Rainbow Double Helix (DNA)

Excerpts from a letter by Diane Ehrensaft to The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Read the full letter HERE. Ehrensaft is a psychologist who is considered by some to be the “premiere expert” in the field of pediatric transgenderism. Read more about her extraordinary theories on “Gender Angels” and “Gender Ghosts” by clicking HERE. Diane Ehrensaft’s work is distinguished by a profound metaphysical belief that sex stereotypes (femininity, masculinity) are biologically innate components of reproductive sex, rather than social traditions constructed to ritualize female subjugation to males.

Excerpts from Diane Ehrensaft’s letter:

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“Our gender clinic at the Child and Adolescent Gender Center at UCSF Benio Children’s Hospital has a continual flow of children and adolescents I have come to refer to as “the double helix rainbow kids.” I coined this term to refer to the overlapping spectra this group of youth find themselves on— the autism spectrum and the gender spectrum.”


“The twenty- first century has been accompanied by a dramatic paradigm shift in Western concepts and practices of gender. No longer is gender considered to exist in two distinct non-overlapping boxes—male/female. The construct of the gender binary has been replaced by the image of the gender spectrum, an array of gender shades and hues of infinite variety, oscillating between the poles of masculine and feminine (Ehrensaft 2012, 2016; Hidalgo et al. 2013; Keo-Meier and Ehrensaft 2018).

Even beyond that is the notion of a gender web, a three-dimensional interweaving of nature, nurture, and culture, accompanied by a fourth dimension of time, in which each individual spins together their own unique gender identity (who I am as male, female, or other) and gender expressions (how I “do” my gender—dress, appearance, activities, etc.) to arrive at their authentic gender self. Based on the interstices of constitution, socialization, and environmental context, no two people’s gender webs will be exactly the same (Ehrensaft 2011, 2016).

Rather than static or fixed by age six, which is what is postulated in traditional theories of gender development and constancy (Kohlberg 1966; Tyson 1986; Fast 1999), the gender web pulsates and resituates itself over the course of a life time, which explains why some people who have consistently lived in one gender for many years may gradually or suddenly arrive at an understanding that this gender is no longer a good fit (Harris 2005).

Actual slide from Ehrensaft lecture on “pulsating gender webs”.

We have also learned that gender does not lie between our legs, but rather between our ears—in the messages of our brain as to who we are (Diamond 2002).

This brings us to some particular idiosyncrasies of double helix rainbow individuals. Typically diagnosed early in life as being on the autism spectrum, their early childhoods may be devoid of any self-reference to gender at all. Even though their parents may have told them, “You are a boy” or “You are a girl,” for the child, these markers may be empty signifiers. As one double helix rainbow transgender youth expressed, asked when they first realized they were transgen- der: “When I was little, I didn’t think about gender at all. It was a category that had no meaning to me. I was just a person. Only when my body started to change, when I was 12, did I suddenly come to the startling, and awful, realization that I had a gender. I hated it and I certainly didn’t want to be the one my body was telling me I was going to have to be.”

Unpacking this youth’s narrative gives us much food for thought as we read through this journal’s issue on autism and gender. To understand a person who is neurodiverse, a neurotypical person needs to leave the comfort of their own social position and view from the inside out, from the neurodiverse person’s perspective.

With gender, the neurodiverse individual’s experience may be the most revolutionary of all in deconstructing a society’s fixed and unbending mores of gender. It is sometimes theorized that the reason so many people on the autism spectrum show up in gender clinics with either gender dysphoria or an asserted transgender identity is that they have failed to read the social cues that interpersonally guide and shape us in our understanding of our gender selves (Strang et al. 2018). If that is so, we might also say that the neurodiverse cohort is freed from the social constrictions and binding mores of “correct” gender roles and behavior, allowing them a far more creative gender journey, in line with the twenty-first century understanding of gender in its multiplicity and expansiveness rather than its entrapment in two designated boxes. We might also say it is not the autistic, but the neurotypical folks who are failing to read the social cues so poignantly provided by the neurodiverse community.

Both clinicians and parents have been known to interpret the insistence on a transgender or non-binary gender identity that shows up more prevalently in autistic children than in their non-autistic peers as just an obsessive phase, like so many other obsessions the autistic child passes through. It is interesting to note that, using teacher ratings on the child behavior checklist, elevated levels of obsessional interests have also been identified by Dr. Kenneth Zucker and associates as a feature of “gender referred” children at their gender clinic compared to non-referred children (Zucker et al. 2017). I do question the interpretation of these data, with the teacher ratings of obsessional interests of the gender-referred children on the child behavior checklist perhaps having more to do with a sense of urgency, a pushback toward others who are attempting to thwart their gender expressions or interests, a bias on the teachers’ parts toward those gender-diverse interests, or a need on the child’s part to communicate to others in an exaggerated fashion a gender identity or non- conforming gender expression rather than an indication of obsessionality. Still, the implication is that double helix rainbow kids may also have a double dosage of obsessionality.

With that said, if an obsessional phase was at the root of the neurodiverse children’s assertion of a transgender or gender-nonbinary self,, the phase should dissipate over time, like other obsessional interests; yet it does not. [sic]

Unlike the children who report no sense of gender at all in their early life, there are other autistic children who declare a transgender identity at an early age and do not back down or divert from that message. Rather than a passing phase, the gender declarations can become more insistent or urgent over time, especially if the request for acknowledgement is denied or overridden by the adults in the child’s life.

In lieu of “just a phase,” a more salient argument for the prevalence of transgender or non-conforming gender articulations among neurodiverse children and youth is that the bundle of neurons that may shape gender messages in the brain that say “I am not the gender that matches the sex designated to me at birth” may live side-by-side or interactively with the bundle of neurons that shape autistic experience, creating a cohesive mosaic of neurodiverse/gender diverse individuality.

What we know about gender expansive/transgender experience and the experience of autism is that they both may be accompanied by a strong dose of social anxiety (Cohen- Kettenis et al. 2003; Bellini 2014); we also know that both experiences are considered to have a strong constitutional component (Rosenthal 2014, 2016; Frith and Hill 2003; Frith and Happe 2005).

With that said, I would like to finish with a story about a young autistic child presenting with an inordinate amount of anxiety. This child was diagnosed with severe autism at the age of two. At age eight, the child had minimal expressive language, consisting primarily of “Mommy, Daddy, i-Pad.” Brought to a gender clinic because of the child’s insistence that they were not a girl, but a boy, the only full sentence uttered by the child in the initial exam, in response to the parents’ reference to their child as “she,” was a loud, adamant, “Don’t say she, say HE.” The child made no eye contact, shied from any physical contact, and anxiously hummed and rocked. After several months of mental health treatment with a gender specialist who also had experience with autism, the family, with the therapist’s support, allowed their child to begin living full-time as the boy the child consistently asserted they were. Sometime after that, the child returned for their follow-up visit at the gender clinic. The clinic team was astounded to discover a child who strode into the clinic, shook hands with the team, made eye contact, and began talking in full, although truncated, sentences. The stunning observation leaves us with a question to ponder, “Could gender be an alleviator for the stressors of autism?” Not every person with a diagnosis of autism will be gender expansive, but it might behoove us to find that out, and more generally, to remind ourselves that gender is a fluid concept that may be experienced and expressed differently, depending on whether one is neuro- diverse or neurotypical.”


More:

Dr. Kate O’Hanlan explains her theories. lol, can’t make this shit up.

 

 

From their website:

Gender Odyssey Seattle is an international conference focused on the needs and interests of transgender and gender diverse children of all ages, their families and supporters, and the professionals who serve them.

Our conference is packed with thought-provoking workshops, including medical information and consultation opportunities, professional education, discussion groups, networking, children and youth programming, and social events. This annual gathering attracts people from all over the world for an uplifting weekend of connection, support, and community at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center in Seattle, USA.”

The conference is sponsored by plastic surgeons: La Belle Vie Cosmetic Surgeons (largest sponsor), Brownstein Crane Surgical Services, etc.

blog-who-am-i3.

For the last six years London’s Science Museum has been indoctrinating children into the false pseudoscience of “Brain Sex” via an exhibit designed by transgender activists called “Boy or Girl?” The exhibit was dually funded by the UK government and drug company GlaxoSmithKlein

According to the website of transgender lobbying youth group Gendered Intelligence the creation of the exhibit was overseen by Dr. Jay Stewart, whose doctorate was awarded in art by Goldsmiths College. Stewart is a testosterone-injecting woman who identifies as transgender.

From the Gendered Intelligence website:

“Dr. Jay Stewart

Jay is co-founder of Gendered Intelligence and chairs the Board of Directors. Jay carries out and oversees the main activities that take place across the organisation. Recently Jay has lead on the projects: ‘What makes your gender? Hacking into the Science Museum’ – a £10,000 project funded by Heritage Lottery Fund with the Science Museum, London – and ‘GI’s Anatomy: a life drawing project for trans and intersex people’ – a £30,000 project funded by the Welcome Trust carried out in collaboration with Central School of Speech & Drama, London Drawing and the Gender Identity Development Service, Tavistock Clinic, NHS Trust. Jay also delivers much of the youth group sessions and is a mentor.”

 

The ‘Boy or Girl?’ exhibit at the Science Museum taught visitors falsehoods about the science behind sex-stereotypes, claiming traditions of ‘gender’ which privilege males and subordinate females through social rituals of male domination and female submission are ‘hard wired’ in the brain. The museum also presented displays of pharmacology and sex-based prosthetics (breast implants, silicone penises) to children as examples of medical interventions to help them conform to stereotypes of gender.

sciencemuseum-pink-brains

 

Included in the exhibit is a ghastly ‘test’ that children can take to determine if they have ‘Pink’ female brains or ‘Blue’ male brains. You can take the test here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/staticarchive/b6ac84f6af9d96f07bbec691a393145faeedeb5b.swf

Feminists have criticized the display for years but recent complaints from the feminist parent’s groups FourthWaveNow and TransgenderTrend have succeeded in raising public awareness widely on the issue.

Today the ScienceMuseum announced it would finally take steps to modify the anti-scientific and offensive exhibit.

Excerpted from the ScienceMuseum blog post “A question of sex, gender and how to keep museums up to date” By Alex Tyrrell | 14 September 2016:

“In the past week many of these questions and challenges have been playing on my mind, following a lively discussion on social media about an exhibit on the science of sex and gender in our Who Am I? gallery, which explores the wealth of scientific ideas that inform our understanding of human identity.

I worked on Who Am I? when it was last refreshed back in 2010 and the aim at the time was to present the cutting-edge scientific knowledge of the day on what makes us us, me me and you you. I headed up a team of researchers (we call them Content Developers) who spent many months scouring scientific journals and interviewing countless inspiring researchers from around the world. We also worked with a vast network of eminent geneticists, neuroscientists, psychologists and other experts to create the gallery.

Scientific accuracy is vital to the Museum – our reputation depends on it – and we put in place rigorous processes to ensure we get things right, from expert advisory boards who look at the broad messages in an exhibition, to subject specialists who are invited to scrutinise every word we write.

It is now six years since Who am I? was updated – and much of the research featured in the gallery is a decade older. The exhibit in the gallery that has recently received attention on Twitter is titled Boy or Girl? It features stories, objects and research including studies into sexual preference and behaviour, tests to see the sex of an unborn baby, and a section looking at gender identity and the evidence for biological differences between the sexes.

The thinking behind Who am I? – and the sex and gender display in particular – was to communicate the latest research clearly and accurately, but we also believe that featuring contributions from other viewpoints and disciplines is essential when examining a question as complex and profoundly personal as ‘who am I?’.

With this in mind, we chose to include work from numerous artists (including, most famously, Antony Gormley’s Iron Baby) and stories from a range of people who are personally involved in the issues covered. In the sections of Who am I? that examine gender and sex, for instance, we collaborated with a transgender person – ‘Alex’ – whose experiences feature in one of the gallery exhibits.

Some of the comments we have received question the accuracy of the science in the exhibition – and the words and images we chose to explain it. Words such as ‘hardwired’, for instance, which feature on several labels, are today especially and understandably controversial when used in combination with ideas like gender.

Other concerns have been raised about an interactive game in the gallery that explores the male and female brain. Specifically, the game presents studies scientists have carried out to investigate if there are small differences on average in the way that men and women complete certain tasks, largely based around the recognition of abstract shapes and patterns. This game – which dates back 16 years to the gallery’s inception – was designed to be tongue in cheek and provocative (think silly voices akin to a Pathé news reel) and visitors are invited to take some of the real tests that scientists used, scoring male or female ‘brain points’ on a ‘sex-o-meter’ that is coloured pink and blue.

As a Museum we always attempt to present ideas in different ways – labels and objects but also games, animations and ‘interactives’ – and in this case the artistic licence taken in the year 2000 to create a provocative exhibit appears outdated. Certainly from preliminary work looking at the latest scientific evidence, the ideas presented are now in question.

Social attitudes also change. We have received responses from visitors who are concerned about how we feature transgender issues, which are now very much more in the public consciousness than they were back in 2010, let alone the year 2000.

The idea of Who am I? was always to raise questions. We present issues in ways that provoke debate, however we would never want to compromise the accuracy of the content on display.

Of course we would like to keep all of our galleries and exhibitions up-to-date, but with many thousands of objects on show and finite resources and time this is not always possible.

However, with an issue of such scientific and cultural importance as this we have decided it is essential that we look again at the exhibit. We are now talking to leading experts in neuroscience and clinical psychology to consider whether the latest scientific evidence warrants making changes to our exhibit.

Science moves fast, and while it isn’t always possible for us to keep up, on some issues it is essential that we quicken our pace to make sure we haven’t been left behind.

Watch this space for further details.”

 

Read the full post here:

https://blog.sciencemuseum.org.uk/a-question-of-sex-gender-and-how-to-keep-museums-up-to-date/

 

science-museum-brain-sex[Actual screencap of Science Museum test administered to youth]