Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Good Deed For Today

The issue that is most outstanding in my mind about Transsexuality is the enormous ignorance about it. Not the ignorance of the general public, but ignorance about it in the medical profession. I suppose there is just so freaking much to learn that something has to give, but the mortality rates are so high I would have thought more would have been done.

Now thanks to Dr Barbera David of the ANU's School of Psychology, I had the opportunity to speak for 10 minutes to some undergard medical students, immediately after her lecture on Gender, Sex and Sexual Orientation. I started out saying that I'm the de-facto ANU adviser on Intersex and Transsex matters, gave them a few home truths.

Then, as the conclusion of my short talk, to make sure I made an impression, I deliberately "outed" myself as one of those peculiar people. I still have no idea why no-one who doesn't know doesn't suspect, but it's pretty clear they don't. Anyway, the cognitive dissonance that may have dispelled many misconceptions just may possibly do some good when they start practice.

Dr David and I had some "interesting and stimulating" conversations beforehand, meaning we argued with each other. Well, discussed things. The trouble is, neither of us could think of ethical experiments that could test our views. It would be a gross simplification to describe it as "Nature vs Nurture", more a case of how much biology constrains rather than deterministically dictates what goes on, and the extent of the effect of environment on neurology. And whether neurology is even the most important determiner of behaviour, rather than socialisation, in various areas.

Let's say that I learnt a lot. I hope I was able to teach her something too, perhaps not as much as she taught me, but it was a wonderful debate anyway. I hope we can repeat it.

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