Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Another pretentious pseudo-intellectual outburst from Glenn T. Stanton

“Gender theory? Enough with this BS. It is a scientific fact that in some people gender and natal sex do not coincide.”
Glenn T. Stanton
Glenn T. Stanton is a poseur who is unable to differentiate between medical science and Christian dogma
Image via YouTube
It's Tuesday and Glenn T. Stanton wants you to know that: Washington Post Celebrates The Ignorant Delusion Of Letting Toddlers ‘Choose’ Their Sex. Stanton, who has some amorphous job with Focus on the Family, goes on to write:
A recent Washington Post column tells of an almost-three-year-old Naya, whose parents have taken the wonderfully enlightened approach of letting the child decide her own sex.

The objective of this tantrum is to denigrate transgender people as having chosen their gender. Stanton will go on to claim that gender doesn't really exist. Moreover, the Washington Post wasn't celebrating anything (conservative Catholics call everything they disapprove of a celebration). In contrast they were reporting an interesting parenting decision. The parents asked: “What if we did nothing to assign gender to our child? What if we allow her to choose naturally?

It seems harmless enough but I lack the training to state that emphatically. Lost in the noise is the simple proposition that the child is not going to choose her gender. Gender is not a choice. Stanton goes on to write:
The foolishness coming forth from the gender theory folks is like the endless parade of clowns coming out of that tiny car at the circus. How many more can there be? When will it stop?
For the record, “gender theory” was Pope-speak for his disapproval of transgender people and the science that supports gender as a separate construct from natal sex. The pope dropped that a few years ago in favor of “gender ideology.” The pope's advanced degrees in psychiatry, psychology and pediatrics allow him to weigh in.

Stanton is an expert as well:
A recent Washington Post column from Monica Hesse tells the tale of an almost-three-year-old Naya and her/his/their parents who’ve taken the wonderfully enlightened approach of letting her/him/they decide her/his/they’s own gender. Like the clowns, we lose count of how many times we’ve heard of such parents.
Stanton likes to promote confusion. I haven not heard of any other similar parents. What I am aware of is parents who follow the sensible guidelines established by evidence-based medical science. Those folks accept their child's gender if it happens to be incongruent with natal sex. This all occurs in less than 1% of children. Many of those grow out of the incongruity. Acceptance has no effect on the child's gender because the child is not making any decisions.

Some children do not grow out of the condition. They are left with oppressive gender dysphoria causing immense suffering. Parental acceptance does not make the condition worse while not accepting their child's gender can worsen a very serious condition. Disapproval only exacerbates the symptoms.

Some of these suffering children become inexorably determined to express their gender or transition in order to obtain some relief. Mr. Stanton doesn't care about any of that.

According to him (after a great deal of surplus rhetoric):
Let me break the story down for you. Naya is almost three years old. She/he/them is being raised by two guys, Jeremy and Bryan. The adults know the sex on Naya’s birth certificate, but that’s their secret. Not even Naya will know. They believe her real gender exists in her mind, not on a major medical and government document. Jeremy and Bryan are presented as wise and brave parents, the kind any child would be fortunate to have.
The funny thing is that, when I read the piece in The Washington Post I failed to notice that Naya has same-sex parents, something else that Stanton disapproves of. Jeremy and Bryan are probably correct. Naya's gender might be separate from her natal sex. The odds are 99 to one that Naya sex and gender are congruent.

Stanton uses phrases like “exists in her mind” dismissively as if to suggest that it is not real. I am sure that he has said the same thing about gay people. Stanton's excessive religiosity is not physical either. I wonder if he would respond to conversion therapy in order to become somewhat normal.

Stanton falsely claims that the science is on his side of things:
In a major 2017 article in the Infant Mental Health Journal on how boys’ neurobiology and neuroendocrinology is very distinct from that of their sisters, Schore laments how gender studies in developmental psychology have “remained divorced from and frequently antithetical to biology.” In other words, the downy stay-puffed softness of gender theory is proudly unattached from the rock-hard sciences of biology, and often directly contrary to it.
Dr. Shore's complete quote is:
Frequently, investigations were disconnected from studies that documented differences in emotional and social functions of developing male and female infants, from developmental neurobiological research on differences in early brain development between the genders, and from a substantial body of research documenting sex differences in psychiatric disorders. Indeed, gender studies in developmental psychology remained divorced from and frequently antithetical to biology.
That is not a “lamentation.” Dr. Shore continues (and his point is clear):
Due to the almost-exclusive focus on late infancy and early childhood cognitive and behavioral differences, emotional differences were not measured or were ignored. Indeed, gender differences in early infancy were generally thought by developmental psychologists to be nonexistent, and not viewed as a relevant dimension of experimental research or clinical practice.
Dr. Shore is seeking to explain:
I describe the early developmental neuroendocrinological and neurobiological mechanisms that are involved in the increased vulnerability of males to autism, early onset schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and conduct disorders…
I will repeat that Stanton' claim is: “In other words, the downy stay-puffed softness of gender theory is proudly unattached from the rock-hard sciences of biology, and often directly contrary to it.” None of Dr. Shore's research has anything to do with what Stanton incorrectly calls “gender theory.” Stanton is citing a part of research that does not exist.

Stanton manages to make himself look even more disconnected from reality:
He [Dr. Shore] is absolutely right. Contemporary gender theory is pure ideology. It is not informed by any biological science. It’s never been close enough to science to catch a cold. Science is here. Gender theory is over there. These are two very different things that are not on speaking terms.
Shore says no such thing. Not even close. Not to mention the following report from May of this year:
Brain activity and structure in transgender adolescents more closely resembles the typical activation patterns of their desired gender, according to new research. The findings suggest that differences in brain function may occur early in development and that brain imaging may be a useful tool for earlier identification of transgenderism in young people.
But even if that were not so, the fact that something is psychological rather than biological does not discount its reality. Within the scope of Dr. Shore's research is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and the fact that it is more prevalent in males. There is no biological link to ADHD but any parent with an affected child will tell you that it is very real. Dr. Shore did not investigate gender incongruence. Perhaps some day he will.

Later on:
If gender theory had a Nicene Creed, the first line its faithful must confess is that there are more than two genders. The wonderfully diverse spectrum of the rainbow and all that. Let’s see how this works itself out in Naya’s story.
Nicene Creed is a statement of belief widely used in Christian liturgy. Gender is probably a continuum. We all recognize that there are varying degrees of masculinity and femininity.
Why confine Naya to only boy and girl clothes and toys? Why should Naya be kept from exploring and sampling the accoutrements of all the other supposed genders, especially by two forward-thinking men who have moved beyond the flat-earth binary?
The answer to Stanton's rhetorical question is that, while gender is a continuum, we tend to be somewhat binary in how we identify as either male or female. I am at fault for answering this kind of nonsense. Skipping past a great deal of moronic hyperbole and Christian rhetoric:
It’s exactly what we saw with Bruce Jenner. He is only his true authentic self as Caitlyn. In gender theory, subjective self-perception always tells the truth while our objective, physical bodies can lie. Psychology and biology both strongly disagree, from their very foundation. Even more curiously, these are people who almost certainly believe there is no god, and material reality is all there is. If that’s the case, however, then how can a purely physical mind detach itself from its organically, biologically connected body and genetics?
Gender theory? Enough with this BS. It is a scientific fact that in some people gender and natal sex do not coincide. I have no idea (and neither does Stanton) of the religious beliefs of transgender people. Nor do I have any idea why that might be relevant. Does Stanton actually believe that Caitlyn Jenner was a willing volunteer?

This:
Yes, one’s sex doesn’t exist only in one’s genitalia. But it doesn’t exist solely in the mind either. It is present in every last piece of DNA in every cell of our very complex bodies. No dogma can wish this fact away. Our bodies don’t tell lies. Gender theory does, and we would say they are authentically silly ones if the consequences were not so serious.
"Dogma" defines religious belief, not medical science. I have reached my BS threshold. Stanton is just repeating the catechism that transgender people do not really exist because there is no such thing as gender which might be incongruent with natal sex. It just doesn't exist “because the Bible tells me so.”

Finally this painfully verbose diatribe comes to a fetid conclusion:
Live in that make-believe world if you choose, but the moment you bring children into it, your work as a parent and standing as a responsible adult must be called into serious question. A sane society must adopt that position. The moment you virtue-shame anyone who refuses to play along with your delusion, you’ve become one of the most extreme types of fundamentalist. It’s not what reasonable people do. This madness needs to stop.
This is a form of cognitive dissonance. The “make-believe world” is the belief system based on faith. Medical science is evidence-based and according to the overwhelming consensus of medical science, gender does exist and so does gender dysphoria which is best treated with affirmation. It is not theoretical. Stanton's world is not only based on faith but that faith is based on Bronze Age texts of disputable provenance.

I do not know about reasonable people but rational people tend to go where the evidence leads them. If there is some “madness” in all of this it is the refusal to accept the evidence because of a) those ancient texts and; b) the musings of ambitious priests who are not scientists and; c) the utterances of a pope who has no scientific training and who has made gender his personal hobby.

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