Follow the Science, Not the Crowd

The hottest, new, jump-on-the-bandwagon idea in medicine, psychology, and education is “transitioning.” The theory behind the trans movement, however, is based on the work of a fraud.

The College Board recently claimed that the State of Florida has effectively banned its Advanced Placement Psychology Course. The Florida State Board of Education, on the other hand, contends that the AP Psychology Course will still be available provided the College Board modifies some content so that it is developmentally appropriate.

The dispute is over the section of the AP course that deals with sexual orientation and gender identity. The latter, of course, touches on the subject of gender transitioning—and on whether there can, in fact, be such a thing.

The State of Florida says no: it’s not possible to change one’s sex. According to the Florida Early Learning Education Code:

Orthodox. Faithful. Free.

Sign up to get Crisis articles delivered to your inbox daily

Email subscribe inline (#4)

“sex” means the classification of a person as either male or female based on the organization of the body of such person for a specific reproductive role, as indicated by the person’s sex chromosomes, naturally occurring sex-hormones, and internal and external genitalia present at birth.

Moreover, an amendment to the Code states:

It shall be the policy of every public K-12 [school]…that a person’s sex is an immutable biological trait and that it is false to ascribe to a person a pronoun that does not correspond to such person’s sex.

Such statements have the effect of pitting Florida against most of the psychological establishment. It’s not that psychologists deny the role of chromosomes and genitalia in determining one’s sex. But they maintain that socialization plays a much larger role than biology in determining a person’s gender. In the minds of many in the social sciences, sex and gender are two distinct categories.

In the minds of some, they are entirely unrelated. Take the case of Johnson Varkey, a biology professor at St. Philip’s College in San Antonio, Texas. He was recently dismissed from his position after four students complained that he taught that sex is determined by chromosomes—something that Varkey had taught for 20 years.

Admittedly, the college’s implicit denial of the importance of chromosomes is an extreme position. Still, it’s closer to the thinking of many in medicine and the social sciences than to Florida’s contention that sex is an immutable biological trait—fixed rather than fluid.

The “Florida” position on the fixed nature of sex is not very popular with psychologists and educators, yet it is much more in sync with reality—with what the “hard” sciences teach us about sex.

Take the matter of chromosomes. There are not just a few of them located here and there in the reproductive system. According to psychiatrist Miriam Grossman:

From conception, there is a wide-reaching, permanent impact of biology on every system of the body. Each of our seventy trillion cells with a nucleus is stamped “XX” or “XY,” and hard science demonstrates the enduring influence of that biological reality on the brain and every other organ system.

Miriam Grossman is the author of five books. Her latest, Lost in Trans Nation: A Child Psychiatrist’s Guide out of the Madness, is both lucid and witty as well as heartbreaking and hopeful. She provides sympathetic portraits of children who have been converted by the “gender evangelists” to a twisted ideology that often leads to mutilated bodies and a life of suffering. And she provides solid advice to children, parents, and educators who have been affected by the contagion.

At the same time, Grossman provides the background we need to understand how we got to where we are now—in the reality-denying fairyland of “trans nation.”

Our current state of confusion, she says, can be traced back to one man and one “experiment.” Dr. John Money was a professor of psychology at Johns Hopkins University. In the 1950s, he came to the conclusion that masculine and feminine identities were primarily the result of nurture, not nature.

As Dr. Grossman ably demonstrates, Money’s theory is false. Recent studies in cell biology, embryology, and other “hard core” sciences prove beyond a doubt that gender identity is much more the result of nature than nurture.

Yet, Money’s theory about the primacy of socialization is still considered to be the last word in gender science. His ideas were repeated in high school and college classrooms and embraced by various professional organizations. Indeed, you can see the influence of Money’s theories in the AP unit on gender and sexuality that’s now being debated in Florida.

After doing a bit of googling, I found a sample of an Advanced Placement test called “AP Psychology—Gender and Sexuality Review Quiz #9.” The “quiz” contained 80 or so questions along with the correct answer for each question.

The first question begins with a sentence clause and asks you to choose from a list the choice of words that correctly finishes the sentence. In question one, the correct choice gives you the following sentence: “In differentiating between the terms sex and gender, ‘sex’ refers to biological aspects of identity and ‘gender’ refers to psychological and social identity.”

That’s straight out of Money’s playbook. And so is another question: “Which statement is TRUE regarding male-female differences?” The correct answer? “Most sex-related behavior is learned.”

In another question, the “correct” answer incorrectly informs the student that “there are few, if any, inborn or ‘natural’ differences between the sexes.”

Once again, this is very much in keeping with Money’s thesis that gender roles are almost wholly a product of socialization. But what was the evidence for this thesis? Before returning to the AP review quiz, let’s look at the single experiment upon which Money based his theory. Ironically, the experiment didn’t support the theory. It disproved it.

In the mid-1960s, a young couple from Canada sought Money’s advice about their twin sons, Bruce and Brian. Due to a botched circumcision, Bruce’s penis was injured beyond repair. What should they do?

As Grossman observes, “they were the perfect test case for his theory…. If Bruce could be raised as a girl, Money could prove his theory to the world.” Consequently, Money recommended castration for Bruce at age 22 months and that he thereafter be raised as a girl. Bruce was renamed “Brenda,” dressed in pink dresses, and encouraged to play with dolls.

In 1972, Money revealed his twin experiment to the world and declared it a great success. As he predicted, Brian acted just like a boy and Bruce/Brenda looked and acted just like a girl.

But Money was lying. Although “Brenda” had no idea that he was born a boy, he rejected the idea of being a girl from the start. He tore off the dresses, preferred toy trucks to dolls, and loved rough and tumble play.

Money knew this, but he continued to publicize his work. And his misleading story about the boys and the theory that went with it was embraced by professionals in psychology, medicine, and education. As Grossman observes, “the twins’ story became a landmark case and brought John Money fame and funding for the rest of his life.”

Bruce discovered the truth about himself from his parents when he was 14. He immediately started dressing as a boy, living as a boy, and he gave himself the name David. Years later, in 1997, David went public with his story.

But, in one sense, it was too late. Money had already made a name for himself. He was, indeed, the biggest name in the field of gender studies. And he continued to be praised and feted by the professional community until his death.

But he was a fraud. And beyond that he was, in Grossman’s words, “a depraved human being” who “publicly endorsed pedophilia and incest” and subjected Brian and Bruce to sexual abuse from an early age. 

Moreover, like Alfred Kinsey, Money used explicit films and photos in some of his courses. But Kinsey was, arguably, just as fraudulent. Kinsey turned nightly faculty discussions into opportunities for group sex; he even filmed his colleagues and their wives having sex. And most of the research subjects upon whom he based his picture of normal sexuality were actually imprisoned sex offenders. Kinsey was less interested in objective research than in coming up with startling statistics.

I didn’t expect that anything like this would show up in the Advanced Placement Review Quiz, but there was this question: “The most objective laboratory research on human sexual response was done by which of the following?”

The “correct” answer was “Masters and Johnson.” But, according to Wikipedia, Masters and Johnson’s “objective” research consisted of observing “paid volunteers engaging in sexual activity while hooked to wires in their lab.” Moreover, “at Master’s request, Masters and Johnson engaged in intercourse as subjects of their own study and eventually became lovers.”

Hmm. If, as the AP question states, Masters and Johnson did the “most objective research” on sexual response, one has to wonder what the less objective research looks like.

Despite the College Board’s reassurance that their course is based on science, it looks as though they’re entering here into the area of morality. After all, many religious and nonreligious people hold that a man who has sex with someone who is not his wife is engaging in immoral behavior. Despite the College Board’s reassurance that their course is based on science, it looks as though they’re entering here into the area of morality. Tweet This

In fact, the AP quizlet is strewn with moral judgments. One question tells us that “the contemporary view of masturbation is that it is normal and acceptable.”

But is it moral? The Catechism of the Catholic Church maintains that “masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action” (2352). However, the Catechism says that moral culpability can be reduced by taking into account factors such as affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety, and so forth (2352).

Another AP question asks, “Which of the following is not a sexual disorder?” The “correct” choice in this case is “homosexuality.” By contrast, the Catholic Catechism states that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” because “They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life” (2357).

There are several other questions of this sort, designed to produce the answer that homosexuality is just as natural as heterosexuality. But whatever you may think the answer should be, it is clearly a question of moral judgment rather than one of scientific consensus. Although the College Board claims impartiality, its tests are full of such leading questions.

It’s a good bet that almost everyone reading this piece personally knows of cases in which medical professionals have made serious mistakes in diagnosis and/or treatment.

And sometimes, as Dr. Jordan Peterson notes in his foreword to Lost in Trans Nation, mistaken treatments are initially thought to be medical breakthroughs and are widely accepted and practiced before they are eventually revealed to be dangerous and even deadly. He notes, for example, that “up to 40,000 people were lobotomized in the U.S. between the 1930s and the 1950s.”

Currently, the hottest, new, jump-on-the-bandwagon idea in medicine, psychology, and education is “transitioning.” The theory behind the trans movement is based on the work of a fraud, the research behind it is skimpy, and the evidence suggests that what is euphemistically called “gender affirmative care” does far more harm than good.

Europeans are now backing away from the use of puberty blockers and radical surgeries for young people. But in America, it’s still full steam ahead. Teens who aren’t old enough to drive are considered mature enough to make life-altering decisions about their gender. Many parents, meanwhile, have been “lobotomized” by the media, the educators, and the medical professionals into passively accepting whatever the “experts” recommend.

Florida has been successfully reasserting parental rights over the upbringing of children. It’s time for the rest of the nation to do likewise.

[Image: Dr. John Money]


Join the Conversation

in our Telegram Chat

Or find us on

Editor's picks

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00

Orthodox. Faithful. Free.

Signup to receive new Crisis articles daily

Email subscribe stack
Share to...