Guest post: Belief ≠ physical reality

Originally a comment by Acolyte of Sagan on And then communicate it clearly and accurately.

The progress of science has helped us better understand who we are as trans people.

Maybe it has, but science isn’t any closer to showing that trans are the sex they claim than it was a century ago. Explaining why trans people might have their beliefs about their sex is not the same as confirming those beliefs as facts. Further, taking scientific findings about conditions such as intersex or atypical chromosone combinations out of context to back up transgender claims is not science, it’s exploitation of people with conditions only tangentially related to transgender.

I was thinking about that latter part earlier after reading PZ’s hit-piece on Jerry Coyne for his lack of belief in sex as a spectrum, a piece in which PZ once again pulls out the intersex and chromosome argument to ‘prove’ that science supports the core belief of transgender religion, and the conclusion I reached was this:

By use of visual examinations, blood tests, testing chromosone combinations, and without requiring any input from the person being examined, doctors can diagnose whether a person is intersex, standard xx-female or xy-male, chromosonally atypical, and so-on. There is no scientific test that can detect whether a person is transgender: there is no way of diagnosing transgender independently of having that information supplied by the transgender person, ie. self-reporting/self-diagnosis. So, science clearly does not support claims that transgender people are the sex they claim for themselves. True, neuroscience and psychology can confirm that people can and do believe themselves to be the wrong gender for their bodies, but confirming that they believe something is not confirming any physical reality behind the beliefs.

Many experts believe that biological factors such as genetic influences and prenatal hormone levels, early experiences, and experiences later in adolescence or adulthood may all contribute to the development of transgender identities.

The part I’ve bolded there is transgender heresy. I have seen so many TRAs insist that being transgender is something one is from birth, not something that can or is caused by anything that may have been experienced since birth. Of course they have to make that argument because to admit that being transgender can be influenced by life experiences would negate that core belief that they are born with a discrepancy between their bodies and their ‘actual’ sex.

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