Multiple studies have shown that to be transgender is not simply a matter of choice, or a sense of identity like religion. An aspect of a person which our laws rightly protect. Indeed, a sincerely held belief religious or not should be as protected as worship or speech in a free country. However, we live in a time of science and the science on transgender identity is clear. Being trans is in fact much more like being born with a certain skin, hair, or eye color than a choice or belief. In this brief report we will look at the results from published meta-analyses of the literature on the interaction between sex hormones and hormone receptor genes in transgender people. Most of the literature focuses on transgender women, as we are the most controversial. There has however also been research done on transgender men as well.

Protest of Donald Trump's ban on transgender military service (35363855274) Jere Keys from New York City, USACC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Transgender peoples rights are often a political football in America, on the left and the right more as being a theoretical representation of what is right or wrong with America.

The Genetics of Gender Are More Than Chromosomes.

Two quotes from two independent studies say what the science is. Fernández, Guillamon, and Cortés-Cortés state the findings from their study which reviewed the literature and then did their own large study with hundreds of subjects found the following.

Results: Our data show that specific allele and genotype combinations of ERβ, ERα and AR are implicated in the genetic basis of transsexualism, and that MtF gender development requires AR, which must be accompanied by ERβ. An inverse allele interaction between ERβ and AR is characteristic of the MtF population: when either of these polymorphisms is short, the other is long. ERβ and ERα are also associated with transsexualism in the FtM population although there was no interaction between the polymorphisms. Our data show that ERβ plays a key role in the typical brain differentiation of humans. Conclusion: ERβ plays a key role in human gender differentiation in males and females. 1

Put more simply by D'Andrea , Pallotti and Senofonte:

Trans woman population exhibits significantly longer polymorphic CAG repeat sequences in the AR gene. Further studies are warranted to elucidate whether, how and to what extent multiple functional variants in sex hormone signaling genes could be associated with gender incongruence/dysphoria. 2

In short when it comes to most transgender women (born with male external genitalia usually functional) and most transgender men (born with fully or mostly fully functioning female genitalia) the reason we have this strange crossed sense of identity is as genetic as blue eyes or red hair, or brown skin. This research even crosses lines and may have implications for many gay and lesbian people too.

Follow ALL The Science, Not Just High School Science.  XX and XY aren't all there is. 

Left Wing Politics Ruining Science.

So why don’t we hear more about this? Why does the LGBT activist community not trumpet this? This is a case of the left also ignoring or misusing or dismissing science it does not like if it does not pass a ideological purity test. The right clearly does this too, of course.

Politics.

The internal politics of the transgender community, especially the community of trans women, are dominated by those who had power before coming out. People who lived and amassed wealth, power or influence as apparently 100% straight cisgender men for most of their lives. For them, these studies might not be so useful. For example, one specifically excluded them and used “ a homogeneous population of 549 early onset androphilic MtF transsexuals versus 728 male controls, and 425 gynephilic FtMs versus 599 female controls. ” 1.) The same is true for the studies in 2. So this offers no explanation for such transwomen. There is another problem.

Another issue is that this provides some support for the theories of Ray Blanchard. In which he hypothesized that “male transsexuals (sic)” were either “homosexual” or “autogynephilic”. In which all those who were not a 5-6 on the Kinsey scale where 6 is the maximum amount of homosexual possible are presumed to be autogynephilic. Attracted to the idea of themselves as a woman. Meanwhile his conception of the homosexual transsexual was just a person who was feminized in some genetic, or hormonal way like effeminate gay men. This theory as written about by J Michael Bailey did not allow for any male any man to be genuinely bisexual (which latter research by a team that included Bailey proved is not true). Autogynephilia is then classed by Blanchard as a paraphilia, which, if managed poorly, could lead to sexual behaviors that are abusive if not criminal towards other people. Obviously, no one would want to be thought of that way.

Clearly right wingers could misuse Blanchard’s theory to justify restrictive laws, there are some instances of this. They could also use it to turn transgender rights into a beauty pageant. Where one must look a certain way and live a certain way to get rights. In reality, the right usually just uses their gut aversion to anyone or anything not in line with their ideals. Books and principles are secondary much of the time. This is another reason, and a good reason, that LGBT activist writ large do not embrace results like 1, 2, because they could unintentionally bolster political adversaries of some influential parts of the transgender community. I don’t totally disagree with their analysis of the realpolitik, but they dismiss the science too easily.

The research cited in this paper does not in any way support the hypothesis of autogynephilic other than in the most minimal way. Specifically, the idea that transgender women with different sexual orientations are different. That should be obvious and in no way proves the hypothesis of autogynephilia for transsexuals who are 0-4 on the Kinsey scale. He got some things right.

Research like this also has implications for gender equality.  Afterall if the genders are different in brain structure in a hormone influenced way then maybe women should have different jobs than men.  The problem with this is the differences would be in areas that have nothing to do with cognitive ability and reasoning in the cerebrum and would be focused in the basal ganglia of the cerebellum.  In short no hormones have nothing to do with being able to do math or fly a plane or be a doctor.  Some could make a disingenuous argument based on this science that they could, but they would just be wrong. 

Instead, the LGBT community, and the wider left did embrace a almost religion like idea that gender is a construct.  It is all just a social construct.  There is some truth to this since gender expression is mediated by culture.  However, this is also not true.  However, it has the virtue of being as natural of a basis for recognition of human rights protections for a previously marginalized group. 

In The End Rights Matter.

From a rights perspective even if being transgender were nothing more than an identity based on a sincerely held belief it would deserve protection just as much as any religion. For religion we bend rules of dress, healthcare, and behavior all the time. As well we should.

However, being transgender has been proven to be a genetic anomaly which manifest itself as a sincerely held and enacted belief and way of life.   Hard as this will be for straight POC to accept and for religious people to accept it is just like either of those things.  

Every time rights are restricted for one group the rights of many others are also restricted in ways that are surprising and impossible to predict.  (See the CRT bans that lead to books about Rosa parks, and Malala Yousefzai being banned in PA for a time and talk in Texas of opposing views on the holocaust) If the rights of one person stop where the rights of another begin. If everyone realizes their rights only really extend to the walls of the bathroom stall, to their personal space, then become limited by the rights of others we can all live together in this land.

Follow the science and follow the golden rule.

If you liked this article, please consider checking out my Substack.  My op-eds views and opinions will appear there a day earlier than here.  Follow science 2.0 where I will always post breaking science news and current articles first. 

References

1.) Fernández, R., Guillamon, A., Cortés-Cortés, J., Gómez-Gil, E., Jácome, A., Esteva, I., Almaraz, M., Mora, M., Aranda, G., & Pásaro, E. (2018). Molecular basis of Gender Dysphoria: androgen and estrogen receptor interaction. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 98, 161–167. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2018.07.032

2.) D'Andrea S, Pallotti F, Senofonte G, et al. Polymorphic Cytosine-Adenine-Guanine Repeat Length of Androgen Receptor Gene and Gender Incongruence in Trans Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Case-Control Studies. J Sex Med . 2020 Mar;17(3):543-550. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2019.12.010. Epub 2020 Jan 8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2019.12.010