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Ecumaniac
Jan 2nd 2008, 03:10 PM
I've raised this topic because:
I personally know a few transsexuals, as well as a committed Christian with gender identity disorder (henceforth GID);
it is, biologically, psychologically and socially, a very complex issue.First, some definitions. By no means will they be universally accepted, but I'd prefer it if we used them to prevent confusion. Sex identifies an individual's biological characteristics — for example, chromosomes, producing gametes or sperm, breasts and skeletal structure — whereas gender refers to the social and cultural roles which individuals are expected to conform to. In general, sex determines gender, although gender roles vary widely between cultures, and some cultures recognise a "third gender".

GID is a psychological condition, possibly with a biological aetiology, whereby an individual feels uncomfortable with the gender they were brought up with. A transsexual is someone who wants to, or decides to, live as another gender; in particular, post-operative (post-op) transsexuals, who have underwent surgical and hormonal treatment to physically take on the appearance of the opposite sex. In what follows, when I refer to a transsexual, I am referring to a post-op transsexual.

Also, it is important to note that transsexuality is not the same as homosexuality, although there is inevitably some overlap.

Intersexuality is an even more complex situation. Wikipedia defines it as:


"…conditions in which chromosomal sex is inconsistent with phenotypic sex, or in which the phenotype is not classifiable as either male or female[.]" — Wikipedia on "Intersexuality" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersexuality)In other words, it is a biological condition which renders the question an individual's biological sex dubious. As an extreme example, someone with complete androgen insensitivity (CAIS) is externally indistinguishable from a female, but has a male karotype (i.e. is chromosomally male). In many cases of ambiguous genitalia, doctors will decide at birth what gender should be assigned.


Now, onto the question of marriage. No doubt, you have already been considering some of the unique issues involved in marital relationships for post-operative transsexual and intersexual persons, and I would like to invite comment by posing the same, clear question about both conditions. I will suggest a few answers, but you are free to ignore these; my only request is that you explain the reasoning behind your response.



What sort of marital relationships do you believe should be open to a post-operative transsexual?
They should marry a partner of the opposite sex from their pre-operative sex.
They should marry a partner of the opposite sex from their post-operative sex.
They can marry a partner of either sex.
They should not marry at all.

What sort of marital relationships do you believe should be open to an intersex individual?
They should choose a sex, and marry a partner of the opposite sex.
They should be assigned a sex at birth, and marry a partner of the opposite sex.
They should be assigned a sex (by whom?) according to their external appearance, and marry a partner of the opposite sex.
They should be assigned a sex (by whom?) according to their karotype, and marry a partner of the opposite sex.
They can marry a partner of either sex.
They should not marry at all.

Remember that the proposed answers are only suggestions, and whether or not you choose one of them, I am more interested in the reasoning behind your answers. I look forward to your responses, and hope this will be an interesting and enlightening discussion.

ProjectPeter
Jan 2nd 2008, 04:06 PM
I've raised this topic because:
I personally know a few transsexuals, as well as a committed Christian with gender identity disorder (henceforth GID);
it is, biologically, psychologically and socially, a very complex issue.First, some definitions. By no means will they be universally accepted, but I'd prefer it if we used them to prevent confusion. Sex identifies an individual's biological characteristics — for example, chromosomes, producing gametes or sperm, breasts and skeletal structure — whereas gender refers to the social and cultural roles which individuals are expected to conform to. In general, sex determines gender, although gender roles vary widely between cultures, and some cultures recognise a "third gender".

GID is a psychological condition, possibly with a biological aetiology, whereby an individual feels uncomfortable with the gender they were brought up with. A transsexual is someone who wants to, or decides to, live as another gender; in particular, post-operative (post-op) transsexuals, who have underwent surgical and hormonal treatment to physically take on the appearance of the opposite sex. In what follows, when I refer to a transsexual, I am referring to a post-op transsexual.

Also, it is important to note that transsexuality is not the same as homosexuality, although there is inevitably some overlap.

Intersexuality is an even more complex situation. Wikipedia defines it as:

In other words, it is a biological condition which renders the question an individual's biological sex dubious. As an extreme example, someone with complete androgen insensitivity (CAIS) is externally indistinguishable from a female, but has a male karotype (i.e. is chromosomally male). In many cases of ambiguous genitalia, doctors will decide at birth what gender should be assigned.


Now, onto the question of marriage. No doubt, you have already been considering some of the unique issues involved in marital relationships for post-operative transsexual and intersexual persons, and I would like to invite comment by posing the same, clear question about both conditions. I will suggest a few answers, but you are free to ignore these; my only request is that you explain the reasoning behind your response.



What sort of marital relationships do you believe should be open to a post-operative transsexual?
They should marry a partner of the opposite sex from their pre-operative sex.
They should marry a partner of the opposite sex from their post-operative sex.
They can marry a partner of either sex.
They should not marry at all.

What sort of marital relationships do you believe should be open to an intersex individual?
They should choose a sex, and marry a partner of the opposite sex.
They should be assigned a sex at birth, and marry a partner of the opposite sex.
They should be assigned a sex (by whom?) according to their external appearance, and marry a partner of the opposite sex.
They should be assigned a sex (by whom?) according to their karotype, and marry a partner of the opposite sex.
They can marry a partner of either sex.
They should not marry at all.

Remember that the proposed answers are only suggestions, and whether or not you choose one of them, I am more interested in the reasoning behind your answers. I look forward to your responses, and hope this will be an interesting and enlightening discussion.
The GID folk... those "Christian" ones... do they figure God just messed things up?

Ecumaniac
Jan 2nd 2008, 04:16 PM
The GID folk... those "Christian" ones... do they figure God just messed things up?

It is one person. And he does not believe that God messed up; he believes that biology messed up. Just the same as it does with sickle-cell anaemia, or intersex disorders.

Please, let's focus on answering the questions I asked in the OP instead of speculating about my friend's motives or faith.

always
Jan 2nd 2008, 04:27 PM
The answer to all of your questions lie in the scripture fact that we are to worship and live in spirit and in TRUTH.

Eph. 5:9 For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth

God does not make mistakes biologically or psychologically or whatever....

until these individuals can come to terms with their true identities, marriage should be the last thing on their minds.

they would be entering any relationship with a lie

ProjectPeter
Jan 2nd 2008, 04:39 PM
It is one person. And he does not believe that God messed up; he believes that biology messed up. Just the same as it does with sickle-cell anaemia, or intersex disorders.

Please, let's focus on answering the questions I asked in the OP instead of speculating about my friend's motives or faith.
I figure there faith is in serious question... that is the point. ;)

Ecumaniac
Jan 2nd 2008, 04:56 PM
I figure there faith is in serious question... that is the point. ;)

No, his faith is not in question. I understand that you are trying to help, and it is kind of you, but I am not seeking advice for my friend. I am seeking Christian responses to two very difficult (and, needless to say, controversial) situations.

threebigrocks
Jan 2nd 2008, 04:59 PM
Well, okay, then as to your questions: the last option on both. A Godly marital relationship is between a man and a woman, just as God created them.

jesuslover1968
Jan 2nd 2008, 05:00 PM
I tend to agree with both of the above answers. It seems to me that people who don't want to face the truth, or want people to accept what is not right, they make up excuses...i.e. medically descriptive analyses of their "condition." Their condition is that they are not in the will of God.
I do not think that any of the above instances of the O.P. should marry, period. There is apparently enough confusion as it is. Why add other people to an already messed up mind?
While I understand your questions, and why you seem to be asking them, I have to wonder why it isn't already apparent. There is no truth to your hypothetical questions other than to search the Word of God and what He says about it.
Romans would be a good place to start. God Bless.

Ecumaniac
Jan 2nd 2008, 05:18 PM
God does not make mistakes biologically or psychologically or whatever.

Of course God doesn't make mistakes. But biology does. Cancer, fragile X, Down syndrome... All of these are biological mistakes. Intersex children are cases in which a child's gender is biologically indeterminate; i.e. their sex is unsure because of a biological error. It is beyond doubt that such cases happen; the question is, how do Christians come to terms with them?


until these individuals can come to terms with their true identities, marriage should be the last thing on their minds.

My questions implicitly assumed that any identity issues would be resolved in some prescribed manner; perhaps I should have been more explicit. :) Allow me to expand a little:

What is a transsexual's true identity? And what kind of relationships may they pursue once they are reconciled with it?

What is an intersex person's true identity? And what kind of relationships may they pursue once they are reconciled with it?

KATA_LOUKAN
Jan 2nd 2008, 05:31 PM
My questions implicitly assumed that any identity issues would be resolved in some prescribed manner; perhaps I should have been more explicit. :) Allow me to expand a little:

What is a transsexual's true identity? And what kind of relationships may they pursue once they are reconciled with it?

What is an intersex person's true identity? And what kind of relationships may they pursue once they are reconciled with it?

The questions you ask are very sensitive and there is no one blanket answer for them. Instead, every case must be reviewed individually.

Things like this were not a real issue when the Bible was written, so we must use our best judgment.

For me, it seems that people suffering from such a condition, depending on the level of ambiguity, should marry if they can find a loving spouse. However, for some of the more extreme conditions, it seems that people will have to patiently bear this cross.

Just like people who are born blind, handicapped, or sterile, they must prayerfully discern God's will in their lives. For whatever reason, Christ has called them to share in his suffering.

Ecumaniac
Jan 2nd 2008, 05:34 PM
While I understand your questions, and why you seem to be asking them, I have to wonder why it isn't already apparent.

In case anyone is wondering, I don't have any personal stake in this question. I don't have gender identity disorder, I'm not a transsexual and I don't have any intersex disorders (to my knowledge). I'm asking because it's an interesting and complex topic which piques my intellectual curiosity. :)

Ecumaniac
Jan 2nd 2008, 05:37 PM
Just like people who are born blind, handicapped, or sterile, they must prayerfully discern God's will in their lives.

My favourite answer so far.

threebigrocks
Jan 2nd 2008, 06:06 PM
Of course God doesn't make mistakes. But biology does. Cancer, fragile X, Down syndrome... All of these are biological mistakes. Intersex children are cases in which a child's gender is biologically indeterminate; i.e. their sex is unsure because of a biological error. It is beyond doubt that such cases happen; the question is, how do Christians come to terms with them?



My questions implicitly assumed that any identity issues would be resolved in some prescribed manner; perhaps I should have been more explicit. :) Allow me to expand a little:

What is a transsexual's true identity? And what kind of relationships may they pursue once they are reconciled with it?

What is an intersex person's true identity? And what kind of relationships may they pursue once they are reconciled with it?


Well, things happen inutero. We have conjoined twins, girls born with 4 arms and 4 legs - things happen. Yes, I know some babies are born with female inside parts and boy outside parts. No different.

The transsexual's identity is what he is born with. If a male, then they are male. If female, then female. Things with transexuals, at least as far as I understand, is that they seem to have chosen to be forced to be reconsiled to who they have made themselves. Had they remained as they were designed, there wouldn't be an issue. I think we can agree that it a fact.

Whatever life hands us, we need to seek God's will first. As your friend is a Christian as you state, that is what needed to happen. The flesh is always confusing unless we attempt to squelch it with the Spirit. The physical differences just make it more apparent, further tempting that flesh because there is something for our eye to further convince our mind.

This is no different a circumstance than someone born blind, or one who had their sight taken from them after a couple decades. No different than one born without legs, or if those legs were taken from them in a car accident. No matter what, it's our desire to be within the will of God and not against him that should come before all else.

Ecumaniac
Jan 2nd 2008, 06:51 PM
As your friend is a Christian as you state, that is what needed to happen.

Please, can we all forget about my friend! I know you are all trying to help, and I thank you for your kindness, but none of you know anything about him. If I did want to seek advice on his behalf I would speak to our chaplain, who knows him very well.

I just want to discuss the two questions I asked in the OP. Thank you very much for your response to the first one, TBR. :)

ProjectPeter
Jan 3rd 2008, 12:34 AM
No, his faith is not in question. I understand that you are trying to help, and it is kind of you, but I am not seeking advice for my friend. I am seeking Christian responses to two very difficult (and, needless to say, controversial) situations.
You got them. If he is a guy who's pretending to be a girl and being with a guy... he's a homosexual. If it is a girl then ditto. Period. That is called sin. If they practice such sin then they will not inherit the kingdom of God. Again... period.

Ecumaniac
Jan 3rd 2008, 08:46 AM
You got them. If he is a guy who's pretending to be a girl and being with a guy... he's a homosexual. If it is a girl then ditto. Period. That is called sin. If they practice such sin then they will not inherit the kingdom of God. Again... period.

So, your answer to the first question is a, correct? :)

ProjectPeter
Jan 3rd 2008, 12:42 PM
No... they shouldn't marry anyone at all until they get this cleared up. If they married just for marriage sake then it would likely fail because their heart isn't in it. What I would recommend they do firstly... repent and turn to God.

VerticalReality
Jan 3rd 2008, 01:39 PM
I think the Word makes it clear that marriage isn't for everyone anyway, so such an issue really is not what's truly important. The focus should be on a relationship with the Lord, not a relationship with another person. Some people are born eunuchs. I view some of these examples as the same thing.

threebigrocks
Jan 3rd 2008, 03:52 PM
Really, if one is so bent on being married, where is their focus? I agree the relationship is doomed on that pretext in that even between a hetrosexual man and woman it will fail. That I can attest to personally.

The fact we have the unnatural tossed in only makes it more likely it will fail.

Just to add: this topic cannot be discussed Ecumaniac if all you are looking for is a multiple choice answer. God's will for our lives can only become reality when we conform ourselves each to His image first. So, any answer out of your options is really moot unless we look at the people considering a binding covenant.

foxglove
Jan 3rd 2008, 06:32 PM
What sort of marital relationships do you believe should be open to a post-operative transsexual?
They should marry a partner of the opposite sex from their pre-operative sex.
They should marry a partner of the opposite sex from their post-operative sex.
They can marry a partner of either sex.
They should not marry at all.

I think the Christian answer would be the person could marry a partner from the sex opposite their current (post-op) sex. IE: if the person had surgery to become a man, he could marry a woman. If the person had surgery to become a woman, she could marry a man. By having the surgery, the person is saying "this is who I am, this is what I am" and correcting the body to reform it to the shape that matches the person God made him or her to be. I don't believe you are who you are based on your body; your body is just one part of you. If you believe you are a woman, you're a woman, in my book. I know I am a woman, and I have the body to match, but if I woke up tomorrow in a masculine body, I would still be a woman, and in the ideal of heterosexual marriage, could marry any man I wanted.

In my own opinion, a post-op transsexual could marry whomever they wanted. I'm not opposed to gay marriage. Personally, I wouldn't do it because I don't believe it to be right, but I'm "pro-choice" I guess - let people use their God given free will and account to Him about it. I do agree with what some others are saying, that marriage probably isn't the first thing to dwell on. Being sure of who one really is should be the first priority.


What sort of marital relationships do you believe should be open to an intersex individual?

There was a girl like this in my school. She was completely androgynous but the doctors and her parents had decided to go with the assignment of female when she was an infant, and she was raised as female. In her case, she was happy enough in the female identity and lived mostly as a tomboy girl which is luckily socially acceptable. I'd say for her, it would be ideal to marry a man. Since she is comfortable as a girl and doesn't strongly believe it to be wrong for her, I think it's fine to encourage her in her female life.

Otherwise, it's the individual's option, as above.


God does not make mistakes biologically or psychologically or whatever....

What you're saying, then, is either:

A. God is perfect, so everything He creates must be perfect; therefore, transsexuals and intersexuals are perfect in God's sight.

or

B. God is perfect, so everything He creates must be perfect according to some kind of plan. Since there are obviously some of what we perceive as imperfections in the world (cancer, mental illness, diabetes, etc) those who are afflicted are afflicted because it is God's plan for them to be, for unknown reasons. Thus, those who are transsexual or intersexual are struggling because God has a plan that calls for their struggle, even if we don't yet understand why.

or

C. God is perfect and nothing imperfect can exist in God's creation; thus, there are no such things as transsexuals and intrasexuals, or wars, or disease, or non-Christians, etc...which can't be true since we see those things always.

Right?

Personally, I'll go with answer B.


If he is a guy who's pretending to be a girl and being with a guy... he's a homosexual. If it is a girl then ditto.

We aren't talking about a man who is pretending to be a woman. We are talking about an individual who is inside of a body that, for all appearances, seems to be a man's body, but who thinks, feels and knows that she is a woman. If you know right now that you are a man, and you woke up tomorrow in a body with breasts dressed in a skirt, would you stop believing you were a man because of the body? Does the body dictate who we are, or the mind? Or, if you'd rather, does God show us who we are though the body, or through the mind? In the rare cases where the body doesn't seem to match the mind, which do we use to make the judgement as to gender or sex?

daughter
Jan 3rd 2008, 07:21 PM
There was a girl like this in my school. She was completely androgynous but the doctors and her parents had decided to go with the assignment of female when she was an infant, and she was raised as female. In her case, she was happy enough in the female identity and lived mostly as a tomboy girl which is luckily socially acceptable. I'd say for her, it would be ideal to marry a man. Since she is comfortable as a girl and doesn't strongly believe it to be wrong for her, I think it's fine to encourage her in her female life.


This young woman is in a different situation from someone who was born completely male in a biological sense. It turns out that the doctors made the right fifty fifty call.

However, my friend who was born male, had the op to go female, is now deeply regretting the fact that nobody helped him/her understand what she was getting into when she had her op. And one of her friends sadly commited suicide four years after the op, when "she" fell in love with a woman, and realised that "she" could never have a familiy or a future with a woman.

The modern psychiatric machine won't explain to people that feelings of being transgendered can be sociologically or psychologically driven, and are not always to do with hormones. And the fallout isn't described. It's tragic, and I pray for those brave enough to speak out.

threebigrocks
Jan 3rd 2008, 07:30 PM
B. God is perfect, so everything He creates must be perfect according to some kind of plan. Since there are obviously some of what we perceive as imperfections in the world (cancer, mental illness, diabetes, etc) those who are afflicted are afflicted because it is God's plan for them to be, for unknown reasons. Thus, those who are transsexual or intersexual are struggling because God has a plan that calls for their struggle, even if we don't yet understand why.

So, because we don't understand God's plan, it's okay to take the design He laid out for mankind physiclaly and take it to our own sense of what's right and wrong even if it goes against scripture?

What about those who struggle through hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters? Should they take it that since we don't understand God in those circumstances, which can be just as devistating as physical strife, that they give up on walking with Christ?

My understanding is that at all times, no matter what happens in this world around me, this life is temporary and nothing excuses me from walking outside of the will of God. One day we will understand why, but then it's too late to change.

KATA_LOUKAN
Jan 3rd 2008, 07:43 PM
So, because we don't understand God's plan, it's okay to take the design He laid out for mankind physiclaly and take it to our own sense of what's right and wrong even if it goes against scripture?

Are you referring to those who are biologically male or female, but choose to be the other sex? I think it would be quite reasonable for a person who was assigned a sex at birth by a doctor to marry.

threebigrocks
Jan 3rd 2008, 08:19 PM
Are you referring to those who are biologically male or female, but choose to be the other sex? I think it would be quite reasonable for a person who was assigned a sex at birth by a doctor to marry.

Yes KL :), those who are a guy or a gal until they decide otherwise as an adult for themselves.

Those who are born, as the girl that foxglove described, would be of a different thing alltogether. They had no choice. YET, they may still have struggles and come up against adversity and as a Christian they will still need to do what is right in God's eyes.

Studyin'2Show
Jan 3rd 2008, 09:01 PM
I don't believe you are who you are based on your body; your body is just one part of you. If you believe you are a woman, you're a woman, in my book.So, if someone believes they are a dog, they are a dog? You are what you think you are? That doesn't make sense. If I think I am 6 foot instead of 5'4'', do I get taller? Reality is not based on what I think; it's based on what IS! Those who deal with these psychological issues should do as many here have said, figure out who they are IN REALITY. Then once they come to grips with the truth, the REAL truth, they can consider marriage.

God Bless!

Ecumaniac
Jan 3rd 2008, 09:02 PM
Just to add: this topic cannot be discussed Ecumaniac if all you are looking for is a multiple choice answer.

I'm certainly not seeking a multiple choice answer; the options I've provided are merely suggestions, not prescriptions. :)

foxglove
Jan 4th 2008, 03:50 AM
This young woman is in a different situation from someone who was born completely male in a biological sense. It turns out that the doctors made the right fifty fifty call.

However, my friend who was born male, had the op to go female, is now deeply regretting the fact that nobody helped him/her understand what she was getting into when she had her op. And one of her friends sadly commited suicide four years after the op, when "she" fell in love with a woman, and realised that "she" could never have a familiy or a future with a woman.

The modern psychiatric machine won't explain to people that feelings of being transgendered can be sociologically or psychologically driven, and are not always to do with hormones. And the fallout isn't described. It's tragic, and I pray for those brave enough to speak out.

Yes, the girl I knew at school was, I believe, what would be referred to as intersex, not transgendered. I do also know a transgendered individual, who was born in a man's body but believes she is a woman. It's a different situation to the girl.

I definitely agree that there needs to be much more education and awareness about the issues associated with transgender feelings and especially the surgery. I'd like to see those who seek reassignment surgery required to undergo some counselling for a few months before the procedure, not because I believe they are crazy, but because it's such a huge step and also because I agree with what you said about personal issues and social or psychological reasons for feeling out of sorts with one's body. For instance, a close friend of mine who is a cross-dresser and a homosexual feels more comfortable in women's clothes. There is a reason for this - it has to do with abuse he faced from his father and from being raised most of his life by a mother with extremely negative views of men. I would hate to see him try to become a woman in order to match up with his desire to wear skirts and heels. I don't think he's a woman, he's a man who feels most comfortable with embellished femininity because of his experiences.

You are right, there does need to be more discussion so people can realise their perspective is affected by the world they live in.


So, because we don't understand God's plan, it's okay to take the design He laid out for mankind physiclaly and take it to our own sense of what's right and wrong even if it goes against scripture?

How is being transgendered going against scripture? The individuals concerned aren't pretending to be someone else or lying about their identity; they are speaking out about the problem where their feelings and understandings of themselves don't match the body their given. It's a different issue than someone trying to disguise or manipulate their true identity. They are saying this is their identity, and unfortunately it doesn't appear to match the body.


What about those who struggle through hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters? Should they take it that since we don't understand God in those circumstances, which can be just as devistating as physical strife, that they give up on walking with Christ?

Who said anything about giving up on Christ? My comments did not mention maintaining or losing religious faith based on what an individual goes through.

Since we don't understand it, I think it actually requires religious faith to struggle through issues like gender identity problems or tsunamis. I don't know why believing it was God's plan and not random and pointless would make anyone want to give up on their faith. I'd be more inclined to think you would cling to the faith if you felt it was for a purpose. How did you come to that conclusion?


My understanding is that at all times, no matter what happens in this world around me, this life is temporary and nothing excuses me from walking outside of the will of God. One day we will understand why, but then it's too late to change.

I think we are in agreement then. I'm not suggesting anyone walk outside the will of God. I don't see being transgendered as walking outside the will of God.


So, if someone believes they are a dog, they are a dog? You are what you think you are? That doesn't make sense. If I think I am 6 foot instead of 5'4'', do I get taller? Reality is not based on what I think; it's based on what IS! Those who deal with these psychological issues should do as many here have said, figure out who they are IN REALITY. Then once they come to grips with the truth, the REAL truth, they can consider marriage.

I am not talking about a brief psychotic episode when one hallucinates about their true identity, such as issues with lycanthropy or therianthropy. I am referring to individuals who go through their entires lives or the majority of their lifespan believing - knowing, as surely as they know they breath oxygen and see the sunshine - that they are male or female in spite of the fact that their physical body does not match that. You would have to look at each individual concerned case by case to determine whether the majority of transgendered people are thinking correctly about themselves or not. I tend to believe some but not all of those who strongly believe they are in the wrong body and are willing to take desperate measures to change it are probably perfectly aware of the reality of their condition. For some, the concern probably isn't real and they are struggling with society's interpretation of their gender, or problems in their past that they think would be resolved by being the opposite sex.

In short, I think sometimes the real truth is exactly what they are saying, that who they are does not fit within the sex identity of their physical body.

I do think marriage should be delayed until a person understands themselves to a certain degree. I think that for all people, irregardless of their sex or gender, or any problems with those issues.

threebigrocks
Jan 4th 2008, 04:06 AM
In short, I think sometimes the real truth is exactly what they are saying, that who they are does not fit within the sex identity of their physical body.

Well, according to the OP, we are talking about one who is a Christian. So, their identity is in Christ. Why would someone who is a Christian question the way their God made them if they have crucified self?

Can you show where there is scriptural support to show that physically we change ourselves?

foxglove
Jan 4th 2008, 04:39 AM
Well, according to the OP, we are talking about one who is a Christian. So, their identity is in Christ. Why would someone who is a Christian question the way their God made them if they have crucified self?

Why does being transgendered automatically have to imply questioning the way God has made one? It is a statement that the body in this case is not reflecting what the person desires it to reflect and changing it to make it more in line with the perception a person has of themselves. People do it all the time. For instance, I am a natural blonde. Without questioning why God made me with blonde hair, I can and do still feel I look prettier as a brunette because of my colouring. I don't think God mistakenly made me blonde or has done me some disservice, it's just that I think brunette is more relevant to who I am and what I want to be. Obviously, this is a smaller issue than transgender, which involves surgery and is more permanent than hair dye, and also provokes more scruntiny from society, but it's the same idea.


Can you show where there is scriptural support to show that physically we change ourselves?

I don't think specifics about this concern are to be found in the Bible, because as far as I know, the Bible does not address topics about changing one's physical appearance beyond advocating modesty of dress, but if you believe changing the physical body is wrong, I have to wonder what you think of things like ear piercing, replacing a lost limb with a prosthetic device or undergoing plastic surgery to repair damages caused by an automobile crash. These are all examples of physical change, none of which I believe wrong or converse to the Bible.

NHL Fever
Jan 4th 2008, 06:22 AM
If somebody has the same chromosomes as internal and external genitalia, then I agree its a pretty open and shut case. The following refers only to intersex states.


Well, according to the OP, we are talking about one who is a Christian. So, their identity is in Christ. Why would someone who is a Christian question the way their God made them if they have crucified self?

Can you show where there is scriptural support to show that physically we change ourselves?

Do you cut your hair or nails? Is that because you question the way God made you?

I think you may be really missing the issue here. There are for real, people simply born with the opposite genitalia as their chromosomes would suggest. This is not their choice, nor some invention of the liberal media, its a fact of life for some people. These people may not question God at all, nor have any desire to simply be unto their own devices. They may full well want God's will for their life. But its overly simplistic and even hurtful to simply tell them to 'do God's will' - as if the choice is obvious. Its not, even for the most committed Christian.

Lets bring it down to real life. Put yourself in that situation. You're an individual with XX chromosomes and all the hormonal compliment of a woman, but you have a penis instead of a vagina. Who do you marry?


So, if someone believes they are a dog, they are a dog? You are what you think you are? That doesn't make sense. If I think I am 6 foot instead of 5'4'', do I get taller? Reality is not based on what I think; it's based on what IS! Those who deal with these psychological issues should do as many here have said, figure out who they are IN REALITY. Then once they come to grips with the truth, the REAL truth, they can consider marriage.

God Bless!

So what is the real truth for the person with the opposite genitals as their chromosomes? If it was you, how would you find it?


No... they shouldn't marry anyone at all until they get this cleared up. If they married just for marriage sake then it would likely fail because their heart isn't in it. What I would recommend they do firstly... repent and turn to God.

What are they repenting of?



There seems to be an assumption here that intersex states have something to do with an individual deciding to reject God's will and change their sex because they are perverted or rebellious in some way. Intersex states is not that at all - its people born from the womb with either a combination of both genitalia, or differing external genitalia from them chromosomes and/or hormonal compliment. This is a way more complex and different issue than some dude who wants to become a woman, its not even the same league. Rapid judgment without knowledge in these cases is the surest way to get a poor outcome spiritually and emotionally for these people.

Studyin'2Show
Jan 4th 2008, 12:21 PM
Do you cut your hair or nails? Is that because you question the way God made you?

I think you may be really missing the issue here. There are for real, people simply born with the opposite genitalia as their chromosomes would suggest. This is not their choice, nor some invention of the liberal media, its a fact of life for some people. These people may not question God at all, nor have any desire to simply be unto their own devices. They may full well want God's will for their life. But its overly simplistic and even hurtful to simply tell them to 'do God's will' - as if the choice is obvious. Its not, even for the most committed Christian.

So what is the real truth for the person with the opposite genitals as their chromosomes? If it was you, how would you find it?
I think we all know we're talking about quite a bit more than just cutting your nails. :rolleyes: No, I don't believe 3BR is missing the point. I'd hope no one here is trivializing this issue, and BTW, I have FIRST HAND experience with gender issues so it is not my intention to demonize the situation. However, I know if I had fallen for the politically correct nonsense about my situation, I would have missed out on SO MUCH that God had planned for me.

So, here's my take on the whole hormone/chromosome issue. First, let me just remind you that having male chromosomes does not mean that you can not be attracted to males nor does having female chromosomes mean you can not be attracted to females. IMO, if a person has the functional reproductive organs of a female only, they are a female; and likewise for one with male organs only, no matter what chromosomes or hormones they have. The Bible tells Adam and his descendants to be fruitful and multiply. That will not happen if they choose to replace the functional reproductive organs they have been born with. A diabetic does not properly produce the correct amounts of insulin so they are prescribed insulin. If their bodies are not producing the proper amounts of hormones, they can take the proper hormones. There are new procedures that are working on making chromosome therapy available. Fix the real problem, don't create a new one. Each of us has own cross to bear. Some seem more to bear than others.

God Bless!

Ecumaniac
Jan 4th 2008, 01:24 PM
IMO, if a person has the functional reproductive organs of a female only, they are a female; and likewise for one with male organs only, no matter what chromosomes or hormones they have.

At this point, it might be instructive to describe the condition known as androgen insensitivity syndrome, or AIS. During the early stages of development, the foetus is neither male nor female; only its karotype (chromosomes) indicates sex. By default, the foetus would become female. The main instigators of sex differentiation are androgens: if androgens are produced and the body responds, the foetus will become male.

In AIS, the foetus has a male (XY) karotype; however, its tissues respond less than they should to androgens. This results in children with varying degrees of femininity (and often sterility), ranging from an abnormally small penis and undescended testes through to the development of a vagina. In its most complete form (CAIS) the individual will appear entirely female, having breasts and a (possibly underdeveloped) vagina, and will generally identify more strongly as a woman than as a man. However, they do not menstruate, do not have a womb, and possess internal testes instead of ovaries. Generally, it will not be discovered until puberty, when the parents or doctor wonder why their child has not started menstruating.

In other words, at one end of the spectrum, we have individuals who look, think and are raised as female (indeed, some literature describes them as "voluptuously female"), but who have a male karotype, testicles instead of ovaries, and an incomplete female reproductive system. Between this and normal male development are varying degrees of ambiguity, depending upon the degree of androgen insensitivity; some children with PAIS (i.e. partial AIS) are raised as male, despite marked female characteristics, and others are raised as female, despite obvious male characteristics.

I throw this into the mix to demonstrate that using karotype, physical appearance or genitalia as indicators of sex is not an exact science. With that, I'll leave what is becoming an interesting dialogue to continue. :)

ProjectPeter
Jan 4th 2008, 01:44 PM
What are they repenting of?



There seems to be an assumption here that intersex states have something to do with an individual deciding to reject God's will and change their sex because they are perverted or rebellious in some way. Intersex states is not that at all - its people born from the womb with either a combination of both genitalia, or differing external genitalia from them chromosomes and/or hormonal compliment. This is a way more complex and different issue than some dude who wants to become a woman, its not even the same league. Rapid judgment without knowledge in these cases is the surest way to get a poor outcome spiritually and emotionally for these people.Well actually we're talking several different folk with the various problems. If you have someone born with both organs then it certainly complicates matters. But I don't buy the "hormonal" thing at all. While they may well have an imbalance there ... there are drugs that can deal with that issue. But even with both genitals... I have known 2 people with that issue in my lifetime and one could look at them and tell what their sex was intended to be. Today, with surgery, that can be remedied. Once upon a time that would have been a tough thing I figure... but now it can be fixed. Actually I just saw a documentary on television about that very thing. The medical procedure apparently works very well.

threebigrocks
Jan 4th 2008, 02:54 PM
Okay, I am not speaking of those who are born with both sets of genitalia. That is beyond our ability to control and really is a nonissue. As PP said, with surgery (I've seen a documentary also, a while back) and horomone treatment as necessary that is reconcilable.

With the guy with a false leg or arm or eye or whatever - I doubt that they got up one day and said "I can do without my my right leg. Been thinking about it for a while and yeah - I'm going to have it removed. Doesn't really reflect what I truly am." No doctor in their right mind is going to cut off a perfectly good body part because someone thinks they were really only meant to have one leg or arm or whatever. Those who were in accidents or born that way had no more a choice in the matter than the person born with male and female genetalia.

Getting my ears pierced doesn't change my physical nature. Trimming my nails or getting a haircut is just taking care of what God gave me, part of personal grooming. I've seen my daughter again a sassy attitude with a new haircut :rolleyes: but she's still the same person.

God made us male and female in His image (again not talking about those born with both genders!), and that's that. I don't remember anything from Genesis that says that if you don't like it, there is another option to make yourself what you want to be. If a person doesn't like themselves, then they are being relative as to who they are or ought to be to themselves, another person or the world.

Ecumaniac
Jan 4th 2008, 03:41 PM
But I don't buy the "hormonal" thing at all.

I'm really sorry, but I confess that I don't know what you are referring to here. Could you elaborate a little?


I have known 2 people with that issue in my lifetime and one could look at them and tell what their sex was intended to be.

Thank you for brining this up, Peter. It is a common misconception that it is always possible to decide, based on appearance, what someone's sex should be. Please, however, look above at the AIS example! In these cases, it can be very difficult to know their "intended" sex. Remember that your guess might be different from someone else's guess, or even from what they themselves believe their sex to be. Which leads on to another aspect of the discussion — surgical assignment:


Actually I just saw a documentary on television about that very thing. The medical procedure apparently works very well.

I know of cases in which surgeons "corrected" an individual with ambiguous sex in this way, but in later life the person grew up feeling that they did not identify with their assigned sex and gender. Remember that babies do not show extreme sexual dimorphism, so if the genitalia are ambiguous it's a very tough call. Also remember that people make mistakes. So when such liberties are taken, there is often the question: could the surgeon have got the sex wrong? And what does that mean for the person affected?

These are very difficult questions, and I don't expect anyone to have an easy time answering them; that said, I admire the brave attempts being made to examine the issues, and hope to see more.

Studyin'2Show
Jan 4th 2008, 03:44 PM
At this point, it might be instructive to describe the condition known as androgen insensitivity syndrome, or AIS. During the early stages of development, the foetus is neither male nor female; only its karotype (chromosomes) indicates sex. By default, the foetus would become female. The main instigators of sex differentiation are androgens: if androgens are produced and the body responds, the foetus will become male.

In AIS, the foetus has a male (XY) karotype; however, its tissues respond less than they should to androgens. This results in children with varying degrees of femininity (and often sterility), ranging from an abnormally small penis and undescended testes through to the development of a vagina. In its most complete form (CAIS) the individual will appear entirely female, having breasts and a (possibly underdeveloped) vagina, and will generally identify more strongly as a woman than as a man. However, they do not menstruate, do not have a womb, and possess internal testes instead of ovaries. Generally, it will not be discovered until puberty, when the parents or doctor wonder why their child has not started menstruating.

In other words, at one end of the spectrum, we have individuals who look, think and are raised as female (indeed, some literature describes them as "voluptuously female"), but who have a male karotype, testicles instead of ovaries, and an incomplete female reproductive system. Between this and normal male development are varying degrees of ambiguity, depending upon the degree of androgen insensitivity; some children with PAIS (i.e. partial AIS) are raised as male, despite marked female characteristics, and others are raised as female, despite obvious male characteristics.

I throw this into the mix to demonstrate that using karotype, physical appearance or genitalia as indicators of sex is not an exact science. With that, I'll leave what is becoming an interesting dialogue to continue. :)I SPECIFICALLY said in my response to NHL, that I was referring to those with 'functional' reproductive organs. That does not include these examples you've listed. These may indeed have a very heavy cross to bear but the answer is not playing 'Let's Make a Deal' with their sexual organs.

Ecumaniac
Jan 4th 2008, 03:59 PM
I SPECIFICALLY said in my response to NHL, that I was referring to those with 'functional' reproductive organs.

I know you were; that is why I wanted to broaden the discussion. I have enjoyed your commentary, and look forward to seeing how you — and others — address these more difficult examples.

NHL Fever
Jan 4th 2008, 04:15 PM
I SPECIFICALLY said in my response to NHL, that I was referring to those with 'functional' reproductive organs. That does not include these examples you've listed. These may indeed have a very heavy cross to bear but the answer is not playing 'Let's Make a Deal' with their sexual organs.

So in what cases of opposite chromosomes from genitalia, are those genitalia functional for fertility or otherwise? Do you understand from a physiologic and genetic point of view what is going on here?

For those without functional organs, you're saying they should just bear the cross of not knowing their gender and not marry?

NHL Fever
Jan 4th 2008, 04:22 PM
Well actually we're talking several different folk with the various problems. If you have someone born with both organs then it certainly complicates matters. But I don't buy the "hormonal" thing at all. While they may well have an imbalance there ... there are drugs that can deal with that issue. But even with both genitals... I have known 2 people with that issue in my lifetime and one could look at them and tell what their sex was intended to be. Today, with surgery, that can be remedied. Once upon a time that would have been a tough thing I figure... but now it can be fixed. Actually I just saw a documentary on television about that very thing. The medical procedure apparently works very well.

So if I understand you, you're suggesting that if you can look at somebody and tell what their sex was intended to be, then it would be appropriate for those people to undergo surgery to reconcile their genitalia with their apparent sex? (their chromosomes would correspond to the apparent sex most of the time, since they are responsible for the hormone levels which create the general appearance of a man or woman)

We can adjust hormones, but its not always healthy or pretty. If moral decisions can be arrived at regardless of the present state of society (absolute morals), then perhaps the question is what would Paul the apostle have done if he ran into this situation?

ProjectPeter
Jan 4th 2008, 05:49 PM
So in what cases of opposite chromosomes from genitalia, are those genitalia functional for fertility or otherwise? Do you understand from a physiologic and genetic point of view what is going on here?

For those without functional organs, you're saying they should just bear the cross of not knowing their gender and not marry?If they don't have functional organs... why get married?

ProjectPeter
Jan 4th 2008, 05:52 PM
So if I understand you, you're suggesting that if you can look at somebody and tell what their sex was intended to be, then it would be appropriate for those people to undergo surgery to reconcile their genitalia with their apparent sex? (their chromosomes would correspond to the apparent sex most of the time, since they are responsible for the hormone levels which create the general appearance of a man or woman)Works for me.


We can adjust hormones, but its not always healthy or pretty. If moral decisions can be arrived at regardless of the present state of society (absolute morals), then perhaps the question is what would Paul the apostle have done if he ran into this situation?No clue... he didn't write about it so who knows... I could only guess.

Ecumaniac
Jan 4th 2008, 06:38 PM
If they don't have functional organs... why get married?

Because they share love for another which mirrors Christ's love for his church?


"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." — Ephesians 5:21

Studyin'2Show
Jan 4th 2008, 06:54 PM
So in what cases of opposite chromosomes from genitalia, are those genitalia functional for fertility or otherwise? Do you understand from a physiologic and genetic point of view what is going on here?

For those without functional organs, you're saying they should just bear the cross of not knowing their gender and not marry?If one is physically a boy, then they are a boy no matter the chromosomes and the same for those physically a girl. And, yes, I am able to following along. ;) These are not simple cut and dried issues nor are the solutions simple ones. Here's where I see part of the problem. If a baby is born with small under-developed male genitals along with female genitals, the doctors would usually recommend to the parents that the outside set be removed and the child raised as a girl. This may not be the proper change. It makes much more sense, IMO, to wait until puberty and early adulthood before sexuality, in this case, is explored. Sex is not a requirement for survival. It's the whole "40 yr old virgin" mentality where people think you have to have sex. There are unmarried people that have NEVER had sex and yet live happy lives. It is society makes people feel like there's something wrong with them for NOT being sexual.

Studyin'2Show
Jan 4th 2008, 07:00 PM
Because they share love for another which mirrors Christ's love for his church?Christ did not have sex so why the need to force it? They can live and love immensely without ever getting married and having sex. ;)

Ecumaniac
Jan 4th 2008, 07:46 PM
Christ did not have sex so why the need to force it? They can live and love immensely without ever getting married and having sex. ;)

But what if they want to have sex? Fortunately, Paul has an answer to this as well:


"Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion." — 1 Corinthians 7:8–9Which is another reason someone without "functional organs" might want to get married. (By "functional," I assume that Peter means "reproductively capable".)

NHL Fever
Jan 4th 2008, 11:40 PM
If they don't have functional organs... why get married?

I think there's more to marriage than copulating. I least I'm hoping so because eventually in many ;) years the old system is bound to slow down! lol If functionality was the point, then should somebody not get married if they're had a vasectomy or bilateral tubal ligation or hysterectomy? Of perhaps everyone should get a urologic or gynecologic investigation to determine fertility before being married?

NHL Fever
Jan 4th 2008, 11:52 PM
If one is physically a boy, then they are a boy no matter the chromosomes and the same for those physically a girl. And, yes, I am able to following along. ;) These are not simple cut and dried issues nor are the solutions simple ones. Here's where I see part of the problem. If a baby is born with small under-developed male genitals along with female genitals, the doctors would usually recommend to the parents that the outside set be removed and the child raised as a girl. This may not be the proper change. It makes much more sense, IMO, to wait until puberty and early adulthood before sexuality, in this case, is explored. Sex is not a requirement for survival. It's the whole "40 yr old virgin" mentality where people think you have to have sex. There are unmarried people that have NEVER had sex and yet live happy lives. It is society makes people feel like there's something wrong with them for NOT being sexual.

In your previous post you gave your opinion regarding what those with the opposite, but functional, genitalia should do:

I SPECIFICALLY said in my response to NHL, that I was referring to those with 'functional' reproductive organs.
From that I infer that you believe you are aware of the different (many) intersex anomalies and their potential for fertility to make that claim. So share with us - in what conditions does that happen? Or to rephrase, what makes you think any case of the wrong sexual organs would produce fertility?

The questions is still open about what should those with the non-functional intersex states do. I'm curious what would you do in that situation, or what would you do with your child if they were born that way?

Everybody is sexual, sexuality is part of being human. If we didn't have it innately, we would not reproduce. Whether a person has intercourse in their lifetime is a different matter yes. I agree some people can and will bear the burden of being celibate. The question is, does being born with an intersex state automatically mean that such a person should be celibate? Is it possible they can be married, and if so, to who?

Urology is what I'm training in and studying since I got my MD. Intersex states falls within that realm. We had a guest speaker a few weeks ago who specializes in pediatric surgery for intersex states. He talked about the very point you bring up - whether to wait until later to let the person make that decision for themselves. He pointed out that we don't just let our children make profound decisions like that in any other facet of life at young ages, we mostly just make them for them. Do you hold off letting your kids decide other issues until they are older like whether to be an atheist or whether to be nice or anti-social? No, you actively intervene and try to shape them with their best interests at heart. He also said that in his experience, waiting has never worked out well. Most of the time the child just grows up rejected by their peers and with extreme emotional disturbance (what bathroom to use, comments in the locker room, unsure of which gender group to associate with, feeling of alienation), and that the suicide rate is almost 100%. You have to imagine if you child had to use the locker room and be made fun of by friends, or have the school call and demand why they do use their 'proper' bathroom. Is confusion and hurt for a lifetime, and this is the reality for the very real examples of people who live like that, contrary to our assumptions about how those people probably would be.

When Paul talks about being celibate, he does not proclaim that some are destined to be celibate and they should just be celibate, and some are destined to marry and cannot escape that without being disobedient. Instead he states that being celibate is good, but if you burn, get married. While he appears to praise celibacy as better than marriage, he does not identify marriage as sinful or wrong, and he applies it generally. So for intersex people, we are making a big claim from purely our own understanding, to assume their destiny is celibacy, and that otherwise might be denying their 'burden'.

Because this subject is attached to my field of study, I've definitely agonized over these questions a good deal. Its humbling to realize that the worlds experts on it do not have a good answer. There may be no way for us to know on a moral basis what the right choice is. We may have to simply accept that we can't figure out the right moral choice, despite how we've all been brought up to believe we can figure out the right judgment in almost any situation based on the bible and some good 'common sense' or other feel-good type of reasoning. Anyway I'm glad this discussion comes up because its one of the most intriguing and confusion things that challenges spiritual beliefs are gender roles at their core, and about our ability to deal with what we don't understand in a Christlike manner.

Studyin'2Show
Jan 5th 2008, 03:43 AM
NHL, I believe everyone has made it clear that those with BOTH are a completely different issue. If someone is born with a third arm I don't think anyone has a problem with them having an operation to remove it. If someone is born with only one arm, I don't think anyone has a problem with the missing arm being reconstructed if that were possible. Ultimately, these issues will be carefully decided by those who are living with them. There have not always been options for this, so yes, it is a difficult thing to bear. Just as in the past being born, for example, without arms and legs, they may have been bound to a life without marriage. So, let's all agree that in the case of those with both, operations seem to be the most logical option.

However, IMO, biblically those with only one, either male or female, are different. We're not talking about a deformity that needs to be corrected. They are men or they are women and to change that is an unnecessary medical risk that need not be taken.

God Bless!

NHL Fever
Jan 5th 2008, 04:40 AM
NHL, I believe everyone has made it clear that those with BOTH are a completely different issue.


My above post is not about those with both, but rather those with the opposite genitalia of their chromosomes and appearance.

With respect, you're not understanding the situation, because several different ones have been described and its confusing things. Intersex does not mean those with both genitalia. You seem to be either thinking of:
a) person appears male, has penis, but has XX chromosomes (what you would call 'born a boy')
b) person has both sets of genitalia, but otherwise clearly resembles a boy or a girl, or clearly has one type of dominant genitalia, regardless of chromosome compliment

You may be making the false assumption that the external genitalia will always correspond to the general appearance of the person, regardless of the chromosomes. This is not always the case, and that's the situation I'm trying to describe to you; I'll set it out as clear as I can. The person I'm thinking of has (not a person known to me but these cases exist):
- person has no external female reproductive organs
- person has a penis
- person is XX
- person generally resembles a female (because the XX gives you the female hormone levels, which is the cause of looking like a female in terms of body shape, height, and fat distribution), and has breasts because of the hormones they get from being XX
- this person, with clothes on just on the street, would be identified by anybody as female by general appearance
- the female hormone levels, because of being XX, cause them to behave and feel like a female

To bring it closer to home, this person is essentially you right now in every way except one. Imagine yourself right now, just as you relate to the world and to genders based on your hormones and physiology, but now you have the male organ instead. What would you do? (put yourself in the situation of an unmarried person) Everything that makes you a woman (sorry I can't remember but I'm pretty sure you're female) right now is the same, except you have 1lb of extra flesh on your body. What are you?

Please answer the previous question about which opposite-genitalia individuals are functionally fertile as you eluded to before:

That will not happen if they choose to replace the functional reproductive organs they have been born with.
If you understand the situation we're talking about, then enlighten me about who are these individuals with functional organs but the opposite chromosomes?

ProjectPeter
Jan 5th 2008, 02:32 PM
My above post is not about those with both, but rather those with the opposite genitalia of their chromosomes and appearance.

With respect, you're not understanding the situation, because several different ones have been described and its confusing things. Intersex does not mean those with both genitalia. You seem to be either thinking of:
a) person appears male, has penis, but has XX chromosomes (what you would call 'born a boy')
b) person has both sets of genitalia, but otherwise clearly resembles a boy or a girl, or clearly has one type of dominant genitalia, regardless of chromosome compliment

You may be making the false assumption that the external genitalia will always correspond to the general appearance of the person, regardless of the chromosomes. This is not always the case, and that's the situation I'm trying to describe to you; I'll set it out as clear as I can. The person I'm thinking of has (not a person known to me but these cases exist):
- person has no external female reproductive organs
- person has a penis
- person is XX
- person generally resembles a female (because the XX gives you the female hormone levels, which is the cause of looking like a female in terms of body shape, height, and fat distribution), and has breasts because of the hormones they get from being XX
- this person, with clothes on just on the street, would be identified by anybody as female by general appearance
- the female hormone levels, because of being XX, cause them to behave and feel like a female

To bring it closer to home, this person is essentially you right now in every way except one. Imagine yourself right now, just as you relate to the world and to genders based on your hormones and physiology, but now you have the male organ instead. What would you do? (put yourself in the situation of an unmarried person) Everything that makes you a woman (sorry I can't remember but I'm pretty sure you're female) right now is the same, except you have 1lb of extra flesh on your body. What are you?

Please answer the previous question about which opposite-genitalia individuals are functionally fertile as you eluded to before:

If you understand the situation we're talking about, then enlighten me about who are these individuals with functional organs but the opposite chromosomes?If that does exist at all then I assume the cases would be EXTREMELY rare.

Studyin'2Show
Jan 5th 2008, 03:17 PM
NHL, as you stated, the person would appear to be female because of high hormone levels, correct? So, wouldn't an aggressive hormone replacement treatment be much safer than removing their male genitalia and constructing female genitalia? Even in this day and age of advanced medicine any time you go under the knife; you are taking a risk. The OP sort of lumped ALL gender issues together and they simply are not all the same.

foxglove
Jan 5th 2008, 04:16 PM
If they don't have functional organs... why get married?

Maybe because there is more to marriage than mere copulation, or so I'd like to assume. :lol:

Ecumaniac
Jan 5th 2008, 04:29 PM
The OP sort of lumped ALL gender issues together and they simply are not all the same.

As clarification, I did this because:

I wanted to discuss gender issues in general;
there are many parallels to explore which may yield general principles under the pressure of thoughtful analysis; and
I didn't particularly want to start a dozen threads with titles like, "5-alpha reductase deficiency and marriage," "Congenital adrenal hyperplasia and marriage" etc. ;)

ProjectPeter
Jan 5th 2008, 05:06 PM
Maybe because there is more to marriage than mere copulation, or so I'd like to assume. :lol:
Certainly there is... but then, even BIBLICALLY, that is a HUGE part of marriage. One can even say that it is reason enough to get married.

Ecumaniac
Jan 5th 2008, 05:18 PM
If that does exist at all then I assume the cases would be EXTREMELY rare.

That may be so, but it is cold comfort to someone so afflicted.

The general prevalence of intersex conditions, using rigorous criteria (if you recall from my introduction in the first post, this means cases where the karotype is inconsistent with phenotypic sex, or the phenotypic sex is unclassifiable), is slightly more than one in every 5,600 births (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12476264?dopt=Abstract).

KATA_LOUKAN
Jan 5th 2008, 05:22 PM
Maybe because there is more to marriage than mere copulation, or so I'd like to assume. :lol:

But marriage is specifically an outlet for sex. That's not to say that sex is all there is in marriage (no way). but if you cant have sex, or have deformed organs (like what is being described), why get married?

you can have the same level of love outside of marriage and in it. some non-married individuals have extremely high levels of love in their lives (moreso than some married couples). Sex is really the only thing that changes once you get married.



So I think that most people agree that those who have functioning organs can and should get married in accord with their reproductive anatomy. Furthermore, sterile people should marry. But we run in a problem when we think (however clinically diagnosed-ly) that because we are a "woman in a man's body" or whatever, that we should be able to determine our sex.

Such a case falls under the umbrella of mental illess. If someone can cure it, then great! But if not, then the afflicted must ask God's help. Same thing with homosexuality.

Ecumaniac
Jan 5th 2008, 05:25 PM
Certainly there is... but then, even BIBLICALLY, that is a HUGE part of marriage. One can even say that it is reason enough to get married.

I think I have already answered that. If a Christian couple wants to express love to one another for the rest of their lives in a manner reflecting Christ's love for His church, and would quite like to engage in sexual activity, most people would consider this reason enough for them to get married. What I am asking is, what restrictions or proscriptions (if any) should apply where one of the partners is intersex?

Ecumaniac
Jan 5th 2008, 05:52 PM
but if you cant have sex, or have deformed organs (like what is being described), why get married?

I don't want to be too graphic, but there is more to a sex life than vaginal intercourse. Deformed organs do not preclude the possibility of sexual pleasure, nor the joy of giving it.


So I think that most people agree that those who have functioning organs can and should get married in accord with their reproductive anatomy. Furthermore, sterile people should marry. But we run in a problem when we think (however clinically diagnosed-ly) that because we are a "woman in a man's body" or whatever, that we should be able to determine our sex.

Such a case falls under the umbrella of mental illess. If someone can cure it, then great! But if not, then the afflicted must ask God's help. Same thing with homosexuality.

I'm unclear if you are referring to transsexualism, intersex or both here?

Ecumaniac
Jan 5th 2008, 05:55 PM
NHL, as you stated, the person would appear to be female because of high hormone levels, correct? So, wouldn't an aggressive hormone replacement treatment be much safer than removing their male genitalia and constructing female genitalia? Even in this day and age of advanced medicine any time you go under the knife; you are taking a risk.

Back to the OP, however: what sort of marriage life should such a person look forward to? Should they date men, women or both? Do they need to decide what gender role they want to adopt, and how should they make this determination? These questions lie at the heart of the intersex problem, from a Christian perspective.

NHL Fever
Jan 5th 2008, 07:58 PM
NHL, as you stated, the person would appear to be female because of high hormone levels, correct? So, wouldn't an aggressive hormone replacement treatment be much safer than removing their male genitalia and constructing female genitalia? Even in this day and age of advanced medicine any time you go under the knife; you are taking a risk. The OP sort of lumped ALL gender issues together and they simply are not all the same.

Well and that's the whole question isn't it? What exactly makes us male or female?

For that XX individual, they do not look like a woman because of high hormones levels in general, they look like that because of high estrogens and progesterones specifically, because they have ovaries pumping it out. And they have low levels of androgens, the hormones that are responsible for male shape/weight/mood tendency development. You would have to find a way to both suppress the female hormones and supplement the male ones. The changes that would occur would almost certianly be very unappealing and have all kinds of side effects. Its not simple at all. You're taking a woman by all acounts medically, and trying to make them a man with drugs.

I see you chose to avoid the previous question, but the answer is that it would almost never occur that having the opposite chromosomes as your external genitalia would result in fertility. That's because in the above example, in all ways except a extra bit of flesh between the legs, that person is a woman. How could they possibly reproduce as a man? This is why you can't snap judge these cases, because the great majority you most likely just don't know what's going on in totality. What type of copulating organs they have is in many ways like if I brought you a brick form my house and told you to guess what size of house I lived in. To really help a family make a choice in these matters, you need to understand several things:
- genetics
- why genetics make us the way we are as men and women apart from our sex organs
- the difference between internal and external sex organs and why they don't always grow properly and why you can have male internal and female external, or vice versa sometimes
- our natural hormone compliment and what happens when you try to artificially unbalance those levels which require intricate and specific feedback mechanisms which are complex and at work in various parts of the body for all kinds of non-sexual physiologic functions
- what our hormones do for us apart from sexual characteristics (many things), and what happens when you add or remove differnet ones
- the risks and outcomes of surgery
- the long term resuls on inviduals undergoing this or that course of action in the past

For the surgery questions, there are always risks, including a miniscule risk of death. Every day that you drive your car, you are taking a greater risk of death than undergoing surgery. The cost of surgery/insurance in the US is probably the biggest barrier to actually undergoing surgery. What you need to understand is that in these cases, something has gone wrong in that person's development somewhere. This is reality, things go wrong, just as they do in many other areas (down's syndrome, congenital heart conditions, missing limbs, conjunction, etc) As a result, even with surgery rarely will you get a functional sex organ in terms of fertility. The goal of surgery is not to make you functional, that's beyond our abilities. Its to give that person a sexual identity and produce a cosmetic success, so they can at least live and present themselves as normal to the world and have a hope of being treated like a normal person instead of experience rejection, fear, and ridicule especially in their early life. That is a noble goal in my opinion, because much of the time, leaving them the way they are will almost certainly result in all that emotional trauma.

Studyin'2Show
Jan 5th 2008, 08:33 PM
NHL, which question did I avoid? Take a look.
NHL, I believe everyone has made it clear that those with BOTH are a completely different issue. If someone is born with a third arm I don't think anyone has a problem with them having an operation to remove it. If someone is born with only one arm, I don't think anyone has a problem with the missing arm being reconstructed if that were possible. Ultimately, these issues will be carefully decided by those who are living with them. There have not always been options for this, so yes, it is a difficult thing to bear. Just as in the past being born, for example, without arms and legs, they may have been bound to a life without marriage. So, let's all agree that in the case of those with both, operations seem to be the most logical option.

However, IMO, biblically those with only one, either male or female, are different. We're not talking about a deformity that needs to be corrected. They are men or they are women and to change that is an unnecessary medical risk that need not be taken.

God Bless!I know you're a doctor so I'm sure you're aware that a person with both a penis and ovaries HAS BOTH! So, if the operation to remove the non reproductive penis is what they choose, I see no problem with that.

Now, let's go back to my question. What's wrong with NOT being sexual?

NHL Fever
Jan 5th 2008, 10:02 PM
NHL, which question did I avoid? Take a look.I know you're a doctor so I'm sure you're aware that a person with both a penis and ovaries HAS BOTH! So, if the operation to remove the non reproductive penis is what they choose, I see no problem with that.

Now, let's go back to my question. What's wrong with NOT being sexual?

As I've made clear, I'm not talking about a hemaphrodite. You're confusing having both sets of external genitalia, with having one set of external genitalia and the opposite set of internal genitalia.

For this individual, female internal genitalia does not mean being XX, it means having a uterus, tubes, and ovaries (although most often they do go together, they don't always). External genitalia means having a vagina, labia, and clitoris.

For the woman I've talking about, they have both female internal genitalia, and XX chormosomes, but they have male external genitalia, and they don't have female external genitalia. You might be imagining that one can remove the penis, and just have a vagine. But this not necessarily true. In this case, the penis would have to be removed, and a vagina created. There's also no gurantee that the vagina can be connected to the uterus in such a way that they could be fertile. Despite this, this person thinks, feels, and has the physiology of a woman (because of being XX).

Just to make things even more confusing, one needs to differentiate between functionality in terms of fertility and sexual function. Its quite possible that in my XX example, the penis can become erect and even achieve orgasm, because its still cavernous tissue with nervous innervation. However because there is no prostate, seminal vesiciles or testicles (male internal genitalia), there is no possibility of ejaculation or fertility. So this person is potentially a sexually competant 'male' so to speak, but no possibility of fertility. They are possibly a fertile female after an operation but there's no gurantee, and most likely would not experience sexual pleasure as as female, even if they could be constructed with the possibility of being impreganated.

There's no problem going without sexuality, if that's what you choose. This would seem to consistent with Paul's advice. The question is rather, is there a problem with you or me determining that they should go with not being sexual, or rather treating them as if they are living sinfully if they do decide to be sexual? In other words, does having an unclear sexual situation from birth, mandate that they go without being sexual?

Studyin'2Show
Jan 5th 2008, 10:31 PM
No, I'm not confusing it. What I am telling you is that those with both are different and the advances that have been made in the medical field are for just such cases. I'm not sure how I can be more clear. Whether the genitalia is external or internal is irrelevant.

threebigrocks
Jan 5th 2008, 10:41 PM
No, I'm not confusing it. What I am telling you is that those with both are different and the advances that have been made in the medical field are for just such cases. I'm not sure how I can be more clear. Whether the genitalia is external or internal is irrelevant.

I would have to agree, in that there wasn't someone deciding that their gender wasn't agreeing with them. The person was born that way. If their genetic make up is male, they are male. If their genetic makeup is female, they are female. Simple enough, as it applies to those just born that way.

However, a male born with all male organs or a female born with all female organs, a normally functioning person just the way the body was meant to be, and they take horomonal treatment and make physical changes through surgery (or not - which is just even more creepy) to suit what they want to be - that is an issue. That is where the morality and Godly aspect comes into play.

PP said it just fine - anyone who is born a male, turns himself into a female (that which is unnatural) and marries a male - that's homosexuality. If he stopped taking horomones he'd have to shave an the muscle that a man has would return and all that. He's still a guy!! That's a man with a man, period. Same thing for a woman.

If anyone can find something scriptural as to otherwise, please let me know.

NHL Fever
Jan 5th 2008, 11:04 PM
No, I'm not confusing it. What I am telling you is that those with both are different and the advances that have been made in the medical field are for just such cases. I'm not sure how I can be more clear. Whether the genitalia is external or internal is irrelevant.

What do you mean by 'both', and what advances are you talking about?
By 'both' do you mean:
a) both sets of internal
b) both sets of external
c) single, but opposite sets of internal and external (as in the example I've given)
d) both sets of internal and single external
e) both set of external and single internal

Of course the internal vs external is relevant, it can be the difference between thiking/feeling like a man vs a woman, or between post-surgical potential for insemination or impregantion as the case may be.

NHL Fever
Jan 5th 2008, 11:13 PM
I would have to agree, in that there wasn't someone deciding that their gender wasn't agreeing with them. The person was born that way. If their genetic make up is male, they are male. If their genetic makeup is female, they are female. Simple enough, as it applies to those just born that way.

I can generally agree more or less with that.


However, a male born with all male organs or a female born with all female organs, a normally functioning person just the way the body was meant to be, and they take horomonal treatment and make physical changes through surgery (or not - which is just even more creepy) to suit what they want to be - that is an issue. That is where the morality and Godly aspect comes into play.

Ya I don't think there's too much confusion on that point.


PP said it just fine - anyone who is born a male, turns himself into a female (that which is unnatural) and marries a male - that's homosexuality. If he stopped taking horomones he'd have to shave an the muscle that a man has would return and all that. He's still a guy!! That's a man with a man, period. Same thing for a woman.

Most likely this wouldn't happen, because if he underwent a sex-change operation he would have gotten castrated along with it. Without testicles the hair would not come back as expected. If having testosterone and growing a beard is a man as you say, that person is not a man anymore. Nevertheless I think I understand what you mean - they were born as an uncomplicated male, so they are a man.

threebigrocks
Jan 5th 2008, 11:20 PM
Most likely this wouldn't happen, because if he underwent a sex-change operation he would have gotten castrated along with it. Without testicles the hair would not come back as expected. If having testosterone and growing a beard is a man as you say, that person is not a man anymore. Nevertheless I think I understand what you mean - they were born as an uncomplicated male, so they are a man.

Okay, I can see where if testosterone (or estrogen via ovaries/uterus) isn't being made any longer in that situation, artificial horomones aren't such a big deal. :rolleyes: I'm with ya there.

Ecumaniac
Jan 5th 2008, 11:42 PM
I am glad to see that people are starting to get a grip on what intersex conditions are, and are coming to more positive conclusions about their potential to marry and have a sex life. :) Previously, I got the impression that some participants thought they should never get married or have sex, for the simple reason that we can't just look at their chromosomes and physical appearance to determine what sex they are!



If their genetic make up is male, they are male. If their genetic makeup is female, they are female. Simple enough, as it applies to those just born that way.

Please, however, recall my previous post about AIS. In the case of CAIS, individuals look female, think female and are raised female, and possess a vagina (female external genitalia); however, they have an XY (male) karotype, and undescended testes (male internal genitalia) instead of female internal genitalia. This rather turns the idea of using "genetic makeup" on its head.

Studyin'2Show
Jan 6th 2008, 12:48 AM
What do you mean by 'both', and what advances are you talking about?
By 'both' do you mean:
a) both sets of internal
b) both sets of external
c) single, but opposite sets of internal and external (as in the example I've given)
d) both sets of internal and single external
e) both set of external and single internal

Of course the internal vs external is relevant, it can be the difference between thiking/feeling like a man vs a woman, or between post-surgical potential for insemination or impregantion as the case may be.Whatever combination of BOTH you want to consider. I am seriously not trying to trivialize the issue but I'm trying to make myself very, very clear so I'm not quite sure why there seems to be confusion. :dunno:

So, back to the OP. In the case of transsexuals; those with no conflicting genitalia, I believe they are being deceived. Therefore, in answer to the original question, they can marry anyone they like I would assume but I don't believe a believer should have fellowship with such deception. I also believe that it would only be proper to disclose this information to anyone they become romantically involved with.

As for the second group, those who have some combination of male and female organs, it's much more difficult. I'm of the mind that it is something that should be decided around puberty and that the child should have some say in the decision. With that said, it would likely be much easier to have the parents decide and then raise the child as that sex and hope they never find out, but would that really be the best for the child? :hmm: Usually, pretty early in primary school, the child starts identifying with either male or female, so that could possible be the time to make the choice based on what the child identifies with. I also believe (if they know) they should share this information with whoever they become involved with romantically. However, I believe that if they are a believer and they fall in love with another believer who wants to marry them, there is no deception in it. I don't pretend that these are easy issues.

God Bless!

KATA_LOUKAN
Jan 6th 2008, 01:37 AM
Please, however, recall my previous post about AIS. In the case of CAIS, individuals look female, think female and are raised female, and possess a vagina (female external genitalia);

I guess that would make them female. Any objections?



Quote:
So I think that most people agree that those who have functioning organs can and should get married in accord with their reproductive anatomy. Furthermore, sterile people should marry. But we run in a problem when we think (however clinically diagnosed-ly) that because we are a "woman in a man's body" or whatever, that we should be able to determine our sex.

Such a case falls under the umbrella of mental illess. If someone can cure it, then great! But if not, then the afflicted must ask God's help. Same thing with homosexuality.
I'm unclear if you are referring to transsexualism, intersex or both here?

If you have female parts, you are female. If you have male parts, you are male. We are not what we "feel" we are.

This is for trans and intersex people.

NHL Fever
Jan 6th 2008, 02:57 AM
I guess that would make them female. Any objections?

If you have female parts, you are female. If you have male parts, you are male. We are not what we "feel" we are.

This is for trans and intersex people.

That only works for transexuals. Intersex is different - please read all the previous posts to understand why. I think its a disservice to intersex people to dumb down the issue to that, because as we've discussed, there are instances of having both sets, or of having the opposite internal and external sets, in which case you can't apply that model with any certainty.

Ecumaniac
Jan 6th 2008, 03:21 AM
I guess that would make them female. Any objections?

I, personally, have no objections to calling them female, since in most CAIS cases they would be happy to be called such. What I was clarifying is that karotype alone is not sufficient to determine sex.



If you have female parts, you are female. If you have male parts, you are male. We are not what we "feel" we are.

This is for trans and intersex people.

I think this just exchanges one poor criterion (suggestion d — identification by karotype) for another (suggestion c — identification by appearance). In the earlier example of CAIS, only the external parts are female, and those are often underdeveloped. Internally, they possess testes instead of ovaries. Also, P(artial) AIS exhibits a continuum of undervirilization — i.e. varying degrees of ambiguously feminine characteristics, e.g. they might have breasts, but grow facial hair, or maybe have an undeveloped penis. How can we tell if such individuals are male or female? (Assuming that they are, indeed, one or the other.) Their "parts" are, at best, crude indicators; at worse, they may be completely misleading. In fact, it's possible that what they "feel" they are is the most reliable indicator (suggestion a — identification by self-assessment).

Again, I'd like to finish by saying that I am very much enjoying the discussion so far, and hope that it will continue to bear fruit. :)

threebigrocks
Jan 6th 2008, 03:31 AM
I guess I return to the fact that someone said that the suicide rate of those whose parents wait for them to make the decision is 100%. When feelings come into play in something like this, I would think trouble would ensue if a decision like this (needing to "choose" a gender) was based on emotion. It needs to be a medical decision. And not an easy one.

NHL Fever
Jan 6th 2008, 03:50 AM
I guess I return to the fact that someone said that the suicide rate of those whose parents wait for them to make the decision is 100%. When feelings come into play in something like this, I would think trouble would ensue if a decision like this (needing to "choose" a gender) was based on emotion. It needs to be a medical decision. And not an easy one.

From what I hear, that is more or less the consensus of the world's experts on the subject, and from parents whom made both decisions. The suicide rate is still very high no matter what the decision, but its like 100% for those that just wait and go through childhood, the most formative and important time in life, as a confused nobody rejected by their peers, and as hapless parents have no idea what type of gender identity to try to foster and sort of leave them in limbo.

Studyin'2Show
Jan 6th 2008, 01:47 PM
I guess I return to the fact that someone said that the suicide rate of those whose parents wait for them to make the decision is 100%. When feelings come into play in something like this, I would think trouble would ensue if a decision like this (needing to "choose" a gender) was based on emotion. It needs to be a medical decision. And not an easy one.Wow, that's horrible! 100% :o If that's the case then I change my vote. Do they find that most grow up identifying as female? Are there any statistics as to those who are made medically female and grow up to decide they want to be male?

KATA_LOUKAN
Jan 6th 2008, 03:55 PM
Intersex is different - please read all the previous posts to understand why. I think its a disservice to intersex people to dumb down the issue to that, because as we've discussed, there are instances of having both sets, or of having the opposite internal and external sets, in which case you can't apply that model with any certainty.

Well, for intersex people, would it be wrong to allow them to pick their own gender and live accordingly?

Braves27
Jan 9th 2008, 07:07 AM
Romans 9:20
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, why hast thou made me thus?

The LORD does not make mistakes. If He crossed your organs up (hemaphrodite, and NHL's friend, and so on), then He did it for a reason and you have no business trying to "fix" it, because what the LORD makes isn't broken to begin with.

Psalm 71:1
In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.


As for people who are confused (apparently these so-called "intersexuals"), they need to pray to the LORD to clear up their confusion (which invariably means realizing that they are what they are, and that it's what they're meant to be).


Isaiah 56:3-4
Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, behold, I am a dry tree.
For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;
Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.


Matthew 19:-12
For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to recieve it, let him recieve it.

Transsexuals have already defied God; Already told Him that He made a mistake, and that they know better than He does. They have already mutilated their bodies beyond reparation, and their sexuality has no validity in the eyes of God. It's impossible. There wouldn't even be a definition of straight anymore (if you gave yourself a female appearance would it be straight to be with men?). They need to hear these words that Christ spoke, and become eunuchs (literally or figuatively, in the sense of not having any future relations) for the kingdom of heaven's sake.

Bottom line is: the answer to both questions is the last option.

Ecumaniac
Jan 9th 2008, 11:31 AM
Romans 9:20
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, why hast thou made me thus?

The LORD does not make mistakes. If He crossed your organs up (hemaphrodite, and NHL's friend, and so on), then He did it for a reason and you have no business trying to "fix" it, because what the LORD makes isn't broken to begin with.

I'm curious, are you saying that congenital disorders are divinely ordained and shouldn't be fixed?

By the way, a lot of the times their condition is fixed at birth, rather than at the sufferer's instigation. I just thought I would clarify that, since your wording seems to assume otherwise. ("If He crossed your organs up [...] you have no business trying to 'fix' it[.]")


Psalm 71:1
In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.


As for people who are confused (apparently these so-called "intersexuals"), they need to pray to the LORD to clear up their confusion (which invariably means realizing that they are what they are, and that it's what they're meant to be). I notice two things here. First, your scepticism about the word "intersexuals". There's no need to preface it with "so-called" or surround it with quotes, unless you're actually referring to the word and not the condition (which you were not). :) It is the correct medical term for someone whose sex is not easily classified as male and female using purely physiological measures.

Second, are you saying that intersex is a God-made third sex? Because most of us think that "realising [...] what they are" means realising whether or not they are male or female, but your previous words imply that you believe they are neither.

threebigrocks
Jan 9th 2008, 02:27 PM
If someone is born "mixed up", it's a load to bear whether they pursue surgery or not. I don't agree that one should not change what God designed in them, rather to see it as something to handle through God no matter what sort of desicision is made there.

Otherwise, I'm still waiting for scriptural evidience that any other gender issue is normal and of God, the one we bring on ourselves, including transexuals or those who decide they aren't a man or woman any longer. That is 100% unbiblical, and nothing here has shown me otherwise.

Ecumaniac
Jan 9th 2008, 04:48 PM
Otherwise, I'm still waiting for scriptural evidience that any other gender issue is normal and of God, the one we bring on ourselves, including transexuals or those who decide they aren't a man or woman any longer. That is 100% unbiblical, and nothing here has shown me otherwise.

I confess that I have been disconcerted (and, occasionally, horrified) by some of the responses addressing intersexuality, for which I must take some blame for raising the subject alongside transsexuality (which, I must emphasise, is a different situation). So until we resolve the subject of intersex, I am not inclined to examine transsexuality at all.

Later in the discussion I may describe a few of the parallels I've heard raised, to which I look forward to reading some good criticism. But until people have cleared up in their heads precisely what "intersexual" means and there's a vague consensus to a compassionate response, I would rather steer away from anything which might increase confusion. I've already done the damage, and some very vulnerable people were the casualties; maybe I can still make amends.

threebigrocks
Jan 9th 2008, 07:53 PM
If we ain't gettin' it, post a definition for us for each. That way we can clear the air from here on out. ;)

NHL Fever
Jan 9th 2008, 08:25 PM
Well, for intersex people, would it be wrong to allow them to pick their own gender and live accordingly?

I had mentioned earlier that the suicide rate is nearly 100% for those who wait until they are of decision-making age to make a decision. The suicides rates are still high and tragically so, but nevertheless lower for those in whom the parents make the decision early, because the kids get raised with a semblance of an identity instead of just confusion about who they are, and the ridicule of their peers.

Ecumaniac
Jan 9th 2008, 11:41 PM
If we ain't gettin' it, post a definition for us for each. That way we can clear the air from here on out. ;)

If you take a quick look at the first post on this thread, you'll find a few definitions. Look for the words "transsexual" and "intersexuality" in italics. :)

Studyin'2Show
Jan 10th 2008, 12:20 AM
If you take a quick look at the first post on this thread, you'll find a few definitions. Look for the words "transsexual" and "intersexuality" in italics. :)The OP is not completely clear for those who are not familiar with these issues. Things have sort of been defined along the way so for those of us who have been participating since then, we've got for the most part. But for those who are just coming into it who might just read the first post and skip to the last page, they'd miss quite a bit.

Ecumaniac
Jan 10th 2008, 12:48 PM
The OP is not completely clear for those who are not familiar with these issues. Things have sort of been defined along the way so for those of us who have been participating since then, we've got for the most part. But for those who are just coming into it who might just read the first post and skip to the last page, they'd miss quite a bit.

I know they're not clear enough, and I'm deeply sorry that my explanation was so painfully inadequate. :sad: It's sometimes difficult to bridge the gap from knowledge to ignorance, and it seems that I've failed.

Perhaps someone else could take a shot at defining them better for laypersons? Here is an abridgement of the definitions I provided, for reference:


A transsexual is someone who wants to, or decides to, live as another gender[.]

[P]ost-operative (post-op) transsexuals [...] have underwent surgical and hormonal treatment to physically take on the appearance of the opposite sex.

Intersexuality is [...] a biological condition which renders the question an individual's biological sex dubious. [As an example, I described CAIS here.]

In particular, NHL seems to be one of the more informed posters on this thread, so I would be indebted to him if he could provide a better definition of "intersex" than the one I gave, or Wikipedia's (which I also quoted).

NHL Fever
Jan 10th 2008, 07:33 PM
In particular, NHL seems to be one of the more informed posters on this thread, so I would be indebted to him if he could provide a better definition of "intersex" than the one I gave, or Wikipedia's (which I also quoted).

I only have one volume of my main study text with me right now, when I get back home in a few days I'll look up the precise medical definition and post it.

Studyin'2Show
Jan 10th 2008, 09:34 PM
I only have one volume of my main study text with me right now, when I get back home in a few days I'll look up the precise medical definition and post it.I think that may confuse even more. Most laymen wouldn't understand the medical jargon, would they? I'll give it a try in layman's terms. I hope I don't over simplify.

For the purpose of this discussion I will just focus on two categories:

Transexuals - those who have all the 'plumbing' and chromosomes of one sex, that want to change it to the other.

Intersexuals - those who have the plumbing of both (either internal or external in some combination) which makes it extremely difficult for anyone, even the medical community, to be sure which is the dominant sex.

threebigrocks
Jan 10th 2008, 09:38 PM
Okay, makes sense now with all the definitions.

Can it be agreed that an intersexual is far different than a transexual? One is born that way, one chooses to take what is normal and medically correct and change it.

Sounds to me as though that is accurate.

Ecumaniac
Jan 10th 2008, 10:17 PM
First, thank you for taking a try! I also look forward to NHL's definition, especially if he can phrase it in terms suitable for lay discussion.


Intersexuals - those who have the plumbing of both (either internal or external in some combination) which makes it extremely difficult for anyone, even the medical community, to be sure which is the dominant sex.

Unfortunately, this doesn't quite cover the whole range of conditions. For example, intersex might include someone who appears to be female (including breasts), but has male "plumbing," or their "plumbing" is extremely underdeveloped.

Maybe, intersexuals have messed-up plumbing, plumbing which is inconsistent with the blueprints, or both? Unfortunately, I don't think it will be easy to quite capture the concept without precise terminology, but I suppose it might suffice to give people a rough idea of what they're talking about before they start discussing the topic. :)

Ecumaniac
Jan 10th 2008, 10:25 PM
Can it be agreed that an intersexual is far different than a transexual? One is born that way, one chooses to take what is normal and medically correct and change it.

Sounds to me as though that is accurate.

They are different cases, yes. Intersex is a congenital physiological disorder, whereas transsexual is a psychological identification, which only has physiological implications subsequent to reassignment surgery or hormone treatment.

Studyin'2Show
Jan 11th 2008, 12:30 AM
Unfortunately, this doesn't quite cover the whole range of conditions. For example, intersex might include someone who appears to be female (including breasts), but has male "plumbing," or their "plumbing" is extremely underdeveloped.When I was discussing earlier with NHL I got the impression that he was saying that in such a case it would not just be breasts, for example, but would also be ovaries or some such female organs which I was considering in my highly technical plumbing analogy; indoor plumbing! :spin: