Thursday, 15 January 2009

Gender Confusion

From Shrink Wrap, a blog by three psychiatrists who I've been in correspondence with:
Sometimes our readers tell us about themselves-- their careers, their reason for an interest in mental health, where they're from, and maybe their names or their photos give away their gender (hi to Zoe Brain across the globe whose blog tells of his she-to-he journey)...
Er... almost. They did get corrected.
Anonymous said...

(hi to Zoe Brain across the globe whose blog tells of his she-to-he journey).

That would be her he-to-she journey I believe.
January 12, 2009

Zoe Brain said...

Yes, anonymous is correct.

But one has to be relaxed about such minor errors :)

The thought was kind. That's all that matters.
January 15, 2009
OK, I had a quiet chuckle over that too. Even the best and most expert of us sometimes gets such minor details wrong.

Look, this kind of thing isn't common knowledge. It's outside most people's experience. With kindness and rationality though, minor glitches and typos - even brain-typos - don't matter.

Compare and contrast some other pardonable mistakes, this time over at Yahoo Answers :
Could sex change occur naturally in humans?
I know this sounds very stupid but I am taking a seminar course and we've been studying a case in which members of an isolated tribe from New Guinea experience sex change. All members of the trible are initially born females.. at one point, all the children are taken somewhere by the Elder where the undergo secret rituals. After they return, about half of them that used to have female genetalia have male. They are welcomed by the men into the tribe's men community.

Now, i've looked all over google and wikipedia and found nothing.. The prof insisted that this actually happen and he wants us to research this topic.... i am screwed.

ANY background on this would be appreciated.. thanks
And later...
16 hours ago
***Radgal*** that was the most helpful answer. thank you very much, I just emailed Zoe.

15 hours ago
** Zoe B** I COULDN'T BE MORE GRATEFUL!!!
Of course there were some who let their natural scepticism prevent them from actually researching the issue. No great drama, except that their pardonable ignorance was not ameliorated by basic humanity.
From Yahoo Answers:
No, not in humans. That's not how human physiology works. In some species of frogs it might, but in humans, it is not possible.

"males that start femininzing spontaneously."
WTF? That has to be the biggest pile of bullsh*t I've heard.
* 16 hours ago

From American Transcendentalist:
Your prof is putting you very much on, in what I consider a totally unethical manner--deliberately using his professorial authority to lie to his students. The off-chance that he's not lying deliberately but is persuaded himself of the truth of this preposterous c*ck-and-bull story is maybe even more horrifying in its implications. In any case, you need to take this immediately to the Dean of Instruction and/or the Dean of Students. For misconduct of this serious a nature, your prof should be dismissed, and the course he's teaching (or mis-teaching) cancelled, and your grades accordingly adjusted. Pitiful that you can persist in believing this crap. Where are you--Bob Jones University?--Ah, I just checked your profile--Guelph, Ontario "University," i.e., VETERINARY COLLEGE. I must say now it all makes sense. The faculty at veterinary colleges are always making fascinating discoveries in human biology. I await your proofs with bated breath.
* 16 hours ago
I trust he found the proofs satisfactory. The most appropriate one was The sambia “turnim-man”: Sociocultural and clinical aspects of gender formation in male pseudohermaphrodites with 5-alpha-reductase deficiency in Papua New Guinea by Herdt and Davidson. "Turnim-man" in pidgin means "(person who) Turns into a man". I'll quote from the abstract:
Female subjects changed from the female to male-identified role, but in circumstances of social trauma. The authors find ambiguity here related to the presence of a third sexual category available for sex-assignment and typing. Cultural valuation of the male role makes gender-switching from female to male pragmatically adaptive. The study concludes that social-experiential and cultural factors are significant in the formation of gender identity change in male pseudohermaphrodites with 5-agr-reductase deficiency.
Meaning that societal pressure to conform beats (sometimes literally) women with this condition into "turning into men" in a social as well as a physical sense. Cultural valuation of the male role makes gender-switching from female to male pragmatically adaptive. is a fancy way of saying that the Patriarchy treats Females badly, and 5ARD women who want to avoid the "glass ceiling" had better butch up their social role and pretend to be men, or else.

There's even more Gender Confusion in the comments on the story Florida conservatives fight transgender restroom rule :
Of course they are mentally ill....

Intersexed is not transsexual. Intersexed is a birth defect that should be corrected as soon as possible after birth so the child can be raised to have a normal life. Stop trying to say they are the same. They most certainly are not. These babies that are deformed are not yours to further your sick agenda....

Join a circus with the bearded lady, I guess. There will always be freaks of nature. It is sad but until we are able to elminate all birth defects, these things will happen. There is male and female. Pick one.
As I wrote :
In summary - it's not that TS/IS people are confused about their gender. They are victims of "gender confusion" though - other people's.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Yahoo enquirer was probably after this

Local names

The term Guevedoche or Guevedoces is Spanish slang for the condition. It originated in the Dominican Republic, where more than three dozen cases have occurred in the small village of Salinas, all descended from a single individual named Altagracia Carrasco. It stands for the colloquial expression huevo a los doce, which translates literally as "eggs at twelve" ("eggs" being a common slang term for "testicles"). It is also known locally as Machihembras (literally "malefemale"). ' A similar cluster of cases among the Simbari of the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea has the local name Kwolu-aatmwol ("female thing transforming into male thing").


Egghead?

earthgus said...

Yours of 13 Jan 08: "Or, as the first commenter put it so pithily:
1. Some of the stuff is hard-wired.
2. Some of the stuff is socialized.
3. Some of the stuff is preference.

Each child is an individual.
Exactly."

To rephrase:
It's all about biology, socialisation and behavioural preference, and all people need to be cared for, respected, accepted and appreciated regardless of how those cards are dealt.
Keep on educating.
Earthgus.

sumptos devil s advocate said...

One of the most strongly-worded essays I've read that seems to be trying to get me up from my sleep by giving me nightmares:

http://www.therealitycheck.org/2009/01/15/seductive-ideology-takes-over-jan-20th/