The transgender debate has been and will most likely continue to rage on for many years to come. In my experience, the debate—for conservatives—is less about whether or not someone can truly think he or she was born into the wrong body, but is more about not wanting to pay for other people’s surgeries, arguing that there are only two genders, or just saying, “I just don’t get it.” Before going into any arguments or opinions, let’s lay out the groundwork and facts. Transgenderism is a disorder—yes a disorder—in which an individual believes he or she was born into a body with the incorrect biological sex. The actual name of this disorder is Gender Dysphoria; this was an update introduced in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). In the previous version of the DSM, the disorder was called Gender Identity Disorder; this revision, according the American Psychological Association (APA), is meant to better characterize the experiences of those who have this disease. DSM-5 dictates that in order to be properly diagnosed with this disorder, an individual’s expressed and experienced gender must be starkly different than the gender that others would assign to him or her, and this must continue for at least 6 months. For children, their desire to be the opposite gender must be present and verbalized. Additionally—the link that binds all mental disorders together—the condition must cause significant distress and impair social functioning. Treatments include hormone therapy, psychotherapy, and even surgery; gender dysphoria is the only psychological disorder in which surgery is considered the “end all cure”.1
To begin my thoughts and opinions on this controversial and heated debate, I’d like to say that I do believe that there are those who genuinely do believe they were born the wrong sex, but I think the prevalence of this disorder is greatly over exaggerated in our society today. There are those who only seek attention and wish to further their own agenda, there are those who claim to be “gender fluid” or “non-binary”—both of which I will discuss later, and there are those who, I believe, truly suffer from this truly overlooked and under-researched disease. I use the term, “under-researched” because of how this disorder is treated: mostly through hormone therapy and surgery. I take great issue with this. Allow me to paint you a picture. Perhaps one of the most debilitating psychological disorders is schizophrenia. Without going too deep into this disorder, those who develop this disorder suffer from both delusions and hallucinations. For those who do not know, a delusion is a false belief and a hallucination is the perception of a nonexistent external stimulus. Through much trial and error, specific medications have been developed and refined in order to treat this devastating disease: anti-psychotic medications and even some psychotherapies, but the treatments are life-long. In essence, these treatments are meant to make the delusions and hallucinations go away. However, with gender dysphoria, psychologists have determined that the delusions of these sufferers—the false beliefs of being born in the wrong body—do not need to be taken away; rather, they should come true. Are you seeing a contrast here? One disorder’s delusions, in essence, have been determined by psychologists to be incorrect, while another disorder’s delusions have been determined to be correct. But where does this inconsistency come from? I honestly think that it is simply laziness, or an attempt at furthering an agenda; but I mostly think it is laziness and not wanting to conduct research when a more “simple” solution has been found.
But where am I going with this?
Allow me to illuminate some very startling statistics.
The attempted-suicide rate for transgender individuals is 41%.2 This statistic is baffling for any population, particularly one that is so small. But why are they attempting to commit suicide at such a high rate? The answer to this question can be contested, but truly can’t be confirmed. Before any left-wing activists, LGBT representatives, feminists, or liberals try to say it is because they are “oppressed” or because “society hates them” allow me to posit some other statistics to you, using their logic of course. According to the left, those who are oppressed in society are minorities and women, essentially, the only people who are not oppressed are those who are white, straight males. Assuming this is true, then explain why the suicide rate of whites is 17% and the suicide rate of blacks is only 5.6%; whites are committing suicide at a rate 3x higher than blacks. Additionally, white males accounted for 70% of the suicide rates in 2015, and the highest suicide rate was among white middle-aged males.3 As for the gender disparities, men—across all races and ethnicities—committed suicide at a significantly higher rate than their female counterparts from 2012-2013. Further data show non-Hispanic whites—both men and women—committed suicide at a higher rate than non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics from 2012-2013.4 In essence, if the argument of oppression and societal scorn were true, then these statistics would be reversed: white males would be the lowest suicide rate, while blacks and Hispanics would be the highest. So why is there such a high rate of attempted-suicide by transgender people? We truly don’t know for certain, but I would like to propose my own reason. I believe that those who truly suffer from gender dysphoria know deep down that they will never be the opposite gender: no amount of surgery, no amount of hormone therapy, and no amount of “social acceptance” will fix what they view as broken. Of course, there are those who do receive these treatments and report that their lives have completely changed, but of course, we cannot ignore the alarming rate of attempted-suicide; and we must look at the treatment methods: they aren’t good enough.
Further Discussion on the Gender Debate
Let’s get something straight, there are only 2 genders. This isn’t “edgy” or “provocative”. This is a fact. The hijra that every liberal likes to bring up is not a third gender—it might be legally recognized as a “third gender” but biologically it is not—they are transgender people, transvestites, or eunuchs. You are either a man or a woman; your chromosomes will tell you that. And before someone cries “What about intersexed individuals!” as if they have some unknown insight into the human genome: I am well aware of such anomalies, and they are just that: abnormalities that arise in human development. Without going too deep in this convoluted topic, I suggest simply raising the child as you—the parent—see fit. No surgeries should be performed unless medically necessary, but once the child is old enough to understand, explain to him or her what is going on and allow them to make a decision for him or herself.
Finally, there exists the idea that gender is a “social construction”. No it is not. To be quite honest, that statement doesn’t make any sense. What societies have “constructed” are the objects and actions that are considered “masculine” or “feminine”. Societies determine what type of dress is appropriate and the type of dress men typically wear and women typically wear; additionally, societies have also recognized the types of behaviors are most commonly found in men and have labelled them as “masculine” behaviors; the same goes for feminine behaviors. Societies did not construct a difference in having a penis and testicles, and a vagina and ovaries. Words were attributed to those who have one or the other—and even both—for semantic purposes, but the difference is biological, not societal.
As for the “gender fluid” and “non-binary” folk, you cannot simply change your gender willy-nilly. As human beings, we do not possess such an ability. There are some animals that can, but we cannot. I remember, one of my undergrad professors showed us a video on how “There are so many animals that can change their gender, so why can’t humans do it too?” This is asinine. These animals can literally change their sex, many of them can impregnate themselves too. Humans cannot do this. No matter how hard you want to believe you can, no matter how much the liberals want to tell you that you can, you cannot.
I’ll leave you with this, a sea sponge—which is very much a living animal—has evolved to no longer need a brain.5 Does that mean that humans no longer need a brain either? The comparison is ridiculous, right? So why is a comparison being drawn in terms of being able to change biological sex?