from Gender Identity Disorders
By Mike Hatfield
June 12, 2007 - Theron Bowers, MD, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine, has recently written an essay that questions the wisdom of surgeons doing sexual reassignment surgery for individuals who believe they are trapped in opposite sex bodies (known by the umbrella term "transgenders").
In "Focus On Gender Politics: Is Changing Gender As Simple As Changing Clothes?" Dr. Bowers describes a recent Newsweek cover story that portrays maleness and femaleness as social constructions and promotes the idea that sex change operations are correct choices for individuals who suffer from gender confusion.
According to Bowers,
Sexual reassignment, with hormone treatment and surgery, is a woolly term which is used far too casually. Take the word "reassignment." What are the defenders of transsexualism implying when they use it? In my view, they are relying upon both hoary old Freudian ideas and a silly recent movement called constructivism. The upshot of these two schools of thought is that nature is unimportant compared to nurture. Society and technology always trump biology. So using the word 'reassignment' imples that sex is an arbitrary category imposed by the dominant culture through the family. From this perspective, sex is merely a societal convention.
Dr. Bowers also quoted Dr. Paul McHugh, writing in "Surgical Sex" for First Things. According to McHugh:
I have witnessed a great deal of damage from sex-reassignment. The children transformed from their male constitution into female roles suffered prolonged distress and misery as they sensed their natural attitudes. Their parents usually lived with guilt over their decisions - second-guessing themselves and somewhat ashamed of the fabrication, both surgical and social, they had imposed on their sons. ... we psychiatrists have been distracted from studying the causes and natures of their mental misdirections by preparing them for surgery and for a life in the other sex. We have wasted scientific and technical resources and damaged our professional credibility by collaborating with madnes rather than trying to study, cure, and ultimately prevent it.
Dr. Bowers concludes his essay by noting: "The madness is beyond transsexualism."