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What’s New with Gender?

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Is LGBT new? Is it the craven abandon of our modern godless age that foments such perversion, as social conservatives believe?

Briefly, no.

The Greek island of Lesbos, currently under pressure in the route of refugees seeking safe harbor from war in Syria and Iraq, gave its name to the practice of female-female sexuality. That was 2500 years ago.

Male-male relations aren’t new nor is bisexuality. Greek and Roman men routinely married and produced children with their wives while finding pleasure with other males.

Among the indigenous peoples of the Americas prior to European colonization, a number of nations had respected roles for homosexual, bisexual, and gender-nonconforming individuals; in many Indigenous communities, these roles still exist.[1]

So what’s really new?

Consider this:

“If you ask experts at medical centers how often a child is born so noticeably atypical in terms of genitalia that a specialist in sex differentiation is called in, the number comes out to about 1 in 1500 to 1 in 2000 births. But a lot more people than that are born with subtler forms of sex anatomy variations, some of which won’t show up until later in life.”[2]

Even at the lesser rate of one in two thousand, this is an astonishing number of newborns with ‘ambiguous’ genitalia.

“For 50 years, the medical response to such external abnormalities has been the same: operate quickly to make the genitals as “normal” as possible, then hide the child’s medical history even from parents in the hope of reinforcing the new gender. Convinced they were doing the best for their patients, doctors in the past labeled ambiguous children boys or girls according to the alteration that seemed most feasible and performed highly invasive, irreversible surgeries accordingly. Thus a boy with a tiny penis might be castrated, given a rudimentary vagina, and designated a girl. Even more commonly, in cases in which a girl’s clitoris looked larger than the norm, her clitoris would be cut away entirely.”[3]

Now consider this:

“Over the past decades, an increasing trend in male external genital malformations such as cryptorchidism and hypospadias has led to the suspicion that environmental chemicals are detrimental to male fetal sexual development. Several environmental pollutants, including organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, bisphenol A, phthalates, dioxins and furans have estrogenic and anti-androgenic activity and are thus considered as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Since male sex differentiation is critically dependent on the normal production and action of androgens during fetal life, EDCs may be able to alter normal male sex differentiation.”[4]

Elementary arithmetic is hardly required to connect these dots.

Not surprisingly, most of the research on the effect of environmental pollutants on gender/sexuality has focused on males rather than females. Male sexuality is easier to “measure” and of urgent interest to males who dominate arenas of research and funding. That doesn’t negate the high likelihood that environmental contaminants produce hormonal effects in females.

Since there has never been a ‘norm’ determined for an average number of LGBTs in any population, there’s no way to determine whether the current LGBT ‘movement’ is a result of increasing numbers or simply the result of a freer society. Conversely, we can hardly deny the gender effects resulting from increasing pollution.

Data is data.

Given that data proving climate change seems beyond comprehension for social conservatives, there’s little hope these medievalists would be capable of understanding data showing that any ‘increase’ in the number of LGBTs could be a direct result of fetal exposure to contaminants.

Separate from the effects of increasingly pervasive chemicals and considering that so-called sexual deviance has been a standard throughout human history, maybe it’s safe to conclude that deviance is the norm.

 

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_homosexuality

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersex or http://www.isna.org/faq/frequency

[3] http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2004/06/the_cutting_edge.html

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21868402

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