• fdrake
    5.3k


    I don't want to defend anti-abortion sentiment. I simply got the impression that @unenlightened agrees on the political points and looks at them with pained goggles on. Happy to be corrected though.
  • Isaac
    9.4k
    The difference here is just the degree to which the specifics are left to speculation.fdrake

    Agreed, as to the difference, and also the significance of that difference. I suppose I'm less trusting of pharmaceuticals, we can agree to differ on this, it's resolution being perhaps outside the scope here.

    What do you take as the campaign objectives of Mermaids? I don't have a good sense of a unified ideology for them, over and above making things easier for trans people.fdrake

    I don't really see much of an overarching campaign objective. They've run some harmless, even positively beneficial campaigns, but on gender-affirming medical treatment, they've been overstepping medical advice. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/transgender-lobby-group-mermaids-urges-puberty-blockers-for-12-year-olds-b96zqbh2k
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/sep/30/transgender-charity-mermaids-investigated-breast-binders-given-to-children
    They were still promoting places like Mike Webber's clinic and GenderGP long after they were struck off for clinical malpractice prescribing puberty blockers to under 12s

    External pressure from campaigners (including a group called Mermaids) and some parents made difficult clinical decisions more difficult, and in consequence there were staff who sometimes found detachment difficult. Accusations of transphobia and homophobia were made.Ms. S. Appleby vs Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust

    a number of GIDS staff have brought some concerns to my attention of late. Predictably, there are challenges regarding Mermaids, rogue medics and the political expectations of the national service. Perhaps more worrying are the manifestations of a number of splits within the team (not unusual) but I have been reported is quite potent: (a) team members feel they are coerced into not reporting safeguarding issues, and to do so is “trans phobic”; (b) lack of confidence in Children’s Social Care (c) an unhelpful development regarding the linking of the politics of sexuality and gender issues.

    And on shutting down disagreement, they've been positively disgraceful, as we've discussed above.

    I get the impression that, because your position applies to lots of medical interventions, the best consistent response for you is to bite the bullet that recognises the inconsistent and flawed treatment in society, mandate "it ought to be the case that more medical interventions should be strongly based on data from controlled studies", and claim in absence of such data, no intervention should be taken. Whenever benefits+uncertainty = costs + uncertainty, do nothing.fdrake

    Yes. I have taken similar stances on other pharmaceutical interventions. Full disclosure though, I'm writing most of this second hand. My wife has been campaigning to de-pathologise children's mental health issues for almost her entire career. I get an earful post-work and total submission to the cause is easiest (only slightly joking!). She's furious (and has been directly affected by the changes in approach) and would probably bite your head off, so I'm trying to see what arguments there are to temper such fury.

    I think this would have more bite if it wasn't already granted that gender affirmation treatment is both a social and a bodily intervention.fdrake

    This sounds interesting, but I'm not following exactly, could you expand a bit? Are you suggesting that we could see gender affirming therapies as less problematic because they are more holistic already? That could well have legs.

    I agree. What is especially frustrating is that Mermaids and trans rights groups are not problematising the discussion by themselves, the arguments you're giving really are used by people "out in the wild" as means of stymying the improvements of trans rights. In our context, we can discuss them with more leeway. Out in the wild, they're often treated as weapons, so it's no surprise that such moves are seen as attacks.fdrake

    Yeah, it's part of this move to divide everything into two opposing camps with each getting more vehemently opposed to the other. It's a really interesting phenomena because what seems to be happening is that the workings of the social media algorithms have become cultural, people replicate those AI objectives in settings outside of AI control, it's like the AI has become an influencer in our culture... Anyway, another topic...so many interesting threads to pull on here.

    Like I asked unenlightened, how do you think trans people ought to be treated?fdrake

    Like anyone else, allowed to do what they like so long as it doesn't harm others and be free from overt coercion, especially during more vulnerable ages. It's not a privilege I think they currently enjoy form both sides.

    I think the issues here are bigger than the minority group though. Trans people have a hard time. They'll continue to have a hard time if they're given access to treatments and also if they're given access to counselling, but (and I don't mean this to be insensitive), there's not many of them. The effect n society of the manner in which this debate is being conducted I think has far greater potential for harm than any movement in either direction on trans populations. If our culture cannot re-learn how to deal with differences of opinion without demonising or beatifying I think the devastating effect that failure has already had will only get worse.

    The resources you asked for. I'm told these are comprehensive reviews.

    https://journals.lww.com/co-psychiatry/Abstract/2015/11000/Gender_dysphoria_in_children_and_adolescents__a.6.aspx

    https://jme.bmj.com/content/48/9/603.full
  • Isaac
    9.4k
    Is there any model aside from the social that can explain this increase?unenlightened

    Not really, but the question is whether the social change is allowing undiagnosed cases to come forward or actually creating cases.

    The problem I have with the former option is...

    a) it strikes me as an oddly functional cusp, just about accepted enough for people to come forward for treatment, but still so unaccepted that people really need treatment to avoid the massive trauma of remaining in their existing phenotype. Just fundamentally unlikely, but possible.

    b) there is, without doubt a growing trend, young people in certain circles are very keen on the whole trans 'thing' - this would mean the effect is minimal, but it's mainly young people that are coming forward, so I find that hard to believe.

    Ultimately, I think it's difficult not to see a strong social positive effect (as opposed to the removal of a retraining effect).

    The seminal article is this one https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0202330 , but it's been much criticised.
  • unenlightened
    7.2k
    I don't want to defend anti-abortion sentiment.fdrake

    being unwanted pregnant for 9 monthsBenkei

    First, wages for pregnancy and nursing women and childcare, Give the up-coming generation and its needs its real value in society. Which is near the top of the list and a long way above the defence budget. When that is all in place and pregnancy and birth are accorded the high status and rewards they deserve, then there may still be a few unwanted pregnancies, and then I will listen to arguments either way, as to whether "pregnancy dysphoria" should be treated surgically or with counselling under this or that circumstance.

    It's a bit off topic, but I think these comparisons can be illuminating.
  • Benkei
    6.1k
    I think it's a load of bull. Christianity has made abortion a moral issue. It never was one before and all of a sudden wanting an abortion is equated with a mental issue. The issue is that it shouldn't be up for debate if a woman wants to jank a fetus from her uterus.
  • unenlightened
    7.2k
    it's been much criticised.Isaac

    Thanks. Yeah, I would not be happy with drawing any very definite conclusion from that. It looks more than a bit undergraduate to me. There is, I would have thought a strong possibility of onset of menstruation dysphoria, augmented by porn induced disgust at female body being self diagnosed as gender dysphoria.
  • unenlightened
    7.2k

    I wouldn't swear to it, but I think before the rather recent liberalisation of abortion, one could get an abortion on mental health grounds in the UK, but of course you risked permanent incarceration. There are a lot of things I think are a load of bull, and I have been trying to provide a consistent and reasoned way of distinguishing individual medical issues from socially constructed dysphoria, aka unhappiness. If you prefer to just shout your dogma and label the opposition, you don't need my say so, and you're not going to get it.
  • Benkei
    6.1k
    Why is a woman automatically "unhappy" when she wants an abortion? How about she just doesn't want one? Why isn't that a good enough reason? Why should there be emotional trauma to begin with? That makes no sense whatsoever. In fact, if there would be any mental issues they're sooner caused by the incessant moralising about what a woman's role should be (eg. bear offspring), which is just Christian values internalised. Historically, abortions were common in all walks of life, poor, slaves and nobility and across cultures.
  • fdrake
    5.3k
    We needed to hit all of the contentious topics - we started with sexism, we moved to transphobia, then to racism, and now it's abortion!
  • unenlightened
    7.2k
    Why is a woman automatically "unhappy" when she wants an abortion?Benkei

    It's not like cutting one's hair. I assume that women do not deliberately get pregnant in order to have an abortion, but that it is rather an unpleasant thing one undergoes because the alternative is even more unpleasant. Do you think otherwise?
  • Baden
    14.1k


    Nice way to go off topic. I can't help but point out though that this:

    Christianity has made abortion a moral issue. It never was one beforeBenkei

    is way off base.

    "According to Buddhist ethics, the first precept instructs lay Buddhists to abstain from killing or harming any living being or destroying living creatures. In Buddhist beliefs, a life begins from the first moment of conception, therefore, abortion, which is obviously an act of harming and killing an innocent life, is definitely sinful and against the precept. The majority of Buddhists therefore agree that abortion is equal to the killing of a human being, and is a form of sinfulness that should be avoided."

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2982600

    "According to Hindu bioethics, abortion is allowed only in cases where it is necessary for saving the life of the mother. The perspective of Hinduism is a very pro-life one, emphasizing Ahimsa and its intrinsic reverence for life."

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7166242/#:~:text=According%20to%20Hindu%20bioethics%2C%20abortion,its%20intrinsic%20reverence%20for%20life.

    "most Islamic scholars agree that the termination of a pregnancy for foetal anomalies is allowed before ensoulment, after which abortion becomes totally forbidden, even in the presence of foetal abnormalities; the exception being a risk to the mother’s life or confirmed intrauterine death."

    https://bmcmedethics.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6939-15-10
  • Benkei
    6.1k
    Check our the Romans, Greeks and Assyrians who had abortions. Not the Persians. But native Americans did, what we at least know from the 1600s.

    So yes, as far as we're concerned in the West, it's a Christian thing. And yes, abortion was permitted in other cultures. I never claimed all of them or that Christianity was the only religion that prohibited it.
  • Benkei
    6.1k
    It's not like cutting one's hair.unenlightened

    But it should be, right?

    A typical patient in the US is already a mother, over 20, unmarried, relatively poor and attended some college. Oh shit, it's family planning! So you rather have her make her own life and that of her other kids worse because you made it up, literally by sucking it out of your thumb, that it's a mental issue. These women are making rational choices about what's best for them and the rest of their family despite a society in which large segments frown upon it.

    And then there's teenage pregnancies due to stupidity or accidents. Also, mental issue.

    How many of us haven't had unprotected sex with another that didn't result in a lasting relationship? And then if my ex wants to get an abortion she has mental issues. I don't think so.
  • unenlightened
    7.2k
    A typical patient in the US is already a mother, over 20, unmarried, relatively poor and attended some college. Oh shit, it's family planning! So you rather have her make her own life and that of her other kids worse because you made it up, literally by sucking it out of your thumb, that it's a mental issue. These women are making rational choices about what's best for them and the rest of their family despite a society in which large segments frown upon it.Benkei

    You might want to go back and actually read what I said. I literally spelled out the economic and social pressures that typically make a woman seek abortion. Here is my repeat prescription:

    First, wages for pregnancy and nursing women and childcare, Give the up-coming generation and its needs its real value in society.unenlightened


    That was by way of comparison with the pressure put upon gender atypical people to somehow conform such that they "choose" what I would maybe unfairly describe as 'mutilating surgery'.

    What people want and what people choose is socially (including economically) constructed and conditioned. So having to choose between your growing foetus and your already malnourished underprivileged children is not a free choice. to have a free choice must include having the means to look after the child, and still have a life and a career. The issue of abortion is about child-support and family support. So maybe take off the mighty shield of righteousness and engage in some debate. I am very unsure where I want to draw the lines, so you might convince me if you do. For example, what do you think about the anorexic's right to choose to starve to death? Or the right of depressed people to choose suicide? I find these things hard to decide, personally.
  • unenlightened
    7.2k
    How many of us haven't had unprotected sex with another that didn't result in a lasting relationship? And then if my ex wants to get an abortion she has mental issues. I don't think so.Benkei

    A fair number of us, actually. Are you protecting the right of your ex to choose, or your own right to be irresponsible? Sheesh I'm even sounding like a fucking republican to myself now! Look what you made me say.

    Look, I'll just go on record that I am strongly against making abortion illegal. Happy? I am also strongly for making abortion not the economic necessity it all too often is at present for many of our exes. We ought to be prepared collectively to support all our many exes and their progeny, and fund child care and all the other services. How's that for a Christian ethic?
  • Isaac
    9.4k
    I would not be happy with drawing any very definite conclusion from that. It looks more than a bit undergraduate to me.unenlightened

    There's also PlosOne's rather poor record on peer review...

    Nonetheless. I think an explanation without taking social influence into account is ridiculous. What's more worrying now is the distinct imbalance developing in favour of girls seeking to reject their birth sex in favour of the (let's face it) somewhat more socially promising, male form.
  • unenlightened
    7.2k
    What's more worrying now is the distinct imbalance developing in favour of girls seeking to reject their birth sex in favour of the (let's face it) somewhat more socially promising, male form.Isaac

    Indeed, rather like the way drapetomania seemed mainly to affect Blacks. Perhaps its a new variant of hysteria.
  • Tzeentch
    2.2k
    I recently watched this Swedish documentary on transgenderism.

    What struck me as particularly interesting is the fact that teenage girls seeking "gender affirming therapy" is a group that is growing extremely rapidly, and that this demographic is also suffering from alarming rates of mental illness.

    It is a suspicion of mine that in western society's quest for complete sameness between the sexes it is primarily girls that have been persuaded to become more like boys, and not the other way around. Essentially, it is "society's" view that girls ought to be more like boys, but it doesn't say that out loud. Apparently, girls weren't good enough in their previous form. Not "smart" enough, not "successful" enough, etc. - whatever those terms mean.

    Human beings are sensitive creatures, and the young generation picked up on this intuitively. Where does this desire to see girls turn into boys come from? An older generation with a complex regarding femininity and its role in society, perhaps?

    Wherever it comes from, it is projected onto the children who more than anything else want to please their parents.

    Earlier in this thread there was this brief exchange:

    It seems to me that male traits are seen in a more positive light than female ones still and that traits like nurturing, caring and kindness and forgiveness are seen as weaknesses.Andrew4Handel

    By whom? I can't think of anyone I know that doesn't value those traits highly.Tzeentch

    I think may have been correct, at least as far as influences on the younger generation are concerned, however I wonder if we agree on where this comes from.

    Notice the use of the word "still" - as though society is moving towards a situation in which feminine traits will be valued higher. Given the role of "feminism" in western society one would be forgiven for believing as much, but we clearly see the opposite. In fact, feminism might aswell be re-branded masculinism in the "modern" age.

    On a further note, in society's quest for complete sameness (which perhaps in the future we will look back on as society's quest for the masculinization of girls) boys haven't been faring much better.

    Where society seems to have developed a hyperfocus on developing masculine traits in girls, on the side of boys we will probably encounter neglect - or perhaps even an opposite effort, for boys not to develop masculine traits. A fear of the boys out-masculinizing the girls, perhaps?

    Note, conspicuously, that there is hardly any effort whatsoever to make boys develop feminine traits.

    What dark pathology is our "modern" society hiding?


    I thought this would be a relevant topic of discussion in a thread that was supposed to be about positive feminine traits.
  • Andrew4Handel
    2.3k
    I generally agree.

    I think the attempt to deconstruct sex and gender has just left a lot of confused people.

    So I start a thread to celebrate women and immediately people express skepticism about the existence of any real traits of women. Imagine how confusing this must be for younger people?

    It's like no one could even use the principle of charity to humor the thread topic but went straight into the process of dismantling sex and Gender.
  • Joshs
    4.2k


    there is hardly any effort whatsoever to make boys develop feminine traits.Tzeentch

    Social conservatives would argue that the past 50 years has seen a concerted push to de-masculine males. Men are told to “cry more” and “to let-go of their bottled-up emotions.”

    “Whether the title of a piece is “The Stigma of Masculinity: Can Men Still Manly Without Feeling Ashamed?" or "How to Raise a Feminist Son" or "Re-Defining Masculinity,” the message is the same: There is something inherently wrong with boys, or at least in the way they have been raised in the past (and many are still); and we have to do something about it.“(Psychology Today)
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