Does Transgenderism Have an Evolutionary Benefit?
Claimed Evolutionary Benefits of Transgenderism: Do transgenders need a surgeon or a psychologist?
by Jerry Bergman, PhD
The LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual and Queer or Questioning, meaning one is not sure what sex they are) movement has grown enormously in the Western world. Transgender refers to a person whose personal identity does not correspond with their birth sex. The biological ‘he’ views himself as a ‘she’, and may dress like a ‘she’, change his name, and elect hormone treatment and even surgery to become a ‘she’.
Some argue that transgenderism was caused, or at least influenced, by evolution.[i] Some of them support the notion of transgender transgender by claiming that Transgenderism “Showed Evolutionary Benefits in Ancestral Societies,” namely they helped others with child care and other tasks.[ii] In a 2013 paper in Nature, VanderLaan and his colleagues studied 146 non-transgendered societies and 46 transgender societies in both current and older hunter-gatherer societies. He defined his subjects as transgendered androphilia, a gender role markedly similar to that of females in a given culture. VanderLaan found that transgender men were useful to their communities as extra help in supporting the family, such as by helping to raise the children of others. He concluded these transgender benefits “provided an evolutionary advantage to the societies in which they belonged, allowing them to survive and remain healthy, and that in turn provided the opportunity for transgender attributes to continue into future generations, despite the fact that many transgender males did not have biological children of their own.”[iii]
The major problem with this study was the researchers did not research persons who fit the definition of transgender in the West, namely one born with one biological sex who assumes a different gender sex, gender referring to one’s perception of which sex they are. They only looked at males who, for whatever reason, had assumed some female roles, a state increasingly common in our society. An example is a friend of mine who stays home and takes care of their 5 children so his wife, a physician whose income is several times his, can work. Child care would use much of his income, so they saw their best option was for him to stay home, especially in that 3 of their children were not yet in school and 2 are identical twins. Although they are not a traditional family, the husband is not transgender, defined as born with one biological sex and preferring a different gender sex. Thus, the headline is very misleading as it conveys a very different impression than what actually existed. Even today the estimates of the size of the transgender population is only 0.02 percent of the American population.[iv]
The Biology Facts
What are the facts? Can one have a different biological sex than one’s gender? It is well documented that every cell in the human body is either male or female except mature red blood cells, which are enucleated: before use, they expel their nucleus that contains their chromosomes which includes the X and Y chromosomes. This gives the erythrocytes more room to transport oxygen. All other cells have either a male set (X and Y chromosomes) or a female set (two X’s, one which is silenced). X-inactivation involves being packaged to be transcriptionally inactive in a structure called heterochromatin.
Like others who elect to live the transgender life, I painfully discovered it was only a temporary fix to deeper pain.
As nearly all healthy female mammals have two X chromosomes, X-inactivation prevents them from having twice as many X chromosome gene products as males, who only possess a single copy of the X chromosome. The silencing is said to achieve dosage compensation. X-inactivation is also called lyonization after Mary Lyon, who discovered it. Furthermore, a process called imprinting turns off thousands of genes off epigenetically in males and a different thousand in females, producing many thousands of genetic differences between males and females. Out of many thousands of experiments so far completed, no researcher has ever found a single trait that is identical in both males and females. Females have a higher average in some traits, males in others. In sum, the science is clear, biological males and females are facts of life. Transgenderism is a psychological problem, not a problem with a male stuck in a female body. This gets even more confusing as the following quote illustrates:
At my daughter’s state girls’ school, many of the students see themselves as gender fluid. Some feel more like boys than girls. Others feel like boys on some days and girls on others. A lot of the girls are out [of the closet], with many identifying as gay and quite a few as bi- or pansexual. No doubt, in time, a small minority of them will migrate across the gender spectrum entirely, crossing permanently from one side to the other.[v]
Many examples exist about how the left ignores science to support their ideology. Examples include not just the transgender issue but also the abortion and global warming movements. The peer reviewed medical literature with large samples and good research methodology on this issue is very clear.
A Swedish study of 324 cases on transgender persons after their surgery to gain a cosmetically satisfactory appearance by removing all the male parts, including the penis and testes, and an attempt to construct from the tissues available a labium and vagina, plus breast implants to change the appearance of a male into a female. The results of those who were operated on were 4.9 times more likely to attempt suicide and 19.1 times more likely to die of suicide.[vi] The author concluded that this operation may end up as the frontal lobotomy of this century, and that persons in this situation don’t need a surgeon but a psychologist. These conclusions agree with the case histories such as that of Walt Heyer. He writes he was a cross-dressing boy at nine and his grandmother encouraged him to do so by providing clothing and affirmation over a prolonged period.
I was sure I wanted to become a female. Eventually, I did become a female transgender. I was approved and underwent the full range of hormone therapy and surgeries and legally changed my identity. I lived life as a female, Laura Jensen, for eight years. All too late I realized transgenderism was … a surgical masquerade to superficially project a change of gender. Like others who elect to live the transgender life, I painfully discovered it was only a temporary fix to deeper pain.[vii]
We now know that taking hormones long term, such as those given to women after menopause, is very problematic, and those who elect this treatment with or without surgery must take either male or female hormones for the rest of their lives. This is a major consideration to face for those considering this decision.
Hormone replacement therapy, i.e., giving female hormones to replace the ones the body no longer makes after menopause, “used to be a standard treatment for women with hot flashes and other menopause symptoms.” But now it is no longer routinely recommended due to the major health risks it causes, including anxiety, heart disease, stroke, blood clots, breast cancer, osteoporosis, coronary heart disease, depression, and Parkinsonism or Parkinson’s-like symptoms.[viii]
Long term hormone therapy as part of sexual reassignment surgery will likely cause similar major problems. Thus, we may find the surgery and hormone therapy option was an enormous mistake, just as frontal lobotomy—for which a Nobel Prize was awarded—has turned out to be in retrospect.
Some of the persons who feel they are a different sex than they were born as may have a hormonal imbalance, males producing too much female hormones and females producing too much male hormones, but this is a medical issue. It should not be dealt with by cutting off body parts, but rather by various therapeutic approaches, such as diet, losing wright, or other medical treatments.
The left seems blinded by this movement and may end up regretting their support. The movement has even progressed to the extent that surgeons and other professions, including professors, have lost their career or their university position as a result of speaking out against the procedure. Cases of firings include Dr. Kenneth Zucker, longtime editor of Archives of Sexual Behavior and psychologist-in-chief at Toronto’s center for Addiction and Mental Health at the University of Toronto.[ix]
Johns Hopkins used to do many of these surgeries, but stopped as a result of the poor prognosis they found in their detailed follow-up studies.[x] Unfortunately, due to pressure to avoid lawsuits and the label of ‘bigot’, they have again begun doing them, even though “in 1965, Johns Hopkins made history as the first academic institution to offer gender-affirming surgical procedures.”[xi] The pressure is such that Zac Ford claimed surgery for transgendered persons is “the consensus of mainstream medicine.” Forcing Johns Hopkins to offer sexual reassignment surgery, he claimed, makes it “easier for transgender people to access the quality care they need and deserve as they transition” from one sex to the other.[xii]
The Scriptural Position
The Scriptures teach that God created Adam and Eve, adding “God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”[xiii] It says nothing about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual and Queer-or-Questioning people: only males and females. Furthermore, it condemns all sexual behavior outside of marriage, which it defines as the union of a male and a female. Marriage, for example, is defined as the bringing together of male and female as “one flesh” in marriage.[xiv] The transsexual issue is another example of the repercussions that result from ignoring the moral principles taught by the Judeo-Christian worldview. Evolutionists reject the belief that humans were created male and female. By teaching that we evolved from asexual organisms and, as animals, evolved different sexual orientations, they not only prove their allegiance to political correctness instead of evidence, but create a mess of social problems that hurt the very people that need help.
Item: “Genital Reconstructive Surgeon Receives Dozens of Requests for Transgender Reversal Operations” (Breitbart). –Ed.
- [i] Jae Alexis Lee. 2017. Can transgender be a part of human evolution? https://www.quora.com/Can-transgender-be-a-part-of-human-evolution.
- [ii] Alexandra Sifferlin. 2013. healthland.time.com/…/transgender-showed-evolutionary-benefits-in-ancestral-societies
- [iii] VanderLaan, D.P. et al 2013. Male Androphilia in the Ancestral Environment: An Ethnological Analysis, Human Nature. DOI 10.1007/s12110-013-9182-z.
- [iv] Gary Gates. How many people are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender? Report from the Williams Institute April, 2011.
- [v] Evolution, race and the rise of the transgender generation http://www.afr.com/lifestyle/health/evolution-race-and-the-rise-of-the-transgender-generation-20161023-gs8jnx#ixzz4vDYLqfc8. Financial Review
- [vi] Austin Rose. 2017. Fake Science: Exposing the Left’s Skewed Statistics, Fuzzy Facts, and Dodgy Data. Washington, DC. Regnery
- [vii] The National Geographic Transgender Cover Champions Child Abuse and Junk Science. http://thefederalist.com/2017/01/03/national-geographic-transgender-cover-champions-child-abuse-junk-science/
- [viii] Hormone therapy: Is it right for you? http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/in-depth/hormone-therapy/art-20046372
- [ix] Austin Rose. 2017, pp. 20, 29.
- [x] Paul R. McHugh. 2004 Surgical Sex: Why we Stopped Doing Sex Change Operations. First Things. November on line as https://www.firstthings.com/article/2004/11/surgical-sex.
- [xi] Zac Ford. 2016. Johns Hopkins to resume gender-affirming surgeries after nearly 40 years. The prestigious school is finally distancing itself from its anti-trans reputation. https://thinkprogress.org/johns-hopkins-transgender-surgery-5c9c428184c1/
- [xii] Ford, 2016.
- [xiii] Genesis 1:26-28. New King James Version.
- [xiv] Gen 1:27 ; 2:21-24.
Dr Jerry Bergman, professor, author and speaker, is a frequent contributor to Creation-Evolution Headlines. See his Author Profile for his previous articles.
See Dr Bergman’s book How Darwinism Corrodes Morality for numerous examples of how evolutionary thinking causes damaging societal upsets.