In the text Dreger mentions that AGP denotes being sexually aroused by the idea of being or becoming a woman but also later states the following:
“a “philia” is by definition just a sexual orientation. I think which ones count as pathological is ultimately a social definition. Some have tried to argue that any philia that couldn’t lead to procreation is pathological. You can make that argument, but I think it is a social argument, as is true with so much of disease categorization in medicine, necessarily”
Well right off the bat we have a problem because if one’s orientation is towards oneself then why is a gynephilic gender dysphoric interested not only in women sexually but also in marrying and having children?
To answer my own question: it’s because gender dysphoria competes with normal sexuality instead of being an orientation in its own right. In other words we are back to the idea that gender variance does not equal sexual orientation.
This blog is on the record repeatedly at stating that the work of BBL (Blanchard, Bailey and Lawrence) is not really science but more a kind of pseudo science based on categorizing and inventing terms to describe things we have observed for many decades. True science would be the understanding the how and why something happens and no one has been able to do that to date.
This past Sunday morning I was listening to CBC radio which, to my pleasant surprise, was dealing with the topic of the transgender condition and the Caitlin Jenner phenomenon. The commentator wisely stated that although we do not have scientific proof, the sheer numbers and the insistence of people suffering from it speak volumes about its authenticity. Therefore it must be dealt with regardless of the lack of empirical evidence.
It’s unfortunate that, with the exception of Anne Lawrence, the people pontificating that the BBL work is correct have no personal experience with gender dysphoria to speak of. Anne herself seems to have a checkered series of incidents which have led to some people in the community to see her as a body modification fetishist rather than a true transsexual. Some have offered that it is a certain form of guilt that has driven her to wholeheartedly accept the diagnosis of her mentor Blanchard as applying to her.
Blanchard’s separation into two distinct groups of either a) the sissy boy who becomes woman or b) the self loving pervert who becomes woman has become his legacy. I use these derogatory terms because the language contained in his work and in the work of Bailey borders at times on the offensive; something which was noticeably absent in the work of Harry Benjamin.
Dreger does not mind if you use the women's bathroom next to her which is actually very nice for someone who thinks the transgender condition is a form of mental illness.
Regardless, I don’t care about whether she thinks someone is or isn’t a woman. I care about the subject of gender dysphoria and how it happens and on that front Alice Dreger’s webpage does absolutely nothing to advance our knowledge nor elevate the discussion.
For those interested, the page can be found here.