gender dysphoria, & gender identity<
Part 1: Causes of, & cures for, transgenderism
according to conservative Protestants
As noted elsewhere in this section a transgender
individual is a
person who experiences Gender Identity Disorder (a.k.a. GID, Gender Dysphoria, Disorder of Sexual Differentiation, or DSD), Their genetic gender is different
from their perceived gender. Some describe themselves as a woman trapped in a man's body,
or vice versa. Others view themselves as having a male brain in a female body,
or vice versa. Still others do not identify with either gender, or identify with both.
According to the current thinking of human sexuality researchers and
therapists, gender dysphoria has a biological cause
that kicks in before birth. The main current theories suggest that it is caused by
fetal exposure to abnormal androgen levels, or is
genetically determined at conception by the structure of the individual's DNA.
Scientists have linked gender
dysphoria to fingerprint patterns and left-handedness -- two factors established
in the fetus within 15 weeks of gestation, in the second trimester. They have also linked it to a longer
version of the androgen receptor gene in the DNA of transsexuals.
Therapists have a zero success
rate in curing GID by changing the transgender person's perceived gender to match their birth-assigned gender. However, injestions of hormones and special surgical techniques can change the person's appearance to more closely appear to be of their perceived gender.
Most conservative Protestants base their beliefs about transsexuality directly on their firm
beliefs in gender and in particular on the role of men and women in churches,
the family and the workplace. These are
derived from their interpretation of key Bible passages and themes. They generally conclude that GID
is either chosen or a delusion, and that a transgender person can change their perceived gender to
match their genetic gender through prayer, therapy and/or being "saved." These beliefs are consistent with their concept of God as being caring, omnipresent, and omnipotent. It also agrees with their belief that God created only two genders, so that every individual is either a male or female.
Belief by various groups on the nature, cause, and cure of gender dysphoria:
Many Christian fundamentalists, other evangelicals, and other religious
conservatives strongly believe that both homosexuality
and transsexuality are "lifestyles" that are chosen by the individual. Some
believe that dysfunctional family dynamics and/or traumatic childhood
experiences may be contributing factors to their decision to become gay or
- Exodus International (EI) described their organization as: "The
largest information and referral ministry in the world addressing homosexual
issues." They described gender dysphoria as a form of personal gender
"confusion." EI implied that the transgender person is uncertain about their
gender and that they can modify their perceived gender to match their genetic
gender through prayer, ministry efforts, therapy, accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior,etc.
These beliefs were in
direct conflict with beliefs that we have gleaned from personal
conversations with transsexuals and from information about gender dysphoria in
texts, in personal web sites by transgender persons, and from medical
studies. These sources conclude that no such confusion exists. They state that
transgender individuals are very
much aware of both their genetic gender and their perceived
gender. They are quite aware of the conflict between the two. They are quite certain that they cannot change their perceived gender. It is this
certainty that generally causes them extreme level of distress, and often suicidal
The EI article:
- Expresses concern that increasing numbers of youth will "lose years of
their lives to the bondage of gender confusion."
- States that the movements to achieve equal rights for gays and transgender
persons are controlled
by Satan who is attempting "to distort God's
image on earth and claim the souls of His children."
- Stresses that religious conservatives should love transgender and
other "broken people."
- States that freedom is to be found in truth: the implication is that a
transgender person can resolve the conflict between their genetic and
perceived genders through prayer and therapy.
- States that one's genetic gender is one's "true gender;" one's
perceived gender doesn't really count. 2 That is, a MTF (male to female transsexual) is still a male, even though the individual identifies and is accepted by family, friends, and coworkers as female.
In 2013, after over 35 years of attempting to convert lesbians, gays and bisexuals into heterosexuals, and converting transgender persons and transsexuals in to cisgender individuals, they finally gave up. During an eventful 24 hour interval in mid-2013-JUN:
- The president of Exodus offered a sincere apology for all of the harm that his organization had done to individuals members of the LGBT community, and
- The organization announced that it was ceasing business after 37 years of operation.
This topic continues in Part 2.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Rama Kant Mishra, "Research reveals biological basis of Trans-sexuality,"
Ground Report, 2008-OCT-27, at:
- "Gender Identity," Exodus International, undated, at:
- "Transsexualism - mind over matter," The Christian Institute, 2002-FEB, at:
- Charles W. Socarides, "The Desire for Sexual Transformation: A
Psychiatric Evaluation of Transsexualism, Abstract, American Journal of
Psychiatry, (1969); 125; Pages 1419 to 1425.
- Gordene O. MacKenzie.
"Transgender Nation," Bowling Green State University Popular Press, (1994).
reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store Rated
at 4.7 stars out of 5 by Amazon customers.
- John W. Kennedy, "The
Transgender Moment," Christianity Today, Page 3, 2008-FEB, at:
- Ibid, Page 4 at:
- John Eligon, "Suits Dispute City’s Rule on Recording Sex Changes," New York Times, 2010-MAR-22, at: http://www.nytimes.com/
Copyright © 2009 and 2011 by Ontario Consultants on
Original posting: 2009-JAN
Latest update: 2011-APR-23
Author: B.A. Robinson