A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Van » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:16 am UTC

BlackSails wrote:I dont get your point. Lets say we have two therapies. One is the current hormone therapy + surgery. The other is some sort of psychological therapy that helps the person be happy in his/her current boddy. Would the hormones + surgery still be justified?

The point is that purely psychological therapies do not work. Your idea isn't a new one, and many, many years (and lives) were wasted on "let's make them be not-crazy!", to nil effect. Gender is an intrinsic part of you, and cannot be changed; see: David Reimer, quite possibly the only 'study' that will ever be done to that effect.

BlackSails wrote:Yes, personality disorders are difficult to treat, but as far as I am aware, there is some limited success by treating them with cognitive-behavioral therapy

"There's some limited success with this method, we should use it instead of this other method which can achieve full success. Because I like it more."?

If it was possible to tinker with the brain and if that lead to there being a way to 'fix' transsexuals through a magic pill (or more realistically, some sort of surgery), it might be a valid (if offensive, suggesting that we need to be fixed) topic for discussion. However, there's currently none of the above.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Rinsaikeru » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:17 am UTC

Ok to yank something quickly from wikipedia:

In general, however, a mental disorder has been characterized as a clinically significant behavioral or psychological pattern that occurs in an individual and is usually associated with distress, disability or increased risk of suffering.


In the case here, any distress or suffering would be ameliorated by being able to present as female. Mental disorders are constantly being redefined and changed--many things that were once treated---say homosexuality or female hysteria were later realized to not be mental illness in any way shape or form. Heck they used to treat masturbation as a mental illness at one point in time.

Not to mention the fact that you are essentially tagging several wonderful xkcd forumites as mentally ill.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby MrGee » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:32 am UTC

We all want things we can't have. I want eyes that can see 20/20, but I'm not getting them anytime soon. I'm SOL, but I'm not crazy. How would it be different if I wanted girl parts?

Now if I actually THOUGHT I was a girl--there is your mental disorder.

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Freakish » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:44 am UTC

*takes cover*
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Van » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:45 am UTC

MrGee wrote:We all want things we can't have. I want eyes that can see 20/20, but I'm not getting them anytime soon. I'm SOL, but I'm not crazy. How would it be different if I wanted girl parts?

Now if I actually THOUGHT I was a girl--there is your mental disorder.

LASIK.

It's possible I'm reading your post wrong, but the impression I'm getting is "transsexuals just want girl parts. 'cuz.", which is... very, very incorrect. It's not Stalking Cat, it's gender dysphoria.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:17 am UTC

MrGee wrote:That's easy. No one enjoys OCD. It does not make anyone feel complete or normal to count threads in the carpet. Gender/sex mismatch does make people happy and whole once corrected. Usually.

Speak for yourself.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby MrGee » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:03 am UTC

Van wrote:
MrGee wrote:We all want things we can't have. I want eyes that can see 20/20, but I'm not getting them anytime soon. I'm SOL, but I'm not crazy. How would it be different if I wanted girl parts?

Now if I actually THOUGHT I was a girl--there is your mental disorder.


LASIK.


Money.

Van wrote:It's possible I'm reading your post wrong, but the impression I'm getting is "transsexuals just want girl parts. 'cuz.", which is... very, very incorrect. It's not Stalking Cat, it's gender dysphoria.


If GID is defined as dissatisfaction with biological gender, it follows that one wants something else. It doesn't really matter to my point if that includes sexual reassignment surgery or not.

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Malice » Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:40 am UTC

MrGee wrote:
Van wrote:
MrGee wrote:We all want things we can't have. I want eyes that can see 20/20, but I'm not getting them anytime soon. I'm SOL, but I'm not crazy. How would it be different if I wanted girl parts?

Now if I actually THOUGHT I was a girl--there is your mental disorder.


LASIK.


Money.


Please, would you be so kind as to explain your point to me? I keep puzzling over it, and I can't figure it out.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Van » Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:44 am UTC

MrGee wrote:Money.

First ad for 'cost of LASIK' wrote:Lasik Costs
http://www.LASIKVisionInstitute.us.com 0 Down, 0% Interest. Prices As Low As $299 Per Eye. Call LVI Now!

I work non-management retail (i.e. I'm hardly a wealthy person); $600 is something that I would consider to be will within my budget, especially since it'd essentially pay for itself, assuming I didn't need any form of corrective lenses, within 5-10 years at most. I'd also say that's within range of anyone that isn't completely without the ability to generate income, which probably doesn't apply to you.

MrGee wrote:If GID is defined as dissatisfaction with biological gender, it follows that one wants something else. It doesn't really matter to my point if that includes sexual reassignment surgery or not.

You seem to have missed my point, I think. Specifically, I was taking issue with:
MrGee wrote:Now if I actually THOUGHT I was a girl--there is your mental disorder.

The internal workings of our brains define us far more than our bodies do, especially given that we can quite readily change one and not the other. The current thought regarding transsexuals is that their brains match $target_gender instead of $current_gender; in other words size and function of various areas of the brain for MtFs tend to match those of natal females instead of males, and the reverse is true for FtMs. In short, what you said is incorrect, offensive, and marginalizes transsexuals to "crazy people (it's a mental disorder!) that just can't be happy with what they have".
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Jessica » Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:31 pm UTC

I am a woman. My INTERNAL GENDER does not match my EXTERNAL SEX. Since my internal gender seems to be quite fixed, for whatever reason, and therapy, drugs and other methods have no effect, the treatment is to change my external sex.

As for money... I'm not crazy for wanting to change a physical defect in my body to make it match how I feel it should be. And if $600 is out of your price range, then so would GRS (which costs upwards of tens of thousands of dollars).
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby luketheduke » Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:06 pm UTC

I'd just like to repeat this because it's important::
Van wrote:The internal workings of our brains define us far more than our bodies do, especially given that we can quite readily change one and not the other. The current thought regarding transsexuals is that their brains match $target_gender instead of $current_gender; in other words size and function of various areas of the brain for MtFs tend to match those of natal females instead of males, and the reverse is true for FtMs. In short, what you said is incorrect, offensive, and marginalizes transsexuals to "crazy people (it's a mental disorder!) that just can't be happy with what they have".

There are actually studies about this, but I can't find them right now :?

Also we have our very own transsexuality thread.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Van » Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:20 pm UTC

luketheduke wrote:There are actually studies about this, but I can't find them right now :?

I am a link fiend.The important bit:
Regardless of sexual orientation, men had almost twice as many somatostatin neurons as women ... The number of neurons in the BSTc of male-to-female transsexuals was similar to that of the females ... neuron number of a female-to-male transsexual was found to be in the male range

Hormone treatment or sex hormone level variations in adulthood did not seem to have influenced BSTc neuron numbers.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Adalwolf » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:17 pm UTC

What the...

Why the hell are the parents letting their kid get a sex change operation at...12?

That seems like something someone should at least be 18 to have.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby luketheduke » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:18 pm UTC

Adalwolf wrote:Why the hell are the parents letting their kid get a sex change operation at...12?

They're not.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Shivahn » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:21 pm UTC

I feel like there's a meta-issue being ignored, and that's that anyone advocating "just use psych therapy!" is trying to control what other people get, when it doesn't affect them. Why? It's not up to me to decide what treatment to give other people, even if I don't understand it. I don't get why certain people would get certain cosmetic surgeries... and it doesn't matter. I don't own them, I don't get to decide what's best for them. Why does anyone think that this is any different? Are you so heavily invested in the genitals of people you don't know that you think it's your right to tell them what to do with them?

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby luketheduke » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:25 pm UTC

It starts affecting you when we're talking about whether health insurance should cover it.
It should by the way, not least because it's the only treatment that works, in contrast to therapy.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Shivahn » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:52 pm UTC

luketheduke wrote:It starts affecting you when we're talking about whether health insurance should cover it.
It should by the way, not least because it's the only treatment that works, in contrast to therapy.


Ah, yes, that's true. But I feel like the general tone of these arguments is always "I don't think you should be able to do that, use my method instead because yours makes me uncomfortable."

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby luketheduke » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:04 pm UTC

That is certainly something people should think about. Especially those who fancy calling themselves libertarians.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Osha » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:14 pm UTC

MrGee wrote:We all want things we can't have. I want eyes that can see 20/20, but I'm not getting them anytime soon. I'm SOL, but I'm not crazy. How would it be different if I wanted girl parts?

Now if I actually THOUGHT I was a girl--there is your mental disorder.

Not quite. If I thought I had a uterus, vagina, and no adams apple, maybe that would be a problem.
But I have no such delusions, I know I have a Y-chromosome and all that stuff. So thinking I am a woman is not delusional because my definition of woman has *nothing* to do with having any certain sex. ('course you could always argue my definition, but that has nothing to do with me being delusional or not)
I can't even fathom how you think wanting "girl parts" is not crazy (correct!) but thinking yourself a women is (incorrect!).

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Freakish » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:26 pm UTC

But what makes you a women? How do you feel like a women? Is it something in your brain, or do you need to have long hair, pink cloths, and to speak in a higher pitch? Is it just a desire to look a certain way?

I'm just trying to understand. Right now, I don't feel gender and I have no idea what it is. I've just been accepting that some people feel like a "gender".
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby luketheduke » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:29 pm UTC

We have our very own transsexuality thread.

It might start becoming interesting for you about here.

PS: I am male but I am not very invested in my gender, and I know a lot of people feel like that. *shrug*
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Van » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:33 pm UTC

Freakish wrote:But what makes you a women? How do you feel like a women? Is it something in your brain, or do you need to have long hair, pink cloths, and to speak in a higher pitch? Is it just a desire to look a certain way?

I'm just trying to understand. Right now, I don't feel gender and I have no idea what it is. I've just been accepting that some people feel like a "gender".

Have you ever worn glasses? Maybe you've put on someone else's, and noticed how screwed up everything is. Explain that to someone with normal vision who, for whatever reason, is completely unaware that eyes come in flavors other than 20/20. They're going to think you're crazy, they're not going to understand it.

It's not a perfect metaphor, but really, there's no direct comparison for the average person. It's just something is wrong, and you eventually piece together what that something is.

edit: luke's correct, the average person is not interested in their gender any more than they're interested in the air they breathe. It's only when something is wrong with their breathing that air suddenly becomes the most important thing in the world.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Osha » Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:01 pm UTC

Yeah, what Van said.
It doesn't have *anything* with wanting to have long hair and wear pink frilly dresses (that's just a plus! <.<;)
If I just wanted long hair, pink clothes, and a higher pitched voice, well, I could do all that as a guy with a whole lot less trouble and without the thousands upon thousands of dollars in medical expenses.
If transsexuality was about embracing stereotypes of women, then you'd think there'd be some evidence that trans women routinely do this. Instead of, you know, having dress and mannerisms as varied as everyone else.

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Jessica » Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:39 pm UTC

Being male feels wrong, and being female feels right.
It's not a drive to wear dresses and pigtails. It's a fundamental disconnect in how people treat me, act around me, and how I present to the world, and how my body looks from how I think people should treat me, act around me, how I present, and how I look.

How do I know it's gender that's the problem? Because I thought long and hard about gender, about what feels right and what doesn't. About how things make sense to me and what doesn't.

It's not surprising that you don't think of gender. Most people don't have to. It's congruent and there is no investigation required. But, when there's a problem and you can't quite put your finger on it, it's hard to not notice it.

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Enuja » Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:53 pm UTC

Back to the original article and all of the comments about how 12 year olds can do things that they might regret later: you can't stop that. This particular 12 year old is described as having a lot of trouble in primary school with gender expression, with teachers and peers and the administration all giving this child lots of trouble. How people treat you and how you get along in school is a really important part of your future life, and you can't make this child happy with their assigned gender just by saying that they should be happy. Many of you say that we can't let kids be scarred by their childhood: too late, it's already happened, and you have no power to change it. The LEAST everyone else can do is allow a child to take the path that causes the least psychological harm, and the way to do this is to listen to the child. In other words, 12 year olds already have agency, and you denying it by saying that only one "choice" (act like a boy) is "safe" for this 12 year old does nothing other than making this 12 year old as miserable as possible.

I didn't think much about gender until I had trans friends, either. I thought that gender was meaningless to me, too, until I looked at my roommate and realized I felt secure and comfortable and "right" where she felt that she had been pushed into the wrong box. Intellectually, I still strongly suspect that binary gender is an evil social construction, but I can't kid myself: the evil social construction works for me. And to say that other people should ignore any problems from the social construction because gender isn't important to you, well, that's being extremely blind to the experiences of people outside yourself.

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby MrGee » Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:25 pm UTC

Osha wrote:
MrGee wrote:We all want things we can't have. I want eyes that can see 20/20, but I'm not getting them anytime soon. I'm SOL, but I'm not crazy. How would it be different if I wanted girl parts?

Now if I actually THOUGHT I was a girl--there is your mental disorder.

Not quite. If I thought I had a uterus, vagina, and no adams apple, maybe that would be a problem.
But I have no such delusions, I know I have a Y-chromosome and all that stuff. So thinking I am a woman is not delusional because my definition of woman has *nothing* to do with having any certain sex. ('course you could always argue my definition, but that has nothing to do with me being delusional or not)
I can't even fathom how you think wanting "girl parts" is not crazy (correct!) but thinking yourself a women is (incorrect!).


Yes, this is what I meant. I suppose it all depends on everyone agreeing how to determine someone's actual gender.

As for the kid, I wonder if anyone has explained to her exactly how physically female one can become. Yes it would be nice to be a girl, but she can't, for example, have children. I would worry about her having a normal sex life as well.

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby luketheduke » Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:53 pm UTC

MrGee wrote:I suppose it all depends on everyone agreeing how to determine someone's actual gender.

What is so radical about going by what that someone sees themselves as?
And as for everything else, I am confident she knows more about all those issues than you do. No need for you to worry.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby MrGee » Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:16 pm UTC

luketheduke wrote:
MrGee wrote:I suppose it all depends on everyone agreeing how to determine someone's actual gender.

What is so radical about going by what that someone sees themselves as?
And as for everything else, I am confident she knows more about all those issues than you do. No need for you to worry.


Dude, I can't even read that.

What's so radical about taking someone's word for it is, there are people who are convinced they are velociraptors. Or Jesus. So how does one refute the claim--and I'm not making this claim--that gender disphoria is really a delusion that should be cured?

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:21 pm UTC

MrGee wrote:What's so radical about taking someone's word for it is, there are people who are convinced they are velociraptors. Or Jesus. So how does one refute the claim--and I'm not making this claim--that gender disphoria is really a delusion that should be cured?
It's considerably more complicated than the standard "Well I'm actually a duck, so stop oppressing me!" response. For starters, there are no set of cultural expectations we impose upon ducks; we do have cultural expectations for men and women. Some people are more comfortable with fulfilling the cultural expectations of a gender different than the one assigned to them. As gender roles should be permeable to begin with, it's best to allow ourselves to choose our gender while simultaneously working to break down the boundaries between those genders.

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Malice » Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:30 pm UTC

MrGee wrote:What's so radical about taking someone's word for it is, there are people who are convinced they are velociraptors. Or Jesus. So how does one refute the claim--and I'm not making this claim--that gender disphoria is really a delusion that should be cured?


There are two significant differences between "I am a girl, although I don't look like it" and "I am a raptor, although I don't look like it."

1. One who believes themselves to be a raptor might actually be a danger to others, if they decide to start biting people. Not so for someone who believes they're a girl in a boy's body. So right there is less of a reason to cure the mind.

2. A girl in a boy's body can, in fact, be cured physically. Nobody can turn themselves into a raptor, but it's medically possible to change sex in at least external ways.

As to why you don't cure the mind instead of the body, it's because A) it's proven to be much less effective, and B) our identities, our selves, our "I"s are basically in our brains, not our bodies--it seems foolish to change a personality to fulfill meat. If you change the patient's body, you can make them happy; if you change their mind, you can make the resulting person happy, but it's not the same "them" anymore.
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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Osha » Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:37 pm UTC

MrGee wrote:
luketheduke wrote:
MrGee wrote:I suppose it all depends on everyone agreeing how to determine someone's actual gender.

What is so radical about going by what that someone sees themselves as?
And as for everything else, I am confident she knows more about all those issues than you do. No need for you to worry.


Dude, I can't even read that.

What's so radical about taking someone's word for it is, there are people who are convinced they are velociraptors. Or Jesus. So how does one refute the claim--and I'm not making this claim--that gender disphoria is really a delusion that should be cured?

First of all people have tried damn hard to "cure" gender dysphoria. It doesn't work. The only succesful therapy involves acceptance, trying to get trans people to be happy living as men or women doesn't work. Second of all, treatment should be concerned with quality of life, which means even if you do count gender dysphoria as a delusion (which is stupid for reasons I've talked about in my previous post) it might not be best to try and "cure" it, especially since such efforts have historically seen only faliure.
Third of all there is a huge difference between gender and velociraptors. There's no link between prenatal hormone levels and thinking you're a velociraptor, for example.
Fourth of all I hate devils advocate, there are enough people making stupid claims about transsexuality that we don't really need to help them out.

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Re: A boy aged 12 turned up at school as a girl

Postby Jessica » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:41 pm UTC

Osha wrote:Fourth of all I hate devils advocate, there are enough people making stupid claims about transsexuality that we don't really need to help them out.
This needed repeating, and making big.

Once again, there is evidence that gender is a fixed concept, that it isn't linked to biological sex, or chromosomes, or sex characteristics. There are brain studies, and hormone studies and other fun things which shows that it's very possible that Gender is a separate entity in our minds. What trans people have said all along.

There is no evidence that any sort of therapy which changes a persons gender, or sexuality, or any innate characteristic. in fact, recently, they debunked "gay therapy" as just dangerous and having no effect on the actual orientation of the individual.

So, given the fact that there's evidence that there's a difference between one's sex and one's gender, and there's no evidence that anything else works, can we please stop suggesting that we do the do the damaging thing to people, and instead do the thing which helps them lead happy and productive lives?

As for comparing trans people to otherkin etc. For one thing, werepanthers don't exist. Another thing there's no evidence that an animal spirit can take over your body. There's no evidence that one can be born with an animal mind. compared to transgendered people, where there is evidence. they're widely studied. And while a lot of the studies are garbage, there still are studies.
doogly wrote:On a scale of Mr Rogers to Fascism, how mean do you think we're being?
Belial wrote:My goal is to be the best brain infection any of you have ever had.


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