Saturday, September 9, 2017

Transsexual Sex and the Brain - Responding to Joe Rogan, Milo Yiianopolis, Ben Shapiro and Gavin McInnis Dumb Ignorance on Transsexual Biology

Recently there have been several really hate based videos by these right commentators which were fiercely anti-transsexual. They were filled with huge ignorance and just stupidity on basic biology. So as a cognitivie scientist who knows the real research, I've written this general response to them as writing one to each video post is getting boring.


Trans Women and those who trans sex... have biologically female brains. Technically they are not male or female but intersexed. It is a intersexed condition not a mental illness. It is listed in the DSM as "gender dysphoria" so there is a billable condition to ensure that people get required support during transition which is a difficult process. The BSTc brain studies prove it. It is not "people believing they are a woman" etc as Shapiro says. It is also not throwing biology out the window. The biology is a state where the chromosomes and phenotype for the body is Male (in the case of M2F) but the brain is developed FEMALE. We know what the agencies that cause this - primarily not receiving the secondary high testosterone level in utero. Ben Shapiro and Joe Rogan understand nothing of this. Because they are fairly dumb people. Shapiro is also incorrect that it is a 40% suicide rate. The study in question is for all LGBT people. And the 40% is for suicide ideation not actual attempt nor success. The rate of depression is also not "astounding" as Shapiro says. So its all just made up bluster. It's all hate speech from a dumb person who knows nothing. The depression is related to lack of support and acceptance, being thrown away by their family, homelessness and struggle. Things all people would get depressed about. It is not caused directly from their brain difference. Post transition, success rates are very high. But not perfect. It's still a struggle. See "Lynn Conway Transsexual Success" for four pages of women who were very successful post transition - You hear a lot of this "they are not real women" from hateful people. They say "Oh they can't have babies so they aren't women. But many women can't have babies. Or they will say "they don't have XX chromosomes so they aren't women. But again, there are many women who also do not have XX chromosomes. There are even AIS women who have XY chromosomes but develop fully and naturally as women. Those are fringe cases they argue. Yes, but all part of the breadth of human experience, which is precisely what they deny to trans women. You cannot be an edge case you must conform to two strict cases of gender. But that is not the case with gender at all. Trans women are also rare, only 1/2,500 present as trans and fewer than that complete transition. This is no more common or rarer than the other edge cases of gender.

When you think hard on what is gender, what is a woman, the reductionists reject brain gender. But it is the brain gender that is most important, which is precisely why you will often hear them say "it is just mental illness". No it isn't. That is their ploy to ignore the scientific evidence and be reductionist yet again. "Only chromosomes matter" they scream, yet we know much more now how the whole DNA, tRNA and epigenetics function in correlation with hormones. Again, small brains only capable of limited views because... well basically because they are stupid.

"There is no scientific evidence to back ... there is a female brain". Also incorrect - there have been many many studies which are scientific, reproduced (see Zhou and Kruijver) clearly show the development of female brain structure in the BSTc. How does Shapiro argue against that? He doesn't he simply says those studies don't exist. What a nutcase! Also it isn't true that 40% commit suicide.

 Sex-reassigned transsexual persons of both genders had approximately a three times higher risk of all-cause mortality than controls, also after adjustment for covariates. Table 2 separately lists the outcomes depending on when sex reassignment was performed: during the period 1973-1988 or 1989–2003. Even though the overall mortality was increased across both time periods, it did not reach statistical significance for the period 1989–2003. The Kaplan-Meier curve (Figure 1) suggests that survival of transsexual persons started to diverge from that of matched controls after about 10 years of follow-up. 

The study shows that more recent outcomes, in the past ten years, due to better surgical outcomes, better acceptance and support, there is barely any statistical difference in death by suicide. Only in the longer term out to 20 years do we see the increased suicide rate, and that may indicate that things have improved dramatically. We won't know for sure until another ten years of study and followup where we can see if the 20 year rate improves. However it is a mis-conclusion to state that the suicide rate is much higher, and while Shapire says 40x higher this study in looking at all the data finds the rate to be 27 times higher, not 40. So even if the rate is higher Shapiro is wrong in his quote. (2.7 vs. 0.1 are the published numbers). Again, considering the changing landscape for those who trans sex, this actual mortality by suicide number appears to have normalized to within range of the non-trans sexed population. It is enough to discredit McGuiness and Shapiro's statements. In short they are looking at old data. One thing to mention is the technology surgically for gender affirmation surgery including facial reconstruction began to improve dramatically around 2000 and this has helped with passing, sensation, and also societal changes in acceptance and family acceptance have improved. One reason for higher suicide rates studies have found family rejection to be a major factor, so the cause of the suicide is not that being transsexual is a mental illness but instead due to the normal response to a psychotraumatic event such as being thrown away by family. Similar increased rates are found in the general GLBT community among those who were disowned by family. Improving outcomes, acceptance, and general knowledge have improved the suicide rate to levels which are on parity with the general population for those up to 10 years out according to the study. [citation: Dhejne C, Lichtenstein P, Boman M, Johansson ALV, Långström N, Landén M (2011) Long-Term Follow-Up of Transsexual Persons Undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery: Cohort Study in Sweden. PLoS ONE 6(2): e16885. ]

Sex is NOT determined by the chromosomes as Shapiro states. He is constantly making a reductionist argument that the Y chromosome presence in cells is the be-all and end-all to determining gender. This is not true at all. Chromosomes are blueprints for development, but there is also epigenetics and activation and the trans case is precisely one where the necessary hormone trigger did not activate the chromome. By constantly stating "Y chromosomes in every cell of hte body.. except sperm" Dipshit Shapiro is just missing the entire way biology works. It is an ignorant position. When a person does not fully sexualize to what appears to be their birth phenotype, and developes a female brain because they did not receive their second wave of testosterone in utero, then clearly it is not simply a question of chromosomes. The pre-natal development of the fetus will occur to completion in terms of gender when the chromosomes are activated with the appropriate sex hormone. This period of neo-natal development is very important. It requires both the chromosomes and the testosterone levels, in two periods. If this does not occur, then someone is born intersexed. This state can only be corrected through physical adaptation to the brain. The brain cannot change again, it is fixed in gender at birth. Neither Shapiro nor Rogan know any of this, I would call them caveman dipshits, ignorant savages, or just generally dumb but... it's more helpful to direct you to read the BSTc studies yourself - (Zhou's groundbreaking work) (Kruijver's follow in work confirming it!) there is also work more recently done on the INAH brain area (a good summary of recent research on sex and brain) And here is another summary article on the sex and brain research with regard to trans women.

A swedish study found 95% of those who transitioned to have successful outcomes,%20Annika.pdf

And there is also the Murad and the Ainsworth studies which found:
"Male-to-female and FM individuals had the same psychological functioning level as measured by the Symptom Checklist inventory (SCL-90), which was also similar to the psychological functioning level of the normal population and better than that of untreated individuals with GID....
The mental health quality of life of trans women without surgical intervention was significantly lower compared to the general population, while those transwomen who received FFS, GRS, or both had mental health quality of life scores not significantly different from the general female population.";jsessionid=B762F82F4564FB01651D68B07C5AEEAB.f01t04?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false

They constantly push false studies of SUICIDE IDEATION or studies which go back thirty or forty years to indicate what is the state today with outcomes. New studies which look at the last decade as surgicial and therapy techniques have improved find something completely different.
studies done more recently on more recent data finds BOTH OVERWHELMING IMPROVEMENT with transition vs. not transitioning, and 93% of the studies in the review find that the suicide ideation rate post transition DOES NOT DIFFER FROM THE GENERAL POPULATION. 52 studies that found that gender transition improves the well-being of transgender people. Only 4 studies that contain mixed or null findings on the effect of gender transition Specifically studies like the Colizzi, Costa, Todarello (2014) state - "Psychiatric distress and functional impairment were present in a significantly higher percentage of patients before starting the hormonal treatment than after 12 months (50% vs. 17% for anxiety; 42% vs. 23% for depression; 24% vs. 11% for psychological symptoms; 23% vs. 10% for functional impairment). The results revealed that the majority of transsexual patients have no psychiatric comorbidity, suggesting that transsexualism is not necessarily associated with severe comorbid psychiatric findings." Or we can look at the F2M Colton Meier study from 2011 which states "Results of the study indicate that female-to-male transsexuals who receive testosterone have lower levels of depression, anxiety, and stress, and higher levels of social support and health related quality of life." Or we can look at the Cuypere study which found massive suicides in transsexuls. That was a joke. The study found, and I quote "... No difference in psychological functioning (SCL-90) was observed between the study group and a normal population" - Cuypere, G. D., Elaut, E., Heylens, G., Maele, G. V., Selvaggi, G., et al. (2006). Long-term follow-up: Psychosocial outcome of Belgian transsexuals after sex reassignment surgery. Sexologies, 15(2), 126-133. Or the Gomez Gil study - "symptoms of anxiety and depression were present in a significantly higher percentage of untreated patients than in treated patients (61% vs. 33% and 31% vs. 8% respectively). " So TREATMENT WORKS! - Gomez-Gil, E., Zubiaurre-Elorz, L., Esteva, I., Guillamon, A., Godas, T., Cruz Almaraz, M., Halperin, I., Salamero, M. (2012). Hormone-treated transsexuals report less social distress, anxiety and depression. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 37(5), 662-670.

Finally I wanted to state that these trans births tend to increase when society is under stress. And having abilities from both sexes often allows these individuals to exceed what non-trans people can do, in invention, communication, and thought. I refer to them not as a lesser creature, but as primes, those having superior brains and abilities. And it may be a mechanism to assist society when it is having trouble, a feedback mechanism to try to repair things. In many cultures they are called "two spirits" and these people are respected and revered. It is only in our hateful western culture that there is such despoilment and hate of these special people. Not only are trans women probably more gifted and smarter than you Mr. Shapiro, they also have the empathy and compassion you clearly lack in your stone cold heart.

One has to ask just exactly WHO Mr. Shapiro is arguing with? Because women who trans sex and have completed transition simply want to get on their lives and be successful. Few are preachy "You MUST respect My GEnder" activists. It is telling that Shapiro states that his wife is a "real woman" clearly this comes from the endless irrational fear of "being gay" and sleeping with a "man". But it's quite dangerous for a woman who has trans sexed not to disclose their gender path and early on in the relationship. Instead, the bigger problem, and one I rail against constantly, is the usurption of the term "transgender" to be "incluse of those who trans sex" and this is the true danger because it lumps in the wack jobs and fetishists with those who are in a medical process (or completed a medical process). Much of what these commentators are railing against are the scary failures who do NOT trans sex but glom onto the term of transgender and demand rights for that. This is a big danger. They are OUTSIDE of the medical process and are destroying the rights of recognition that women who trans sex have fought for with their lives. Another issue is the standard for women who trans sex to men. first of all, there is no adequate surgical solution for them and it is quite expensive often over $100,000. The surgeries are much more in the experimental stages. Metidioplasty doesn't achieve a successful functioning penis and phalloplasty does not achieve nerve sensation. An even bigger issue is the requirement to be "recognized" by state and federal agencies. For M2F people, they are required to remove their gonads and often complete genital surgery to be recognized. But for F2M, often it's enough to just remove breasts. They should be required to have a complete gonad removal, their uterus removed, and their vagina sealed and reformed with at least metiodoplasty. This double standard again promotes the freak market as we see stories of "men" having babies. Shapiro if he knew the real issues facing those who trans sex would focus on these real issues.

Crowder gets the brain studies totally wrong when he says that they only show brain change after hormone therapy. Absolutely not, each study made sure to include a few subjects who were pre-HRT treatment. This is a very important issue and it comes in on the question of choice. Is it really a choice or a mental condition IF they have been born different. Shapiro pouts and says "they don't get their brain tested". Well that is quite expensive but the new techniques are close to being available. It's just a matter of time. In the meantime, we have to trust the results of studies done through vivisection and the newer studies done on living subjects. These all show overwhelming a difference that is measurable in the trans community. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Mr. Crowder.

When Shapiro says "It's a pronoun designed for biology" and to suggest otherwise is ignorant, well the issue is a trans woman IS a biological woman (at minimum in the brain and possibly elsewhere in the body. Many times these are not apparent, but I have heard several stories of people who had their surgery and the doctors report discovering vestigial female internal organs. If you accept that this is a intersexed condition, and that brain gender is the dominant aspect that determines the gender you can be successful in not genital gender (as the John Money studies prove) then Ben Shapiros "specificy in language is required" is being a dipshit because he fails to grasp the notion of success and best treatment. As to should we call such individuals "women" or "men" well isn't that a bit silly? Call them Primes they are probably a lot smarter than you are as their brains are cross linked both vertically and longitudinally. Ben speaks as he does out of extreme homophobia and incapable of grasping the total human condition. For the record, I am a scientist with graduate and undergraduate degrees in brain science from ivy league institutions.
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