Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

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Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

Post by sassy on Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:22 pm

The author is a professor of physiology and neurobiology at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine and a former fellow of the OpEd Project.

The countersuits being brought by the federal government and states such as North Carolina over the use of bathrooms by transgender individuals encompass many complex issues on federal versus states’ rights. But they also highlight a critical, common and incredibly damaging misperception: that gender and biology are two separate things. A letter writer to my local paper notes with respect to the Obama administration’s actions dictating bathroom policy, “Strangely enough, it seems to be predicated on the idea that one’s gender is a matter of choice rather than biology.”

The writer is right — it is biology, but not in the way he means. I have spent more than two decades studying sex-specific differences in the brain. I hazard a guess that I know more than most people on this issue, although I also know that we scientists have only a rudimentary understanding of how genetic, epigenetic, hormonal and environmental factors interact during brain development and into adulthood to form the incredibly diverse and complex spectrum that forms gender roles and gender identity.

But, I know for damn sure that biology is a big part of it, and it is not simply what sex gets put on your birth certificate — an assignment that is predominantly based on whether or not one has a penis. There are numerous biological conditions, such as androgen insensitivity syndrome, 5-alpha reductase deficiency or Rokitansky syndrome, in which individuals with either XY and XX chromosomes are born without a normal vagina or uterus but also without a penis, and are nearly always assigned to be “a girl.”

It has to do with the biology of your brain.

What most people don’t know is that our brain is both literally and figuratively our biggest sex organ. The parts of our brain that control behaviors that have to do with sex and things that differ by sex are exquisitely sensitive to hormones and chemicals that can mimic hormones. They also express genes in patterns that differ between males and females.

Tune in Tuesday at 11/10C for PBS’ new late-night series Point Taken to see OZY co-founder Carlos Watson moderate a spirited debate on gender.

What’s more, the factors that regulate these brain regions do so not only during the hormonal rages of puberty but also early on in our development. In humans and other animals, these brain regions are molded to be different from before the time we are born. Once established, many of these changes are permanent. And while we may not fully understand all of these early actions, they are key to sex-specific behaviors, sexual preferences and, just as likely, gender identity.

We don’t know how or if nonhuman animals have a sense of gender, and so can’t study that experimentally. But we do know that male versus female partner preferences in rodents can be changed by altering those brain regions that govern sexual behaviors. We also know that that there are significant differences between cis- and transgender individuals in brain structures and the connections between them; these are correlated with differences in behaviors, such as processing of positive affective and erotic imagery.

Brain differences are biological. We should know then that to be transgender is not a choice.



There is evidence to suggest that increased levels of gender dysphoria (i.e., the variance between gender identity and chromosomal sex) may result from developmental exposure to abnormal hormone environments, especially increased levels of androgens in XX fetuses that can occur in conditions such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Anecdotally, my neuroscience colleague Ben Barres has suggested that prenatal exposure to testosterone-like drugs may explain his own transgender identity.

In humans, care must always be taken relating correlation to causation. Differences in brain structures may reflect mutual interactions among innate brain processes, expressed gender roles and society’s response to those actions. But brain differences are biological.

We should know then that to be transgender is not a choice.

It is not a choice when meta-analysis of suicide rates indicates that lifetime prevalence of attempted suicide in transgender individuals is ~40 percent as opposed to ~4 percent in the overall population. It is not the same as deciding whether you will wear a red tie or a green one.

It is a choice for us to educate those who mistakenly believe that allowing transgender people to use bathrooms appropriate for their identity endangers women and children. Such people either do not know transgender people or, more likely, know them but do not know they are transgender. And those that believe that real sexual predators will be dissuaded by a sign on a bathroom door are truly lost.

It is a choice for those of us who study the complexities of biology and the human brain to inform those who are not neuroscientists so that they can understand why it is not “a choice” for transgender people; it is who they are.

Leslie P. Henderson


http://www.ozy.com/opinion/check-the-science-being-trans-is-not-a-choice/69726



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Re: Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

Post by smelly-bandit on Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:24 pm

we agree sassy

being mentally ill is not a choice

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Re: Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

Post by sassy on Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:25 pm

I know, it's a shame you have to go through it.

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Re: Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

Post by smelly-bandit on Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:26 pm



say hello to Susan

she is a blonde haired blue eyed 5'4" supermodel

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Re: Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

Post by sassy on Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:28 pm

My, you just crave attention don't you, even if you have to make yourself look a total fool to get it.

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Re: Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

Post by smelly-bandit on Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:44 pm

yeah

you're the one embracing mental delusion as the new science but im the fool.



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Re: Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

Post by Lord Foul on Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:26 pm

sassy wrote:The author is a professor of physiology and neurobiology at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine and a former fellow of the OpEd Project.

The countersuits being brought by the federal government and states such as North Carolina over the use of bathrooms by transgender individuals encompass many complex issues on federal versus states’ rights. But they also highlight a critical, common and incredibly damaging misperception: that gender and biology are two separate things. A letter writer to my local paper notes with respect to the Obama administration’s actions dictating bathroom policy, “Strangely enough, it seems to be predicated on the idea that one’s gender is a matter of choice rather than biology.”

The writer is right — it is biology, but not in the way he means. I have spent more than two decades studying sex-specific differences in the brain. I hazard a guess that I know more than most people on this issue, although I also know that we scientists have only a rudimentary understanding of how genetic, epigenetic, hormonal and environmental factors interact during brain development and into adulthood to form the incredibly diverse and complex spectrum that forms gender roles and gender identity.

But, I know for damn sure that biology is a big part of it, and it is not simply what sex gets put on your birth certificate — an assignment that is predominantly based on whether or not one has a penis. There are numerous biological conditions, such as androgen insensitivity syndrome, 5-alpha reductase deficiency or Rokitansky syndrome, in which individuals with either XY and XX chromosomes are born without a normal vagina or uterus but also without a penis, and are nearly always assigned to be “a girl.”

It has to do with the biology of your brain.

What most people don’t know is that our brain is both literally and figuratively our biggest sex organ. The parts of our brain that control behaviors that have to do with sex and things that differ by sex are exquisitely sensitive to hormones and chemicals that can mimic hormones. They also express genes in patterns that differ between males and females.

Tune in Tuesday at 11/10C for PBS’ new late-night series Point Taken to see OZY co-founder Carlos Watson moderate a spirited debate on gender.

What’s more, the factors that regulate these brain regions do so not only during the hormonal rages of puberty but also early on in our development. In humans and other animals, these brain regions are molded to be different from before the time we are born. Once established, many of these changes are permanent. And while we may not fully understand all of these early actions, they are key to sex-specific behaviors, sexual preferences and, just as likely, gender identity.

We don’t know how or if nonhuman animals have a sense of gender, and so can’t study that experimentally. But we do know that male versus female partner preferences in rodents can be changed by altering those brain regions that govern sexual behaviors. We also know that that there are significant differences between cis- and transgender individuals in brain structures and the connections between them; these are correlated with differences in behaviors, such as processing of positive affective and erotic imagery.

   Brain differences are biological. We should know then that to be transgender is not a choice.

   

There is evidence to suggest that increased levels of gender dysphoria (i.e., the variance between gender identity and chromosomal sex) may result from developmental exposure to abnormal hormone environments, especially increased levels of androgens in XX fetuses that can occur in conditions such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Anecdotally, my neuroscience colleague Ben Barres has suggested that prenatal exposure to testosterone-like drugs may explain his own transgender identity.

In humans, care must always be taken relating correlation to causation. Differences in brain structures may reflect mutual interactions among innate brain processes, expressed gender roles and society’s response to those actions. But brain differences are biological.

We should know then that to be transgender is not a choice.

It is not a choice when meta-analysis of suicide rates indicates that lifetime prevalence of attempted suicide in transgender individuals is ~40 percent as opposed to ~4 percent in the overall population. It is not the same as deciding whether you will wear a red tie or a green one.

It is a choice for us to educate those who mistakenly believe that allowing transgender people to use bathrooms appropriate for their identity endangers women and children. Such people either do not know transgender people or, more likely, know them but do not know they are transgender. And those that believe that real sexual predators will be dissuaded by a sign on a bathroom door are truly lost.

It is a choice for those of us who study the complexities of biology and the human brain to inform those who are not neuroscientists so that they can understand why it is not “a choice” for transgender people; it is who they are.

   Leslie P. Henderson


http://www.ozy.com/opinion/check-the-science-being-trans-is-not-a-choice/69726



Facts - For people who 'live in the real world'

Bigotry - For people scared of anything different


and te increase in those chemicals is due to the rise in "novel" chemical compounds (i.e those which dont/cant exist in nature or by any natural process), many of which are compound esters and sterols which MIMIC hormones in the body...things like phtalates in plastics and other plastics components. Some are even sold as food flavourings.

THEN there is the release of estrogen from women on the pill (yes they wee it out) and badly disposed of hormone pills. which has by now contaminated nearly all the drinkable water of the world

god alone knows what effect isocyanates will show up as having

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Re: Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

Post by Syl on Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:35 pm

sassy wrote:I know, it's a shame you have to go through it.

Razz

I am sure being transgender is something you are genetically wired to be, like gay, straight, tall, small and so on.
What I don't, and I suspect many others don't agree with is the way this is being pushed onto children, telling them its OK if that's what they are....yes it is OK if that's what they are, but the emphasis on this now is imo confusing many kids into believing that that IS what they are....when they are not.

I suspect if grown ups stopped making a big deal of it the number of children suddenly believing they are trans would drop dramatically.

That's my opinion anyway.

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Re: Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

Post by Ben Reilly on Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:07 pm

It seems like the best course of action is to create an environment in which kids know they can tell their parents or another adult guardian about absolutely anything on their minds.

And while I see what you're saying, Syl, imagine if you thought that you were the only boy who felt like a girl or vice versa.

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Re: Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

Post by Didge on Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:20 pm

Ben Reilly wrote:It seems like the best course of action is to create an environment in which kids know they can tell their parents or another adult guardian about absolutely anything on their minds.

And while I see what you're saying, Syl, imagine if you thought that you were the only boy who felt like a girl or vice versa.

Yes but at younger ages, it could very well be that its a phase (which is often the case). With some who suffer gender dysphoria, they actually are infact and later understand they are gay, bisexual etc, which often turns out to be the case with many that go through such early stages. What Syl is quite correctly pointing out is how some of the system and parents are encouraging gender change. When at such younger ages, they should allow that child to find their own path. To be open to all possibilities to that child they might be going through. Not diagnose that it must be gender dysphoria. They should support their child but not actually encourage any change, until that child finds that path upon becoming an adult. Its a very crucial stage in development of a child.

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Re: Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

Post by Syl on Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:22 pm

Ben Reilly wrote:It seems like the best course of action is to create an environment in which kids know they can tell their parents or another adult guardian about absolutely anything on their minds.

And while I see what you're saying, Syl, imagine if you thought that you were the only boy who felt like a girl or vice versa.
I don't think it should be a taboo subject, I just think far too much seems to be made of it lately.

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Re: Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

Post by eddie on Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:28 pm

I feel like I've been thinking or pondering this topic for years, due to a book I read when I was in my teens, about a boy who really wanted to be a girl. I wish I could remember the name of it, but anyway, the one thing that always struck me about this topic is the very real loneliness and an inner 'ache' that a transgender feels from the moment they're aware of "gender".

They feel like they never quite fit in with anyone and I know that feeling, is an awful feeling for anyone, whatever the reason.

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Re: Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

Post by Syl on Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:33 pm

Has anyone read David Walliams 'The boy in a dress'?
I think if a child was really confused or showed signs of being unhappy in his/her body it would be a good book to buy them.

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Re: Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

Post by eddie on Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:40 pm

smelly-bandit wrote:

say hello to Susan

she is a blonde haired blue eyed 5'4" supermodel


Nice. But you're batting well above your average with her, mate.

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Re: Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

Post by gelico on Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:42 pm

eddie wrote:
smelly-bandit wrote:

say hello to Susan

she is a blonde haired blue eyed 5'4" supermodel


Nice. But you're batting well above your average with her, mate.


BAA HAHAHAHAHA



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Re: Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

Post by Lord Foul on Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:43 pm

MIAOOOOW


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Re: Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

Post by smelly-bandit on Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:54 pm

eddie wrote:I feel like I've been thinking or pondering this topic for years, due to a book I read when I was in my teens, about a boy who really wanted to be a girl. I wish I could remember the name of it, but anyway, the one thing that always struck me about this topic is the very real loneliness and an inner 'ache' that a transgender feels from the moment they're aware of "gender".

They feel like they never quite fit in with anyone and I know that feeling, is an awful feeling for anyone, whatever the reason.

yeha its called being a teenager

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Re: Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

Post by smelly-bandit on Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:07 pm

eddie wrote:
smelly-bandit wrote:

say hello to Susan

she is a blonde haired blue eyed 5'4" supermodel


Nice. But you're batting well above your average with her, mate.

ive been meaning to ask elizel but you will do

do you actually see a blonde haired blue eyed super model in that picture??

im curious as to what happens to the minds of people like you with the issues of transgenderism, do you see the wizard man from harry potter or a blonde called susan??

is it like a shallow hal effect that grips you??

scratch

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Re: Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

Post by sassy on Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:21 pm

eddie wrote:
smelly-bandit wrote:

say hello to Susan

she is a blonde haired blue eyed 5'4" supermodel


Nice. But you're batting well above your average with her, mate.


He'd never have a chance with this lot.


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Re: Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

Post by smelly-bandit on Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:44 pm

sassy wrote:
eddie wrote:


Nice. But you're batting well above your average with her, mate.


He'd never have a chance with this lot.


Yeah because I'm not gay

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Re: Check the Science: Being Trans Is Not a 'Choice'

Post by veya_victaous on Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:17 am

smelly-bandit wrote:
eddie wrote:
smelly-bandit wrote:

say hello to Susan

she is a blonde haired blue eyed 5'4" supermodel


Nice. But you're batting well above your average with her, mate.

ive been meaning to ask elizel but you will do

do you actually see a blonde haired blue eyed super model in that picture??

im curious as to what happens to the minds of people like you with the issues of transgenderism, do you see the wizard man from harry potter or a blonde called susan??

is it like a shallow hal effect that grips you??

scratch

you don't seem to get it at all. If Hagrid bleached his hair he could well be blonde

but a Super model Or sports star etc is not a body trait

the problem is individuals like you are simple too dumb to follow basic concepts.

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