Bioethicist Alice Dreger on Transgender Children

July 7, 2011

Just a quick plug for an interesting article that ran last week in Seattle’s The Stranger by noted Bioethicist (and non-feminist) Alice Dreger. Even though Dreger remains somewhat uncritical about the causes of objectively observed statistical differences in male and female behaviors, the article is quite interesting and well worth a read for anyone with an interest in the medical/surgical “reparative treatment” of gender non-conforming (mainly gay) children and the promotion of such by the Transgender Lobby.

Unlike many writers Dreger is well aware of the research and statistics around gender non-conforming children and presents the data objectively.

Brief excerpt:

“Sex-changing interventions are nontrivial. They involve substantial physical risk, including major risk to sexual sensation, and a lifelong commitment to trying to manage hormone replacement. Most people seem to get how serious sex-changing interventions are when we’re not talking about transgender. A couple of weeks ago, a man writing into Savage Love mentioned that he had voluntarily been castrated—a fetish, don’t you know—and the commentators went, well, nuts. And most people get that it was wrong for doctors in the past to take baby boys born with small penises and sex-change them with genital surgeries and hormonal interventions.

But somehow if we wrap these major interventions around gender identity, we’re supposed to believe they are not that big a deal in terms of planning for a child’s future? And the clinician who tries to get a gender dysphoric kid to learn to like her or his innate body really is a Nazi? Not buying it.”

Read the whole article (and see why I posted a pic of Tommy the Train😉 ) at:

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/trans-advocates/Content?oid=8743338

5 Responses to “Bioethicist Alice Dreger on Transgender Children”

  1. myrtle Says:

    Most men go all deathly at the idea of vasectomy, let alone castration. And it’s not about them thinking they might want children some day.

    Interesting who this article came from. Hopefully interesting.


  2. It is a little of a mixed bag really, because she does not dismantle the concept of gender “The problem is us and the way we demand certainty from them, the way we insist on conformation to a two-sex model as early as possible. The problem is the bullies and gender-obsessed adults” so without dismantling the gender roles it lacks that certain something, which would be the radfem analysis part (that gender roles are a crock to begin with and should be done away with).

  3. KatieS Says:

    I agree that it is not a radfem analysis. I am glad that she is speaking out since she is a bioethicist. I think she has spoken out about the dsm-5 also. There’s one other bioethicist who writes a psychology Today blog who has spoken out about this, too. These are people to quote if you are doing public comments on the dsm-5 website about the GID in childhood diagnosis. I’ll try and post the other woman if I can find her blog.

  4. Loup-loup garou Says:

    It’s unfortunate that Dreger is one of the few mainstream figures who write on this issue. She’s not in the pocket of the trans lobby, and has done some good work advocating for intersex children, but she does seem to have an ideological attachment to the idea of innate gender roles. And a lot of unctuous, icky pseudo-compassion for those she considers “outliers” (in other words, non-conformists), those vibrant, diverse threads in the rich tapestry of “gender” — ugh. Her website is a strange and rather creepy mix of the professional and WAY too personal. It comes across as narcissistic, to say the very least.


  5. […] Dreger article on the medicalization of gender non-conformity in children (that I mentioned the other day here) to check out the comments. There were a few comments left by an Intersex person and activist named […]


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