The transgender community, perhaps some one-half of one-tenth of a percent of our population, has for some time now been the center of debate over the use of public restrooms. With wholesale support from the left, transgender people ostensibly hold a strong belief, or feeling, that they were born the wrong gender, anatomically speaking. And the right frequently retorts that such strongly held beliefs fly in the face of objective fact.
How entertaining it is to watch the Right argue against the Left’s “strongly held beliefs,” quite often using their own strongly held religious beliefs, also devoid of objective fact, as a basis for disagreement.
I’ve put a great deal of effort into trying to understand this phenomenon, with a wide-open mind. The L, G, and B in LGBT make perfect sense, outcomes of biological evolution, and countless examples of each can easily and often be observed throughout the global mammalian community. The T is tougher to wrap arms around, at least for someone who isn’t a T (or a L, G, or B, for that matter, not that it does matter).
The main argument from the right goes something like this: It is a biological fact that a person born a male, anatomically speaking, possesses the XY chromosome pair and is therefore a male, period. And if someone born a male feels like they are a female, something must be psychologically wrong with them. This smells much like the Argument from Personal Incredulity.
It seems bizarre that this national debate has unfolded around the notions of feelings, civil rights, and the sort, whilst virtually no one has addressed a couple of key points: one, the gender continuum is clearly gray, not black-and-white. Hermaphroditism is an obvious example with which most are familiar, and the masculinity and femininity ranges of both sexes are plain enough for anyone to see. And two, it is a biological fact that the chemistry and structure of the brain is as much a physical component of the body as are genitalia.
Did you know…
that male-to-female (MTF) transsexuals were found, in 2009, more likely than control cisgender males to have more repetitions of the receptor gene for androgen or testosterone, which reduced its capacity to bind with testosterone, and that a certain androgen receptor is activated by the binding of testosterone and plays a critical role in the formation of male sex traits? 1
that it was discovered in 1995 that the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTc), a region of the brain connected with anxiety and sex responses, had a female-normal size in MTF transgender women and a male-normal size for female-to-male (FTM) transgender men? 2
that a subsequent study in 2000 measured neuron counts in the BSTc, as opposed to the volumes, and found the same results? 3
that in 2008, the interstitial nucleus of the anterior hypothalamus (a brain region with properties not unlike the BSTc) was identified and showed tangible differences that were more significant than in the BSTc – specifically that control males averaged 1.9x the volume and 2.3x the neurons as control females, and MTF transsexuals fell within the control female range and FTM transsexuals fell within the male range? 4
that a 2013 study of transgender twins found 13 of 39 identical twin pairs were both transgender, contrasted by just 1 of 38 fraternal twin pairs where both twins were trans, suggesting a strong genetic influence? 5
that similar differences in brain structure have been found, as long as 25 years ago, between heterosexual and gay men and between heterosexual and lesbian women? 6,7
Significant physical differences have been observed and confirmed in the brain. Transgender is not a “strongly held belief.” That said, I still don’t “get it.” It is still too large a leap from my personal experience to fully understand. But understanding the mechanics behind the clearly demonstrated fact that we are products of Darwinian Evolution by Natural Selection makes it possible to see, and to readily accept in light of evidence.
And all that said, the bathroom debate is a bunch of politically hijacked nonsense from the left. We do not need to re-sign or re-plumb the nation’s public restrooms. I suspect the political fevered pitch comes much to the dismay of the majority of transgendered people, who would almost certainly prefer to simply live their lives in peace.
And the MTF track athlete in Alaska has no business competing with girls, lest we eliminate the distinction of male and female athletic teams altogether and de facto push most girls and women to the athletic sidelines. How entertaining it is to watch the left take things too far, as they so often do.
A little something to offend everyone…
- “Androgen Receptor Repeat Length Polymorphism Associated with Male-To-Female Transsexualism,” L. Hare, et al.
- “Psychology: The Science of Behavior,” Neil R. Carson.
- “Male-To-Female Transsexuals Have Female Neuron Numbers in a Limbic Nucleus, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism,” F.P.M. Kruijver, et al.
- “A Sex Difference in the Hypothalamic Uncinated Nucleus: Relationship to Gender Identity,” A. Garcia-Falgueras & D.F. Swaab.
- “Transsexuality among Twins: Identity Concordance, Transition, Rearing, and Orientation,” Milton Diamond.
- “A Difference in Hypothalamic Structure between Heterosexual and Homosexual Men,” S. Levay.
- “The Interstitial Nuclei of the Human Anterior Hypothalamus: An Investigation of Variation with Sex, Sexual Orientation, and HIV Status,” W. Byne, et al.