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June 05, 2012

Urges, Behavior and Identity

Urges, Behavior and Identity

A recent Washington Post article chronicled the story of five year old Kathryn, a young girl who insists she a boy. Her doctors have diagnosed her with a gender identity disorder, so now Kathryn goes by Tyler, plays with boys’ toys and wears boys’ clothes. In a few years Kathryn’s parents will have to decide whether or not to give her puberty-blocking hormones that will render her sterile.

As a parent, hearing about this struggle breaks my heart. But I’m equally disturbed by the logic being applied to the situation. Essentially, Kathryn’s entire future is being shaped by an assumption that identity can be reduced to inclinations. And that inclinations equal identity and demand behavior. As my colleague Gina Dalfonzo pointed out on her BreakPoint blog, this is the only disorder where we embrace the problem instead of working to fix it.

There is a scary amount of social experimentation being done on these children based on such a thin understanding of who we are. For The, I’m John Stonestreet.

Further Reading

Transgender at Five
Petula Dvorak | The Washington Post | May 19, 2012

It's Called a Disorder for a Reason
Gina Dalfonzo | BreakPoint | May 21, 2012

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