The Important Difference Between Sex and Gender

By Silence*

Second trigger warning: Zack Ford

Earlier this week, we talked about how Zack Ford at ThinkProgress, an editor at one of the most respected publications in left-wing politics, has begun advocating forcible genital amputation for children.

Let’s get back to wondering how anyone can be as cheerfully self-satisfied as Zack Ford about promoting the sterilization of minors as an uncontrolled exercise in off-label intervention for body dysphoria, social alienation, or depression. Because there is almost no data available on the long-term effects of these treatments, since hardly anyone has been systematically tracking patients.

Medicare won’t even cover transsexual medical treatments because there isn’t enough evidence about patient outcomes.

The drugs used weren’t developed for this purpose. Patients receiving them haven’t been consistently studied for side effects over the roughly two decades that this type of treatment has been more commonly taking place. Calling these interventions “experimental” is praise they don’t deserve, given the way they have been haphazardly administered and monitored in these off-label uses.

Parents are diagnosing their kids off of YouTube. Kids are self-diagnosing off of Reddit forums where they’re told by complete strangers that if they’re questioning, they’re definitely transgender based on ridiculous stereotypes. Children are being diagnosed by their peers, who tell them that they’re doing gender wrong and seem more like the opposite sex. So when did schoolyard bullying become a clinical diagnostic tool?

One clinician tried to enact the “watchful waiting” protocol recommended by every major medical body that’s studied the issue, in light of the fact that well over 70 percent of children with gender or sex dysphoria eventually grow out of it. Trans activists threatened him, spread lies about him, got him fired, and got his entire clinic shut down.

Maybe dysphoric young people could be allowed to be a little different than their peers and no one would have to read much into it?

If conservatives were proposing that sex stereotype-nonconforming, mentally ill, or developmentally disabled kids be sterilized, liberals would be organizing capitol building shutdowns in protest of this alarming eugenics revivalbordering on genocide. But liberals are proposing it using words that make everyone feel like they need an advanced degree to just repeat them. So no protests.

The transgender activist lobby has done everything in their power to mainstream the radical feminist idea that sex and gender are different, which is true, as the American College of Pediatricians says. Your biology doesn’t have anything to do with wearing pants, putting on makeup, or playing with certain children’s toys. Your sex doesn’t have anything to do with whether you’re shy or like math. Sex doesn’t determine personality or ability.

Then these activists said that you couldn’t use the term transsexual because not everyone who isn’t a sex stereotype wants to get medical treatment to change their bodies. That’s also true. But then they started using sex and gender interchangeably, and confusingly, while normalizing medical treatment at ever-younger ages.

This chain of reasoning is hiding the fact that they’re trying to sell the world on the idea that there are transsexual children. Every time you read about transgender children, replace that term with transsexual, and see how you feel about it.

Ultimately, this all means that the gender identity activist lobby believes there are children who need sterilization and genital amputation as minors in order to not kill themselves. If this sounds terrible, that’s because it is. That’s probably why they don’t just come out and say what they want.

Where were these children before surgery was available? Where were all the boys who insisted that they would die if not castrated? Where were all the girls who insisted that they would die if they couldn’t cut their breasts off? Since when has it been conclusively proved that genital amputation is a good treatment for depression?

These medical procedures have been called everything from essential health care, to gender confirmation, to sex reassignment. One thing is certain about them though: they can’t make someone the other sex. They can chemically castrate you or amputate your gonads, but they can’t give you functional, opposite-sex reproductive organs.

Here are other things you should know about sex and gender.

2015 study of teenagers being treated at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles gender clinic showed that their hormone levels before treatment were normal for their actual sex. A 2013 study found no genetic anomalies in the sex-determining chromosomes for adult male transsexuals. The true intersex conditions that transgender activists cite as proving that biological sex is a “construct” only affect 0.018 percent of the population, and everyone else has an obviously male or female reproductive system. Intersex conditions are separate from, and rarely have anything to do with, gender identity claims.

A very robust 2015 study of brain differences by sex found that there is almost no brain difference by sex. Even differences in spatial rotation ability appear to be influenced by socialization and aren’t “hardwired.” In the words of one neuroscientist: “There is not one aspect of the brain even which if a scientist looked at it they could tell whether it came from a man or a woman.” If you can’t say that a man has a male brain, how can you say he has a female brain?

Yet Zack Ford holds up a thin review of several small studies as conclusive evidence that gender identity conditions are biological, in much the same way as eye color or height. This is from the introduction of that review:

“Gender identity is a fundamental human attribute that has a profound impact on personal well-being. Transgender individuals are those whose lived and identified gender identity differs from their natal sex. Various etiologies for transgender identity have been proposed, but misconceptions that gender identity can be altered persist. However, clinical experience with treatment of transgender persons has clearly demonstrated that the best outcomes for these individuals are achieved with their requested hormone therapy and surgical sexual transition as opposed to psychiatric intervention alone.[1] In this review, we will discuss the data in support of a fixed, biologic basis for gender identity.”

Do you believe that there are really transsexual toddlers and preteens? Do you believe that men who’ve married and fathered children, then transition to live as women, are the right people to treat as expert authorities on the need for the sterilization of children based on their own mid-life worries about appearance?

I’ve read a girl’s interest in toys like dinosaurs and Legos being taken as proof she was really a boy. This should be terrifying to any other grown woman who enjoyed Legos or reading about dinosaurs as a child. Would we now be tracked into testosterone treatment and a mastectomy? This isn’t progress. It’s a warning to children that they need to play with the “right” toys, and wear the “right” clothes, and not do anything to stand out from the crowd at school, or they may be socially transitioned and sterilized before they’re old enough to know what that means.

This August, a young woman who transitioned and had a mastectomy at the age of 17, at a clinic that now claims a 0% desistance rate in pediatric transition, asked other detransitioning women to answer a survey. She heard back from 203 of them, but transgender health professionals are already dismissing these experiences. It’s worth clicking over and reading through, because people like Zack Ford would like to pretend that these women don’t exist, and they should know better, because this isn’t new.

It’s just inconvenient for people who want to convince the public that there are children who were born needing to be neutered.

So if you have kids, you don’t have to be guilted by anyone into letting a doctor cut your daughter’s breasts off, or hollow out your son’s testes, because they might look wrong when they get older. You don’t have to let anyone tell your child that their entire body is “wrong” and a tragic birth defect, or be made to feel like a monster because you think they’re perfect as they are. You don’t have to believe, because it isn’t true, that a minor is ready to decide whether or not they might ever want children as an adult.

It’s not a hate crime to tell a child, as their parent, that you’re going to do your best to get them to 18 in one piece, in as healthy a body as they could have. It’s not a hate crime to refuse to treat teenage depression or anxiety, especially if it’s caused by bullying at school, with hormone blockers, cross-sex hormones, breast binders, or genital surgery.

Zack Ford thinks he’s protecting vulnerable people from bullies. What he’s doing is helping pressure vulnerable kids into thinking that hormones and surgery will fix the (common as dirt) feeling that they don’t fit in, and unethically holding the threat of suicide over the heads of worried parents. You don’t have to take his warped perspective seriously.


*Silence is the pseudonym of a radical, progressive feminist.

“For reasons of personal safety and livelihood, I cannot disclose my real identity. But I can tell you this much: I’m a progressive feminist who has spent years working on the front lines of the left. I have opposed conservatism my entire political life in the most strident of terms; under other circumstances, I wouldn’t admit to even reading this site.”

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