It's called a disorder for a reason


The Washington Post is getting a lot of buzz from its story "Transgender at five," about a little girl who was diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a form of gender identity disorder. For now, her parents are letting her live as a boy. In the future, they have some deeply disturbing options, such as puberty blockers and hormone treatments that, among other things, would render their child sterile.

It seems to me, from my reading of the article, that the medical community has put more time and effort into encouraging families to embrace and encourage the symptoms of this disorder than into trying to find genuine treatments for it. Is there any other disorder on earth that we treat this way? The very word disorder suggests that something has gone wrong, that something is, literally, out of order. Wouldn't you think that the patients would be better off if their doctors were genuinely interested in finding ways to restore that order?

Comments:

I think it's quite possible that there are rare children who for some strange reason feel that their body doesn't match the way they feel on gender matters. The question is whether you consider that a form of mental disorder, or something to celebrate. If it weren't so caught up in the homosexual/libertine political agenda, I think there wouldn't be any question that it's the former; objectively, biologically, what these kids (and adults) are feeling is not the way it ought to be, any more than someone who is deaf is the way they ought to be.

And I choose that comparison advisedly. There are Deaf people (capital used intentionally) who are so pro-Deaf that they think anyone getting a cochlear implant is a traitor, and that doctors who recommend/perform the implants are nearly genocidal. While being deaf is nothing to be ashamed of, there is a real loss from normal, and it's self-delusional to pretend otherwise.

But going back to the "transgender" issue, what then do you do about it? The article suggests that up to 80% of such kids outgrow their feelings, which is certainly a strong argument against taking any permanent actions that would cement the alternative gender. (And on that topic, it's worth noting that some sex-change doctors have gotten out of the business, conculding that it's not actually helping those who undergo it based on standard measures of psychological well-being, even if the patients claim to feel better afterwards.)

The article doesn't offer ideas on how to help a child sort things out. As a father of strong-willed preschoolers, I doubt that a strong-arm tactic (take away his dolls and her trucks) will help; if anything, it'll probably make things worse. I frankly swallow my dislike on some things: my boys like to play "tea party" and clomp around in Mommy's shoes. (Daddy's shoes, not so much, perhaps because they're heavier.) But learning appropriate behavior isn't just a matter of fitting into gender norms; it's a process that takes years, and there is legitimate overlap in appropriate behavior between the sexes. Trying to teach hyper-macho or hyper-feminine behavior isn't what I'd want for any child, no matter how comfortable they are with their sex.
I think this article is just plain confusing. Note how the author cites the American Psychological Association's definition of gender disorder, which says that to diagnose girls with gender disorder "mere tomboyishness in girls or girlish behavior in boys is not sufficient." But then nothing we read in the article of the child's behavior seems to indicate that her actions are more than "tomboyishness." (Except for her insistence that she is a boy. But that might be because it almost sounds as if her parents gave her this false choice, wear frilly dresses and be a girl, or don't wear frilly dresses and don't be a girl. It doesn't sound like "be a girl and don't wear frilly dresses" was one of the options presented. Surprise surprise that the kid decided she wants to be a boy.) Not to mention the way the article combines at haphazard the opinions of scholars and researchers and then paragraphs that seem based entirely on the author's preconceived notions of gender identification. Like this: "That’s about the age when girls gravitate to girl things and boys to boy things. It’s when the parents who ban baby dolls or toy guns see their little girl swaddle and cradle a stuffed animal or watch in awe as their boy makes guttural, spitting Mack truck sounds while four-wheeling his toast over his eggs, then uses his string cheese as a sword." That paragraph would seem to imply that gender differentiation is all about the toys that a child plays with: hardly, I think, a scientific conclusion.
In the Stone Age....
Back when I was a girl, nobody "branded" kids who acted differently. We had boyish girls and girlish boys, and nobody thought anything of it. Either kind of kid was (more or less sublety) taught what was appropriate behavior for girls and boys, and most of them grew up to fit in with the standards of the day. It didn't warp their little "ids" or turn them into raving maniacs. More importantly, it didn't waste the time and money of teachers and parents and the medical community trying to "help" them. Why can't we go back to treating people like people?
Actually, I'm surprised they haven't stopped referring to it as a disorder. One of the most successful tactics employed by the people seemingly bent on hastening our world's decline is to gain control of the language and redefine terms to suit their agendas.

Just this evening, as ABC News kicked off the show by expressing outrage over what they considered to be a light sentence in the Tyler Clementi suicide case, they used the word "bullying" over and over. So now, any boorish or insensitive act is bullying.
I have read somewhere that Aspies often prefer the company of the opposite sex when they are young. An Aspie approaches normal social circles as if he or she is a foreigner, but the opposite sex knows that they are foreigners and make appropriate allowances.
If I had an account at the Oxford English Dictionary Online site, I'd check to see if they still list "tomboy" as a word.
It seems that political correctness has stayed the hand of reason. What happens when that child reaches adulthood, or mid-puberty and the damage from the puberty halting 'treatment' is done?

How does gender dysphoria get diagnosed at that age anyway?
The problem, of course, is that these people don't even believe that there is an order. When the drivers of your reality are matter + chance + time, when you've rejected any transcendent moral order, that there is a there, there behind good and evil and truth and beauty, then as a famous 19th Century author stated, anything goes.




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