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5 fatal flaws in transgender ideology

A hand holds up a small transgender pride flag. The blue and pink stripes represent the colors for a boy and girl, while the white stripe represents self-declared gender identities, such as transitioning, intersex, neutral and undefined gender.
A hand holds up a small transgender pride flag. The blue and pink stripes represent the colors for a boy and girl, while the white stripe represents self-declared gender identities, such as transitioning, intersex, neutral and undefined gender. | Getty Images

Many people who support transgender surgery and cross-sex hormones may be well-intentioned, but the transgender ideology behind those intentions is fraught with fatal flaws.  Here are just five of many.  

Contrary to transgender ideology:

1. The design of the body proves there are only two genders 

Transgender advocates insist there are multiple genders. However, the design of the human body shows there are only two genders. Humans can either produce sperm or eggs. There is no third reproductive output in humans or mammals. Of course, there are humans who cannot produce either due to biological deficiencies, but that is an incapacity, not a third capacity to produce something else. Thus, the claim that there are more than two genders can only be entertained if one detaches the concept of gender from biological sex.

However, insisting that gender is completely different from someone’s biological sex doesn’t work either. If gender and biology were completely different things — if there’s no relationship between the two — then why would anyone advocate for cross-sex hormones or sex change operations? Which leads us to flaw two.

2. Transgenderism must presuppose fixed genders

While transgender advocates deny that there are only two genders, they must unwittingly presuppose two genders for transgenderism to be possible. Why? Because if I’m a biological man but think I’m a woman, I must have some idea of what a man and woman are to recognize my problem. I must also know what a man and woman are to make the so-called “transition.” If genders are completely fluid with no fixed reference points, there would be no way to recognize the mismatch between my biology and psychology and no destination for my transition. In other words, “gender dysphoria” could not exist without two known, fixed genders. 

The denial of fixed genders has sparked a bit of a civil war among some identifying as LGBTQ, because if the T’s get their way, the L’s, G’s, and B’s don’t exist (search for #LGBminustheT). How can one be lesbian, gay, or bisexual if there are no fixed genders? Each of those identities rely on fixed genders. Likewise, some feminists are unhappy because, without fixed genders, there are no women and therefore no women’s rights. 

This is one reason why Matt Walsh’s documentary, "What is a Woman?," has so many transgender advocates and Leftwing academics stumped by the question, “What is a woman?” They are caught in a dilemma. If they say a woman is a biological female, then transgender ideology is false. If they refuse to define a woman, transgenderism is not possible. Who is transitioning to what? And what happened to women’s rights?  

3. You can change your mind but not your biology

When biology and psychology are mismatched, why do we think changing the body instead of changing the mind is the way to fix the problem? We don’t do this for other conditions. 

When anorexics falsely think they are overweight, we don’t say, “You’re right. Let me get you some liposuction.” For people who honestly believe they should have healthy limbs cut off (a condition known as “trans-abled”), we don’t say, “You’re right. If you think you should not have a right arm, we will cut if off for you.” When your daughter insists she’s a mermaid, you don’t take her off the coast and drop her in the ocean. So, why do we think we should cut off healthy sex organs instead of helping people change their minds?

While you can change your mind, it is literally impossible to change your biology.  You can mutilate your body, but you cannot change the DNA of your 100 trillion cells or the many thousands of biological differences between men and women.   

Any attempt to “transition” between the sexes implicitly admits these differences and affirms the binary nature of gender. Otherwise, there would be no use for hormones or puberty blockers. In fact, if there were no differences in the physical and biological designs of men and women, transgenderism would not only be impossible but unnecessary. If men and women were the same, there would be no need or desire to transition. 

So instead of me thinking I’m a woman trapped in a man’s body, why not think I’m a man with a woman’s mind? That way I can actually fix my problem with good mental health care.  

4. Sex is not ‘assigned’ at birth

For transgender ideology to succeed, people must come to believe that gender is arbitrary and is “assigned” at birth. But everyone knows that gender is not “assigned” at birth — it is discovered at birth (or sometimes before). It’s not like people vote at gender-reveal parties, or that doctors arbitrarily decide the sex of a newborn. No, they discover and state the baby’s sex because there is no ambiguity.

In the extremely rare cases where genitals are ambiguous (intersex), tests are done and choices are made to correct the problem. Most patients end up male or female rather than assuming a non-binary status. This is not the same as transgenderism where people with fully formed and healthy sexual organs attempt to transition to the opposite sex. Intersex is a biological condition; gender dysphoria is a psychological condition. The existence of intersex conditions does nothing to support the claim that sex is “assigned” at birth. Birth defects do not disprove the norm. In fact, they would be impossible to identify without the norm.    

We live in a fallen world. All of us are born with deficiencies and defects. That doesn’t mean we are less human or less worthy of respect.  But that also doesn’t mean we should mandate that everyone else live according to such deficiencies or defects.  When someone is born deaf, we don’t tell the rest of the world they can never speak or listen to music because it might offend the deaf. Yet that is precisely what transgender activists and the rest of the woke world are trying to impose on our entire society. 

5. There is no basis for transgender rights 

We seem to be inventing new “rights” in America every 10 minutes. But where do rights come from? They can’t come from the government because a right is something you have regardless of what anyone else says about it (including your government). Rights can only come from God (“our Creator” as the Declaration of Independence puts it). Without God, every moral issue is reduced to a matter of opinion.  

What evidence do we have that God wants anyone to amputate perfectly healthy sex organs? There is none from natural law, the Bible, or any other supposed revelation that claims to come from God.  

People can demand that their government legislate or declare certain behaviors as “rights,” but that doesn’t make them rights any more than a government can legislate that a biological man is a woman. That doesn’t make him a woman. Instead of trying to change reality to fit our thoughts, we should be trying to change our thoughts to fit reality. 

As I document in the new third edition of Correct Not Politically Correct (from which this column is adapted), there are several more fatal flaws in transgender ideology, including the evidence showing that transitioning doesn’t fix the underlying problem. But that’s for the next column.

Dr. Frank Turek is the President of CrossExamined.org and co-author of the new book, Hollywood Heroes:  How Your Favorite Movies Reveal God.

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