Thursday, 12 June 2008

Can Sex in Humans be Changed?

It wasn't always like this. We didn't always have to fight for our human rights, to defend our marriages, or even to make use of public washrooms. Intersexed people were not arrogantly "assigned" to an arbitrary gender, and mutilated to match. They used to wait till they grew up, and allowed to be the sex they declared their gender identity to be.

From Modern Mechanix:
ALL the old landmarks are going, nothing is static, everything flows. Old dreams and old nightmares become realities. Life is created in the laboratory. Sex is no longer immutable. Recently the astonishing news made the rounds that science had actually succeeded in changing the gender of two female athletes. The miracle was accomplished by surgery and duly acknowledged by law.
The two cases led to a request at the recent Olympics in Berlin for a medical examination of all female contestants....

The Berlin Olympics were held in 1936. The date of the article is January 1937, and in many ways, it describes a more humane and more scientifically accurate view than the one that became popular in the 1950's, one that still holds sway today.
No action was taken by the committee, but the fantastic possibility of a complete sexual metamorphosis in human beings has aroused world-wide discussion. How is such a transformation possible? Can science alter the sex of a human being? To answer this question intelligently, we must review the evolution of sex.

There are many theories as to when and how sex is determined. Three major factors are generally considered decisive. The first factor is intimately connected with the creation of life itself. Sex, it is believed by many, is determined when first the male and the female chromosomes join each other in the sex act. The chromosomes transmit hereditary characteristics; they preordain our nervous, mental and physical being. Although the external organs are not visible in the human embryo until the fifth week, it is probable that every cell of the unborn infant bears the stamp of its sexual constitution from the moment of its conception.

When I speak of a person’s sex, I refer to his or her preponderant sex. Sex is relative. No man is 100 per cent male, no woman 100 per cent female. Every male, even the lustiest, retains certain rudimentary characteristics of the other sex. Similarly every woman inherits certain male organs. Each sex carries within itself the potentialities of the other. Concealed from the naked eye many similarities exist in the male and female structures.

The second major factor in the evolution of sex are the glands of internal secretion. While sex is determined in the chromosomes, it nevertheless requires the proper male or female sex hormones to develop naturally. If an endocrine disturbance exists, a faulty sex development may take place. This faulty development, being of an endocrine nature, may be amenable to endocrine treatment.

The investigations of Professor Eugen Steinach and other students of biology have shown that our so-called secondary sexual characteristics are largely influenced by our hormones. Various differences in bodily structure, some patent, some elusive, are controlled by the glands of internal secretion. Steinach has reversed the sex of animals by transplanting a female gland upon a male, or a male gland upon a female.
Lawgivers of all nations took cognizance of the hermaphrodite. He is called “tumtim” in the Talmud. The Hebrews excluded the “tumtim” from the priesthood.
But not from Heaven according to one Heretic - see Isaiah 56:3-5:
3 Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the LORD say,
  "The LORD will surely exclude me from his people."
  And let not any eunuch complain,
  "I am only a dry tree."

4 For this is what the LORD says:
  "To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
  who choose what pleases me
  and hold fast to my covenant-

5 to them I will give within my temple and its walls
  a memorial and a name
  better than sons and daughters;
  I will give them an everlasting name
  that will not be cut off.
Unfortunately, later followers of His tended not to heed the message, but abide by long-established custom instead:
According to the laws of Romulus, founder of Rome, hermaphrodites were placed in wooden caskets and cast into the sea. The Emperor Constantine ordered them to be executed.
This wasn't just a Christian thing, or even a European one. Ok, the execution was, but not the persecution.
They were proscribed in Egypt. The Florida Indians imposed upon them the hardest of labors.
Later, Canon Law was more humane, and arguably more humane than Catholic Canon Law today:
In Prussia (under Frederick the Great) a person of dubious sex could decide to which side of the fence he wished to belong on reaching his eighteenth year.
Compare and contrast with this story which has provoked some controversy, not to say deliberate omission of relevant facts:
The court was told early intervention was needed because the child was stressed and anxious at the prospect of starting her period and had threatened self-harm.

The court decision means hormones can now be implanted under the girl's skin every three months, which will stop her menstruating and suppress her hips and breasts from growing.

The court heard the therapy is reversible and would give the family "breathing time".

A further court application must be lodged in coming years for testosterone treatment to deepen her voice and promote growth of facial hair and muscles.

Surgery to remove her womb or ovaries, or build an artificial penis, must wait at least until she turns 18.
The reports tended to omit that last line. Getting back to Medieval Law...
The same is, or was, French law. There is a case in French legal annals of a hermaphrodite who, after making the fateful decision, changed his mind and—was burned at the stake!
Here's a quote from Autumn Sandeen, detailing Canon Law in the Middle Ages:
John Boswell’s Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality (Appendix Two) has a translation of Peter Cantor’s De vitio sodomitico — or On Sodomy (d. 1192 AD). Here’s the excerpt on hermaphrodites (or as we’d call them now, intersexuals) were viewed historically by a prominent, Catholic Theologian:
The Lord formed man from the slime of the earth on the plan of Damascus, later fashioning woman from his rib in Eden. Thus in considering the formation of woman, lest any should believe they would be hermaphrodites, he stated, “Male and female created he them,” as if to say, “There will not be intercourse of men with men or women with women, but only of men with women and vice versa.” For this reason the church allows a hermaphrodite — that is, someone with the organs of both sexes, capable of either active or passive functions — to use the organ by which (s)he is most aroused or the one which (s)he is more susceptible.

If (s)he is more active [literally, “lustful], (s)he may wed as a man, but if (s)he is more passive, (s)he may marry as a woman. If; however, (s)he should fail with one organ, the use of the other can never be permitted, but (s)he must be perpetually celibate to avoid any similarity to the role inversion of sodomy, which is detested by God.
Hence the Human Barbecue.

We no longer burn those gender variant people suspected of "sodomy, which is detested by God". Well, not more than a few, as the Transgender Day of Remembrance commemorates, even if no-one else does. Most get stabbed or shot instead.

Assigned a role as victims, we calmly but implacably refuse that role. We assert our rights not as some sort of privileged Aristocracy of Victimology, but as mere human beings. Special Rights are required only to the extent that is needed to prevent the Special Wrongs we have been done in the past.

I'll quote Autumn Sandeen again, to illustrate the depths of perversion our opponents sink to. A guardian "grooming" the boy under his care to enter female washrooms. Ostensibly not to grow up into a sexual predator, regardless of appearances to the contrary, but supposedly in order to persecute a younger child with a medical condition. You see, they can't find a single example of a transgendered person behaving in such a predatory fashion, so they must manufacture a faux-transgender "just to show what could happen". From the Bangor News of Maine:
Melanson, who has custody of his grandson Jacob McGurn, 12, said that he intends to file a complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission over the matter. The grandfather said that not allowing McGurn to use the girls bathroom or the teachers bathroom as the other child allegedly does is a violation of his grandson’s right to public accommodation under the Maine Human Rights Act.

He claims his grandson is being discriminated against because he’s not allowed to use the girls bathroom, too. Filing a complaint with MHRC is the first step that would have to be taken before a lawsuit could be filed most likely in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

McGurn also is a fifth-grader at Asa Adams. He said at the press conference that he has been suspended twice this past school year — once for one day and another time for three days — for using the girls bathroom.

"I got discriminated against," the fifth-grader said at the press conference.
My initial reaction was "poor petal". But then I thought what a terrible life he will lead, having such an un-natural Grandfather to teach him. He will likely be a nightmare to everyone around him, just as his Grandfather is. And if taught too well to hate, may end up like Brandon McInerney.
Melanson said that in addition to the suspensions, administrators moved his grandson to a different teacher, he said, so that he was not in the same class as the boy who identifies as a girl.
Michael Heath, executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine, also attended Monday’s press conference. Heath is heading a petition drive to repeal gay rights laws and to eliminate funding for civil rights teams in schools around the state. He said Monday that what allows the bathroom accommodation at Asa Adams was the gender identity component of the MHRA.

"The effect of passing the referendum would be to remove this," he said. "Then the law would no longer be on their side, and it could go back to the way it was."
If only that were so. They were more civilised in those days - in this respect, anyway. Or perhaps he means the good old days of the Emperor Constantine, slavery and all.


Anonymous said...

Interesting entry, but I don’t get some of it. My fault no doubt. I think that there is a far greater incidence than publicly acknowledged of doctors arbitrarily “modifying” the genitals of newborns without informing the parents. From what I’ve heard most of this probably consists of removing external tissue of females, in what is a tacit analogue to the officially prescribed butchery of Islamic dictate.
This is horrible to me. It is a permanent alteration without consent. Besides, I love external female genital tissue. There needs to be legislation to prevent this.

Anonymous said...

Great post with some great points and some interesting bits of history I didn't know before.

I'm surprised you didn't mention the sacred standing some had in some cultures though admitedly thats outside of the judeo-christian set.

Its surprising how far some have gone to create the fake bathroom trans panic, manipulating that poor kid is truly shocking. Would it be in violation of child custody laws I wonder? Especially regarding breaking the law, if the child isn't being discriminated against but instead was encouraged to break the law by an adult isn't that 'contributing to the delinquance of a minor' or some such?

Proportionatly trans folk more frequently victims of violence and far less often perpetrators of it than the general community. People are much safer with a trans person in the same toilet block than a non-trans one!


Anonymous said...

They should throw that Grampa Melanson's ass in jail. He's making a mockery of the law, it's meant to protect transgendered folks, and his grandson isn't transgendered.

They should also take away his parental rights while they're at it since he's obviously abusing his grandson.



Anonymous said...

I know him. I was in the bathroom when he came in. It was quite scary, I am against him choice. Not fond of his thought about sex change. Every human is created equal, and should be treated equal.