This article is co-authored with our associate pastor John Henderson, PhD.
According to a recent New York Times article, the Department of Justice is planning to issue the following statement to public schools across the United States:
“A school may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-user facilities when other students are not required to do so.”
According to this thinking, chromosomes and biology should not determine the sex, gender, and bathroom assignment of a person. Rather, each person is to lean upon his or her own understanding to make the determination.
Another New York Times article reports that gender binary thinking, which assumes there are only two distinct genders, male and female, is becoming a thing of the past. People can now decide to be whatever they sense they really are. Apparently, when it comes to gender and gender identity, biological determinism is being shown the door.
This should raise questions for all us. For many years now we have been told that biology actually determines a ton of stuff. Alcohol abuse, according to various scientists, has “key biological causes.” Scores of scientific studies claim that Bipolar disorder, Major Depression, and other experiences we call mental illness are in some way caused by our genetic and biochemical makeup.
Most notably, the argument that homosexuality is not a choice or preference, but a genetically and biochemically determined reality, saturates the scientific literature today. Each new study along this vein is simply, “the latest in a growing scientific literature suggesting that sexual preferences may be not simply a matter of personal preference but part of our ingrained biology.”
Am I the only one who finds this confusing? If gender and gender identity is no longer biologically determined, but a matter of choice, then we have some questions to answer.
- Do we plan to say the same about sexual identity?
Are we now saying we choose to be heterosexual or homosexual? Previously we accepted a direct link between genes, biological, anatomy, and gender, but now we’re saying that link does not matter when it comes to gender. Perhaps this is fine, but for the sake of consistency, do we plan to say the same about sexual identity, which has no direct genetic or biological link anyway? Are we saying that just as we choose gender preferences, we choose sexual preferences?
- Do we plan to say the same about alcohol and drug abuse?
No reasonable person doubts that biology plays a role in alcohol and drug abuse. Biochemistry is involved. But the social sciences have taken this concept much farther. Alcohol and drug abuse, as taught in hundreds of psychology, sociology, and psychiatry programs all over the world, has biological causes. Not merely influences, but determining forces inside the body and somehow connected to genes. Is this no longer true? Again, for the sake of consistency, are we supposed to apply the gender identity rubric to the abuse of substances?
- Do we plan to say the same about Bipolar Disorder and Major Depression?
Once more, there are scores of studies and articles placing responsibility for various “mental illnesses” at the doorstep of biology. According to those studies, the experience of mania and depression are not about the conscious thinking of the person or layers of life decisions, but almost solely about underlying biochemical forces. Is this approach to understanding mental illness now wrong and cast aside?
- Or do we plan to use biological determinism only when convenient?
In other words, do we apply biological determinism when talking about something for which we do not want to be held responsible and then reject biological determinism when talking about something for which we want full control?
Are we far more interested in moral flexibility and political convenience than fidelity to the truth and consistency?
Among the various things discussed on this page, none is more biologically determined than gender. There are actual chromosomes (XX, XY) that link directly to actual anatomy (ovaries, testes, etc.) that we call “female” and “male.” If we’re saying those links no longer matter, then it only stands to reason the less tenable links in other areas of human experience be severed in the same fashion.
If this is the case, then everything that has no direct link to genetics and biology should be left to preference as well. If a person can go against their genetics and biology when it comes to gender, then how much more able is a person to go against any and all genetic or biological forces when it comes to sexual identity, drug abuse, and mental illness?
- Do we just make stuff up so that we can do what we want to do?
I mean, this seems like what is really going on. Is it that we just don’t want someone, anyone, telling us how to live if it goes against what we desire? Do we just want to do what is right in our own eyes? I’m not sure how familiar you are with history, but cultures where everyone did what was right in their own eyes always ended in a pile of rubble. Can we just admit that our desire to do what we want might be driving this brave new world agenda? And is it possible that it is driving it off a cliff?
- Do we want our children to be the experimental guinea pigs while we figure out these kinds of questions?
One of the most terrifying things in all this is how flippantly we are treating our children. We are heading down a road of experimentation and using our very own children as lab rats. We have no idea what kinds of affects these measures and others like them will have on young, developing, and perplexed children. Are we really willing to drive political and personal agendas at the expense of a confused child who is trying to figure out their bodies and desires and sexuality? If this open-ended experimentation isn’t child abuse, then I’m not sure what really is.
- Can we admit we have no idea what we are doing?
Is it possible that we have reached a point where it is blatantly obvious that we have no idea what we are doing? Can we admit our hypocrisies, even as it has been displayed in our contradicting approaches to biological determinism? Are we really just using science as smoke and mirrors to allow us to justify whatever we feel like doing?
Is it possible that our culture’s mantra of do not judge has caught up with us and led us to the place where we can receive no instruction, even if it would rescue us from the destruction of our own lives and the lives of our families? At the end of the day, is self-determinism really our god?
Might it be time for us to humble ourselves and realize that leaning on our own understanding has taken us down a dangerous road and that we need help? My hope for us is that God might show us mercy and that we will stop being wise in our own eyes and look to Him who made us and loves us and stands ready to rescue us.
Friend, this is the hope God promises in His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus is no flip-flopper. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever more (Hebrews 13:8). He came into our world and proclaimed, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Let us step out of the darkness and into the light. We may not know what we are doing, but He does. Look to Him.
Picture courtesy of Nick Cimarusti | Daily Trojan
Your argument presupposes that the power of the human spirit is not capable of working counter to biological imperative or disposition. As a pastor I think you would agree that there are many things humans are biologically predisposed to do (have multiple sex partners, put their own needs above all others, eat and drink in excess, etc.) and that your belief structure coaches personal responsibility and lends supernatural will to those who share those beliefs in thier wish to overcome such vices.
By that same token, all human biologic predispositions are likely to also be able to be governed and or overridden (or not) by the will power and desires of that individual…based upon their belief structure and desires (not withstanding the obvious notion that some persons are more successful at this than others, and many human traits are good and should be unchanged). That’s in fact what makes us human (able to choose) and not animals (unable to choose).
Thank you for your comment. Our argument is not about what actually causes, determines, and shapes human experience and expression, but rather the inconsistency of saying the gender is not biologically determined, while all the other things are biologically determined. Does that make sense? God bless.
There is more than one science other than biology. Your chromosomes determine your sex and what sexual organs you have. Your brain determines your gender. It is not a choice, any more than I had the choice to be a woman and female. I never made a choice. I just was. A simple psychology class (also a science) will help you understand the brain vs biology.
What determines one\’s race – brain or biology?
The flaw in your debate is that you have the misconception that being transgender is a choice. Do you know any transgender people personally? The choice to present the identity that you are internally is not the same as choosing to being something different. You make the argument sexual orientation isn’t a choice and I might agree but people do make the choice to be open with their sexual orientation even when it doesn’t match what society says it should be. Think of it like this (to use your own example) and alcoholic is biologically an alcoholic but they can choose to be open about it publicly and live their life accordingly or they can choose to lie about it to themselves and everyone else. So again the choice is only to publicly be transgender. I understand based on your belief, you have an issue with things that don’t fit into prefect little boxes but maybe work on some logic and reasoning to make your point.
Also, maybe it would help to understand that things as simple as hormonal imbalances (which can be biological) can determine a lot about a persons perception of self. A women with extremely high levels of testosterone could have male mannerisms and even features. The same goes for a man with an imbalance of estrogen.
So I don’t think that anyone is arguing that being transgender is a choice.
As a Pastor, Joshua. I am disappointed that the overcoming of such issues is simply the “coaching” of human willpower by one’s belief system. Scripture points out that it is the power of the Holy Spirit that goes far beyond coaching.
I can agree with your theory if you are willing to apply this to all forms of non- society approved behavior. The murderer did it because he/she had no inner choice. The rapist did it because of an inner pleasure to control another. The wife beater has an inner desire to blame the wife for his problems. etc., etc. If there are no absolutes; which is where this theory is headed; we have chaos. Isn’t it bias to only accept gender identity as a thing to be protected and accepted and leave all these others out to dry.
D. V., over time society has disapproved of a lot of things that we do not now regard as sinful. Some of these have even been established (civil) law. Marriage between people of different races, for instance. I think that if you try to conflate righteousness with societal acceptance, and sinfulness with societal disapproval, you are going down the wrong path.
I take your point. I’m suggesting (and I think the central argument of those who you are accusing of inconsistency is) that gender, like all other human traits, has a biologically predisposed component that is (or at least is capable of being) shaded by cultural factors and the choices of the individual.
So it (gender identification) isn’t arguing one stance, then the other (nurture vs nature). But rather a nuanced, highly personal thing that has many contributing factors including biology and culture and personal decisions.
I would suggest you consider a new line of thinking; perhaps your definition of the word gender and the definition now being proposed are not the same. I assume when you assign gender you do so strictly on outward appearance of anatomy i.e. he parts or she parts. The approach now to be considered is your anatomical sex does not equate with societal constructs of gender. This is where the spectrum can exist. One does not have to be a lady to feel like one, act like one, or dress like one. Boys do not have to play with trucks, guns, and balls. Now, might some folks choose to take radical steps to physically align themselves more closely with how they feel? Obviously some do. Does this preclude biology’s part in our existence? No, but it may in certain aspects of our society. Tangentially there certainly are people born with various abnormal genitalia who are often surgically assigned as a newborn who might later feel more a woman than man (as in most cases these babies are assigned masculine features).
Now, as a believing person I assume you understand there are a great many things which occur and exist that might differ from their outward appearance. Is it so unfathomable then for gender identity to fall within this purview?
The author\’s point isn\’t strictly confined to the topic of gender identity alone. I think the point he\’s trying to make is that there is an inconsistency with the way society is currently applying biological determinsim depending upon the subject. For example, we\’ve constantly heard the argument that it is wrong to call homosexuality a sin because \”no one chooses to be gay; it\’s biologically determined\”. Now, the argument is being flipped to say that gender should be a fluid based on a person\’s feelings, regardless of what his/her individual biological construction is. So basically, we\’ve reached a point where we say biology is king when we don\’t want to be responsible for our own actions/choices, and yet still want to have the sovereignty to ignore it whenever we please. That\’s the hypocrisy. If you say biology can be overridden by will, then that argument has to be applied consistently.
Josh G, I think you captured and summarized the point of the post quite well. We truly need the Lord and His unchanging Word to help us.
Another comment I saw recently on the inconsistency of these gender arguments:
“If a teenage girl has anorexia, bulemia, or some other form of body dismorphic disorder, she’s viewed as having a mental illness and given therapy to help her accept her body and to realize her inherent self worth. The standard of care does not include giving her diet pills and a gastric bypass. Why should a boy who thinks he should be a girl any different. Why are the rest of us expected to accept, support, and celebrate his delusion and not hers?”
Being transgender isn’t another type of bdd. It’s gender disphoria, which I think you are confusing with dismorphism. Bdd is an anxiety disorder.
These are quite different, but I suppose what they have in common is that a solution is to resolve the negative feelings. This can be accomplished for transgender people by figuring out how they identify. Remember, it’s not as cut and dry as people think. People are born with female chromosomes but male anatomy (one of many examples of conflicting biology) , and they are left figuring it all out.
We are all created male or female. There is no way to get around that fact. Anatomy determines your sex which includes your gender. To say that you can change from male to female is a lie, one may want to be the opposite sex but that does not make that person the opposite sex. No surgical procedure can turn a male into a female or a female into a male.
Sorry but that’s just completely wrong. Some are born with female chromosomes but male anatomy. Some have both a uterus and a penis. In no way is it clear cut. Some females have a lot more testosterone than is typical. Just look up intersex.
In society today, there is a widespread lack of regard for God’s authority in making us the way we are.
I think the hypocrisy exposed here might be that Christians say that we believe our treasures, our immortal souls, are more important than the clay vessels we house them in, but too many of us think that whatever shape the clay vessel has, speaks to the essential person in a way that what the soul knows itself to be does not. IOW, I have a female body and I know myself to be a woman. (Lucky me.) If I had this body, but knew myself to be a man, then to reject transgenderism would be to say that my body that defines me, and not my soul. I do not believe this is what Jesus came here to tell us.
“A school may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-user facilities when other students are not required to do so.”
In a school in which a transgender student was made to use an individual-user facility, what would Jesus do? He’d use the same facility as well, so that perhaps this already troubled person could feel just a little less freakish and outcast.
“Can we admit we have no idea what we are doing?”
As opposed to making pronouncements about biology when we have not studied it and have no intention of approaching it with an open mind and really trying to understand it? Admitting we have no idea what we are doing would be a GREAT alternative.
I hope you don’t mind if I focus on one statement: “What would Jesus do?” Our fundamental concepts of how Jesus would act and behave are found in the Bible particularly the Gospels which were written either firsthand by people who knew Jesus the best and were closest to him, or individuals who either talked with the disciples in depth and or were very close to them and got their accounts from the disciples.
It looks like your position is that we should be able to chose our own sexual identity and Jesus will go along with that choice. If I have misunderstood your position please accept my apology.
These are the scriptures which seem to relate to that subject. If you have others to back up your position, please share them. The scriptures I would like to start off with are in Matthew 19 starting with verse 4 and the end of verse 6 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’. and Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
This would seem to indicate that what God has created or done, people shouldn’t try to change or undo. Again if you have a different interpretation that seems to fit the passage please feel free to share it.
If you keep reading in that chapter you come to an interesting interchange between a very rich man who loved and wanted to hang on to his riches more than he wanted to belong to God and Jesus. We don’t see Jesus respecting his beliefs, or choices, but requiring him to submit everything in his life even the most important things (his money) to God and give God total control.
In verses 16-22 we read:
Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “ ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
It looks to me like Jesus would ask people to Give everything in their lives to God and put Him (Jesus) in total charge of their lives including their sexual identity
Paul met Jesus much later after Jesus’s death and resurrection. Paul used these words and offered this admonition to people who would want to follow Jesus.
In Romans 12:1-2 we read.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Jesus had great compassion on people who wanted to come to God and were told they couldn’t because of this or that. He died and came to life that the way would be open to everyone regardless of sexual identity or any other factors. But the cost is a giving up of our lives and identity and control of that identity to God by following Jesus that we might totally belong to God.
Again if you have verses from the Bible which suggest Jesus would say or do something different I would love to hear them. Thank you for your patience and consideration in reading this and for bringing this into the discussion as I agree with you that what Jesus would say and do is very relevant.
“It looks like your position is that we should be able to chose our own sexual identity and Jesus will go along with that choice. If I have misunderstood your position please accept my apology.”
My position there was that Jesus would first see that transgender person as a deeply unhappy individual and would love that person enough to want to ease his pain.
I am not convinced that to be transgender is to sin. I know we may be made uncomfortable by the thought. But reading accounts of the attempts to change a child’s gender strike me as unbearably sad. I am not convinced that it is necessary.
And here’s Lianne Simon. She has mosaic Turner syndrome: some of her cells are XY, and some are missing the Y. As a baby, a decision had to be made which sex to raise her as – and this probably happens more often than you think – and the decision was made to raise her as a boy. But she knew this wasn’t right and eventually began to live as the correct gender. Do you think God is pleased with this? Displeased?
Thank you for the reply and sharing those articles so I can better understand your position. I apologize for misunderstanding you, and for not focusing more on the love of Jesus in my reply, you are right in that is a very important part of who Jesus is and how he treats people. My favorite song actually talks about that. It is called Better than I Know Myself by Cliff Richard
You can listen to it here.
The song seems to be taken from Psalm 139 and talks about how God knows us inside and out, who we are, our past present and future, and Loves us and still wants to guide our lives anyway.
Psalm 139 starts out with God’s knowledge of us, but then goes into our desires to hide parts of our lives from Him. It then looks at the Wonder that is God and his creation including us, the foolishness of those who want to live parts of their lives apart from God and concludes with a desire that God make all we say, think and do pleasing to Him.
You also reminded me of something very important in the story about the rich young ruler I had left off but should have included. Mark 10:21 adds this part: Jesus looked at him and loved him. “ One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
I don’t remember seeing that exact phrase anywhere else in the Bible.
Jesus had expressed love for the young ruler, but that love asked that all things in the young man’s life be given to God especially his money since that is what was keeping him from God. In the end all the love Jesus had and showed the young man didn’t mean anything.
It reminds me of a line from a song that goes “If you aren’t Lord of all my life, you’re not Lord at all.
As to whether having a particular gender identity is sin, we need a working definition of sin. For this I am going to modify John Piper’s definition of sin. He defines sin as is any feeling or thought or action that comes from a heart that does not submit to or treasure God over all other things.
I would modify the definition to actions resulting from areas of the heart which are not submitted to God.
As such I think you are right when you said that ones gender identity isn’t sin, but failure to submit this area of your life to God or any other area of our lives, could lead to sin.
We are all asked to present everything in our lives to God, to keep change, enhance, replace or transform as He sees fit.
When I bought my house it was terrible to look at but it had potential. The carpet was ugly, the paint and cabinets were too, many parts didn’t work and had to be replaced. We tore out part of it, took away the carpet, put on a new floor and paint, replaced several things and added several new things. In the end it didn’t look like same house, but in a way it still was. I think those who belong to Jesus are a little bit like that house.
There is a song called Something Beautiful by Bill Gaither .
It goes like this:
Something Beautiful, Something Good
All my confusion, He understood
All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife.
But He made something, beautiful out of my life.
I think this is what God wants to do for each of us. The song doesn’t say something, simple, easy, or painless, but it could very well have added something very special.
I appreciate the articles you posted, especially Lianne’s site. What a beautiful testimony. I would like to read more about her. I think in these cases people need to work out their identities with God as she did. Others sometimes go too far or go in the wrong direction trying to help. It doesn’t mean they don’t care but we are all human and all flawed. It looks like Lianne is a unique and special lady and I am glad things worked out for her. It also looks she is an important ear and a voice for many others.
Thank you again for the conversation, your concern for others, the information you shared and your corrections.
You are incorrect according to the Mayo Clinic: Turner syndrome, a condition that affects only girls and women, results when a sex chromosome (the X chromosome) is missing or partially missing. Turner syndrome can cause a variety of medical and developmental problems, including short height, failure to start puberty, infertility, heart defects, certain learning disabilities and social adjustment problems.
Dawn, that’s not actually true. It is true that if all chromosomes are X0 you have a female with Turner syndrome. What sometimes happens, and it happened with Liane, is that the embryo starts out XY and then as cell division happens some cells drop the Y. That is called mosaic Turner syndrome. The same thing can happen, of course, with female children who have mosaic Turner, but in their case they always present as girls.
Here is a case where an embryo began as XY. Upon division, some cells dropped the Y, and then the embryo twinned. The resulting twins are both mosaic XY/X0. One developed as a boy and one as a girl – yes, monozygotic (identical) twins of different sexes.
Here is a different situation, also monozygotic twins with mosaicism, in this case Klinefelter syndrome (XXY/XX), also one apparently male and one female.
All kinds of things happen in nature. I have to conclude that God’s plan allows for a range of outcomes here. I think he means for us to accept differences among us, not reject or deny them. There’s really no theological reason to.
When Jesus told Paul, on the road to Damascus, that it’s hard to kick against the pricks, he was telling Paul to stop fighting the truth of his (Jesus’s) divine nature. I think we need to stop kicking against the pricks of the natural world here. Intersex people exist who were born that way. We do not come in two and exactly two distinct physical sexes that are based on everyone having XX or XY in every cell, period (and having receptors that appropriately use sex hormones.) That being the case, there’s no real reason to think that psychologically we all come in two and only two models.
May I kindly suggest that the view you present of our immortal souls vs. our “clay vessels” is a view called gnosticism that is counter to the Bible. Scripture affirms that it was good when God created our physical bodies, and that our bodies will be resurrected in eternity, not just our souls. In truth, there is no great distinction between body and soul, and to create such a distinction is to say that what God made is not good.
I do think Jesus might use the individual-user restroom, and would hang out with transgendered, homosexual, and all other kinds of people. I don’t think his purpose would be to just make anyone feel less like an outcast or freak though. He didn’t spend time with drunks and prostitutes to affirm their drunkenness and prostitution.
Ryan, what of people who are born with severe, disabling, painful defects? Are they going to have to bear those defects through eternity? We know our bodies will decay and die. Even if we don’t die from accident or illness eventually our bodies will wear out. So if a choice must be made, why would the body’s sex trump the soul’s gender, if the two don’t agree?
I don’t think Jesus’s purpose, if he used the individual restroom, would be JUST to make anyone feel less like an outcast or a freak. But I think that would be a huge concern. People with gender dysphoria are miserably unhappy when the people in their lives can’t accept them. The first thing Jesus would want that person to understand is “I love you and care about you. You are a person to me.” Until the person hears that, from him or from you or me, they’re not going to hear anything else.
You make a fair point, Garrett.
God has delegated to mankind a good deal of freedom but we keep grasping for the whole enchilada of unlimited autonomy. Nothing new here. The unbelieving world has always despised and resented the sovereignty of God. They want His job so badly they are happy to dispense with common sense, honest science, and human decency to pretend they are in control, and not culpable for breaking His laws.
Our job, as salt and light , is to keep their conscience functioning, by word and by deed.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…So God created man in His own image; in the image of God created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:26-27).
It is God that decides prior to our being born whether we are male or female. Gender has nothing to do with how we feel or what we think, if this were the case how would any parent know what their child was at birth?
Your argument that chromosomes determine anatomy is incorrect. It is perfectly possible for someone with XX chromosomes to have a penis (look up “intersex”). Would you criticize this person for identifying as a male? Or as a female, for that matter? It is not anywhere near as black and white as you think it is. There can be many different combinations or mixes of anatomy (testes, ovaries, penis, vagina, levels of estrogen, testosterone, etc). Scientists have also identified specific receptors in the brain contributing to gender identification, and twin studies support the notion that is more related to genetics than environment. Do some research, and try to be as objective as possible without letting what you want to be true taint your perception.
Considering the extremely high amount of suicides and depression rates of transgenders (and the LGBT community in general), wouldn’t it make sense to at least do a little more research before you propagate an idea that is harmful to many people?
Thank you for you comment. You are correct, there are cases where chromosomes, anatomy, and genitalia of a person do not match up, and the post did not state that this was possible or impossible. Of course, the point of the post was not to state or debate the actual causes of gender, gender identity, or anything else, but the inconsistency that exists in explaining people according to genetics or biology or chemistry, especially in the social sciences and popular discussion, using or maximizing biology when convenient, and discarding or minimizing it when inconvenient. There are far stronger connections between chromosomes and anatomy in matters of gender when compared to connections between chromosomes and alcohol abuse. I think the primary point was that when it comes to gender, sexual identity, alcohol abuse, and Bipolar disorder, the clearest case for biological determinism would fall to gender, but the genetics, biology, and chemistry is not being given near as much weight in the conversation as what the person wants to identify as, whether male or female. What the authors of the post actually believe about causes of gender and causes of gender identity and causes of alcohol abuse and causes of Bipolar disorder would require a very different kind of approach and post, with much more nuance and detail. But that was not the goal. This post simply called attention to the peculiar inconsistency in how these areas are related to genetics and biology, and how much we need something or someone beyond human wisdom to understand and explain the truth.
Again, thank you for your comment and insightful feedback.
Your post DID state that it was impossible for them to not line up – “Among the various things discussed on this page, none is more biologically determined than gender. There are actual chromosomes (XX, XY) that link directly to actual anatomy (ovaries, testes, etc.) that we call “female” and “male.”” This is incorrect.
Your argument about biological determinism is a misunderstanding. It is true that the variables that make up gender are biologically determined, but it is determined INDIVIDUALLY. In transgender cases, there is no cohesive answer of their gender, because the biologically determined elements conflict with each other, leaving the person to deal with the aftermath.
Sometimes certain biology outweighs the others. This could mean that their sex organs align with their gender, it could mean their chromosomes do, or it could mean their testosterone levels do. In these cases it’s not overtly obvious how they identify.
But sometimes the conflicting signals cause them to be right in the middle of the spectrum. They have to try to figure it out and decide, yet we criticize them for this even though they were dealt this tough hand. Who would choose to be in this position, given all the difficulties of ignorance, discrimination, and insensitivity (as well as gender dysphoria)? Since God made them this way, he knew they would have to figure this stuff out and choose, and he also must have known they would be ostracized by his own disciples. I doubt he approves of this behavior.
Side note: Scientists have determined that being gay is a combination of genes, in utero development, and early life experiences. Our current evidence for transgender people seems to point to this same pattern.
There is no scientific conflict or hypocrisy here. Science is just doing its best to uncover truth. That’s its job. It has many methods in place to ensure human bias isn’t inserted to taint the truth. It’s not science minded people that are hypocritical. The people I see most who use science only when it suits them are people who believe evolution didn’t happen and that man made climate change doesn’t exist.
Grateful for your interaction and pushing on parts that require more clarification. Since gender chromosomes and gendered anatomy reportedly line up in roughly 99.9% of cases, and when they don’t it is considered an anomaly, it seemed plausible for us to say, “Among the various things discussed on this page, none is more biologically determined than gender. There are actual chromosomes (XX, XY) that link directly to actual anatomy (ovaries, testes, etc.) that we call “female” and “male.”” From our point of view, the existence of roughly 0.1% of cases in which the gender chromosomes don’t match the gender anatomy does not in our minds erase the link, especially when the primary point was to compare this link to the lack of a clear or direct link related to sexual identity, drug abuse, and various mental illnesses. We expected the conversation about gender to be the most biologically determined and biologically rooted of all these conversations when we have found, in practice, it is not.
This does not mean we there are not people who consistently apply biological determinism to everything, or people who consistently reject biological determinism in all forms. Nor does it mean the actual causes and determining factors in these situations is always clear and easy. The point of the post was more focused: there seems to be a trend where we apply biological determinism in forms and doses that are convenient to our desired outcome. We need help from the outside. We need the Word of God to humble our hearts, reveal our inconsistencies, and lead us to Jesus Christ, not simply to correct our thinking, but to reconcile us to God through Jesus Christ and give us new hearts. Unfortunately we did not state this more clearly from the outset, but we sometimes do not know what sounds confusing until someone points it out. Your comments are appreciated.
No hypocrisy at all. Biologically, the gender identity doesn’t always match the plumbing that we were born with. Both biologically determined or applied on the human assembly line depending on one’s view of the workings of the Almighty. Sometimes he machine assigns male plumbing to a girl, is what this is pointing out. Your argument, in fact, is the self defeating one. You argue that plumbing MUST match the identity as both are biological. That is like saying all those who are blind have blow eyes. This is about tolerance. OT isn’t about our children. They instinctively do not care about the wrapper, just ones content. We, on the other hand, obsess about the wrapper. Just as the Pharasese did. How can he he the Son of God? He’s so poor and works with scum?!
I see several points of view here, some which I agree with and some I do not. But my comment is that it is refreshing to see courteous, respectful responses all around with no name calling or accusing people of hate and blind prejudice. We could certainly use calm heads such as these in the broader pubic arena.
Shelley, I agree completely.