Saturday, 5 April 2008

Today's Battle

At Oprah, and, and NewsBusters...

The comments here have shown so much ignorance, so much bigotry, so much spite and malice, so much hypocrisy, so much Phariseeism....

The comments on the Oprah site are particularly baleful. 90% Disgust, 60% Anger, over 50% dictate to God what He wants... and that's just from the Gays. Reading through them all is like probing a sore tooth with your tongue, it's horridly fascinating.

Oh well, if the task was easy, it would be boring, wouldn't it?


Anonymous said...

This is a personal note to you, and may be removed once you read it:

Hi Zoe,
Thank You. I recently quoted your response to "" regarding fertile inter-sexed people at length on my own blog ( . I credited you as "Transgender blogger and scientist "Zoe Brain" of Canberra, Australia" I hope you don't mind a small infringement on your intellectual property for the purpose. If you'd like your credit changed, or the quote removed all together give me a holler :)

A Peaceful Christine

Anonymous said...

Also, what are you searching in PubMed to get 280 articles about neurological basis for "transsexualism?" I'd really like to have tools like those at my disposal.


Zoe Brain said...

The 280 articles are on the success rate of SRS. This was in the context of arguing that a non-biological cause should be amenable to non-biological intervention, if it was curable at all.

The 280 articles on 5+ year follow up show conclusive proof that it is curable, and that surgical intervention has a very high cure rate.

The relative paucity of non-biological cures, with zero at 5+ follow up, provides strong evidence of a biological cause, when viewed in conjunction with the other papers.

In many jurisdictions, surgical intervention has been challenged on the grounds that it is inappropriate if the cause is not biological. It has thus been established in those jurisdictions that the cause *probably* is biological, simply because they allow it to continue. Thus records of successful surgery are "on the basis of the theory" rather than papers on the theory itself. Of those, there's very few indeed, and no work being done to my knowledge to try to explicitly test the theory, as would be desirable.

That's as clear as mud, I know. I'll try to re-phrase.

Surgery cannot be ethically authorised for a non-biological cause (in some jurisdictions). Neither can surgery be ethically denied when it so obviously works, and other things don't (in all jurisdictions). Therefore (in those jurisdictions eg IIRC Spain) the surgery is "on the basis of the theory of" biological causation.

Other jurisdictions are agnostic about causation, taking into account only that surgery works, other things don't, and remaining silent about causality. It is in these jurisdictions that there is a very powerful effort by some sections to disallow it on ethical or moral grounds.
I won't differentiate between "cure" and "removes the symptoms", though others may reasonably do so.

Anonymous said...

Ok, well I guess that falls a little more into what I was expecting, but not exactly what I was hoping for.

Currently I am working on a pamplet to raise awareness within the local TS population here about Harry Benjamin Syndrome and small amount of research we have so far (Kruijiver, Zhou, Huffman, Burman). Recently at a meeting of almost 30 transsexuals I hosted an informal discussion about HBS and only maybe half a dozen people in the room knew what I was talking about. I don't want my brothers and sisters to have to feel as if they have a psychological disorder anymore as we had been lead to believe, because although medicine denies us, science is finding us (however brilliantly slowly).

Is there anything we can do to grease the tracks of research? It seems like there are some low-hanging fruits that could be plucked, like simply repeating the Berman fMRI experiment with transgendered youth to prove that we *are* we at 9 and perhaps that preadolescent brain-intersexed youth can be diagnosed with near 100% accuracy on the basis of a biological difference well in time to advert the damage caused by puberty.

On a side note, it seems that the most obvious method to determine the cause of transsexuality would be to attempt the theory. It would be (disgustingly) unethical and disturbing to say the least to try and purposefully create transgendered humans. To do so would be a crime of tragic proportions. But 10 years from now, if Blue Brain is a success, perhaps we might become a novel study for an intellectually superior being who identifies as a human, but is classified as a machine, or perhaps someday we may even find a vitual sister peering back at us through robotic eyes, and when we do, the truth will all be in the logs for all the world to see.