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Honesty And Reason Are Our Best Weapons

we can't just trick hatemongers into accepting us

Forum: Intersexed_Society list
Date: 04/04/2004

On 4/4/04 10:20 AM, "Lezlie" wrote:

This is something we all need to read. It's very informative and it gives us all, GLBTI, backing to who we really are.

[Press Release from UCLA:]

UCLA Scientists Find Genes Organize Male and Female Brains

Differently; Research Suggests That Sexual Identity Is 'Hard-Wired' Before Birth

This press release is dishonest and deceptive. The study in question has nothing to do with what this press release claims. See:

Surely, we don't need to rely on intellectual fraud in order to stand up for "who we really are."

Emi Koyama
Intersex Initiative

Forum: Intersexed_Society list
Date: 04/06/2004

On 4/5/04 5:12 PM, "Lezlie" wrote:

One group that could benefit the most from this type of research is most certainly Intersexed. From a blood sample, the newborn could be identified as being a boy or a girl.

The study, which I can send to you in PDF format if you want to read for yourself, has NOTHING to do with that. It merely documents that there are differences between male rat brains and female rat brains even before their gonads are formed. It's an interesting scientific discovery, but does not tell us anything whatsoever about the nature of gender identity or sexuality.

Besides, if you read the article you'd know that their research method involves cracking little fetal mices' heads and slicing their brains to investigate their structure. EVEN IF the finding was applicable to humans, and ALSO IF it were to tell us about the person's gender identity, they would have to kill the child to be able to make that determination. So perhaps they can get our gender correctly in our death certificates, but it definitely doesn't help intersex people to have their brains cracked and sliced.

No matter how much science is advanced, there will always be people who are raised in the gender that doesn't fit. And IT'S OKAY for these people to exist; it shouldn't be considered a tragedy. Instead, we should be working toward making the society more accepting and respectful to these people.

This kind of research may help by giving us some scientific backing. And, it could help the chidren grow up identifying with their true gender. Before they really know who they are.

Unfortunately, this particular research does none of the above: instead of giving a "scientific backing," it provided a weak spot for the right wing to exploit as an evidence that the "homosexual conspiracy" (which they now include intersex in) is perverting science to serve its political agenda.

You think I'm exaggerating? See the link below:

It's an article from October 20, 2003 issue of the Cybercast News Service, a Christian-based, ultra-conservative news site. Thanks to UCLA, who sent out such a fraudant and deceptive press release, now right-wing fundamentalists get to use it to discredit all other scientists who are honestly working to explore the biological connection to human sexual and gender variations.

To his credit, Eric Vilain is not the villain as his name might suggest. In a "Nature" article (January 29, 2004), he is quoted as saying that intersex surgeries "should be delayed until the child can offer consent and has started displaying gender-specific behavior." That's fabulous! But it's not the study involving cracked-open rat brains that gave him this insight; it's the fact that science hasn't actually figured out how to detect intersex infants' gender identity, as he admits on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) radio interview on November 15, 2003.

Scientists pretending to know more than what we actually know has resulted in the brutal treatment of intersex children by John Money and Co. What we need is more honesty and open communication from doctors and scientists--not fake research announcements designed to mislead the public. They should remember that we are not that stupid and neither are the people who hate us. We can't expect to just trick the hatemongers with bad science into supporting our rights.

Emi Koyama
Intersex Initiative