7 COMMENTS

  1. UD should invite Dr. Paul McHugh, former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, to be a speaker on this topic. Here’s a sample from a 2014 WSJ article:

    “The transgendered suffer a disorder of “assumption” like those in other disorders familiar to psychiatrists. With the transgendered, the disordered assumption is that the individual differs from what seems given in nature—namely one’s maleness or femaleness. Other kinds of disordered assumptions are held by those who suffer from anorexia and bulimia nervosa, where the assumption that departs from physical reality is the belief by the dangerously thin that they are overweight […]

    Psychiatrists obviously must challenge the solipsistic concept that what is in the mind cannot be questioned. Disorders of consciousness, after all, represent psychiatry’s domain; declaring them off-limits would eliminate the field.”

  2. Correcting an error in my earlier reply: “quite a long time ago” was meant in reference to the fact that McHugh became a “former” psychiatrist in chief at JHUMS seventeen years ago.

    For more on his Ahabian monomania, see: https://www.thedailybeast.com/anti-lgbt-doc-paul-mchugh-i-will-not-be-silenced

    And: https://www.mediamatters.org/people/paul-mchugh

    And: https://www.change.org/p/john-hopkin-s-university-john-hopkins-should-denounce-dr-paul-mchugh-for-his-anti-lgbt-positions

    Just for example.

  3. I agree that we ought to be more open to discussions of this sort, especially as a university that prides itself on critical thought. But I think that the contention that gender and sex are two different categories should be one of those questions up for debate. The author says, “Before there is any discussion about gender identity, it is important to differentiate two different concepts. Gender and sex are, sociologically, different categories”; this claim should be a question itself, not a premise of future debates at UD. The way the author presents the case for the distinction makes it seem as if the question is settled.

    Bypassing this initial debate is a problem not only because it makes for interesting discussion (the author makes a good case for the distinction), but also because the term “gender” is loaded with different implications depending on whom you ask. For example, the author seems to use “gender” to mean the non-natural roles that males and females have assumed due to different cultural pressures; this is a relatively benign distinction from biological sex. But for many in today’s discourse, gender is not non-natural or societal at all, and can actively conflict with biological sex. For some, to claim, “My sex is male, but my gender is female,” is not merely to claim, “I am a man with inclinations that our society perceives to be feminine”; rather, it is to claim, “I am a woman whose biological sex does not correspond with my true identity.” The implications of these claims are quite different, and so to concede that gender and sex are two different categories can have far-reaching consequences for further debates on issues of sex and gender. If there were a consensus affirming the author’s definition of gender, then this problem might not exist; at this point in our national discourse, though, I consider it dangerous concede the sex-gender distinction.

    Maybe I just wish we would use a term other than gender for what the author is referring to.

  4. As always, it is not discussion that is sought but indoctrination. Just look for the red flag statements like “But those brought in to speak on the subject of gender should be people who specialize in gender studies” and from a reply “There is a consensus — at least among those who, thank god, know what they’re talking about”.

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