25 June 2024 18:19:07 GMT

The Third Rock Forum - Society

Article Title
ALITHEIAPHOBIA
Author
Paul G
Topic Section(s)
Society
Human Rights
Politics
Submitted : 19-07-2023 16:52
Amended : 21-07-2023 11:41
Status : Approved:  
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Dislikes : 0

ALITHEIAPHOBIA

There are only two sexes: male and female.

There are four sexual orientations: heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual

There are two genders; male and female - and there is gender dysphoria, a term that describes a sense of unease that a person may have because they feel there is a mismatch between their body and their sense of their self.

What is a chromosome?  “A chromosome is a thread-like structure made up of DNA.
Chromosomes are found in the nucleus of each cell.”

No one can change their sex; it is coded in their DNA.  There cannot be a physical mismatch between the brain and the body because the same DNA that determines sex determines the chemicals that wire the brain. “Each cell in your body carries a pair of sex chromosomes, including your brain cells. Females have two X chromosomes, and males have one X and one Y chromosome.” The physical sex of each person is unalterably inscribed in every cell of the individual’s body.

Gender dysphoria is a mental condition. It should be treated with understanding in the context of counselling to explain to the patient that, in reality, no one can be born in the wrong body. 

Of course, people can be born in bodies they don’t like. Most of us might wish to be more handsome or pretty; others might wish to be shorter or taller; yet others to have a different natural skin colour. We may well feel it’s unfair that we are not as we wish to be. It is certainly true that life is a lottery. But it is entirely unrealistic (i.e. not meaningful in the real world) to assert we have been born in the wrong body. Our DNA determines what we are.  Amongst other things (such as our looks; our height and our skin colour) our DNA determines our sex. In other words, our sex is encoded in every particle of our brain and body.  There aren't two production lines; one for bodies, the other for brains. There's just one production line - and it produces a perfect match between brain and body because the brain is part of the body. The female brain is female because it is the brain of a female body.

With the knowledge of science, we can use hormones to affect the body. There is cosmetic surgery to make our appearance more aesthetically appealing; there is bone surgery to increase or reduce an individual’s height; there are chemicals to change skin colour. And there are indeed surgical and hormonal treatments to give a person of one sex some of the physical characteristics of the opposite sex. But there is a difference between other attempts to alter our bodies and sex change regimes. The latter can never give the sex changer what they want. A trans woman is still a man (a male-born person) whose body has undergone extreme surgery and chemical assault to create the appearance, but not sadly the essence, of a woman.  Their DNA remains stoically male.

As for self-declaration without any surgical or chemical interventions, the notion that a man can become a woman or a woman a man, simply because they feel and assert it is so, takes us deep into the realms of fantasy. That any society should take such self-identification seriously is bordering on collective insanity.  Given the undoubted physical and emotional differences between men and women and their different psychological needs and drives, acceptance of self-identification is self-evidently inexplicable and profoundly dangerous, especially to women, as well as entirely irrational and disrespectful of biology.

Of course, nature is not perfect. Most of the time, there is no confusion.  Women have two X chromosomes; men have one X and one Y.  But sometimes there is a deviation, a mistake in the genetic code. These deviations can affect the genitalia, as well as other features such as height and mental capacity.

“Chromosome abnormalities usually involve an error in cell division (mitosis or meiosis), which may occur in the prenatal, postnatal, or preimplantation periods. These alterations have significant clinical consequences, i.e., spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, neonatal death/hospitalization, malformations, intellectual disability, or an identifiable syndrome. Accurate identification of these chromosomal errors is essential for prevention strategies, genetic counselling, and appropriate treatment.”

National Library of Medicine

Estimates of the incidence of sex chromosome abnormalities vary. According to one recent study:

             ”Congenital sex chromosome abnormalities occur in at least 1 in 448 births.”

Carlos A Bacino, MD, FACMG Sex chromosome abnormalities”

While noting these genetic abnormalities and endorsing the provision of all available medical and psychological support for people suffering from such conditions, we should understand that these chromosomal errors are quite separate from the phenomenon of gender dysphoria.

“Biological gender and gender identity are two very distinct concepts. Biological gender or sex refers to the anatomy and physiology of a human body, whereas gender identity is influenced by a multitude of factors, most of which we don’t fully understand.”

Sai Janani Ganesan, Postdoctoral Scholar at UCSF

The incidence of chromosomal abnormalities in trans men and trans women is only marginal higher, as a percentage of the population as a whole, than the percentage of abnormalities in the non-trans population. In other words, the great proportion of transgender people (approximately 98%) have normal sex chromosomes.

That is why, given the evidence above, the conviction that a person has been born in a body with the wrong sex (i.e. gender dysphoria) should be seen as a predominantly mental problem and one which should be approached with counselling, rather than surgical or chemical interventions.  It should certainly not be used as a means of undermining the biological reality that there are only two sexes and that, leaving aside nature’s regrettable errors, there is no need to postulate or any sense in postulating more.

The assertion of this truth, that there are only two sexes, is not to irritate or offend trans people.  It is to lay the foundations for the next proposition; that women are equal to men, equal but different.

Women have striven for decades to prove themselves equal to men – and they have succeeded.  But they did not set out to prove themselves identical to men, nor should they, because the differences ensue from their biology.  Biological sex is a reality (after all the survival of the species depends on it). And yes, the differences between the sexes are expressed in different ways in various cultures. But these different expressions of these differences ensue from the unalterable fact of biology, that there are two sexes, and only two.

The first and most obvious difference between men and women is in their physicality.

In general:

  • men are broader in the shoulder than women while women have broader hips
  • men generally are more muscular and therefore stronger than women
  • men have more lean mass; women more fat mass
  • men have deeper voices than women
  • men are hairier than women
  • Men have a prostate, testicles and a penis; women have ovaries, fallopian tubes, a uterus (the womb),a cervix and a vagina
  • womens’ other internal organs are able to accommodate childbirth; mens’ internal organs are not because men, for obvious reasons, cannot bear children.

What about the sex drive?

Although there are some dissenting voices, the vast majority of psychologists agree that the sex drive in men is stronger than in women; and most of them attribute the stronger male sex drive to testosterone.

An analysis of results of 211 studies on sex drive found that men, on average, have a substantially stronger sex drive than women. Men more often think and fantasize about sex, more often experience sexual feelings, and more often engage in masturbation compared to women. 

Psychological Bulletin quoted in PsyPost, February 2023

These differences in the strength of sex drive have a major effect on each sexes’ choice of mate:

Men typically place more importance on physical attractiveness and youthfulness of a partner. Women, on the other hand, tend to value social status, ambition, and financial prospects of a partner more than men.                                                                                                                                   ibid

Once again, there is a need for caution in determining the role of nature and nurture. Given that women have proved themselves successful in the workplace and that their incomes have increased, the social status of men and their financial prospects may well diminish in importance as female criteria for mate selection. Nevertheless, the other differences (e.g. the physical strength of men, their role in protecting women, their focus on goals) may continue to sustain this distinction.

What about their brains?

There was a time, a fairly brief recent period, in which the consensus amongst the intelligentsia was that there was no difference between the brains of men and women. This view was espoused because for thousands of years women had been thought to be mentally inferior to men and there was a need to correct this unfounded, patriarchal misconception.  But, while it is clear that women are as intelligent as men, that should not be taken to mean that men and women’s brains are identical.

Understanding the differences between the male and the female brain is work in progress. The female brain is, on average, 10% smaller than a man’s brain. This does not affect intelligence.  But there are differences in composition and structure which may affect mental performance:

On average, males and females showed greater volume in different areas of the cortex, the outer brain layer that controls thinking and voluntary movements. Females had greater volume in the prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, superior temporal cortex, lateral parietal cortex, and insula. Males, on average, had greater volume in the ventral temporal and occipital regions. Each of these regions is responsible for processing different types of information.

US National Institute of Health

This has led some researchers to conclude that these observable differences in the structure of the brain account for the differences in aptitude of men and women and the different ways in which men and women behave.

Recent studies indicate that gender may have a substantial influence on human cognitive functions, including emotion, memory, perception, etc.,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (
Cahill, 2006).

Men and women appear to have different ways to encode memories, sense emotions, recognize faces, solve certain problems, and make decisions. Since the brain controls cognition and behaviors, these gender-related functional differences may be associated with the gender-specific structure of the brain.                                                                                                                                                        (Cosgrove et al., 2007).Frontiers in Neuroscience

Whether or not the physical differences in the brain determine differences in aptitude and behaviour, it is certainly true, whatever the cause, that there are observable aptitudinal and behavioural differences between the sexes.  Generally, men are more aggressive than women; women are generally less confrontational.  Women generally have a higher degree of emotional intelligence.  Women find it easier than men to discuss their emotional states and needs.  Men tend to be more goal-orientated and focussed; women are more empathic and more “aware”.

Some of these observations are subjective; and many of them may have more to do with nurture than nature but, based on the current scientific opinion and human experience, it is reasonable to conclude that:

  1. there are profound differences between men and women
  2. these differences at least originate in the mental and physical differences between the sexes
  3. women are equal to men in intelligence and worth - but differ from men in some significant ways.

Yes, this section is full of generalisations and “work in progress” caveats, but the conclusion that there are important physical and mental differences between the sexes must stand.

For example

  • men are physically stronger than women
  • women can bear children; men cannot.

It follows that women are more vulnerable than men generally and, particularly, when pregnant.

Question: What is it a man fears most from women?    Answer: Being laughed at.
Question: What do women fear most from men?           Answer: Being killed.

So what does all this mean?

It means that the obsession with gender dysphoria is irrational and disconnected from reality. Of course, a tiny minority of people would prefer to have been born as a member of the opposite sex, just like most of us might wish to be stronger, healthier,  more attractive, cleverer or wittier.  But that does not mean that there is a stronger, healthier, more attractive, cleverer, wittier version of us that we should or could have born into. And it doesn’t mean we have been born in the wrong body. We cannot be born in the wrong body in any real or rational sense because what we are is determined by our DNA and every cell in our body carries the DNA signature of our sex.  Our body may be a body we don’t like. We may well be able to imagine a version of us that we would prefer. We may even decide to call that version our gender identity.  But it is a fantasy.  And to believe that the fantasy has substance in reality is a psychological, not a physical, problem.

Why does it matter?

It matters primarily because the demands of those with gender dysphoria can, in significant areas, conflict with the rights of a much larger group; i.e. women. It is generally agreed that throughout history women have been oppressed by men. In recent years we have seen what women, unleashed from patriarchy, can achieve.  In one intellectual sphere after another, women have proved themselves the equal of men.  In the ability to manage and to lead they have proved themselves.  But there is one aspect of life where they are vulnerable simply because they are physically  weaker than men.  In relationships between men and women, the man is usually physically stronger.  This problem is compounded by the male sexual drive which is generally stronger in men than in women.

Of course a civilised society imposes restraints on men and provides protection for women. With such restraints and protections, society manages, just about manages, to deal with the dangers. (Every week two or three women are murdered in the UK, almost all by their male partners.)

It must be clear to every sane person that removing the constraints on men and the protections for women is an act of outrageous violence against women.  In a world where all men respected and protected women, male transgender aspirations would be less of a problem. But in the real world, the world we live in, the world in which violence by men against women seems to be an ineradicable defect in our species, it is almost beyond belief that any society would allow men to self-declare themselves to be women and then accede to their demands for the right to enter women’s spaces including women’s toilets, women’s prisons and even women’s refuges.

Of course we should be kind to those who have mental problems but have we lost all sense of proportion? Women are half the population. Is anyone seriously suggesting we throw the rights of women under the bus to satisfy a tiny minority of delusional men, who are still and will always be indisputably male (most - i.e. around 98% - are still fully equipped with penises).

Nor should anyone born male be allowed to compete in women’s sports.  The reason why men compete against men and women compete against women in athletics is because those born male have a stronger musculature which gives them an indisputable advantage over women. That advantage persists in trans women (men who declare themselves to be women). Allowing transwomen to compete with biological women would exclude half the population from fair competition in althletics.

The fact that anyone has to formulate and present these arguments is indicative of the damage that minority pressure groups, with eccentric and delusional ideologies,  can inflict on society, despite the fact that these ideologies clearly offend against reality and reason.

The fact that evidently weak-minded establishments in the USA and the UK enthusiastically embrace and promote these delusional, solipsistic ideologies is inexplicable and inexcusable.

There has to be a balance between the rights of the individual (a unique person) and the rights of society (all the other unique people with whom that individual interacts).  In many areas now this balance is out of kilter.  Many who live in the West now argue that what they feel, what “they feel comfortable with”, trumps all else. It trumps the collective wisdom of past times, it trumps science, it trumps reason.  Those who embrace this self-obsessional ideology threaten the rights of us all. If we do not stop them, they will forbid freedom of speech; they will happily deny us our other freedoms, such as freedom of movement and assembly; they will deprive us of our civic rights (in employment and services such as banking); they will break the law or force us to change it to meet their demands; they will resort to violence to have their way.  They pose a real and present danger to civilised society.

There are words used to describe self-obsession – egotism, narcissism, solipsism.  But we need a word that expresses the root of the problem. What is the root of the problem?  It is the rejection of reality and reason; the belief that each individual can have their own truth, even if it conflicts with indisputable facts, science and reason - and that they can then insist that everyone else accepts and respects its validity. We have at least three words for such a mentality. There is irrational, the rejection of reason. We have pragmatophobia, the fear of reality.  I prefer alitheiaphobia, dread of the truth.