Bioethics News

Gender ideology. Can it continue to be sustained scientifically?

Gender ideology essentially holds that gender is constructed, not determined genetically at birth. It considers that it is the environment, education, social and family relationships and eventually, the desire of every individual, that determines the sex assigned to each person.

However, there does not appear to be any medical evidence to sustain this stance; on the contrary, it seems that the genetic sex is the most decisive factor for defining the sexual status of an individual, not what gender ideology maintains.

In the midst of all this controversy, the case of David Reimer appears to have come to shed an undeniable light. David was a young transsexual, who eventually committed suicide after a turbulent life. His story was told in Spanish online newspaper ABC digital (http://www.abc.es/ sociedad, on 24th August 2015) see english version: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2004/06/gender_gap.html

Brenda, as he became known, did not know that he had been born male until he was 15 years old. It was one afternoon in 1980 when his father, haunted by the suffering he witnessed, revealed to him the story that he had been keeping secret: he had been born in Canada as Bruce, together with his twin brother Brian, but medical negligence during a routine circumcision procedure in 1965 had destroyed his genitals.

In a desperate attempt for their child to have a normal life, his parents contacted a psychologist, who assured them that sexual status is not innate, but is determined by education in the early years of life. In other words, if Bruce was treated as Brenda, he would become a full woman, instead of suffering as a man without a penis.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.