Guest post: Where the skeptics got confused

Originally a comment by Arty Morty on Where are the skeptics?

To go back to latsot’s analogy with other kinds of pseudomedicine, why is the skeptic community not going after the quack doctors peddling dangerous drugs and mutilating surgery to these genuinely distressed people?

I’ve been racking my brain for years trying to figure this out, and the best I can come up with is this:

“Gender medicine” is a treatment for a mental health disorder but people are terrified to make any kind of association between atypical gender expression and being mentally disordered. To which the obvious reply should be, “Then get rid of gender medicine, you idiots!” But instead, the reply from skeptics, progressives and everyone else is a strange collusion with the patients that they can still have all the “gender medicine” they want but they’re not disordered, it’s the whole rest of the world that needs fixing.

The hypocrisy at the heart of the gender identity movement is best exemplified by the euphemistic term “gender affirming care.” It says, we’re giving you some kind of care but it’s not medical treatment for a medical disorder, no no, my goodness no! It’s just wholesome gender-stereotype-smashing affirmative progressive feel-good “care.”

Under the “gender affirmation” euphemism, puberty blockers, genital reconstruction surgeries, synthetic hormones… none of this stuff needs the same scrutiny that any other medical treatment does, because none of it is really medical treatment, because that would imply that there might sometimes be a connection between gender expression and mental health disorders.

Of course there’s a connection between gender expression and mental health disorders — and the gender identity movement is the thing that’s perpetuating it!

Before the gender identity movement took over the medical establishment, there was the “watchful waiting” model, whose central premise was to reduce patients’ delusions about being the “wrong” sex with as much psychiatric care as possible before resorting to permanent medical body modifications, which would never literally “fix” the patients’ sex but which might help to alleviate their distress.

This seems to be where the skeptics got confused: it turns out that “gender medicine” isn’t entirely bad — some patients do seem to benefit from it. So completely abolishing medical treatment for gender distress is off the table — that would be bad, regressive, harmful. But acknowledging that this stuff is treatment for a mental health disorder is also off the table. Having a mental health disorder is the thing that leads you to seek medical treatment, but the medical treatment is the thing that makes you “trans.” Literally by definition, being trans means having a mental health condition. And that simply cannot be allowed. Their hands are tied: they have to endorse “gender medicine” in principle, because they know that it works sometimes. But they can’t allow themselves any kind of scrutiny about how it works, who it works for, what it actually does, what the risks are, etc, because that’s a foul reminder that we’re talking about a connection between “gender identities” and mental health disorders.

And right on cue, in swoop the charlatans and the quacks and the pharmaceutical hawks and all the other nasties looking to exploit a blind spot in everyone’s critical thinking. And boy are they making a killing.

It’s such a bloody mess. And all we have to do to untangle it is to collectively sit down and face the fact that the entire gender identity movement is an attempt by people with mental health disorders to feed their delusions instead of overcoming them.

16 Responses to “Guest post: Where the skeptics got confused”