The importance of Gender Identity and the ramifications of misrepresenting them forcibly.

David Ipavich (primary author)
Isabelle Murphy
Samantha Delgrosso
Blog Post 2
October 29, 2018

As of mid-October, the trump administration has taken an alarming stance on the transgender community. As reported by the New York Times, by redefining scientifically accepted beliefs about gender fluidity, they intend to make the ability to refer to ones’ gender identity as transgender impossible, and the self-identifying as anything other than the sex you were determined as at birth unlawful. This blatant infringement of American citizens’ rights to free speech, protection from discrimination, and freedom of expression are egregious enough as is, yet this pales in comparison to the psychological harm that will come from Trumps inaccurate misrepresentation of these people’s genders. Gender is the collection of characteristics we associate a person with given their sex, this means that while one’s sex is uniform, and may be defined by genitalia and hormones, gender is a construct, an artificial boundary created through ideology, rather than biology, and that as humans, we define what is stereotypically male and female. Through millennia of growth we have defined what is and isn’t acceptable of people to do and say given their sex, creating gender norms that people fear breaking. These norms are needless restrictions on people, and are oppressive to all people, and their abilities to express themselves and how they feel, which is an important part of life that we as a society are finally exploring after years of scrutiny. The way in which one wishes to express their gender is part of their own unique identity, and scientifically proven to be unrelated to mental illness or psychological trauma, and in many cases, is a disposition the person in question developed or was born with naturally. There are innumerable cases in which a person’s gender identity strongly reflects the norms of the opposite sex, and in these cases, we see many people seeking professional aid in the process of transitioning into the opposite sex. This provides incredible relief and freedom to the individual, and allows true and honest self-expression of a person and of their emotions. Professor D. Swaab’s autopsies on the cadavers of deceased transgendered women showed that their BNST (bed nucleus of the stria terminalis), a crucial structure in the brain which aids in the prompting of sexual behavior, resembled that of ciswomen, rather than that of cisgender men. These findings would later be corroborated by Professor Julie Bakker, of the VU University Medical Center, in a study where the brain activity of specific portions of the brain were studied and recorded separately during a special reasoning test. During these tests different sections of men and women’s brains were primarily active, however when the men who had transitioned, or were in the process of transitioning to the female sex, their brain activity closely resembled that of the cisgender women, not that of the men. This proves that it is not simply a choice one makes, or the upbringing of a given person, but the disposition they are born with, or develop naturally given the structure of their brain at birth.
President Donald Trump’s leadership style is one without compromise. His radically conservative ideas and lack of filter create very polarized and aggressive policies which often ignore the opinions and needs of many individuals in the name of protecting the collective. This greatly entices those who support his views, while further angering those who refute his positions. This is why Trump embodies an incredible transformational leadership; those in favor in his ideals wish to peddle his policies for the sake of longstanding and religious views, while those against him wish to consider the progressive new ideas that science and society have begun accepting as fact. Transformational leadership is the result of our most charismatic leaders, who through their policies, speeches and propaganda, gets a rise to action from their citizens. While many transformational leaders encourage change by inspiring their citizens, Trump inspires change by justifying close minded and selfish viewpoints. This specific issue is no different; for years people have viewed the self-identification as transgendered as a symptom of mental illness, or as some sinful act, and despite the scientific proof refuting this, and the success the process of transitioning has had, he continues to push for the suppressing of the rights of private citizens with no concern for the effects suppressing their identity, gender, and true sex, will surely have.

By Erica L. Green, Katie Benner and Robert Pear. ‘Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration. : The New York Times; 2018

Mike Colagrossi. Transgender brains more closely resemble brains of the sex they align with, rather than what they were born with. : Big Think; 2018


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