Author Topic: Military Ban on Transgender  (Read 6496 times)

Seriati

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Military Ban on Transgender
« on: July 26, 2017, 10:35:26 AM »
So the latest Trump tweets announce that the ban on active duty by transgendered individuals serving in the military will be put back in place.  This is one of those areas, where even though there are costs, I think we're wrong not to support service by all citizens.  Sexuality and gender issues should not prevent service, period.

However, I'm struck by some of the deceptive arguments that are made, take a look at this quote from a CNN article on the topic http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/26/politics/trump-military-transgender/index.html:

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A 2016 Rand Corp. study commissioned by the Defense Department concluded that letting transgender people serve openly would have a "minimal impact" on readiness and health care costs, largely because there are so few in the military's 1.3 million-member force.

The study put the number of transgender people in the military between 1,320 and 6,630. Gender-change surgery is rare in the general population, and the RAND study estimated the possibility of 30 to 140 new hormone treatments a year in the military, with 25 to 130 gender transition-related surgeries among active service members. The cost could range from $2.4 million and $8.4 million, an amount that would represent an "exceedingly small proportion" of total health care expenditures, the study found.

That works out, depending on what they actually mean with those numbers from between $1266 per person in additional costs (if you divide $8.4 million by the high end estimate of 6630), to $64,615 per person if you assume it relates just to 130 gender transition surgeries.  The latter number is not small in any reasonable sense of the word, even the former number is high in the context of the expected health care needs of the typical young person.  It also doesn't seem to account for the time off necessary to recuperate, or any of the transitional disruptions that would occur.

Pretty much the study was designed to be true and deceptive.  Couldn't we just have a study that actually informed, like say the incremental cost difference?  And then made a decision that it was worth it anyway?  It's this kind of intentional manipulation, that makes smart people want to "resist" a policy even when they agree with the principals behind it.

TheDrake

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2017, 11:02:00 AM »
Or you could look at it as opportunity cost. If the transgendered individual leaves the service, what does it cost to train their replacement?  :o

Wayward Son

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2017, 11:38:11 AM »
Did the President mean "transgender" or "transsexual?"  ???  Does he know?

I can understand not wanting to spend money on sex change operations and the resulting required treatment.  I would think that would be covered under a medical exemption.

But "transgender" also refers to [/url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgender]"people who have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from their assigned sex."[/url]  A vast majority of them do not need medical treatment, because they do not want to change their actual organs.  Is Trump referring to those people, too?  If so, then he wants to use a bogus medical excuse to exclude all transgender people.

Of course, this also might just be a distraction from everything else going on in Washington (read the ACA repeals and (maybe) replace).  There seems to be a pattern of that. ;)

Fenring

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2017, 12:50:06 PM »
WS, I believe the term as used in this context is meant to refer to people diagnosed with gender dysphoria, and presumably who are to be taking medication and/or seeking gender reassignment surgery.

Here's a Wiki article about the pros and cons:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgender_people_and_military_service

At first glance it sounds like a bad move by Trump, but there is a surprisingly informative thread on Reddit about this right now which had some replies that make Trump's decision sound more reasonable and also probably in keeping with standard policy. Although I'm loath to just resort to quoting some other forum while discussing in this one, here's a comment from someone in the military about it:

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I'm a soldier who actually received the briefing first hand from someone who helped create the policy.
Basically if you declare you are transgender, you'll get a plan set in place between you and a specialist. That plan is flexible, but basically states how far you'll transition, how quickly, etc.
While in this process of this plan, you will be non deployable, still be the gender you previously were (however command will accommodate you a needed), and constantly be evaluated for mental health.
Once transitioned to the extent of the plan, you are now given the new gender marker (and are treated exactly like that gender), are deployable again, but must continue checkups and continue taking hormones.
One issue most had with this is it's a very expensive surgery/process and effectively takes a soldier "out of the fight" for 1/4 of their contract or even more. So not only does someone else need to take their place, but Tri-Care (our health care) will take a hit.

Here's another:

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The military/DoD has incredibly high medical standards.
I was medically discharged and saw several friends medically discharged for relatively minor stuff that honestly doesn't have a bearing on 99% of my life (very intermittent foot issue) and friends for some mental health issues that were VERY minor.
If you're post-swap and can function like a member of the appropriate gender then I don't have an issue. But if you have a dependence on hormones/medication or any sort of mental conflicts, then I am failing to see why exceptions should be made. Exceptions aren't made for non-trans people, why should they be made for them? It has nothing to do with what lifestyle they want to live and everything to do with medical requirements. If you want to be the other gender, great, do what makes you happy, but do not expect exceptions to be made for a choice that you actively made.



Lloyd Perna

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2017, 02:26:06 PM »
Veteran here,  The list of medical conditions that will keep you out of the Military is longer than your arm.  Wet the bed anytime since you turned 13?  Take daily medication (for any reason)?  Ever been treated with medication for depression?  Have asthma? ADHD? Have braces?  Are you less than 5ft tall? Have Allergies?

I think you get my point.  The side effects of the hormone treatments should be enough to disqualify anyone on them.

TheDeamon

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2017, 04:27:24 PM »
Here's another:

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The military/DoD has incredibly high medical standards.
I was medically discharged and saw several friends medically discharged for relatively minor stuff that honestly doesn't have a bearing on 99% of my life (very intermittent foot issue) and friends for some mental health issues that were VERY minor.
If you're post-swap and can function like a member of the appropriate gender then I don't have an issue. But if you have a dependence on hormones/medication or any sort of mental conflicts, then I am failing to see why exceptions should be made. Exceptions aren't made for non-trans people, why should they be made for them? It has nothing to do with what lifestyle they want to live and everything to do with medical requirements. If you want to be the other gender, great, do what makes you happy, but do not expect exceptions to be made for a choice that you actively made.

Pretty much this one as the main thing, although the "out of fight" situation also is relevant to the present day fighting force.

Further, my impression from the OP is that the RAND study only makes a forecast based on present day enlistment numbers. It makes no prediction as what enlistment/commissioning numbers may look like 10 years or more down the line should the transgendered persons receive such treatment as to make military preferable for them just so they can have the military carry the cost of having the "transition" work done for them on the military's(read: tax payer's) dime.

Wayward Son

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2017, 10:52:31 AM »
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That works out, depending on what they actually mean with those numbers from between $1266 per person in additional costs (if you divide $8.4 million by the high end estimate of 6630), to $64,615 per person if you assume it relates just to 130 gender transition surgeries.  The latter number is not small in any reasonable sense of the word, even the former number is high in the context of the expected health care needs of the typical young person.  It also doesn't seem to account for the time off necessary to recuperate, or any of the transitional disruptions that would occur.

Pretty much the study was designed to be true and deceptive.  Couldn't we just have a study that actually informed, like say the incremental cost difference?  And then made a decision that it was worth it anyway?  It's this kind of intentional manipulation, that makes smart people want to "resist" a policy even when they agree with the principals behind it.

You realize, of course, that the total monetary cost to the military ($2.4 million to $8.4 million) comes out to be just about what it costs for Trump to go down and golf for a weekend or two.

And, of course, on any given day, there should be about 13,000 - 52,000 military personnel sick with the flu (assuming the military suffers from the colds at the same rate as the general population).  So the time off for 25 to 130 personnel really is minimal.

Crunch

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2017, 11:28:40 AM »
You realize, of course, that the total monetary cost to the military ($2.4 million to $8.4 million) comes out to be just about what it costs for Trump to go down and golf for a weekend or two.
What I realize is that has absolutely nothing to do with the issue.

And, of course, on any given day, there should be about 13,000 - 52,000 military personnel sick with the flu (assuming the military suffers from the colds at the same rate as the general population).  So the time off for 25 to 130 personnel really is minimal.
That's a pretty massive and erroneous assumption.  When I was in the military, we were required to get flu vaccinations - I don't think that's changed. 

Time to go through and recuperate from a gender reassignment is estimated to be at least 1/4 of the service members total enlistment. So sign up, go through bootcamp, initial and follow up schools and do this reassignment and a typical 4 year enlistment is largely complete without ever actually doing your job. I saw many female service members take just this path with pregnancy.

TheDrake

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2017, 11:31:34 AM »
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Pay, allowance, clothing and moving expenses will add $19,973. Give him some ammo at $787 and then provide him with a staff of drill sergeants, teachers and support staff for $15,674. Total value of a new Marine: $44,887.

But yeah, a few hundred bucks of hormone treatment, or 30k on the full monty is a real deal breaker.

An up armored humvee costs 220k.

Let's stop with the notion that this is about cost.

Crunch

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2017, 11:49:27 AM »
Veteran here,  The list of medical conditions that will keep you out of the Military is longer than your arm.  Wet the bed anytime since you turned 13?  Take daily medication (for any reason)?  Ever been treated with medication for depression?  Have asthma? ADHD? Have braces?  Are you less than 5ft tall? Have Allergies?

I think you get my point.  The side effects of the hormone treatments should be enough to disqualify anyone on them.
The attempted suicide rate among transgender people is 41%.  It is estimated that between 20 percent to 30 percent of transgender people abuse illegal drugs and 25 percent abuse alcohol. 

TheDrake

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2017, 12:26:21 PM »
OMG Crunch, you know those are mostly because of them being mistreated, just like Trump is doing now. Kicking them out simply makes the rates go UP.

Sitting or standing, they take the same drug tests as any other person who serves our country.

All service members are monitored for their effectiveness, and part of that is whether they are fall down drunk.


Seriati

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2017, 01:09:05 PM »
You realize, of course, that the total monetary cost to the military ($2.4 million to $8.4 million) comes out to be just about what it costs for Trump to go down and golf for a weekend or two.

No idea if that's true or not, but I'm not sure why it matters.  There are plenty of things that cost more or less than protecting a President that still have to be evaluated on their own merits.  I would not for instance claim we got a bargain on hammers at $10,000 a pop just because they are cheaper than protecting a President.

The problem here is deception by scale.  Virtually anything looks minor when you compare it to an enormous number, just like you can make a risk look larger by showing it incrementally.

I don't think the cost should be the deciding or controlling factor on this point, so making it a focus argument is already suspect.  But if you do bring it in, the incremental cost is what's relevant.

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And, of course, on any given day, there should be about 13,000 - 52,000 military personnel sick with the flu (assuming the military suffers from the colds at the same rate as the general population).  So the time off for 25 to 130 personnel really is minimal.

There's a big difference between people being sick for a couple days, even a lot of them, and people being out for months. 

BBC had an interesting take on it.  They compared the military spending on Viagra to what it would spend here.  But again, it's mostly an attempt to avoid addressing actual issues by focusing on snark.

OMG Crunch, you know those are mostly because of them being mistreated, just like Trump is doing now. Kicking them out simply makes the rates go UP.

How come when we have debates on the Climate, every one is all about Science, but when we have a debate like this the science turns off?

We don't know that those results are "mostly" because of being mistreated.  That's something we like to believe because it accords with what we want to be true.  What we do know is that gender dysmorphia is accompanied by a number of pyschological risks, including risk of depression and suicide, that appear in greater prevalence than in people who don't suffer from gender dysmorphia.

We can't handwaive a way a relevant fact because we think the fact itself is unfair.

TheDrake

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2017, 01:23:30 PM »
Seriati, do you want me to dig up all the studies?

Rejection by family and lack of social support are bona fide peer reviewed reasons for attempted suicide.
Physical abuse increases suicide risk, and transgender people are far more likely to face violence against them.
Being perceived as non-conforming (not having facial features altered) has elevated suicide risk compared to transgendered people who can blend in.

This is paralleled by suicide rates that are higher in most minority populations that are perceived negatively.

Cause. And. Effect.

Correlation is not causation. Don't be lazy, Seriati, you should have been able to find this out on your own.

Fenring

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2017, 02:25:57 PM »
TheDrake,

Your arguments - even if accepted in their entirety - seems to be irrelevant to the conclusion you want to draw. Even if we grant that the psychological/psychiatric problems trans people face are *entirely* due to mistreatment, how does that fact allow you to conclude that therefore they should not be considered as a risk factor for the military? The only logical connection you seem to be making is that not allowing them serve would make their stress levels even worse. Even if we grant you that it still has no bearing on your conclusion, which appears to be that if they're allowed to serve it will alleviate all of their stresses and problems. But to conclude that you'd have to have as your premise that *all* of their problems stemmed from not being allowed to serve; that this was the single factor causing them depression and the rest. You would have to be claiming this, since otherwise you're left with the miracle suggestion that allowing them to serve would magically make them 100% accepted in all other walks of life simultaneously. My point is that alleviating one potential stressor as a gesture of goodwill doesn't somehow wipe away all of the other stresses that are going to remain for the foreseeable future anyhow.

I don't have an opinion one way or the other on this issue, but if one is to judge purely on the grounds of treating different applicants equally then vying for the trans people in question to be allowed to serve sounds to me like little more than token affirmative action to suit a social justice cause. At least I'll say I haven't heard a cogent argument about why it would be fair to make an exception for them. Mostly what I'm reading is "stop oppressing them!" which is a good message but also irrelevant to this particular issue.

Crunch

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2017, 02:37:06 PM »
OMG Crunch, you know those are mostly because of them being mistreated, just like Trump is doing now. Kicking them out simply makes the rates go UP.
I don't know that.  Certainly there is a correlation between being transgender and suicide.  How are transgenders mistreated now?  They get TV shows, make the cover of magazines, given prestigious awards, they're celebrated in the media and pop culture and portrayed as "cool" and "brave".

If it's the stress from discrimination that causes it, why aren't other minorities that are discriminated against having similar correlations?  Black Americans, clearly more discriminated against than whites, have a lower suicide rate.  And, if the stress of this alleged mistreatment is causing them to have suicide rates over 40%, how does adding on the most stressful job in the world help them? I think it will actually exacerbate the situation for them.
 
Sitting or standing, they take the same drug tests as any other person who serves our country.
Yes, and when the test positive, what then?  We've spent the entire cost to train and equip someone that has a much better likelihood than average to test positive.  In fact, we could expect about 40% to attempt suicide and a quarter of them to develop drug and alcohol problems (compared to 5% of other soldiers) after expensive and time consuming training as well as medical treatment.

And will they take the same drug tests?  Are we sure of that?  Sure, the test positive for heroin, they'll be gone.  What about a woman taking steroids to help the transition?  A drug forbidden to men and women in the military but it will be allowed for transgenders.  It would follow that other PED's would ultimately be allowed to make things "fair". 

All service members are monitored for their effectiveness, and part of that is whether they are fall down drunk.
Remember the women that are credited with passing ranger school? They got some pretty incredible benefits that men did not to help them pass.  They were monitored for their effectiveness and did not make the grade so they were given support that helped them pass.  So while service members effectiveness may be monitored, some are already more equal than others.  It will be the same with transgenders.

Passed over for promotion?  It's discrimination.  Assigned crappy duties? It's discrimination. Anything they don't like happen? It's discrimination. We'll see that mantra over and over again.

NobleHunter

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2017, 02:51:05 PM »
Well, trans people are apparently being kicked out of the military so Trump can score political points. There's also a concerted effort to ban them from bathrooms. They're portrayed as potential predators and rapists wearing dresses just to sneak into women's bathrooms.

But I'm sure a few tv shows and magazine covers makes up for all that.

Fenring

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2017, 03:03:45 PM »
Well, trans people are apparently being kicked out of the military so Trump can score political points.

I have heard the claim that Obama decided to admit them for the same reason, and that Trump isn't interested in scoring political points on this but wants to do what will benefit the military the most on a practical basis. Granted, doing what makes the military does score points anyhow with many people, but I think at that point you have to disengage from looking at who someone is making happy and just look at the validity of the arguments being made. True, we don't like the idea of political action to score points, but *if* the action in question is correct anyhow then the bonus of having it appeal to some base shouldn't sully it.

Are you sure it's so easy to parse which side is right about this one? What tilted my assessment of this when reading about it was the commentary from military people of just how many small issues can disqualify someone from service.

Gaoics79

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2017, 03:04:03 PM »
No Noble it's just expected that sex segregated bathrooms remain - well - sex segregated as they always have been. That's sex segregated, not "gender" segregated.

Trans rights for me has jumped the shark into delusional territory. I read about a person demanding the right to have the "gender" on her birth certificate changed to reflect her/his/its chosen delusion. Except I have never seen a birth certificate with a "gender" category - every one I have seen has "sex".

But like I said - delusional. / end rant

NobleHunter

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2017, 03:18:14 PM »
And jasonr provides exhibit A for mistreatment.

Fenring, I think we should be careful about accepting that the ends justify the means.

Gaoics79

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2017, 03:32:56 PM »
Mistreatment? Prove it.

Otherwise, yeah, delusional nonsense. The stuff of parody and satire a few years ago.

I'm through putting out the eyes of my reason on this subject. You can believe whatever you want about yourself - your subjective beliefs aren't truth nor should everyone around you have to bend to them.

TheDrake

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2017, 04:02:56 PM »
I don't have an opinion one way or the other on this issue, but if one is to judge purely on the grounds of treating different applicants equally

Exactly. Equally.

So by all means, mental fitness should be scrutinized. Whether you happen to be a member of a high risk group or not. You might even order additional tests. You might even monitor carefully later. The military in general has a problem with suicide, and is moving to address it. This might even be a catalyst.

Females attempt suicide 3 times more often than males. Whoops, best get all those women out of uniform also. Not to mention how much a pregnancy costs in force readiness and health care.

Having tv shows doesn't stop people from being discriminated against for employment, housing etc. It doesn't stop them from being beaten in a parking lot either.

As for being medically disqualified, you can join or stay in the service with diabetes. It requires a waiver, and they are hard to come by. I'd be okay with transgender being in that category, assuming they are transitioning. Probably not getting a combat job, but about 80% of jobs are non-combat. You might just be working in Public Affairs.

That's the problem with blanket bans, they don't allow for individual judgement of merit and suitability.

Fenring

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2017, 04:09:11 PM »
Fenring, I think we should be careful about accepting that the ends justify the means.

We should. But I didn't make an argument of that type. I said that a correct action that happens to appeal to one's support base shouldn't sully the action on the grounds that the base approves. In this case in point, doing something to appease the military shouldn't be assumed to be wrong just because it appeases the military, as if that's an evil in itself. If it's a wrong action and is nevertheless done to appease the military, now we're getting into selling out to special interests. If the action was correct in any case then whoever is happy as a result - good for them. Otherwise you may as well argue that no one should do anything good while in office because it will make people happy; perish the thought!

Seriati

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2017, 05:34:46 PM »
Seriati, do you want me to dig up all the studies?

I've probably read most of them.  I'm not aware of any that establish causation.  If you think about it logically, it's going to be almost impossible to establish.  For the most part, we're restricted by a conclusion that we accept as a tenant of faith that gender dysmorphia is not itself a mental illness.  It's part of a broader theme of support rather than rejection of individual self identification. 

It's pretty much based on the idea that there is no objective good or bad about the mental self image.  I agree, but that doesn't mean there are not consequences of certain mental self images.  Of course, we are pretty sure that is  the case in other contexts, where we have no trouble telling people they aren't fat when they believe they are fat, or in telling people whom we find noxious that they need to change.  Here, I think we're partly influenced by minding our business, so long as the belief does no harm, and by our ackwardness in dealing with sexual and gender issues generally.

I note that while no one - here - is likely to view a transitioning individual as having a mental problem for believing they are of a different gender, I suspect there is a lot less tolerance for someone like Rachel Dolezal who believes they are of a different race.

In any event, that leaves us with real questions about cause and effect, and an inability to really look at them because we have collectively decided not to consider certain possible conclusions.

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Rejection by family and lack of social support are bona fide peer reviewed reasons for attempted suicide.

Sort of.  There's a lot of correlation.  Mostly though, peer reviewed sources find mental illness behind most of those suicide attempts, which mental illness often is an underlying cause of the lack of family and social support.

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Cause. And. Effect.

Cause and effect is the question.  The actual research doesn't show causation.

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Correlation is not causation. Don't be lazy, Seriati, you should have been able to find this out on your own.

Well I did, not sure why you didn't find it.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 05:39:27 PM by Seriati »

NobleHunter

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2017, 05:54:33 PM »
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Mistreatment? Prove it.

Otherwise, yeah, delusional nonsense. The stuff of parody and satire a few years ago.

I'm through putting out the eyes of my reason on this subject. You can believe whatever you want about yourself - your subjective beliefs aren't truth nor should everyone around you have to bend to them.
It's objectively true that gender and sex exist on a spectrum and that major physiological features don't always match internal identity or genetic markers.

We should. But I didn't make an argument of that type. I said that a correct action that happens to appeal to one's support base shouldn't sully the action on the grounds that the base approves. In this case in point, doing something to appease the military shouldn't be assumed to be wrong just because it appeases the military, as if that's an evil in itself. If it's a wrong action and is nevertheless done to appease the military, now we're getting into selling out to special interests. If the action was correct in any case then whoever is happy as a result - good for them. Otherwise you may as well argue that no one should do anything good while in office because it will make people happy; perish the thought!
A correct action taken for the wrong reasons encourages future actions to be taken for the wrong reasons, especially if the result is applauded. If nothing else, it establishes pure partisan calculation as a valid reason to embark on a policy in an arena that must minimize partisan politics. Today, Trump can kick trans people out of the military without regard to the consequences, what's stopping the next President from using the exact same reasoning to force the military to unionize.

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I suspect there is a lot less tolerance for someone like Rachel Dolezal who believes they are of a different race.
Race is considered to be an inherited trait, while gender is purely defined by the self.

TheDrake

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2017, 07:15:22 PM »
Data trends clearly indicate that family support versus not is a strong independent variable, among others. Attempted suicide is nearly twice as high in cases where a family member commited acts of violence versus the most supportive.

Other studies indicated that lack of disclosure and concealing orientation contribute to mental health problems. As opposed to the less sensible "mental problems discourage disclosure" and controlling for a third independent variable as much as possible.

The 40% number also refers to lifetime attempts. The number is deceptive as a predictor of whether they would attempt suicide while serving.

https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/AFSP-Williams-Suicide-Report-Final.pdf

And still, even if that number is correct and would apply, mental health screening should be lowering that number - but unclear by how much.

Frankly, there are a lot stronger arguments than fixating on a lifetime suicide rate (which fully 5% of the general population has done), but not much.

As far as funding of the treatment, Congress couldn't get the bill out of the house, let alone the Senate. But at least that's a discussion.


Fenring

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2017, 07:54:45 PM »
A correct action taken for the wrong reasons encourages future actions to be taken for the wrong reasons

Sounds non-responsive to the point at hand. Showing you disagree with a reason is different from it a "wrong" reason. If the objective here is military effectiveness, and if, as is claimed, this policy increases military effectiveness, the reason matches the result. You could claim the policy doesn't have that result, or that you believe military effectiveness isn't a laudable goal as compared to inclusion, but calling it a 'correct action for the wrong reason' can just be a fancy way of employing doublespeak.

NobleHunter

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2017, 08:00:00 PM »
Sounds non-responsive to the point at hand. Showing you disagree with a reason is different from it a "wrong" reason. If the objective here is military effectiveness, and if, as is claimed, this policy increases military effectiveness, the reason matches the result. You could claim the policy doesn't have that result, or that you believe military effectiveness isn't a laudable goal as compared to inclusion, but calling it a 'correct action for the wrong reason' can just be a fancy way of employing doublespeak.
Except the reason is partisan calculation, not military effectiveness.

Fenring

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2017, 08:52:51 PM »
Except the reason is partisan calculation, not military effectiveness.

Aren't you just assuming the very thing we're trying to figure out in the thread? The partisan premise in the first place is that any thing Trump would do is either due to stupidity or partisan calculation. In general I have no problem assuming any political action is partisan calculation, which is exactly why I went out of my way earlier to specify that I was surprised to find many reasonable Reddit comments (many by servicemen or vets) explaining why Trump's policy choice in this case seems to accord with both common sense and normal military standards. I don't have an option as to whether I like the policy decision or not, but judging it strictly based on whether it's a fair implementation of the current standard it sounds legit to me so far. But I'll be happy to change my mind if I hear some reason why this policy decision is in some way unusual and therefore discriminatory.

Gaoics79

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2017, 10:07:47 PM »
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It's objectively true that gender and sex exist on a spectrum and that major physiological features don't always match internal identity or genetic markers.

Sex does not exist on a "spectrum", except in extremely rare cases. There is no ambiguity in a person's sex in the vast majority of cases.

As for "gender", your statement is only true if we arbitrarily choose to privilege a person's subjective self image over his/her biological sex. This is not a scientific statement, but a purely ideological one.

You cannot prove that a "man" is really a "woman" merely because he believes he is, no matter how sincere that belief is. There is no science or fact that establishes this.

And I note you failed to prove how I "mistreated" transgender and/or transexual people - thus your statement was nonsense. You just reflexively threw it out there to hide the poverty of your views.

I don't know how our society became insane, but it is. I am wagering that alot of people think as I do on this subject but are too afraid to speak up. So we stay silent and just nod our heads as we are told that a man is a woman and a woman is man because of "self-identification".

I used to think that if someone delusional sincerely benefits from me playing along with the delusion, I should play along to be a good person, and why not humor such a person if it does no harm? But it's apparent that this fantasy is harmful, because its proponents are reality benders and totalitarians whose ideology cannot be placated with any concession, and by its nature seeks more and more concessions. The concessions they want today (to declare a woman a "man" because he feels like one) would have been some kind of parody or joke even 20 years ago. There's no telling what kind of new absurdities they'll foist on us.

The trans rights ideology is based on collective delusion. It's fundamentally insane.

As for the military question, Trump's an idiot - I'm sure the trans lobby is thrilled at this development. He picked a fight he probably can't win and I imagine will accomplish the opposite of whatever he wanted.


Gaoics79

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2017, 10:14:34 PM »
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I suspect there is a lot less tolerance for someone like Rachel Dolezal who believes they are of a different race.

The biological basis for "race" in humans is tenuous at best. Unlike sex, race is mostly a social construct and has little basis in biology. Thus I have vastly greater sympathy for the view that a "white" person can identify as "black" than that a biological female can identify as a "man".

Dolezal's assertion that she is "black" is infinitely more credible than the typical trans assertion that someone with a vagina, ovaries, and two X chromosomes (and female secondary sex characteristics) is a "man" because she has a psychiatric condition that makes her feel like one.

So yes, it's kind of funny that people laugh at the "crazy" white woman who thinks she's black, but bend over backwards to assure someone like Bruce Jenner that he's a "woman" like any other, LOL.

Fenring

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2017, 07:46:34 AM »
As for "gender", your statement is only true if we arbitrarily choose to privilege a person's subjective self image over his/her biological sex. This is not a scientific statement, but a purely ideological one.

Well, I've read some material showing there can be a biological basis for the feeling of one's brain being male or female regardless of one's sexual organ assignment. I'm not well versed in the details, but there are some markers that seem to point towards parts of the brain that are more male vs. more female. So the feeling of being male or female may potentially be rooted in biology.

However that fact by itself only gets us so far, because the logical conclusion from having the feeling of femaleness (for instance) ought to be "I feel feminine". How one gets from there to "I AM a female" I don't know. I've yet to hear a single satisfactory explanation - even from a trans person or activist - who can explain where the leap from 'feeling like' a female/male yields the bold statement "I AM female/male". I wonder whether there isn't some perceived stigma about saying things like "I am a feminine-feeling man" or a "male-ish female". By denying that a man can feel feminine or that a female can feel manly it strikes me as ironically cementing the old-guard view of gender norms and how men have to feel one way and women another. It feels to me like a regression back 50 years and undoing the major work of feminism to insist that feeling feminine isn't someone a man would feel, and that therefore a man of that sort is gender female.

JoshCrow

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2017, 07:51:14 AM »
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I suspect there is a lot less tolerance for someone like Rachel Dolezal who believes they are of a different race.

The biological basis for "race" in humans is tenuous at best. Unlike sex, race is mostly a social construct and has little basis in biology. Thus I have vastly greater sympathy for the view that a "white" person can identify as "black" than that a biological female can identify as a "man".

I noticed you switched to "sex" on this claim, but aren't transgender persons largely about... um... gender? And isn't gender "mostly a social construct"?

I also never thought I'd hear the "race is a social construct" statement from you. That entire concept is essentially a meaningless observation that's been turned into some sort of eyeroll-inducing riposte used by academics to pretend race is "no big deal", which is  what that sentence really tries to do. Sorry, but if we all close our eyes and wish for race to go away, it does not - because it is the BIOLOGICAL product of different historical, geographical development. It is as real as its always been, and biological. Saying it isn't "from biology" is a cop out, because clusters of genetic distinction within homo sapiens sapiens is all that is really meant by "race" anyways.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2017, 08:00:30 AM by JoshCrow »

Gaoics79

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2017, 08:11:30 AM »
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I suspect there is a lot less tolerance for someone like Rachel Dolezal who believes they are of a different race.

The biological basis for "race" in humans is tenuous at best. Unlike sex, race is mostly a social construct and has little basis in biology. Thus I have vastly greater sympathy for the view that a "white" person can identify as "black" than that a biological female can identify as a "man".

I noticed you switched to "sex" on this claim, but aren't transgender persons largely about... um... gender? And isn't gender "mostly a social construct"?

I also never thought I'd hear the "race is a social construct" statement from you. That entire concept is essentially a meaningless observation that's been turned into some sort of eyeroll-inducing riposte used by academics to pretend race is "no big deal", which is  what that sentence really tries to do. Sorry, but if we all close our eyes and wish for race to go away, it does not - because it is the BIOLOGICAL product of different historical, geographical development. It is as real as its always been, and biological. Saying it isn't "from biology" is a cop out, because clusters of genetic distinction within homo sapiens sapiens is all that is really meant by "race" anyways.

Josh just because gender is a social construct doesn't mean it has nothing to do with biology. Just because biological sex and gender aren't one and the same by definition, doesn't mean you can just toss sex aside and pretend it has nothing to do with gender.

I am not saying sex should be the be all end all of determining gender - but listening to trans activists talk you would think that the instant, say, a biological male says that he feels he is really female BOOM he's a she - and moreover, a *woman* whether he's got a penis, testicles and an adam's apple. And it's a fact that he's a woman like any woman and you better not say (or think) differently you're a bigot. And if *she* wants to use the women's change room, everyone in there had better smile and not stare at the woman's penis a testicles or question her womanhood.

What I am saying is that gender and sex are not unrelated concepts. Gender is like a shadow of sex. And yes, gender is more than just a person's personal sense of self.

And it is trans activists who have tried to sweep sex under the rug and pretenf it's allb*about* gender, not sex. In the birth certificate case, for instance, every BC I have seen had a "sex" category not a "gender" one - yet it is being argued that recording a child's biological sex is discriminatory? In the case of bathrooms, I never heard of anyone talk about "gender" segregated washrooms until recently - "sex" segregated I had heard of. Hmmmm

JoshCrow

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #33 on: July 28, 2017, 08:15:21 AM »
As for "gender", your statement is only true if we arbitrarily choose to privilege a person's subjective self image over his/her biological sex. This is not a scientific statement, but a purely ideological one.

Well, I've read some material showing there can be a biological basis for the feeling of one's brain being male or female regardless of one's sexual organ assignment. I'm not well versed in the details, but there are some markers that seem to point towards parts of the brain that are more male vs. more female. So the feeling of being male or female may potentially be rooted in biology.

However that fact by itself only gets us so far, because the logical conclusion from having the feeling of femaleness (for instance) ought to be "I feel feminine". How one gets from there to "I AM a female" I don't know. I've yet to hear a single satisfactory explanation - even from a trans person or activist - who can explain where the leap from 'feeling like' a female/male yields the bold statement "I AM female/male".

Fenring, the source of the leap from "I feel" to "I am" is pretty straightforward and has to do with the primacy of the brain as the locus of one's self-identification. If I grafted your head onto the body of an octopus and you could control all the limbs and bodily functions of the octopus with your human brain.... would you consider yourself an octopus? Since the brain is pretty clearly the center of all self-perception and the rest of our physical corpus is just appendages under our control, why would the leap to "I am ___" from a female or male brain be unclear? Moreover, wouldn't that indicate that we should place our collective recognition of a person as being brain-based and not genital-based?

Gaoics79

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #34 on: July 28, 2017, 08:18:44 AM »
As for "gender", your statement is only true if we arbitrarily choose to privilege a person's subjective self image over his/her biological sex. This is not a scientific statement, but a purely ideological one.

Well, I've read some material showing there can be a biological basis for the feeling of one's brain being male or female regardless of one's sexual organ assignment. I'm not well versed in the details, but there are some markers that seem to point towards parts of the brain that are more male vs. more female. So the feeling of being male or female may potentially be rooted in biology.

However that fact by itself only gets us so far, because the logical conclusion from having the feeling of femaleness (for instance) ought to be "I feel feminine". How one gets from there to "I AM a female" I don't know. I've yet to hear a single satisfactory explanation - even from a trans person or activist - who can explain where the leap from 'feeling like' a female/male yields the bold statement "I AM female/male". I wonder whether there isn't some perceived stigma about saying things like "I am a feminine-feeling man" or a "male-ish female". By denying that a man can feel feminine or that a female can feel manly it strikes me as ironically cementing the old-guard view of gender norms and how men have to feel one way and women another. It feels to me like a regression back 50 years and undoing the major work of feminism to insist that feeling feminine isn't someone a man would feel, and that therefore a man of that sort is gender female.

No doubt any number of delusions and psychiatric illnesses can be based in brain chemistry i.e. biology. I never disputed that a person's subjective sense of themself could be rooted in biology.

But in regards to gender, it is in reference to something real and biologically clear in most cases: sex. The fact that people who are genetically male generally identify with the male gender and are c9nsidered male by outsiders isn't some arbitrary social construct.

Whereas concepts like "black" and "white" really are mostly social constructs with precious little foundation in biology. Even the concept of human "race" is a fallacy.

So yes, the black man who feels "white" is merely contravening an arbitrary social construct based on a fallacy. The biological male who considers himself a "woman" by contrast is far more dubious.

JoshCrow

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #35 on: July 28, 2017, 08:20:45 AM »

I am not saying sex should be the be all end all of determining gender - but listening to trans activists talk you would think that the instant, say, a biological male says that he feels he is really female BOOM he's a she - and moreover, a *woman* whether he's got a penis, testicles and an adam's apple. And it's a fact that he's a woman like any woman and you better not say (or think) differently you're a bigot.

As a hypothetical, let's consider the possibility that science affirms that brains can be "male" or "female" definitively and biologically, and that trans persons are instances where a male brain is in a female body (or vice versa). In such a case, where would you stand on referring to the individual's sex? Would you use the brain, or the rest of the body?

JoshCrow

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #36 on: July 28, 2017, 08:22:02 AM »

So yes, the black man who feels "white" is merely contravening an arbitrary social construct based on a fallacy. The biological male who considers himself a "woman" by contrast is far more dubious.

Uhhhh, no, you can't fake ancestry because you "feel" a certain way. Jason I'm surprised at you.

Crunch

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #37 on: July 28, 2017, 08:51:01 AM »
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"Everyday was Groundhog Day. Wake up and do the same patrols, the same shifts, every single day. It was so damn hot. 150° in the gun trucks," he wrote. "Tracer fire would go overhead occasionally at night. IED's on the road were a daily threat. We got resupplied food every 8 days."

"The stress of being out there and doing the same job every single day eats away at you. The younger guys had problems with that overtime," continued Salzman. "Any tiny little personal issue they had suddenly became a mountain. And that *censored* came out on that fire base. And they snapped mentally. ... Guys would literally snap over a dear John letter. Their personal issues came out and they were instantly combat ineffective."

The end result:
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Transgender veterans are found to have the highest rates of mental health problems in the U.S., data show. A 2016 study found 90% of military members who identify as transgender were diagnosed with at least one mental health disorder, and almost 50% were hospitalized after attempting or considering suicide.

We're not helping transgender people by putting them in the military and the situations that occur there. It may provide a nice social justice rush but, in the end, you're fundamentally breaking and  killing them and putting everyone else at risk as well.

Gaoics79

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #38 on: July 28, 2017, 08:57:17 AM »

I am not saying sex should be the be all end all of determining gender - but listening to trans activists talk you would think that the instant, say, a biological male says that he feels he is really female BOOM he's a she - and moreover, a *woman* whether he's got a penis, testicles and an adam's apple. And it's a fact that he's a woman like any woman and you better not say (or think) differently you're a bigot.

As a hypothetical, let's consider the possibility that science affirms that brains can be "male" or "female" definitively and biologically, and that trans persons are instances where a male brain is in a female body (or vice versa). In such a case, where would you stand on referring to the individual's sex? Would you use the brain, or the rest of the body?

Gender, as you say, is a social construct. That is more than just an individual's sense of self but also how society sees someone. It is as much society's business what a "woman" is as it is the individual's. So no, even if gender self identification is rooted in brain chemistry (which by the way, I take as a given) it is not purely the individual's sense of self that determines if he is a she or a he, or whether he is a man or a woman vis a vis everyone else. As sincerely as you believe yourself to be a "woman" you can't just force everyone around you to cowtow to that delusion - and it is delusion because "man" versus "woman" is far more determined by biological sex than any other factor.

Only trans activists are so deluded that sex is swept aside as if it diesn't matter when it is clearly the single most important overriding factor. Indeed, gender dysmorphia is itself evidence of the paramouncy of sex, as the sufferer literally cannot reconcile his feeling with his sex, such that his sex becomes an impossible to ignore millstone around his or neck that compels him or her to surgery and drug therapy. If sex were merely an incidental component in gender it would not be so. If it were really mind over matter, a penis versus a vagina wouldn't matter. But of course it does. It matters so much that it drives trans people to suicide. It compels them to surgery. Yes the brain chemistry matters too - but only in the sense that any mental illness does. A man with delusions of being eaten alive by bugs has a real brain chemistry problem but he is not in fact being eaten by bugs, nor should the rest of us have to cowtow to this.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2017, 09:02:09 AM by jasonr »

Fenring

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #39 on: July 28, 2017, 09:21:15 AM »
Fenring, the source of the leap from "I feel" to "I am" is pretty straightforward and has to do with the primacy of the brain as the locus of one's self-identification. If I grafted your head onto the body of an octopus and you could control all the limbs and bodily functions of the octopus with your human brain.... would you consider yourself an octopus? Since the brain is pretty clearly the center of all self-perception and the rest of our physical corpus is just appendages under our control, why would the leap to "I am ___" from a female or male brain be unclear?

I'm still not following this argument. Cross-species grafting seems to not be an applicable analogy to what we're discussing. So far all I've got to go on from your position is that "I feel" is treated as a fact of identity. Well, feelings can be facts insofar as they obviously derive from your brain and therefore are *part* of you. Notice how I said 'part of you' rather than 'your feelings ARE you'. You are not your feelings, nor are you one of your feelings in particular. If you feel strong as a man, you're not a different kind of man called Strong Man, you're a man who feels strong. If you feel courageous as a woman, you're not a different kind of woman called Courageous Woman, you're a woman who feels courageous. The feeling of having a trait isn't what you are, but rather is just one of a series of feelings you have. Those are important and should be respected, but the problem here is thinking that having a different feeling means you're some kind of different type of person. Well strictly speaking we're all some kind of different type of person. From what I've read the male/female brain thing isn't binary like an on/off switch, where a person's brain can be switched to female or male. It's a continuum, and so as far as I understand it a person can feel somewhere between masculine and feminine on a series of traits, some more masculine and for other traits more feminine. That is normal, and there is no 'standard' for this. The issue comes when, by our hypothesis, a male's brain is more feminine than masculine in these traits, and he feels that. Well, we get into a linguistic issue here, because instead of saying they are feminine traits the language has been rewritten and now they are being called female traits. I hope you see the huge distinction there. By calling something feminine we are kind of arbitrarily using language to categorize traits by gender, much of which is probably based on bias. For instance 'aggression' would be a masculine thing, 'tenderness' a feminine thing. The fact is that in nature both sexes have plenty of both of these, but anyhow if we want to arbitrarily create a quasi-fictional narrative that one or the other is 'masculine/feminine' then fine, it's just nomenclature. But when we want to swap terms and starting calling these traits "male/female" traits we've jumped the language shark because now we're not just using an arbitrary social agreement and which traits are more associated with each sex, now we're definitively assigning each trait to a sex, which to me sounds like a huge regression towards patriarchal models of assigning gender roles. We get back to black and white kinds of ideas like "If you feel tenderness a lot of the time that is a woman thing" and conclude "so I am a woman!" It is bad logic, and bad use of language. But even worse, it destroys what work has already been accomplished by feminism and other movements.

The goal should be to stop attaching gender significance to certain feelings or traits. A woman shouldn't be told she isn't 'womanly enough' if she's assertive or bold. A man shouldn't be told he's not enough of a man if he feels sadness. This is the fight that needs to be fought. The moment we allow ideas like "if you feel a lot of tenderness you're female" into the mix suddenly we revert right back to black and white gender roles and traits, and men are the ones who feel the correct man traits and women are the ones who feel the correct woman traits. It's quite destructive to mental health to think this way, I believe, and it shouldn't surprise me that a lot of the mental health problems trans people face are due to feeling like they're failing to have the right set of feelings or are mixed up about what their gender is supposed to be. I've read lots of accounts from trans people before they had everything clear in their head, and they say there was a feeling of knowing you weren't like the majority of peers in some way. Well if you ask me the problem is the idea that one should feel like one's peers; that a male should feel male in exactly the same way a some majority of males. Real progressive thinking should lead towards the understanding that feelings associated with femininity are totally good for a man to have, and that it doesn't mean he's not a man because he feels like them. When we go down that path it ends up being the schoolyard equivalent of boys calling another boy a sissy girl for crying, because that's not what boys/men do. For years the progressive trend has been towards saying "it's ok for a man to cry!" but now the new thought for the crying boy might just be "actually they're right, I probably am a girl after all". I know there's more to it than just that, but the idea of one's gender being defined just by experiencing feelings associated with the opposite gender strikes me as being very bad for everyone involved.

Gaoics79

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #40 on: July 28, 2017, 09:23:18 AM »

So yes, the black man who feels "white" is merely contravening an arbitrary social construct based on a fallacy. The biological male who considers himself a "woman" by contrast is far more dubious.

Uhhhh, no, you can't fake ancestry because you "feel" a certain way. Jason I'm surprised at you.

You equivocated between ancestry and race.

JoshCrow

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #41 on: July 28, 2017, 09:33:10 AM »

You equivocated between ancestry and race.

No, I'm just using the terms correctly, and not as the strawman versions that make "race" something like "species". Race is obviously something like hereditary phenotypes determined by ancestral origins. It is both biological and historical/cultural. Is it not "a social construct" unless you count geographic separation for long spans of evolutionary time as a "social" situation.

TheDrake

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #42 on: July 28, 2017, 09:39:19 AM »
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The goal should be to stop attaching gender significance to certain feelings or traits. A woman shouldn't be told she isn't 'womanly enough' if she's assertive or bold. A man shouldn't be told he's not enough of a man if he feels sadness. This is the fight that needs to be fought. The moment we allow ideas like "if you feel a lot of tenderness you're female" into the mix suddenly we revert right back to black and white gender roles and traits, and men are the ones who feel the correct man traits and women are the ones who feel the correct woman traits. It's quite destructive to mental health to think this way, I believe, and it shouldn't surprise me that a lot of the mental health problems trans people face are due to feeling like they're failing to have the right set of feelings or are mixed up about what their gender is supposed to be.

That is well said. Part of the row in this area is about people having an idea of what it is to be male vs female. The only time gender should matter is pursuing a partnership, sexual relations, or other relevant personal relationships.

Professional relationships, grooming, occupations should simply not have gender specific forms.


Seriati

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #43 on: July 28, 2017, 09:51:31 AM »
Data trends clearly indicate that family support versus not is a strong independent variable, among others. Attempted suicide is nearly twice as high in cases where a family member commited acts of violence versus the most supportive.

Sure, family support makes a difference, it does in cases that we acknowledge as mental illness as well.

My point is that you're missing the elephant in the room.  No one gets to the point of gender reassignment therapy without having struggled for years with identity issues.  Being born into a male body as a female, causes the afflicted person to have to struggle with serious body image issues and identity issues that frequently lead to low self esteem, disassociative thinking and even self hatred.  The consequences are frequently not even resolved by completing gender reassignment surgery.  This is an internal struggle.  We can help on the outside, but you are engaging in illogical thinking to believe that we can win that struggle for someone else, or that fighting that internal fight, where we can't help them, doesn't have collateral consequences.

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Other studies indicated that lack of disclosure and concealing orientation contribute to mental health problems. As opposed to the less sensible "mental problems discourage disclosure" and controlling for a third independent variable as much as possible.

Of course studies will show that.  It's true for anyone that feels forced to conceal their true selves, not just for the transgendered.  It doesn't, however, address the internal struggle which may (I think likely is) be the primary cause of these issues, it only addresses the compounding external factors.  If you discount the primary reason, as "untouchable," then you're left with obvious compounders and no choice to blame the entire problem on them.  You, however, do a great disservice because you ignore that even if you eliminate the external factors there will still be a dramatic difference.

From what I've read the male/female brain thing isn't binary like an on/off switch, where a person's brain can be switched to female or male. It's a continuum, and so as far as I understand it a person can feel somewhere between masculine and feminine on a series of traits, some more masculine and for other traits more feminine.

This line of thought is interesting to me.  I find it almost impossible to reconcile with the feminist theory that there are no differences between men and women that are not culturally imposed.  Ignoring that though, I question any study that labels brain traits or the behaviors they lead to as "female" or "male" or implication  that men who like to exhibit "female behaviors" or vice versa, may not be men in reality.  Behavior is a social construct, internal motivations are likely a blend of biology and social construct.

Wayward Son

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #44 on: July 28, 2017, 11:20:15 AM »
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Sex does not exist on a "spectrum", except in extremely rare cases. There is no ambiguity in a person's sex in the vast majority of cases.

That's a very quaint idea, jasonr.  But you really should keep up with actual science.

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Scientists have identified many of the genes involved in the main forms of DSD [disorders of sex development], and have uncovered variations in these genes that have subtle effects on a person's anatomical or physiological sex. What's more, new technologies in DNA sequencing and cell biology are revealing that almost everyone is, to varying degrees, a patchwork of genetically distinct cells, some with a sex that might not match that of the rest of their body. Some studies even suggest that the sex of each cell drives its behaviour, through a complicated network of molecular interactions. “I think there's much greater diversity within male or female, and there is certainly an area of overlap where some people can't easily define themselves within the binary structure,” says John Achermann, who studies sex development and endocrinology at University College London's Institute of Child Health...

That the two sexes are physically different is obvious, but at the start of life, it is not. Five weeks into development, a human embryo has the potential to form both male and female anatomy. Next to the developing kidneys, two bulges known as the gonadal ridges emerge alongside two pairs of ducts, one of which can form the uterus and Fallopian tubes, and the other the male internal genital plumbing: the epididymes, vas deferentia and seminal vesicles. At six weeks, the gonad switches on the developmental pathway to become an ovary or a testis. If a testis develops, it secretes testosterone, which supports the development of the male ducts. It also makes other hormones that force the presumptive uterus and Fallopian tubes to shrink away. If the gonad becomes an ovary, it makes oestrogen, and the lack of testosterone causes the male plumbing to wither. The sex hormones also dictate the development of the external genitalia, and they come into play once more at puberty, triggering the development of secondary sexual characteristics such as breasts or facial hair.

Changes to any of these processes can have dramatic effects on an individual's sex.
(Emphasis mine.)

Think about that for a while.  Each of those steps has to be perfect for a person's sex to develop correctly.

But, of course, biology isn't perfect.  But usually it is close enough to not make a huge difference.

But there's the rub--how close is close enough?  It can be close enough so that major functions are working, but how about minor ones, such as hormone levels or other interactions that are not morphologically visible?  And these have effects on a person's brain.  The only question is, how much?

Tou're only thinking of obvious morphological differences, or ones that have extreme psychological effects.  But how can you see subtle psychological effects?  Ones that might, say, affect how a person views which sex he or she is? ;)

You would like to sweep these differences under the rug by claiming they only have affects "in extremely rare cases."  And for DSD's, they are pretty rare--about 1 in 4500 people, which gives the U.S. about 73,000 such people.  But, once again, those are only the obvious, morphological differences, the ones we can see.  It doesn't include any subtle differences that aren't readily apparent.  How many more of them are out there? 

And, besides, we're not talking about most people in the military, but a small minority--the "rare" individuals.  The question is, do we treat them like normal people, or do we make pariahs out of them because they happen to be toward the edges of the spectrum?

Fenring

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #45 on: July 28, 2017, 11:40:03 AM »
This line of thought is interesting to me.  I find it almost impossible to reconcile with the feminist theory that there are no differences between men and women that are not culturally imposed.

There have been a million different 'feminist theories'. I happen to think that this particular one (which is still in vogue with some people) is pure bunk.

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Ignoring that though, I question any study that labels brain traits or the behaviors they lead to as "female" or "male" or implication  that men who like to exhibit "female behaviors" or vice versa, may not be men in reality.  Behavior is a social construct, internal motivations are likely a blend of biology and social construct.

I addressed this above. I do agree that masculine/feminine (which are the correct terms to describe traits, if any) are probably some conglomerate of biology and society, and certainly the way we've come to use them it probably little more than pure convention. From that standpoint there isn't even much point arguing against the terms since they're basically arbitrary. Take any trait that's 'obviously' masculine or feminine and I could show you how a person of either sex can have that trait in spades and not be any less what they are. In other words, calling the traits by these names can be useful in distinguishing certain kinds of behavior (e.g. nurturing vs. aggressive, controlling vs. allowing, etc.) just by virtue of giving us a way to talk about them, but the buck should stop there and not jump over the gap of once again requiring these traits to be tied to males or females in particular. Having some feeling or another doesn't make you male or female, even though we can colloquially call the traits those feelings demonstrate as masculine or feminine.

Fenring

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #46 on: July 28, 2017, 11:48:24 AM »
And PS - jasonr, there definitely is such a thing as race, and it's on a biological basis. But the thing you may be looking to touch upon is that race cannot be strictly prescriptive as a designator. For instance, as a genetic group, people from some geographical region will definitely have distinct difference from people from another one. But within each group there is huge divergence, so that a given individual there may well have more difference from someone in his group than from someone from another group, in theory. That being said, look at dog breeds and you'll get the gist of how different animals of the same species can be. Pomeranians are crazy different from German Shepherds, and there's no mistake about that. In a similar way, humans have breeds, which we instead call races for the simple reason that they developed for the most part geographically rather than through selective breeding as we've done with dogs.

What you may be alluding to isn't that race is a social construct, but perhaps that the traits we associate with particular races are social constructs, and there may be something to that. Some of those traits are probably biological too, but that can be hard to parse. What isn't up for debate is that, for instance, Japanese people look different from Nigerian people, and that no amount of internal divergence (within reasonable bounds) will confuse anyone about whether a native Japanese person is Nigerian.

NobleHunter

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #47 on: July 28, 2017, 12:08:09 PM »
Aren't you just assuming the very thing we're trying to figure out in the thread? The partisan premise in the first place is that any thing Trump would do is either due to stupidity or partisan calculation. In general I have no problem assuming any political action is partisan calculation, which is exactly why I went out of my way earlier to specify that I was surprised to find many reasonable Reddit comments (many by servicemen or vets) explaining why Trump's policy choice in this case seems to accord with both common sense and normal military standards. I don't have an option as to whether I like the policy decision or not, but judging it strictly based on whether it's a fair implementation of the current standard it sounds legit to me so far. But I'll be happy to change my mind if I hear some reason why this policy decision is in some way unusual and therefore discriminatory.
I'm just going by what the White House said and the way the decision was made. The military has established ways to make decisions about their own standards. Nearly spontaneous tweets from the President isn't it.

NobleHunter

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #48 on: July 28, 2017, 12:16:25 PM »
Sex does not exist on a "spectrum", except in extremely rare cases. There is no ambiguity in a person's sex in the vast majority of cases.

As for "gender", your statement is only true if we arbitrarily choose to privilege a person's subjective self image over his/her biological sex. This is not a scientific statement, but a purely ideological one.

You cannot prove that a "man" is really a "woman" merely because he believes he is, no matter how sincere that belief is. There is no science or fact that establishes this.

And I note you failed to prove how I "mistreated" transgender and/or transexual people - thus your statement was nonsense. You just reflexively threw it out there to hide the poverty of your views.

I don't know how our society became insane, but it is. I am wagering that alot of people think as I do on this subject but are too afraid to speak up. So we stay silent and just nod our heads as we are told that a man is a woman and a woman is man because of "self-identification".

I used to think that if someone delusional sincerely benefits from me playing along with the delusion, I should play along to be a good person, and why not humor such a person if it does no harm? But it's apparent that this fantasy is harmful, because its proponents are reality benders and totalitarians whose ideology cannot be placated with any concession, and by its nature seeks more and more concessions. The concessions they want today (to declare a woman a "man" because he feels like one) would have been some kind of parody or joke even 20 years ago. There's no telling what kind of new absurdities they'll foist on us.

The trans rights ideology is based on collective delusion. It's fundamentally insane.

As for the military question, Trump's an idiot - I'm sure the trans lobby is thrilled at this development. He picked a fight he probably can't win and I imagine will accomplish the opposite of whatever he wanted.
Extremely rare cases like a person being trans? How do you define sex, anyways?

I think calling someone totally insane qualifies as mistreatment. It's just chance that you aren't address a trans person.

Gaoics79

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Re: Military Ban on Transgender
« Reply #49 on: July 28, 2017, 12:31:13 PM »
Being trans as in feeling you are female when you are male sex is not insane or wrong. A feeling is not a delusion. A delusion is believing that your feeling makes you something you are not.

And WS bull*censored*. Tell me where on the sex spectrum you are and how you measure this. You're throwing around obsfuscatory nonsense to cloud the issue. When I mentioned rare cases I wasn't speaking of garden variety trans - I was talking about people who are actually sexually ambiguous - hermaphrodites, people with Y chrmosomes but otherwise female genitalia and hormone levels etc... That's not the Bruce Jenners if the world let alone the boy who likes to play with Barbies or feels he wants to be a woman.

There is no science or medical discovery that makes Bruce Jenner a "woman". Pure ideological crap.