The focus of this website against sexual exploitation of children makes it a good place to rebut the recent clamour holding that merely being socially supportive of LGBT young people is a ‘grooming’ process aimed at exploitation.
A few years ago, I published what I consider to be the most comprehensive scenario explaining the origins of sexual orientations and life-long transgender identifications. I did this using a literary format, a dialogue among three teenagers in a sci-fi novel, partly because that made the ideas as easy as possible for everyone to read and understand. The ideas also connect to other themes in the book.
Since I’m a PhD in a field very different from psychology, I didn’t try to make this look like a professional academic document, out of courtesy. Nonetheless, I think the ideas should be interesting to people in this field, and have made some comments below the dialogue about how the ideas intersect with existing ideas in the field.
The TL;DR is that “imprinted this way” should replace “born this way” if we’re trying to be accurate. But there’s much more to it than that.
Above, I was careful to specify lifelong self-perceived transgendered people because some people who appear established in their assigned-at-birth genders in prepubescence become engaged in transitioning in their teen years. Of course, that may be a matter of timing of self-disclosure, but psychologists like James Cantor suggest that some of these later transitioners are in their own category. If they are, my ideas above don’t account for them. Cantor tweeted today:
"Teen transitions don’t generally come from an inner sense, they come from an inner FEAR.
They don’t feel like the other sex, they fear being a failure at their own biological sex.
That’s why terms like “non-binary” and “fluid” outnumber actual opposite-sex identities."
I’ve queried him for clarification about what a “fear of being a failure at their own biological sex” might consist of, since the stage-play social standards of dominant male vs. submissive woman that were the norm in my youth seem to be much diminished today.
I’ll try to read this later, it sounds quite intriguing – but wow, I really like the sound of “imprinted this way”.
While this might not go for other trans people, I honestly think the idea that most people WOULDN’T try being “a different gender” for some period of time in their lives… silly? If we lived in a world so advanced you could change your appearance at a whim, there is no way that the majority of us would stay our AGAB forever. None. Sure, for most, it likely wouldn’t be a forever shift; just a brief one while you’re discovering yourself. (Hell, VR Chat backs me up on this, from what I’ve heard.)
Honestly, I think some form of “gender fuckery” would be the norm w/o a cultural demand for a Clear, Sharp Binary – I think the same goes for “bisexuality” & “polyamory”, too.
True! I once told a colleague at work who was trying to sort men and women for a photo that I didn’t mind filling in on the women’s side, which had lower numbers than the men, because “I have no particular loyalty to being male.” She (a closet lesbian at the time) laughed this off and stuck me with the guys, but that was my moment of wobble.
For a long while I have suggested that we could elect to have a “sex-change” cubicle in our future houses where: when rising in the morning, it could be our choice to decide whether to spend the day as male or female.
It may sound silly to some, but things like this start out as science-fiction, and if then some entrepreneurial type sees a market, well, who knows?
I like to know what research Cantor has done to determime 5he idea that teens who transition are afraid.