Woke Ideology & Biological Reality
As Challies concludes, ‘Ultimately, the study shows that getting people to pay lip service to a revolution is far easier than getting people to fully embrace it in their hearts, their lives, and their bedrooms. Perhaps this is more than even this revolution can accomplish.’ Indeed.
Challies’ post quotes from LGBTQ site them, which reviews this research. The them post is worth digging into further. Take this paragraph:
Surprisingly, among the 127 participants open to dating a trans person, almost half selected a trans person of a gender incongruent with their stated sexual orientation. For example, 50% of the trans-inclusive straight women and 28% of the trans-inclusive gay men were willing to date a trans woman, even though one wouldn’t expect either straight women or gay men to be attracted to women. Similarly, 50% of trans-inclusive straight men and 69% of trans-inclusive lesbians said they’d date a trans man, even though both groups are presumably only attracted to women. And 33% of the trans-inclusive bisexual/queer participants said they would only date a trans person of one gender but not the other, even though one may expect this group to be attracted to multiple genders.
Unless you are fully woke, you will need to read that a few times to work out what is going on. So read it again, think about it, and you’ll probably conclude that there isn’t really anything that surprising about the things it says are surprising. Surely it is not surprising that sexual attraction is tied more to biological reality than it is to ‘gender’, is it? Isn’t this just another piece of evidence for the obvious and unsurprising – that biological reality is a reality?
Despite biological reality the political impetus is all towards making subjective descriptions of gender paramount. To this end, the UK Government is currently consulting on the Gender Recognition Act 2004, on how to make it easier for transgender people to change their legal gender on their birth certificate. While it is important that love and understanding are shown to trans people – certainly within the church – ideological commitments to ‘normalise’ trans will not strengthen us as a society. Legal changes need to be far more evidence driven than is currently the case and we need to lean towards the objective, not the subjective.
While the motives for not viewing trans as a mental illness are commendable the reality is that, by definition, trans is concerned with mental health: it is a psychological issue when ‘the authentic self’ is perceived as being at odds with the physical reality of the body. Also, the evidence is clear that trans people suffer disproportionately from physical and mental health problems (this is an area where the church should be ready to provide community and care for trans people). It is also clear that gender identity and sexual orientation are not always fixed. For all these reasons we need far more evidence than we currently have about the long-term health and behaviours of trans people before changing the law.
A particular concern is the way aggressive trans ideology is creating increasing identity issues for young people. The evidence for this is anecdotal but is a genuine concern. The significant increase in teenage girls identifying as trans seems to be closely related to other issues: abuse, social exclusion, eating disorders, and so on. Ideological moves to ‘normalise’ trans are likely to exacerbate such trends. Again, we need more research and evidence in this area.
Also, there is increasing fearfulness that any comment or question about the current direction of travel will be met with accusations of transphobia: along with trolling, or potentially serious implications in the workplace.
In all these concerns the proposed amendments to the GRA are likely to make it more difficult for questions to be raised. It will make it more likely that ideology will trump evidence. For these reasons more time and research should be given before any changes are made.
The results of this consultation are probably a foregone conclusion with Theresa May having said, “I want to see a process that is more streamlined and de-medicalised - because being trans should never be treated as an illness.” However, responding to the consultation does at least give an opportunity to express concerns over the direction of travel. It runs until October 19, and you can access it here.