City Journal Spring 2014

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Larry Sand
Girls, Boys, Both, Neither « Back to Story

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I understand the problem here, but I also see the dangers of male perverts being able to freely inhabit the girls bathroom just for kicks. It's also terrible for young teen girls just coming into their changing bodies. Actually, the whole plan sounds pretty cruel and thoughtless. Typical totalitarianism- take away people's personal/sexual dignity before they are too old to know what has happened- and you have a slave.
Supporters of AB1266 thus far have not shown that the law will not alienate children from their parents. This is the real concern that thus far has not been given voice, as supporters have been content to deal with the more obvious but less dangerous privacy objections. But the risk of harm to children is potentially quite serious. AB1266 exposes children to medical "known unknowns" concerning this still under-explored area of biology and mental health. Enforcement guidelines currently in place leave children to face this brave new world without their parents.

The Los Angeles Unified School District Reference Guide dated February 15, 2005, titled "Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students--Ensuring Equity and Nondiscrimination," discourages involving students' parents in "gender expression" and "identity issues." It states that "school personnel should not disclose a student's transgender status to others, including parents." On those occasions when parent's "must" be included on matters involving their transgender or gender nonconforming child, "'best practice' would dictate that the student should be consulted first to determine an appropriate way to reference the student's gender identity." The LAUSD "strongly suggest[s] that teachers privately ask" children how to address them when dealing with their parents. If parents do seek to affirm their child's biological identity, schools are encouraged to "refer families to appropriate outside counseling services." It is not clear whether school are legally allowed to support parents' decisions in the event such counseling is obtained.

The intent appears to be that school personnel will support childrens' efforts to keep their gender identity a secret from their parents. This is a significant subterfuge as even the LAUSD implicitly acknowledges that gender accommodation should be made on the basis of "the gender identity that the student consistently asserts at school." According to the Transgender Law Center using the bathroom of your choice "is incredibly important" because it "show[s] support for you" and "sends a strong message ... that you are being accepted for who you are." Parents should be involved in such "incredibly important" actions that "support" and "send strong messages" to their children. Schools ought not alienate children from their parents.

Parents are particularly important because gender identity still presents so many difficult questions that doctors and scientists -- not to mention policy makers and school administrators -- are struggling to answer. Johns Hopkins' former Psychiatrist-in-Chief Paul McHugh wrote in his 2004 article Surgical Sex (http://www.firstthings.com/article/2009/02/surgical-sex--35) that many patients were given sex-reassignment surgeries only to discover their doctors had only treated their symptoms while their underlying emotional and relationship problems persisted. "The hope that they would emerge now from their emotional difficulties to flourish psychologically had not been fulfilled." Dr. McHugh concluded that by focusing on the external instead of the internal Johns Hopkins "was fundamentally cooperating with mental illness." Johns Hopkins stopped prescribing sex-change operations. Dr. McHugh urges doctors to discourage surgical sex-reassignment.

Children require even more patience and deliberation. Dr. McHugh exhorts parents to help their children understand that "aspects of sexual identity will emerge as he or she grows," and that "[s]ettling on what to do about it should await maturation and the child’s appreciation of his or her own identity." "[G]ood parenting," Dr. McHugh goes on, "means helping the child through the medical and social difficulties presented by the genital anatomy."

The arguments offered by transgender activists to counter the caution prescribed by Dr. McHugh are animated less by fact than by "prejudice in favor of the idea that nature is totally malleable." Leon Kass of the University of Chicago and Harvey Mansfield of Harvard University submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court cautioning that social scientists are sometimes heavy on the “social” and light on the “science”:
“The social and behavioral sciences,” they write, “have a long history of being shaped and driven by politics and ideology.” They note pointedly that two generations ago, the “scientific consensus,” as represented by the American Psychiatric Association, was that homosexuality was a “mental disorder.” The consensus was publicly reversed in 1973, and science, to paraphrase Mae West, had nothing to do with it: Both positions, before and after, were determined by political and cultural considerations.”
http://m.weeklystandard.com/articles/science-same-sex-marriage_708842.html?nopager=1
The Chronicle of Higher Education similarly observed (http://chronicle.com/article/As-Dutch-Research-Scandal/129746):
“Psychology, he argued in a recent blog post and an interview, has become addicted to surprising, counterintuitive findings that catch the news media’s eye, and that trend is warping the field. . . . In a forthcoming paper, also to appear in Psychological Science, Leslie K. John, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School, and two co-authors report that about a third of the 2,000 academic psychologists they surveyed admit to questionable research practices. Those don’t include outright fraud, but rather such practices as stopping the collection of data when a desired result is found, or omitting from the final paper some of the variables tested.”
In the case of AB1266 and the LAUSD’s parental-exclusion policy that seems poised to become the model for the state, supporters of the law must answer whether the policy will glibly obliterate established notions of gender and sexuality even while psychiatrists are working through many difficult questions about pathologies concerning human gender and sexuality. What happens to children who are confused? Schools now offer them showers and bathrooms and will aid and abet children’s alienation from their parents. After graduation, then what? Hormone therapy, perhaps even gender reassignment surgery? Parents will have found out too late. And then what, after the same problems with relationships, work, and emotions continue, having received treatment only of the symptoms – if bathroom autonomy and happy talk from school administrators can be credited as “treatment” – and none of the underlying causes? Has anyone thought through these questions? Did anyone even ask?

The concern is that some children may need professional help and that this feel-good policy only assuages the symptoms — and indeed may collaborate in hiding the symptoms from parents — while failing to afford that help to children or their parents. These policies have all the marks of feeling good without the serious work in assuring they’re actually doing good.
Using examples like clown fish or geckos to illustrate gender identity issues is the height of hypocrisy because vegans, who most likely are on the same side of the fence with the gender identity folks, conveniently forget about the natural inclinations of all meat-eating animals when advocating for their food preferences. Anyway, clown fish and geckos aren't 'gay' in the same way that 'gay' people are 'gay' in that they don't have a special culture or go watch the shopping channels. I'll be very interested when scientists discover that geckos have been dating clown fish.
Thank you for explaining the true purpose behind the radical political activity in California. Praise God for each signature to get this on the ballot so all can express their opinion. Lord willing, may those with common sense outnumber those who lack common sense.
This is just another reason parents should pull their children out of public schools.
So for all those trying to spin the law and defend the leftists of CA here:

A 16 years old transgender (born male, identifies as female) uses the girl's locker room, because, well, this law says he-she should and can. The 16 year-old trans then looks over, sees some half-naked ladies changing after a practice, and approaches and even touches them inappropriately, because, well, this is still a 16 year he-she with raging hormones, a man's equipment and a propensity for girls - even though he identifies as a woman. You cool with it? You cool with exposing your daughter to that kind of harassment - all because the state says it is to "protect" the rights of a trans? Now, I realize this scenario isn't super-likely in every school. But, to quote Joe Biden during failed gun-control, if we can "save just one life" - then we have to act, right?

Why can't we have sane laws that protect everyone's privacy in a sane, respectable manner? And why do tax dollars have to go towards something like this? And why are the teacher's unions interested in it? Probably because it means more jobs. California schools will need "gender counselors" now you know. More teachers needed.
Sick culture/sick minds seeking mandated government enforced "normalization".
Give em all a bucket behind a canvas tarp twice a day. It's cheap and it works.
The people of California have elected a Democratic government. The Republican party is utterly powerless in Sacramento. The people of California want to allow aliens to vote; they want high taxes and regulation; they want transgender bathrooms; they have made these and many other cutting-edge choices. Who are we, who live in the fly-over zone, to question the decisions of a free people? California is and of right ought to be a free and independent state. I don't care what they do. I don't live or vote there. Furthermore, I enjoy watching. I feel the same way about France.
Just one more reason why K-12 public education in California is so stupid and incapable of teaching kids anything of real value.
Blasphemer wrote:
"Further, California's leftist kooks use the phrase "assigned at birth," when XX or XY are determined at the very first cell."

Or XXY. Or X. Or XX/XY. Or dozens of other alternatives. 46,XX and 46,XY are the most common though by far.

But what does that have to do with it? 1 in 300 men don't have the usual 46,XY chromosomes most men and some women do. Rarely, so do the daughters these women give birth to. As in this case:

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jan;93(1):182-9

A 46,XY mother who developed as a normal woman underwent spontaneous puberty, reached menarche, menstruated regularly, experienced two unassisted pregnancies, and gave birth to a 46,XY daughter with complete gonadal dysgenesis.

I know some people say that anyone who believes in this science stuff - that the Sun doesn't go round the Earth for example as the Good Book says - is a "leftist kook". But most people, including quite a few right of centre, are not quite so clueless.
I'm glad the author is a *retired* teacher.

Goodness knows how much harm he might do, not just to Trans kids, but Intersex ones.

You know - those kids born with obvious physical anatomy neither wholly male nor female. Technically, 1 in 60, but in only about 1 in 1000 is it totally obvious.

So many hundreds in the California school system. A dozen in any large high school.

Some of whom will change sex at puberty quite naturally, due to 5ARD, 17BHSD, 3 BHSD or any of a number of other syndromes.

It used to be that such cases would be handled quietly, with no fuss, a matter of medical privacy. But in these days of databases and religious busibodies - and teachers like the author who are biologically clueless, still believing in the simplistic notions taught at church school - this is no longer possible.

Science 1974 Dec 27; 186 (4170): 1213-5

In an isolated village of the southwestern Dominican Republic, 2% of the live births were in the 1970's, guevedoces (actually male pseudohermaphrodites). These children appeared to be girls at birth, but at puberty these 'girls' sprout muscles, testes, and a penis. For the rest of their lives they are men in nearly all respects. Their underlying pathology was found to be a deficiency of the enzyme, 5-alpha Reductase.

That's 5ARD. We've known about this for nearly 40 years now. Rare in the US, but more common than having red hair in some parts of the world.

As for Transsexuality - while there are still lots if superstitions about this, that it's caused by being molested, NOT being molested, demonic possession, a distant father, an over-familiar father, etc... we've known the anatomical issue here for nearly 20 years.

Nature (1995) 378:68–70.

Our study is the first to show a female brain structure in genetically male transsexuals and supports the hypothesis that gender identity develops as a result of an interaction between the developing brain and sex hormones

Just a thought -- If the initiative folks submitted 600K gross signatures for 500K VALID sigs, they probably didn't qualify the initiative -- unless they validated all the sigs beforehand. Anyone know if such was the case?
If TH2737's nutcase arguments are to be followed, then why stop at "gender"? Why not that other part of the EEOC form: ethnicity? If someone really identifies with a different ethnicity (say, a haole identifying as a Hawaiian), should that person be allowed such legal identification?

Further, California's leftist kooks use the phrase "assigned at birth," when XX or XY are determined at the very first cell.
This is insane. How many times have any one of us been confused about one thing or another. Legislators and other kooks are encouraging fallacies that will destroy civilization as well as all these deceived children! There are many examples but one that has always been a puzzle to me are people that are Anorexic. They can be nothing but skin stretched over bones, yet the "think" they are fat. Should we encourage that by telling them they are fat. One day I was making the bed and my vision started blurring. I was getting concerned I was having a stroke. I was about to call 911 when I reached up and discovered one of my lenses had fallen out! Get a grip, people! I'm also concerned who the people are that are pushing these laws. Many children that are confused are so because they have been molested. I fear that some of the "pushers" are setting up victims to feed their own sickness. In CA they are making a hero of a pedophile supporter of Jim Jones who took all those people to Guyana, caused a Congressman to be murdered, and was responsible for "confusing" about a thousand people to kill themselves and their children. Why are we letting "confused" people run our schools?
Bruce William Smith November 27, 2013 at 12:22 PM
This new law is an invasion of privacy of the most basic kind, consistent with the dictum of that originator of 20th-century state totalitarianism, Lenin: "We deny all rights to privacy." But the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that private schools cannot be outlawed in the United States, and this new California law must result in driving a number of California families out of its state schools in favour of private ones that respect the right of the majority of the population to non-invaded privacy in this most visceral matter.
Perhaps the problem began with the now near-universal substitution of "gender" for "sex."

Bathrooms are segregated by sex, not gender. It's not a question of gender identification but a question of physical equipment.

A boy does not become a girl merely by thinking this is so anymore than I can become a lion, or superman, merely by thinking it is so. A boy may be feminine, certainly, yet a feminine boy remains a boy- because his genitalia say so, and because every cell in his body declares, "XY- see, I'm a boy!"

Sex is the physical reality. Bathrooms don't say "feminine" and "masculine" on the doors.

Now it may well be difficult for a gender-confused boy to use the correct bathroom for his sex and, if so, perhaps he needs extra support from school staff. But that's not what's being proposed here, is it?
So many questions that the author poses are already answered if he had bothered to do any research in the matter. He also suggests trans kids are gender confused. They're not. Do some research for crying out loud. How pathetic!
Gender dysphoria is a mental illness and should be treated as such. Yes, people who suffer from it deserve to be treated like human beings, with charity. However, it is not kindness to enable delusional and self-destructive behavior. We cannot let the inmates run the asylum and play along with delusions.
A few points to consider:
1) Gender identity and sexuality are two very different concepts. Trans folk run the gamut of sexualities, just like non-trans people.
2) Biological sex and gender identity are also two very different concepts. Psychologists will tell you that sex is what's between your legs, and gender ID is what's between your ears.
3) Brain scans of people with gender dysphoria have revealed that their minds more closely resemble those of the gender with which they identify, rather than their biological sex. This condition is very real, and very serious. Nobody asks to be born trans. Most pray everyday that they weren't.
4) The "Why can't they just use a separate bathroom?" argument basically relies on the concept of separate but equal being OK. It's not. Anyway, I've never been in a public restroom at a school or anywhere else where people walk around showing off what's between their legs. The whole bathroom argument against trans equality is a red herring designed to distract attention from the real issue: everyone deserves to be treated like a human being, even trans folk.
California: Legislating its way to hell.
The last two sentences of the piece are perhaps ironically written, since the new law does exactly the opposite by placing all the children in psychological (and potentially physical) danger. And that is its purpose--to confuse children's minds at as young an age as possible so as to frustrate parents' efforts to teach them right from wrong.

A wise one said it were better that a millstone be hung around your neck and you be drowned in the ocean than that you be allowed to harm a child. I believe there will be a judgment day. It will not go well for these people.
If, ““Gender identity is a spectrum ... “ then, inrvitable is, “ ... an adult political agenda by special interests [that] wish to use our public schools as a tool to strip gender and gender differences from societal norms. In the process, the privacy and security interests of all students, including those who are transgendered, are compromised.”

Humans are not fundamentally defined by ‘gender,’ but sex - male or female. The pc and feminist war against biology and Nature must be terminated.

Jeffrey Asher
“A pupil shall be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.”

I love baseball, but am not good enough to play on the boy's baseball team. Suppose I am good enough to play on the girl's softball team. Can you guess which “gender identity” I will become?