Psychiatry, if not a pure science, at least employs scientific methods to treat known conditions with a combination of counseling and pharmacology. Examples would be things like schizophrenia or clinical depression.
Contrast this with the invented condition known as Autogynephilia which is supposedly diagnosed through an extensive interview process which looks for evidence based on a preconceived notion by the researcher. Any claims by the patient that don't fit the theory (such as any prepubescent history of gender confusion) are simply dismissed as lying.
To illustrate my point, let's use the example of polling which isn't about science per se but which uses scientific rigor to make sure the process is unbiased and consistent. A poll typically might ask simple questions about voter intention: are you voting for candidate A or B. However even those simple polls can be wrong if the voter then changes their mind later on.
What would be your impetus for lying in a simple poll? Probably nill.
Now what would be your impetus for lying when you are going for gender treatment and hoping to sweet Jesus that you're not a transsexual? I would argue that its infinitely less. I know I wanted the hospital gender clinic I was being treated at to tell me I was going to be cured and hence I bared my soul to my therapist.
Now imagine Blanchard the pollster doing an in depth interview with you at the end of which he comes up with a convoluted and unproven theory using your verbal input about something as complex as your sexual habits, your perceived gender identity and your sexual orientation. If I had gone to the CAMH for treatment, Blanchard would already have made up his mind about me because he had a predetermined idea to prove. If my responses did not fit expectation I would be accused of lying.
Consider therefore the following questions:
- How is it possible that people all over the world who have never met each other consistently report the same type of history and insistence that there is an incongruity between their birth sex and their gender early on in life? Even well before the existence of the internet and the proliferation of information via mass media?
- If dysphoria is all about sexual arousal, why are gender dysphorics aware of this issue issue well before puberty and why does Blanchard negate this evidence?
- Why did Blanchard categorize transsexuals into two groups; not successfully explain why they feel they way they do and then proceed to invent bogus terminology that explains nothing?
Pretty fundamental stuff but questions which Blanchard fails spectacularly at addressing. We wont even discuss female to male transsexualism which he pretty much ignores.
This is a man whose mentor, Kurt Freund, specialized in measuring the sexual arousal patterns of sex offenders. All of a sudden Blanchard begins a career in treating gender dysphorics at the CAMH and then goes about using the same methodology? Its almost mind bogglingly disturbing.
This piece of pseudoscience has been seized upon both by radical feminists and old school transsexuals. The former to denigrate people who transition as perverted psychos and by the latter to separate the "fake" transsexuals from the "real" ones. Neither position is reality based mind you but Blanchard has helped each faction elevate their agendas in their own minds.
When I began my quest for self understanding through researching the published literature I read Blanchard's work among others. However, to accept this type of work as science would be ignoring every basic principle I have ever been taught about scientific validation.
Harry Benjamin (very much the scientist) stopped short of making stupid conjectures because he understood he lacked the scientific evidence to do so. Therefore he did the only thing possible: he categorized his patients based on the level of gender disorientation they experienced and graded them on a scale. Thankfully Anne Vitale (who I featured in my previous post) continues his good work.
Transgender people need to understand that there are mean-spirted and arrogant people out there doing shoddy science. When it falls into the hands of lawmakers and public officials it can greatly impact the quality of our lives and our rights as individuals.
This is why its important to be on the lookout and to be informed. Below is the cast of characters to be mindful of.