• Sweden edition

Give young transsexuals special ID cards: doc

Published: 07 Jan 2010 16:15 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Jan 2010 16:15 GMT+01:00

“This has to do with the practical aspects of living life as the opposite gender,” Per-Anders Rydelius, chair of the maternal and child health department at Karolinska Institutet’s Astrid Lindgren's Children Hospital, told The Local.

“They must be able to show their ID card without people thinking they are being deceived.”

Since 2001, Rydelius has led a team of doctors, including an endocrinologist, a reconstructive plastic surgeon, and a gynaecologist, which is overseeing a two-year long “real-life test” or “real-life experience” for young Swedes who think they may fit the clinical definition of a transsexual.

“Transsexualism has to do with having the strong feeling that one was born with the wrong gender and wishing to change to the right gender,” he explained.

Following parental consent and a thorough evaluation, young people participating in the trial start a regimen of counseling as well as hormone treatments designed to halt the onset of normal puberty.

“For example, a boy who views himself as a girl and wants to be a girl can stop being concerned about the growth of a beard, an enlarged Adam's Apple, and a lower voice,” Rydelius explained in a letter to Swedish tax and health authorities requesting help with the ID card issue.

If the person is not found to be a true transsexual following the two-year real-life test, the hormone treatment is stopped, at which point “normal puberty proceeds again”.

While children and young people have long questioned their sexual identity, Rydelius said that it’s becoming more common for adolescents to take the additional step of seeking medical advice on the matter.

“People usually sought help when they were in their twenties or thirties, but with the advent of the internet and increased accessibility to media, more people are seeking help during their teenage years,” he said.

Despite the dramatic physical changes that can occur with the hormone treatment, Rydelius feels that administrative hurdles diminish the ability of would-be Swedish transsexuals to truly live life as the opposite sex.

“If a girl who wants to be a boy tries to go to a bank or a nightclub, his ID card can reveal that he really isn’t a boy,” he told The Local.

He also knew of several instances of young people undergoing their real-life test being denied bank services on suspicions of having presented someone else’s identification card.

In an effort to rectify the situation, Rydelius last autumn contacted the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket), which oversees both Sweden’s national population registry and the issuance of identity cards.

In a December letter, he proposed the agency allow young people undergoing a real-life test of their transexualism to apply for special ID cards which let them hide their unwanted gender and the associated name.

“These young people should be able to have only their desired names spelled out on their ID cards, while their undesired names could be expressed only as initials,” he explained.

Thus, a girl who was initially registered as Birgitta Viola Svensson, but instead wishes to be named Lars during her real-life test, should be able to have an identity card with a picture where she appears more male and the accompanying name "Lars BV Svensson".

While Sweden was the first country in the world to pass legislation formally giving people the right to change their gender, Rydelius regrets that the country’s administrative practices regarding names are lagging.

“It was only last autumn that a court ruled that a person should really have the right to whatever name they want, regardless of its traditional gender association,” he explained, referencing the case of a male cross-dresser from Luleå in northern Sweden who won a protracted legal struggle to go by the name Madeleine.

Rydelius, who also heads the Swedish Association of Mental Health (Svenska föreningen för psykisk hälsa) and the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions (IACAPAP), said his Stockholm-based team now receives about eight inquiries a year from young people who suspect they are transsexuals.

“All told we’ve had more than thirty young people come to us for help since 2001, and all but five have ended up fulfilling the criteria allowing them to go ahead with gender reassignment surgery,” he said, adding however, that they must wait until they’ve turned 18 to actually undergo the surgery.

Similar teen-transsexual assistance teams have been formed more recently in Lund in southern Sweden and in western Sweden to assist youngsters in those regions wrestling with their sexual identity, although Rydelius wasn’t able to provide statistics for the two other groups.

While any measure allowing for special ID cards would affect a very small number of people, Rydelius nevertheless emphasized the importance of allowing young people to carry out their real-life test free from embarrassing situations resulting from presenting an ID card that doesn’t match a person’s outward appearance.

While he doesn’t expect to hear anything from the Tax Agency until the end of the month, Rydelius is hopeful a suitable solution will be found.

“The representative I spoke with agreed that this was an important issue,” he said.

“He agreed it would be good to clarify the matter once and for all rather than address it on a case by case basis.”

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

17:13 January 7, 2010 by Decedo
OMG, wait it's not an april fool's day is it?
17:19 January 7, 2010 by Nemesis
Makes sense.

Whats left out of the article is that the law on changing sex in Sweden applies to both transsexuals and intersex people (haemophrodites).

Having an identification that would show a person of different sex would be a nightmare in Sweden, regardless of age.

The personnummer is used for everything in Sweden so the details would have to be changed once they change sex.

Also refusing healthcare and appropiate identity until someone is 18, is a breach of the united nations convention on the rights of the child, which Sweden is signed up to, so they have to change there rules anyway to comply with the law.
19:00 January 7, 2010 by byke
If the tax authority allow this, its still fraud in my book.

Cosmetic changes cannot change core sexual birth traits .
19:40 January 7, 2010 by the pigeon hunter
if your gender can officially changed after you have had an operation, why can it not be changed during a "trial period".

i dont think this is a bad idea. people who feel they are transsexuals can test life as the opposite sex without having to undergo an operation first which will dramatically change their bodies. not sure why you guys feel that this is a joke and/or fraud.

open-mindedness, anyone?
19:45 January 7, 2010 by Nemesis
@ byke

So you believe an entire group of children should not have appropiate medical care or rights in society, that everyone else has.

Have you actually thought about what you are saying?

Would you Remove healthcare and human rights from a standard everyday white kid?

If not, then it is bigotry to try to refuse the rights of a groups who have done nothing wrong.

You raised this before on the discuss section for some strange reason. What is your problem with people who change sex?

Is there any other groups you want to remove there rights and appropiate healthcare, on the groups they merely exist?
20:48 January 7, 2010 by Hairdont
Ok, but then I get to hide my foreign-ness while I look for a job.
20:50 January 7, 2010 by zircon
And what if you want to become a centaur?
21:32 January 7, 2010 by byke
@ Nemesis

Dont bother calling me a bigot or throwing accusations around if you don't know what they mean or can tie your own shoe laces.

Like it or not, you cannot change your sex.

You are born as who you are, and while you can cosmetically change your appearance .... you cannot change your actual sex, FACT.

Its not about removing rights, its about enforcing the rights that are already in place in society. Whether you believe in nature, religion etc etc .... nothing will change what you were born as. And no amount of medical technology at present has been able to overcome this medical condition.

Again, if people want to get cosmetic surgery, let them.

But I don't believe cosmetic surgery can justify rebranding of their born identity.

If you decide to get dressed up as a policeman and pretend to flash identity stating such (and you are not) you would be arrested and prosecuted for such.
00:26 January 8, 2010 by inallsincerity
As a 24 year old female to male transsexual living in Sweden, I would like to fill in some of you who have some seemingly strong convictions about "real" sex and identities what it is ACTUALLY practically like to live with ID cards that don't match the gender that EVERYONE sees when they look at you.

This is not just my opinion. This is not just some person sitting behind his computer spouting off however he feels about this that and whatever. This is my REAL life, day-in day-out EVERYDAY.

I look like any other man on the street. You, yes you, over there who thinks he knows everything, you cannot tell that I am a transsexual by looking at me. And you know what? It's none of your business. Why should you get to know? Why on EARTH do you need to know the status of my genitals? Which by the way, happen to be INTERSEX, even though I was assigned female at birth and carry female ID cards. Not that it's any of your business. You know who else's business it's not? Bartenders. Store clerks when I want to pay with a credit card. Coat Checkers. Bouncers. Clerks at the Student Union. Bankers. Lots of people who need to see my photo ID do NOT need to know that I was assigned female at birth. That's my private information. And lots of people have your ignorant stupid ass ideas about transsexuals. And lots of those people are bartendes, bouncers, store clerks and bankers. And you know what I am TIRED of your meanness and your ignorance and your stupid ass questions every time I want a beer or try to buy some goddamn groceries!

I HAVE been denied entrance to places and accused of having stolen ID cards. It is humiliating and embarrassing and frustrating. The whole reason for having gender on an identification card in the first place is for IDENTIFICATION. When a bouncer at a club sees my ID and reads female, he gets confused, laughs his ass off, thinks I'm playing some kind of joke on him, makes fun of me in front of an entire queue of people and ultimately refuses to let me in the club. Once one even flagged down a cop car and tried to turn me in for having a "stolen" passport! And what did I do? Nothing. All I wanted to do was have a beer with some friends just like anybody else.

And WHY do I not have my gender marker changed? Because in Sweden the current law states that an individual (no matter the age) MUST BE STERILIZED first. And Sweden by law cannot sterilize foreign citizens. I do not have the money or the desire to fly to my birth country and pay for a sterilization (which on me would be an invasive medical procedure) just to meet some stupid ass out of date law.
00:47 January 8, 2010 by dizzymoe33
I didn't know that you had to be sterilized in order to have your gender changed!! How barbaric!!!! I thought Sweden was ahead of the times not behind the times?
00:58 January 8, 2010 by sodafox
If they do this then how are they going to get around the personummer issue... the second last digit is a give away???
01:13 January 8, 2010 by Nemesis
@ inallsincerity

Well put and thanks for the factual comments on how it affects a person in real life.

I have seen how much I need identification in Sweden and realised very quickly that a person in your situation would have a nightmare on there hands without the corrrect identification.

Everything from banking, to getting an internet connection would be affected. That would be a horrific breach of your privacy by people who obviously have no right to know your medical history.

Your medical history is for your doctor to know and it is no one else's business.

I have read the law when the subject came up previously on the local and was horrified that a person had to be sterilised by law to get there rights. To me the idea of sterilisation to achieve rights is insane and a blatant abuse of a person's rights.

The sex change process will sterilise someone who is transsexual naturally anyway and most intersex people to the best of my knowledge would be sterile from birth anyway.

To me it is hatred that has that stipulation of sterilisation included in the law, as it would happen as part of the process anyway.

@ dizzymoe33

Up until 1976, Sweden sterilised 21000 Sami.

The Swedish transsexual law was passed in 1972, when Eurgenics was still a big thing in Swedish universities. Eugenics was rebranded under evolutionary psychology.
01:41 January 8, 2010 by zircon
Don't women have a small penis (aka clitoris)? Should they change it to a bigger one, so they can compete with their husband? ("Who's penis is bigger, yours or mine," he asks, when arguing.)How much will that cost? Who can give an estimated cost? I'm desperate you see...
02:05 January 8, 2010 by Mr. Puppy
There was a recent article in Expressen about the law requiring people to be sterilized if they want a sex change. It's absolutely horrifying.


Unfortunately this whole scenario is another example of the tyranny of the majority negatively impacting people due to ignorance.
06:57 January 8, 2010 by SweetBlue

Thank you for sharing your experience and your frustration. I can only imagine the amount of strength and reserve you must possess to maintain your dignity while facing other people's ignorance and insensitivity.

A general question to anyone who can answer honestly......

am I wrong to assume that if someone is born interex, there could be a way to determine, through endocrinology, what gender your DNA leans towards? I do not want to imply that it should dictate what gender you identify with, but I would find it interesting to see if there is a correlation between hard wired genetics and psychological identification.
07:49 January 8, 2010 by inallsincerity

Thanks for your comment!

What no one realizes unless they personally know a transsexual, is the impact of hormones on the body. I only require one very small surgery of my chest (I have A-cup breasts which are too big for a man my size, but small for a woman, I wear a specially designed undershirt that keeps my chest looking flat) to be able to walk around in nothing but my underwear and my body looks entirely male-- face, chest, back, arms, legs, torso, everything. This was accomplished with hormone therapy prescribed by my physician. When I tell people I am trans, without fail, they nearly always wrongly assume I was born male and will be transitioning to female at sometime in the future. People who talk about cosmetic surgery not changing a person's sex or whatever have absolutely no idea what they're talking about and should just shut up.

About determining DNA. The majority of intersex conditions are based in the chromosomes. You can test a person's chromosomes but what are you going to do when they turn out to be a mixture of xx and xy? or xxy? or x? Other intersex conditions are genetic changes in hormone receptors-- so you can get an xy phenotype and end up with an entirely female body if the body doesn't respond to the naturally produced androgens. There are several studies that have been done on intersex conditions, transsexualism and psychological identification. Some time with Google or journal databases and you'll know more than you ever wanted to know. Many experts in the field are now thinking that transsexualism is simply another form of intersex (neurological system of one sex, reproductive system of the other).
09:33 January 8, 2010 by Nemesis
@ Sweetblue,

Regarding transsexualism, check out the scientific journal nature.


That shows that it is not a shrinnk thing or lifestyle choice.

Regarding intersex, this seems to cover a lot of it,

www.aissg.org/61_LINKS.HTM and the homepage of that site.

Also this site seems to cover a lot of intersex stuff


People's karotypes can be all over the place. xx, xy, xxy, xxxy, xx/xy, xxx are just someone of the many combinations available. Then on top of that a person can have a genetic problem that might mean they don't have a hormone receptor or that a gland produces to much of a certain hormone. It is practically limitless the number of things that can go wrong. It seems to be a fascinating area.

@ Mr Puppy,

I agree.

How anyone can state that a person has to be sterilised before they can have rights is beyond my comprehension.

The really stupid part of that legislation is that changing sex will sterilise someone anyway.

That law reads like something written by a psychiatrist instead of a legislator.
10:29 January 8, 2010 by eric.strader
Are you allowed to change your personnummer as well? Even if kön isn't listed as a category on the id card, the gender digit on the personnummer is still there for people who know to look for it.
10:35 January 8, 2010 by woormie
@byke: Please read up on a subject before adding comments.

About the mandatory sterilisation, I am no endocrinologist but I think this has to do with concerns on the use of hormones and how that would influence potential pregancies. There are many drug that can not be given to women in reproductive age out of fear of birthdefects and since I can imagine the hormone treatment go on for many years one can not risk patients becoming pregnant.
10:48 January 8, 2010 by Nemesis
@ woormie

The sterilisation bit has nothing to do with pregnancy.

From an endocrine point of view once a person starts taking hormones of the phenotypically opposite sex and gonadrelin analaogues to stop native hormone production, they would in effect be sterile anyway.

In 1972 when that law was passed, there was very strong eugenics thinking in medical and legal circles in Sweden, particularly amongst the psychiatric profession.

In 1976 all hell broke loose regarding the treatment of the Sami in Norway in Alta. That brought the attention of the world to Norwegian, Swedish and Russian anti-Sami eugenics. Ever since then eugenics was renamed evolutionary psychology and been conveniently not talked about.

The sterilisation bit would have come from psychiatrists who consider transsexuals and intersex unfit to breed and to be subhuman. It literally is that simple.
11:04 January 8, 2010 by woormie

I believe that not to long ago a documetary on SVT showed a US transexual who changed from female to male, stopped taking his/her hormones and then got pregnant. So the androgen/estrogen stop their inhibitory effect on the gondadotropin release of the pituitary. So, forgetting or avoiding to take hormones would cause the ovaries to start the menstrual cycle again. Just as the do every months when then oestrogen levels drop.

The eugenics programme which is quite diffent started before the war, as in the US. But it did go on until the 70th´s here. That the eugenics programme went on during the same time as the law allowing sexchange has little to do with it.
11:20 January 8, 2010 by Nemesis
@ woormie

I remember reading the pregnant man in the USA story. Different situation from Sweden.

If a person stops hormones before removal of gonads they can get pregnant yes. If a person stays on there hormones and then get there gonads removed, they cannot become pregnant. In Sweden they have to have surgery to get the documents changed according to the law. A person would have to stop hormones for at least some months before the gonads would become active again and if the person was on hormones for a number so years on average they would be completely sterile anyway.

Regarding eugenics involvement, I have asked about that elsewhere from someone with knowledge of it. Apparently it was because of eurgenics and it came from the psychiatrict profession. The same psychaitrists consulted on the sex change law were also involved in eugenics organisations and research.
11:52 January 8, 2010 by woormie

Sorry, I dont see how the situation is different here.

True, on average someone who has a hormone induced sexchange does not become pregnant. And I agree it is very unlikly but in the odd case that is does happen, for which I believe the demand for sterilisation was based, it would have profound consequnces for the baby. I think that is what was trying to be avoided by sterilisation. I dont consider this to be at all an optimal solution but what are the alternatives?

I think the there might very well have been psychatrists involved in the eugenics movement and its practise... but the eugenics started in the 20ths and the law on sexchange in the 70ths... They must have been really old when the influenced the law on sexchange? And you wrote: "The sterilisation bit would have come from psychiatrists who consider transsexuals and intersex unfit to breed and to be subhuman".

Is this a typical psychiatrist view? You dont think this might be a bit strange that they are involved in treating depression and other mental illnesses and then would spend their time promoting eugenics, why?
12:04 January 8, 2010 by Nemesis
@ woormie

You either do not understand what I am sazying or refusing to understand.

There was clinicians and university professors in Sweden openly preaching the benefits of eugenics until 1976, in Lund, Stockholm and Uppsala. It was only then the departments were quietly renamed and merged with other departments. Most of them were not even closed. The staff stayed on.

As for the facts, contact the people directly affected and ask them if you do not believe me. www.foreningenbenjamin.se

The sterilisation stipulation came from a eugenics believing group of psychiatrists. It is a simple fact. Check it out yourself.

Until the Nurnberg trials finding a shrink who was not a eugenicist was rare. Since then it is still common amongst them. Get one drunk and you won't believe the conversation you have, it will be straight out of mein kampf.
13:35 January 8, 2010 by inallsincerity
@ woormie

As someone who takes testosterone injections and still has my ovaries I have a few words for you.

One does not simply "forget" to take one's testosterone. It is a GIANT needle stuck in your ass ever 3 months. Or a GIANT needle stuck in your ass once every 2 weeks depending on the type of testosterone prescribed. And if you miss your dose within days you well begin to feel all kinds of unpleasant withdrawal effects. And despite the ridiculous portrayal of a transman on The L Word, it is not possible to get pregnant by accident while taking testosterone.

Being on testosterone does not cause cancer in the ovaries. That is a myth. Busted. Okay? Over.

The law does NOT state the ovaries must be removed to get one's person number changed. Period. Not a requirement. The requirement is surgical sterilization which can be as little as having the tubes tied. Stop commenting if you don't have your facts straight.

In fact, eventually I will be able to change my gender on my documents in my birth country which does not require sterilization. Then Sweden MUST honor those documents and give me a male person number without sterilization.

Transmen have been stopping their testosterone and intentionally getting pregnant for at least a DECADE before Thomas Beattie. Even here in Sweden. I know transmen who have given birth to perfectly healthy babies right here in Sweden. They just don't go on Oprah to talk about it. Lots and lots of transmen are doing this in the U.S. as well. Not a single one of those babies has been adversely affected by their carrying father's testosterone use pre-pregnancy. To imply that it would have "profound consequences" for the baby is a LIE that you should not perpetuate. Again don't comment if you don't know the facts of the matter.

Whether or not I choose do have a pregnancy is my own business. I'm a gay man and if my partner and I want to have children that's are best option. Your opinions are none of my concern. You don't know us. You don't know what we're like or whether or not we would be wonderful parents and provide a warm, loving an supportive home for our family. Family planning belongs to citizens not the government. You can disagree with our decisions as much as you want but that doesn't give you the right to legislate my body or our reproductive choices. Just like it wouldn't be my right to decide to pass a law that limits your reproductive rights because of what I think of your lifestyle or parenting potential.
14:11 January 8, 2010 by woormie

If the hormone shoots taken changes the apperance of a grown person.. what do you think could happen to an unborn?

Cancer? who said anything about that?

No, your ovaries are not taken out. Has anyone said that?

And yes, Sweden would honor a decicion made by another country but that doesnt mean that they have to change their legislation.

And lastly, who said I disagree with your decisions? I just said that there might be other reasons for the mandatory sterilisation than eugenics.
14:14 January 8, 2010 by Michael A. Lowry

You'll find bigots and racists in every profession; they are thankfully a minority. Your inaccurate generalizations about mental health workers are grossly irresponsible. Psychiatrists and psychologists take an oath to do no harm. They choose these professions because of a profound desire to help others. Your blatant mischaracterizations may dissuade someone who is in need of help from seeking it. We must fight discrimination and prejudice by casting the light of truth into the dark places, not by mudslinging.

Evolutionary psychology is a nascent but growing field of research into likely evolutionary origins for aspects of human psychology. EvPsy has nothing whatsoever to do with eugenics. Seeking answers to questions about our origins and our essential nature is a quest as old as time.
15:33 January 8, 2010 by Tyco
@woormie, nemesis talked about removing the gonads, so thats why inallsencerity said something about the fact that you don't have to remove your ovaries or anything like that, it's "only" sterilization done.

When they formed the law about transsexuals getting their gender reassigned forced sterilization was a part of the society, people with mental disorders/diseases got sterilized and at the same time the past the law about transsexuals being allowed to do their transition and made up the law about what you have to do to get your new name, new person number and so on. It had nothing to do with pregnancy.

Now, when the law is discussed again they are mostly concerned about men getting pregnant, but again it has nothing to do with the hormones, they are just afraid of how it looks and its about their own prejudices and how they see men. There is nothing yet showing that the infant gets hurt by the hormones, because the man thats pregnant has no testosterone injections during the pregnancy and it takes months until the hormones (estrogen/progesterone/...) are at the right levels to be able to get pregnant again. In other words, the infant will not get any abnormal levels of testosterone caused by the parents previous treatment.

And just as inallsincerity already said, its not like its only one man that have gone trough a pregnancy after they have been on testosterone treatment for a while, its just only a few that you know about because the media and the society isn't always what you want to deal with when you are having your first child!

@Michael A. Lowry Yes, most therapists/psychiatrists/psychologist (and now I'm talking about Sweden, Finland and a little bit about Norway and Denmark, because I don't know much about in other countries) are good at dealing with patients that are trans, but not all of them. They are also human... and they make mistakes and some of them treat someone thats trans in a really bad way. And even if its a minority, its still way too many.
15:45 January 8, 2010 by Nemesis
@ woormie

As long as hormones are not taken during the period of pregnancy there should be no problems and everything should be OK.

@ Michael A. Lowry

Evolutionary psychology is eugenics. The Human Biodiversity Institute and its membership, gave that away a long time ago.

Also the amount of bigots in psychology and psychiatry is not a small minority. It is a very large minority.

The number of bigots may be decreasing in psychology and psychiatry, but the ICD / DSM and the actions of those so called professionals on the ground particularly when giving court evidence in sex abuse cases, tells me everything I need to know about the amount of bigots in those professions.

Those professions have to clean up there own act. People like you can try and blame the victims of those professions and accuse them of mudslinging. Those professions should look at themselves and remove the abusers, demented perverts who impose there paraphilias on patients and criminals from there professions.
15:49 January 8, 2010 by MichaelZWilliamson
Byke: Actually, you are a bigot, and an ignorant one.

Outward physical appearance does not necessarily indicate genetic or chromosomal gender.

Do you also believe in the "Facts" of the Earth being flat and created in 4004BC? And blacks having tails?
21:28 January 8, 2010 by Michael A. Lowry
Evolutionary psychology is a science based on the idea that human psychology, like human physiology, was shaped by evolution by natural selection.

Eugenics is an ideology based on the idea that human evolution should be puposefully directed by artificial selection.

People who study EvPsy aim to better understand human psychology by examining traits and brain processes through the lens of evolution. No investigation in the biological sciences can hope to achieve a complete picture except from the evolutionary perspective.

There will always be some who misuse science to support their beliefs, just as slave owners once abused Darwin's new theory to support the idea that some humans were less worthy of rights than others. These people seem to feel that the mere presence of diversity necessitates making moral distinctions on the basis of observable differences. These arguments are unconvincing and entirely without merit.

Similarly, there will always be a diversity of opinion among medical professionals about which human mental states or behaviors are merely unusual but harmless, and which are pathological. I do not find this surprising. There has been a natural progression over the years. For example, many conditions we now understand to be mental illnesses were previously thought to be the result of demonic possession. Eventually, people suffering from these conditions were offered treatment instead of punishment. Similarly, thinking has evolved until very recently even homosexuality was considered a mental illness. What's normal and what's not? Why do we feel so strongly that we must even have an answer to this question? I think the modern world is moving in the direction of letting people be what they want to be, as long as they are not hurting anyone.

Evolution gave rise the the vast array of life we see on the planet. It also created the incredible diversity we see in human physiology and psychology. From my point of view, seeing human diversity in the light of evolution actually bolsters the position of those whose identity or lifestyle is a bit different than the norm. Even those negative human tendencies xenophobia, jingoism, homophobia, and racism can be seen as evolved traits left over from a time when the rivalry between tribes over limited resourced played a much larger role than it does today. If the capacity for these destructive ways of thinking is innate, then we must be even more vigilant to guard against these fears and their ill effects. To be strong, one must first acknowledge one's weaknesses.

But back to the topic. See this blog posting for my thoughts on the challenge of challenging people's cherished assumptions about gender.

09:45 January 9, 2010 by Nemesis
@ Michael A. Lowry

You can say what you want. I know know the facts on this one.

Evolutionary psychology=eugenics.

That is what they are about.

I also read your statement on transsexuals. You obviously need to go talk to one as you have not got a clue. If you have ever shared a house with someone you have also used the same toilet. I made a point of doing a bit of learning after the last time it was raised on the local. I suggest you do the same. Try www.lynnconway.com for a bit of reading.
13:24 January 9, 2010 by inallsincerity
@Michael A. Lowry

A marginalized group knows they've made it far in the struggle for equal rights when bathrooms are being debated.

A big argument in the States about integrating bathrooms was that white women would be uncomfortable with the presence of black women in "their" bathrooms.

Transwomen are WOMEN. They look like women. They act like women. They think like women. The men's bathrooms are DANGEROUS places for them. And most transwomen are stealth. Nobody knows they are trans. Cis-gender women have been sharing the bathroom with transl women already for decades now, they just don't know it.

I use the men's room. It doesn't matter that I have a vagina. I have a special device that allows me to pee at a urinal. If I walked into the women's room I would make every woman in there uncomfortable not to mention myself because I am a MAN. I look like a man (I even have a beard). I act like a man. I have the deep voice of a man. I wear men's clothing. If I tried to walk into a women's toilet I would probably be hit in the face with purse.

Although, I too am an advocate for gender neutral bathrooms for genderqueer and non-binary identified intersex people.

I think Nemesis' recommendation of lynn Conway's website is wonderful.
14:20 January 9, 2010 by Michael A. Lowry

"Don't confuse me with the facts. My mind's made up."


I am in favor of unisex facilities.

Your statements assumes that there is agreement on what a woman looks like, and how a woman acts! I'm sure there are many who would be bothered by this idea! Here again we get to one of the core areas of contention. On the one hand you have those who believe men and women should have the freedom to appear and act as they like; and on the other hand you have those who think there are certain ways in which men act and other ways in which women act, and that this is the way it should be.

Society doesn't handle the gray areas very well. People who don't fit into one of the neat little categories may feel pressured to make a decision between one of the choices that is readily acceptable to society. This is easier than confronting people daily who do not understand. I have a lot of sympathy for people caught in this dilemma, and I am happy to know that there are many, many people who have found an identity with which they are completely content!

Most of the time, the assumption that men and women are different is a safe one. Men, by right of their higher level of testosterone, are more aggressive than women. Just think about this for a second and you'll realize that this assumption is built into us. A woman walking home alone at night has a completely different thought process when she sees a man approaching her on the street than when she sees a woman approaching her. We make silent judgements like this thousands of times per day without even being aware of it. A woman who hits you in the face with her purse upon encountering you in the woman's restroom does so not because of your beard, but because of the assumed behavioral differences that the beard implies.

The outward signs of masculinity and femininity are signposts we use to let us know what we can expect from the people we meet. They are blunt instruments to be sure—but I would argue that recognition of these signs is innate. This is precisely why most transwomen want to look and act like women. They want others to treat them like any other woman, and the best way to achieve this result is to blend in. To a large extent, the notions of how men and women look and act are built into us.

As I wrote on my blog, people will be uncomfortable anytime their assumptions are challenged. The more basic the assumption challenged, the more uncomfortable people will be and the more difficult it will be to convince them to rethink their assumptions. The assumption that you know upon looking at someone a little bit about how that person will treat you is both unfair and often correct. This is the challenge we face. We must expand the circle to include those who are different, confronting many of the prejudices we didn't even know we had. But we must still use limited information to make good judgements.

This is a fascinating and moving topic.
14:49 January 9, 2010 by Nemesis
@ inallsincerity

I found the conway site when reading about microprocessor architecture. She appears to be responsible for inventing a lot of it.

@ Michael A. Lowry

You can read about some of the evolutionary psychologists you admire on Lynn Conways website.


It is quite illuminating.

A lot of those same clinicans who are attacking transsexual people are those quoted in courts of law in Ireland giving excuses for paedophiles. One of them has recently published regarding selective abortion of gay feoteous, promoting the idea.

When I saw that list of names together most of whom had helped paedophiles attacking a seperate group of people, I realised what they were about.

Those are the people you have been defending.

I suggest you start to do a bit of digging and find out for yourself.
15:00 January 9, 2010 by Michael A. Lowry

I looked into it and see now why you are so upset. However, Bailey and Sailer appear to be quacks—the same sort of people who misused Darwin to support slavery. These two are on the fringe and do not represent the science. Instead, they start from ideology and attempt to find facts to support their beliefs. For a better understanding of the actual science, I suggest you read Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, E. O. Wilson, or David Buss. The Wikipedia article is also a good place to start:


Not all who claim to study a science are scientists. It is a mistake to tar evolutionary psychologists with the same brush as the extremist ideologues you pointed out.
17:26 January 9, 2010 by Nemesis
@ Michael A. Lowry

I know nothing about J. Michael Bailey apart form the fact he is an idiot whom has sex with transvestites and then writes derogatory comments about them in psychology publications. Sailor is an eugenicist who is constantly quoted by nazi's as is his freind Pinker.

The people that worry me are Paul R. Mc Hugh, Raymond Blanchard and Martin Kafka. They want the age for paedophilia to be lowered to 12 in line with the age of consent in the Vatican.

I know there names from them being quoted in Irish sex abuse cases in court. It is obvious there sympathies lie with paedophilies and they do everything to help them.

What I found really wierd was when Byke raised the issue of transsexualism on the the local I took a look at the subject and was shocked to find that McHugh, Blanchard and Kafka have been attacking transsexuals with everything they have for decades. The depth and extremity of the attacks made me sit back and wonder what was going on.

I have talked this over with some friends back in Ireland who were involved in taking cases against the paedophile priests back in Ireland. We have started to check out the clinicians (psychiatrists and psychologists) and it appears almost every one of them who has supported paedophilies in court, has attacked transsexual people. We can not understand why or what could lead to such a correlation. The viciousness of the attacks on transsexual people seem to know no bounds and it is obvious they would go beyond words and causing them problems if they could. All of them are associated with evolutionary psychologists, without exception.


08:37 January 10, 2010 by muda
you can change your physical look to your desired sex but your inner soul is still of what you are. what are these people looking for? peace and tranquility, you cannot find by changing your sexual look. it makes you worse.
14:53 January 10, 2010 by inallsincerity

I would like to see proof of your statement "it makes you worse." I would also like an antecedent for that pronoun. Who are you talking to specifically? I personally know hundreds of trans people. Not a single one is worse off for transitioning. The opposite is true. Transitioning saved my life as it did most, if not all, of the trans people I know.

How dare you tell me what I cannot find by making my own decisions about my body? The only thing that keeps me from living a deeply peaceful and tranquil life these days are people with mean, ignorant ideas who think you're right and that you have all the answers when in reality you haven't got a clue. Thankfully, I've found that you're opinion is a minority one. Everybody I interact with on a daily basis are very kind and thoughtful and accepting of that aspect of my life. You're behind the times.

Not to mention not everybody subscribes to the notion of the existence of "souls." What makes you think you get to apply your prescribed spirituality/religion on other citizens?
22:15 January 10, 2010 by Da Goat
This is another case of where the person number system totally sucks

Sweden needs to get rid of the communist person number system and return to the good old index by name


they will need to issue two person numbers to people who are not sure what they are in regards to gender! I can't quite see alias numbers working! although that would be very handy!
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