Feature 02.21.2023 6 minutes

Preserve the Body, Revive the Soul

Gender Dysphoria, Confusion or Choice

Pro-life moral psychotherapy is the answer to the body crisis.

In his essay, “Soul Dysphoria,” Spencer Klavan points to an alarming increase in gender dysphoria among young people in the United States and the UK today.

Girls are particularly developing gender dysphoria at an alarming pace: between 2006 and 2016, the numbers nearly quadrupled. A Gallup report in 2020 discovered that 1.8% of Gen Z kids in the United States identified as transgender. By 2021 the number was up to 2.1%.

Klavan suggests that such numbers are increasing because boys and girls are taught by adults and peers to view their physical sex as something detachable from their gender. Klavan claims that the explosion of gender dysphoria among adolescent girls suggests a particular horror at the idea of womanhood. Our ruling classes express contempt for homemaking and motherhood. This closes off the most primal path to resolving a crisis of the body. Klavan writes:

Women, by creating new life, bear witness to the possibility that body and soul can in fact be reconciled: in childbirth human flesh becomes the medium of the divine. Poets have expressed this as the “eternal feminine,” the strangely luminous power of women like Dante’s Beatrice or Faust’s Margarete to act as physical conduits for the life-giving power of God…. Thus trans activism increasingly comes with the implication that the body has no inherent integrity.

Here are a few ideas to ponder. The rapid rise in gender dysphoria could be a case of social contagion. There are too many reports of over-bearing, all-devouring mothers who are deeply implicated in transitioning their daughters. We well know the effects of young girls taking puberty blockers and hormone treatments including testosterone. These treatments result in infertility, suicidal ideation, vaginal laceration, heavy bleeding, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a high chance of developing diabetes and osteoporosis.

I would also suggest that some progressive moms are caught up in a pseudo-incestuous relationship with their daughters: they imagine themselves giving birth all over again in the transition process of their trans offspring. Perhaps trans self-recreation in general is a way of “giving birth” on politically egalitarian terms—not as biological breeders reinscribing historic patterns of gender oppression through biologically determined bodily functions, but as  ideological propagators who are liberated from historical gender roles by birthing transhumanist avatars who are not confined by any biological boundaries. There is something god-like in these dystopian aspirations.

Therefore the body crisis is, arguably, a symptom of our longstanding contempt for motherhood, homemaking, and traditional femininity.

Rather than subjecting girls to double mastectomies and hormone treatments and puberty blockers, we might consider intense pro-life moral psychotherapy.

The trans person becomes a bearer of a solitary unit of human civilization though, paradoxically, this atomized unit is then dissolved into a sea of equally dissociated and disoriented units. The end result is not individuality but subsumption into a totalitarian techno-monolith. A pro-life, moral, psychotherapeutic approach to the sanctity of life helps shape a new world view, a new philosophy of the body and of her body in particular in relation to its governance by laws of nature that are invariable and not subject to interpretation, wishes, or desires.

The politics of gender dysphoria is a politics of narcissism. It essentializes identities of gender, sexual orientation, and race. One’s identity, rooted in an immutable characteristic, is prized as the primal characterological and psychic feature of a human being’s existence. What is ironic is the extent to which the ideas around gender are treated as if gender is fluid and non-binary yet, in reality, the trans person treats his or her chosen gender with essentialist reverence.

One proclaims that one is non-binary, or transgendered, or gender fluid, that one desires one’s pronouns to be he/him or they—yet one treats one’s gender in reality as something both undefinable (one is unable to define what a man or woman is) and as something that others must treat as an immutable and unalterable characteristic of one’s essential being. In other words, one knows one is a male if born a biological female, or a woman if born a biological male; however, one cannot advance a definition of what a man or woman is, that is, of who one is claiming to be. One finds the demand for a definition offensive and transphobic.

Incarnational Therapy

An administration of pro-life moral psychotherapy is necessary, because the trans individual needs a framing perspective that is reinforced often. Part of this framing involves a philosophy that celebrates reverence for life. Life has intrinsic value like a work of art. It has such value because it is a creation of God. The folly of choosing sterility at such a young age should be treated as a grave moral responsibility and ultimately a tragedy.

The gravity of this moral opprobrium should be regularly explained to children who think they are trans. To bring a being into the world who will become the bearer of moral values, who one will help self-actualize and stamp the world with an original assemblage of who he or she is—is truly a powerful moral responsibility. Pro-life moral psychotherapy is not just a process of re-socializing the individual. It involves de-habituating the trans individual from the sensibilities of ruling elites and their disparaging views of motherhood, the body, and womanhood and femininity. With reverence, honor, and an emphasis on looking at woman as the mother of the human species, one comes to see oneself as the benefactor of all that has been called the foundation of civilization, of mores, norms, law, and systems that draw the human being out of feral alienation from civilized human community. By contrast, enforced sterility at an early age is premature recusal of oneself from the procreative segment of the human population, which, until one reaches adulthood, means every healthy male and female born to a woman.

In the broadest and most fundamental of terms, transgenderism and its medical ministrations constitute a radical form of medical, social, and cultural eugenics. Short of cloning another human being, the attempt to change one’s sex (a biological impossibility) is the most audacious eugenical act undertaken in human history. It takes a metaphysical given—the chromosomal markers of a person that designate his or her sex and gender—and attempts to reverse, alter, and neutralize it.

Pro-life moral psychotherapy is a manner of halting a human body that has been tricked into believing that it inhabits the wrongly gendered body. Such a person is affirmed as a divinely created being made in God’s image—a God who has made zero mistakes in His creation. It is, therefore, an attempt to prevent the body from committing a blasphemous act against the inexorable logic of God’s creation.

By several accounts, the majority of girls who come to clinics across America looking for gender altering care come with several comorbidities such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, eating disorders, and obesity. Many have been diagnosed with autism. Many patients report having several other disorders such as Tourette syndrome and multiple personalities. Doctors recognize these as false diagnoses and as a manifestation of social contagion. They acknowledge that suicide has an element of social contagion: “I Thought I Was Saving Trans Kids. Now I’m Blowing the Whistle.

What is necessary is the advancement of a moral case for pro-life moral psychotherapy as a treatment option—all with the goal of reconciling the dichotomy between body and soul that plague those who genuinely suffer from gender dysphoria, or what seems more likely to be the case—broad swaths of young people who are experiencing the phenomenon of  “body crisis.” This body crisis is, no doubt, exacerbated by a morally bankrupt culture that reinforces a degree of magical thinking that itself induces collective psychosis around issues of gender and identity.

The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.

The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.

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