June 3rd 2017

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Left poisons Trump's real achievements

EUTHANASIA It must be war, as truth has been the first casualty

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE Dr David van Gend criticises AMA statement

GENDER POLITICS U.S. Target goes gender neutral; pays the price

GENDER POLITICS Where have all the transgenders gone?

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Graceless new book takes hatchet to Cardinal Pell

CULTURAL HISTORY The prophets of eco-doom: a perfect record of failure

LAW AND SOCIETY Religion in the balance in Australia

MUSIC What's it all about?: when no amount of ado will do

CINEMA Alien: Covenant: Creature seeks Creator

BOOK REVIEW Insights for the euthanasia debate

BOOK REVIEW Assistance is an Australian strength


CANBERRA OBSERVED Abbott strives not to join the forgotten people

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Is Cardinal Pell just the tallest poppy of them all?

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Where have all the transgenders gone?

by Peter Kelleher

News Weekly, June 3, 2017

Is the above headline really appropriate, or does it suggest a darker background to the light and airy stories that the media feeds to us on this issue.

The darker background, which should be the foreground, is the subject of Walt Heyer’s activity as a former transsexual male-to-female who has de-transitioned back to being male.

Meanwhile, transgenderism is again in the news with two headline-grabbing stories. Caitlyn (ne Bruce) Jenner has released a book on the story of her transition to female; and Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning has been released from jail after former U.S. President Barack Obama granted the soldier convicted of espionage a pardon.

Bradley Manning, now Chelsea

In a television interview to spruik her book, Jenner referred to two issues that revealed much more than she intended.

As Daily Mail Australia reported: “Quizzed why she stopped herself pulling the trigger of the gun she had bought, Caitlyn mused: ‘It’s the easy way out – sometimes you get to that point in life, you think about that. TMZ and the press were destroying me.

“ ‘I knew they were coming out with a story about a trachea shave [a procedure in which a surgeon reduces the cartilage in the throat, specifically the Adam’s apple]. I said: “Isn’t that stupid, I need to be a voice, I don’t need to silence myself.” It wouldn’t do any good whatsoever.’ ” (May 17, 2017)

Besides the irony of using the media to blame the media, the revelation that Jenner was close to suicide is disturbing. It is precisely ideation of suicide, attempted suicide and completed suicide that Walt Heyer wishes to bring to public attention because of the huge proportion of transsexuals who attempt suicide – upwards of 40 per cent.

Jenner’s second comment, while disguised as a kind of “good news story”, related to the authenticity of her new identity as a female:

“She said: ‘There’s nothing else to be done. Everything’s in place! I’m all here. It’s about what’s between your eyes, not what’s between your legs.

Bruce Jenner, now Caitlyn

‘It took my entire life to come to that decision. You’re no more a woman after the surgery – it’s about who you are.’ …

 “On the suggestion transgender women will never be real women, Caitlyn said: ‘I do agree – my journey to womanhood was very different. It took a very, very long time. I missed out on a lot of things of womanhood.

“ ‘I did not experience a lot of things of womanhood, I did not feel sex discrimination growing up, periods, all of that, I never have to deal about getting pregnant, just getting other women pregnant – that was my problem – I was on a hot streak there for a while. There was a lot of things I never did have to deal with. So I am very comfortable with the word “you are a transwoman” because my experience was different than most woman.’ ” (Daily Mail Australia, May 17, 2017)

While Jenner seems to be happy at the moment, which is not to be sneered at, the mealy-mouthed illogical palaver above reveals a frightening fragility regarding her identity. If we read and pars her comments from the inside, really empathising with the person, we must feel the shadow of confusion pass over us, as I can only assume it passed over Jenner as she uttered them.

Or else, she has learned to modulate her claim to be a “sister” for fear of a backlash from the feminists.

OMG moment

The power of propaganda is immense. That power has two elements. The first is the better known and appreciated: that mere repetition of a position over and over is like someone knocking at your door in the middle of the night; it disallows rest and simply must be dealt with, whether you would or not. Repetitive propaganda gets into your head; that’s why it is used.

The second element has two sub-elements: everyone wants to belong, and going along with the crowd is an easy way to belong; even to those who disagree with a position, their basic human compassion can bend them away from their point of view, especially if that point of view is held on, as it were, intuitive or inherited grounds rather than on strong rational grounds.

Whatever the activists choose to hold about we who disagree with them – tarring us as bigots, homophobes, transphobes – it is not true that there is no compassion in our camp for their plight. Indeed it is our own compassion that they weaponise against us. And it gains further power if a remedy (transitioning to the opposite sex) to the suffering is held out and we are characterised as obstructing the application of that remedy. But, let’s look at an analogous situation.

We don’t encourage anorexic teens to starve themselves because they have the delusion that they are overweight. Nobody would be so insane as to agree with a young man or woman that they must eat as little as possible although they are on the brink of starvation, or affirm them in their unquestionably delusional belief that they are fat.

Or is the corollary that, rather than discouraging confused children or teens from drastic premature transgendering action, we ought to start to encourage anorexics to starve themselves to death? Obviously, the answer is “no”.

Junk science

Walt Heyer, mentioned above, has brought our attention to the flimsiness of studies that purport to show that sex-change recipients are by and large happy with their choice. On The Federalist website, Heyer writes, with reference to Caitlyn Jenner’s most recent publicity:

“Jenner is wealthy and can cash in on celebrity, but a large portion of the transgender population remains lost and unaccounted for. Did they die, de-transition, or commit suicide? All we know is the attempted suicide rate for transgender people has remained above 40 per cent for many years.

“One limitation of long-term transgender research is that many participants who were present at the beginning of the study can’t be located at its end. In medical parlance, they are ‘lost to follow-up’.

“A 2007 textbook titled Principles of Transgender Medicine and Surgery explains the limitations of the studies: ‘A large proportion of patients (up to 90 per cent) are lost to follow up … [which] … complicates efforts to systematically study the long-term effects of gender reassignment surgery.’

“Another review of more than 100 international medical studies of post-operative transsexuals conducted in 2004 by the University of Birmingham’s aggressive research facility, ARIF, warned ‘the results of many gender reassignment studies are unsound because researchers lost track of more than half of the participants. For example, in a five-year study of 727 post-operative transsexuals published last year, 495 [68 per cent] people dropped out for unknown reasons.’ ” (April 13, 2017)

Heyer ends his article:

“Red flags against gender-change surgery abound. Up to 90 per cent of gender changers in studies cannot be located for follow-up, lowering the quality and credibility of the activist trans agenda. Scientific evidence showing that gender reassignment surgery is clinically effective is lacking.”

Effects of hormones: not reversible, as claimed

The lack of scientific evidence has had little if any restraining effect in this country either.

In January, Dr John Whitehall, Professor of Paediatrics at Western Sydney University, warned the National Civic Council’s National Conference that courts were ruling that pre-teens claiming to be transgenders could safely be administered “puberty-blocking” hormones to delay the onset of puberty and that any effects of these hormones could be reversed.

Dr Whitehall said:

“In the compulsory court hearings, any objecting parent is overruled. Objecting expert witnesses are overruled. The child must answer for himself. A child who has been maintained in a pre-pubertal state, as if pre-pubertal children can have any idea regarding their later reproductive capacity. A child whose brain has been filled with the blockers and who have been poisoned with the cross-sex hormones. Then they ask: ‘Do you understand what we mean by “you won’t be able to have children in the future”?’ And the kid answers from a script.

“ ‘We know what’s best for the child,’ says the judge. ‘Blockers are completely safe and reversible.’ But that is just not true.

“ ‘Cross-linked effects are completely reversible.’ Nonsense! If you take a girl in a pre-pubertal state and bathe her with testosterone, she develops a beard for starters, hair elsewhere, her larynx grows, her skin becomes much oilier, and her jaw grows. That’s reversible?”

Parents are overruled, expert witnesses are overruled, pre-pubertal children are left to answer questions the import of which anyone with common sense knows children are not mature enough to appreciate. And, on top of it, a judge makes a scientific claim, well outside his competence, that “blockers are completely safe and reversible”. What astonishing hubris.

Research? What research?

In a long piece in the May 2017 issue of Quadrant, Dr Whitehall wrote:

“In re Bernadette (2010), regarding a seventeen-year-old natal male identifying as female, … for the first and last time in Family Court deliberations, concerns of ‘potential damage to the brain’ by puberty blockers were raised. …

“The judge declared: ‘So far as stage 2 [the administration of puberty-blocking hormones] is concerned, I am satisfied that it would be possible to reverse that treatment.’ It appears attention was not drawn to research already reporting effects of cross-sex hormones on brains.”

The research Dr Whitehall refers to is “Changing your sex changes your brain: Influences of testosterone and estrogen on adult human brain structure”. European Journal of Endocrinology, (2006), 155, S107–S111. Led by Hilleke E. Hulsshoff Pol of the Department of Psychiatry at the Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience in Utrecht, Netherlands.

This research found that “compared with controls, anti-androgen + estrogen treatment decreased brain volumes of male-to-female subjects towards female proportions, while androgen treatment in female-to-male subjects increased total brain and hypothalamus volumes towards male proportions.”

It concluded that “the findings suggest that, throughout life, gonadal hormones remain essential for maintaining aspects of sex-specific differences in the human brain.”

Dr Whitehall alerted the NCC National Conference to the fact that puberty blockers cause changes in the part of the brain, within the limbic system, called the amygdala.

The limbic system is a control centre of emotions, motivation, executive control, and behaviour.

Dr Whitehall said: “Perceptions from the outside world come in, and are evaluated by the limbic system: ‘What am I going to do about this?’ Messages then go up to the motor cortex and you think: ‘I don’t like the look of this truck heading towards me, I think I’d better run away’, and at the same time you feel fear. It’s the limbic system that controls emotion, behaviour, and executive function.”

He went on to explain: “As a matter of fact, we already knew the side effects from studies into another use of the hormone blocker. Men who have prostate cancer who were given this blocker in order to stop testosterone being released have been measured, and subtle but definite signs of deterioration in their cognitive function, their emotional behaviour, and their executive control have been found. These side effects have been known for 15 years. …

“So, then they did this work on sheep, and what happened to the sheep? Well, the sheep that had been administered the hormone blocker got confused, and when they got separated from the flock and were walked through a maze, they didn’t do it as well. They all got frightened and nervous, as opposed to the sheep that had not been given the blocker.

“There was a behavioural effect, an emotional effect, and a cognitive effect on the sheep. Yet none of this comes up in the ‘gender dysphoria’ literature. Why not? It’s there in all the veterinarian literature.”

The upshot is that, at the very least, in view of this evidence, puberty-blocking hormones ought not to be administered to young people whose brain is still in the process of development. Any other procedure is flying in the face of scientific evidence; as scant as it is.

All you need to know about
the wider impact of transgenderism on society.
TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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