The World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) was established to advance gender ideology as the scientific and professional viewpoint. Any health professional with a different viewpoint is speaking against the professional associations if they give voice to their dissent. Thus, the professionals that distressed parents will turn to will likely recommend the denial of a child’s true sex as the proper treatment.
Gender ideology, the basis of transgenderism, was the topic of two presentations at the recent Southern Evangelical Seminary’s Apologetics Conference in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Jay Richards, Director of the DeVos Center for Religion, Life, and Family at the Heritage Foundation discussed the philosophy itself, while Christian apologist and author Frank Turek, President of CrossExamine.org, discussed its radical inconsistencies and disastrous consequences.
The Fracturing of Marriage and Sex
Richards said that the sexual revolution is “a fracturing of things that are meant to go together.” Today, the dominant culture in practice and law and rhetoric is pulling apart what God intended to go together, and thus “all sorts of bad things are unleashed.” What is pulled apart is “the organic unity of marriage, sex, and the sexual act and childbearing.” Sex and childbearing are held together in traditional Christianity. The sexual revolution pulled these things apart, not only intellectually, but also technologically. Indeed, Richards maintained that the sexual revolution was not possible until the advent of the birth control pill, which made practical the separation of sex and childbearing. He compared this to the Protestant Reformation and the printing press. Advancing the Bible against prevailing religious doctrines and practices was greatly facilitated by the new availability of Bibles and literature supporting the Reformation.
In our day, the smartphone has had a dramatic impact on social relations and behavior. Technology likewise enabled a worldwide shutdown of society in 2020. With the separation of sex from childbearing, marriage is seen more as an affectional relation than the basis of procreation and a family. A 50-state enactment of unilateral (or no-fault) divorce followed. This made a marriage contract easier to break than a business contract. People take these changes “for granted,” but they were “unprecedented though for most of Christian history.” The deregulation of sex resulted in an increase of unwanted pregnancies, which led to a demand for legal abortion, which the Supreme Court decreed in 1973.
These changes, Richards said, were not only in the United States, but worldwide. The coupling of people in marriage “only makes sense” if there is understood to be a “complementary nature of male and female,” and that as a basis for procreation and a family. Without this basis, there is no reason why two people of the same sex might not marry each other. But once same-sex marriage was decreed, “the logic of monogamy fell apart.” There is no reason why a relationship not focused on the union of male and female need be only between two people. Indeed, without the union of male and female being essential for marriage and the family, the way is open to attack the division of humanity into males and females. After the Obergefell decision in 2015, it was as though “everybody had a memo” to start talking about transgenderism. The sexual revolution is “the logical outworking of an original revolutionary idea that was enabled by technology.”
Richards said that there is a difference in people’s ability to comprehend these changes based on age. Baby boomers and “gen Xers” find these changes “so discontinuous” with the world that they knew “that we tend to not quite get what’s being said.” On the other hand “gen Zers” have “sort of been steeped in this stuff.” Young people from many public and even private schools have been “bombarded” by gender ideology for some time, and the new ideas do not seem as strange. Indeed, gender ideology is taught to young children not yet able to read. This is truly radical, because, Richards said, among the things a young child needs to know to “navigate reality” are “the difference between an adult and a kid, and the difference between a boy and a girl.” Because the difference between male and female is so basic, it is important to “queer” or destabilize the beliefs of young children to further the objectives of self-determination and moral autonomy.
Many teens today follow social media “influencers,” who sensationalize the ideas of gender ideology. Early adolescents disturbed by changes to their bodies or psyches are vulnerable to the valorizing of transgenderism, and its basic claim that their bodies are at war with their souls. They are told that with pills and surgery their bodies can be made to conform to their sense of self. This has resulted in a massive increase in the number of minors presenting with “gender dysphoria.” This he defined as “the intense sense of distress and discomfort with your sexed body.” It is not really a false belief about one’s body, but only discomfort with the body one has.
Both sex and gender are several hundred year old words, but starting in the 1960s, academics and other theorists of sex began referring to the biological difference of male and female as sex, and its psychological and social aspects as gender. But this distinction was then replaced by gender ideology as it currently exists, which denies biological sex and distinguishes between “sex assigned at birth” and “gender identity.” Gender identity is supposed to be the “internal sense of our gender.” But this definition defines gender in terms of itself, so that it has no objective meaning. It is claimed that sex based on body parts or structure is only a “social construct… associating certain body parts with stereotypes, called sexes.” The determination of sex when a child is born is thus only an arbitrary assignment. Although it strains credulity to believe that sex determination based on body parts is arbitrary, this is in fact what is being maintained.