April 6, 2019 | Jerry Bergman

Gender Dysphoria and Darwinism, cont.

Gender Dysphoria and Darwinism, cont.

by Dr Jerry Bergman

In this continuation from yesterday’s post, Dr Bergman discusses scientific research about sex and gender, describes historical gender roles, and explains how the media distort the science.

Genetics Research

X and Y chromosomes differ dramatically in size and content

The male Y chromosome contains over 200 genes, of which 72 code for proteins, while the X chromosome contains over 12 times as many, or 874 genes. These 946 genes produce many major genetic differences between the sexes. After a fertilized egg called a zygote is formed, thousands of other genetic differences are created due to a complex epigenetic process called imprinting. This system turns off thousands of genes in males and thousands of other genes in females. The effects of imprinting also depend on whether the gene came from the father or mother (since men carry one X chromosome). The end result of these two factors is that thousands of genetic differences exist between the sexes long before birth.[14]

So-called “transitioning” to the other sex does nothing to change the DNA on the chromosomes or the results of imprinting, although the expression of the imprinted genes may be modified by hormone therapy. Hormones may also damage genes, or cause mutations. When in medical school, this topic was covered briefly in my classes, noting that sex-change surgery is better described as a mutilation, not a transition. Men do not become women, nor women men. Even worse, the so-called transition blurs the distinction between males and females.

Medical Consequences of Ignoring Biological Sex

These male-female genetic and other differences have profound ramifications in medicine. For years, only males were generally tested to determine proper drug dosages. Then it was discovered that the popular sleep drug, Ambien, is metabolized differently in females than males. Consequently, women obtained about twice the proper systemic dose for some time, resulting in over-medication of some female users, producing a rash of traffic accidents in this group. One major reason for these drug dosage differences was due to the major hormone variations between males and females.

Another example is adult males and females having different physiological reactions to alcohol due to major sexual based variations of the detoxifying enzyme, alcohol dehydrogenase. Alcohol dehydrogenase breaks down ethanol, causing females to exhibit significantly higher alcohol metabolic rates than males. In other words, liquor is broken down to cause the effects of alcohol much earlier in women, thus alcohol tends to have a stronger effect sooner in women.

Research Using Computer Evaluations

A very fruitful area of psychological and physiological research compares males and females as measured by non-invasive medical evaluations. Because differences are virtually always found between males and females, this topic is a favorite for graduate theses. An example is having males and females perform some mental activity, such as reading from a script or looking at pictures, which often results in significant differences in male and female brain scan patterns. Even sleep cycles tend to be different. Females tend to go to sleep earlier, wake up earlier in the morning, and are more active in the morning than males. This fact has an adverse effect on boys and is one of several reasons for their poorer school performance compared to girls, a difference existing from first grade through college.[15]

Occupationally, as a whole, women make better neurosurgeons due to their superior fine-muscle coordination, compared to men and men make better diesel mechanics due to their superior gross-muscle coordination.[16] Women lean toward careers that focus on people, like teaching and healthcare. Males tend to go into careers that involve working with things, such as engineering, manufacturing and agriculture. Conversely, some women make better diesel mechanics than most men, and some men, like the man with gifted hands, Dr. Ben Carson, make better neurosurgeons then most women.  This fact, though, does not make women diesel mechanics men, nor Ben Carson a woman.

Females tend to choose careers that usually produce more personal rewards, even though their pay may be relatively lower. Males tend to choose better-paying careers over those they would otherwise prefer, because income is often a major consideration. Genetic and other research continues to find evidence of built-in differences in males and females, confirming the biblical record about the implications of God separately creating human males and females for different, but compatible, roles. Together, they reflect His image.

Sex hormone therapy may alter these differences between males and females, but no one knows the long-term effects, and we will not know for decades after a large number of persons undergo gender reassignment hormone therapy. Then, if the early reports are accurate, much non-repairable harm will have been done, not the least of which is sterility. In other words, this is a risky experimental treatment with presently unknown deleterious effects.

The Progressives Attempt to Suppress the Science[17]

Professor Littman surveyed parents who are concerned about rapid onset gender dysphoria in their children. The children were defined as teenagers who suddenly expressed gender dysphoria after showing no signs earlier. Littman found this was especially common after they had spent large amounts of time online or with certain friends. Soon after the study was published, often aggressive hostile, backlash occurred, particularly from transgender activists. Basically, the opposition claimed parents’ observations about their own children are invalid and therefore should be suppressed.

The journal that published the study was soon overwhelmed with protests, some demanding they retract the article. In response, the editors re-evaluated Littman’s methodology. Brown University also pulled the press release publicizing her article.  A former Harvard Medical School Dean said he had never seen a comparable reaction from an academic journal.[18] A seemingly overwhelming cultural tide has argued that transgenderism is not to be questioned—ever—even for the good of the children. Some transgender activists are actively encouraging young people to embrace gender dysphoria. This irresponsible activism ignores the potential of long-term risks posed by the commonly used treatments, including surgery and hormone therapy.

Most gender-confused youth grow out of it by their late teenage years. Instead of encouraging teens to seek help for the underlying issues that lead to rapid onset gender dysphoria, whether mental or emotional, progressives seek to affirm their immature feelings. They encourage the confused 14-year-old who feels wrong about her gender identity, encouraging her to alter her body, perhaps forever. Online guides even exist to help teens convince a physician to prescribe powerful cross sex hormones on the first visit! Some supporters of the transgender movement are now even pushing parents to give their very young children puberty-blocking drugs so they do not go through puberty, in order to give them time to decide what gender they want to be. Then, they advise administering cross-sex hormones to them when they normally would go through puberty. The long-term effects of this approach are also unknown. Now, one can find wings of children’s hospitals devoted to gender reassignment despite the fact that this therapy likely has long-term deleterious consequences.

Some pushback has come from a handful of physicians and therapists who stress we need to realize that this is a dangerous venture into unknown territory. No one knows the effects of giving cross-sex hormones to a person for decades. Those voices, though,  are few and far between in this politically-correct LGBT minefield. Some physicians and therapists have already opined that gender transition is a dangerous trend, but are afraid to say so.  This is sad for a profession devoted to the principle, “Do no harm.”

Summary

Aside from the rare genetic and biological cases of ambiguous chromosomes, people are born biologically male (XY) or biologically female (XX). Sex differences diverge from the moment of conception. But now, two very contrasting views exist about gender, one is that (contrary to the scientific research), the differences between the sexes are, at best, very minor, mostly plumbing differences. To feel whole, gender dysphoric persons think they have to change a few things about their birth sex to the one they “feel” they want to be, then they will “feel” happy (euphoria). The second position is that the differences are major, affecting the whole person. Scientific evidence clearly favors this view.

Is transgenderism a fad? No, it is something deeper and more sinister. It is a rejection not only of the facts of biology, but also of the creation imperative: “From the beginning, God made them male and female.”[19] Because Darwinism denies this view, it opens the door to dangerous tinkering with nature for personal identity. Secular progressives who value personal identity over science encourage it. They think it is possible to be born in the wrong body, and modern medicine can fix the problem by drugs and surgery. The long-term effects of tinkering with God’s design for humans have yet to be experienced.

Andrew Walker, a fellow at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, observed that in a “hundred years people will look back on this era of medicine the way we now look back on the eugenicist movements of the early 20th century.”[20]

References

[1] Littman, Lisa. 2018. Parent reports of adolescents and young adults perceived to show signs of a rapid onset of gender dysphoria. PLOS One. August 16 pp. 1-44.

[2] Mark 10:6-8.

[3] Hines, Sally. 2018. Is Gender Fluid. London: Thanes & Hudson.  p. 6.

[4] Interview with Professor M. Blank.

[5] Hines, 2018, pp. 23-26.

[6] Hines, 2018, pp. 28-30.

[7] Alumkal, A. W. 2017. Paranoid Science: The Christian Right’s War on Reality. New York: New York University Press. 107-108.

[8] McPhaul  Michael J. and James E. Griffin 1999. Male Pseudo hermaphroditism Caused by Mutations of the Human Androgen Receptor. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 84(10): 3435–3441. 1 October.

[9] Durden-Smith, Jo and Diane DeSimone.1983. Sex and the Brain. New York: Arbor House. p. 42.

[10] Weiss, Daniel Evan. 1991. The Great Divide. New York: Poseidon Press.

[11] Singal, Jesse. 2018. When Children Say They’re Trans. Hormones? Surgery? The choices are fraught—and there are no easy answers. The Atlantic. July-August.

[12] Dean, Jamie. Rapid-onset Gender Dysphoria: This year’s social Contagion infects teenagers and their Doctors. World.34(3):34-39.

[13] Dean, p. 37

[14] Stump, J. B. 1985. What’s the Difference?: How Men and Women Compare. New York: William Morrow.

[15] Lusher, L. and V. Yasenov. 2018. Gender Performance Gaps: Quasi-Experimental Evidence of the Role of Gender Difference in Sleep Cycles. Economic Inquiry. 56 (1): 252-262.

[16] Lee, P. C. and R. S. Stewart. 1976. Sex Differences: Cultural and Developmental Dimensions. New York: Urizen Books, 138.

[17] This entire section was summarized from an interview broadcast on World Radio. March 12, 2019. https://worldandeverything.org/2019/03/embracing-gender-dysphoria/

[18] https://worldandeverything.org/2019/03/embracing-gender-dysphoria/

[19] Walker, Andrew T. 2017.  God and the Transgender Debate. The Good Book Company.

[20] Dean, 2019. p. 39.


Dr. Jerry Bergman has taught biology, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, anthropology, geology, and microbiology at several colleges and universities including for over 40 years at Bowling Green State University, Medical College of Ohio where he was a research associate in experimental pathology, and The University of Toledo. He is a graduate of the Medical College of Ohio, Wayne State University in Detroit, the University of Toledo, and Bowling Green State University. He has over 1,300 publications in 12 languages and 40 books and monographs. His books and textbooks that include chapters that he authored, are in over 1,500 college libraries in 27 countries. So far over 80,000 copies of the 40 books and monographs that he has authored or co-authored are in print. For more articles by Dr Bergman, see his Author Profile.

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