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Source: (consider it) Thread: Why do some Evangelicals have a problem with transgender?
Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Helen-Eva:
it being about the role and rights of the male in a patriarchal society being undermined I totally get it.

I'm increasingly seeing this and all those other debates as ultimately being all about that, too.
Aye, well said Anglican_Brat, Hele-Eva. Gender drives the text. And confront unenlightened testosterone at your peril.

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Love wins

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:


Lots of folks don't like being taken out of their comfort zones, preferring traditional certainties. Maybe there are a lot of conservatives of that type in evangelicalism, but personally I've found them all over the place, and not just amongst people of faith.

Oh this is for certain. I was reflecting on this whilst overhearing a group of old women talking about this topic in the library. From what they said, their opinions were not coming (or at least not directly) from Evangelical values and/or teaching, but instead from "common sense" values.

The irony of how much "common sense" values had changed during their lifetime seemed to be passing them by.

For example they were talking about the cost of realignment surgery. Which seems paradoxical given that a few minutes earlier they'd been talking about their various ailments - which clearly required expensive medication and surgery that in previous decades would not have been available, and might even have been considered immoral.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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I also wonder if the issue here is that Evangelicals feel that the ground is shifting beneath their feet.

For whatever reason, they've come to believe that the generally accepted "moral" position in wider society on a range of issues overlapped with theirs 50 or 60 years ago.* They're now seeing social attitudes on various issues running away from them and they therefore feel like the "remnant of believers", holding onto the truth whilst society is on a runaway train towards hell.

* which doesn't seem to me to be based on anything very much. I don't really know why anyone would believe that.

[ 13. November 2017, 09:12: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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arse

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Ian Climacus

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

* which doesn't seem to me to be based on anything very much. I don't really know why anyone would believe that.

Could it be back then more people went to church and the church was more prominent in society (I remember in the 80s filling in forms where I ticked CofE or Catholic) that they assumed society was in line with them?

I hadn't thought about society "rushing" ahead and the impact it may have on someone who thinks society thinks like them. Interesting. Thanks.

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L'organist
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posted by mr cheesy
quote:
For example they were talking about the cost of realignment surgery. Which seems paradoxical given that a few minutes earlier they'd been talking about their various ailments - which clearly required expensive medication and surgery that in previous decades would not have been available, and might even have been considered immoral.
But in the world of "common sense" this is a no-brainer: treating people already alive for physical ailments and chronic conditions is putting right/ alleviating something that has arisen as part of "life". Gender reasignment treatment, on the other hand, is seen as being about choice - the person wishing to change gender is choosing this path and the unspoken thought is that they could equally choose either not to change or could, once the transition has happened, decide that they have made a mistake/ prefer their original gender.

All of this is clouded by the seeming explosion in the number of children (predominantly girls) who are coming forward saying they wish to change gender. Most, if not all, of us will have known a girl as we were growing up who was quite convinced she'd prefer to be male and who exhibited behaviours (including refusing to answer to anything other than the chosen "other gender" name for extended periods) that today would mean an automatic referral to medical help/ counselling; yet most of us know that the vast majority of these girls have grown-up to be happy women, etc, etc, etc. And the "common sense" view is that there would have been some very grave mis-diagnoses - and treatments including surgery - if the expressed and determined wishes of these girls had been acted on.

I'm not making light of this but a case can be made for people to hang-fire and maybe spend a bit more time exploring why it is that there are so many young girls deeply unhappy with being female.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
But in the world of "common sense" this is a no-brainer: treating people already alive for physical ailments and chronic conditions is putting right/ alleviating something that has arisen as part of "life". Gender reasignment treatment, on the other hand, is seen as being about choice - the person wishing to change gender is choosing this path and the unspoken thought is that they could equally choose either not to change or could, once the transition has happened, decide that they have made a mistake/ prefer their original gender.

I don't know enough about the detail of this to comment or how many regrets there are.

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arse

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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I think the common-sense view is missing the fact that this hanging-fire is already happening.

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Eutychus
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I agree with l'organist that there's a difference between accommodating gender fluidity that is, as it were, a pre-existing condition, and actively promoting various gender stances as a range of viable, valid options that young people can choose between at leisure.

I think the latter is a source of genuine concern, as it opens up the prospect of non-trivial treatment in response to what may just be a passing doubt.

However, I tend to think the media blow up alleged examples of active promotion out of all proportion. I haven't read anything about the CoE tutu recommendation but the media coverage I've glimpsed reinforces my opinion.

[ 13. November 2017, 09:55: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
Could it be back then more people went to church and the church was more prominent in society (I remember in the 80s filling in forms where I ticked CofE or Catholic) that they assumed society was in line with them?


I'm not entirely sure how to parse this. In the past, clearly Christianity had a wider visibility in society than it has today.

But I'm not sure that society in general ever really shared the values of the church (never mind the values of Evangelicals). I'm not sure there was ever a time when there was significant overlap between the values of society and Evangelical values.

I suppose this is up for debate - presumably it depends on what it is that is being discussed.

For example on marriage and sexual ethics. Evangelicals have been for certain things and against certain other things for a long time. Some of this had an overlap with the teaching of other churches - for example with respect to divorce.

And sometimes this had a wider impact on society outwith of the church. And yet at the same time there have always been a wider group who have ignored the Evangelical teaching. I'm not even sure that a majority ever really accepted it.

I dunno - I can't really think of anything that was a generally accepted societal truth 50 or 60 or more years ago that overlapped with Evangelical beliefs.

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arse

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anteater

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I'm surprised there has been so little discussion of the issues raised by transgender, and I don't see the point in using this as a dig at hyper-biblicist evos, who may exist in Karl's neck of the woods, but not in mine.

Here is my list of discussion points.

1. Do we believe it is still valid to speak of normative human beings, or is everything to be viewed as equally acceptable as part of the kaleidoscope of human diversity?

This affects what we view as "needing to be put right" as opposed to "needing to be accepted" and is relevant to many areas. Autism springs to mind, but I remember when working in the US there was a campaign against researching cures for deafness because it implied "something to be fixed" with deaf people. To take one example: if we could early-detect ASD so as to counter the androgen resistance to, effectively, eliminate ASD as if were a disease, should we do it? Or should we accept ASD as just one of many variants to be allowed?

I suppose it more likely that religious conservatives want to maintain the idea of normative humanity and that in this norm there should be male and female. Other conditions are accepted, as is autism, or deafness, in the sense of accepting the people, but are still viewed as exceptions to be fixed.

2. How is gender determined and what are the consequences if we weaken/break the link between gender and physical bodily reality.

At one extreme are those who believe that anyone can self-register for whatever gender they want. This seems to imply that gender should not be an issue, rather like I can choose the name by which I am known. Others (I am no exper so this may be wrong) believe it has to be on the basis of physical reality, i.e. true gender indeterminacy. Probably most believe that it is based on the strong expressed opinion of the individual, as in the only case I have read about in the biography of the well known (in certain circles) free-market economist Deidre (prev. Dan) McCluskey, who transitioned well into life having fathered two chlidren and having seemingly at least a good enough marriage.

This then gets on to why should we be concerned, and this leads into those areas where sexual segregation is the norm the most obvious being competitive sport. But it is women's locker rooms that have got all the publicity. It seems daft that a male athlete should be able to self-declare to participate in women's athletics, and maybe this is far off, but it's the sort of thing people worry about.

3. Finally what is the best way to protect/nurtures children given that if transition is to be done it is most successful if started early. And this is behind the controversy in Canada that was the subject of a recent BBC documentary.

But I've said enough.

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anteater

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Sorry - correction. In my example I meant AIS - Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, not ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder).

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Kwesi
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Anteater
quote:
How is gender determined and what are the consequences if we weaken/break the link between gender and physical bodily reality?
Part of the problem, as I see it, Anteater, is that the analytical distinction between Sex and Gender has been removed: the first a determination of genetic inheritance and the second a matter of social construction. Germain Greer has got into an awful lot of hot water for wanting to insist on the importance of the difference. For what it's worth: as to sex I'm male, as to gender I like to think of myself as masculine but hopefully in touch with my feminine side- others may disagree!

Of course, at the margins sex is less binary than many like to think, and in such cases where sex was difficult to determine obstetricians would arbitrarily advise the mother as to which sex the child was to be raised.

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SusanDoris

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
...rational faith.

I wonder if that is an oxymoron.

******
I hear radio discussions on these topics and when I hear about parents having surgery for pre-ppubescent children, I do wonder how much the child really understands his/her emotions and the way they vary during that time in their lives or how much the parents have influenced them. I do not know the answer and have never needed to know it, but accepting the child's feelings and perhaps wondering whether time and reflection are needed.... well, that might be the most rational way forward.

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
However, I tend to think the media blow up alleged examples of active promotion out of all proportion. I haven't read anything about the CoE tutu recommendation but the media coverage I've glimpsed reinforces my opinion.

I have read the recommendations, and AFAICT it was basically around the avoidance of enforcing gender stereotypes when children are playing.

It used the example of children playing dress up - which in the current media context can be mischaracterised as 'pickle kereckness gone MAD!'

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SusanDoris

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
I'm not making light of this but a case can be made for people to hang-fire and maybe spend a bit more time exploring why it is that there are so many young girls deeply unhappy with being female.

Agreed. Also, because this is comparatively recent, there are no trial results, and in any case, some sort of trial would be impossible.

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
...rational faith.

I wonder if that is an oxymoron.

******
I hear radio discussions on these topics and when I hear about parents having surgery for pre-ppubescent children, I do wonder how much the child really understands his/her emotions and the way they vary during that time in their lives or how much the parents have influenced them. I do not know the answer and have never needed to know it, but accepting the child's feelings and perhaps wondering whether time and reflection are needed.... well, that might be the most rational way forward.

Aye, it's certainly rational to posit purpose grounding existence. Especially as something beyond all known and ever knowable physics generates coherent universes. Just another blind watchmaker I'm sure.

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Love wins

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Dark Knight

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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
quote:
1. Do we believe it is still valid to speak of normative human beings, or is everything to be viewed as equally acceptable as part of the kaleidoscope of human diversity?


I guess you are presuming that your initial premise was at some point accepted universally? Or am I missing your point?

[ 13. November 2017, 12:54: Message edited by: Dark Knight ]

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anteater

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Dark Knight:

Not necessarily universally, but at least within the culture that one is part of.

And what is viewed as normative will develop over time but most of the time we do have a generally agreed idea although it is always open to revision.

For instance: right-handedness was once view as the norm and attempts were made to correct for left-handedness. This has now been abandoned. For most people, the ability to hear is viewed as the norm so that deafness is viewed as a disability we should seek to overcome.

I would guess that most people would view being biologically male or female as the norm, and that being of indeterminate sex is viewed as a problem which will seen as a burden on those affected. Maybe inter-sex people object to that - I do not know.

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Penny S
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I have wondered how I would have respondered to the transgender idea at certain times in my life. I definitely went through a spell of wishing my Dad (birthday 17th March) had won the discussion over my name, so that I would have a number of gender neutral, but usually male, short forms to choose from. There was a a girl called Petronella in Malcolm Saville's books who insisted on being known as Peter. I wanted a train set as well as dolls. I borrowed books called "100 things a boy can do", because they were more interesting than the girls' activities. (I'm not sure I ever did them, though. But making your own coal gas in a golden syrup tin certainly had making barbola flowers around a mirror beaten as something to aim for.) I read the Boys Brigade magazine my Dad had to distribute before it went out. I very much wanted an alternative to squatting on stinging nettles when needing to relieve myself in the woods. I fix things and like tools and gadgets.
But I don't think I am a male trapped in a female body. So I find the rush to transition by others puzzling. I do wonder if some of it is in response to increasing limitations on female activities. (I saw a girl out on a bike yesterday, with a bunch of lads. I think the long loose hair was a mistake, but that seems to be mandatory nowadays. I wish I saw more girls out, with or without the local Secret Seven or whoever.)

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
...rational faith.

I wonder if that is an oxymoron.

******
I hear radio discussions on these topics and when I hear about parents having surgery for pre-ppubescent children, I do wonder how much the child really understands his/her emotions and the way they vary during that time in their lives or how much the parents have influenced them. I do not know the answer and have never needed to know it, but accepting the child's feelings and perhaps wondering whether time and reflection are needed.... well, that might be the most rational way forward.

The situation in the UK may be different, but in the US there is strict protocol for sex reassignment surgery, such that it would not be an option for pre-pubescent children. What IS available is hormone blockers, which allow pre-pubescent transgender children to avoid developing secondary sexual characteristics, which makes transition later much, much easier. It is controversial-- as noted above, some percentage of transgender youth do seem to experience fluidity, and will align with their birth-assigned gender at some point in adolescence. But those who do not generally experience a great deal of trauma in adolescence, with a greater risk of suicide. When I first read about this in Atlantic Monthly article I was filled with such sympathy for parents having to make such a deeply, deeply fraught decision on their child's behalf, with no real knowledge of what alternative future you are avoiding.

[ 13. November 2017, 16:01: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I agree with l'organist that there's a difference between accommodating gender fluidity that is, as it were, a pre-existing condition, and actively promoting various gender stances as a range of viable, valid options that young people can choose between at leisure.

This philosophy says that being gender-fluid is wrong/bad, regardless of why.


quote:

I think the latter is a source of genuine concern, as it opens up the prospect of non-trivial treatment in response to what may just be a passing doubt.

No surgery or therapy should ever be on a whim. As far as I am aware, the gender variety are not.

As far as the media exaggerating the issue, if it weren't for the "OMG. they are coming for our genitals"! reactions of certain people, there would be no issue to exaggerate.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
This philosophy says that being gender-fluid is wrong/bad, regardless of why.

No it doesn't. There's a difference between helping people through identity issues they already have on the one hand (good), and offering them identity alternatives they'd never envisaged and which they may see, mistakenly, as a solution to an entirely separate issue (ethically dubious).

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
This philosophy says that being gender-fluid is wrong/bad, regardless of why.

No it doesn't. There's a difference between helping people through identity issues they already have on the one hand (good), and offering them identity alternatives they'd never envisaged and which they may see, mistakenly, as a solution to an entirely separate issue (ethically dubious).
‘Offering Identity alternatives’

I don’t even know what that means. People don’t need to be offered anything to know that they don’t feel as they have been expected to feel.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
This philosophy says that being gender-fluid is wrong/bad, regardless of why.

No it doesn't. There's a difference between helping people through identity issues they already have on the one hand (good), and offering them identity alternatives they'd never envisaged and which they may see, mistakenly, as a solution to an entirely separate issue (ethically dubious).
‘Offering Identity alternatives’

I don’t even know what that means.

Confusing as hell. But what I read in it is that someone without a fixed gender, or a gender conflict is broken and no judgement will be applied to a broken person. But someone "deciding" they wish to express their gender differently is a bad thing.
Hidden behind the boogie man of loping off Billy's genitals because he played with a doll.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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LutheranChik
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It seems that some here are seriously underestimating the complexity of gender reassignment. It's not like a rhinoplasty -- patients don't just go to a doctor and say, "I'd rather be the other sex -- fix me, Doc!"

The therapeutic process to determone if someone is a valid candidate can take years -- some patients will not meet the criterila -- and the standard of care includes candidates living as members of the opposite sex for at least a year.

This isn't about a kid saying, "Boys have more fun playing outdoors and getting messy and roughhousing -- I want to be a boy." It's not about someone who enjoys cross- dressing. It's not like deciding you want rhinoplasty or a tat or a boob job.

My spouse's deceased former partner was a therapist who speciized in gender dysphoria/transition, so I have become efucated in that process. It isn't a trivial thing.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
It seems that some here are seriously underestimating the complexity of gender reassignment.

IMO, some are not trying to understand the issue or the process, but reacting to imagined "problem".

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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LutheranChik
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An imagined problem of conservative Evangelicals trying to theologize their feelings of discomfort over gender fluidity, or an imagined problem of people convinced that their bodies don't match their internal gender identification?

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Kwesi
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LutheranChik
quote:
It seems that some here are seriously underestimating the complexity of gender reassignment
I'm one of those who have to be counted amongst the ignorant, and I guess most of us are less informed than you are, LutheranChik On these matters I guess my disposition is chacun à son goût.
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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
an imagined problem of people convinced that their bodies don't match their internal gender identification?

I'm convinced that conviction is not imagined. What I'm not convinced about is that having such a conviction is the equivalent of "someone "deciding" they wish to express their gender differently", to quote LB.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
An imagined problem of conservative Evangelicals trying to theologize their feelings of discomfort over gender fluidity,

This one. I do not think gender fluidity is imagined. History shows that it has been around a good deal longer than many civilisations understanding of gender.
ISTM, the the haters gonna hate because fear and control are underlying issues.
The in-betweeners, such as Eutychus' apparent position, are trying to bridge the gap between dealing with what the world is and their interpretation of the world should be.
It isn't that I do not understand their turmoil, it is that I think it is inconsistent.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

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keibat
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L'Organist wrote, a lot of posts earllier on this thread:
quote:
maybe spend a bit more time exploring why it is that there are so many young girls deeply unhappy with being female.

That would push the question into the area of institutionalized gender inequalities within our societies and cultures: men have more opportunities [of many different kinds] than women, so...

But gender dysphoria applies equally to males who aspire to being female, which in this approach would be paradoxical.

It seems to me that whereas – as several Shipmates have commented earlier – we all share at least some characteristics or tendencies of the 'other' gender – some more, some less so – gender DYSphoria is when someone knows that they are NOT of the gender that their body would suggest. It goes way beyond 'exploring the fem/masc sides of my personality', to: I do not belong where my biomorphological characteristics currently have me categorized.

And there is plenty of evidence – PLENTY of evidence – that this awareness MAY become clear, to the person themself and/or those around them, either at a very early age or well into adulthood.

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keibat from the finnish north and the lincs east rim

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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Yes, I could give a list of things about me that are stereotypically non-masculine, but I'm not an entirely cis-man despite those things; they're utterly irrelevant to the fact that I just feel male. If I woke up tomorrow to find I'd lost me knob and gained a pair of tits I'd feel - I'd know I was in the wrong body, no matter how much I loathe football and never watch Top Gear. And I can imagine how one could equally know one was in the wrong body, even if were the one one was born in. Quite unconnected with whether that person prided themselves on being able to fart the star-stangled banner.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
1. Do we believe it is still valid to speak of normative human beings, or is everything to be viewed as equally acceptable as part of the kaleidoscope of human diversity?

I thought this was spot on. Evangelicals, ISTM, believe in praying for the healing of other people. Asking God for a cure, to restore the person to normality, equated with health. (Amongst many other things of course; this is just one part of their belief system). God wants people to be healthy, wants Christians to value health. That cancer, that sickness, that disability, are an affliction that comes from the Devil.

Karl asked why transgender is a hot issue for evangelicals ehen Scripture says little about it.

The answer - as anteater's question makes clear - is that it's a hot issue because it's a paradigm clash. No-one believes that persecuting those who are merely different is a good thing; nobody believes that being sick or disabled is a good thing. The question is where the boundary lies between one paradigm and the other.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
LutheranChik
quote:
It seems that some here are seriously underestimating the complexity of gender reassignment
I'm one of those who have to be counted amongst the ignorant, and I guess most of us are less informed than you are, LutheranChik On these matters I guess my disposition is chacun à son goût.
I found the Atlantic Monthly article I linked above extremely helpful in understanding the situation. And again, the controversy is really about hormone-blockers, not sex-reassignment surgery. As LC noted, in the US, there is a high bar for being accepted as a surgical candidate, and it is only open to informed adults who have undertaken years of therapy and lived at least a year in the new gender.

With hormone-blockers it's a different situation-- it's not permanent, and it's not surgery. It definitely makes transition later much easier when you haven't developed secondary sexual characteristics.

But it has to be done before puberty-- which means parents have to sign off on such a momentous decision. From the Atlantic Monthly article it looks like the odds are mostly in favor of the blockers-- again, huge advantages to later transition, easier to "fit in", and greatly reduced trauma/risk of suicide. But there is that small percentage of transgender children who seem to "grow out of it" (or however that should be phrased) in adolescence. But since the blockers need to begin before adolescence, there's really no way to tell which group your particular child falls in.

I have nothing but sympathy for any parent having to make that choice.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
1. Do we believe it is still valid to speak of normative human beings, or is everything to be viewed as equally acceptable as part of the kaleidoscope of human diversity?

I thought this was spot on. Evangelicals, ISTM, believe in praying for the healing of other people. Asking God for a cure, to restore the person to normality, equated with health. (Amongst many other things of course; this is just one part of their belief system). God wants people to be healthy, wants Christians to value health. That cancer, that sickness, that disability, are an affliction that comes from the Devil.

Karl asked why transgender is a hot issue for evangelicals ehen Scripture says little about it.

The answer - as anteater's question makes clear - is that it's a hot issue because it's a paradigm clash. No-one believes that persecuting those who are merely different is a good thing; nobody believes that being sick or disabled is a good thing. The question is where the boundary lies between one paradigm and the other.

Spot on.

fwiw, I actually do believe illness/disease/genetic mutations (such as my granddaughters) are, quite literally "of the devil" and will one day be "set right" in the coming Kingdom (cue Martin's angst over my appeals to "the devil"). But, as you suggest, the line between "different" and 'disease" is very very fine, and I think this is one such place.

But most evangelicals, as much as we believe in healing prayer, also believe in medical healing-- that God works in and thru science. So I thank God for every advance that can aid those with gender dysphoria-- both surgical and hormone blockers.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
But it [hormone blocker therapy] has to be done before puberty-- which means parents have to sign off on such a momentous decision. From the Atlantic Monthly article it looks like the odds are mostly in favor of the blockers-- again, huge advantages to later transition, easier to "fit in", and greatly reduced trauma/risk of suicide. But there is that small percentage of transgender children who seem to "grow out of it" (or however that should be phrased) in adolescence. But since the blockers need to begin before adolescence, there's really no way to tell which group your particular child falls in.

But the great thing here is that the blockers, unlike surgery, are only temporary. Once you stop taking them, puberty takes over.

quote:
Originally posted by keibat:
But gender dysphoria applies equally to males who aspire to being female, which in this approach would be paradoxical.

Vocabulary quibble: they don't aspire to being female. They feel female.

[ 14. November 2017, 00:46: Message edited by: mousethief ]

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
But it [hormone blocker therapy] has to be done before puberty-- which means parents have to sign off on such a momentous decision. From the Atlantic Monthly article it looks like the odds are mostly in favor of the blockers-- again, huge advantages to later transition, easier to "fit in", and greatly reduced trauma/risk of suicide. But there is that small percentage of transgender children who seem to "grow out of it" (or however that should be phrased) in adolescence. But since the blockers need to begin before adolescence, there's really no way to tell which group your particular child falls in.

But the great thing here is that the blockers, unlike surgery, are only temporary. Once you stop taking them, puberty takes over.


. Yes. That was my main point in the paragraph immediately prior to the one you quoted

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Yes. That was my main point in the paragraph immediately prior to the one you quoted

Yes. But in my defense you strung so many "but"s in a row it was hard to figure out what was secondary to what.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
All of this is clouded by the seeming explosion in the number of children (predominantly girls) who are coming forward saying they wish to change gender.

Do you have stats to back up your "predominantly girls" claim? All the trans people I know/have known are trans women. The youngest is on the cusp of having to make a decision about puberty blockers; the oldest was the ex-army rugby-refereeing bursar at my school until a letter came one summer to let us know that Mr X would henceforth be known as Ms X. She continued as bursar until retirement (a couple of years or so) but I don't think she continued to referee rugby matches.
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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
The in-betweeners, such as Eutychus' apparent position, are trying to bridge the gap between dealing with what the world is and their interpretation of the world should be.

I'm not sure I agree with that. The world is what it is. My position, along with the DSM-5, is that not everyone with gender nonconformity suffers from gender dysphoria.

If a person experiences the former and not the latter, other things being equal there's nothing to discuss.

If a person is diagnosed with the latter and accepts the diagnosis, whatever we think about "brokenness", it means that a disorder has been recognised. The question then is how, if at all, one attempts to restore some sort of order, working on the Hippocratic principle of "first do no harm".

My view is that for sufferers, a full gamut of therapeutic responses should be envisaged, from reassignment surgery through to therapy for a person to be on better terms with the body they have, with their best interests at heart either way. My feeling is that the latter end of this gamut of responses is being neglected here.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Green Mario
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Given so many gender differences are based on stereotypes that don't hold true for many people which aspects of being a man or a woman typically feel wrong to transgender people? The idea of being the wrong gender seems to make sense within a very traditional view where men and women are very different beings (men fancy women and do male things, and boys like blue and fighting, women fancy men and do female things and girls like pink and nurturing). In a world where men and women are fairly interchangable except for a few obvious physical differences and gender is seen as more as a social construct what does being the wrong gender mean?
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Green Mario:
Given so many gender differences are based on stereotypes that don't hold true for many people which aspects of being a man or a woman typically feel wrong to transgender people? The idea of being the wrong gender seems to make sense within a very traditional view where men and women are very different beings (men fancy women and do male things, and boys like blue and fighting, women fancy men and do female things and girls like pink and nurturing). In a world where men and women are fairly interchangable except for a few obvious physical differences and gender is seen as more as a social construct what does being the wrong gender mean?

I think this is a good point. The issues tend to be merged together, but it strikes me that quite a lot of this is about socially constructed norms. I don't think necessarily a debate about the best medical treatment for someone with an issue which is very clearly real for them is the same as one about the clothing boys/girls should wear in school.

I'd also note that there are some difficult issues which whirl around these discussions. Radical feminists (who, let's be fair, are not usually on the same page as Evangelicals either) complain that somehow their "femaleness" is being eroded by allowing anyone to define themselves as a woman.

To which a trans-activist might shrug and say who cares what they think. But then it does become more complicated when a male person who has done nothing else than change his appearance and state that he is now a woman demands entry to "safe" spaces for women.

I don't know how to resolve this, but it does seem to me to be true that some women are genuinely fearful that predatory men will attack them under the guise of being trans.

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arse

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wild haggis
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In reading through this discussion, no one seems to have talked to, met with, or engaged with trans people. How sad. You nee to hear their voices before you spout.

As to wearing different clothes. This is silly: in Scotland men wear kilts, in many countries women wear trousers. What's wrong with that!

Young children experiment with all sorts of things, who they are, what the want to be - anyone with basic child development training will explain that to you. It doesn't mean anything about sex being changed or set. That is a biased adult putting their opinions onto what a child does. Have they talked to the kids? I used to love playing cowboys with the boys! Not to mention climbing and falling out of trees. So what! I'm definetley a woman. It didn't mean I was trans because I played with boys and dressed in trousers with a cowboy hat! How silly to suggest otherwise. This has more to do with adults putting their prejudices onto children rather than children themselves.

Some have mentioned already, you can't just go and demand a sex change. It takes years of counselling and usually is not done until puberty. (I can't speak for rogue private surgeons.) For the real trans people, it is not a simply a lifestyle choice. It's often a matter of life and death and serious thinking and heart searching before that decision is reached.

How do I know?

In my youth group, one girl went through devastating anorexia which meant having to be hospitalised in a special unit, many miles from home. She was unhappy with her developing woman's body. She felt that she had been born in the wrong body. It wasn't a whim. This had gone on for many, many years, since she had been samll. Many years of tears, self harm and even suicide attempts. Eventually, aged 16, she changed her name to a non-gender specific. She was a strong Christian and had done a lot of thinking and praying, often asking, "Why has God made me a girl?" She went through counselling from the NHS. It took more than a year to get an appointment. So dad paid for a private counsellor, actually a Christian but not someone from a strong evangelical stand point. She was told there would be no gender re-alignment surgery until after 18 on the NHS. So don't listen to gossip. Trans people often spend many, many years conflicted and in mental pain.

I also got to know a lady who had been a man, had been married, and like the teenager had tried to commit suicide many times. Being a Christian, since a youngster and coming from a string Christian evangelical family, he was convinced that what he was feeling was wrong and sought evangelical couselling. That made matters much worse. In the end he got help from a non-Christian group, along with his wife. Most of the family accepted his problem and the solution (although not all).

He had to leave the church he was in when he started to transition, because they couldn't accept him as a her. In the wilderness but still with a strong faith, she eventually found a church that accepted her. Not the kind of church one would expect - evangelical. The family are happy. He lives as a second parent and his wife accepts him as a friend, relative and confidant.

It wasn't so far back that Christians thought that people with physical disabilities had been punished by God. Even until relatively recently mental illness was a stigma - God's punishment for the sins of the fathers or the person's own sins. A hundred or so years ago, myself or my husband might have been blamed for the disability our son has.

Our bodies are complex. Our minds are even more complex. Genetics are much more complex still. We are learning how wonderfully and diversely God has created people. We don't know it all yet. God is greater than our tiny minds and attitudes. We don't know the half of it. In the 1st & 2nd centuries, when the NT was written, they knew very little about our bodies and how they develop and are formed. Eve women had to be housebound during their period How we have changed in that are.

Jesus taught us to accept people. Let's do that. The Bible clearly says that God is the judge. Not us!

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wild haggis

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by wild haggis:
In reading through this discussion, no one seems to have talked to, met with, or engaged with trans people. How sad. You nee to hear their voices before you spout.

You haven't read the thread very well then.

For my part, ChristinaMarie, formerly of these boards, has been one of the most significant influences ever from the Ship for me.

[ 14. November 2017, 11:04: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Green Mario
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So are men and women fundamentally different in a way that goes beyond the obvious physical differences and if so how? This conversation makes me wonder how instrinsic is male and femaleness to who we are vs us being just humans who happen to have male or female bodies?
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Kwesi
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Wild Haggis
quote:
Jesus taught us to accept people. Let's do that. The Bible clearly says that God is the judge. Not us!
Thank you so much for your informed post, Wild Haggis, and its conclusion. [Overused] [Overused]

I am continually astounded that individuals who have been cruelly excluded from the church still cling to their faith. “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” (Acts 10:15).

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
All of this is clouded by the seeming explosion in the number of children (predominantly girls) who are coming forward saying they wish to change gender.

Do you have stats to back up your "predominantly girls" claim? All the trans people I know/have known are trans women. The youngest is on the cusp of having to make a decision about puberty blockers; the oldest was the ex-army rugby-refereeing bursar at my school until a letter came one summer to let us know that Mr X would henceforth be known as Ms X. She continued as bursar until retirement (a couple of years or so) but I don't think she continued to referee rugby matches.
The times I've visited PFLAG, the trans people there have run about 4:1 in favor of trans women. Anecdotal, I know.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Green Mario:
So are men and women fundamentally different in a way that goes beyond the obvious physical differences and if so how? This conversation makes me wonder how instrinsic is male and femaleness to who we are vs us being just humans who happen to have male or female bodies?

I don't think there are clear answers to those questions. We could say that sex/gender and sexuality are connected with biology, social factors and individual psychological factors, but how these all connect together is unclear. And there is an obvious spectrum of views, ranging from essentialism, which argues that male and female are, well, essential or innate, to the social construction idea, that gender is a construct.

I don't think it makes much difference to the treatment of transpeople. If somebody is deeply unhappy with their ascribed sex/gender, it seems right and proper that they are offered some kind of counselling in the first place, and perhaps after that, some kind of treatment.

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the main fear that flat-earthers face is sphere itself.

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Kwesi
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Green Mario
quote:
So are men and women fundamentally different in a way that goes beyond the obvious physical differences and if so how? This conversation makes me wonder how instrinsic is male and femaleness to who we are vs us being just humans who happen to have male or female bodies?
Mario, that’s a very difficult question to answer in an objective manner, isn’t it, because it’s difficult to separate the influence of nature over nurture in human behaviour, and the debate treads on numerous ideological toes: in this case the extent to which maleness or femaleness influences bias towards predominantly masculine or feminine behaviour. Is it possible to be male as to sex but feminine as to gender, female as to sex but masculine as to gender? Conceptually, I think it is, but transgendered individuals suggest it is psychologically difficult to accept and endure.

Empirically, ISTM that gender identity and behaviour is influenced by genetic factors, especially, as one would expect, in matters relating to sexual reproduction, and if one regards this as important then clearly the physical differences between males and females and their biological roles in the creation, gestation, and nurturing of the new-born are likely to be reflected in the gender development of an individual. Recently, I have been observing a group of women, a number of whom have recently become grandmothers. Where possible they bring their grandchildren to show them off or show their images on their i-phones, and disappear for extended period to visit them if living elsewhere. I find it very difficult to believe that such behaviour is simply a function of culture and gender differentiation. None of this is to deny a close bond between a father and children, but I would need some persuading that it is the same and suggest that the difference is in part a function of genetic structure. On a theological note, I doubt that a male theologian could have written in the manner of Julian of Norwich,* and am of the opinion that the historical absence of female theologians has limited insights into the nature of the God in whose likeness males and females were created.

The genetic difference between males and females regarding reproduction, however, does not mean that other aspects of human behaviour have to be as sharply delineated in gender terms i.e. seen as a likely or necessary consequence of one being male or female, especially where physical strength is an unimportant factor- though I am aware that females of my own generation are often stronger than myself. In other words, in much of human activity male and female roles are essentially a function of culture or nurture and not of the presence or otherwise of the Y chromosome.


*“Our Saviour is our true Mother in whom we are endlessly born and out of whom we shall never come.”

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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quetzalcoatl wrote:
quote:
And there is an obvious spectrum of views, ranging from essentialism, which argues that male and female are, well, essential or innate, to the social construction idea, that gender is a construct.

It's entirely possible to believe both those things without suffering any cognitive dissonance, what with sex 'n' gender being two different things.

OK, I only really posted that to draw attention to the importance of definitions in all this. I think some of the more recent posts have allowed the concepts of gender identity and gender roles to get a bit confused.

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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