all 40 comments

[–]wizzwizz4 7 insightful - 3 fun7 insightful - 2 fun8 insightful - 3 fun -  (23 children)

Interesting conclusion.

The brains of trans people are shown to more closely resemble that of their perceived gender, so I'm not sure why they've made that conclusion.

[–]useless_aether[S] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (22 children)

so if they are not born like that, external influences may be contributing to their 'trans' brain changes. like being raised by gay couples, and exposure to different things of similar nature. even bisphenol-a, too much soy, and other endocrine disruptors might do the trick all by themselves.

[–]wizzwizz4 7 insightful - 3 fun7 insightful - 2 fun8 insightful - 3 fun -  (21 children)

like being raised by gay couples

Erm… This fits stereotype more than reality. Are you sure you're not cherry-picking studies to support your beliefs? You're also acting as though being trans is a mental illness.

Note that the (article referencing the) studies I linked don't suggest brain changes:

A 2010 study of 121 transgender people found that 38 per cent realised they had gender variance by age 5.

and

Although the sample was too small to identify any gender differences in development, Deoni expects to see differences developing in the brain “by 2 or 3 years of age”.

However, in support of your "external changes" hypothesis:

“Research has shown that white matter matures during the first 20 to 30 years of life,” he says. “People may experience early or late onset of transsexuality and we don’t know what causes this difference.”

[–]useless_aether[S] 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (20 children)

i think it is mental illness, why what do you think it is?

[–]wizzwizz4 6 insightful - 4 fun6 insightful - 3 fun7 insightful - 4 fun -  (19 children)

A perfectly ordinary expression of human identity. I guess you also think homosexuality is an illness? No matter. This is really just semantics, based on our inherent perceptions of the morality of various things.

[–]Zombi 7 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 0 fun8 insightful - 1 fun -  (13 children)

I mean, is it not indicative that something is wrong when your body is clearly designed for a certain thing yet your brain wants it to do another? Maybe "illness" isn't the right word, but it's very obviously NOT normal when you are born with a penis and you want a vagina, that just makes zero sense from an evolutionary standpoint.

I'm not saying homosexuality is wrong or being trans is wrong in a moral sense. I do think it is a disorder. We call people who think they're the center of the universe narcissists and we call it a mental disorder. We call people who hate themselves and their lives depressed and label it a mental disorder. We call people who lack empathy psychopaths and label them as having a mental disorder. None of the people with these disorders can control how they feel and they even have different brains just like a trans or homosexual person. Yet even though on paper being trans or gay checks all the boxes of a mental disorder, calling it so is seen as a bad thing?

I have depression. I can just as easily say I was born this way and my depression is a way of expressing my identity (and in some ways I do think it is). I'm fine with being labeled as "wrong" or having a "disorder". It doesn't define me and neither should your gender.

[–]wizzwizz4 7 insightful - 3 fun7 insightful - 2 fun8 insightful - 3 fun -  (10 children)

that just makes zero sense from an evolutionary standpoint.

Neither does art. Neither does connecting thousands of computers together for the sole purpose of finding massive numbers with interesting properties. We don't call that a problem.

Yet even though on paper being trans or gay checks all the boxes of a mental disorder, calling it so is seen as a bad thing?

Well, yes. Because our classification system doesn't make sense, and doesn't extend like that. Creativity is a mental disorder. High-functioning autism is a mental disorder. Finding slapstick funny is a mental disorder. Liking cats is a mental disorder. Virtually everything is a mental disorder if you extend the categorisation like that.

Instead, consider: what do narcissism, self-loathing and lack of empathy have in common that homosexuality, trans…ness (what's the word‽) and creativity don't? The answer is that the former three inherently have negative effects on the person's life, but the latter three don't.

And, of course, all of these things have "treatments" (with various efficacies) to improve the lives of the "sufferers":

  • Narcissists can benefit from psychotherapy, or other treatments (I'm not really sure what the treatments are, and it's a really broad category!).
  • Depressives can benefit from CBT, and sometimes from medication, etc..
  • Psychopaths… TBD.
  • Homosexuals can benefit from a relationship, and acceptance.
  • Transgender people can benefit from HRT and SRS, and acceptance.
  • Creative people can benefit from painting equipment or a musical instrument.
  • High-functioning autists can benefit from a supportive environment and coping strategies.
  • Slapstick humour connoisseurs can benefit from a good Laurel and Hardy.
  • Cat lovers are untreatable, and should be condemned to the bottom rungs of society.

You see?

It doesn't define me and neither should your gender.

I completely agree. But for many people, their gender does define them. Certainly in our language it functions as a means of defining people; pronouns are customised to gender, etc.. That's why it's not just something people can just ignore. (I kind of wish they could, because then people wouldn't care so much about what other people choose to identify themselves with, but society is as society does.)

[–]Zombi 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (9 children)

Neither does art. Neither does connecting thousands of computers together for the sole purpose of finding massive numbers with interesting properties. We don't call that a problem.

Art is an expression of feeling, not a state of being so it doesn't really apply. We express our feelings all the time: We yell when angry, cry when sad, and dance when excited. It's perfectly natural to express yourself through art, it is just much more complex then simply screaming or crying. Connecting thousands of computers together for numbers with interesting properties is actually used in the process of solving problems like encryption. It also fulfills our curiosity, something else you could argue is vital to survival. The more curious you are, the more you learn, and the more you learn the better your odds of surviving are.

Creativity is a mental disorder. High-functioning autism is a mental disorder. Finding slapstick funny is a mental disorder. Liking cats is a mental disorder. Virtually everything is a mental disorder if you extend the categorisation like that.

Creativity shows adaptability and the ability to think in the abstract which is again, something vital to our survival as it's been abstract ideas built on over hundreds of years that has lead to humanity utterly dominating the food chain. High functioning autism is extremely counter-intuitive when applied to human beings as we are social animals. Autism's main trait is a severe lack of social aptitude; I don't see how that trait is advantageous to a social animal. Liking cats is a side affect to our natural affection for infants. Completely normal and expected. You can find we adore any animal that has large eyes and a large head compared to their body.

Finding slapstick funny, while more abstract, is pretty expected as well. Slapstick is based in dangerous situations resulting in minimal harm. Most humor is based in expectations being upended by reality. Apply it to primal man hearing a noise, expecting a tiger behind a bush, yet finding out it's a squirrel. He laughs at the unexpected outcome, subconsciously showing others that everything is ok, there isn't any harm being done; we are safe. When tensions are high humans are unpredictable. Having a natural way to negate tension is extremely advantageous.

I completely agree. But for many people, their gender does define them. Certainly in our language it functions as a means of defining people; pronouns are customised to gender, etc.. That's why it's not just something people can just ignore. (I kind of wish they could, because then people wouldn't care so much about what other people choose to identify themselves with, but society is as society does.)

Well then that's their problem. If you make your entire identity based on a singular thing you will forever be offended and angry because it's so easy attack your entire being. If society is incorrect, if our language is incorrect, our goal should be to change our language and our society. Currently it seems like the opposite is happening and it's causing so many issues. We're the sum of our parts, not a single part.

Either way, I don't feel like you've really addressed my main argument. If you're clearly born with a penis yet you have no attraction to women/want a vagina, doesn't that show something, somewhere went wrong? You have a built in appendage that's specifically built for a vagina yet you don't want to use it for it's purpose. That sounds like a disorder to me. It's like being born with a mouth and not wanting to eat...

[–]wizzwizz4 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (6 children)

If society is incorrect, if our language is incorrect, our goal should be to change our language and our society.

Yup. Well-said.

That sounds like a disorder to me.

Yes. But not necessarily a mental disorder. In fact, it isn't necessarily a problem with any individual parts at all. Perfectly functioning brain, perfectly functioning genitals… just not the right pairing.


Well then that's their problem.

I can't but disagree here. They're not the ones making their identity based on it, so I don't think they should carry the blame or the responsibility.

[–]Zombi 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (5 children)

I can agree, maybe I'm being a bit harsh there in your third point.

[–]Icalasari 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Autism's main trait is a severe lack of social aptitude; I don't see how that trait is advantageous to a social animal.

The brain is wired very differently, so it can confer some advantages (I wouldn't be shocked if way back when, shamans, medicine men, and the like were disproportionately autistic), but yeah in today's day and age, we autists have an uphill battle =/

Least I wasn't born in medieval Europe - I'd have probably been thrown into the woods as a child because people thought I was a changeling or something

[–]Zombi 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Oh yes there's advantages and disadvantages to autism just like everything else, I just think in the whole darwinian sense social intelligence trumps the advantages that autism brings. Either way, my main point was that it's a disorder and we all have them. Labeling it as such doesn't make you a worse person or wrong. It is what it is and we all have our bad/good parts.

[–]CherryPieNTheSky 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

I concur with your points. Why is being trans not mental illness? I suffer from depression, anxiety, and ptsd - I am considered mentally ill because of that. Yet a little boy who has a penis but doesn't want it, is normal?

[–]Icalasari 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

It's not like it's even an insult - it's literally that the way the brain is wired causes the person issues and anguish in modern society to the point of sometimes needing treatment to manage, which being trans clearly does cause (in the case of trans, stuff like hormone treatments and sex reassignment surgery)

[–]useless_aether[S] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (4 children)

more like something along these lines https://www.barnhardt.biz/diabolical-narcissism/

[–]wizzwizz4 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

I don't understand what you mean by linking that video. I really, really don't understand.

[–]useless_aether[S] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

well, it encapsulates my view on the matter. did you watch some of it yet?

[–]wizzwizz4 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

It's over 2⅚ hours long! And considering that it has a section called:

Feminism: Making women into Diabolical Narcissists

and another called:

HOMOSEXUALITY AND ABERROSEXUALITY

(yes, all-caps!) and another called:

Hag fags and their fag hags

and another called:

ISLAM: Pure Diabolical Narcissism

and another called:

The vice of EFFEMINANCY as "bush league" Diabolical Narcissism

(again, caps present in original) I'm not sure it's the sort of thing I'd enjoy.

[–]useless_aether[S] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

cool... maybe others will find it interesting

[–]Tblaze7 5 insightful - 2 fun5 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 2 fun -  (5 children)

I read where a scientist or psychiatrists did a study and confirmed that most trans people are that way from social pressure and social media. What happened you may ask ? They were confronted until they couldn't get grants, practice what they were doing and basically ran off the face of the earth. It just wasn't part of the narrative. Sad.

I don't understand trans-people because if you really felt like the opposite sex why wouldn't you do your darndest to become the opposite sex ? That's what transitioning used to mean. Now if you wear the opposite sex's clothing your considered trans gender.

Give me a break, Bruce Jenner feels like a woman so much that he won't get his penis chopped off and he still dates women, so wearing womens' clothes and makeup makes him transgender ? Seems like he was just doing it for publicity.

Don't get me wrong, I know crap about transgender people I'm just not around them. So, there could be something I'm not understanding.

[–]wizzwizz4 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Apart from your "I don't understand trans-people because" and "he won't get his penis chopped off and he still dates women", you're actually closer than you think. (Also somebody who knows crap, but has read things on the internet.)

if you really felt like the opposite sex why wouldn't you do your farndest to become the opposite sex ?

Three reasons:

  • social pressure and peer pressure
  • self-doubt / uncertainty / identity issues
  • actually just faking being trans for the publicity

The latter doesn't actually happen as much as you'd think it does, though, oddly enough. It's usually the former (less so nowadays) followed by the middle one (more so nowadays). The proportion of the latter seems to remain the same.

The people who fake being trans are the same people who park in disability spots without being disabled. And they're few and far between; most people who "aren't disabled" who park in those spots actually are, but it isn't immediately obvious to the casual observer.

[–]admirablexcursion 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

If you've spent one day on Tumblr you'd know that people who fake being trans just to be "cool" are much more common than that. And it's not even just teens who want to be special and different but also adults who change pronouns as often as they change their socks.

[–]wizzwizz4 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

If you've spent one day on Tumblr

The world is big. If a thousand people on Tumblr do something, that's still not common. And I doubt it's that many.

but also adults who change pronouns as often as they change their socks.

That's called gender-fluid.

[–]HopeThatHalps 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I don't understand trans-people because if you really felt like the opposite sex why wouldn't you do your darndest to become the opposite sex ?

Becuase ultimately we're talking about mutilation. I have a lot of strong convictions about things, but I don't want to be mutilated in the name of any of them.

[–]hennaojisan 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Bruce Jenner sounds like a very confused individual perhaps because of living with a house full of Kardashian women.

[–]hennaojisan 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (6 children)

Surprise. The APA had a DUH moment and realized that kids with a penis are male and kids without one are female. At least some people still have what used to be called common sense.

[–]HopeThatHalps 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (5 children)

You have a good grasp of the nuances.

[–]hennaojisan 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (4 children)

Those are the basics we have to understand. Then sometimes two people with penises can fall in love and/or have sex. Fine. But you can't change sexes. You end up with a penisless male or something else that is still female. Try to change your sex and you get a 40% probability of ending your own life.

[–]HopeThatHalps 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

If you're a biological absolutist when it comes to gender, looking at a person's chromosome makeup is a more classy way of going about it.

But that aside, "the basics we have to understand" admits that our understanding is incomplete, and it doesnt make sense to take a definitive view while at the same time admitting that your understanding is limited.

[–]wizzwizz4 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

That 40% is for people who feel trans, not people who've had surgery / HRT. It goes down for those who are allowed to express themselves as their percieved gender.

[–]hennaojisan 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

I see what you mean but it was never explained to me that way. Thanks.

[–]wizzwizz4 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I'm glad you see, now. Hopefully we can work to knock that 40% down some more.

[–]HopeThatHalps 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

tl;dr:

In no more than about one in four children does gender dysphoria persist from childhood to adolescence or adulthood,

I don't think children should be subject to optional, life changing treatments, not before the age of 18. It's as simple as that. https://www.bbc.com/news/health-11814300 "The boy who was raised a girl"

[–]wizzwizz4 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The thing is, puberty is an optional, life-changing treatment. Surely, if they think they're trans, they should go on hormone blockers (a reversible thing) until they're at the age where they're "allowed" to make such a decision?

Also note that that example is different; it was without the child's permission. Choosing for children is the opposite of what I'm suggesting here.

[–]PaigeAP 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I'm trans MTF and I can definitely tell you that I was born this way.

If any of you have any questions AMA.