January 29, 2010

“Transgender” Children, and Does Gender Matter?

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Tyra Show

Analysis of USA Today Article on Gender and Parenting


Having Both a Mother and Father is… Insignificant?

40 Comments
  1. One thing I noticed as I watched the show was that the parents of these children seem to be exhibiting codependant dysfunction.

    When a parent puts the child’s happiness as priority over the child’s best interest, character and holiness, then the parents love themselves not their children. There is a required emotional and mental strength to raise children so that they have a source to lean on as they grow and transition into the progressive phases of life.

    I could see a very strong need for such emotional and mental strength in the parents on this show. Although I’m sure that there was a mixture between preexisting inner wounds and the erosion of the mind and heart through stress and despair of these challenges, it is still a crucial need to draw grace and strength from God to raise children that will bear the image of Jesus Christ in nature, character and power.

    Parenthood is never a vacant position. If the parents will not be parents (fathers being fathers, and mothers being mothers) then the children will “parent” themselves and even dominate the household itself.

    With this trend growing on a national scale we have only two foreseeable options:

    1) The church must receive power from on high to restore the foundations of the nation and turn back the moral and spiritual tide in the nation.

    2) or, there will be a massive surge of lawlessness and rebellion that will eventually cause our society (and ultimitely the nation itself) to self-destruct.

  2. Comments about the Tyra Banks show: The 2 women were disrespectful to Dr. Brown when he speaking. Based on the youtube comments, some people who didnt agree with Dr. Brown were saying the women were very unfair to Dr. Brown. I also think Tyra didnt moderate the discussion properly and allowed the 2 women to attack Dr. Brown. I hope Tyra and those 2 women apologized to Dr. Brown after the show.

  3. I was impressed Dr. Brown with how quiet the audience was as they were unable to boo or vocally cheer on the two women. I appreciated the way in which you were able to share statistics that so clearly demonstrated you knew what you were talking about and that their position was not as solid as they made it out to be.

    My wife was so impressed that you could take a stand like that. I reminded her it has taken years to develop the kind of meek and humble spirit that you approach people with.

    I appreciate all the work you do, I was nurtured in my faith by your tape sets, I even visited Brownsville a while ago and you even had the opportunity to pray for me. God gave me a dream of heaven of the glory and brightness with loud sounding trumpets it was awesome. May God continue to bless your work and your family.

  4. I thought it was so telling of much of today’s society when the woman (man) in the middle kept telling Dr. Brown “just listen to the children”. If a kid is mad at someone and tells their parents to kill that person, should they listen to their children? If a kid wants to jump off the roof of a building because they believe they can fly, should they listen to their children? If all a kid wants to eat is candy, should they listen to the children? And on and on. The woman in the middle kept interrupting Dr. Brown by grabbing his hand while he was talking, intending to sway his and the viewer’s emotions because they were dealing with children. How frustrating that was to see her (him) interrupt by invading his personal space! Dr. Brown, you handled that great by the way. I know we have to be sensitive while discussing topics like these with certain people. Unfortunately, it would not have gone over well to have responded to her to “just listen to God”, but at the same time there are plenty of scientific studies to come back at them using their own approach. I could tell that made them cringe.

  5. It was so annoying to watch them constantly interrupting Dr. Brown. Why were they so afraid to let him speak? Ugh. I’m afraid I couldn’t have been so patient. :-/

    When my younger sister was a kid, she was such a tomboy. We never worried about it or tried to make her act more like a girl. Nor did she ever ask to be a boy. How would a kid even think of something like that?

    “Listen to the children.”

    Okay, but who are the children listening to??

  6. No, wait. Seriously. Where does a child get the idea to have a sex change?? Shouldn’t it be considered child abuse to suggest it to a child? And, for a child to be thinking about something like this, the child is very likely being abused in some way or has experienced something traumatic. I watched a broadcast about http://vancouver.ca/fourpillars/ a couple of weeks ago and the councillor there said that every addict that he’d met there had been sexually abused.

    A child’s mind doesn’t think about changing their sex. If a child has truly thought of this by themselves, I’m sure there is another issue. My opinion, granted, but I bet there are qualified people who’d agree.

  7. Wow, I just watched the video Dr. Brown. It seems to me that people are to willing to accept any thing that society tells them. Honestly from what I saw, you provided scientific evidence for your views and they did not argue against it rather they said stuff like “listen to the kids” or “its all about compassion.” I think the culture has accepted wickedness-as long as there is a societal consensus on an issue whether right or wrong it becomes the accepted norm. But I think that the roots of such evil are even deeper than sexual confusion.

    I think that at the core of the issue is the question of identity. We are made in the image of God and so we are meant to be like God in character, virtue and holiness. This means for one thing following God’s ways and refusing to do what is right in our own eyes. Whenever people lose their identity any thing goes as long as it is right in their own eyes. It happened in the era of the judges when Israel would worship various false gods and commit various sorts of immorality. The issue here is that people do not know what it is to be human, because they do not know their Creator.

    I suppose this is just my opinion but I have seen it with myself also, whenever I do not meditate on God’s Word or keep him as my heart’s meditation I find that I’m more prone to various sorts of sin such as pride for example.

    I pray that we may all examine ourselves and say together with the psalmist (psalm 19:9-14).

    “The fear of the LORD is pure,
    enduring forever.
    The ordinances of the LORD are sure
    and altogether righteous.

    10 They are more precious than gold,
    than much pure gold;
    they are sweeter than honey,
    than honey from the comb.

    11 By them is your servant warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.

    12 Who can discern his errors?
    Forgive my hidden faults.

    13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
    may they not rule over me.
    Then will I be blameless,
    innocent of great transgression.

    14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in your sight,
    O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer”

  8. It was ridiculous how they treated Dr. Brown! Tyra was clearly biased towards their point of view as she allowed them to continuously interupt Dr. Brown. The worst part though, is that if they would have let him speak it may have helped someone watching to look into searching for God and being delivered by His Holy Spirit

    Very well said Mwiya.

  9. Hey, Dr Brown

    I have just listened to Go for Souls (yes, still catching up with old shows, as a new listener). What a killer sermon!

    Just a thought which struck me — how come there were no comments on this programme, and hundreds of long posts on Calvinism? I think this says something — and you know what it is.

    PS I think I am suffering from a disorder which Freud overlooked: Testimony Envy. I would love to have a 4-word conversion story … “From LSD to PHd”

  10. Congrats Dr. Brown. This is an excellent of example of you being used to reveal the wolves for who they really are. I don’t think any objective observer could deny that it was unfair.

  11. Marcella,
    That’s a great point- who are the children listening to?
    Dr. Brown,
    The way you handled the situation reminded me of how I think Jesus would. 🙂 What a wonderful example of the truth spoken in love. That’s what it’s all about.

  12. Hey Dr. Brown and Everyone!

    Wow, the people on that program from the other side were using terrible logic. Did I really hear this?:

    Children know that they are transgendered because they just know.

    I was waiting for someone to turn around and say, “I know that the people who are advocating sex changes for children are wrong because I just know.” That is horrendous logic.

    Also, did I also hear this?:

    These treatments just don’t work.

    Okay, so, apparently if treatments for a genetic disorder “just don’t work,” that means that, apparently, we should stop trying to treat them, and just accept the fact that this genetic disorder is just who they are.

    It is too bad that the discussion was only five minutes, as I did think that one thing that needed to be brought up is the issue of sin. The reason why we as Christians cannot just let children go their own way is because we realize that they are tainted with sin from birth. A worldview that has the existence of a creator, and a creation in man that has rebelled against that creator is far different then a worldview that says that man is basically good.

    I think the real problem in all of this is the possibility of self deception. The question is, if we do not base our view of who we are on an external revelation such as the scriptures, then the possibility of self deception cannot be avoided. That is why I would have corrected the woman who says that we “just know” that we are men. We don’t “just know.” God has revealed to us in his word that he has created us male and female, and has told us what that means. Hence, from the Christian worldview, we don’t “just know;” we know because God has revealed to us the nature of who we are in his word.

    I do agree that this stuff is heart wrenching. What kind of a society have we become that our wickedness has become so bad that it has perverted even our youngest and most innocent children? All the more reason to preach the gospel more unashamedly than we ever have before!

    God Bless,
    Adam

  13. The world, the flesh, and the devil. The opposition’s nature has not changed, even though their image is misperceived as to a media relative “truth and beauty”.

    The diagnostic manual for psychological pathologies and disorders has also shapshifted its own representations of norms from the DSM III on to the DSM V over about 35 years. Sexual norms once defined from the beginning, from bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, i.e. of the one flesh relationship, have led the way to abnormal becoming normalized by the “experts.” The problem being that the “experts” who made the changes were themselves outside the boundaries of the Word, ushering in the final phase of the Age of the Gentiles with person-centered psychology as the new norm.

    Feeling states and personal actualization are the mantra of the masses, unless tempered by the word of God. “Listen to the children” and end up with the confusion of the marketplace the Lord said calls out one to another to do as its children view and do. The Wisdom from Above…the Fruit of the Spirit…and the New and Living Way just don’t reduce to such GaGa Ha Ha.

  14. Adam, regarding the issue of sin. Obviously, I agree that sin against God is the best reason not to do something, BUT (oh, dear) that reason is worthless to people who don’t believe in God and it will often cause them to side with their fellow-atheists.

    The only one (in the segment that featured Dr. Brown, I haven’t watched the whole show) that opposed the issue was Dr. Brown. I agreed with him completely, no question, but had there been another doctor who opposed it from a position apart from God (like the guy from John Hopkins), it would have, I think, made a big difference. I don’t at all think Dr. Brown shouldn’t have been present. I think, even with all the interruptions, he’s the only one who said anything useful, but people see it as ‘Jesus freaks’ vs. acceptance and understanding. Look at the YouTube comments. Most that opposed Dr. Brown’s LOGIC opposed it based on the fact that he is a minister.

  15. Hey Marcella!

    Adam, regarding the issue of sin. Obviously, I agree that sin against God is the best reason not to do something, BUT (oh, dear) that reason is worthless to people who don’t believe in God and it will often cause them to side with their fellow-atheists.

    I don’t believe in atheists. As Paul says in Romans 1:21ff:

    For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; {they are} gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

    Notice what Paul says here. He says that unbelievers *do,* indeed, know God. They do, indeed, believe he exists. They may *profess* to be atheists and secularists, but they know that God exists. Also, notice that they also know that the things they are doing are worthy of death. They know that Christian God exists, and they also know of sin, and therefore, they know they are rebels against God.

    Hence, the purpose of a dialogue like this should not be to try to convince the other side that God exists; they already know that. The purpose should be to lovingly, and in a Christlike way, remove the mask from their face, and put them face to face with this fact. As Dr. White likes to say, every man has a “made by God” stamp on who he is. However, he covers it with his hand, so he does not have to acknowledge the creator. The goal is to remove his hand, and point to the “made by God” sign in order to show him that he is merely putting on a show.

    That is why I said that the problem of self-deception is very real here. They want to say they have knowledge of themselves without the revelation of God. However, they have to get that revelation from God in order to know things about themselves. If they reject the notion that they are relying upon God’s revelation, then the question becomes how they can know anything about themselves.

    Put another way, the problem with self analysis will always be this: What is the difference between looking over your life, and seeing that you have always been transsexual, and looking over your life, and deceiving yourself into believing that you have always been a transsexual? Both sides have to admit this possibility of self-deception.

    The problem is that, as Christians, we have a way around this. We start with a revelation that is outside of ourselves, namely, the scriptures. God defines for us what it means to be a man, and what it means to be a woman. It gives us the worldview in terms of which we are to see the world, including ourselves.

    All of this is not even to mention Descartes’ evil demon hypothesis, which would destroy knowledge for every secularist, if they were consistent. The problem is that you can’t get from matter and motion to knowledge. You can’t throw knowledge around, or put it in your back pocket. It is not part of the natural world. Hence, no secularist, by simply using the natural world, will be able to get from their biochemical cells to knowledge. They are two totally different things.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  16. Adam, thanks for the bible reference. When I was younger, I used to think, how can anyone not believe in God? I’ve often thought that those who don’t make the decision not to largely because, once old enough not to have to follow their parents’ rules, they don’t want to accept that they still had someone to answer to. In many ways, I still think this is the case.

    It’s not at all that I want to remove God from the equation. In the end, believing in God or not isn’t going to change the truth, but I do think that, if Dr. Brown had not been introduced as ‘a minister’, people would have received him with much less hostility. I’m sure Dr. Brown expected and was prepared for it, and by no means am I suggesting that he/any of us should deny our belief in God (clearly!). I just think arguing sin would have brought even more opposition when it seems to me that being happy in your own body is, at the very LEAST, logical.

    Blessings right back atcha! 🙂

  17. Marcella,

    I think the main problem is that the discussion was only five minutes long! Five minutes to discuss issues which involve differences in fundamental beliefs within a person’s worldview???????? I don’t know whose idea that was, but it was a horrible idea. They should have devoted the entire program to this kind of discussion.

    Blessings to you too!
    Adam

  18. Granted. 5m isn’t very long, esp. shared with Ms. Rude spewing forth her gibberish… was she s’posed to represent an expert of some sort? What an idiot. There. I said it. 🙂

    Now, let me ask a question. All opinions are welcome, but Bible references are preferred.

    I do try to conduct myself as I understand Jesus did (I don’t think He hesitated to ‘call ’em as He saw ’em’ and I think He’d agree that Ms. Rude was an idiot. If He wouldn’t call her an idiot, I can only repeat… I TRY).

    So, would Jesus have told people who didn’t believe in God to be happy with the bodies they had or would He have told them not to change their bodies because to do so would be a sin?

    Side note: I’m thinking He wouldn’t have said either of the above. He’d probably have addressed the much bigger problem (unbelief), and much more eloquently at that.

  19. Perhaps I should get some Jewish and Hindu friends of mine to discuss the causes of Christianity, what Christians actually believe and why.

    I should introduce myself, I think. Michael has been good enough to ask me my opinions on this matter. That was immensely charitable of him considering the unfair treatment he received on that show.

    What made it most excruciating for me to watch was that I agreed wholeheartedly with what those two women were saying. Usually the boot is on the other foot, it’s those like myself who get talked over and ambushed by show producers who pre-judge (in Latin Pre-judice) issues.

    I’m not Transsexual myself, not technically. I’m even more weird and outrageous to common-sense than that. I have a rare Intersex condition. I’m a female pseudohermaphrodite, a protandrous dichogamous pseudohermaphrodite to be technical about it. A girl who was born looking mostly like a boy, but who had an apparent and partial sex-change later in life.

    I lived in a male role for 47 years of my life. For all those 47 years, I was essentially transsexual – just careful to hide that. I looked terribly, hideously masculinised, I’d been diagnosed in 1985 as an Intersexed Man not a woman, so I tried to be the best Man I could. Until that became untenable as the result of a partial and atypical puberty.

    My condition is rare. Far more common, by a factor of 100 or so, are protogynous dichogamous pseudohermaphrodites. Boys born looking (mostly) like girls. CNN had a program on a cluster of such cases in Gaza recently, due to 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-3 deficiency (17beta-HSD-3)

    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/12/17/gaza.gender.id/

    I urge you to watch that first, as frankly, seeing is believing. It contradicts most of what you think you know about Sex and Gender, and flies in the face of common sense.

    Apart from the fact that my condition cured itself, mostly, as it did with those boys and men, I am for all intents and purposes Transsexual. So perhaps I can give a new perspective on the issue. Like a Christian expounding on Christian Belief, rather than the opinions of Hindus or Jews on the sibject.

    Feel free to ask me questions, and I will do my best to answer. Please bear with me if I answer using scientific and medical experimental results, rather than mere un-evidenced opinion.

  20. Zoe Brain,

    Perhaps I should get some Jewish and Hindu friends of mine to discuss the causes of Christianity, what Christians actually believe and why.

    Actually, as I pointed out, the reason why we as Christians believe what we believe about secularists is because God has told us this is the case in the Bible [Romans 1:21ff].

    Not only that, but I went on to argue for it by using the argument for self deception and skepticism pointing out that secularists *do* have to acknowledge external revelation, or, otherwise, they can have no knowledge of themselves, or of anything at all.

    Hence, it wasn’t just some speculation or unfounded psychoanalysis; it flows directly from what we believe as Christians, that is, that all men are created in the image of God, and thus, all men know their creator, and they show it by speaking and talking about themselves, and in the fact that they speak of knowing things.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  21. Zoe,

    WARNING: My opinions are entirely speculation and/or unfounded.

    I only learned that this condition existed a few years ago, at which time, I became a bit more sure that all sins were equal. Having been challenged on this, I asked Dr. Brown what he thought. He addressed my question on Jan. 15th.

    I know that homosexuality has to be a sin. God is clear about it… but I won’t pretend to know God’s position on this. Surely, He doesn’t judge someone for the way they’re born. Homosexuals say they’re born that way. Only God knows and only God can judge.

    I am sorry for how difficult I can only imagine your life has been, and I’m sorry for judging things I cannot begin to understand.

    I do think you would have been a much better guest on the Tyra Banks show. I don’t think the other guests did/said anything to help people understand. I know I didn’t. Thanks for posting.

  22. Hi Adam –

    I should mention – I’m no Christian – I lack faith – and no Theologian either. I do try to follow Matthew 22:39-40. The first clause of Matthew 19:12 applies to me, so I try to follow Isaiah 56:3-5 too. And as a scientist, 1 Corinthians 13 is apposite. Even if I had all knowledge, rather than just a skerrick or two more than most, and I lacked Charity, it would be meaningless.

    As regards science vs religion, and the concept of uncertainty, my position was best summed up by Dr Jacob Bronowski. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mIfatdNqBA

    My conclusions could be wrong. They are not based on anything more than systematic observations, rather than revelation.

  23. Hi Marcella –

    One thing that bothers me, as I have no answer. Why me? I don’t mean why did I have the problems, I mean “why did I get a miraculous cure from this terrible affliction, when others who deserve it more did not?”

    It is pretty terrible. Having a body that feels wrong. Being expected, based on one’s appearance, to live what you know is a perverse lifestyle. Except you don’t *know*, you figure it has to be you at fault.

    I “knew” I was female at age 10. I’d picked the new name, Zoe, by then. I thought there would be terrible inconvenience and embarrassment when I grew a bit older, and that my parents would realise they’d made a mistake putting me in with the boys. I fully expected to have a normal female puberty – they weren’t big on Sex Ed in the UK in the 60’s, and I had no idea that boys and girls were anatomically different at birth.

    Sex Identity – what is called (for historical reasons) by the APA and everyone else “Gender Identity” is something children just know. Often by age 3, nearly always by age 7. We have a good theory about how that comes to be, one that at least is true in my case, and may be universal.

    How do we know that we are male or female?

    We’re not completely sure, but Milton Diamond’s Biased-Transaction theory is definitely proven for some cases. It may be true for everyone. Basically, hard-wired biasses, propensities, instincts, reflexes, and emotional rather than rational responses follow a BiModal distribution. One pattern peaks in females, the other peaks in males, though it’s fuzzy. We “know” that we’re boys or girls by (unconsciously usually) comparing ourselves with others. “I do not think like X,Y, and Z. X,Y and Z are girls, so I cannot be a girl”. Later, this gets extended to “I think like A, B and C. A. B and C are boys, and I know I can’t be a girl, therefore I must be a boy”. Such mostly or wholly subconscious comparison is usually reinforced by cues such as similar body appearance, social role, clothing and so on, but when these contradict the emotional and instinctive data, they are ignored.

    So what causes these “biases”

    This is one area we now have good, and improving, data on. It’s all in the lymbic system of the brain, the hypothalamus and nearby structures. These are strongly sexually dimorphic, one common pattern for males, a quite different one for females. You could even say that this is the area that defines ones sex, rather than chromosomes, bodily appearance etc. For transsexual people, the neuroanatomy is strongly towards one extreme, which is discordant with societal perceptions of their “true” gender. Many people of both sexes are potentially “BiGendered”, and could function with various degrees of adequacy in either social role, but perhaps 2/3 of people could not.

    The soundbyte (over simplified but captures the essence): Male Brain, Female Body. Or the reverse. Anatomically different, visible on MRIs and in Autopsies.

  24. Zoe,

    Thanks for sharing all this here. I appreciate you being so open about the things you have experienced.

    From what I have read and learned, there ARE some definite neurological issues with SOME people having to do with intersexed/transsexual identities, but it appears that in most cases, the genetic/biological/neurological factors are merely contributory rather than in any way causative.

    Just my observations from what I’ve studied thus far and from the professionals with whom I’ve interacted.

  25. Zoe Brain,

    The same Paul who wrote 1 Corinthians 13 also wrote Romans 1:21ff. Was be violating his own principles in Romans 1? It is not meant to be an insult; it is meant to lay out what we as Christians believe, and get the discussion going.

    Also, knowledge cannot be based on observation because of the need to know universals and generalities. For example, the phrase “Sheep have wool” could not be known from the perspective of someone who bases their knowledge on observation. Why? Because it is a statement of generalization. In order to know this by observation, one would have to go to every individual sheep in the world and show that, in the vast majority of cases, these sheep have wool. However, no one has ever examined all the sheep in the world, and yet we say that we know that sheep have wool.

    The same thing is true of universals, such as the law of gravity. No one has examined every instance of the law of gravity to know whether it hold in all instances. Yet, we call it a “law, ” thus assuming that it is something that holds true universally. However, no one has universal observation, and thus, if one bases their knowledge on observation, one can never know universals.

    God Bless,
    Adam

  26. “From what I have read and learned, there ARE some definite neurological issues with SOME people having to do with intersexed/transsexual identities, but it appears that in most cases, the genetic/biological/neurological factors are merely contributory rather than in any way causative.”

    The problem is that no other causal mechanism has any good evidence behind it.

    Do all transgendered (as opposed to transsexual) people have cross-sexed anatomy? Probably not. Do all transsexual people have cross-sexed anatomy? We’ve never found anyone who hasn’t – and we’ve examined hundreds – but there may be some. We’d have to examine every single Trans person to be sure, and even then, if we found an exception we might suspect mis-diagnosis.

    Two quotes on the subject:
    From: Sexual differentiation of the human brain: relevance for gender identity, transsexualism and sexual orientation. Swaab Gynecol Endocrinol (2004) 19:301–312.

    Solid evidence for the importance of postnatal social factors is lacking. In the human brain, structural diferences have been described that seem to be related to gender identity and sexual orientation.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15724806

    The problem is that there is no pattern of post-birth factors. No greater rates of absent fathers, no rates of child abuse higher than for Intersexed people generally. NARTH quotes one paper of 30 years ago where n=3, that is, only 3 people were in the experiment, vs the hundreds that have been examined since then where no pattern was found. They cherry-pick data to support their ideology, and ignore the vast bulk that does not.

    From: Abstract – Brain Gender Identity – presentation to the APA (American Psychiatric Assocn) by Prof Sidney Ecker

    Gender Identity is that innate sense of who you are in this world with reference to your sexuality and behavior, not necessarily corresponding to your genitalia and reproductive organs. Transgenders are atypical and “think” as the opposite gender. Certain areas of the brain have been shown to be sexually dimorphic. They are different in structure and numbers of neurons in males versus females. Protein Receptors for the sex hormones in different areas of the brain (limbic and anterior hypothalamic) must be present in sufficient numbers to receive those powerful hormones. There are androgen receptors (AR), Estrogen Receptors (ER), and Progesterone receptors (PRs). ARs or ERs are predominant at different times in different parts of the human brain. Hormone receptor genes have been identified in humans, which are responsible for sexually dimorphic brain differentiation in the hypothalamus. The groundwork in brain gender identity is gene-directed and takes place by forming male and female hormone receptors in the brain before the gonads and hormones can influence them. Multiple genes acting in concert determine our sexual identity. The human brain continues to make neurons and synaptic neuronal connections throughout life. This contributes to Gender Role Behaviors making individuals in the continuum of gender identity. Gender behaviors must be differentiated from gender identity (Hines). Gender Identity cannot be predicted from anatomy (Reiner). Brain gender identity is determined very early in fetal development, but gender expression, expressed as behaviors requires hormonal, environmental, social and cultural interactions, which evolve with time. One cannot deny the profound effects of Testosterone, Estradiol and other steroids on genital differentiation in-utero or their effects on behavior from birth or the physical and mental cross gender changes caused by exogenous hormones, but gender identity is determined before and persists in spite of these effects.

    See presentation, PPT, bibliography etc at http://aebrain.blogspot.com/2009/05/brain-gender-identity-presentation-by.html

    For historical reasons, the term “Gender Identity” is used, but “Sex Identity” would be more accurate. That’s different from “Sexual Orientation”. It means which sex you see yourself as, not which sex you’re attracted to. There are gay and lesbian transsexuals as well as straight ones. And even more transsexual people violate “Gender Norms” than non-transsexuals. Trans women are often Engineers, Scientists, or Doctors, rather than the traditional female professions of Beauticians, Showgirls, and Secretaries.

    Such women were deemed to be “not women at all” in the Kennedy study sponsored by McHugh in the late 70’s. Patients who continued to be lawyers, rather than becoming legal secretaries were deemed “unsuccessful in their transition” as they did not have a “sex-appropriate profession” afterwards. Hence the findings that transition did not help the patients. For this, and other reasons, the study has attracted a lot of criticism, and the results have never been replicated since, despite frequent attempts using less antedeluvian controversial criteria for “success”.

  27. Adam – as I’ve said, I’m no expert in Theology. I would defer to Michael on that one.

    The same Paul who wrote 1 Corinthians 13 also wrote Romans 1:21ff.

    That’s disputed by a minority of scholars. See http://depts.drew.edu/jhc/vanrom.html
    What is certain, at any rate, is that the canonical epistle (Romans) is not by Paul. A writing that is so called, but on closer examination is seen to be no epistle but rather a compilation, in which, moreover, are embedded pieces that plainly show their origin in a later time, cannot possibly be attributed to the “apostle of the Gentiles.”

    It’s generally accepted, as far as I’m aware, that Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, and Galatians are by the same author. Though they may be collations of several letters each. I’m no expert, I’d really have to look at the Koin and analyse it for stylistic variation. Even then I’m no expert.

    I’m more concerned about accuracy of the translation of the Koin though. There are several neologisms in there that may have been mistranslated – e.g. arsenokoitai and malakoi.

    As for the Pauline epistles generally – I’m no fan of 1 Timothy 2. In fact, I have severe objections to much of it.

    1 Timothy 2:9 – no problems. 1 Timothy 2:11-12 – Er… no. Just No.

    You have to remember that I’m not Christian. Just because I think much of the Bible is worth following doesn’t mean I believe all of it is.

  28. Zoe,
    Just saw your comment about 1 Timothy 2:11-12. It is common for some people to misread this text as sexist or unfair, but unless they understand God’s established order, it will never make sense to them. Beyond our understanding, there’s a reason God sets up things a certain way. In a similar argument, some people completely disagree with Romans 1:26-27 since they think there is nothing wrong with homosexuality, but God intended sexual relations to be between male and female only. People can disagree with these issues all they want, but it doesn’t change what God intended. Also, it is important to understand context of Scripture. In the 1 Timothy verses we’re discussing, it appears that the before and after context shows that the women of this particular community are being distractions because of their adornment and ability to take away focus from Godly teaching. Paul sees that in order for community life to be fruitful, it is better that men have the higher authority over women with regards to teaching Godly counsel. He even relates this to Adam and Eve.

    Also, thanks for sharing about your condition. I know none of us have to tell you that you are not any less a person than the rest of us, and that God loves you just the same. People are often born with various disabilities or deformities that make them different than most of society, which can make it harder for them to follow God’s Word for various reasons. But one thing is clear, regardless of whatever conditions or circumstances we face, we have to trust that God’s entire Word is true and that we can’t pick and choose what we want from it. As hard as it can be, we must put His will before our own. And remember that God is a merciful and loving God who will forgive those who have sinned against Him if they come to Him and trust in His Son Jesus.

  29. Michael K – thanks.

    In view of the first line of Matthew 19:12, the word “Eunuch” in the Bible also covers Intersexed people. That’s in line with various Talmudaic scriptures, that often go into great length about classifying apparently Intersexed people into “Tumtum” and “Androgenous”. The latter corresponds to the Koin “malakoi” or “effeminate men”, and is deemed, um, not Kosher so to speak.

    If there is a hereafter – a matter about which I’m Agnostic, I don’t have enough faith to be Atheist – then people like me have been given a promise, direct from the Almighty.

    It’s in Isaiah 56:3-5.

    We can’t follow the Levitican and other laws that are there to guide others and prescribe behaviour for men and women. We have no rulebook or detailed guide.

    What we have to do though is to keep the Sabbath, and choose what pleases God. We have to do our best, as we don’t have the book of rules to follow that everyone else does. Some apply, but others we’re not physically capable of obeying.

    And in return for “winging it” this way, choosing what pleases God, and strictly keeping all the laws that apply… we’re told not to complain. Even though we’re forbidden to enter the temple, even though we’re persecuted by the ignorant and fearful.

    For taking all the trials and tribulations of this Earth, the injustices and wounds, the loss of being able to have children (apart from a very few of us)…. we’re promised a special place in the hereafter. A place of particular honour.

    It is a very personal promise to each one of us, and an instruction on what we must do, and how we should behave, in the places where the usual laws do not and cannot apply. There’s no carte blanche about it : we must choose what pleases the Almighty, and Keep the Sabbath. That’s it.

    And that means we must do our best to ascertain what pleases Him. He’s given some pretty unsubtle hints though. Matthew 22:35-40. “All else is commentary”.

  30. Randy – about those people on the show.

    One, Marci Bowers, is Transsexual. A woman born looking male. She has seen and experienced horrors you will never know. Trust me on that.

    Here’s part of what the other lady, Kim Pearson wrote to me:

    Zoe, while I appreciate what you are attempting to do I’m not sure there is really a conversation to be had. I have only 3 points I am willing to speak to.

    1) TYFA was founded by 3 moms with 3 kids; we are now 3 moms with 2 kids; these are the statistics that keep me awake at night.
    2) When I understood that my child was transgender I was faced with the question of having a dead daughter or an alive son; MY God and I are fine with my decision to support my alive son.
    3) This is a medical condition with available medical treatment which in my experience proves to be 100% successful and produces happy, healthy, contributing members of society.

    Not sure what more I can say.

    If we try any other course of action, children die.

    You can see how that kind of experience might make someone a little passionate, too passionate, about their cause.

    Even me, I’m afraid. Thank goodness Dr Brown is the kind of guy Yeshua Bar Joseph would approve of. He doesn’t just preach Christianity, he lives it. Hence his kindness in allowing me to put forward my views here, views he does not always share.

    He has intellectual integrity – and charity. I’m no theologue nor minister, merely a Rocket Scientist, but I hope to match his example.

  31. Zoe,
    I’m trying to figure out where you’re coming from, given all the various stances you take from various sources. You take information from Talmud which assumes your point about Eunuchs and then take information from Old Testament and imply that the New Testament agrees with what you say about how much Sabbath in particular matters. I know you said you are not a theologue or Christian, so just to let you know, your points are very scattered with respect to the truth about each source you quote. If someone didn’t know any better, one might think you practice Judaism or are possibly a Seventh Day Adventist. But based on your comments, it seems you are more universalistic with a multi-religious approach, taking certain points to be used from various sources. With regards to Sabbath, you should know that Jesus said God made the Sabbath for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Keeping the Sabbath does not saves one’s soul, only faith in Jesus can do this. So although setting aside a day to make holy for the Lord is important, it is not on the same level as Matthew 22:35-40. Also, “doing our best”, is not exactly the message of the Gospel. If Jesus is not in the equation, “doing our best” won’t cut it. See Ephesians 2:8-9. We need the cleansing of Jesus’ blood before we can be made holy in God’s eyes.

    Also with regards to transsexuals, regardless of who the person thinks they are on the inside, they need to accept who God made them to be biologically. If they can’t be attracted to opposite biological sex, then they need to accept that no other alternative is valid according to the Word of God. People who aspire to be professional soccer players and are born with no legs, need to accept they will not be playing in the professional soccer leagues. There are just some things in life we have to accept to put it bluntly. God’s order of life according to His Word does not change, so who are we to tinker with what He has set into place?

  32. Michael K.,

    Thanks for reaching out to Zoe and interacting. Perhaps Zoe’s response to your final question would be, “But isn’t the brain part of the body, just as much as one’s physical organs? What if the brain is made one way or the body another way? Isn’t it easier to fix the body?”

    I’ve actually heard this argument from those who support sex-change surgery. How would you respond? Any, I share your approach here but I would like to get your thoughts.

  33. Here’s a tidbit. Tyra seems to have supported the “transgendering” of children and operations to “change” one’s gender. However, on a previous show she was against black women bleaching their skin white saying something to the effect that they shoudl accept themselves as they are.

  34. Dr. Brown,
    My point to that argument would be that there is no reason to change perfectly functional body parts that are in accordance with God’s order. A person who has a fully functional brain does not mean that their thoughts are rational (meaning in accordance with God’s will). If a person born with a male body thinks they are a female or vice versa, there is an obvious brain disorder regarding their identity, since God made people with the male body to know they are male, and female body to know they are female. The overwhelming majority of people in the world are this way, indicating God’s true intentions for males and females. Just like other people have multiple personalities thinking at times they are a totally different person, we know this is a disorder, and their brain can function perfectly normal with many other every day choices to be made. I also agree with the example you used about people who suffer from body mutilation disorder, seeking to remove body parts that are perfectly functional. It’s a brain disorder they suffer from. It may seem to some that a person who has changed their sex to match who their brain says they are, wasn’t a bad idea after all because they seem really at peace with themselves now. But again, it’s not what God intended, according to His Word. That’s my take anyway in short. I’d be curious to hear your take on this and what other devil’s advocate points could be made. Really, it’s just a matter of whether or not you believe God’s Word.

  35. Hi Michael K –

    I did say that I wasn’t Christian. Neither am I 7th Day Adventist, nor Jewish (except on a technicality). Nor Buddhist.

    As regards “disordered” brains. Good point. The trouble is though that we have to decide what is natural variation, what is abnormal (but possibly beneficial), and what is pathological.

    There is (usually) nothing wrong per se with a transsexual person’s neurology. Had the rest of the body matched, the person would be trouble-free. Not quite normal – they would tend to have a rather higher IQ, greater creativity, more intense powers of concentration – but likely ambidextrous (more like ambi-clumsy), poor co-ordination, and a few cognitive impairments due to greater connectivity in the corpus callosum. That varies – some are ballet dancers, but in general, it’s more likely than not. Within normal range, just the lower level.

    To say “female brain in a male body” does over-simplify. The cross-sexing that happens often has other effects too, some quite beneficial.

    Just see the biographies of these women to see what I mean:
    http://aebrain.blogspot.com/2010/01/four-extraordinary-women.html

    Given how rare transsexuality is (the official estimates say 1 in 30,000 – though that’s a considerable under-estimate), the number of Engineers, Scientists, Surgeons, Artists etc is staggering.

    The problem is not the brain: nor the genitalia/emdocrine system. The problem is the mismatch. This is illustrated well in my own case – biologically and neurologically female (or more female than male), but I had a condition that made me look almost completely male for most of my life. I had the same psychological distress as do transsexual women, even though objectively it was my body that was disordered. And that (mostly) resolved from natural causes, as it sometimes (VERY rarely) does.

    If someone was born with an extra arm – one that was useless, no working neural connection to the brain, but otherwise 100% healthy, bones, muscles, veins, nerves, all in good working order – would you say that amputation there was “going against God’s Holy Order”, should the patient be unbearably distressed by its presence? It would be the destruction, rather than reconstruction (as in genital reconstruction surgery) of a perfectly healthy organ after all.

  36. Zoe,
    Thanks for clarifying where you are coming from. The way I understand you, I think we are in harmony. Also, in the example of a person with a 3rd arm, I do not think there is anything wrong with amputating it if no life-threatening health risks would result. Even Biblically speaking, things can be removed from the body that does no harm to its natural function, for example, circumcision.

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