Amazing how quickly it all moves on

The few kids who are persistent, insistent and consistent about their gender identity have to spend months and sometimes years being assessed before even something as simple as puberty blockers may be prescribed.

How long ago were puberty blockers complicated and complex, not simple?

102 thoughts on “Amazing how quickly it all moves on”

  1. Come to think of it, are any doctors at all troubled at the idea of blocking puberty? It’s a sort of “chemical castration” isn’t it?

  2. It’s the modern equivalent of frontal lobotomies which were widely advocated, praised and performed in the fifties. Unfortunately no practitioner or advocate was tried and hung for destroying lives. Let’s hope this time we get it right. These people offering children up for experimentation are evil.

  3. Well: about nought seconds?
    “Gender non-conformists” is a way of including tomboys with cross-dressers, paedophiles, gays, lesbians and bi-sexuals. In my youth it would also include, besides tomboys, men who could cook anything beyond sausages and the recipes in “Scouting for Boys”.

  4. @ dearieme
    That won’t work those born with female DNA – and eunuchs did not transform into the female gender.
    She desrves to be mocked – but more efficiently.

  5. “Come to think of it, are any doctors at all troubled at the idea of blocking puberty? It’s a sort of “chemical castration” isn’t it?”

    No. Puberty-blocking drugs are temporary and reversible. Puberty isn’t.

    “In my youth it would also include, besides tomboys, men who could cook anything beyond sausages and the recipes in “Scouting for Boys”.”

    Oh, yes. Real Men only cook at barbecues. And only Real Men cook at barbecues. It’s some sort of primitive “cave-man” ritual thingy.

    http://www.funny2.com/barbecue.htm

  6. “Anyone interested in understanding the current trans-mania should read this”

    OK. I read it. Why is it relevant that they are “rich, white men”?

    Apart from noting that rich people with an interest in supporting TGs have given to TG-supporting charities, (something that could be said of absolutely *any* other interest group, from guns to churches) what point is it making? Unless you’ve bought into the progressive “money is bad” or “businesses providing a service to people who want it is bad” or “anything rich white men do is bad” lines, what’s the argument?

  7. I have a theory about the sudden epidemic of “transgendered” children. It’s related to the social contagion thesis, but slightly different and more troubling:

    If you ran a study on these kids, I’d bet you a curly wurly you’ll find most of them are from either single mother households, or have a weak, emotionally absent father and a domineering mother.

    It’s the mothers who are pushing this. Why? For attention, of course. Ever seen one of those parents? A normal person would be ashamed, but these hags revel in it.

    And having a “gay” 9-year-old is sooo 2008. Virtue-twirling is a competitive sport, and you’ve got to keep up with the Joneses/Jonesettes.

    So basically “transgendered” children are actually victims of Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy. Which makes sense, when you think about it. Because our genes didn’t evolve to make us cut our own genitalia off.

  8. NiV says: “No. Puberty-blocking drugs are temporary and reversible. Puberty isn’t.”

    Temporary and reversible like getting a vasectomy done by in a filthy back alley by an doctor who got his medical degree from Poundworld, or developing a taste for crack cocaine.

    The health side-effects of shooting kids up with synthetic hormones are actually potentially horrifying, and according to a recent paper by senior American doctors:

    “there are virtually no published reports, even case studies, of adolescents withdrawing from puberty-suppressing drugs and then resuming the normal pubertal development typical for their sex,”

    So much for the glib assurance that it’s “reversible”.

    2000 years ago, Jesus said that it would be better for someone to have a millstone hung around his neck and then flung into the sea than harm one of the little ones. As a father, I can see no flaw in this timeless logic.

  9. “If you ran a study on these kids, I’d bet you a curly wurly you’ll find most of them are from either single mother households, or have a weak, emotionally absent father and a domineering mother.”

    OK, I’ll bite. How does your hypothesis explain the brain scan differences, the observed CYP17/NR3C4 androgen receptor gene differences, and the evidence from twin studies?

    Are these domineering mothers also expert genetic engineers and brain surgeons?

  10. About six months from identifying to being offered the option, and that’s with feet dragging take this slow parents and a GP on parents side. Though I know of one case where it was about 6 weeks from identify to starting puberty treatments.
    Not cheap drugs and all the doctors I’ve spoken to are adamant about it being low risk and reversible etc. despite raising concern that interfering with such a complicated process as puberty must be tricky

  11. BniC – “all the doctors I’ve spoken to are adamant about it being low risk and reversible etc”

    Yeah. IANAD, but I’m old enough to remember when they swore eating fat was bad for you and ulcers were caused by stress.

    How much of what doctors tell us is what they actually know, as opposed to what they’ve been told?

    NiV – How does your hypothesis explain the brain scan differences, the observed CYP17/NR3C4 androgen receptor gene differences, and the evidence from twin studies?

    I’m guessing your eyes are brown.

    I think you know fine well that none of the above has anything to do with how gender clinics actually work. They don’t do a brain scan to diagnose transgenderism, they basically let patients (or their parents) diagnose themselves.

    How’s David Reimer doing these days?

  12. @john 77, August 29, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    “Gender non-conformists” . In my youth…men who could cook anything beyond sausages and the recipes in “Scouting for Boys”.

    I was born early sixties. Mum did most cooking, but dad (& his brother) could and did cook too; I too learned to cook and from ~9 was allowed to cook/bake alone. Mum did most cooking as being a teacher she was first home.

    Now, I or MrsPcar cook – whoever is home first.

  13. “Temporary and reversible like getting a vasectomy done by in a filthy back alley by an doctor who got his medical degree from Poundworld, or developing a taste for crack cocaine.”

    That’s the sort of thing people are driven to if you don’t permit it to be done by professionals. (See also: the history of back alley abortionists.)

    “according to a recent paper by senior American doctors”

    I’ve read the document. (Published in something called “The New Atlantis” – which probably tells you all you need to know. 🙂 ) They say that the drugs were developed and extensively safety-tested for ‘precocious puberty’ where children start puberty too early and it needs to be delayed. Apparently, there are plenty of case studies of children resuming normal puberty in these cases. And they also say that the reason there are relatively few examples of resuming same-sex puberty is that most of those on puberty blockers opt instead for cross-sex hormone treatment instead.

    It’s not perfect – there are differences in development. But it’s the best we can do with current technology.

    “2000 years ago, Jesus said that it would be better for someone to have a millstone hung around his neck and then flung into the sea than harm one of the little ones. As a father, I can see no flaw in this timeless logic.”

    Agreed. The argument is over what constitutes “harm”. For somebody who is genuinely transgender, forcing them to go through puberty and then have to live with the horrific consequences constitutes severe “harm”. Are you willing to risk wearing that millstone yourself if that turns out to be the case?

  14. “I think you know fine well that none of the above has anything to do with how gender clinics actually work. They don’t do a brain scan to diagnose transgenderism, they basically let patients (or their parents) diagnose themselves.”

    That doesn’t answer the question.

    “How’s David Reimer doing these days?”

    David Reimer rather proves my point, I think.

  15. OK. I read it. Why is it relevant that they are “rich, white men”?

    Presumably you just read the headline, if that’s all you got from the article.

    The point is that there are vested interests pushing the idea that “gender dysphoria” is a problem in need of a medical solution.

    Puberty blockers are just the beginning, these children are being groomed for a lifetime of grotesquely invasive and costly medical procedures.

  16. forcing them to go through puberty and then have to live with the horrific consequences constitutes severe “harm”.

    The horrific consequences… Of puberty?
    What, growing a pair of tits or having balls drop?

    Instead of having a sausage glued on or chopped off as appropriate?

    I think I’ll risk the millstone and say it is more harmful to stop them going through puberty.

  17. NiV – I’ve read the document. (Published in something called “The New Atlantis” – which probably tells you all you need to know.

    You’re not only an expert on Islam, you also know better than doctors from John Hopkins School of Medicine who’ve written an actual published scientific paper on the subject. Your talents are wasted here

    Are you willing to risk wearing that millstone yourself if that turns out to be the case?

    Of course. I agree with the Jungian lobster-fondler: Nobody ever gets away with nothing. And no amount of huffing your own pseud’s corner jenkem will change that.

    The reason why so many transgenders kill themselves is that “sex changes” don’t work. It’s not a medical treatment at all. It’ll go down in history as an appalling aberration, like trepanning or radium toothpaste.

  18. “I think you know fine well that none of the above has anything to do with how gender clinics actually work. They don’t do a brain scan to diagnose transgenderism, they basically let patients (or their parents) diagnose themselves.”)

    That doesn’t answer the question.

    So you claim there’s an objective scientific test for transgenderism, then admit that gender clinics don’t bother to use those tests before deciding to inject children with fake hormones and/or cut their nuts off.

    The prosecution rests.

  19. Steve,

    “Yeah. IANAD, but I’m old enough to remember when they swore eating fat was bad for you and ulcers were caused by stress.

    How much of what doctors tell us is what they actually know, as opposed to what they’ve been told?”

    Not a lot. After a tricky condition that 3 of them and an ENT couldn’t solve (and I did), I realised most doctors are shit at diagnosis: that thing of having symptoms, understanding the thing that’s causing them and figuring out the answer. They’re rote workers. You could replace 95% of what they do with a chatbot.

  20. “Because our genes didn’t evolve to make us cut our own genitalia off.”

    They didn’t evolve to make us cut our kids’ ‘nads off either.

  21. “Presumably you just read the headline, if that’s all you got from the article.”

    No, I read the entire article. It read like a “The Koch Brothers are funding Climate Change Denial” article out of Salon, but with the terms changed around. My guess is that it’s some sort of attempt to convert progressives.

    “The point is that there are vested interests pushing the idea that “gender dysphoria” is a problem in need of a medical solution.”

    ‘Vested interests’ are not needed – it’s obvious to anyone who knows one that it’s a problem in need of a solution.

    And there’s no shortage of medical problems. We don’t need to invent them.

    “The horrific consequences… Of puberty?”

    Yes. If it’s the *wrong* puberty.

    “ou’re not only an expert on Islam, you also know better than doctors from John Hopkins School of Medicine who’ve written an actual published scientific paper on the subject.”

    There are plenty of lists of all the medical authorities, organisations, governing bodies, regulatory bodies, psychiatrists, psychologists, geneticists, endocrinologists, neuroscientists, and other researchers who attest to the reality of gender dysphoria and the efficacy of medical intervention, that you cheerfully think yourself cleverer than.

    Gosh, someone’s written an actual published scientific paper on the subject”! Why didn’t the Climate Change believers ever think of that one?!

    “So you claim there’s an objective scientific test for transgenderism, then admit that gender clinics don’t bother to use those tests before deciding to inject children with fake hormones and/or cut their nuts off.”

    The question was: how do you explain the results of the objective scientific test if it’s all down to domineering mothers?

    You can’t answer the question, which is why you’re trying to change the subject.

  22. CYP17/NR3C4

    Send the one best paper you have on this to Tim with a request that he forward it to me.

    I trust we can agree to ignore the phrenology.

  23. I said the best, so I assume you meant the first. It took me approximately 2 minutes to see what they did here. They assigned their “cut off” based on a data-driven analysis. They looked at the graphs they made for table 1 and picked their cuts accordingly, rather than defining them up front.

    Look at the bars for the repeat frequencies just to the left and right of each cut.

    If we did that in the clinical world we would rightly get shot to pieces, slung out of the profession, crucified, etc.

    For the control population, equally sized genotype groups were generated on the basis of the median repeat length for all three genes whereby alleles below this length were assigned as “short” and above this length assigned as “long” (AR short ≤ 20 repeats, long > 20 repeats; ERβ: short ≤ 22 repeats, long > 22 repeats; and CYP19 short ≤ 7 repeats, long > 7 repeats).

    This is extremely shoddy evidence, and cherry picking where your cut-off is for the “tranny” genes is just ridiculous.

    Oh, and they can’t even get their numbers the right way around:

    “For the AR gene, a difference in the mean repeat length was identified, with transsexuals having significantly longer mean repeat lengths (243.2 base pairs) than control subjects (245.1 base pairs, p = .04).”

    I’m sure you can explain to us why they did not apply, say, the Bonferroni correction? You do know what it is so you can explain why it or similar was not applied.

    Again, if we did a fishing expedition like this in the clinical world, no one would, rightly, take it seriously.

  24. @ NiV
    We didn’t have barbecues in the UK when I was young.
    And it was “gender non-conformist” because most mothers taught their daughters to cook but not their sons.
    The first man, after my father, I knew who was a superb cook was a RAF pilot. If you are tough enough you can laugh at people who try to call you sissy.
    You do not seem to have realised that because I believe in individual freedom I do not encourage (let alone insist on) conformity to stereotypes.

  25. “One hundred and twelve Caucasian male-to-female transsexuals, pre- and post-operative, were recruited from Monash Medical Centre (MMC), Victoria, Australia (n = 76) and from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) (n = 36) as per criteria in the DSM-IV—some of whom had reports of gender dysphoria in childhood. Almost all transsexual individuals were receiving hormone treatment. Two hundred and fifty-eight Caucasian male control subjects were also recruited from MMC.”

    Very badly controlled as well.

    Should I carry on or is that enough?

  26. @ Pcar
    I was born in the late forties and taught to cook in the early 50s, starting with keeping an eye on the toast because I was the smallest and didn’t have to bend down to do so. But most boys were not: before 1952, kids (even girls) were rarely allowed to cook in case they destroyed some of the food ration. It took years for that worry to disappear.

  27. My family is from a small fishing town, and being at sea for days at a time the men learned to cook or starved. My great-grandfather was a company sergent major and the job required him to be company cook/cook overseer. I have his hand-written recipe books – they are heavy on potatoes and other filler, juicy lines such as “60 men = 5st onions, 2lb peppers, small bunch parsley”. 😉

  28. Granted that some unfortunates feel that their mental sex doesn’t match their physical sex, why is it automatically assumed that the physical sex should be altered to conform to the mental sex, rather than first trying to make the mental sex conform to the physical sex (particularly with children)?

    At least initially, gender dysphoria should be regarded a type of body dysmorphic disorder, and treated accordingly.

  29. “They assigned their “cut off” based on a data-driven analysis.”

    They say they used the median.

    “I’m sure you can explain to us why they did not apply, say, the Bonferroni correction?”

    Possibly because the hypothesis is that each separately causes some subset of the cases, rather than that they are each considered alternative hypothesised causes for the same cases. They’re not declaring a single successful unified replication/explanation, but one success and two failures to replicate.

    Why doesn’t everyone apply the Bonferroni correction using the number of all previous papers and unpublished attempts at answering the same question? Why doesn’t a journal apply the correction to the total number of papers it publishes on all the different questions it reports on? Why don’t all scientific journals do so collectively? Same reason.

    But it’s a good point. Thanks for taking the question seriously!

    “I was born in the late forties and taught to cook in the early 50s, starting with keeping an eye on the toast because I was the smallest and didn’t have to bend down to do so.”

    I was taught to cook as a kid too. But it was still a well-known stereotype, and did put a lot of boys I know off learning more than the minimal basics.

    “Granted that some unfortunates feel that their mental sex doesn’t match their physical sex, why is it automatically assumed that the physical sex should be altered to conform to the mental sex, rather than first trying to make the mental sex conform to the physical sex (particularly with children)?”

    Because nobody has the medical know-how to rewire the brain at that fine level, and because the brain is commonly judged to define the ‘person’ for legal and moral purposes, rather than any other part of the body. If you get an organ transplant from another person, you do not legally ‘become’ that person, even partially. If you lose body parts, you don’t become a different person, or legally dead. But brain death in a body where every other organ is still alive and functioning perfectly is still, legally and morally, considered to be death of the person.

  30. NiV,

    It is marginal bollocks without a proper set of control subjects, and with a data-driven decision on cut.

    Same thing in your second paper. Geographically different controls, and the fascinating result is actually the one between the two control sets.

  31. “Because nobody has the medical know-how to rewire the brain at that fine level…”

    No. There are many psychiatric treatments for delusions about the body and identity. Anorexia can be cured, as can other body dysmorphic disorders. Why shoulder gender dysphoria be regarded as anything other than a mental illness? Why should a man who claims to be a woman be believed when a man who claims to be Boadicea is regarded as deluded?

    If x is male but has delusions that he is female, why not try to re-establish the status quo by counselling x and by topping up his male hormones before giving x female hormones and surgery? Occam’s Razor suggests that the simplest solution is usually the best fit…

    In law, a person is an individual human being – the subject of mental and physical predicates. A living brain in a vat is not arguably a person at all. But that is another issue.

  32. @ NiV
    Yes, it *was* a well-known stereotype which is *exactly* why I said that anyone who could cook beyond sausages … was a gender non-conformist.
    Carrie Marshall wants to categorise us with transgender individuals (well, er, ..) and cross-dressers (mostly harmless, but not my style) and … and paedophiles (No!).
    She stinks!

  33. “There are many psychiatric treatments for delusions about the body and identity.”

    But they don’t work on gender dysphoria, because it’s not a delusion.

    “Anorexia can be cured, as can other body dysmorphic disorders.”

    Dysphoria isn’t dysmorphia.

    “Why should a man who claims to be a woman be believed when a man who claims to be Boadicea is regarded as deluded?”

    Why should a man who claims to be introverted be believed? Why should a man who claims not to like the taste of grapefruit or brussels sprouts or parsnip be believed? Why should a man who claims to like the music of Justin Bieber be believed?

    Because there’s no sane, non-ideological reason not to. The only reason this particular claim about the self is disbelieved is that some people have an ideological worldview they’re emotionally attached to that for some unstated reason depends on it being impossible for a female brain to develop in an otherwise male body.

    “If x is male but has delusions that he is female, why not try to re-establish the status quo by counselling x and by topping up his male hormones before giving x female hormones and surgery?”

    Because it’s been tried, and it doesn’t work, any more than it did for homosexuality. (And nor does it work when radical feminists try to counsel males out of their typically masculine behaviour. They’ve tried that, too!)

    Gender is imprinted on the developing brain in the womb, and thereafter is hardwired. This *is* the status quo – a female-structured brain in a male body. (Or vice versa.)

    Homosexuality involves males having the brain circuitry for sexual desire of females, (or vice versa). Do you think all the kids suddenly start going at one another like rabbits as they hit puberty by accident?! Do you think they decide who they’re attracted to arbitrarily, or because that’s what they’ve been taught by their parents and teachers?! Usually, the parents are fighting to keep them apart! Do you think the same is not true of every other animal species? And do you not think that homosexuality in other species has the same basic cause?

    Sexual behaviour at its most basic level is hardwired into the brain. And with lots of different gender-differentiated brain modules, two possible designs for each, and a complicated interlinkage of signals and switches to pick between them, the wiring can sometimes go wrong. It’s not really hard to understand. Some people just don’t want to.

  34. JerryC – really interesting article.

    I have been thinking about this bit:

    The LGB, a once-tiny group of people trying to love those of the same sex openly and be treated equally within society, has likely already been subsumed by capitalism and is now infiltrated by the medical industrial complex via transgenderism.

    The second part is undoubtedly true. Gays are perhaps the ultimate consumers and it’s no wonder big companies fall over themselves signalling their homo-friendliness. There’s obviously big bucks in transgenderism too, given the lifetime of expensive surgeries and drugs involved.

    But is the first part true, or is it just a pretty lie straight and gay people have been telling themselves since the successful push to normalise homosexuality in mass culture?

    (which, it’s worth remembering, only dates as far back as the 1990’s. Eddie Murphy wouldn’t get away with his 80’s stand up jokes nowadays and Margaret Thatcher would probably be jailed and definitely run out of the Conservative Party if she was campaigning for Section 28 today – quite slippery, that slope)

    I have a theory. It’s another not-nice theory, so apologies in advance.

    So remember the days when PIE was a fully paid-up part of the gay rights movement? Similar thing took place in the US with NAMBLA. Yes, the gays of yore made no distinction between “equal love” and “fat hairy blokes who want to fuck kids”… until it became politically expedient to jettison the pedoes.

    I reckon the article implicitly makes the mistake of thinking we can go back to an earlier point in the sexual revolution. I think this is like hoping an aeroplane can hover indefinitely at some particular point on its flight plan.

    What if it was inevitable that the T would eventually be added to LGB? And, of course, it won’t stop there.

    My theory is this: our ancestors were all repressive bigots for good reasons. Once you let what Freud called polymorphous perversity out of the bottle, it inevitably leads to ever more self-destructive types of paraphilia.

    This explains why the moral of Sodom and Gomorrah was so important that the Jews preserved the story for so many centuries. It was a cautionary tale.

    BiG – They didn’t evolve to make us cut our kids’ ‘nads off either

    Good point. I have no way of proving that Munchausen’s by proxy is real, but assuming that it is (since it’s pretty well documented over a long period of time) it’s interesting that it only afflicts women. No idea if there’s any genetic component other than the XX chromosomes.

    Similarly, it’s interesting that there’s been a massive sudden uptick in self-diagnosed gender dysphoria ever since the mass media started aggressively advocating for transgenderism.

  35. NiV,

    How does your hypothesis explain the brain scan differences, the observed CYP17/NR3C4 androgen receptor gene differences, and the evidence from twin studies?

    Post hoc ergo proctor hoc fallacy? How do you know it’s not the attention seeking mad mothers telling their boys that they’re actually girlies that causes that?

  36. The “gene differences” is the most implausible bullshit I have seen in some time. Control subjects are selected from different geographic regions to the test subjects, the analysis method is determined post-hoc, the differences are utterly trivial

    These supposed differences – remember these are supposed to be driving a pretty dramatic phenotype, are driven:

    – in paper 1 by outliers. NiV needs to look at figure 1a and tell us with a straight face there is any difference in the genotype distribution.

    – in paper 2 by a truly dramatic difference in the male versus female controls, which would require us to believe that said gene or a closely-linked locus is also exerting huge and sex-differentiated selection bias in utero*. That effect, on ~10% of the population would be vastly more interesting than any effect it might have on 0.00001% of the population.

    The real problem, however, is more fundamental. For common polymorphisms to explain phenotype that phenotype has to be fairly common itself, yet it is blindingly obvious that, for any genotype, 99.99999% of people are not trans. The rest of the genetic discussion on P=0.04 results from data-driven analysis of atrociously-controlled studies is just navel-gazing “peer-reviewed papers naa naa naa, trannies can’t help it, you’re all transphobic naa naa naa”.

  37. “But they don’t work on gender dysphoria, because it’s not a delusion”

    That is all you need to know from NiV’s vast and overgrown allotment of cockrot.

    He postures as a “Libertarian” but the SJW shite of the left poured their poison into his earhole long ago and all of his scientistic tripe serves to rationalise the line at the top of this comment.

  38. “Why should a man who claims to be introverted be believed? ”

    He shouldn’t be believed without an objective diagnosis, if anything major turned on it.

    “Why should a man who claims not to like the taste of grapefruit or brussels sprouts or parsnip be believed? Why should a man who claims to like the music of Justin Bieber be believed?”

    Gender dysphoria is not a taste or personal choice.Are you suggesting gender reassignment should be undertaken on the basis of subjective feelz and on whims?

    “The only reason this particular claim about the self is disbelieved is that some people have an ideological worldview they’re emotionally attached to that for some unstated reason depends on it being impossible for a female brain to develop in an otherwise male body.”

    No. Some of us are sceptical about the claims about male and female brains and how they can be identified objectively. Moreover, the brain is a remarkably plastic organ and it can ‘re-wire’ itself during childhood and adolescence, and also after injury or strokes, which suggests that sex change treatments should be undertaken only rarely and with great caution. Your evidence base, as BiG has shown, is shaky, to say the least. And, as for ideology, the whole TG movement is infected with a particularly virulent form of it.

    “Gender is imprinted on the developing brain in the womb, and thereafter is hardwired.”

    Have you incontrovertible evidence for that claim? It looks highly ideological to me.

  39. “I was taught to cook as a kid too. But it was still a well-known stereotype, and did put a lot of boys I know off learning more than the minimal basics.”

    Well known stereotype by who? I was born in the early fifties & can’t say I ever noticed one. It wouldn’t even make sense. By the post war years you already had two generations who’d been through compulsory military conscription. Those who’d served had often no alternative to having to cook or took the opportunity to cook to vary the monotonous military diet. Most of those generations would have stories of meals made with purloined or locally sourced materials. I heard enough of them. There’s a story my grandfather (who was in the Merchant) used to tell of the ship he was on, and the Lascar cook who was so bad he was “lost over the side one night”. He was appointed “ship’s cook” for the rest of the voyage.
    Yes the gender roles were more strongly defined in the past. But I think you’re doing something that’s very common on interweb discussion boards. Using the middle-class experience as defining. Certainly happens a lot here.. Common because the middle classes are much more heavily represented on interweb discussion boards

  40. @ bis
    I grew up in a town that was overwhelmingly working-class, so *I* am not using middle-class experience as defining.

  41. It isn’t just shaky, there is absolutely nothing to see at all in the two publications I looked at.

    For comparison, there is a strong hint of a genetic basis for the condition I have recently been struck down with, in that it turns out I’m a carrier for something that causes an identical disease in over 90% of people who carry a deleterious mutation at _both_ alleles. I was a textbook case – so much so I was initially diagnosed clinically with this, until some detailed tests ruled it out, but confirmed I am a carrier. Coincidence it is not.

    Current dogma is that carriers are not affected – but we clearly are (from the literature as well, not just me), just our risk is, perhaps somewhere between 1/100 and 1/1,000, rather than 9/10. So, being a rare disease, this detail has been largely ignored.

    If it is impossible to (yet) persuade the medical establishment of an elevated risk at that level, even with a plausible biological mechanism and undisputed risk in the heterozygous state, just because all studies of the disease in carriers are retrospective, no one should take seriously research which has to use geographically different controls and cherry-picked definitions to demonstrate at P=0.04 that common polymorphisms have a role in something that 0.00001% of the population suffer from. And is also retrospective!

  42. “I reckon the article implicitly makes the mistake of thinking we can go back to an earlier point in the sexual revolution. I think this is like hoping an aeroplane can hover indefinitely at some particular point on its flight plan.”

    Culture is constantly changing. The Victorians had different morals and norms from their children who came to adulthood in the 1920s, who had different morals and norms to their children of the 50s and 60s, who were in turn very different from their children of the 80s and 90s. Every generation fights against the repression of the preceding generation, and against the freedom of the one that succeeds them.

    Every generation of children rebels against their parents, and changes the world. Every generation of parents and grandparents throws up their hands in horror at the decadent deviancy their children are letting into society, forgetting that they did the same. My grandparents generation complained to that of my parents of that ‘Elvis Presley’ fellow they liked and his horrible nigger-inspired ‘jungle drums’ music, and his suggestively thrusting hip movements. The Victorians thought that women showing their ankles in public was scandalous. Times move on.

    “My theory is this: our ancestors were all repressive bigots for good reasons.”

    Yes. The basis of the authoritarian mindset is that society has both the right and duty to impose its ways on its members, for their own good and for the common good of society. The prodnoses and bansturbators have their own set of beliefs about how people should live, but other people are either corrupt, ignorant, or weak-willed, and fail to live like that. So they make rules and regulations to enforce the proper lifestyle.

    The church fought heresy for good reason – if people did not follow they true church, their souls would burn in hell forever. You can’t get more self-destructive than that! So they enforced pious orthodoxy on everyone. Different groups had different beliefs about what ‘orthodox’ actually was, but they were all united in the belief that people had to be made to follow it.

    It’s the same with Communism/Socialism. People are selfish and don’t share, so they must be made to for the good of society. It’s the same with the Environmentalists. People pollute and poison the world, and must be made to stop for their own good. It’s the same with the Health Nazis. People don’t eat healthily, poisoning themselves with ‘junk food’ and sugar and saturated fats and additives and ‘chemicals’, and they must be made to stop eating all these foods they like for their own good and the good of society. The people who want to ban guns are only doing it to stop gun crime. The people who want to ban knives are only trying to stop people getting stabbed. The people who want to ban smoking are only doing it to stop people dying of lung cancer.

    If you give people freedom, you’ll end up with a poisoned, dying world full of selfish cancer-riddled fat people trying to kill each other with guns and knives, and who wants that? Society has to take away people’s freedom for their own good. The Nanny State is born.

    “This explains why the moral of Sodom and Gomorrah was so important that the Jews preserved the story for so many centuries. It was a cautionary tale.”

    Of course it was. “Defy our rules and we’ll bomb your town with chemical weapons!” A very authoritarian principle!

    I especially liked the bits in that story where Lot offered up his daughters to be raped by the mob, and where his daughters got their own back by roofie-raping their dad! Cautionary indeed! These were, of course, given as examples of virtuous and upstandingly moral behaviour.

    The rules of society change, but the authoritarian principle always remains the same. It doesn’t have to, of course. We can choose to change it. But we never do.

    “How do you know it’s not the attention seeking mad mothers telling their boys that they’re actually girlies that causes that?”

    I’m asking you *how* attention-seeking mad mothers can cause a change in their children’s genetics? As I asked previously, is it your theory that they are also expert genetic engineers and brain surgeons?

    “yet it is blindingly obvious that, for any genotype, 99.99999% of people are not trans”

    99%. It’s not much less common than homosexuality; which makes sense as they’re similar sorts of effects. If you can’t even get that right…

    “Gender dysphoria is not a taste or personal choice.”

    Are you saying that not liking brussels sprouts is a personal choice?! Would it do any good to tell the kids to choose differently?

    “Some of us are sceptical about the claims about male and female brains and how they can be identified objectively.”

    You all seem to believe in it when the feminists try to stop some typically male behaviour…

    But I’ll be watching with interest, the next time Tim posts something with the suggestion that there are any innate mental differences between males and females. I’ll expect you all to jump in and disagree!

  43. “99%. It’s not much less common than homosexuality; which makes sense as they’re similar sorts of effects. If you can’t even get that right”

    If this is true, how come they can only come up with 153 probands (second paper)?

  44. If it’s 1% then how come I don’t know any? I meet at least hundreds of new people a year, and I have actually _never_ met one. Not ever.

    Well, except, many years ago, the clearly deeply-disturbed bloke who used to stuff a pillow up his maternity dress and carry a doll in a Moses basket up and down the stairs at Manchester Oxford Road Station.

  45. “If it’s 1% then how come I don’t know any?”

    You do. They just don’t tell anyone about it, because of the unpleasantness that usually results when they do.

    Bruce Jenner spent 66 years meeting people, most of who would afterwards still have sworn they’d never met anyone with gender dysphoria. Even today, most of them (especially the older generation) keep very quiet about it.

  46. Aha, so transgender becomes “gender dysphoria”. As in, “Id’d like to be something I’m not.” And thus is the pool infinitely expandable.

    I’ve never been picked to play centre-half for Manchester City. This makes me dysphoric, more than you can possibly imagine. I insist that I get picked and the world watches and applauds, verily celebrates, my hopeless efforts at being something I am fundamentally not.

    As for a bloke who has competed in Olymipic men’s events and fathered at least six children – this just shows how ridiculous the concept is.

  47. NiV, you cannot possibly know that BiG unwittingly knows or has met such people. Your claim is unmoored to any evidence and is unfalsifiable save with reference to the common sense I think I recall your saying you reject in favour of verifiable science.

    I, on the other hand, have known a small few. Most, in my view, were gay men trying to get laid with ‘straight’ men, mostly because they despaired of campness in gay men. And I gather that in Thailand 1/100 men calls himself a ladyboy. I struggle to believe that stat is unrelated to money and sex tourism to Thailand.

    I knew one who seemed genuine in the sense of being sincere. He was the world’s first M2F2M. The kindest description for him I can think of would be ‘eccentric’. Last I heard, he was suing the shrink who persuaded him to down the original M2F route. I can understand the grievance. Incidentally the only people in his/my peer group who were even remotely mean to him were a couple of Pakistani Mohammedans.

    Personally, I think there are people who sincerely hold the view that they occupy the wrong body. I certainly do not believe they are all around us.

  48. “Aha, so transgender becomes “gender dysphoria”.”

    You thought that in talking about genetic causes of pre-natal brain development, we were making that distinction?

    “As for a bloke who has competed in Olymipic men’s events and fathered at least six children – this just shows how ridiculous the concept is.”

    You mean, it shows how inaccurate your stereotypes about it are.

    If you’re trying to hide something about yourself, you generally try to project a public image that’s the opposite of it. Extremes of behaviour are often nervous overcompensation.

  49. “NiV, you cannot possibly know that BiG unwittingly knows or has met such people.”

    Like physicists cannot possibly know that no two snowflakes are alike?

    It’s just a probability argument. If the probability of each person you meet being TG is 0.01 and independent, then the probability of meeting n people, none of them TG, is 0.99^n. You don’t need all that big an n for the probability to be a very small number.

    “Your claim is unmoored to any evidence”

    People complain when I moor my claims to evidence, and don’t look at it. They even make a special point of telling me they didn’t look at it. I’ve linked surveys on the question numerous times. For example.

    It’s not as if anyone else moors any of their claims to evidence…

  50. “You do. They just don’t tell anyone about it, because of the unpleasantness that usually results when they do.”

    This is another plank of NiV’s looniverse.

    Anybody who dares drag up is only moments away from getting an epic shitbashing from legions of trans-hating maniacs who materialise Hollywood style from out of thin air.

    Makes you wonder how Burlington Bertie used to manage.

  51. The evidence you have provided is entirely uncompelling. You seem to forget I worked in clinical genetics for many years. There is nothing remotely persuasive about the data you have linked to above.

    For the third or fourth time, the studies are atrociously badly controlled because the controls come at least in part from a different geographic area to the probands. The frequency of common polymorphisms varies massively by geography (just comparing the male and female controls within your second reference proves this point). I can name you genes from my old research days that vary from northern to southern England, let alone from England to the Meditteranean. Heck, I can name you, off the top of my head, a disease-linked polymorphism which is dramatically more common in one English town than in the surrounding area. You have to be super-careful when controlling retrospective genetic studies, and these are completely slapdash.

    The “statistically significant” results arising from fishing expeditions in data analysed post-hoc are clearly of no clinical relevance, as both normal and TG individuals are seen for all possible genotypes, at similar frequencies, and the frequency of TG is so vanishingly low that this is an inevitable observation for any highly polymorphic locus.

    The evidence everyone else moors their claim to is the simple observation that the majority of people fit neatly into one or other category. Their gender on all axes: (1) sex organs (2) karyotype (3) hormones and pattern of change through life (4) secondary sexual features (5) psychology/gender self-identity (6) any I have forgotten, are ALL aligned.

    On that background, it is a most reasonable assumption that someone whose psychology/gender-identity is misaligned with all other gender axes actually has a psychological problem, rather than an organic problem with _every other way you can define gender_.

  52. It seems clear that there are several different root causes of transgenderism. What’s driving Bruce Jenner to cut off his wiener is not the same thing that’s driving those moody tween girls who have suddenly decided that they’re really boys.

    There seem to be 3 main categories:

    1) Extremely masculine men who decide to transition in middle age. Bruce Jenner, James Pritzker, Martin Rothblatt, etc. Most like some kind of sexual fetish.

    2) Very feminine boys and masculine girls who have strongly identified with the opposite sex since they were very young. That little boy who always wanted to wear dresses and play with dolls when he was 3.

    3) Moody, angsty teenage girls drawn to attention-seeking behavior. These girls would have been into earlier self-harm fads like cutting and bulimia if they had been born in another era.

    Obviously, the most concerning category here is 3, followed by 2. It really is no problem if some old guy gets off on impersonating a woman, but it is irresponsible in the extreme to permanently disfigure young people in response to what is almost certainly a temporary emotional phase.

  53. @ NiV
    Your explanation that P(meeting no-one transgender) is q^n is mathematically correct.
    So we have two possibilities – that BiG is culturally blind, or thatr q>0.99.
    I am aware of meeting two cross-dressers (each of whom I still considered a friend last time I saw them although one was more-or-less driven out of town by ignorant people who equated cross-dressers with paedophiles) in the last 60-odd years. I suspect that q>0.99999 for that category. Lesbians more common (albeit some are B as they have ex-husbands and children); Gays and latent gays (the High Church CoE has some virtues, one of which is to tolerate those who maintain celibacy) a small handful (like Tim I went to boarding school and the frequency of homosexuality there was of the order of 0.1%); transgender two – one every thirty years; of course one cannot be sure how many of one’s friends are bisexual until they come out or are caught, but when they are whispers are prevalent – my experience suggests that the overall q (where p is the probability of LGBT) is nearer 0.999 that 0.99.

  54. “The evidence you have provided is entirely uncompelling. You seem to forget I worked in clinical genetics for many years.”

    Forget? Did you tell me?

    If you are, then I’m sure you’ll be able to provide evidence of a standard you *do* accept for all the assertions that you and others here have been making about TGs. Let’s see what you’ve got.

    “For the third or fourth time, the studies are atrociously badly controlled because the controls come at least in part from a different geographic area to the probands.”

    Did they specify what geographic areas the probands came from?

    “The frequency of common polymorphisms varies massively by geography (just comparing the male and female controls within your second reference proves this point).”

    A gene involved in controlling sex hormones has different frequencies in males and females, and this proves the *geographic* dependence of the gene?!

    “The “statistically significant” results arising from fishing expeditions in data analysed post-hoc”

    They said they used the median for their threshold. You didn’t answer that one.

    “The evidence everyone else moors their claim to is the simple observation that the ***majority*** of people fit neatly into one or other category.”

    The *majority* are, therefore *all* are?! (Or if you prefer: The *majority* are, therefore 99.99999% are?!)

    How is that “evidence”? Rather than, say, “anecdote”?

    And given that most people with such conditions go to great lengths to hide it, how do you think your “simple observation” can tell?

    “On that background, it is a most reasonable assumption that someone whose psychology/gender-identity is misaligned with all other gender axes actually has a psychological problem”

    How does that follow?! Explain your reasoning.

    If people are inconsistent on any *other* pair of axes, it’s obviously an organic issue, but because axis 5 happens to involve the brain, you’re going to assume something different. ‘Because you can’?

    Oh, but hang on a sec, I must have forgotten you worked in clinical genetics for many years, so no doubt you’ve got some “compelling” evidence to back that “assumption” up.

    Or do only you lot get to make shit up any way you like and only I don’t?

    “but it is irresponsible in the extreme to permanently disfigure young people in response to what is almost certainly a temporary emotional phase”

    Except when it’s *not* a temporary emotional phase, when it’s equally irresponsible to permanently disfigure them by *not* treating them.

    This is the problem you always get when one set of people believe with absolute and unshakeable certainty the world is a particular way, and think it’s their job to *force* that reality on everyone else, whether they agree or not.

    The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him must be calculated to produce evil to some one else. The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.

    Everyone objects when the State overrules *their* wishes with regard to what they do to their own body and mind, but everyone thinks it’s OK for them to do it to other people. “Think of the children!” they cry. “It would be irresponsible to let children eat sweets and sugary drinks!” they cry. “It would be irresponsible to let children eat chicken nuggets!” And “If other people disagree with me, and let their children eat chicken nuggets and sugary snacks, it would be irresponsible of us not to stop this abuse, take away the sweets, and lecture them on ‘healthy eating’!”

    The psychology is *exactly* the same, for *every* prodnosed authoritarian jackbooted villain. They’re taking away your freedom for your own good, and for the good of society, because *you* can’t be trusted to act in your own best interests.

  55. “So we have two possibilities – that BiG is culturally blind, or thatr q>0.99.”

    Three. There’s also the option that people with gender dysphoria and similar conditions hide the fact, so there’s no observable difference on meeting somebody casually.

  56. “Did they specify what geographic areas the probands came from?”

    Since you are clearly unobservant as well as mendacious:

    Paper 1 probands:
    One hundred and twelve Caucasian male-to-female transsexuals, pre- and post-operative, were recruited from Monash Medical Centre (MMC), Victoria, Australia (n = 76) and from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) (n = 36)

    Controls:
    Two hundred and fifty-eight Caucasian male control subjects were also recruited from MMC.

    So _no Americans, only Australians_ in the control group!

    Paper 2 probands:
    …we enrolled 104 MtF and 49 FtM transsexuals treated at the Transgender Outpatient Clinic of our department [Vienna].

    controls:
    The male controls were 756 men participating in a health prevention program. The female controls were 915 women seeking counseling for perimenopausal disorders in university hospitals, primary and secondary care facilities, and private offices in Germany and Austria.

    So we’ve no idea from where the male controls came, and the women were from all over the place in 2 countries!

    This just isn’t how you do it. Controls should be at the least recruited at the same place (same clinic in fact) at roughly the same time. Patients referred to the clinic for some other reason are usually good, and you can throw in age/sex matching for good measure to control for certain selection bias. The different setting and location of the male and female controls in paper 2 likely explains the major difference between males (60% CYP17 T) and females (69% CYP17 T), which is the source of the only “significant” discovery in that study.

  57. A gene involved in controlling sex hormones has different frequencies in males and females, and this proves the *geographic* dependence of the gene?!

    Yes, because the only other plausible option is that one allele or a closely-linked locus is producing huge selection against either male or female fetuses prior to birth. There are some alleles in flies that do this, to my knowledge none in humans.

  58. “If people are inconsistent on any *other* pair of axes, it’s obviously an organic issue, but because axis 5 happens to involve the brain, you’re going to assume something different. ‘Because you can’?”

    This is actually a reasonable point. I guess the answer is that changing feelings and beliefs is a heck of a lot easier than changing your genitals, chromosomes, stature, muscle-to-fat ratio, germ cells, etc. And when it is said feelings and beliefs that are out of whack with everything else, they are the obvious place to start.

  59. Thanks. I missed that on paper 1. I assumed it was paper 2 you was complaining about; where it said “we enrolled 104 MtF and 49 FtM transsexuals treated at the Transgender Outpatient Clinic of our department [Vienna].”, but didn’t say where the patients were from. If they were from the same geographic areas as the control groups, that would explain why the controls were as they were.

    “Yes, because the only other plausible option is that one allele or a closely-linked locus is producing huge selection against either male or female fetuses prior to birth.”

    OK. I wasn’t aware that it had been shown there weren’t any. Do you have a source?

  60. “This is actually a reasonable point.”

    Thank you!

    “I guess the answer is that changing feelings and beliefs is a heck of a lot easier than changing your genitals, chromosomes, stature, muscle-to-fat ratio, germ cells, etc.”

    That makes sense – if they’re feelings that are learnt culturally or through reasoning them out and are not biologically determined. Whether the mental differences between men and women are nature or nurture is an old debate. But I thought the question had been settled, and the blank slate rejected. No?

    “And when it is said feelings and beliefs that are out of whack with everything else, they are the obvious place to start.”

    I agree, and they did back in the 1950s. (We’ve discussed the horrors of ‘aversion therapy’ for homosexuals before.) Start there, yes, hypothesise, yes, assume, no – was what I meant.

  61. It makes no difference if the feels are biologically determined, it is still easier to treat those (if that Is what the patient wants) than to change the entire basis of society and make us all chant the mantra “men are women and women are men but straight actors cannot play gay roles nor white chefs cook black food”.

    If it can’t be treated most people are still probably better off accepting the things they cannot change than changing the things they cannot accept. I cannot accept my new chronic and essentially untreatable illness, but I have no choice but to accept it.

  62. Niv

    “Everyone objects when the State overrules *their* wishes with regard to what they do to their own body and mind, but everyone thinks it’s OK for them to do it to other people”

    This is not what anyone is objecting to and you know it.

    Most concern is based on medical practice being subverted by trans ideology, particularly regarding children. It used to be that 80% of children referred for gender dysphoria would be treated psychologically and would not identify as transgendered. The ideology that gender is innate is changing that practice, this is and should be worrying.

    I have no problem with any adult transitioning with full knowledge of the limitations of the medical procedures involved.

  63. @ NiV
    NO! Your so-called “third alternative” is part of my first possibility.
    Are you going for “three-value logic” as well? Or suggest that someone dying from AIDS is able to hide it? Fifty years ago many, possibly most, but not all, “queers” hid their sexual proclivities from public gaze but “Gay Pride” now leads most of them to be more outspoken than old-fashioned people like me. So I really cannot believe that the minority is two orders of magnitude greater than that suggested by what I have observed. A bit bigger because some people choose not to expose themselves to bigotry, certainly but two orders of magnitude? YMBJ

  64. “Game, set and match to BiG!”

    BiG has scored a few points, certainly. But I’ve learnt something new, so I consider myself up on the day. 🙂

    This sort of thing is what debate is for.

    “It makes no difference if the feels are biologically determined, it is still easier to treat those (if that Is what the patient wants)…”

    Is it? So far as I can see, and so far as my TG friends tell me, psychological treatment has no effect whatsoever, because it doesn’t change the biology causing the feelings. It’s like trying to persuade yourself you’re not hungry when starving, or don’t need to go for a piss when your bladder’s full, by counselling. Biological feelings are hardwired. You can’t be reasoned out of what you was never reasoned into in the first place.

    Could David Reimer have been saved by counselling, for example, to persuade him he was really female?

    Now, if you’ve got evidence that counselling works, that may be another thing. But I thought the reason all the psychological profession were going this way was that they’d found counselling didn’t work, but hormones and surgery do. They go for the treatment that actually works.

    “…than to change the entire basis of society and make us all chant the mantra “men are women and women are men but straight actors cannot play gay roles nor white chefs cook black food”.”

    That’s not the only alternative. I agree with you on making people chant mantras. That’s an entirely different question to making people miserable for living lifestyles you don’t agree with. It’s to confuse the authoritarians trying to regulate opinion with the (most of them) innocent people they’re regulating opinions on behalf of. Poor people are not identical to socialists. Women are not identical to feminists. Polar bear cubs are not identical to environmentalists. TGs are not identical to SJWs.

    “If it can’t be treated most people are still probably better off accepting the things they cannot change than changing the things they cannot accept.”

    It *can* be treated. Hormones and surgery and all the rest are an *effective* (but still very far from perfect) treatment for many.

    People are better off getting the best treatment available. The problem is that there are some *other* people who don’t believe it, don’t *like* it, and therefore want to *stop* it, even though they know virtually nothing about it. My argument is about people telling other people what they are and are not allowed to do with their own bodies.

    “This is not what anyone is objecting to and you know it.”

    This is *exactly* what you’re objecting to. You want to interfere in and overrule the treatment that other people’s children have chosen in conjunction with their parents and doctors because *you* consider it “ideology”. Butt out. It’s none of your business.

    But going back to the previous discussion, I’m seriously fascinated by this information that there are no human examples of gene alleles (apart from those on X and Y chromosomes) showing different distributions between the sexes.

    To be honest, I had thought that was the entire point of the trial – there was a gene that showed sex differences, and the FtM TGs showed the male distribution rather than the female distribution. I’m very interested to know why you reject the possibility out of hand, because my expectation would have been that this sort of thing ought to be quite common. If there’s a gene involved in sex differences that is either activated in one sex and not the other, or has different functions in the two sexes, then mutations in such a gene could (and often would) affect the embryonic viability of the two sexes differently. If the reduction in survival rate was the result of an otherwise successful change elsewhere, or if it increased survival for one sex while reducing it for the other, then the alleles would be expected to survive and spread for quite a while before being eliminated by the competition. I thought this would be routine. And this was essentially the same reason similar-sized geographic differences between interbreeding populations survived too.

    I’m interested to hear that this never happens, and I’m fascinated to know why not?

    “NO! Your so-called “third alternative” is part of my first possibility.”

    It’s not that BiG is blind, it’s that the effect is invisible. Even people with perfect sight cannot see invisible things. The issue is whether you conclude that the invisible things therefore cannot exist.

    “So I really cannot believe that the minority is two orders of magnitude greater than that suggested by what I have observed.”

    Back in the 1950-60s when homosexuality was illegal, or in the 1970s when it was only just legal but still heavily stigmatised, would you be prepared to believe that the number of known, out-in-the-open, not-just-close-friends-and-family gays was two orders of magnitude below the true number?

    Gays have been ‘out’ for three or four decades now. For TGs the process is only just starting.

  65. “psychological treatment has no effect whatsoever, because it doesn’t change the biology causing the feelings.”

    Thus surgical treatment also doesn’t change the biology causing the feelings.

    “making people miserable for living lifestyles you don’t agree with.”

    I have no problem with free adults chopping their dicks off, but I would find the sexual appropriation offensive in certain contexts (like trying to go to bed with me). That would make me miserable, and that is no nicer than me trying to make them miserable would be.

    “To be honest, I had thought that was the entire point of the trial – there was a gene that showed sex differences, and the FtM TGs showed the male distribution rather than the female distribution.”

    The sex difference was in the _controls_, the healthy subjects, not the patients. The “difference between patients and controls” was only due to the sleight of hand of choosing which of those two very different control sets for each comparison.

    There will definitely be examples of different sex distribution of certain monogenetically inherited disease states due to different penetrance between males and females. I think there is some suggestion this is the case for BRCA1, but as breast cancer is so rare in males it’s hard to be sure.

    But how could there be such in the population at large? Only through selective pressure. Looking for such among common polymorphisms is a fool’s errand, because even the slightest negative selective pressure exerted by a particular allele will see that allele reduced to being very rare within a few generations.

    There are very few monogenetically inherited diseases (haemophilia, sickle cell anaemia, cystic fibrosis) but there are a lot of polygenetically inherited traits and susceptibilities. Maybe gender dysphoria is monogenetically inherited, but you really wouldn’t expect to find it among common polymorphic genes, and you cannot (easily) identify polygenic contributors to a trait by doing unmatched case-control studies on small numbers. You would be better off looking at pedigrees and doing some old-fashioned linkage analysis, except of course it tends not to run in families. And that it doesn’t should tell you something to start with (it’s got less to do with genes than other factors).

    Besides which, recruiting multiple families and doing linkage analysis is so much more boring and hard work than getting a blood sample or mouth swab and running it through your flashy DNA sequencing machine. Any fool can do that and the nature of statistical testing is such that you can write a paper on a spurious result for every 20 comparisons you do. Just remember to throw in a few negative results for credibility. These papers are probably people in search of their PhD, and believe me such people are prepared to put data through extreme torture to make it squeal.

    Which is a shame as the obvious “nothing to see here” conclusion is more useful than getting a P=0.04 among multiple tests on post-hoc analyses of impluasible factors and claiming there is something to see.

  66. @ NiV
    I went to boarding school, I went to scout camps – which the media want us to believe are/were horbedsof homosexuality – and the only time someone tried to pick me up was in the public toilets in the High Street. So are you asking me whether I think that more than a few percent of homosexuals were caught and convicted in the 1950s to which the answer must be “No” – we should not have been warned about them if the true number was the same order of magnitude as those convicted? Or are you trying to suggest that TGs are as common as 1% to justify your use of 0.99 for q?
    Even if – and I don’t for a second believe it – my observation of the number of TGs *does* understate it by two orders of magnitude we should still have p closer to 0.01% than 0.01.

  67. “Thus surgical treatment also doesn’t change the biology causing the feelings.”

    Of course. The feelings remain the same, but the rest of the body comes more into alignment with them. It’s the conflict that causes distress.

    “I have no problem with free adults chopping their dicks off, but I would find the sexual appropriation offensive in certain contexts (like trying to go to bed with me). That would make me miserable, and that is no nicer than me trying to make them miserable would be.”

    A lot of women say the same about predatory men they’re not attracted to persistently trying to chat them up. For sex, informed consent is basic – but there’s no harm in asking.

    People are frequently offended or disgusted by the sight of other people doing things (or expressing opinions) they disapprove of. ‘Harm’ has to be more than offence/disgust, or anyone would be able to ban anything by saying they found it offensive.

    “The sex difference was in the _controls_, the healthy subjects, not the patients.”

    Yes, which is what I thought was intentional. That there’s a difference between the two controls because they have different sexes. Or why not merge them? Why have two control groups rather than one? Why keep the sexes separated, if you don’t expect sex to make any difference to the frequency? I presumed the idea was to measure the frequencies of the alleles in each sex, and then determine which sex the distribution in TGs more closely matched.

    “But how could there be such in the population at large? Only through selective pressure. Looking for such among common polymorphisms is a fool’s errand, because even the slightest negative selective pressure exerted by a particular allele will see that allele reduced to being very rare within a few generations.”

    I still don’t see why. I can think of several ways it could happen. I can’t think of any mechanism or principle that would stop them happening.

    Genes that serve different functions in the two sexes will likely have to make design compromises. What improves function for one sex degrades it for the other. The overall change in selective pressure from such a mutation may be very small compared to the effect on each sex separately, and of either sign. Alleles can spread because they happen to be a close neighbour of some other very successful allele. If there’s a plague that only a few lucky mutants survive, then any random allele on any other gene that those lucky individuals happened to also have will share that success, as the population expands again. Genes interact, so two near-neutral alleles that spread separately through the population can suddenly become negative when they meet. The environment plays a role – so an allele that works in one environment will suddenly stop working when the environment (diet or pathogens, for example) changes. Allele populations follow a (biased) random walk, bouncing both up and down – individual histories can take far longer than the average to vanish. And the slighter the advantages/disadvantages, the longer it takes for the allele to disappear. An allele with a consistent 51:49 disadvantage would take hundreds of generations to vanish – and one where there’s noise from all the neighbouring genes and environmental variations, it seems to me, should take longer. It’s only been about 160-320 generations since the end of the stone age.

    Also, it’s been argued that the reason the sexes are evenly split, despite the apparently massive selective advantage that a mostly-female population would have (one male to every hundred females would reproduce almost twice as fast), is that there are male-offspring-promoting alleles that would gain a selective advantage if individual males had more offspring than females. All the male-promoting and female-promoting genes cancel out overall in their effects, holding the sex ratio fixed. The argument makes no sense if there are no such genes.

    Saying that to look is a fool’s errand suggests that maybe we don’t know of any because nobody’s looked? I don’t expect that to be the case, but in any case I’m more interested in knowing if anyone *has* looked, and not found any.

    Genetics is certainly not my area of study, but I thought I at least understood the basics. I still don’t understand why it doesn’t happen. Do you have anything more “compelling”?

    PS. And thanks! This is much more interesting than the TG stuff!

  68. “Or are you trying to suggest that TGs are as common as 1% to justify your use of 0.99 for q?”

    No, I’m suggesting that TGs are as common as 1% because that’s what the surveys and statistical estimates say.

  69. “…that there’s a difference between the two controls because they have different sexes. ”

    No, repeat after me: _this cannot happen for autosomal loci, absent selective pressure_.

    If there were selective pressure we would know about it and the allele being selected against would fall in frequency. The fact that it’s sex hormones or whatever makes absolutely no difference. Read up on the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, it might help. If that and my explanations are insufficient you’re going to have to just take it on authority from someone with two degrees in genetics and several years’ research background in the field, including identifying genes involved in hereditary diseases.

    “Or why not merge them?”

    And make a doubly fucked-up control pool? Instead, why not select a control group in the standard way in the first place? Or use non-trans siblings, people referred to the clinic for other reasons?

    “Why have two control groups rather than one?”

    Because the first control group chosen turned out to give the “wrong” answer? Or maybe it’s not that mendacious – it’s just the groups of “random” “healthy” subjects they happened to have samples for in the freezer and consent forms on the hard drive. You might not believe it but I’ve seen both of those things happen several times.

    “Genes that serve different functions in the two sexes will likely have to make design compromises. What improves function for one sex degrades it for the other. ”

    Genetically, apart from the sex chromosomes, males and females are (for everyday values of “identical”), identical. The different male and female phenotypes are expressed by regulating the _expression_ of those genes, not their presence or absence. The only place presence or absence of the gene is determinant is on those distinct sex chromosomes. All of the rest of the stuff driving phenotypic difference is biochemistry, not genetics.

    “Also, it’s been argued that the reason the sexes are evenly split”

    It’s obvious why this is true for humans – the parental investment is vast. So vast that we even see rare polyandrous communities, but only in places where we can just about cling to the edge of existence. It’s actually far more interesting why this is the case for species with low parental investment. The answer still has to do with genetic fitness, but is rather more competitive than co-operative.

  70. @ NiV
    NO, no, no.
    Your references talk about a frequency of o(0.01%) or o(0.001%) The worst figure is “in the range of 1 in 2,900 to 1 in 100,000”, the other is “in the range 1 in 12,000 to 1 in 40,000”.
    You cannot, just cannot, use those to support a claim that p is 1% or 0.01. You’ve copied it down wrong.

  71. “Your references talk about a frequency of o(0.01%) or o(0.001%)”

    Look at the reference I gave in my 4:16 pm and tell me where it says it’s 0.01%.

    The number with the condition is not the same as the number presenting themselves for treatment, which is still rising rapidly.

  72. @ NiV
    The references you give are only in the 8.07 post and *they* say
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3402034/
    “The prevalence of transsexualism ranges from 1:2,900 to 1:100,000; and little is known about the etiology of this condition”

    “It is a rare condition, with incidence rates between 1:12,000 to 1:40,000”
    https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(07)01228-9/fulltext

    The other reference doesn’t give a frequency estimate that I can find.

    The 4.16 post doesn’t say it’s referring to anything and when I search through and track the article I find that it has a very, *very* sophisticated definition of “transgender” – 54.6% of self-declared transgender individuals were “exclusively attracted to the opposite sex” and 4.3% didn’t understand the question – the 41.3% minority probable includes bisexuals.

    Why don’t you read through it and ask yourself “what do these people mean by transgender”? It looks to me as if they include all tomboys who *really* wish that they were boys, not just want to play football or “cowboys and indians”.

  73. “The 4.16 post doesn’t say it’s referring to anything and when I search through and track the article…”

    Sigh. I said: “I’ve linked surveys on the question numerous times. For example.” That’s fairly obviously a referral to something.

    The article in question says in the ‘results’ section:

    Of the students (n = 8,166), 94.7% reported being non-transgender, 1.2% reported being transgender, 2.5% reported being not sure about their gender, and 1.7% did not understand the question.

    and later

    It is difficult to determine the proportion of adolescents from the overall population who are transgender, because definitions and the way in which samples are estimated vary considerably. To date, research on prevalence rates have tended to focus on people, typically in the adult population, who present for gender transition–related care (e.g., for sex reassignment surgery or for hormone therapy) at specialist gender clinics [10], where rates have been as low as 1:2,900 to 1:400,000 [11]. However, Olyslager and Conway [12] estimated that the number of people who identify as transgender is likely to be at least 1:100.

    I thought that would be clear enough?

    “I find that it has a very, *very* sophisticated definition of “transgender” – 54.6% of self-declared transgender individuals were “exclusively attracted to the opposite sex””

    That’s not sophisticated, and should be well-known. Gender identity is not the same thing as sexual orientation. Trans- people can be attracted to either gender, just like cis- people can. Gender identity and sexual orientation are controlled by different bits of the brain.

    The definition they use is given a bit later:

    Whether a student was transgender was measured by the question, “Do you think you are transgender? This is a girl who feels like she should have been a boy, or a boy who feels like he should have been a girl (e.g., Trans, Queen, Fa’faffine, Whakawahine, Tangata ira Tane, Genderqueer)?”

    In other words, the “sophisticated” definition of ‘transgender’ used was: people who answered ‘Yes’ to the question “Do you think you are transgender?”

    Sorry if I come across as overly-irritated, but it’s frustrating to think we’ve been discussing the topic this long and are still struggling with communicating basic stuff like this.

  74. Of course you are struggling because you are trying to say green is yellow is orange. Do I become an Olympic athlete by thinking I should have been an Olympic athlete? 1.5% of New Zealanders stated their religion as “Jedi Knight” which outnumbers those who thought that they should have been a girl instead of a boy or boy instead of as girl (and how many of those thought so because one or both of their parents wanted a girl or boy and got the other one?).
    You think it’s obvious that when you cite three references in one post and put “example” as a link to something unspecified in a later one that I should ignore the three stated references and search for an unknown item. Well,it ain’t and you aren’t the only person irritated.
    I quoted pieces from two of the three papers that you referenced – how obvious is it that I should ignore the papers that *you* chose to reference?
    As for the 4:16 survey
    “First, we are unsure about how the question of whether a student was transgender was interpreted by students overall. Although we undertook considerable consultation within both the adult and youth transgender communities, there was considerable debate about how best to ask this question. There may have been some ambiguity for individual students in interpreting the question, particularly students in the younger age groups, because 1.7% of participants did not understand the question.”
    Actually 1.7% SAID that they did not understand it. That is *not* the same as *only 1.7%* not understanding it
    The survey quotes (or clams to quote) Olyslager and Conway with a link that doesn’t work so that I cannot read their paper and also quotes a claim that 38% of the population is bisexual or lesbian or gay. May I suggest that you take that with a Siberian salt mine? Firstly, the world’s population is still growing and secondly the chances of such a large minority being constantly oppressed for millennia without a revolt are vanishingly small.
    Until I retire I shall not have time to “surf the web” to find all the research papers on all the topics ever to be discussed but since two out of four of your own selection of references suggest p is <0.01%, one says nothing and the other has a massive p=1.2% but using their own made-up definition of TG and more kids said "I do not understand the question" than said "I am TG" – that means that the data is not reliable (it could be correct but we should not rely on it because the potential error is greater than the reported number so it is NOT to be trusted). As the paper has some blatant arithmetical errors, doesn't know what a confidence interval is, treats male and female as one gender, and gives the options on one question only as "well" or "very well" I am disinclined to put any reliance on this. If you rely want to include it as an outlier, then perhaps *but* the quality is inadequate.
    I should hope that you know that one can expect one out of every twenty randomly chosen survey to show a result claimed to be significant on the p<0.05 level. You seem to have chanced upon one that claims a significant result but looks more like a spoof than a genuine piece of research.

  75. Of the [sample auto-selected for high tendencies toward idealistic peer pressure, hysteria and general larking-about / piss-taking, i.e. adolescent] students (n = 8,166), 94.7% reported being non-transgender, 1.2% reported being transgender, 2.5% reported being not sure about their gender, and 1.7% did not understand the question.

    Amazed it was that low, really. A higher percentage claimed to not understand the question than claimed to be in the group the size of which the question was meant to ascertain. Sadly, we cannot know the percentage that thought they understood the question when they didn’t, but we may have some indication of a margin of error.

    In a 2001 survey (n ≈ 52,000,000), 0.75% of respondents (n ≈ 390,000) identified as Jedi Knights.

    Actual Jedi Knights existing = 0

    So yay, surveys.

  76. “Of course you are struggling because you are trying to say green is yellow is orange.”

    No I’m not. I’ve explained multiple times, but you keep saying that, as if you were not listening to a thing I say. Is there any point in explaining again?

    “Do I become an Olympic athlete by thinking I should have been an Olympic athlete?”

    That’s NOT what I’m saying!

    “You think it’s obvious that when you cite three references in one post and put “example” as a link to something unspecified in a later one that I should ignore the three stated references and search for an unknown item. Well,it ain’t and you aren’t the only person irritated.”

    One comment was in reply to a question about evidence on genes, the other was in reply to a question about the prevalence of TGs being 1%. When searching for my references supporting the use of 1% prevalence, I’d have expected it to be obvious to anyone following the conversation the latter was meant.

    Or you could have just remembered the other hundred previous occasions when people had asked about the prevalence of transgenderism and I’d told them 1%, usually with links. If we have to start every single conversation with no memory of any previous conversation, like everyone had had a memory reset in the meantime, it’s obvious this is going to repeat endlessly, like that film Groundhog Day.

    “Until I retire I shall not have time to “surf the web” to find all the research papers on all the topics ever to be discussed”

    I wouldn’t dream of asking you to!

    BiG made the claim that it was “blindingly obvious” 99.99999% of people are not trans. I pointed out, as I have on many previous occasions, it was actually 99%. BiG asked why he had never met any. I explained he had, they just hadn’t told him. I was told that I couldn’t possibly know he had met any and I didn’t have any evidence, and I explained that his meeting them was just a probability argument, that with a 1% prevalence you would be virtually guaranteed to meet one after a few hundred acquaintances, and provided a link to the evidence for the 1% probability. You assert, again using as your basis your anecdotal experience of TGs you know about as a source of information on the number you don’t, repeating the same misunderstanding BiG had, so I patiently explain again that TGs often hide the fact. You again repeat your disbelief that the number of open, obvious TGs could be two orders of magnitude away from the true number, and ask whether I’m suggesting that TGs are that common to justify using 0.99 in my acquaintance calculation. I explain yet again that the 1% figure comes from the surveys. I’m not making up the 0.99^n thing just to support a claim that BiG has met some, and then making up the 1% to justify using 0.99 – and I’m a little hurt that you think I would! You then disagree – pointing to the statistics in the earlier set of references that talked about people seeking treatment, and ignoring the one I had previously provided talking about actual prevalence of the condition in support of the 1% claim. I give you a link to the correct reference, and repeat once again that I’m talking about the number with the condition, not the number presenting themselves for treatment. You once again quote the figures presenting themselves for treatment. I explain, fairly patiently and now at greater length that the paper does in fact report an observed 1.2% of TGs, and that it’s definition of TG is answering ‘Yes’ to the question “Do you think you are transgender?”, which is pretty hard to argue with. It even explains the treatment-vs-actual-incidence issue at length, which I also quote. And now you’re complaining about not having time to read every paper on the internet, and arguing that if some people claim not to understand the question, that somehow that means the numbers for options where people did understand the question must be wrong!

    Can you see why I might find all this a little frustrating?

    It’s simple. The prevalence of gender dysphoria is about 1%. Most of the people with it do not present themselves for treatment, and are not open and public about it to casual acquaintances. The information on their number comes from anonymous surveys and other statistical projections. The implication is that everyone has probably met several of them without knowing it.

    If you choose not to believe it, that’s up to you. But I’ve done everything I can to try to support my claims with the evidence and reasoning I’ve based them on, and virtually nobody else has provided anything. All we’ve got is a pile of personal anecdote about a different question entirely. (i.e. the number who have it versus the number who let you know.) And continuing confusion over the number with the condition versus the number being treated for it.

    If you don’t want to go to the effort of backing your opinions with evidence, the proper scientific position on them is “I don’t know.”

    So, I’m considering from now on doing what *you* all do and just asserting my opinions without bothering to back them up. Then you won’t have to read every paper on the internet – you’ll just have to take my word for it.

    What do you think? Would that help? 🙂

  77. “…repeat once again that I’m talking about the number with the condition, not the number presenting themselves for treatment.”

    And you repeat once again your begging of the question. You conflate people reporting having a “condition” with there actually being a condition. A number of people report – apparently genuinely believe – that they have been abducted by aliens. Some show physical markings, and their reports survive polygraphs and hypnosis. What number of people do you believe have actually been abducted by aliens?

    Many people here arguing against you, myself included, believe gender dysphoria is a symptom of mental illness, not an actual condition. If people report as identifying as something or other (alien abductee, opposite sex, Napoleon) it doesn’t mean they are those things. The further from those things they actually are, the more likely it is that they are actually somewhat of a stranger to reason.

    The vast majority of people in the world believe in the supernatural. Does the supernatural exist? Or does the vast majority have irrational belief systems?

  78. The 1% comes from *one* survey that you have quoted which is full of blatant errors and is contradicted by the other papers that you have referenced.
    Next: it’s not what you are saying but it *is* what the New Zealand survey is saying – anyone who *thinks* (at the time of asking) that they should have been the other gender *is* transgender. Well, I thought for years that I should have been an Olympic athlete (I even trained with one) but that didn’t make me one.
    I don’t remember the hundred previous occasions because I don’t normally join in conversations on the subject.
    The open TGs are not just two orders of magnitude away from 1% they are five (or at least four) orders of magnitude away and the claim that “straights” are only 62% lacks plausibility – how many gays and lesbians entered into hetero-sexual marriages? Even if you believe that *every single monk, nun and Roman Catholic priest* is LGBT you cannot get historic data on marriages to accommodate that claim.
    1% of those I have met is not “several” – it’s thousands of people. Grosssing up the two TG people I know/have known by a factor of 100 gives me 200.
    So (i) most of your references say TG is o(0.01%) or less; (ii) grossing up my observation by two orders of magnitude falls at least one order of magnitude short of 1% (iii) the New Zealand survey cannot get its sums right and more kids said that they didn’t understand the question than answered “yes” so the reliability of the numbers is pretty low/awful.
    I choose not to believe the sky is pink with polka dots and there is nothing you can do about that, either..

  79. “Many people here arguing against you, myself included, believe gender dysphoria is a symptom of mental illness, not an actual condition.”

    You’re entitled to your beliefs. But it usually takes a bit more evidence than: some beliefs are mental illnesses, this is a belief, therefore this is a mental illness.

    “If people report as identifying as something or other (alien abductee, opposite sex, Napoleon) it doesn’t mean they are those things.”

    It doesn’t mean they’re not, either.

    “The vast majority of people in the world believe in the supernatural. Does the supernatural exist? Or does the vast majority have irrational belief systems?”

    Or are the vast majority “mentally ill”?

    This is a common tactic. It used to be thought that atheists were mentally ill. Now there are people who consider the religious to be mentally ill. The Soviets incarcerated people in mental hospitals for being right-wing, and disagreeing with Communism – obvious signs of mental illness. And we recently had a post on somebody saying that ‘Climate Change Deniers’ were mentally ill and ought to belocked up.

    To the authoritarian mind, “mentally ill” means “believes things that in my own belief system are ‘obviously false’.”. It’s a handy device, because it means you can ignore what they say and throw them straight in the loony bin without having to argue your case in public debate.

    However, there’s nothing ‘obviously false’ about what they claim. It’s known that males and females have different mental characteristics and different brain anatomies. It’s known that mental characteristics are created by the brain. It’s known that there are certain mental characteristics, like attraction to the opposite sex or a desire for food, that are biologically inbuilt – that are not taught by society or reasoned out, and on which you cannot be persuaded otherwise. It’s known that there are two of these sex-linked anatomies, that everybody contains a complete blueprint for both, and that their development is controlled by a complex cascade of signalling hormones released both in the womb and at puberty. It’s known that nature is imperfect, and organisms often contain faults and flaws, and that this principle must apply to brain anatomy as much as to the anatomy elsewhere. It’s known that homosexuality, one sex having the sexual attraction characteristics of the other sex, is startlingly common. It’s not ‘obviously false’ that men and women have different minds because of different brain anatomy, and that errors in their development can lead to male minds in female bodies and vice versa. A five-year-old is not going to explain it that way – they’ll just say they ‘feel’ that they’re a boy, even though they can see very well that they’re in a girl body. But there’s a perfectly rational explanation for what they say.

    The issue is not whether people believe things that other people believe to be ‘obviously false’, the issue is whether you base your belief on *evidence*. When speaking of their own internal mental state, people have the evidence of their inner senses. So while they might not have evidence they *are* Napoleon, they are certainly supremely qualified to report that they *feel* like they’re Napoleon. That would be a true statement, that they are reporting accurately and rationally.

    However, looking on from the outside we don’t have access to these inner senses, so we don’t have the same evidence they do. So somebody claiming to have both the mind and body of Napoleon, you can easily refute by pointing to the body. But someone claiming only to have the mind of Napoleon but in a different body, you can only check by examining their mental characteristics. Do they have Napoleon’s memories, his tactical genius, his likes and dislikes? If somebody claims to have the mind of Napoleon in a different body, you’d have to be an idiot to try to refute this by saying “But you don’t look like Napoleon.” Similarly, for TGs, you can try to refute them by testing their mental characteristics, you can’t refute it by stupid statements like “But you’ve got a dick.”

    Can people distinguish male and female behaviour in children? Let’s take a different example for illustration – that of the Guevedoces:

    Johnny, once known as Felicita, remembers going to school in a little red dress, though he says he was never happy doing girl things.

    “I never liked to dress as a girl and when they bought me toys for girls I never bothered playing with them – when I saw a group of boys I would stop to play ball with them.”

    When he became obviously male he was taunted at school, and responded with his fists.

    “They used to say I was a devil, nasty things, bad words and I had no choice but to fight them because they were crossing the line.”

    We also filmed with Carla, who at the age of seven is on the brink of changing into Carlos. His mother has seen the change coming for quite a while.

    “When she turned five I noticed that whenever she saw one of her male friends she wanted to fight with him. Her muscles and chest began growing. You could see she was going to be a boy. I love her however she is. Girl or boy, it makes no difference.”

    Now, as young children they have the external appearance of girls, they have all society telling them they’re girls, with all the usual social pressure to conform to the norm. Nobody *tells* them they’re actually boys. (Without genetic tests which the locals don’t have access to, nobody can possibly know.) They don’t reason it out. They’re certainly not doing it as part of a Cultural Marxist plot to overthrow Western civilisation by redefining reality! And yet, somehow, they know they’re actually boys, and behave recognisably as such.

    Are they ‘mentally ill’, to behave like they’re mentally male inside when they obviously don’t have a dick? And do they cease to be ‘mentally ill’ when they grow one? Would psychiatric counselling be able to change their minds, do you think?

    No, you can believe what you like, but it’s obvious to everyone else that sexual orientation and gender identity are wired into the brain by the effect of pre-natal hormones on development, and that the process can sometimes go wrong and use the other pattern. They’re not mentally ill. If anyone around here is mentally ill, it’s those who insist against all reason and with no evidence that this cannot be so, and that external appearance must necessarily reflect their mental status.

    A lot of this, I suspect, can be traced back to religiously-inspired traditions. And do you really want to start a conversation about ‘mental illness’ and ‘delusion’ in that context?

  80. “It’s known that males and females have different mental characteristics and different brain anatomies.”

    The first is easily observable but the second is so invisible that actual neuroscientists can’t agree that there is any objective difference.

    “If somebody claims to have the mind of Napoleon in a different body, you’d have to be an idiot to try to refute this by saying ‘But you don’t look like Napoleon’ “

    Well no, that would not (in isolation) be a successful approach (because they’re mentally ill). I would (gently, because they’re mentally ill) steer them away from their delusion by reinforcing reality. I wouldn’t give them command of armies to go marching across Europe.

    “A lot of this, I suspect, can be traced back to religiously-inspired traditions. And do you really want to start a conversation about ‘mental illness’ and ‘delusion’ in that context?”

    That might be interesting. Religiosity is so prevalent that it’s difficult not to conclude that it has been selected for. Most people appear to have a tendency to believe things for which there is no evidence except the belief itself and subsequent rationalisation thereof. If not a god, it’ll likely be some form of “[…..]ism” that reality is expected to conform to.

    Taking you at your word, your irrational belief system appears to be libertarianism. As isms go that’s a pretty harmless one as the sillier ideas won’t take wider hold because they won’t assist authoritarians much. But they’ll have a hold over you believers, and if some subject can be attached to an ideal then it’ll get fought for.

    So your ideals require you to inform us that we shouldn’t oppress “trans gender” people by enforcing our norms upon them, and you therefore latch onto any passing bit of scientific flotsam that conveniently supports your belief that the trans gender actually exist.

    Meanwhile, another irrational belief grouping (call them “cultural Marxists” for convenience) has also adopted the trans gender cause. Now these guys really are authoritarians; nasty ones. They’re insisting that we conform to the current gender dogma (57 genders but no sexes) and are attempting to punish us if we do not comply. This is a deliberate tactic – making people deny the truth.

    If it was just you rambling harmlessly on in these out of the way comments threads, you wouldn’t get anything like the push back you do. But we’re not going to patronise you because we cannot afford to let Ecks’s “CM scum” win this.

    And some number of fragile, mixed up individuals are going to get caught up and hurt. And that’s just a shit.

  81. “Well no, that would not (in isolation) be a successful approach (because they’re mentally ill).”

    No, because it would be illogical.

    “I would (gently, because they’re mentally ill) steer them away from their delusion by reinforcing reality.”

    Whose reality? Yours?

    “That might be interesting. Religiosity is so prevalent that it’s difficult not to conclude that it has been selected for. Most people appear to have a tendency to believe things for which there is no evidence except the belief itself and subsequent rationalisation thereof.”

    Indeed. And then they call those beliefs “reality” and gently steer anyone who doesn’t agree with them away from their “delusions”, reinforcing what they call “reality”.

    “So your ideals require you to inform us that we shouldn’t oppress “trans gender” people by enforcing our norms upon them, and you therefore latch onto any passing bit of scientific flotsam that conveniently supports your belief that the trans gender actually exist.”

    My ideals require me to defend freedom of belief generally, whether it’s true or not. I believe in freedom of religion, for example, even though I consider most religious beliefs to be obviously made up. So no, I’m not “latching on” to science because I need its support for my principles.

    “Meanwhile, another irrational belief grouping (call them “cultural Marxists” for convenience) has also adopted the trans gender cause. Now these guys really are authoritarians; nasty ones.”

    Yes, agreed. All authoritarianism is nasty.

    “They’re insisting that we conform to the current gender dogma (57 genders but no sexes) and are attempting to punish us if we do not comply. This is a deliberate tactic – making people deny the truth.”

    No. First, they’re making people deny what they believe – which is not necessarily the truth. For example, they make the religious deny their religious beliefs and rituals, but those beliefs are not true.

    And second, they’re not doing it without reason – it’s part of a larger strategy. As I’ve said before, they look out for where the norms are changing. They pick formerly persecuted groups that the public have new sympathy for, but that their ideological enemies on the authoritarian right can be relied upon to kick up about. They stir up a fight in the cover group’s support, knowing that the right will oppose them, which will turn the public against them, and then they use that to justify seizing power and taking away people’s freedom in order to fight this evil.

    They started with the poor, of course. The public had sympathy with the poor, the traditionalists on the right didn’t, so they could paint the right-wing as selfish and greedy, and use it to justify taking their wealth to be redistributed. The right fell straight in to the trap.

    They did it with women. They demanded equality on behalf of women, and when the right argued, they introduced discrimination laws and sexist speech restrictions to combat it, using right-wing sexists as their justification. The right fell straight in to the trap.

    They did it with the disabled. They did it with black people, and racists. They did it with homosexuals – despite the left’s history as some of the worst abusers of gays when that was what won public sympathy. They use the “But think of the children!” tactic regularly. They’ve even done it with tree frogs and baby polar bears! The common theme is there’s always a new sympathy group the right can be induced to attack, which justifies society giving them power to fight the evil racist, sexist, homophobic, environmentally-destructive, rich, selfish right-wingers. And the right-wing are forced to either give up their cherished beliefs (in white-supremacy, male-supremacy, … etc.), or hand over yet more ammunition for the authoritarian left to bash them with. The left have no particular interest in the former – what the hell do they care about a tiny 1% minority? – that’s just the goad with which they push the right towards the latter: more power for them.

    “But we’re not going to patronise you because we cannot afford to let Ecks’s “CM scum” win this.”

    But you *are* letting them win this!

    If members of the public ever question their need to abridge free speech or freedom of belief, they simply pull up some examples of “hate speech” and “racism” and “transphobia” and “sexism” and so on, and say “*This* is what we’re fighting! *This* is why freedom of speech has to be limited!” And the public are persuaded.

    And the basic problem is that you are not fighting for the general principles of freedom we can all share, but only freedoms for your own point of view, on which the general public don’t agree with you. (Exactly why those topics were selected!) You are not fighting the enemies of freedom generally, you instead fight only for your own point of view, or worse, fighting the persecuted sympathy groups they hide their campaign behind. You fight on ground of their choosing, against targets of their choosing, which they have specially selected so that fighting them loses you the maximum amount of sympathy.

    It’s idiotic! But like all authoritarians, you’re too attached to your own power to enforce your norms on others ever to let it go. Ecks’s “CM scum” are going to win this, and you’re going to help them do it.

    “And some number of fragile, mixed up individuals are going to get caught up and hurt. And that’s just a shit.”

    It is.

    And so will everyone else, when yet more freedoms are lost and yet another new set of norms are enforced for yet another cycle of history. There’s a road out, but nobody will take it. And that’s just a shit too.

  82. “Whose reality? Yours?”

    We’re talking about an example of someone who believes they are Napoleon. Do you seriously believe there is any reality in which this person is actually Napoleon Bonaparte?

    “But like all authoritarians, you’re…”

    I’m not an authoritarian, I’m just an arse-scratching grumpy old man with opinions. You are seeing the world through your religiously held ism prism. The real world isn’t shaped and coloured how you think it is.

    More later, if being arsed occurs.

  83. “We’re talking about an example of someone who believes they are Napoleon. Do you seriously believe there is any reality in which this person is actually Napoleon Bonaparte?”

    History is *full* of beliefs that people thought were every bit as certain as that!

    The problem is that you have to design a process that will work for *any* claim, or proposal. That the psychiatrist with the power to commit you is personally certain that you’re wrong would be highly dangerous. People who are wrong about stuff believe sincerely that they are right, just as the people who are right do. You can’t tell from the inside. (And bear in mind here that psychiatrists are likewise certain that transphobia is delusional, and governments that catastrophic anthropogenic climate change is real…)

    So you have to design your process so that even the Napoleon claim is given a fair and open-minded hearing, so that you can be assured that your beliefs about TGs or climate change will be, too.

    For what it’s worth, I can think of several possible ways for someone to claim they are Napoleon and not be mentally ill. The simplest of which is that they are brought up from birth being told that they are by everyone they meet, and in every book or TV show they are allowed to see. Compared to many of the beliefs children acquire through being brought up in a religion (like reincarnation, for example…?), being Napoleon is a pretty small claim to swallow! Ask the Dalai Lama!

  84. NiV’s observation that trannies only exist to fuck the right is one of the most perceptive things I have seen in a while. The liberal right (as we, spectrum of classical liberals are, from the current perspective, “right wing”) doesn’t care about the occasional oddball having a public struggle with reality (as Monty Python once put it), it does care about its own children being propagandized into irreversible decisions to reject reality.

    The tranny thing is a sideshow because, in adopting the cause of radical Islam, the left has gone one ally too far, and picked an ideology to defend that will ultimately destroy everything the left wants.

  85. “NiV’s observation that trannies only exist to fuck the right is one of the most perceptive things I have seen in a while.”

    That’s not what NiV says. He says that trannies are real and that by not recognising and accommodating them we hand the left a victory because the wider public will side with the trannies and thus the left who stand up for them. He presents a history of victories for the left over time because the right stood against all sorts of groups.

    I can see what he’s on about but I think he’s missing an important point. All those previous groupings (with perhaps the exception of teh gayerz) were natural candidates for sympathy and support. The reactionary conservatives lost those fights, because they should have by most people’s sense of fair play.

    But the whole gender game is absurd and ludicrous and naturally wrong. Most people think it’s utter wank (because it is) and the propaganda isn’t working. This is a battle the good guys can win. The cultural Marxists are on the back foot, and now they’re busy shooting themselves in the other foot with Islam – another losing issue.

    Kick the fuckers.

  86. “So you have to design your process so that even the Napoleon claim is given a fair and open-minded hearing, so that you can be assured that your beliefs about TGs or climate change will be, too.”

    I think we can safely discriminate here and dispense with deliberations over things we know to be unreal (Napoleon, Jedis, etc) without threatening freedom to disagree over things that are disputed. A system that acts like the People’s Front of Judea isn’t going to function.

    “For what it’s worth, I can think of several possible ways for someone to claim they are Napoleon and not be mentally ill. The simplest of which is that they are brought up from birth being told that they are by everyone they meet, and in every book or TV show they are allowed to see.”

    You really are weird, NiV. The simplest explanation would be that claiming to be Napoleon might give the claimant some advantage (hiding out in the mental health services, perhaps; or gathering a group of hopelessly impressionable followers to exploit). Your baroque indoctrination conspiracy is a truly bizarre suggestion.

    But do keep pushing the Napoleon angle. You’re onto a winner.

  87. “The reactionary conservatives lost those fights, because they should have by most people’s sense of fair play.”

    But back then the reactionary conservatives thought those issues were absurd and ludicrous and naturally wrong too. Equal rights for women were considered ludicrous, at one time.

    “Most people think it’s utter wank (because it is) and the propaganda isn’t working.”

    It depends which bit you’re talking about. Most people in the UK think discrimination against TGs is wrong, and support measures to prevent that. But that doesn’t mean they support all the ‘victimhood poker’, insistence on weird pronouns, outlawing of heretical opinion, special privileges, positive discrimination, no-platforming, Twitter-mob harassment, and similar lunacy. (Most of which is perpetrated by privileged cisgender kids and lefty academics playing political games.)

    In the same way, the UK public *does* support equal rights for women, but they don’t support radical feminism, academics paid to lecture on “women’s studies”, whatever that is, the feminist re-writing of history (and other subjects), use of weird vocabulary like “womyn”, and proposals to ban men from behaving like men.

    The public make a distinction between the sympathy group and the nutty politics that grows up around them.

    You can oppose radical Marxist feminism without insulting women, or going back to the way they were treated in the 1930s. It’s the same principle. Pick your fights wisely.

    “Your baroque indoctrination conspiracy is a truly bizarre suggestion.”

    But clearly based on the real-world case of the Dalai Lama, who is claimed to be the 74th incarnation of Avalokiteśvara, and the 14th since Gendun Drub (1391–1474), the first to take that title. They are all the same single person, it is claimed. I presume he actually believes it. Are religious beliefs evidence of ‘mental illness’?

  88. @ NiV
    Equal rights are not identical rights.
    Hence “never hit a girl”, “women and children first”, “give up your seat to a lady”, earlier retitrement age, widows’ pensions but no widowers’ pensions, the NI system set up with a deliberate built-in subsidy from bachelors to women, no women conscripted/press-ganged, no women working undeground in coa mines ….

    NO, *identical* rights were considered ridiculous.

  89. Surely “never hit a girl” changes to “never hit anyone”, etc.

    Why should boys not get the same right not to be hit?

  90. @ NiV
    1. Because then you cannot hit him back
    2. Because I am exampling the rights of girls that compensated for or, at least offset, the advantages of being a boy
    3. Civilisation. There was a limit on how obnoxious a boy could be before someone (even someone about half his size) would have a good go at giving him a bloody nose – or, preferably and more commonly, offerring to do so.
    One of my childhood friends (whom I cannot ever remember being in a fight because he was a nice guy) told me that he had used “step outside and say that” on a number of occasions and just stayed in the bar to finish his drink and chat while the yob went outside.

  91. 1. The same reasoning applies to girls.

    2. Plenty of boys didn’t get the advantages, but still had to suffer the offset. Doesn’t seem like much of an advantage to me.

    3. The same reasoning applies to girls.

    “Never hit anyone” is civilisation. “Boys are expected to settle their disagreements with violence” not so much. It means that the biggest, strongest, most violent boys are also allowed to get away with being a lot more obnoxious, while smaller, weaker, less combative ones have to swallow it. And girls get to be as obnoxious as they like. Which way do you think the incentives push society there – towards civilisation, or away from it?

    I’m not going to argue the point any further – especially as it supports what I said earlier. I don’t personally think changing “never hit a girl” to “never hit anyone” is an absurd, ludicrous, naturally wrong notion, but it’s clear that people in the past (and perhaps a few still in the present) had reasons to think it was.

  92. @ NiV
    Forbidding the victim to hit back just makes it easier, and encourages the bully who doesn’t care about the rules.
    I *never* said “boys are expected to settle their disagreements with violence” – that is blatantly contradictory with my post. What I said is that the ability to threaten responding to violence (physical or other) with violence massively reduced the amount of bullying by those who didn’t care about the rules. I gave you an example of my friend who dealt with it by inviting the yob to step outside (I think in most cases the yob just shut up instead of going outside).
    I was small – just over 8 stone at uni: how big were you? But because I was not prepared to swallow it I did stop big violent boys from terrorising myself and my friends.
    There are two ways to stop someone being appallingly obnoxious – convert him/her to Christianity (or Buddhism) or provide him/her with a disincentive. Saying “never hit anyone” only stops the good guys/gals hitting back.
    Admittedly there was nothing to stop girls being obnoxious – we were just expected to put up with it.
    If you are unaware that there were more advantages to being a boy than physical strength then you really, really need to ask someone a bit older. There were also disadvantages – find about a little before debating my childhood.
    PS I do mean ask someone – not read a book

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