easy to demand perfection, whilst ignoring the practical – and often messy – realities of our human world.

    Like

    • November 5, 2009 4:55 pm

      mgs09

      I think we have ridden the self regulation hobby horse to death. Since there is no mention of it in this case we are speculating. The point become moot.

      I did a quick perusal of the document that found on the internet archives but so far I have not found anything in it other than one study after the other relying upon the original premise to validate itself.

      Most seem to talk about how a person feels and what aperson thinks about a situation then they fill up impressive tables with these results. This kind of first person account is can be influenced by subjective factors such as environment, culture and even peer pressure.

      Sorry but this is not the kind of evidence I would call empirical.

      Like

  22. November 6, 2009 5:06 pm

    mgs09

    I followed the link you left in you previous message and read several of the papers from to top to bottom. looking for something of any real substance. What I did find was a serious of studies that looked more like a consumer satisfaction survey and very far any absolutes.

    Unfortunately when you drop a document the size of Bible on my door step and tell me that answer is somewhenre in there it is not encouraging. You need to do your own homework and be very specific, quoting chapter and paragraph. I am not going to anyones research for them. Nor am I going to engage in trying to disprove a negative.

    Like

  23. mgs09 permalink
    November 6, 2009 11:46 pm

    You asked for evidence, I provided it. It’s not my job to pre-digest it for you. I’ve already tried to give you the “nutshell synopsis” of it, and you dismissed it out of hand. The job of actually reading it is yours now, not mine.

    This gets to the basic point I’ve been making all along – some domains require actual study before you will come to meaningful opinions on them. I didn’t expect to you read it all in one evening – it took me about a week of concerted study to make my way through Pfaefflin … and I suspect I have rather more background in the study of transsexuality and its study than you have.

    For someone who in other posts on this blog bemoans how people don’t pay attention to the evidence, or don’t think critically enough, your unwillingness to actually spend the time to read and comprehend even one document on the subject is very disappointing.

    Like

  24. November 7, 2009 7:45 am

    mgs09

    Let me go through this step by step so it is perfectly clear.

    You gave me a link to a report with multiple links and reports with in it.

    I read several of these out of curiosity. So stop saying I only read the front page because that is totally false.

    I came to conclusion that they were subjectve and unconvincing.

    They seemed to use emotional welbeing and personal experience as the cornerstone.

    Emotions are wonderful things but they are subjective, prone to influence and prove nothing. Just because someone feels good it does not mean it is good.

    I have no obligation to read a report of this size in order to proove a point you wish to make.

    It is your point. I suggest that you do your own leg work and come up with your own direct quotes with a page and paragraph reference. Other wise I am going to develope the impression that you yourself have not read this report properly or you do not know how to read reports.

    This line is obviously going nowhere because you are trying to make a point in the same way a Bible basher would. eg:”The answer to my question is somewhere in the Bible and all I have to do is read it and agree.” This is utter nonesense.

    However this is a telling statement:
    “…and I suspect I have rather more background in the study of transsexuality and its study than you have”

    Am I to presume that you are not as objective as you first claimed but have instead come with a hidden agenda.

    You claim to be disappointed with me but I am very disappointed that someone who claims superior knowledge in a subject cannot produce clear and concise evidence in a way would be acceptable to other that read this post.

    Finally here is my preliminary conclusion of the report you so loving pulled from archive.com (the wastepaper basket of the internet.).

    It is an emotion based report using personal experience and attitudes as the primary source of evidence.

    Attitudes, Emotions and Personal Experience are not objective.

    Like

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