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Poll: Evangelicals differ from most Americans on transgender morality

A sign protesting a recent North Carolina law restricting transgender bathroom access is seen in the bathroom stalls at the 21C Museum Hotel in Durham, N.C., on May 3, 2016. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Jonathan Drake/File photo

(RNS) A survey of 1,000 Americans by Nashville-based evangelical research firm LifeWay Research finds 6 in 10 Americans don’t believe it is morally wrong for people to identify with a gender different from the sex they were assigned at birth.

And more than half don’t think it’s morally wrong to change one’s body to match his or her gender identity by taking hormones or having surgery.

“A majority of Americans reject the view of a creator giving them a gender that shouldn’t be changed,” LifeWay Executive Director Scott McConnell said in a written statement.

"It is morally wrong for an individual to identify with a gender different than the sex they were born." Graphic courtesy of LifeWay Research

“It is morally wrong for an individual to identify with a gender different than the sex they were born.” Graphic courtesy of LifeWay Research

But those numbers drop sharply among evangelicals, it said in the survey released Thursday (July 14).

Fifty-four percent of evangelicals  believe it’s morally wrong to identify with a different gender. That’s significantly higher than among Catholics (26 percent), members of other religions such as Judaism and Islam (35 percent) and the nonreligious (20 percent).

In addition, evangelicals are almost twice as likely (61 percent) as nonevangelical Americans (32 percent) to say using surgery or hormones to transition from one gender to another is wrong.

The survey comes as several states have introduced legislation that would require people to use public bathrooms corresponding to the sex they were assigned at birth. And the murder of 49 people last month at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., has highlighted concerns that LBGT people still are not safe and that religious teachings may be a contributing factor to hatred toward them.

Among all Americans, 35 percent say it’s morally wrong for people to identify with a gender different from the sex they were assigned at birth, while 45 percent say it is not wrong and 14 percent say it is not a moral issue, according to LifeWay. When it comes to transitioning, 42 percent say it’s morally wrong, while 43 percent disagree.

Another 11 percent say transitioning is not a moral issue, which McConnell said reflects “a changing worldview.”

“A growing percentage of Americans don’t believe in right and wrong. They don’t believe there’s absolute truth — and if there’s no absolute truth, then they’re reluctant to talk about morality,” McConnell said.

“It is morally wrong to change the gender you were born with through either surgery or taking hormones.” Graphic courtesy of LifeWay Research

“It is morally wrong to change the gender you were born with through either surgery or taking hormones.” Graphic courtesy of LifeWay Research

Christians as a whole, both Protestant (22 percent) and Catholic (23 percent), also are least likely to say they know a transgender person, which affects one’s beliefs about the morality of being transgender, according to LifeWay.

Among the 27 percent of all Americans who say they know someone who is transgender, 25 percent say identifying with a different gender is wrong and 28 percent say transitioning is. Those numbers are higher among those who have no transgender acquaintances: 39 percent say it is wrong to identify with another gender, and 48 percent say it is wrong to transition.

The telephone survey was conducted Sept. 14-28, 2015, and had an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points, according to LifeWay. Margins of error in subgroups were higher.

About the author

Emily McFarlan Miller

Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS based in Chicago. She covers evangelical and mainline Protestant Christianity.

238 Comments

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  • Genesis 5:2 – New International Version

    He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created.”
    Anything else is a lie from Satan.

  • Nothing like using biblical “proof texts” to justify defaming others and discrimination against a minority group, is there?

  • Well, your incompetent and/or disgusting god may have created their physical features as male and female, but he wired their brains as the opposite gender.

    Furthermore, a person being transgender has no negative impact whatsoever on you or anyone else, so that fact removes it from being in the realm of a moral issue. And, your rule-book is completely irrelevant as a source of authority for anyone who is not a voluntary member of your club.

  • Hey McConnell, we know the difference between right and wrong, we just don’t think wrong what you think is wrong!

  • Because you are a nosybody looking for someone to treat badly. We figured that out already.

  • The malice towards trans people as of late is pretty wild in its suddenness. I guess you bigots are running out of targets to discriminate against.

  • “Man” and “woman” are, as with most things human, social constructs. Some societies recognize more than two genders.

    And “common sense” too often seems to be common misconceptions and common bigotries.

  • And an evangelical can’t make sense of something she knows nothing about and cant be bothered to educate herself about because it ain’t in the Bible.

  • Why don’t you tell us what the negative impact on you is, other than it gets your holy knickers into a thoroughly uncomfortable twist.

    It’s funny. I have no issue with transgender people. None whatsoever. No Impact on my life in any way, shape or form.

    You do. And youre the one with the twisted knickers.

  • Of course there are flying fish and flightless birds, but they’re highly evolved exceptions to the rule.

  • It has always been there, but trans people were largely hidden. Now that it is more unpopular to attack gay people, and has consequences– what they call politically incorrect, in an ironic fit of political correctness– they have to find a new target, someone new to be afraid of.

  • Your “comment above” shows no evidence that the existence of transgender people cause any harm whatsoever to you or anyone else.

  • Given what seems to be a rather authoritarian view of the absoluteness of biblical text it would seem that you believe the validity of every word in the bible to be undeniably true. Then, take a look at what I have found in the bible. In his own words, Jesus said that some of us were born the way we are and you’ll just have to accept it.

    Matthew 19:11-12 (NIV)

    11 “Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others–and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

    Like it or not, everybody starts out the same.

    Everyone comes from a common genetic and developmental framework that is tweaked by sex hormones,” says Richard Bribiescas, Ph.D., director of the Yale Reproductive Ecology Laboratory. We all start as a generic embryo. You have a set of male or female sex chromosomes, but the distinction doesn’t kick in until your hormones enter the picture, he explains. Without hormones like testosterone, you would stay on the path to womanhood. And, sorry to say, your body already started developing by the time this decision was made—which means your lady parts were already starting to form.

    Men’s Health Magazine online Thursday, September 18, 2014
entitled “3 Signs You Started as a Girl!”

  • I fail to see how morality has anything at all to do with the condition of ones birth. Transgender people are born transgender. There has never been any choice as to whether or not a transgender person is really who they claim they are. Even Jesus recognized the lack of choice to be a given fact in his remarks in the book of Matthew to his disciples during a discussion on the topic of marriage. Matthew 19:12 (NIV)

    Matthew 19:11-12 (NIV)

    12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others–and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

    In Jesus’ time the term transgender did not yet exist. The much less accurate term eunuch was the most frequently used term when referring to a transgender person. From my perspective, it would seem that denying the life condition of anyone that has been recognized as having been ‘born that way’ by such an important figure as the Messiah himself would run dangerously close to denying a biblical truth.

  • Then you are in an ever diminishing circle of friends. There has never been any choice as to whether or not a transgender person is really who they claim they are. As modern medical research continues to uncover more and more evidence of a biological source for being transgender the notion that being such means that these people are suffering from a mental illness is seen as NO LONGER VALID. There is even recognition of a biological origin for transgender people to be found in the bible.

    Jesus recognized the lack of choice to be a given fact in his remarks in the book of Matthew to his disciples during a discussion on the topic of marriage.

    Matthew 19:11-12 (NIV)
    12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others–and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

    In Jesus’ time the term transgender did not yet exist. The much less accurate term eunuch was the most frequently used term when referring to a transgender person. From my perspective, it would seem that denying the life condition of anyone that has been recognized as having been ‘born that way’ by such an important figure as the Messiah himself would run dangerously close to denying a biblical truth.

  • The poll gathered a lot of statistics regarding what people think about others’ personal matters.
    I only wish it had also asked whether people think others’ personal matters are their business.
    I’m really curious about that one.

  • Sandi, it’s ironic that you choose that line to make your point with. I say that because in the English language, the word “and” means in addition to or a combination of. So when the bible says God created only “man and woman,” you are proving that God made us this way!!!?

    Now if it had said man OR woman, it could be interperated all bigoty like you want it to

  • I wonder whether people who self-confidently judge others’ morality are considering the morality of judging others based entirely upon one’s human, imperfect, incomplete knowledge of — and unverifiable conclusions about — other people, their circumstances, their beliefs and values, their unknown and unknowable private lives, their rights and freedoms as one’s equally entitled peers, even what one’s God may or may not be doing with them — or with oneself, for that matter (e.g., testing one’s own humility, compassion, mercy, recognition of one’s gross inability to competently judge strangers, and one’s utterly soul-changing realization of the profound folly and grievous harm in treating others according to what one simply presumes to “know” about them).

  • How are others’ gender identities any of your business? How do they affect you? How much of your free time do you dedicate to contemplating strangers’ privates? Do you hang out in public restrooms passing yourself off as a Genital Checker?

    It looks to me as if your moral identity doesn’t match your God-given morality.

  • So what it comes down to is that evangelicals have convinced themselves that transgender people just wanting to live their lives – hopefully with a bit of love and tolerance from others – somehow magically causes actual harm to other people.

    And what do you know; most people think that’s nuts.

  • What are you, some sort of Old West Gender Sheriff?

    “Whelp (hitches up his jeans & gun belt) what we have here…(takes a drag on his cigarette)…”

    Snicker. Hey- did you know trans men exist, too? Yeah, they really do! Also, do you really want to get into a long protracted discussion on what makes a “woman” or “man”? Because I save you the time; no matter what definition you try to float, there are more than enough exceptions to make it a generalization at best.

  • Here’s what I think: It’s none of your business. So keep any moral pronouncements to yourselves.

  • Aw, c’mon – give ’em the old 1-2-3. Isaiah, Matthew, Acts. The same sentiment – clearly intended to rebuke Deuteronomy’s “crushed stones” & wearing the clothes of the opposite gender – repeated in all three time periods and cross referencing each other. In formal Bible study terms, that sort of message is rare & it means God really, really, really is trying to tell His followers to love trans (and people w/ intersex conditions) people as He does.

  • Let’s examine that. He created THEM male and female. Not too hard to argue that Adam and Eve both contained traits of both male and female. And what do you know? That’s what biology says, too – the Bible was right!

    What else ya’ got in that book of yours?

  • Hey, it worked for them in the old days when they claimed epileptics, autistics, and the physically or mentally disabled were all further from the Grace of God due to being less perfect than everyone else. At that point they could justify any treatment they wished.

    Oh, look. They’re still doing it, only with a different group of “other” people.

    Vile belief system, that one is.

  • “Treatment aimed at trying to change a person’s gender identity and expression to become more congruent with sex assigned at birth has been attempted in the past without success (Gelder & Marks, 1969; Greenson, 1964), particularly in the long term (Cohen-Kettenis & Kuiper, 1984; Pauly, 1965). Such treatment is no longer considered ethical.”

    WPATH Standards of Care, Version 7

  • I’m glad you understood what I said. As for the way I said it, I can only bow to Captain Jack and assume my position on the plank.

  • As soon as I see someone using the term “common sense” I can be assured that means they are too academically lazy or just too lazy brained to dig any deeper into an issue. We should have a rule that if you use the “common sense” angle, you should be banished from commenting.

  • These are fakre women. They are really feminized men. They were born males and are males throughout their lives. That doesn’t change.

  • Don’t you feel kind of silly using make-believe stuff to try to justify your side of and adult discussion? I’m starting to feel kind if icky thinking that you may be an adult (at least chronologically).

  • “A medical fact” – good one! So, do you have any actual medical citations to back that with or is that just your own personal opinion? See, actual medicine uses this thing called, “science”…and it requires proof.

  • According to…you. According to thousands of researchers in fields such as genetics, endocrinology, neurology and developmental biology, they are of mixed gender development. Brain & some endocrine and skeletal sites developed toward one end of the gender spectrum…and the one site that a doctor looks at for a second or two to assign gender for the paperwork developed toward the other end of the spectrum. You really do owe it to yourself to actually read up on what’s been learned and tested out as true in the last two decades or so, lest you appear a fool in such matters.

  • These guys are sick. No one that studies this is saying this is normal. In fact many of these men commit suicide. Surgery doesn’t help because you can’t change the nature of a man by surgery or any other method.

  • “These guys are sick.”

    This is gold medal example of projection. Especially your fascination with the concept of normal and how you’ve convinced yourself that you have the authority to decide what is or isn’t normal or ok. Oh, and guess what else isn’t normal,,, blue eyes, red hair, being left handed or being 6ft tall

  • Oh snap! I’m trans and I have green eyes?!!

    But at least I’m not a sicko like those lefties! 😉

  • You are wasting your breath. JP will never give an intelligent answer to your posts. I believe he is just an ignorant teenager trolling for righteous indignation.

  • The biggest part of being able to do good research is being able to discern what research and researchers have been discredited by newer research and what information was used to invalidate the earlier efforts. Also, the source you cite is one of the only places that will carry that crackpot’s widely rejected (and outdated) “story”.

  • Again, the biggest part of being able to do good research is being able to discern what research and researchers have been discredited by newer research and what information was used to invalidate the earlier efforts. Also, the source you cite is one of the only places that will carry that crackpot’s widely rejected (and outdated) “story”.

  • Hmmm, now you’re toting out the quackery of Mchugh… Let me ask you a question; would you respect a doctor who protects child molestors or rapists? Would you hold his opinions in high regard? Well, guess what JP? Paul Mchugh, the psychiatrist you’re so proudly citing here has been blocking the ability of victims to charge their Catholic priest victimizes for years! He’s been on a Catholic panel appointed by bishops, that has been blocking the church’s abilit to prosecute known predators. Google it, if you don’t believe me.

    As far as his trans opinions, they’ve all been discredited by current medical, psychological and neurological professionals. Even Johns Hopkins has distanced themselves from his rantings and they’ve also reopened the transgender clinic that Mchugh shut down. Oh, but I bet CNS news didn’t report that stuff did they? They just want you to believe an outdated and disproven theory about trans people and it’s treatment.

    You have just proven how lazy of a thinker you are and how uneducated you choose to be in a subject that you feel justified in villafying. So, instead of slandering trans people why don’t you act like an adult and do some actual research?

  • Here are his credintals: — Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry. He is no quack but it looks like you are.

    Its a proven fact that trans are deeply disturbed men. Very high suicide rates among them.

  • Not really. Any man who thinks he is a woman or any woman who thinks she is is a man there is something very wrong with them. Its a mental disorder.
    Consider: “This intensely felt sense of being transgendered constitutes a mental disorder in two respects. The first is that the idea of sex misalignment is simply mistaken – it does not correspond with physical reality. The second is that it can lead to grim psychological outcomes.”
    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/johns-hopkins-psychiatrist-transgender-mental-disorder-sex-change

  • Oh, that natural law in the religious sense actually was a thing, rather than an opinion.

  • Natural Law is Catholicspeak for “making nonsense up as one goes along and pretending it is beyond criticism”. They were calling that garbage out as early as the Middle Ages.

  • Before you attempt to attack an argument, study it, Spudster. Natural law was taught by Aristotle and expanded by Aquinas. One cannot in good, logical conscience go against natural law. To do so is to say a whale can fly with the eagles. It can’t because it goes against its nature. A man cannot become a woman, it simply goes against his nature.

  • But Adam and Eve did not mentally exchange sexes and require unnecessary hormones and surgeries to uphold their fantasies.

  • They are not a “minority group”, but nice try. The are an abnormality that can be healed.

  • In both Aristotle and Aquinas’s time Natural Law was being called out as simply making assumptions without bothering to support them. You are making a similar appeal to authority without bothering to support why one should take your statements at face value.

    To rely on natural law is an admission one is not making an objectively supportable argument.
    One invokes Natural Law to avoid argument and criticism. It is simply argument by stipulation. The laziest form out there.

  • Wondered how long it was going to be before someone quoted Paul McHugh. Just so you know he’s regarded as an anachronism by the medical community. Someone that refuses to take modern research into account – just highly selective about what he reads – if it disagrees with his preconceived opinions he doesn’t even consider it.

    And there have been a number of times that the authors of various studies have called him out because he completely misrepresented the conclusions reached by those studies.

    Just so you know, he did come to John Hopkins with the express intent of shutting down their gender clinic because it conflicted with his religious beliefs (not his medical ones). He justified his decision based on a study that he commissioned where, by his own admission, he told the author what conclusion he wanted before work had even started. And of course he referenced the case of David Reimer – a very sad story but it demonstrated the exact opposite of what McHugh claimed.

    As for his personal ethics, not only did the Catholic Church hire him to head up the committee defending priests against child sex abuse claims but he openly told doctors working at John Hopkins not to report cases of child sex abuse and rape to the authorities despite the fact that they were required to do so by law.

    As for the article you linked:

    http://transadvocate.com/clinging-to-a-dangerous-past-dr-paul-mchughs-selective-reading-of-transgender-medical-literature_n_13842.htm

  • Only problem with that is that Satan isn’t the one that created evil

    “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things” ~ Isaiah 45:7

    But you might want to ask yourself who lied to Adam and Eve in the Garden. Hint – it wasn’t Satan.

    And then we might want to move on to murders. According to the Bible, Satan was directly responsible for killing ten people (that includes Job’s family and, since he did that at God’s bequest it’s not fair to blame him for those). God on the other hand is directly responsible for some 3 million murders. Of course that excludes the people he drowned via the flood so his total is well over 30 million.

    Seems like Satan isn’t the evil one here. God just has better public relations.

  • Let’s see…a minority percentage of generally law abiding, quite able to operate heavy machinery, can save your life in the ER, citizens who are nevertheless being constantly defamed by people such as yourself, aren’t actually a minority group.

    I’m rolling my eyes at your deeply pathetic, greedy (as with most self serving bigotry) comment.

  • Sorry but gender dysphoria can’t be “cured”. It’s impossible to align a transgendered individual’s mind with their body. Any treatment has to be physical.

    So called “conversion therapy” which is a blanket term for any treatment intended to change an individual’s gender identity or sexual orientation not only doesn’t work but it’s actually harmful. If in doubt, google “Leelah Alcorn”.

    BTW, in a number of states it’s actually illegal to subject a minor to that sort of treatment.

  • You haven’t provided a shred of evidence that the existence or acceptance of transgendered people has a negative effect on you or anyone else.

  • Not quite that simple. The bible was written by a bunch of men that didn’t know where the sun went at night so there is no expectation that they’d understand the implications of the word “intersex”.

    But the same person that supposedly said that “God created them male and female” told slaves to obey their masters, even the cruel ones.

  • Problem is, the God of the Bible is the most unpleasant character in all of fiction.

    “In fact, the Bible lays out God’s primary qualities clearly: jealous, petty, unforgiving, bloodthirsty, vindictive—and worse! “

  • So you’re saying that the bible doesn’t mean what it says? That if we “understood” it we’d realize that it means what you want it mean?

  • To copy a post I made farther down the page

    Wondered how long it was going to be before someone quoted Paul McHugh. Just so you know he’s regarded as an anachronism by the medical community. Someone that refuses to take modern research into account – just highly selective about what he reads – if it disagrees with his preconceived opinions he doesn’t even consider it.

    And there have been a number of times that the authors of various studies have called him out because he completely misrepresented the conclusions reached by those studies.

    Just so you know, he did come to John Hopkins with the express intent of shutting down their gender clinic because it conflicted with his religious beliefs (not his medical ones). He justified his decision based on a study that he commissioned where, by his own admission, he told the author what conclusion he wanted before work had even started. And of course he referenced the case of David Reimer – a very sad story but it demonstrated the exact opposite of what McHugh claimed.

    As for his personal ethics, not only did the Catholic Church hire him to head up the committee defending priests against child sex abuse claims but he openly told doctors working at John Hopkins not to report cases of child sex abuse and rape to the authorities despite the fact that they were required to do so by law.

    As for the article you linked:

    http://transadvocate.com/clinging-to-a-dangerous-past-dr-paul-mchughs-selective-reading-of-transgender-medical-literature_n_13842.htm

  • BTW, while it is true that some 41% OF transgendered teens attempt suicide it is also true that if those same teens (i) have accepting and supportive parents (ii) are not subject to transphobic bullying and discrimination and (iii) have identification that corresponds to the gender that they present as, the suicide rate comes way down to normal levels.

    On that topic, it’s also worth noting that some 40% of homeless youths are members of the LGBT community – some were thrown out because their parents couldn’t (or wouldn’t) accept them and some left on their own because the situation at home was intolerable.

  • You assume that the reason most trans commit suicide is because of bullying and not being accepted. I think the reason is that they know deep down in themselves something is fundamentally wrong with themselves. This causes them to loathe themselves.

  • Galatians 3:28

    28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

  • Disregarding whether you personally think it’s valid – mostly because the American Medical Association and the Endocrine Society and their Euro & Asian counterparts *so* think the medical therapies are valid – we do fix problems that stem from dysfunctional development in utero. Things like hairlip/cleft palate, bad heart valves, etc. – in other words, sometimes alterations to what God produced are indeed needed. It’s not your call to decide which ones.

  • So again, you chose to do zero research… I know all about Mchugh, obviously I know more than you. You still apparently think highly of this creep who protects rapists and molestors. Since that doesn’t seem to bother you much I guess you don’t see any problem with molesting children.

    It’s funny when people use or refer to statistics, but have no idea what the stat is or what it relates to. So I’ll try to explain it to you mr wizard. The percentage is right at about 41% and that percentage refers to people who do not get treatment for dysphoria or who are alienated by family and friends. Since many trans people have to deal with so many hateful and uneducated people in society like you, it’s easy for them to develop depression.

    There are much more recent studies with data now available online, that shows trans people who are treated with HRT and GRS have equal to or less stress and anxiety than their cis gendered peers. So, you’re wrong again JP! Do you have any other BS studies you want tote out? Maybe Elmer Fudd has an opinion you think is worthy of basing your ignorance on??

  • Do you know that when the psych organizations took homosexuality off thee mental illness list in 1973-74 that it was not done because new research?

  • “I think the reason is…” Kowtow to the conservative line all you want and nothing will change. There is no credible evidence to back up what you want to be true. Modern scientific medical research continues to uncover more evidence of a biological origin for being transgender. This debate has long since become an analog to the days of the church and its flat earth argument. They were wrong then, and you are wrong now.

  • You can’t change the definition of words to fit your argument. Languages are comprised of words, words that have a known meaning. The bible you’re quoting from was translated into our English language, so that we could all read it. And means and. Period. Stop.

  • What research? Where can I see it?

    Btw-even if there is that would mean it’s going to be accepted nor something that doesn’t need to be treated.

  • Lot of unproveable assumptions here. It won’t change the fact that these men are deepl!y troubled.

  • I think spuddie and others did a fine job of shooting down any sense of credibility of your source or yourself. Aren’t you becoming extremely embarrassed by the stuff you keep posting when at every turn you keep getting academically slapped down with empirically sound responses. One would think that you would have understood your level of ignorance by now. But wait, maybe its not ignorance. Maybe your just a horrible person who has lost their humanity.

  • Oh I see. You’ll waste a lot of energy belittling the lives of people you know nothing about and then demand to be spoon fed information that you are just as capable of looking up yourself if you cared enough.

    Say ah…

    Vienna Gender Study

    http://www.meduniwien.ac.at/homepage/1/news-and-topstories/?tx_ttnews%5btt_news%5d=5379&cHash=37835742aa84acd6b6b2505337c854dd

    Networks of the brain reflect the individual gender identity

    (Vienna, 07-01-2015) Our sense of belonging to the male or female gender is an inherent component of the human identity perception. As a general rule, gender identity and physical sex coincide. If this is not the case, one refers to trans-identity or transsexuality. In a current study, brain researcher Georg S. Kranz of the University Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the MedUni Vienna was able to demonstrate that the very personal gender identity of every human being is reflected and verifiable in the cross-links between brain regions.

    While the biological gender is usually manifested in the physical appearance, the individual gender identity is not immediately discernible and primarily established in the psyche of a human being. As the brain is responsible for our thoughts, feelings and actions, several research institutions worldwide are searching for the neural representation of gender identity.

    In a study under the guidance of Rupert Lanzenberger (http://www.meduniwien.ac.at/neuroimaging/) of the University Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the MedUni Vienna published in the renowned magazine “Journal of Neuroscience” it was now possible to demonstrate neural correlates (analogies) of the identity perception in the network of the brain.

    Trans-gender persons as well as female and male control subjects were examined by way of diffusion-based magnetic resonance tomography (MRT). The examination revealed significant differences in the microstructure of the brain connections between male and female control subjects. Transgender persons took up a middle position between both genders.

    It was furthermore possible to detect a strong relationship between the microstructure connections among these networks and the testosterone level measured in the blood. Lanzenberger: “These results suggest that the gender identity is reflected in the structure of brain networks which form under the modulating influence of sex hormones in the course of the development of the nervous system.”

    International and translational cooperation project
    The study subsidised by the science fund FWF was conducted by the Dutch Institute for Neurosciences in Amsterdam in the context of a cooperation project between various clinics and centres of the MedUni Vienna and the renowned brain researcher Dick F. Swaab. Researchers of the University Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (Management: Siegfried Kasper), the Exzellenzzentrum für Hochfeldmagnetresonanz (Excellence centre for high field magnetic resonance) (Cooperation partner: Christian Windischberger, Management: Siegfried Trattnig and Ewald Moser), as well as the Universitätsklinik für Frauenheilkunde (University clinic for gynaecology) (Cooperation partner: Ulrike Kaufmann, Management: Peter Wolf Husslein) were involved.

    Service: Journal of Neuroscience
    “White matter microstructure in transsexuals and controls investigated by diffusion tensor imaging.” Kranz GS, Hahn A, Kaufmann U, Küblböck M, Hummer A, Ganger S, Seiger R, Winkler D, Swaab DF, Windischberger C, Kasper S, Lanzenberger R. Journal of Neuroscience 2014 Nov 12; 34(46):15466 –15475 [2013, IF: 6.747]. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25392513

  • Can you explain this to me? While the biological gender is usually manifested in the physical appearance, the individual gender identity is not immediately discernible and primarily established in the psyche of a human being. As the brain is responsible for our thoughts, feelings and actions, several research institutions worldwide are searching for the neural representation of gender identity.”

    Why should not the biological fact of the gender of person that is known at birth not be the determining factor of a persons gender that s been accepted for thousands of years?

  • In all of the ‘posts’ you have made, I have yet to see a single shred of refuting evidence to bolster the dubious claims you are making about transgender people being mentally ill. Given the fact that you are claiming mental illness for a class of people that you hold in animosity and in complete opposition to the widely accepted view that modern mental and medical health professionals agree gender dysphoria is not a mental health issue in of itself. Evidence of a medical and not a mental health issue is persuasive enough that the DoD has even dropped their ban on us servicing openly in the military. But then, you know better than anyone else, just because.

  • “A growing percentage of Americans don’t believe in right and wrong. They don’t believe there’s absolute truth — and if there’s no absolute truth, then they’re reluctant to talk about morality,” McConnell said.

    And how does McConnell know this? It wasn’t part of the survey. It looks like his harumpfing because he’s in the minority. Probably lets him falsely feel superior. Sorry of like what Luckens’ comments do for her.

  • Then you haven’t read any of the posts responding to you or any of the links provided that discuss the article re Paul McHugh.

  • True – they’ve lost the same-sex marriage battle so they’ve turned their attention to an even more marginalized and less understood group. Someone that’s easier to discriminate against.

  • The biological facts of this issue contradict the cherished beliefs of conservatives that that the gender identity of a person is determined by what’s in our knickers.

    “For thousands of years…”. Until the spread of intolerance in the guise of Christian religion, transgender people once held honored positions in many ancient cultures all over the world. Even the bible mentions transgender people as eunuchs and Jesus even states that they had been born that way.

    Being transgender is thankfully rare. Having been born in this way is not something that I as a transgender woman would wish on anyone. Nothing short of intensive medical intervention can change the terrible impact of having such a painful mismatch between genitals and mind for many people born with this condition.

    Many transgender people experience dysphoria from an early age, as did I. I fought back. I did everything I could possibly think of to become the man my father demanded that I be. Even adopting a hyper masculine lifestyle for many years had no impact at all on my identity. As a child, I was even subjected to the torture of conversion therapy, again to no avail.

  • Disparaging minority relationships as just about “sinful behavior” has been done to death by earlier generations of bigots. Why are you writing like them?

  • Again, you are going against your biological design. Your biology determines your gender and not your feelings. This is the reality of life for all of us. Its your thinking that is the problem.

  • No, my friend, they are not “sick.” just check with the societies of psychiatrists, psychologists, and medicine. That trans individuals are sick is false religious dogma.

  • Note you did say “FORMER” psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins. He was ousted for being outrageous, and out of date.
    If there are still high suicide rates it is because of the discrimination of some uneducated, bigoted people.

  • I hope that you have a supportive network of friends and associates. It cannot have been an easy road for you to have followed, I wish you happiness, good health, peace now being the person that you were REALLY born to be.
    I have a dear relative who is questioning her sexual identity/orientation. I hope that her path will be easier than yours has been.

  • Don’t know why he left. But keep in mind a lot of these organizations base their work on psudo science.

    Where are the studies that prove the cause of the suicides?

  • JP you are citing a religious source, not a scientific source. There is a vast difference. One is opinion, lacking research, the other is based on fact and valid research.

  • There is no bigotry in following Jesus, Greg. Why are you trying to hold these people back from going to Heaven, would be my question to you?

  • One does hope that we have learned many new scientific truths since the days of Aristotle, and Thomas Aquinas. Or, maybe some of us have not?

  • Jumpin’ Jehosophat, JP, CNS is a religious source, not a scientific source. Religious sources are religious dogma and opinion. Please, read what I and others have written.
    Please do not be one of those folks to whom Barney Frank referred when he said, “Don’t try to argue with the coffee table,” Arguing with someone who refuses to see facts, and relies solely on the opinion of others, is just like arguing with the “coffee table.”

  • Being old enough to have been accused of advocating for the “unnatural sin of miscegenation,” I might ask why anyone would want to go to the same heaven where would reside?

    Conservatives, in my observation, are very good at creating alleged “sins” that disparage “those people” and justify discrimination against them, and yet privilege themselves.

    Which reminds me of Nobel Peace Prize winning Archbishop Tutu, who said:

    “I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I
    mean I would much rather go to the other place,” Archbishop Tutu said
    at the launch of the Free and Equal campaign in Cape Town.

    “I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this.”

    Archbishop Tutu said the campaign against homophobia was similar to the campaign waged against racism in South Africa.

    “I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid. For me, it is at the same level,” he added.”

    (“Archbishop Tutu ‘would not worship a homophobic God;'” BBC News, 26 July 2013)

  • So, some apostate said something. What is your point? Why are you advocating for people to go to Hell? That’s what I asked you.

  • I see. You’re the final arbiter of what scripture means and nobody else knows anything. Cherry picking scripture is nolonger sufficient. I think that the scripture I quoted has a much broader interpretation than you want it to when it is taken along with the rest of scriptural context.

  • McHugh is an outdated old quack with a conservative agenda to destroy the correct efforts of modern medical professionals in favor of his own cherished ultra conservative catholic beliefs. Dogma is not science.

  • Disgusting.

    Archbishop Tutu is not an “apostate.” He knows what a morality responsible religious principle should be, unlike you.

  • Where do you get that transgender women are men trying to become women? Only the most virulent deniers of modern scientific medical advancements are still clinging hopefully to that outdated, unscientific notion.

  • CNS is not a credible source of modern scientific medical information. They are religious and thus consumed with the need to expound on their dogma and ignore facts.

  • After these many years, I was finally able to come to terms with who I really am. I am in transition repairing the damages done to me by the condition of my birth and the lack of medical data given the time period involved. For the very first time in my life I feel like I am a real person and not a twisted nightmare. I just wish that conservatives were openminded enough to accept that there are aspects of human biology that do not fit into their tidy little gender binary scriptural world.

  • You still didn’t answer my question Greg. If you say you are a Christian and teach against what Christ taught, guess what? You are apostate. Tutu gave up on working for Jesus a long time ago.

  • Then people should reject Christianity on moral principles. I don’t want to be what you are. I don’t want to go to your heaven. I want to be with Archbishop Tutu.

  • It’s your ignorance of the fact that is the real problem. Several highly trained modern medical professionals verbally twisted themselves into emotional pretzels trying to find a way to tell me that I never really was a man. You have no idea of the many dozens of complex medical tests I have had to endure on my path of finding out that I am a woman inadvertently born with external male genitalia. That male genitalia I might add proved to be so very toxic to the female chemistry of my body that those parts developed into cancer.

    You are merely repeating the backward thinking of the conservative agenda and ignoring the fact that medical practice today has a better understanding of the actual biological workings of the human body. And that modern understanding also encompasses the knowledge that variations in hormonal levels in the womb can change the way the baby develops.

    http://media01.commpartners.com/AMA/sexual_identity_jan_2011/

  • You’re such a lovely person…

    Nothing like a little “Do as I say or God will hurt you” extortion.

  • Actually, I didn’t say it. Jesus did. He is the way the truth and the life. No one goes to the Father except through Him. You keep depending on Tutu’s fallacies, you won’t get there. He no more represents Jesus than the Westboro Baptists do.

  • No, John 14:6 is not an extortionist’s threat. Why would you take a verse meant to comfort Thomas and turn it into your smug and tawdry “Do as I say or God will hurt you” threat?

  • The suicide rate McHugh promotes is an intentional misrepresentation of the facts contained in the study. To put it quite simply, McHugh lied.

    According to the author Cecilia Dhejne’s statement in the conclusion of the study that McHugh misused, “It is therefore important to note that the current study is only informative with respect to transsexuals persons health after sex reassignment; no inferences can be drawn as to the effectiveness of sex reassignment as a treatment for transsexualism. In other words, the results should not be interpreted such as sex reassignment per se increases morbidity and mortality. Things might have been even worse without sex reassignment.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3043071/

  • Just spewed my coffee all over the counter! I’m sure its possible that you cant read either.Who’s typing these posts for you?

  • “People who misuse the study always omit the fact that the study clearly states that it is not an evaluation of gender dysphoria treatment. If we look at the literature, we find that several recent studies conclude that WPATH Standards of Care compliant treatment decrease gender dysphoria and improves mental health.”

    Cecilia Dhejne, author of the Swedish study that McHugh loves to misrepresent.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3043071/

  • The so-called freedom has greatly placed the world and God in confrontation. The lovers of this trend counter everything God made including creation. The trans gender community and sympathisers think God made mistake and through surgeries they could correct and prove God wrong. The world is heading on the wrong way, it is end time we are nearing.

  • You have no idea what you are talking about. Barring any unforeseen effort by religious fundamentalist countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) will de-psychopathologize adolescent and adult trans persons, i.e., remove Gender Dysphoria from the mental illness classification, and rename it the value-neutral “Gender Incongruence,” the term currently in the text of the DSM 5 (as written by Edgardo Menvielle, Michael Hendricks, Ellen Feder, and me, among others, back in 2009).

    Evidence of the Biological Nature of Gender Identity

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150213112317.htm

    Transgender Brain Structure

    Zhou, Jiang-Ning; Hofman, Michel A.; Gooren, Louis J. G.; Swaab, Dick F. (1995). “A sex difference in the human brain and its relation to transsexuality”. Nature 378 (6552): 68–70. doi:10.1038/378068a0. PMID 7477289.

    Follow up on Transgender Brainb Structure Study

    Kruijver, F. P. M.; Zhou, JN; Pool, CW; Hofman, MA; Gooren, LJ; Swaab, DF (2000). “Male-to-Female Transsexuals Have Female Neuron Numbers in a Limbic Nucleus”. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 85 (5): 2034–41. doi:10.1210/jc.85.5.2034. PMID 10843193.

    http://www.genetic.org/Knowledge/WhatAreXYChromosomeVariations.aspx

    “…it had been thought that there were 48 chromosomes, but using a more sensitive technology, Tjio and Lavan were able to confirm that there were, in fact, only 46.”

  • Who besides conservatives has ever claimed that your god made a mistake when he/she made transgender people? And, we already know how to deal with gender dysphoria and your holy book voodoo is not the way.

  • Awe, but your comment doesn’t address your lack of a credible position in this discussion!

  • McHugh admitted that he had an agenda to suppress gender studies and medical treatment at Johns Hopkins long before he ever even arrived there.

    “Psychiatric Misadventures” by Paul R. McHugh

    Chapter 3 Paragraph 4

    This interrelationship of cultural antinomianism and a psychiatric misplaced emphasis is seen at its grimmest in the practice known as sex-reassignment surgery. I happen to know about this because Johns Hopkins was one of the places in the United States where this practice was given its start. It was part of my
    intention, when I arrived in Baltimore in 1975, to help end it.

  • What’s the matter? Aren’t you interested in debating someone that actually knows what they’re talking about? Do you lack the courage to face an informed opponent that is able to call you on your errors?

  • Its backward thinking to think a persons gender is different than what their biology clearly demonstrates. We have known this for thousands of years. As I have said: if a persons thinking is not link g up with his or hers gender at birth then something is wrong their thinking. Its not that diffi ult to figure this out.

  • Why would you see instructions that Jesus gave as a threat? It makes you wanting homosexuals to not go to Heaven more understandable though.

  • have eyes to see with: Romans 9:20 – New International Version
But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?'”

  • We have not know any such thing for any such length of time. Roughy 500 years ago many people still believed that the earth was flat and that ships would fall off the edge if they sailed too far out of site of land. The church of the day also taught that: the sun revolved around the earth, that the Vatican was the centre of the universe around which everything revolved, that there was a furnace in the abdomen that heated a tiny boiler that provided power for the body to function, that germs were demon spirits, that men ejaculated live tiny babies into a woman’s womb to grow. There are many more such simplistic observational errors that were once believed to be unequivocal truth.

    There exists this nasty little thing called progress that happens when some people are not paying any attention and they get caught by surprise. Surprise! There is a mounting body of evidence that shows a clear biological origin for gender dysphoria and not a mental disorder.

    Evidence of the Biological Nature of Gender Identity

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150213112317.htm

    There are more where this one came from.

  • I do not deserve the praise here.

    I wasn’t involved with most of the conversation. You, Leslie Gray, Judgeforyourself37 and blankman and cwhandleme did all the debunking. Thanks for the shout out. Great work!

  • We certainly have known for thousands of years that a persons gender is biologically based on what is between their legs. A persons gender has always been known since birth and it never changes. It is not progress to deny biology.

  • Freedom is apparently the opposite of God. I can’t help but agree with you 100%. For myself, I will take freedom every time. You an have God,

  • One not only can go against natural law in good conscience, it’s probably a good idea. All natural law is, is a statement that it seems good to you. Natural law sayspenis and vagina, that’s it. Gay people cannot, ought not, and don’t exist.

    Reality says something entirely different.

  • Where do you get an idea like that? From your junior high school biology class? If you were correct than the tragedy that befell David Reimer and the many others like him would have never happened. Given his age at the time of his ill advised surgery, if you are right then his identity should have been female and he would not have died.

  • He wanted to end gender identity research before it ever really got because he felt that it violated the teachings of his religion. When are you going to stop ignoring that facts when they are given to you and actually use the putty in that boney cavity between your ears and think for yourself?

  • OK. Give me some historical documentation from a thousand years ago that shows gender was not detrermoined by what is between a persons legs.

  • “What facts do you have that supports your assertion?” Are you serious? I have spent a great deal of time posting evidence to you concerning the facts of the biological origins of gender dysphoria. I have even quoted McHugh’s stated intent in his own words to destroy the first clinical practice in the country for the sake of his own ego. There is an old saying that “You cannot fill a cup that is already full.”

  • It looks like your comment was deleted. I’ll try to answer it anyway. I’ll even do you one better and double the timeline you demanded.

    You said, “OK. Give me some historical documentation from a thousand years ago that shows gender was not detrermoined by what is between a persons legs.”

    Matthew 19:12 (NIV)

    12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others–and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

    In Jesus’ time the term transgender did not yet exist. The much less accurate term eunuch was the most frequently used term when referring to a transgender person.

  • You said he stopped it because of his religion now you say its because of his ego. Where is the evidence that its ego?

  • Jesus was not speaking of transgenderism. An eunuch is one who was castrated. It is not a man that thinks he is a woman.

  • I made no assumption – what I said was that if they had accepting and supportive parents and weren’t bullied the suicide rate dropped to normal levels.

    You’re the one that seems to be inventing arguments why that isn’t true.

  • Not at all – male and female brains are physically different. That’s determined by hormones in the womb.

    Fact is, all fetuses start out as female – hormones in the womb are responsible for masculinizing male fetuses. Thing is, the brain and the genitals are masculinized at different stages of the pregnancy so sometimes there is a “mismatch” between the two.

  • Sorry guy but science and medicine do move on. For centuries medical practitioners thought that sickness was simply the result of “bad blood” which is why bloodletting was a common treatment for many illnesses. Now we know better. Same goes for sex and gender.

    You’re argument that “we’ve known for thousands of years” is an example of one of the classical logical fallacies called an “argument from antiquity”. For centuries people “knew” that the sun orbited the earth – the fact that they believed that doesn’t make it true. The same goes for your sex and gender argument.

  • KInd of a contradition isn’t it?

    But Jesus made it clear that the laws of the Old Testament are to last until the end of time. So we’re back to the slave bit. And genocide. And child sacrifice. And rape marriage. And ….

  • Actually I’m pretty sure I know more about the bible than you do. That’s why I’m an atheist [strictly speaking an agnostic atheist but still an atheist].

    But on that topic you can easily change my mind. Just prove god exists. That’s any god whether it’s yours or somebody else’s. But I’m not going to hold my breath. After all, far smarter people than either of us have been trying to prove the existence of god for centuries with no luck.

  • If you believe that God created Eve from Adam’s rib it follows that she had to be 46XY. In other words, she was transgendered.

  • Maybe for you, but for those wishing for an eternity with Jesus, well, choose who you will serve blank

  • You’re the one who asserts He doesn’t exist. Perhaps you should do the proving instead of acting like a child.

  • Nice try. No cigar. We have for thoussnds of years determined gender by what is between a persons legs. Still true today.
    gender by what a person wants to be is nonsense and a lie

  • The very first few words out of Jesus’ mouth were and I quote, “For there are eunuchs who were born that way…” Where in this passage does it say a single word about being castrated by anybody, “…eunuchs who were born that way…”? What part of “born that way” refers to a surgical procedure in any way shape or form? “eunuchs who were born that way” means BORN THAT WAY as in issued forth from the womb that way. Your cherry picker has failed you again.

  • What was known a thousand years ago has no bearing at all on what we know and do today. A thousand years ago everyone still believed that the world was flat and that blood letting had a legitimate medical curative action for diseases.

    Nobody’s gender is between their legs. Modern medical understanding of gender places that function of human physiology in a portion of the component of the brain called the hypothalamus.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18980961

    Brain. 2008 Dec;131(Pt 12):3132-46. doi: 10.1093/brain/awn276. Epub 2008 Nov 2.
    A sex difference in the hypothalamic uncinate nucleus: relationship to gender identity.
    Garcia-Falgueras A1, Swaab DF.
    Author information
    Abstract
    Transsexuality is an individual’s unshakable conviction of belonging to the opposite sex, resulting in a request for sex-reassignment surgery. We have shown previously that the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTc) is female in size and neuron number in male-to-female transsexual people. In the present study we investigated the hypothalamic uncinate nucleus, which is composed of two subnuclei, namely interstitial nucleus of the anterior hypothalamus (INAH) 3 and 4. Post-mortem brain material was used from 42 subjects: 14 control males, 11 control females, 11 male-to-female transsexual people, 1 female-to-male transsexual subject and 5 non-transsexual subjects who were castrated because of prostate cancer. To identify and delineate the nuclei and determine their volume and shape we used three different stainings throughout the nuclei in every 15th section, i.e. thionin, neuropeptide Y and synaptophysin, using an image analysis system. The most pronounced differences were found in the INAH3 subnucleus. Its volume in thionin sections was 1.9 times larger in control males than in females (P < 0.013) and contained 2.3 times as many cells (P 0.117) and females (volume P > 0.245 and number of neurons P > 0.341). There was no difference in INAH3 between pre-and post-menopausal women, either in the volume (P > 0.84) or in the number of neurons (P < 0.439), indicating that the feminization of the INAH3 of male-to-female transsexuals was not due to estrogen treatment. We propose that the sex reversal of the INAH3 in transsexual people is at least partly a marker of an early atypical sexual differentiation of the brain and that the changes in INAH3 and the BSTc may belong to a complex network that may structurally and functionally be related to gender identity.

    Gender is defined thus: gen·der ˈjendər/noun the state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones). You are insisting on confusing gender with sex, which is a completely different subject all together.

    sex seks/noun 1. (chiefly with reference to people) sexual activity, including specifically sexual intercourse. "he enjoyed talking about sex"
    synonyms: sexual intercourse, intercourse, lovemaking, making love, sex act, (sexual) relations;
    2. either of the two main categories (male and female) into which humans and many other living things are divided on the basis of their reproductive functions.

  • Silly me, I must have wasted all that time in grad school. I’ll have to see if I can get my money and time back.

  • Where do get these anachronistic views of human sexual identity? Modern medical science has discovered that human gender identity is a function of the brain. Sexual function may be related to the genitals. But, our gender identity is a much higher function than the region of the zipper. I’ve already posted several links for you on this topic. Must I continue to do so every time you make another uneducated remark?

  • If you were given the chance to choose between a medical treatment for an illness that was well known to be cured by a commonly accepted and popular remedy that was a thousand years old and a modern treatment for the same condition that was known to be effective, which one would you accept?

  • That is an interesting question. For some things it could work. But this transgender issue is more complex. What I don’t believe is possible is to change a persons gender. Our biological gender identifies our grendet since birth.

  • I don’t buy what so called “modern science” says about this. There is way to much history against this gender confusion. Men and women have always been identified by their plumbinbg. When your thinking is out of sync with your plumbing then that means there is something wrong with your thinking and not your plumbing.

  • All things are allowable, all things are lawful, all things are permissible……..1 Corinthians 6:12……..1 Corinthians 10:23

  • Should Armageddon occur, you’ll find me fighting on the side of the Respecters of others’ private lives, defending them against the Trespassers into others’ private lives.

  • There is no other tactic Sandi… You are trying to get me to believe that just because a word such as “and” is in the bible; its meaning and definition in the English language ceases to exist?!?!

    That’s called insanity Sandi!! Not logic or rational thought.

    I hope you get help for your illness!

  • And biology isn’t solely a function of what’s between your legs. It’s also dependent on brain structure (which differs between men and women)

  • Sorry but saying that “I don’t believe that god exists” is very different from saying that “I believe that god does not exist”. That’s the reason I clarified things by saying that I’m an “agnostic atheist”. (There is a difference between an “agnostic atheist” and a “gnostic atheist” – I’m surprised you don’t appear to understand the difference.)

    As for proof – I have nothing to prove. The burden of proof lies with the person claiming existence.

    Having said that, to quote James Randi, it is impossible to prove a negative – if in doubt you can start with Russell’s teapot (google it if you’re unfamiliar with the concept). Once you’ve solved that you can advance to proving that Zeus, Odin and Mithra don’t exist. If you can provide proof of that I’ll gladly apply your arguments to your god. And we’re done.

  • What’s “wishful” about it?

    But I do have one question – which creation story from the bible is true? After all, there are several – two in Genesis alone (and they are inconsistent) and a third is referenced in the Books of Isaiah, Psalms and Job. In this version, the world is created in the aftermath of a great battle between God and what theologians say is a dragon in the waters called Rahab.

    But it gets better – there are other creation stories in the bible as well (eighteen in all).

  • Cool – so all I have to do is ignore what the words actually say and make up whatever I want?

  • Biology has always been for thousands of years the determining criteria for determing gender it still is today from birth.

  • Armageddon has started gradually in some parts of the world. We watch it unfold sometimes on television screen, some not captured or noted but is happening. Repent before it’s too late!

  • Because you will then completely understand love, goodness, faithfulness, joy, peace and on and on. You are so used to sin that you think that is the only way?

  • That’s clearly what you’re doing. After all, the bible is very specific about a lot of things. There are some 630 laws in the Old Testament alone and I’d be surprised if anyone except maybe Orthodox Jews follow most of them. Most “Christians” are perhaps best described as “cafeteria Christians” – I like this bit so I’ll follow it but I don’t like that bit so I won’t”.

  • Are you trying to say that the Bible doesn’t contain multiple creation stories?

    Have to admit that I’ve been aware of the two contradictory versions in Genesis as well as the story of Rahab for a very long time. However, I wasn’t aware of many of the other stories until a friend asked me to review an essay they’d written for one of their university religion classes. Her essay mentioned other stories so I asked her about them – that led me to reread the bible – yep, they are there.

    BTW, if you know anything about Jewish folklore and in particular midrashic literature, Adam’s first wife was not Eve but was instead a woman named Lilith who was created in the first Genesis account. Only when Lilith rebelled and abandoned Adam did God create Eve, in the second account (her rebellion was, supposedly, that she refused to be subservient to Adam). The interesting thing about Lilith is that, because she left before anyone ate fruit from the tree, she was not touched by original sin which means she won’t die and, by some accounts, is immeasurably powerful.

    BTW – you didn’t tell us which biblical creation story is true.

  • The god of the bible is none of those things. The Bible lays out God’s primary qualities clearly: jealous, petty, unforgiving, bloodthirsty, vindictive, homophobic, racist, sadistic, malevolent, … the list goes on.

    http://tinyurl.com/z586ymn

  • We are in agreement on two things in this discussion. This transgender issue is most certainly more complex than many people are aware of. And, you are absolutely right that a person’s gender identity cannot be changed by any means known to man and very likely never will be.

    Going down the rabbit hole of gender identity is something that thankfully only happens to very few fetuses during its development in the womb. In utero development is not really the totally safe all encompassing environment that we all want to think it is. May things can and do go wrong during those most critical days of amazing rates of cellular growth of wildly complex and extremely delicate systems. We are all aware of the catastrophic defects that can and do occur during fetal development.

    For reasons that are not yet fully understood, a very small percentage of developing fetuses experience a disruptive event in the critical development stages of the brain and reproductive systems of the fetal body. We already know that the human brain develops before the reproductive systems do. And, we also know that all developing fetuses start out female and are later mutated by the introduction of a catalyst, usually the appropriate hormonal mixture which will result in the development of a child of one gender or the other. Usually.

    Brain development that began at roughly the 4th or 5th week marks the beginning of this critical stage during which a transgender child might result. By the 6th to the 7th week fetal brain tissue has developed sufficiently for brain activity to have begun. Usually, a fetus is programmed to either continue on as the female it began as, but not always. It is also known that our innate sense of who we are as a person, our gender identity is actually a function of our brain.

    Some as yet unknown trigger can at this point, starting at the 8th or 9th week can cause the fetus to develop external genitals incongruent with the fetuses already developed brain. We do not yet know what might trigger differentiation between what is supposed to be preprogrammed development of the brain and the reproductive organs. It is at this point where the fetus might go down the rabbit hole and exit with an unexpected difference.

    At the point when the reproductive system begins to develop that some as yet unknown trigger may change the future of the developing child forever. There are many possible causes for the physical differentiation of gender identity and reproductive ability. There is now much more interest on the part of the medical community in research into the events that lead up to the development of a transgender child.

    What we do know is that being gay, which is unrelated to being transgender, is actually a normal function of human reproductive biology. Nature created a safety mechanism of sorts to help with child rearing. In the event of the loss of a child’s parents in the oh so dangerous wilds in which our ancestors once lived, someone was needed to care for those children. Someone had to be present to raise them for the sake of the survival of the species.

    There are many theories as to why and how transgender people are born. At this point, the only thing we actually know for certain is that transgender people are born as they are. Nobody ever gets to choose the gender of the person we will each become, any more than we ever get to choose the gender identity we are born with.

    Nor for that matter do any of us ever get to choose the gender of the person we will eventually be attracted to. All of those delicate choices are made for us during the many amazingly complex chemical processes that result in the development of a human being. It is the aim of current research to find what the triggers are that cause the physical differentiation between the gender identity of our brains and our reproductive abilities.

    For a moment try and think of what it must be like for someone to have been born with such a physical differentiation between the gender identity of their brains and their reproductive abilities. What must it be like to have competing hormonal levels, both vying for dominance, for control of the body in the presence of such a conflict.

    I can honestly tell you from first hand experience that it is at once painful, confusing and immensely frustrating to have ones own parents contradict the truth of our inner selves and what others around us observe about us. I have personally known that I was actually female for my entire life. And I have memories that go all the way back to learning how to walk, talk and escape the horror of diapers.

    Then once puberty arrives and the sense of intense physical betrayal by ones own body as it responds to the forces being applied by the external genital input which trigger a cascading mutation of form and appearance for the person unfortunate to have been born in such a manner can be more than some are able to endure. In a social setting where there is a lack of acceptance as that which we currently experience, the future of any child born in such a state is grime indeed.

    Here’s a link to a video produced by The American Medical Association on the topic I have just outlined for you that will explain the process in technical terms, complete with graphics.

    http://media01.commpartners.com/AMA/sexual_identity_jan_2011/

  • I am dismayed to see that only 54% of Evangelicals believe that it is morally wrong.

  • Why and how do the medical issues of complete strangers have any effect at all on the moral issues of any other person? What makes you or anyone else think they have a right to interfere in the medical decisions of a stranger?

  • My personal, private beliefs about existence differ from yours, TonnieGibs1. For example, I believe that infinity is relative, life is what we make it, and reality is not fixed (in either sense of the term). As for Armageddon, I sincerely hope you don’t confuse prophecy with command, but in any event, please respect my boundaries and rights to my own beliefs, as I do yours.

  • It’s just a youtube link – if you’d prefer, go to Youtube and search for “Stephen Fry on God” – it’s the shorter one – about two and a quarter minutes long

  • Nobody is playing with words (except you). If you don’t understand the difference between those two statements you shouldn’t be trying to have a discussion with adults.

  • One day, you will know what you are talking about. Act like an adult for Heaven’s sake

  • awww, couldn’t come up with a better attempt at an insult. Jeepers…did we use up all your schtick?

  • Not interested – guess that means you’re not willing to listen to anything that might challenge your faith? And if a two minute video is going to upset your faith that much it can’t be very strong in the first place.

  • What instructions did Jesus give? After all, the books that supposedly tell us what he said were written decades after the supposed date of the crucifixion by people that never met him.

  • That’s not an insult. Unless you obey every one of the laws in the bible you are picking and choosing – that’s where the term “Cafeteria Christian” comes from.

    But I do have to say that my favorite parts of the Bible are when Jesus is alone talking to God (himself) and someone who wasn’t there is writing about it.

  • Medical Issue? Perhaps, I work as a nurse in mental health and some say that transgenderism is a mental illness, like having the delusion that your arms or legs are not your own or that that they are somehow killing the person and therefore must be amputated. In this case it should be treated and not played into.

  • Mental illness! Mental illness! Quick! That person is different than we are! They must be crazy! Make sure that everyone knows that this person is strange, deluded, insane! They don’t believe that being left handed is not freakish and a sin! Immoral! Insane! Not NORMAL! Different! Freak! Pervert!

    Have you noticed that literally any time anything unusual about a person is not clearly understood the first thing most everyone does is cry mental illness? Someone that works in mental health should know better. If you really do work as a nurse in mental health then you should be aware that the people responsible for setting the standards of care for mental health care have removed the mental illness classification from and changed the name of gender identity disorder to the more accurate term gender dysphoria.

    Gender dysphoria is no longer considered to be a mental illness in of itself, but rather a symptom of the stresses caused by the ‘medical issue’ of being transgender. Even the ultra conservative World Health Organization is changing their gender dysphoria classification in their next diagnosis and care manual due to come out in about a year.

    There’s this troubling thing called progress. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Conservative types just hate that word. Progress means things change. Conservatives are only happy when progress does not take place and everything stays exactly the way things have always been. conservatives want things to stay exactly the same right up until those previously hated changes suddenly benefit themselves and then hurray for progress.

    Here’s a link to a five year old AMA video on some of the medical issues affecting he lives of transgender people. If you really do work as a nurse, you might understand some of what is being said.

    http://media01.commpartners.com/AMA/sexual_identity_jan_2011/

  • Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are disorders of the brain. Someone who thinks they are not the sex they were born with could be another manifestation of the previously mentioned disorders.

  • Now you’re acting like you’re desperately to find a way to appear to have the qualifications to diagnose a mental health condition. While a transgender individual might suffer from one of the conditions you’ve referenced only a fully qualified, trained and licensed mental health professional has the ability to make such a determination.

    And, the people who have those qualifications are contradicting your assertion of de facto mental illness merely for being transgender. I’ve already posted links to numerous sites containing evidence of a biological origin for gender dysphoria; Evidence of a medical issue that has been accepted and put to good use by those with more information and the qualifications to make the right choices for the sake of the health of transgender people.

  • Nah, just thirty years of nursing, the last ten in mental health nursing. Justify whatever activity you will. That’s only human nature.

  • Are you aware of the fact that the computer you are using right now owes it’s very existence to a gay man and a transgender woman? That’s right. A gay man created the foundation for the operating system in every computer in use today. His name was Alan Turing. Lynn Conway is the transgender woman who created integrated circuitry while working as an engineer at AT&T.

    Why is it so vital to hold onto ancient traditions that have been proven to be wrong, or at the very least incomplete? Science has disproven the thousand year old superstition that the earth is flat. Science has proven that the thousand year old superstition that diseases are caused by demons was false. Science has also discovered tantalizing evidence showing a biological origin for transgender identity, right along with the many thousands of other amazing discoveries they’ve made.

  • Bah! After twenty five years as a state licensed professional tattoo artist required by state law to be able to accurately identify potential skin cancer sites on my clients, I d not have the hubris to think that I’m qualified to diagnose cancer. But, here you are, a glorified pill pusher, syringe filling restraint jockey are essentially committing a crime by diagnosing all transgender people as having a mental health problem without benefit of proper training or licensing.

    “Justify whatever activity you will. That’s only human nature.” Self glorification is also a well known fact of ‘human nature’.

  • I think what the numbers show is that real contact with a real person makes a difference Evangelical or otherwise. The exception is that a few are just dedicated to loudly oppose and hope to curtail any direct contact.

  • There are only 2 genders, not 3+. In the Beginning, God created male and female, Adam and Eve, not male female and trans-sexual. This BAPHOMET SATAN agenda has gone too far! BTW Satan is MALE. There ARE only 2 genders!

  • I’ve never met ANYONE who was not a man or a woman. There’s no such thing as third gender. And how does mutilating yourself turn yourself into the “THIRD GENDER”? It doesn’t. It makes you a man of amputee status.

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