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July 30, 2015 12:00 pm
In part one of this two-part series, NC Family president John Rustin talks with Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council, about the dangers of the Transgender Movement, and how Christians should respond.
This is family policy matter program is produced by the North Carolina family policy Council of profamily research and organization dedicated to strengthening and preserving the family and up from the studio here is John Rustin, Pres. North Carolina family policy Council, thank you for joining us this week for family policy matters. It is my pleasure to have Peter Sprague with us on the program. Peter is senior fellow for policy studies at the family research Council in Washington DC is research and writing focuses on the issues of marriage and family as well as human sexuality and religion in public life. Peter is the author of the book outrage. How gay activists and liberal judges are trashing democracy to redefine marriage and I would say after the recent Supreme Court ruling. They have certainly done just that Peter is with us. However, today, to discuss a new issue brief that he cowrote with Dale O'Leary, entitled understanding and responding to the transgender movement were to be talking with Peter today about some of the important issues addressed in this paper Peter, thanks much for joining us again on family policy matters. Thank you very much for having me.
Well, it's always a pleasure to have you, Peter, and so were were so grateful for the work that you and FRC do on behalf of families all across this nation. No peers. We jump into this issue. The transgender issue is a much discussed item in the mainstream media these days, especially after former Olympian and gold-medal winner Bruce Jenner announced to the world that he wants to be identified as a woman defined for us if you would what you mean in your recent issue brief by the term transgender movement while at three point out in the introduction to our our paper. There's really been an assault on the sex is what I call on us all on the sexes underway for a number of decades now.
By that I mean an assault on the idea of male and female as being distinct and separate and the fact the idea that that there are certain distinctive about males and females that make them different from one another. The first wave of this assault could be said to be the radical feminist movement and a second wave could be the homosexual movement sort of attacking the idea that men and women are inherently complementary to one another sexual life and this third wave if you want to call it that, is the transgender movement which is attacking the idea that men have to remain men or women have to remain women and this is what we see these really coming to.
As you indicated a cultural had last month with the coming out as an email so to speak of Olympian Bruce Jenner well in the paper. You discussed the differences between gender and sex, at least according to transgender ideology if you will for our listeners explain this distinction and help us understand what is being pushed on our society by those who are promoting this confusion about gender sure. I think most people, via the idea of gender or sex is that those are synonyms that basically mean the same thing.
You're either male or female that your gender that's your sex. There's not a real difference, but among those who push this radical transgender ideology. There is a complete dichotomy between your sax which is a biological factor and your gender, which is essentially a psychological factor has to do with how you identify yourself and they do not necessarily accept the premise that your gender is defined by your sex and that your gender is defined by your biology.
Instead, they argue that it's defined by your by your psychology and whatever you feel in your mind you are, whether you feel male or you feel female. Well that's what you are. That's how you should present yourself to the world and that's how the world should accept you even if it is the opposite of your biological sex. We argue that that's you know just contrary to reason and that in fact that a person's biological sex is immutable and is the only meaningful thing that defined gender of the important points that you discussed in the paper is how the American psychiatric Association, change the term for transgender is him which was previously called gender identity disorder but is now referred to as gender dysphoria. Explain what happened there. And while the shift in this terminology to gender dysphoria is so significant sure. Well, let me first review the history of what happened with the topic of homosexuality in the American psychiatric Association and in the yard what's called the DSM the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders way back in 1973.
Prior to 1973, homosexuality had been listed as a mental disorder in this it in this in a very prominent book published by the APA, and in 1973 homosexual activists one really one of their first major cultural victories when they managed to persuade the APA to remove homosexuality from their list of mental disorders. Now that's another whole story. They actually what they did was not they did this not on the basis of new findings about homosexuality, but by basically redefining what what the term mental disorder met in a way to support student who don't affect rally from the definition, but that about. This is considered a very noble sort of a pioneering victory for the homosexual rights movement while the transgender movement has been concern for a long time about the classification of gender identity disorder and that the you know the implication that if you have a psychological gender identity that differs from the biological sex. That's that you are suffering from a disorder or disordered condition and so in the most recent edition of this DFM which came out in 2013 they persuade them to change this diagnosis from gender identity disorder to gender dysphoria and what is implied by the term dysphoria is that this is only a disorder, to the extent that it causes subjective distress for the person who feels it so if you believe that if you're biologically male and you feel that in your psychologically that you are female and you live as a female entered. None.
And it doesn't bother you, then you're considered not to have any disorder at all, you do that you don't have gender dysphoria because you're not experiencing a a subjective level of distress about this conflict, but if you are experiencing subjective distress than your then you still have gender dysphoria. Now one question something black is well why not get a eliminated altogether from from the DSM. Like the homosexuals did. But the problem is that transgender people need a medical diagnosis in order to get insurance companies to pay for their treatment.
Now we would say that the appropriate treatment for gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder however you want to call it is psychotherapy to help a person become comfortable with their biological sex. From the perspective of the transgender movement.
The treatment that they seek is gender reassignment surgery which will alter the anatomy of their bodies to make it resemble the sex that they want to be instead of the sex that they actually are. But in any case, they they still need a diagnosis code that the doctor can put down in order to justify having insurance will reimburse for that type of surgery so that's why we haven't seen them completely eliminated from the DSM altogether interesting. Thanks for sharing that invention in the background about the beginning of this end of the homosexual movement. We are also hearing more and more disturbing stories of children at younger and younger ages who are identifying as transgender and his parents. In some cases are actually embracing and promoting that identity, perhaps allowing their biological boy to dress and identified as a girl. Or vice versa.
Know your paper addresses gender confusion among children and how to respond to that. Talk about that little bit if you will. Yes, there there are a number of children who do experience this sort of gender dysphoria. If you want to call it that one reason why were very troubled about well, there are couple reasons why were troubled about the growing trend toward simply affirming young children as being the opposite of their biological sex and affirming their gender identity. In contrast to their biological sex. One reason is that young people are inherently unstable and their sense of identity and therefore we should not assume that just because someone is struggling with this in childhood that they will not outgrow it or or somehow be in a different position. By the time they reach adulthood, however, that were now having even by even medical interventions with minors such as puberty blocking hormones. Hormones that will be given to a young person before the age of puberty in order to actually prevent them from undergoing the physical changes that Take Pl. in Kubrick. This is intended to prepare them better for gender reassignment surgery. Once they become an adult which will only so far they haven't actually been performing surgery on on minors, but we're alarmed that that this hormone therapy being offered to them either that as well. There is the fact that in childhood is when treatment of gender dysphoria can be the most effective and there are doctors, particularly a clinic up in Canada with its well known for this which have had a lot of success in treating children with this condition and helping them to overcome it. So we have we have a great deal of concern about about both of those factors will generally sound like you're doing something that you mentioned a couple times now, some transgender individuals pursue gender liaison with surgery and some do not.
But often times it is portrayed in a very positive light by the media in your paper.
However, you cite experts who argue that gender reassignment surgery actually can do more harm than good. What is the media not telling us about gender reassignment surgery. When we often hear them talking about well obviously there are limits to how much of a change. You can affect someone's body even with you know the wonders of the cosmetic surgery so a lot of a lot of transgender people have unrealistic expectations as to how effective the surgery will be in making them convincing in their presentation as being the opposite sex.
And so this is a problem that allow a lot of people end up being disappointed. There can be complications. As with as with any surgery. It can be extremely painful. The hormone treatments that generally accompany surgery can have a significant, both physical and psychological consequences and, ultimately, you are sort of collaborating in a fraud by by helping this person to try to look like the opposite sex when they really when they really are not able to change and then you also grab the problem of what if there's a if the person experiences regret about their surgery, then it innovate their body parts.
They may have lot loss permanently and will not be able to regain our course. No amount of gender reassignment surgery.
Even if it is superficially effective in giving someone the appearance of the opposite sex is that there's no way to make their reproductive organs function as the opposite sex of people also forfeit their forfeit their fertility through the surgery as well will certainly must be considered in the public needs to understand this is not just simple thing. It's a very significant surgery and psychological change that takes place here, Peter. Unfortunately, we are out of time for this week I want to give you an opportunity. However, to let our listeners know where they can go to learn more about the family research Council and to get a copy of the paper on transgender ideology that you have altered and that we've been discussing today certainly well. Our website is www.FR need for family research Council.org so FRC.org and this paper.
You can either search transgender or actually if you do FRC.org/transgender. It will take you directly to this new paper and I want to thank you so much for all that you do working in partnership with the family research Council were so grateful for you and for FRC and all that you do to represent safe family and freedom on the national level in Washington DC and across our nation. Thanks much for taking time out of what we know is a very busy schedule to be with us today on family policy matters.
Thank you family matters.
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