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Monday, April 21, 2008

The Phantom Penis Theory

by @ 9:37 am. Filed under Transgender

A study published in the January issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies explores the idea of phantom body parts, including sexual organs.   The theory behind the study is the brains body map may include body parts that are not there.   Children who were born without arms can have vivid phantom sensations of having arms, including complicated gestures such as waving goodbye.   The theory was first noticed in soldiers who had the legs or arms removed who would expereience phantom pain or sensations that their missing body part is still there or in men who have been in accidents and have lost their penis report having the sensation of it still being there, including phantom orgasms.   Women who have had a breast removed due to cancer report similar sensations that their breast is still there.

The theory also explores transgender men or women who were born feeling they are not the gender the body displays.   These transgender men actually experience phantom sensations of having a penis, even though they have never had one.  Also, men who have had a male to female transition don’t report having the same feelings or sensations for the penis they had removed, claiming it was never a part of their body image in the first place.

It has never been that shocking or hard to believe for me that some people are born in  the wrong body.  That their brains don’t match or link up with their bodies.   We have had people with all sorts of crosswiring in the brain who see sound or hear colors.  We have people who are born with both sets of sexual organs.  With the realization that all thoise biological occurances have been documented and studied, it makes complete sense to me that someone would feel that they are living in the wrong body.

From the article:

When a limb is amputated, the area of the brain representing that limb is no longer activated by touch. But such areas do not become vacant lots. They get invaded by nerve fibers from adjacent brain areas that map intact body parts. When those parts – say the face or shoulder – are touched, sensations are felt in the missing limb.

Not long after this discovery, a few people wrote to Ramachandran to say that they experienced phantom penises after losing the organ in an accident or to disease. They even had phantom orgasms.

This got Ramachandran wondering whether the phantoms applied to transsexuality. To find out, he surveyed 20 male-to-female transsexual women and 29 female-to-male transsexual men.

You can finish reading about this study by clicking here GENDER IDENTITY AND PHANTOM GENITALIA

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Stephen Bennett: Twisting the words again

by @ 6:13 pm. Filed under Gay News, Nonviolence, Stephen Bennett, Transgender

Today, Stephen furthers his unjust mission to make gays look evil.   He points out on his blog that this transgendered person in the MA prison system is suing the state for a sex change.   Stephen makes some very clear mistakes in this entry to his blog.   My issue with this, is that any man who claims to have lived as a gay man for 11 years should know better than to confuse gays with those who are transgendered.  Normally, I would think this is a case of a lack of information, but in Stephen’s case we cannot do that since he claims to be an expert on homosexual issues.

Stephen mistakenly claims this issue has to do with gay marriage, it doesn’t.   Stephen also claims this is a gay issue, it is not.  It is a transgendered issue.   It has nothing to do with gays at all.   Gays do seem to take the transgendered under their wing in the issue of rights, but anyone who has been gay for 11 years should know that transgendered is another issue all together.   Stephen appears to be using this story to further his own agenda and that is not only morally wrong, it is more deception by omission on Stephen’s part.

This appears to be another instance of Stephen scanning the news stories and putting every negative story he can find in his show or his blog.  This action on Stephen’s part is wrong.  Simply that, it is wrong.   Stephen will do anything he can to make gays look scary, sexually deviant and disturbed.  In this article he has gone as far as to lie about the issue and confuse the true facts for those who may not know much about the issues.

So what is the issue?   It appears this transgendered person is looking for the state to pay for a sex change.   While I agree with Stephen that the tax payers shouldn’t have to pay for something like this, it is clear this isn’t a gay issue.   Stephen’s post wrongly, and dishonestly makes the issue about gays and gay marriage.   WHY?  I cannot tell you that, but I can you these actions are wrong and Stephen knows that he is wrong.

Stephen Bennett has a long history, in fact a life-long career of making gays look evil.   Any news article out there that will highlight a bad apple in the gay community, Stephen will point it out to the public.   What this wrongly does is paints a picture of “all” gays as Stephen paints them.   The result of this unjust action on Stephen’s part is that gays become even more stigmatized, and more the targets.   He paints gays and sick, immoral, diseased.   He paints gays to be the enemy, and we all know what others will do to those who are seen as the enemy.    It results in discrimination, violence and pain.    Stephen appears not to care about his actions, or the result of them.  He seems to say he is doing some justice in the world, but clearly he is not.

For an example, if I were to paint you the picture of all the evil things a particular company had done, but never told you all the good they have done.  You would have a very negative image of that company, this is essentially what Hitler did with the Jews, and what Stephen is doing to gays with his radio show, website, ministry and his blog.

This is a good time to send him a message and remind him that identifying transgendered folks with gay folks is inaccurate.   Remind him that in his 11 years as a gay man, he should already know that and that it is evil to paint this inaccurate picture of gays and lesbians.    He constant barrage of negative images about gays is nothing short of the constant barrage of negative images the Nazi’s painted about Jews.   It is wrong.

Spread the word. Speak out on this injustice.   Don’t attack Stephen Bennett personally, but attack what he is doing, because it is wrong.   Right Click the banner on the right, and post it on your blog.   Spread the message this is wrong.  SPEAK OUT!!!!!

In Germany they first came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me —
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Myth of Gender Affirmation

by @ 7:03 pm. Filed under Gay News, Transgender

Many ex-gay groups including Narth, Exodus, James Dobson, and of course Stephen and Irene Bennett, would have you believe that using a technique called “gender affirmation”, you can prevent or cure homosexuality.   The theory in basic terms say that if you raise a child to be more stereotypical to their gender you will prevent them from being gay .   The catch of these theories are they are not based in science, and mostly they do not hold any water under close scrutiny.   Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a supposed expert in this field says this:

One of the signs of the pre-homosexual condition is characterized by a confusion of gender identity, which is to say the boy will exhibit certain behaviors like what we call the “sissy-boy syndrome,” which is UCLA psychology researcher Richard Green’s term–he wrote a book by that name. Basically–and other researchers have supported this–this is a boy who shies away from physical activity, tends to stay with girls. tends to stay close to his mother, grandmother or sisters. When he’s very young he will actually say he doesn’t want to be a boy and that he wants to be a girl. They will sometimes engage in dress-up or playing with makeup. Now, we have to warn parents that a certain amount of this is kind of normal curiosity. So we don’t have to panic as soon as we see the slightest sign. But we have to look at an over-all picture of a boy who systematically either ignores, denies or minimizes his masculinity.

Typically, these boys stay home more. they stay in the kitchen more, they like theater, acting and music, they’re into fantasy–fantasy is a very big part of their life, and they tend to identify with female characters on television. Like, usually in the Disney productions, they tend to identify with Sleeping Beauty or the mermaid or whatever the feminine character is….

If people were to ask me what is the one characteristic that identifies the pre-homosexual boy, I would say it’s a boy who is not connected to his father, who avoids his father, who minimizes his father, who does not really go out and seek out his father’s attention.

The problem here is that this sissy boy syndrome as they call it has some already accepted science that says it is wrong.   The long and short of it all is that no matter how you raise a child, if they are more boy or less boy is out of nurture’s control.  Lets look at some case studies where boys were raised as girls.   If the theory they are presenting is really true, then boys raised as girls would end up homosexual or transgendered, but that doesn’t see to be the case.

A famous case would be that of David Riemer.   David was born a boy, and after an unfortunate accident during circumcision, he was castrated and raised as a girl for 14 years.   He was raised as a girl meaning he wore dresses, was bought girly stuff like dolls and play kitchens.    In the end he discovered,  the big secret and went back to being a boy.  In the end he also married a women, meaning he was heterosexual.  So here we have a boy who was not gender affirmed to his proper gender but not only ended up being his original gender, but also heterosexual.   That really puts some holes in the theory that Dr. Nicolosi is chatting about.

Next it is worth looking at boys born with a genetic disorder in which they are born with testicles, but no penis.   Since the 1960s the normal treatment of this disorder would be to castrate them and raise them as girls.   In most of the cases, this failed and the boys went back to being boys. Dr. William G. Reiner, who has studied these boys more in depth states this:

In a study of 25 boys who had been ‘re-assigned’ as girls, and 2 children with the condition who were not, Reiner and colleagues at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, Maryland, found that nature was more powerful than nurture. All of the children displayed ‘strong’ male characteristics, such as playing sports and being attracted to girls.

The point being that you cannot win over nature.  Boys will be boys and gay or straight regardless of how you raise them,  funny enough, as the article states, the majority of the boys raised as girls ended up as heterosexual men later in life.  More holes in the theory of gender affirmation.   Dr. Reiner also said:

Environment, according to Reiner, cannot change one’s perception of being of male or female. ‘These children,’ he said, ‘recognize themselves.’

That pretty much sums up the idea that these claims by the ex-gay movement are false and unscientific.    There just isn’t any data to back up what they are claiming.

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