In the Sun Herald, MAY 12, 2016 7:06 PM the following was published online. (I can’t say if it was in the print edition.) By Dr. Jule P. Miller III, Biloxi child psychiatrist. I find his analysis particularly disturbing since he is practicing psychiatry on children and I present it to you for your consideration. After his opinion piece I have framed a potential response.
The recent controversial laws in North Carolina and Mississippi have brought an issue into public debate I never thought would be discussed in my lifetime — whether men dressed as women, who obviously have issues with sexuality, should be able to use women’s bathrooms where there might be unaccompanied little girls.
I continue to be amazed at some of the decisions being made. It is clear there is a misunderstanding around the idea of transgender people. Somehow, people are forgetting that gender identity disorder — the cause of transgender behavior — is an illness.
There is no such thing as a woman being born in a man’s body. We are born male or female. Some people, however, become confused early in childhood and choose to identify with the opposite sex parent. This, if untreated, can lead to gender identity disorder and transgender behavior as an adolescent and adult.
To understand how this happens, it is useful to remember that all children are initially taken care of by women. Consequently, the first person the child identifies with is their mother, whether the child is a boy or girl. Boys have to take the additional step of switching their gender identification to their fathers, which explains why gender identity disorder is more prevalent in boys than girls, and why sexual reassignment surgery is more prevalent in men then women.
As the child’s brain becomes more complex, he or she becomes aware of the differences between men and women and becomes fascinated with their father’s greater size and particular version of power. This helps boys pull away from their mothers and identify with their fathers. It also causes some girls to envy and want to possess what men have.
Every one of us leaves childhood with both male and female identifications. The relative mix determines psychological gender identity. By the age of 5 or 6, the child has formed a set of fantasies that contain gender identification, sexual attraction and their own particular map to finding love as an adult. At the same age, the brain reorganizes, and the events that led up to the particular fantasies the child formed, as well as the fantasies themselves, are lost under a veil of repression and forgetfulness. What remains is a conviction of having “always felt this way.”
Gender identity disorder is very treatable by psychological therapies if the child is 5 or less. It becomes more difficult to treat the older the child is. However, sexuality is more fluid than most people realize, and help is possible all through the lifespan without having to resort to castration and other forms of bodily mutilation. Pretending it is just a normal variation means people who could have been helped will not be and that valuable research will be not attempted.
Could it actually be Dr. Jule P. Miller III is confused himself? The transgendered people I know have no confusion about what gender they are. As to his concern about persons that identify as female in relation to using women’s restrooms with “little girls”: The transgendered persons I know have absolutely no interest in “little girls.” Could this be a bit of projection on the part of the good doctor? Of course I have no way of knowing as I don’t personally know the doctor, but I do know a number of transgendered people (none of whom would do anything to harm any child.)
In relation to “gender identity disorder” being labeled as an illness by a psychiatrist: it was not very many years ago that that profession came to terms with “homosexuality” thus determining it is not an illness. How many people were tortured by psychiatrists, like the good doctor, before his profession recognized their mistake? How many more will have to suffer because of the narrow mindedness of still other doctors?
In relation to whether humans are born “male or female” period. No exceptions. The following quote by Margaret M. McCarthy, chair of the Department of Pharmacology and a member of the Program in Neuroscience at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, might be of interest.
“[T]he popular and scientific presses make reference to “male” and “female” brains, the brain is in reality not a unitary organ like the liver or the kidney. It is a compilation of multiple independent yet interacting groups of cells that are subject to both external and internal factors. This is abundantly true for hormonal modulation, with many and varied signal transduction pathways invoked. As a result, it is quite literally impossible for the brain to take on a uniform “maleness” or “femaleness.” Instead, the brain is a mix of relative degrees of masculinization in some areas and feminization in others. On average, there are likely to be some areas that are more strongly feminized in a female and others that are more strongly masculinized in a male, but averages are never predictive of an individual’s profile.” The Scientist, the-scientist.com, Sex Differences in the Brain, Margaret M. McCarthy-October 1, 2015
Despite the good doctor’s assertion not all children are initially taken care of by women.
There are numerous studies by reputable institutions like Boston University that show such anatomical brain structures like: the interstitial nuclei of the anterior hypothalamus 2 and 3 and the anterior commisure which have sizes relative to sexuality which strongly correlate to whether a person is straight or gay. Perhaps the good doctor is merely unfamiliar with such studies? But I would hope not since he seems to be treating children for “sexual identity disorders.”
Once again, I can’t offer this as a reply to the good doctor because I have already been published this month and I have an article prepared for submission ready for next month already. Thus if anyone would like to use this as a template or wholly copy it and submit it to the editorial department of the Sun Herald of the Mississippi Gulf Coast you have my full blessings and encouragement.
Please leave your thoughts and comments below.