Much has been written, screamed, argued, litigated, legislated, and threatened regarding gender dysphoria, which is a body that appears to be one sex, with a mind that believes it’s another.
Discussions of, and articles on, the subject tend to be emotionally charged with little dispassionate, rational thought. And they mostly center on whether it is right or wrong.
But there is another way to look at the issue: Dispassionately, rationally, logically, without political or religious bias, as if we were without knowledge of anything God might have said. (Yes, I know that’s dangerous, but hear me out.) It’s a pragmatic approach, looking for a solution that actually works and measurably helps people, regardless of what we want and how we feel about the issue or the solution. In other words, we can look at the issue and the people affected by it with compassion.
The basic problem is that the mind and body disagree. When that happens, there are two possibilities:
- It could be that the body is wrong.
- It could be that the mind is wrong.
How can we know which is correct?
People with gender dysphoria usually believe their body is wrong. In fact, they’re passionate about it. And that passion boils over into activism, protests, and other types of sometimes violent attempts at legislative and social persuasion.
But what about the mind?
If the mind is wrong, the person would not know it because people usually think their thoughts are correct. Let me give you some examples:
A woman I knew who had Alzheimer’s would take frozen food out of the freezer and put it in her sock drawer. She was convinced it belonged there.
Another Alzheimer’s patient tried to cut her cloth napkin with a steak knife at the dinner table. In her mind, she was certain she had a valid reason.
My dad, in his later years, had just a touch of dementia. At 8:00 one Saturday night, my brother called me to say he had just got off the phone with Dad, who was waiting for someone to pick him up for church because he thought it was 8:00 Sunday morning.
I called Dad and asked him how he was. He said he was just fine but couldn’t talk because someone would be there any minute to take him to Sunday services. When I told him it was Saturday night, he said, “Oh, don’t you start that, too.”
I told him to look out the window to see if it’s dark outside. Then I asked him if it’s dark at 8:00 AM. He was so absolutely sure he was right! But he had no answer for the darkness outside.
I never convinced him. But:
- He sounded normal.
- He sounded otherwise rational.
- He had no answer for why it was dark outside at 8:00 in the morning.
- He was certain he was right.
- He thought my brother and I were against him or trying to harm him.
People with gender dysphoria:
- Sound normal.
- Sound otherwise rational.
- Have no answer for facts that indicate they are wrong.
- Are certain they are right.
- Think the rest of us are against them or trying to harm them.
People with gender dysphoria have a 41% attempted suicide rate which doesn’t improve even after they have “gender reassignment” surgery. (Even if it were 10%, it would be an epidemic.) For the rest of the population, it’s 4.7%.
Healthy, well-adjusted, rational people don’t commit suicide. People with mental problems sometimes do. Therefore, in at least 41% of cases, the mind is the problem, especially since the suicide rate is the same even after the body is changed.
So, at least 41% of the time the mind is the problem. And people usually think their thoughts are correct even in the face of incontrovertible evidence. Therefore, people with gender dysphoria:
- should not diagnose themselves
- should not make the decision as to what treatment is needed.
(I say “should not” because there’s a greater than 41% chance that they will make their situation worse.)
If we allow (or condone or promote) changing the body when it’s the mind that is incorrect, we do immense harm:
- We ruin the body.
- We fail to treat the dysfunctional mind.
When the mind is the problem, the kindest, most loving thing to do, in fact, the only thing that will work, is to find a cure for the mind.
So how do we know when the mind is the problem? We can’t guess! We have a greater than 41% chance of getting it wrong! Nor can we take the patients’ opinions! They will always think their thoughts are correct and their mind is healthy! So what can we do?
Someone other than the person with gender dysphoria needs to make the decision for treatment. And that person needs to be a professional whose specialty is gender dysphoria, one who has a history of success in such matters. And one of the main measures of that success needs to be the attempted suicide rate among the patients he’s treated. But if no one has that kind of success rate, more research is needed.
We, as a nation, need to decide what we’re going to do. Will we do the kindest thing and get people the help they need to actually solve their gender dysphoria and be able to live happy, healthy, well-adjusted lives? Or will we simply follow the “politically correct” narrative that makes people feel like they’ve helped without doing anything that actually helps anyone?
Meanwhile, should people with a 41% chance of a mental illness be in the military? In government? Teachers? Decision makers? Or should they be getting the professional diagnosis and help they need? Which is more compassionate?
The different approach is compassion.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.