Those pesky facts do get in the way of a “good” social change program.
Tired of left-wing media manipulation, liberal researcher declares: ‘Science shows sex is binary’
After The New York Times leaked a memo describing how the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plans to reverse the Obama administration’s guidance allowing students to use restroom and locker room facilities of the opposite sex based on which sex students “identify” as, media outlets and activist organizations unleashed relentless attacks on the Trump White House, claiming it seeks to harm “transgendered” people.
In two recent articles, one written for RealClearPolitics and the other for Playboy, Debra W. Soh, who holds a Ph.D in sexual neuroscience research from New York University, doused the raging firestorm with facts.
“As much as I understand the public’s concern, it’s important to offer a fact-based approach to the issue,” wrote Soh, a self-described liberal, in her Playboy essay.
“It isn’t necessary to redefine ‘sex’ in order to facilitate the acceptance of people who are different,” said Dr. Soh in her RealClearPolitics commentary. “Pushing for social change for the sake of change, as many of those on the left seem wont to do, only leads to misguided policies and unnecessary confusion for the public.”
Humanity: 10 fingers, two sexes
Soh points out that the inflammatory New York Times article incorrectly sought to use the existence of a very small minority of people who are “intersex,” i.e., born with genitalia of both sexes or otherwise ambiguous genitalia, as proof that sex is on a spectrum, not binary.
Certainly, research has shown that as many as 1 percent of the population is intersex, a medical condition denoting that an individual possesses anatomy characteristic of both sexes, such as a combination of vulvar and testicular tissue. Statistically speaking, however, this means that the vast majority of us fall into one category of sex or the other.
It therefore becomes a question of whether a statistically rare occurrence in the general population should be considered typical. An analogy that is commonly used to illustrate this is the fact that most of us have 10 fingers. There exist individuals who possess fewer or more than 10 digits on their hands, but this hasn’t called for a re-conceptualization of how many fingers a human being has.
Ironically, the term ‘transgender’ implies that sex is binary
“This argument has been extended to include the transgender community, with its proponents contending that transgender people defy male and female categorization, and offer proof that sex and gender are a spectrum,” said Soh. “But in reality, the term ‘transgender’ means that a person identifies more as the opposite sex than their birth sex — which still operates within a framework of sex being binary.”
Left-wing media incite outrage, falsely accuse Trump administration of bigotry
According to Soh, the HHS memo suggesting that governmental agencies define sex as being “either male or female, unchangeable and determined by the genitals that a person is born with” is an accurate statement based on science.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ clear statement on defining sex “left most of us with a half-hearted understanding of human biology confused exactly why people are outraged, as there is nothing factually incorrect with this definition,” said Soh. “And yet, left-wing media has been treating it as bigotry.”
Trump administration has it right
“Indeed, a single definition of sex should be reinstated across the U.S. government’s agencies,” asserted Soh. “This is basic demographic information that shouldn’t be seen as controversial or difficult to attain. Don’t get me wrong: acknowledging a transgender person’s sex at birth feels insensitive, especially for those of us who aren’t transgender. But the solution to ending discrimination against gender-variant people is not to adopt the position that biological sex doesn’t exist.”
“To suggest that this group proves that gender is completely unrelated to anatomy, or that a person’s sense of gender in the brain somehow operates in a way that is distinct from the rest of their body, is foolish and erroneous,” she added.
Tired of left-wing media’s manipulative tactics
Soh, who is a supporter of equal rights for “transgender” people, nonetheless views the stances of left-wing activists and media as unsupportable, arguing that important differences between females and men who identify as female certainly do exist. “We should be able to advocate for equal rights for transgender individuals while also acknowledging that differences exist between trans women and women who were born female.”
People should not “deny science” or “make sweeping claims in order to ramp up the backlash,” said Soh in her Playboy essay. “In our current climate, heightening political polarization is reckless and only serves to frustrate and alienate well-meaning people who would otherwise be sympathetic to the cause.”
“Rather, they must contend with whether they are being manipulated by the media,” continued Dr. Soh. “These changes have no doubt been a wider response to the left’s increasingly extreme views on gender; some liberals, including myself, have become tired of its nonsensical ideas, including the concept that self-identification supersedes everything else, and that shaming and silencing someone is the only acceptable reaction should they question the outrage.”