WaPo columnist attempts to redefine sex

WaPo columnist attempts to redefine sex
AP Photo/John Hanna

I’ve noticed what may be turning into a trend in the mainstream media when it comes to the ongoing transgender apocalypse. Trans activists are apparently tired of all the annoying people who keep pointing out that the human race, like nearly all animal species, is comprised of two sexes, both of which are required to proliferate the species and that “sex” and “gender” are the same thing. And they definitely don’t like being reminded that a person’s gender is locked in at birth. (At conception, really, but it’s harder to detect initially.) Recent polls show that this remains a majority view in the United States. What’s wrong with the rest of the people saying otherwise remains a mystery.

Possibly in response to this, a new pitch is being attempted. All of that history of medical science was simply mistaken, you see. Chromosomes don’t determine gender, at least not reliably. Under this new theory, how a person’s brain functions determines whether they are male or female. Or at least this is the theory being pitched in the Washington Post this week by trans activist Jennifer Finney Boylan. She discusses studies that have been done involving brain scans on people of both genders under various circumstances. (I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she went through the full transition procedure so I’ll use an incorrect pronoun to be polite.) And then, in case some dubious-sounding brain scans don’t sell you on the prospect, Boylan points out that not everyone’s chromosomes are the same.

So what, then, is a biological male, or female? What determines this supposedly simple truth? It’s about chromosomes, right?

Well, not entirely. Because not every person with a Y chromosome is male, and not every person with a double X is female. The world is full of people with other combinations: XXY (or Klinefelter Syndrome), XXX (or Trisomy X), XXXY and so on. There’s even something called androgen insensitivity syndrome, a condition that keeps the brains of people with a Y from absorbing the information in that chromosome. Most of these people develop as female and might not even know about their condition until puberty — or even later.

How can this be, if sex is only about a gene?

That bit about the chromosomes is a recycled argument that we went through years ago. Yes, it’s absolutely true that there are people born with congenital, nonlethal variances in their genetic structure. Some of these impact the X and Y chromosomes that determine a person’s gender. There are even people born with both attributes that are sometimes referred to as “intersex” today. And society should accommodate those people however possible. But there are also people who are still born with six fingers or toes. That doesn’t mean that they are some new species all of a sudden. It’s an aberration, as are intersex chromosomes. And the vast majority of people we hear about seeking to “transition” are not intersex. It’s a very rare condition.

By the way, since I’d never heard of her, I did some checking into Jennifer Finney Boylan’s background. It turns out that she’s not a doctor and has apparently had no formal training in the medical field. She’s an English major and a writer. Of course, I’m not a doctor either, but that should at least put us on equal footing.

Boylan wasn’t the only one taking to the field and pitching the idea that centuries of medical science simply got everything wrong. A separate article at The Atlantic attempts to argue that human brains don’t finish developing until people are in their early twenties. We’ve heard this theory before and it should only strengthen the argument that children are simply incapable of making irreversible decisions about genital mutilation surgery. But the researcher being interviewed then turns around and says that this research shouldn’t apply to “gender-affirming care” because teenagers can make those specific decisions if they have the guidance of an adult.

Oh, really? What if the adult is grooming them in a preferred direction? Perhaps you should leave such discussions up to the parents, no matter how much that old-fashioned idea has fallen out of favor.

All of these unscientific arguments are simply a fancier version of a throwaway line used by trans activists everywhere. ‘Sex is what’s between your legs. Gender is what’s between your ears.’ In response, I’ve always said, “If gender is between your ears, why are you having surgery between your legs?”

Up until very recently, it was fully recognized in professional medical circles that gender dysphoria was not only rare, but it was a mental disorder in the same general category as Cotard’s Syndrome and clinical lycanthropy. But distressing portions of the medical profession have somehow been convinced to try to cancel much of what they once knew and declare that up is down and night is day and boys can turn into girls. (And they’re making an impressive amount of money from this “new normal.”) I have to believe that this social contagion will begin to reverse at some point and broader levels of sanity and common sense will return. If not, we’re going to be in a lot of trouble as a society. Adults are free to dress as they like and call themselves whatever they want as far as I’m concerned. But at the very least, we have to keep these sorts of things from happening to children.

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