Transsexuals

Transsexuals, people that believe their psychological gender conflicts with their physical gender, are not a particular evolutionary paradox, because they’re far rarer than homosexual men. One in tens of thousands of men seek sex reassignment surgery – that is, pay good money to have someone slice off their willy. At that kind of prevalence, the syndrome could be explained by mutational pressure or some rare environmental insult. Maybe they’re from Transylvania.

The question is why anyone – let alone society as a whole – takes the whole idea seriously – acts as if they are in some sense really women. There are lots of differences in how the female brain develops and is wired – castration isn’t going to fix that. You’d need nanosurgery, and that probably wouldn’t be enough. More like rolling the clock back and starting over from conception.

Deirdre McCloskey isn’t a woman: wishing can’t make it so, not even wishing and flashing scalpels. Neither is Joan Roughgarden.

What they are is crazy. Darwinian madness: a behavior pattern that never works, or more exactly, never worked in past environments. You can make some sense of psychiatry if you think in terms of Darwinian illness, but of course psychiatrists haven’t done that and don’t show much interest in doing so, which is why the DSM is completely incoherent. I mean, they think homosexuality isn’t a disorder: talk about silly!

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163 Responses to Transsexuals

  1. kai says:

    Worldwide, I fully agree. But I would like to hear you after a trip to Thailand, to see if you can come up with a theory fitting the local situation…Good place to test the gay germ hypothesis…

    • Greying Wanderer says:

      “Good place to test the gay germ hypothesis…”

      And not just that. If STDs – or bugs not currently known or thought of as STDs – effect behavior generally then you’d expect to see a lot of odd side-effects in places with a lot of prostitution and low immunity. The Phillipines might be another candidate.

  2. misdreavus says:

    The saddest thing is that they too, deep down inside, ultimately know this to be true, and that no amount of surgery can transform them into the sex they aspire to be. Even when such costly interventions are available, one must tread a fine line between marginal toleration by one’s family and peers, at the cost of one’s self-assurance and repressed identity, or taking the bold first step on the long march to self-mutilation, whereupon one is despised as an open freak by society.

    And of course, the transformation is never real; not even in the rare instance where it is convincing. Even if nobody is bold enough to say it outright, everyone sure will act as if it is true (hysterical liberals included), because the telltale biological evidence cannot be easily erased. (Gay men at nightclubs tend to avoid “transmen” like the plague.) Just how is someone supposed to pass as a female when he is 6’1″ and built like a linebacker, with broad shoulders and hands the size of dinner plates? Just who do these poor schmoes think they are fooling with the duct tape and androgen blockers?

    Intervention during early childhood is no solution, either — when choosing a mate, people actually care about finer details like, oh, say, being able to conceive children, or having functioning reproductive organs, instead of a flap of skin that must be inflated from the outside with a pump. (I apologize in advance if you are offended by that extraneous detail.) There is simply no way you can be honest about this without offending large numbers of people and destroying your reputation.

    Joan Roughgarden, by the way, seems to think this is all part of evolution’s grand design. Umm, just no.

    • Sharon says:

      You write well. I find it interesting how important it is for a transgender to “pass”. They don’t want others to know their birth (true) gender, including and especially the people they date. They claim that it is nobody else’s business. They see nothing wrong with deceiving others about this just so they can make friends and find people to date. They don’t think there is anything wrong with playing with others’ hearts and emotions by their deceit. It’s all about them, not others. That is why they can so easily insist that it is their “right” to use the opposite sex locker rooms and restrooms, regardless of the feelings of the people whose privacy they are invading.

      • ogunsiron says:

        I’ve been using dating sites and, to be fair, it seems that most trans “women”, at this point still think that it’s appropriate to let people know about that status upfront. That’s only true for transes who aren’t involved in identity politics and who haven’t yet taken “queer theory” classes though. If they’re “political” then they most likely think that there’s no obligation at all to disclose their trans status and that for you to care about whether they’re trans or cis is offensive ( ie if you prefer real women you’re a bigot and your preference is illegitimate).

      • misdreavus says:

        I understand your point, but your observations are not always true, and you could use a little bit more compassion and discernment when you attempt to discern the motives of transgendered individuals. No, that hardly means that we ought to honor every single one of their delusions, but it bears knowing that their cross is a heavy one to bear.

      • Sharon says:

        @ogunsiron, noted. I am referring to the political types you speak of. I am aware that there are many transgenders who are considerate of others, and those same individuals are embarrassed by the transgenders I speak of.

        @misdreavus, I apologize if I come off as not being compassionate. Truth is, my heart breaks for them, regardless of the reason they have decided to become transgenders. You have no idea how many prayers I have prayed for them, because, you see, my daughter is one. And she is of the political type that ogunsiron speaks of. I love my daughter and always will, but I cannot not condone wrongdoing.

      • chris says:

        sharon ,
        before you knock any type of person you need to look at the ones that claim to be straight .

      • Sharon says:

        Chris, what makes you think I haven’t looked at all kinds of wrongdoing? I am far from being a saint myself. I condemn many of the things that I, myself, have done in the past. It upsets me that some people tend to overlook the fact that Christians speak against other types of sins when simply because speak out against transgenderism and homosexuality. Maybe because, in the current climate, everyone is supposed to be accepting of certain sins while condemning others?

    • Mark F. says:

      I met a “transman” at a gay men’s group recently. Perfectly nice person (and I didn’t actually know “he” was “trans” until 10 minutes into the conversation), but I can’t imagine what sort of person “he” imagines will be interested in a romantic relationship with him. I’m not sure why “he” can’t just live as a more masculine sort of woman – gay men do tend to like a functioning real penis. Not having one is a deal breaker for me.

      • Dipitty Do says:

        “… I can’t imagine what sort of person “he” imagines will be interested in a romantic relationship with him.”
        Because your imagination doesn’t function very well, or are you attempting an oblique insult?

        Yes, trans people face significant hurdles in the dating market–something they know far more about than you or I–but I know enough trans people with partners that I needn’t strain myself trying to “imagine” them. Heck, I’d date a trans person, if I weren’t married and met someone whose personality I liked.

        I mean, I think this should be obvious except obviously it isn’t, but whatever happens to be a deal breaker for you (or me) may not matter at all to someone else.

        Many trans folk DO simply live in the bodies they were born in, without modification. Others don’t. Some chose a middle path. I assume many take the more difficult, less socially-accepted paths for the same reasons that many gay people don’t just pretend to be heterosexual–because some things you just can’t pretend for your whole life.

        You don’t have to truly understand something to understand that it matters a whole lot to someone else.

  3. misdreavus says:

    Oh, and some of them don’t even try to convince anybody. See here:

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/11/transgender-student-in-womens-locker-room-raises-uproar/

    The decision to allow a transgender 45-year-old college student who identifies as a woman but has male genitalia to use the women’s locker room has raised a fracas among parents and faith-based organizations, who say children as young as 6 years old use the locker room

    The locker room at Evergreen College in Olympia, Wash., is shared with the Capital High School swim club and a children’s swim academy, along with the students at Evergreen.

    “The college has to follow state law,” Evergreen spokesman Jason Wettstein told ABC News affiliate KOMO. “The college cannot discriminate based on the basis of gender identity. Gender identity is one of the protected things in discrimination law in this state.”.

    Shit, Mrs. Doubtfire could have done a better job than that on a grocery store budget.

    • kai says:

      On the other hand, (s)he is no Mrs. Doubtfire….

      You really have the full spectrum with trans, from cross-dressing rugby player to “I would need genetic testing before believing you have a Y chromosome”.
      BTW, why would “convincing” trans go to the gay clubs? Imho they target hetero men, to which they should look far more attractive than to exclusive gays, who would not even look at them.

    • erica says:

      Oh, yes, little Tommy Dammiano, former supervisor in SF and now CA Assemblyman, has a little gem before the CA legislature right now. It would give kids the “right” to join any sports team or use any bathroom which they believe conforms to their gender perception of themselves. (I was surprised once to read that Dammiano has a grown daughter. I couldn’t understand how, after exchanging two words with him, any woman wouldn’t have known him to be gay, gay, gay, flamboyantly so. Then, I re-thought it: women are crazy too.)

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/04/california-rights-transgender-students/1963705/

  4. misdreavus says:

    There are transwomen who are interested exclusively in women.

    Likewise, there are transmen who are interested exclusively in men. No duh.

    And of course, they are raising a big stink about this as we speak, it’s all the new rage along critical theorists of gender. Go Google the “cotton ceiling” if you are interested in a good laugh.

    • misdreavus says:

      *among

      • kai says:

        Yeah of course trans men will be interested in men. It’s them being interrested in women that would be strange…Or [exclusive] gay men being interested in trans men. After all, trans try hard to look like women (with, I agree, varying degree of success) so will get less and less arousing for gay men.

        As an hetero, the situation is very simple to understand: I picture a transgender lady under testosterone therapy, having undergone a bi-mastectomy but not yet sex change. No way I do anything sexual with her, especially if she had the body type which would make her more or less convincing once the final surgery is done.

        Much more likely I bang a kathoy, which look so much like a lady that I would need close inspection to be sure. And I would not feel so bad about it, after all if I was fooled, then it is close enough to be a good experience. For an individual, XY and XX are not directly observable, and neither is the fertility. So the indirect clues can be fooled.

        The cockoo do it for bird parenting instinct, so trans can do it for human sex drive too…

      • minoritymagnet says:

        @ kai

        I think by transmen he means: female-to-male sex change. So, XX men! And these ftm happen to be “gay” quite a lot. And gay ftm (XX) are unappealing to most gay men (XY). Me (gay) included.

      • Anonymous says:

        that’s really really strange: if u are a phenotypic girl and are interested in men, u have a profusion of hetero to choose from ( if ugly, you may have to be less choosy… but there still are candidates 😉 ). but after a s
        ex change, u will have 50 times less potential candidates ( gay men) and be almost sure to be especially unattractive for them, meaning that your sex life will be bad. or likely non existent ( not even speaking of the functionality of the constructed organ… work much worse than male to female)
        so it’s not about sex…

      • minoritymagnet says:

        It’s indeed very strange. There are three, not necessarily correlating dimensions on the male/female “spectrum”:
        Gender identity: man or woman?
        Sexual orientation: attracted to men or women?
        Gender-conformity: masculine or feminine behaviour?

        But, except gay men, all these oddities seem to be very very rare or attention wh***s. And their evolutionairy fitness is rather low.

        (Not a native speaker – in case of uncomprehensible English and spelling mistakes)

      • minoritymagnet says:

        Google “Buck Angel” for the oddities nature has to offer.

    • Sideways says:

      That’s kind of hilarious, men complete with male genitals identifying as females pissed off that lesbians will not have sex with them.

      ” Trans women’s bodies are female bodies, whether or not we have penises.”

      You’d think they’d realize “holy shit, we’re just insane” at some point.

  5. ziel says:

    “Maybe they’re from Transylvania.” Reminds me of John Simon’s review of Dracula (1979) where he remarked something to the effect that Frank Langella was acting more like the count from Tranvestitia.

  6. Perhaps trans-sex or trans-gender is simply the best litmus test of whether people can deny biology and assert the primacy of social convention: you can be the sex you want to be, if you try hard enough. The ultimate insult is to seek to alter birth certificates: the accurate perceptions of the midwife being trumped by the delusional desires of the grown up infant.

    • kai says:

      Not so sure about the birth certificate, and I say so as someone quite far in the nature camp.
      Reproductively, u are partially right, but then we do not change the gender of sterile men or menopaused women.
      But if the trans exhibit a phenotype closer to the average of the opposite (genetic) sex than to his/her genetic sex, well…I think it is a valid point of view. Not all trans will reach that even after extensive surgery, they would need to be quite feminine men to begin, but personally I would not insist on keeping “man” on the ID of the youtube singer above.
      Phenotypes partially overlap, and genotypes are not always a clearcut XX or XY, so for a (small minority) what is on the birth certificate is quite arbitrary. What was decided by the midwife could sometimes looks like a poor choice after puberty. Famous examples are not difficult to find, just look at the last olympic games.

      • If the midwife cannot decide, I agree that is a problem, and allocation to two sexes is arbitrary. However, I think that turns out to be a very small number, and those wanting sex re-assignment a far larger number. I can remember crunching the data for the group at Charing Cross Hospital who started doing this work in the UK in the late 70s, and in all cases, as far as I recall, there was an obvious penis to be cut off. The internal name for this work was “the plop in the bucket”.

      • Polymath says:

        I don’t care about what the unfortunate individuals with ambiguous phenotypical sex do to try and get a body they feel comfortable with. The insane thing is when phenotypically normal men and women want to mutilate themselves, and it is a sign of an insane society that this is celebrated. A healthy society wouldn’t even tolerate it, but our society was already sick in the 1960s when it started to allow “sex changes”; it moved from sick to insane in the 80s and 90s when the AIDS epidemic prompted an enormous, desperate, relentless, savage, mendacious, and successful attack on the traditional attitudes to sexuality that had been determinedly undermined for the previous quarter-century.

      • kai says:

        Personally, I couldn’t care less about what other do to their own bodies, as long as it does not affect me directly (like…asking me to pay for the procedure (increased taxes) or additional exposition to MST)….So quite indifferent wrt trans or gays (weak positive is that it slightly decrease male competition for females so increase my chances, weak negative is that I have a less infinitesimal chance of dying of AIDS)….well, as long as there is no reverse discrimination against the straight white male. But really, gays or trans are distant second order contributors to this particular problem…

      • Anon says:

        >>> The insane thing is when phenotypically normal men and women want to mutilate themselves, and it is a sign of an insane society that this is celebrated. A healthy society wouldn’t even tolerate it.

        So what if they want to mutilate themselves? Are you saying that their own bodies do not belong to these individuals?

        Also what is “healthy society”? One that maximizes population? In that case birth control does by far more damage than odd transgendered person.

        • Polymath says:

          You are misinterpreting me in an idiotic way. Like many libertarians, you can’t imagine anything in between the individual and the state. When I said a healthy society would not tolerate it, I didn’t mean it would JAIL people who mutilated themselves, just that they would be socially scorned. That has nothing to do with “a right to one’s own body”; they are free to mutilate themselves, and I am free to shun them.

          However, one could make the argument that no ethical doctor who took a Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm” should participate in “sex-change” surgery, in the same way that some ethicists say that the people who want a healthy limb removed are disordered and may not be aided in this desire by ethical physicians. Here is a quote from an article in Salon magazine about this disorder:

          ****
          Could there really be a public debate on the viability and ethics of cutting off healthy limbs?

          “It’s meshugeneh — absolutely nuts,” said medical ethicist Arthur Caplan, turning to Yiddish. “It’s absolute, utter lunacy to go along with a request to maim somebody.”

          Caplan, the director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Bioethics, explained that such an amputation would violate the Hippocratic Oath in the extreme. “The cure is not to yield to the illness and conform to the obsession. And this is not just about ‘do no harm.’ It’s also about whether (sufferers) are competent to make a decision when they’re running around saying, ‘Chop my leg off.’”
          ****

          The “transgendered” people have achieved a level of social status and celebration that the unfortunates with “Body Integrity Identity Disorder” can only dream of. Do you see an essential difference between these two disorders or do you think they should be treated exactly the same way, giving people the surgical alterations that they want and celebrating their “choice”?

      • Anon says:

        >>>Do you see an essential difference between these two disorders or do you think they should be treated exactly the same way, giving people the surgical alterations that they want and celebrating their “choice”?

        I see personal ownership of your own body as one of the key principles that should never be compromised. If an individual chooses to alter his or her body, it is not our place to oppose it in any way. If I chose to vandalize my body (or my property) in any way you don’t approve of – too bad for you. Alternative is that we all lose control over our bodies.

        As to your opposition – it goes well beyond “I don’t like it”. You actually want to prevent people from going through gender reassignment surgery by making it illegal or unavailable. Your position is very clear in this matter.

        • gcochran9 says:

          “personal ownership of your own body” – that’s why we have a draft, I guess.

        • Polymath says:

          You must have done poorly on the reading comprehension portion of the SAT. I said ” When I said a healthy society would not tolerate it, I didn’t mean it would JAIL people who mutilated themselves, just that they would be socially scorned.” Social scorning of people who do X is not the same thing as making X illegal. Don’t you believe in freedom of association?

          As for my point about doctors, to say that in my opinion doctors who perform such surgery are “doing harm” and are therefore violating their Hippocratic Oath is ALSO, in case you didn’t notice, an issue of social rather than legal sanctions. “Violating the Hippocratic Oath”is unethical but not illegal, and I did not propose “ethics laws” that would make this illegal. Again you fail to show any understanding of the difference between society discouraging something through social pressure and making it punishable by law.

          You did not answer my question directly, but you made it clear indirectly that you thought it was fine for a doctor to assist someone who wants to have a healthy limb amputated. My followup questions are:

          1) If a physically healthy patient has untreatable depression and wants assistance to kill himself, should physicians assist him?

          2) If a physically healthy patient has possibly treatable depression and wants assistance to kill himself, should physicians first try to see if the depression responds to treatment with antidepressant drugs, or should they simply carry out the patient’s wishes?

      • Pincher Martin says:

        “I see personal ownership of your own body as one of the key principles that should never be compromised.”

        Polymath’s position is very reasonable. He tolerates a sickness that he sees no way to cure, and for which he can see no direct harm to others in allowing to exist. But he doesn’t fetishize it as you do.

        Your position, Anon, is an extreme version of libertarianism that in a saner world would be up for inclusion in the DSM-6. If ownership of one’s body is a key principle that should never be compromised than I presume you see a serious breach of freedom in putting Armin Meiwes, the Rotenburg Cannibal, in jail because he sliced, cooked and ate a willing man’s penis as an appetizer before administering the coup de grâce to his so-called “victim” so that he could enjoy a main course.

        To you, this must be a market transaction between two people who were making the most of that key principle you favor, not something that needs to be understood as a sickness (in both men) even if there is nothing we as a society can do to cure it.

    • JayMan says:

      Interesting point.

  7. Noname says:

    Yes because homosexuality is caused by pathogen

    • dave chamberlin says:

      Homosexuality being caused by a pathogen is Cochran’s hypothesis which is a very long way from being proven. The only reason I’m even open minded to this hypothesis being a possibility is because of the source. I doubt that it is true. Remember a highly successful scientist has a very low batting average when it comes to being right about new theories. Just because homosexuality isn’t genetic doesn’t mean the only alternative is a pathogen.

      • JayMan says:

        Of course. Especially since we all know it’s a poison, probably ricin.

        Still, it is good to be critical.

      • Noname says:

        Homosexuality is not caused by epigenetics,antibodies,low testosterone,genetics or estradiol deficit.What’s your theory brainiac.

      • misdreavus says:

        “Remember a highly successful scientist has a very low batting average when it comes to being right about new theories.”

        Ecological fallacy!

        • gcochran9 says:

          There are only a few broad categories in which the cause of a deleterious syndrome has much chance of falling: genetic problems, infectious organisms, toxins, some sort of malnutrition or vitamin deficiency, iatrogenic. A priori, suggesting that the cause of homosexuality lies in one of those categories, the one that has explained most diseases with a big impact on fitness, isn’t a million-to-one shot.

      • dave chamberlin says:

        Brianiac doesn’t have a theory. But my large pulsing brain has wieghed a billion possibilities simultaneously and concluded…data insufficient. I think we need to start a gay sheep farm modeled after the russian domesticated fox farm. Maybe we can breed them to be gayer and gayer until we see the side effects. Seriously though, it is a fascinating question what causes homesxuality. I just don’t see the evidence to support the gay germ theory. I doubt that it is correct. Ask an epidemiologist why they don’t buy the gay germ theory (and by and large they don’t). My guess is they will say it doesn’t transmit in any pattern that any other pathogen does.

      • misdreavus says:

        ” Ask an epidemiologist why they don’t buy the gay germ theory (and by and large they don’t).”

        Since I currently attend a fairly well known research university, I’ve actually had the opportunity to ask a few epidemiologists myself. The vast majority have probably never even heard of the gay germ theory, and in any case, very few of them know any evolutionary theory.

        The most useless sort of comment you see here is one expressing ardent skepticism of a controversial theory or another, without telling you just *why*. You see, because that would entail actual counter-arguments, thoughtful reasoning, and a rudimentary understanding of the subject matter in question. No, better to just trust your gut feeling and indulge in lazy skepticism – the safest and surest bet there is.

      • JayMan says:

        @misdreavus:

        “The most useless sort of comment you see here is one expressing ardent skepticism of a controversial theory or another, without telling you just *why*. You see, because that would entail actual counter-arguments, thoughtful reasoning, and a rudimentary understanding of the subject matter in question. No, better to just trust your gut feeling and indulge in lazy skepticism – the safest and surest bet there is.”

        Hear, hear!

  8. RJ says:

    “The question is why anyone – let alone society as a whole – takes the whole idea seriously…”

    McGill had plans to build a “gender-neutral” washroom in 2004 to accommodate trans-gendered people, and I think they went through with it, along with a few other university campuses.

    http://www.mcgill.ca/reporter/36/12/transgender/

    • Henry Spencer Ashbee says:

      I believe this is the preferred solution among the enlightened. Not that it gives the transsexuals what they want – a male-to-female transsexual wants to pee in the *girls’* washroom, dammit! – but it saves them from something they don’t want.

      Even better, for the enlightened, it amounts to a lateral attack on traditional notions of sexual modesty, the reason we have separate facilities for men and women. That’s catnip. And done under cover of “human rights”. How clever, how amusing.

  9. The fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

    There will be a lot of outraged people along here soon.

  10. Toddy Cat says:

    Wonder if Furries are going to actually start having themselves modified to look line animals? i mean, if I IDENTIFY as a tiger, whose to say…

  11. anneallen3 says:

    @misdreavus or GC: do you fellows think there is no relevance to homosexuality? That studying transsexuality would offer no clues as to the cause of male homosexuality?
    Interesting to learn that “Gay men at nightclubs tend to avoid “transmen” like the plague”
    but it makes sense in light of Bailey’s reports that gay men prefer masculine rather than feminine men.

    • misdreavus says:

      Feminine or not, practically all gay men desire a sexual partner with a penis. Halfway compromises are not acceptable.

    • Dd says:

      Most MTF transsexuals are interested in women; the minority of those who aren’t seem like hyperfeminine gay men.

  12. Anon says:

    Not every social construct can be described in simple Darwinian terms. The society takes whole idea seriously because this is the best alternative in a long list of bad choice. Just like with schizophrenia, transgendered individuals don’t chose to be this way and do not have ‘cure’ available. Unlike schizophrenia, trans does not pose any danger to outsiders.

    There are all kinds of intermediate steps between Catholic’s no birth control no sex before marriage and transgendered individuals, defining any of it as a mental illness is dangerous precedent that can lead to culture wars.

    Whatever ones chooses to do in one’s bedroom should not be concerning anyone outside of said bedroom.

    • gcochran says:

      So we should pretend that schizophrenics are sane? Put them in missile silos? Respect their views on ‘purity of essence’?

      People say that, about the bedroom, a lot. Like most things libertarians say, it’s nonsense. It looks to me as if any society that figures out a way of lasting isn’t going to take that attitude. The main problem isn’t transsexuals, or crush freaks – it’s highly educated women not reproducing.

      • Toddy Cat says:

        And if someone thinks that their left arm is actually an alien implant put there by Greys from a UFO, should we humor them, and amputate it? By the way, quite a few Trans people who have sex change operations now say they regret it. Daniel Paul Bunten was a good example.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danielle_Bunten_Berry

      • Mihaly Berezchuk says:

        There were a lot of people in the seventies who maintained that schizophrenia was just another way of looking at life. I remember this idea seemed to resurface in the 90s-early 2000s, probably having something to do with the rise of the internet and the ease that fringe weirdos can find each other.

      • Anon Transsexual says:

        Toddy Cat:

        Not sure about the analogy, but going with it, if they didn’t have any delusions about its origin, but just found that it caused them irrational chronic pain, suicidality and disgust, and there was no identifiable way to actually cure this or even really manage it, would it be always be verboten to chop off the limb?

        The way I would perceive doctors going with such a case, in reality, would be to consider the persistence of the pain and inability to treat against the utility of the limb and likely health, psychological and social problems that would result from being disabled. Quite rightly IMO.

        Not just a simple minded logic of “We would never remove the limb because some things you just don’t do! And it would have harmed their Darwinian fitness in the past and will in the present.” or “Oh, well, if they claim to have this problem then they need to be told that they’re crazy and to get over it. Perhaps with some ineffective drugs / talk therapy as a courtesy?”.

      • Gander says:

        How would you get educated women to breed more?

        Also, isn’t the problem with the Darwinian illness model that some behaviors, like clerical celibacy, clearly reduce reproductive fitness and always have (the odd priestly bastard aside, not fucking will do that), and yet — are priests victims of Darwinian madness?

      • Anon says:

        >>> How would you get educated women to breed more?

        Good start would be following other First World countries on maternity leave laws – income matching, longer minimal leave, socialized daycare…

        If having a kid wasn’t such significant loss of earned income and career opportunity, then more educated women would breed.

        >>> The main problem isn’t transsexuals, or crush freaks – it’s highly educated women not reproducing.

        Yes, but what does this problem has to do with transgendered people? Are you saying that educated women are more likely to become transgendered?

      • Pincher Martin says:

        Anon,

        “Good start would be following other First World countries on maternity leave laws – income matching, longer minimal leave, socialized daycare…”

        If having a kid wasn’t such significant loss of earned income and career opportunity, then more educated women would breed.”

        None of this is true. You simply don’t know what you’re talking about.

        In places like Singapore, the government does everything you mention here and more, and it has done so for almost three decades. The result of these pro-natalist polices? The lowest fertility rate in the world.

        Here’s how Jonathan Last puts it in his book What to Expect When No One’s Expecting:

        “Despite all the incentives, all the public campaigns, all the perks and payouts, the average woman in Singapore can barely be bothered to have a single chid. If Singapore with its authoritarian government and natalist bonanza – cash bonuses ! tax credits ! preferential housing ! paid maternity leave ! childcare from grandparents ! – can’t convince its modern sophisticated population to have babies, what hope does anyone have?”

        Last then goes on to make a few modest suggestions to increase the number of American women having babies – none of which you mentioned in your post.

      • Abelard Lindsey says:

        I agree with your point about healthy people wanting to amputate a limb. Just the thought of doing such a thing makes me shudder. However, what I do in my bedroom is none of your damn business, period. You have no right to question what people do in the privacy of their own homes. Suggesting otherwise is just plain insulting and offensive.

        Obsessing over the private acts of others, particularly those you don’t even know personally as though it is proper for you to have control over such people is defined as inappropriate boundaries in psychology and IS considered a marker of mental illness.

      • erica says:

        Example of the pop culture celebration of and “normalizing” of this was the selection of and promotion of Cher’s new “son,” Chaz Bono, as a contestant on “Dancing w/ the Stars.” Family show.

      • Discard says:

        What people do in their bedrooms determines whether or not civilization shall continue to exist. It is our business. Those who disagree are free to stop using the accumulated knowledge and resources of a hundred generations of humanity.

      • Discard says:

        Maybe I’m a fascist or sexist or something, but I think that the intelligent daughters of Whites who support affirmative action should be compelled to breed. This stems from my belief that no White who blathers about the wonders of diversity, yet works mightily to avoid it themselves, has any claim on the protection of society. I call it, “giving back”.
        Of course, the egg donors would have no hand in rearing the offspring. Leftist hypocrisy can be contagious.

      • albatross says:

        What makes you think inviting the state more into the bedroom than it is now would make more educated women have children? Much more likely some harmless-to-all-but-themselves people with weird sexual tastes would end up in jail as a result, and fertility of smart people would remain unchanged. Nobody seems to have any more clear practical policy solutions for making smart people have more kids than they do for making black kids do better on standardized tests. (Yes, forcible pregnancy and forcible transracial adoption can probably make some progress in that direction, but those policies are horrible and would be rightly rejected by most everyone.).

      • JayMan says:

        @Pincher Martin:

        “In places like Singapore, the government does everything you mention here and more, and it has done so for almost three decades. The result of these pro-natalist polices? The lowest fertility rate in the world.”

        It seems that’s because of the enormous population density of Singapore, owning to the fact that it’s a city-state. See here (my blog):

        Another Tale of Two Maps

        Population density seems to negatively impact the fertility rate of high-latitude civilized peoples. This appears to even be pre-birth control era, as we’ve seen with France a century ago.

        Further Testing the Pioneer Hypothesis: Canada and Russia.

        The hypothesis: high-latitude civilized people (and perhaps high latitude people in general) are somewhat averse to crowding (some more than others), and like their space. When the cost of acquiring that space, and resources in general becomes too high (be it real or perceived, see here: Expectations and reality: a window into the liberal-conservative baby gap), people cut back on “family formation” and hence children.

        In short, you may have a uphill battle raising fertility rates if you can’t get costs and crowding down. This likely explains the abysmal fertility rates in East Asia. But, they have plenty of people, they’ll be fine. As for the dysgenic aspect, I expect the Chinese at least to address that fairly soon.

      • Pincher Martin says:

        JayMan,

        “It seems that’s because of the enormous population density of Singapore, owning to the fact that it’s a city-state.”

        You’re absolutely right, and I apologize if my post left the impression that I didn’t believe there were other important factors besides government policy which determine fertility rates. I was merely trying to counter Anon’s crude assertion that a set of liberal government policies could raise a country’s fertility rate; I wasn’t giving a comprehensive explanation for why a particular country’s fertility rates was low. I’m afraid you took my rhetorical flourish about Singapore having the lowest fertility rate in the world to mean more than I wanted it to mean.

        You’ve obviously done some excellent, detailed work about fertility rates on your blog. I have only one quibble. When you write, “As for the dysgenic aspect, I expect the Chinese at least to address that fairly soon”, you make it sound as if Beijing addressing this problem will immediately segue into a Chinese government solution for it.

        But I think Singapore’s example is still instructive. For even its highly respected officials have not been able to prevent the continued dysgenic slide in the city-state. It’s not just that Singaporeans are having few babies. It’s that poorer, less-educated Singaporean women still have more babes than wealthier, better-educated Singaporean women – despite the fact that Singapore officials are well aware of the problem and have taken steps to reverse it.

        So, assuming I’m reading you correctly, why would you believe that Beijing will succeed where Singapore has failed?

      • Discard says:

        Albatross: I have a clear, practical policy solution for increasing the fertility of intelligent women. Stop creating endless desk jobs through government funding, legal mandates, and all the many other ways that we are forced to pay for smart women to sit in offices and play mommy administrator. Without a pointless, government created job to go to, smart women would have to choose between engineering school, nursing school, teaching, a manual trade, or marriage.

      • JayMan says:

        @Pincher Martin:

        “You’ve obviously done some excellent, detailed work about fertility rates on your blog.”

        Thank you! 🙂

        “When you write, “As for the dysgenic aspect, I expect the Chinese at least to address that fairly soon”, you make it sound as if Beijing addressing this problem will immediately segue into a Chinese government solution for it.”

        Probably through technological means. The Chinese government is heavily involved research which aims to identify genes for high IQ. I have no doubt that they will use that knowledge to improve their own people.

        Here’s some stuff by Steve Hsu and Geoffrey Miller on the topic, if you haven’t already seen it:

        Genetic Architecture of Intelligence

        WHAT *SHOULD* WE BE WORRIED ABOUT? – Geoffrey Miller

        “So, assuming I’m reading you correctly, why would you believe that Beijing will succeed where Singapore has failed?”

        Oh I don’t doubt that as soon as the technology comes online, all the East Asian nations will snatch it right up. Probably followed by the Eastern Europeans (the Russians). Last in the developed world might be the West, for bullshit PC reasons of course (see also Peter Frost on it: Low-hanging fruit?; It’s not because research is cheaper there)…

      • Pincher Martin says:

        JayMan,

        “Here’s some stuff by Steve Hsu and Geoffrey Miller on the topic, if you haven’t already seen it”

        I have seen them, and I disagree. Miller, in particular, greatly exaggerates the effectiveness of China’s eugenic policies, both past and present. In fact, China’s most famous and influential population control measure of modern times – the so-called one-child policy – was dysgenic in its consequences. The breeding of Chinese urbanites was more strictly controlled than that of peasants; Chinese minorities were excluded from the controls; and the most obvious effect of prenatal screening was to create a hugely imbalanced gender ratio.

        Perhaps that’s because the genesis of China’s one-child policy had nothing to do with eugenics. It was born in an era in which the Chinese Marxist elite began to be highly influenced by The Club of Rome and Paul Erhlich’s predictions. China’s Marxist elite had initially criticized those predictions as Western imperialist thought designed to keep the Third World down. But that same elite would revisit those Western population projections in the early Deng era, when China began opening up to Western markets and Western science, and quickly turn them into Marxist holy writ. (You can read a detailed description of this history in Susan Greenhalgh’s Just One Child: Science and Policy in Deng’s China.)

        I also highly doubt that advances in technology will change this situation. The problem is primarily political and social, not technological. Just as animal breeders in the early nineteenth century didn’t need to know anything about evolution or genes to know how to select the traits in animals that they were looking for, so nothing prevents a government today from practicing eugenics in such a way that it could breed more intelligent people. Singapore has certainly tried to do this, and it has failed. It did not fail because of a lack of technology or a lack of understanding about the genome. It failed because governments have so little control over the incentives behind family formation among our best and brightest. Ultimately, short of tying an educated woman down and forcibly impregnating her, she has the choice of who and when she marries, and if and when she has babies. And it appears that a tax credit here and a school voucher there ain’t going to change that.

      • JayMan says:

        “Thinking about it, seems likely that that raising fertility among high-IQ women would be fairly easy. If you go about it right.”

        How would you do it?

      • Pincher Martin says:

        How would you go about it right?

    • Henry Spencer Ashbee says:

      “defining any of it as a mental illness is dangerous precedent that can lead to culture wars.”

      Defining transsexuality as any other than a serious mental disorder is a frontal attack in the culture war.

      “Whatever ones chooses to do in one’s bedroom should not be concerning anyone outside of said bedroom.

      What does that have to with redefining gender? The new social understandings demanded by the pro-trans crowd amount to a cultural revolution more radical than anything Mao dreamt up.

  13. misha says:

    disphoria is obviously a disorder but to the extent that social roles need not be connected to genitalia trans-people’s choice of social role should be accepted.

  14. Ralph Hitchens says:

    Polymath, I don’t believe you were misinterpreted at all. To paraphrase Jesus, “by their [words] shall ye know them.” You are the self-appointed spokesman for a “healthy society.” Enough said. I see no evidence that “society” celebrates what you condemn. Some people celebrate some things, others condemn these things. T’was ever thus.

    • gcochran9 says:

      paraphrase: a restatement of a text or passage giving the meaning in another form.

      A courtesy, since you obviously don’t know what the word means.

  15. Anon Transsexual says:

    Provocative (I’m sure you’d say “Not in any sane world” though). Agree, my brain probably is within the male range in its general development, perhaps except one or two things which are fairly subtle neurologically (and not necessarily in “other sex typical” fashion).

    I’m not sure it’s really important to me for anyone to regard me as “really” a woman, or even to regard me as biologically female, which I know is biologically incorrect. Being called male doesn’t really bug me.

    The things that do bug me (litotes) are having to deal with a body I don’t want and having to or being expected to conform to a bunch of “man” type roles (e.g. fucking women with a penis, wearing male clothes, at the most exaggerated extremes some notion I should be some kind of cigar chomping male chauvinist who loves sports, war history and engineering while being emotionally insensitive, arrogant and kind of brash, etc). Being called “male” in a strictly academic and biological (even neurological) sense doesn’t really trouble me. I think that would be true of most transsexuals with sufficient IQ to understand the concepts involved (i.e. non-mentally retarded), provided they didn’t feel under attack or treated with contempt and disgust when it was explained to them.

    The idea that transsexuals are “really” women (rather than feeling that they should be and more comfortable living the way women do) is a combination of the (not really evidence based) brain sex theory of transsexualism (which can seem like an intuitive way of explaining why the body and social role feels so wrong, if you don’t look too deeply into the lack of evidence behind it) with wanting to be respected by others and allowed to be oneself.

    On “crazy”: If being “crazy” were, in general society, well understood to mean purely “follows a pattern of behavior which decreased fitness in the past and present” then I wouldn’t really mind being thought crazy. After all, it’s self evidently the case (the behavior lowers fitness). What would annoy me is that most people’s understanding of crazy (in the actual real world rather than some parallel universe) means “wrong and deluded about a bunch of random things in reality” and “has random mood disorders”. Those things are not particularly the case for me, and are actually a lot less the case for me than most of the more “Darwinian sane” people I know.

    On the fecundity of intelligent women, I’m all for it (who wouldn’t be, if you know intelligence is heritable?), but it doesn’t really seem to relate to transsexuals much. Even if I were not a transsexual, firstly, they wouldn’t want to mate with me (highly educated women are not going to regard a highly behaviorally androgynous person who doesn’t even want to have sex with them and doesn’t like having to be a man as an appealing mate, no matter the intelligence), secondly I wouldn’t want to mate with them, thirdly we wouldn’t be together (or having kids) short of an arranged marriage combined with the threat of significant violence (and even then, suicide is an option) and finally we’d drive one another non-Darwinian crazy by being together.

    • Anon says:

      >>> “follows a pattern of behavior which decreased fitness in the past and present”

      Any behavior that deviates from pumping out children at maximum rate decreases fitness. Birth control? Crazy! Postponing childbirth after 16? Crazy! Focusing on a career instead of pumping out kids? Crazy!

      The only problem is who would want to live in a sane world?

      • gcochran9 says:

        The problem is that, even in the medium run, the unsane societies you like are going to die. Not without getting stupid first. What’s not to like about idiocracy?

      • Anon says:

        >>> “What’s not to like about idiocracy?”

        We have concerns that this might happen, we have theories that outline how it could happen, but I am not aware of any evidence that this is actually happening. If anything, in a recorded history humans got smarter.

        So far, this is even on shakier ground than mass extinction due to meteorite strike – at least we have evidence that something like that has happened before.

        Even looking at this in broader light – have you seen any evidence that any social species devolved dumber? If I had to make another baseless guess, I’d say that competition between societies or packs puts pressures that more than offset any individual factors. That is, if Western civilization gradually or suddenly got dumb, then Middle Eastern or Asian civilization would take over. After all, these “unsane” aspects are not general to all humanity, but they are to places you’d chose to live.

      • misdreavus says:

        Knowing that the narrow sense heritability of IQ is roughly 0.5, and knowing the selection differential for IQ in the most of the developed world, we should be losing roughly 1-2 points per generation.

        And no, there will be no east Asian takeover, because dysgenic trends are occurring there, as well. Not unless we plan to do something about this.

      • JayMan says:

        @Anon May 8, 2013 at 2:16 pm:

        “>>> ‘What’s not to like about idiocracy?’

        We have concerns that this might happen, we have theories that outline how it could happen, but I am not aware of any evidence that this is actually happening. If anything, in a recorded history humans got smarter.”

        And, just in time, evidence for that became available. See:

        Woodley, Michael A. (2012). The social and scientific temporal correlates of genotypic intelligence and the Flynn effect

        and:

        Woodley, Michael A.; Nijenhuis, J.; Murphy, R. (2013) Were the Victorians cleverer than us? The decline in general intelligence estimated from a meta-analysis of the slowing of simple reaction time

        There you go.

      • Discard says:

        Anon at 2:16 PM, May 8: I’d bet that, due to welfare of many types, dumb people are outbreeding smart people by a long ways. In particular, I’d bet that Blacks are getting dumber by the year. 72% bastardy rate? Idiocracy has already taken over Black America.

    • gcochran9 says:

      Whether any particular flavor of Darwinian madness is statistically associated with more-than-average levels of bad judgment, hallucinations, biting off your own fingers and toes, or suicidal depression is an empirical question. Homosexual men have a significantly higher prevalence of depression, apparently everywhere that anyone has looked, and it would not surprise me if the biological causes of homosexuality sometimes had other consequences – almost certainly bad ones. As I understand it, this is another of those facts that can’t exist.

      Note that a practically significant statistical association between syndrome X and screwy behavior Y does not mean that all X-type people do Y. Then again, the fact that some particular person with syndrome X does not do Y hardly proves that no such association exists. I often hear that, but it only proves that the person saying it is an idiot.

      As for transsexuals, I have no idea. There just aren’t that many of them. Sure, when Deidre McCloskey talks about all the insights he now has into the female mind, he’s full of it. When Roughgarden explains how wrong sexual selection is, he’s so far around the bend that he can’t see the bend from there. But is this significantly different from the average level of craziness and bad judgement in academia? I don’t know.

      If I was picking the commander of a boomer, I’d go with someone for which the odds of sanity were both known and favorable – not a transsexual.

    • gcochran9 says:

      This blog is attracting highly rational and informed people from groups that are generally not known for that – in your case a group that is also very small. Somehow, I don’t see how this is going to build the huge audience I once hoped for and bring in those big advertising bucks.

      In the next step, I will hear from some highly intelligent Parsee, or from the only Pygmy who is a well-educated neodarwinist.

  16. GAINT ANTIMATTER SPACE BUZZARD says:

    ### I’M A 33 YEAR OLD MAN WHO IS ACTUALLY A 14 YEAR OLD GIRL ###
    ### I DEMAND TO BE LET INTO GIRLS SCHOOL CHANGING ROOMS ###

  17. Tim says:

    Seems like there are a number of processes that natural selection has designed in the development of human sexuality. Some time after the sex of a fertilized egg is determined some process must kick off with the function to set the object of sexual attraction be the opposite sex. When this process malfunctions (for whatever reason) you get homosexuals (and maybe pedophiles if it malfunctions in a different way). Also, a process is supposed to kick off to give you a psychological identity matching your sex, probably in order to ensure behavior that attracts the opposite sex. When this process malfunctions you get trans. They can function/malfunction in various combinations.

    • GAINT ANTIMATTER SPACE BUZZARD says:

      And I suppose that because our brains are more complex than those of other animals, there’s more chance of something going wrong somewhere in their development.

      • ziel says:

        The simple stuff – like who you should want to boff – shouldn’t be impacted by our complex behaviors. 4% of the population doesn’t try to eat by shoving food up there noses. All the complex behavior in the world doesn’t explain why the simple – and necessary – urge to have sex with a woman is missing.

      • Tim says:

        Perhaps. But everything with a function can and does malfunction. We should expect to find those with malfunctioning sexual identities just as there are those with malfunctioning hearts and livers. I bet there are lower animals with sexual identity disorders as well, whether or not it happens at a higher or lower frequency than in humans I don’t know.

  18. misdreavus says:

    “Any behavior that deviates from pumping out children at maximum rate decreases fitness.”

    Wrong. Look up the definition of evolutionary fitness.

    • Drive-By Poster says:

      If you can afford it and provide for your kids well enough for them to reach their full potential, does it not still apply? Maybe you can squeeze in some inclusive fitness benefits somehow, but still… ?

      • albatross says:

        In particular, given modern conditions, most of us could manage to have lots more kids without shorting the others too much. Three kids sent to private schools and graduating college without a lot of debt are not really too likely to leave you more descendants than eight kids sent to public schools and on their own for financing college. Most of us don’t have eight kids, because our standard of living would fall too far–on my salary, I suppose I could feed and clothe eight, but we’d be living packed in like sardines in a worse neighborhood and house, they’d be in public school, I’d be taking the bus to work instead of driving, etc. Why aren’t you living in subsidized housing with your huge brood, while getting a little on the side in your spare time with any girl who will go along and isn’t on the pill, between trips to donate to the local sperm bank?

        Now, defining any choice other than maximizing expected descendants as crazy is silly from the perspective of individuals–I’m not my genes, I have no inclination to go get counseling to convince me to have more kids, etc. (Though I’m Catholic, so I guess I
        know where to go to find people who will advise me to have more kids.)

        But from the perspective of evolution, it is interesting. Behavior that makes you have more descendants, even if horrible by human standards (sleeping around on your wife, raping random women when you can get away with it) should be selected for. (It’s notable that both actions are likely to get you killed if you’re caught, traditionally.) Behavior that makes you have fewer descendants, even if inoffensive or laudable by human standards (homosexuality, vows of celebacy, throwing yourself on the grenade to save your buddies), should be selected against. We see a fair bit of such behavior, in fact, widespread enough that it’s hard to discount it all as random noise, or deleterious mutations that haven’t been weeded out yet.

      • Tim says:

        The problem is that evolution uses the strategy of sexual attraction and making sex feel good as the way of getting children. When you can have the sex without the children, people choose that. What we should see in the coming millenia is selection for the traits of those who really like children since the old way of sex as a way of getting children has been blocked.

  19. SOBL1 says:

    The more I read about leftist tactics the more I believe that the attention given to transgender people is really just a trick by the left to push the propaganda that gender is a social construct and men and women are the same. Looking at how the left uses people for any end result or message, it seems appropriate that they would focus on the few, incredibly deranged individuals who believe that they are really the other gender just as a chance to push that message. It makes the leftist feel good for fake caring for a sick person while pushing a cathedral article of faith.

    • misdreavus says:

      “The more I read about leftist tactics the more I believe that the attention given to transgender people is really just a trick by the left to push the propaganda that gender is a social construct and men and women are the same.”

      You misread their intentions. Even a cursory read of second-wave feminist literature should inform you that radical social constructionists are deeply opposed to any notion of “transgendered identity”. One feminist author went even so far as to say that drag shows and cross dressing are the gender equivalent of blackface.

      • gcochran9 says:

        Speaking of, I’ve always hankered to have one of my kids go to an interview for Harvard in blackface.

      • Anon says:

        I think you are good example demonstrating why higher intelligence is not selected for in social species like humans. My guess is that outside of narrow range of sd getting along with society becomes increasingly difficult. What I don’t understand is why this true for both up and down directions. You can say that exceptionally dumb people don’t know better, but what excuse do exceptionally smart people have?

        As to your “blackface” – it represents racism. Not unlike yelling N word. When you are part of society that is being discriminated against, every discriminating act, no matter how small, plays into breeding fear, resentment and so on.

        • gcochran9 says:

          My kids have to score noticeably higher than kids from various minority groups (the majority in this state) in order to get scholarships, get into certain academic programs, graduate departments, etc. I realize that joking about that is inappropriate. Instead I should be planning revolt. And when that day comes, I’ve got a little list…

      • BB753 says:

        Absolutely, blackface is to racial identity what dressing in drag is to “sexual identity”!
        As such it should be legal not only on tv shows but for job and college interviews.
        And again it’s white boys who are discriminated against so who’s being hurt? Not minorities (soon to be pluralities).

      • albatross says:

        Planning revolution because of the unfairness of the system is not fitness-maximizing. I’m thinking there’s a germ behind this….

  20. Drive-By Poster says:

    The idea that your psychiatrist should help you maximize your fitness is silly. It’d be less muddleheaded to clearly separate psychology from (bio)social engineering and then do both. Psychology is for individual minds and their specific mental problems understanding the world, the people in it (including oneself) and coping. Forgive me if that is a hippie-dippy idealization. Social engineering is… pretty self-explanatory, and sure it requires the cooperation of the the individual minds living in your society, but you only really want or need maybe 10% of the population operating as good Darwinian automatons with a laissez-faire approach on the rest. I did pull that number out of my ass, but whatever the number really is, it’s less than 100%.

  21. Anonymous says:

    “The main problem isn’t transsexuals, or crush freaks – it’s highly educated women not reproducing.”

    Yep. I do think that a part of the problem that can actually be addressed, kinda, is that the educated are more vulnerable to all that “psychology” we are soaked in, and which makes parenting seem like an incredibly difficult business, virtually impossible to do correctly. I remember the huge relief I felt when reading Harris’ “Nurture Assumption”. Now I may be a bit off center in the unhappy direction on the male bell curve for neuroticism, but I think the stress put on the average smart woman must be huge. Another part is that intelligence ain’t much appreciated in itself, without needing to yield a career, which steers smart women into dumb careers on the one hand, and on the other delays their appreciation of smart men (who they will finally marry, yet some years later than they could/should, cause they too ain’t far into careers, dumb or otherwise, when young), altogether obscuring a smart woman’s purpose in life, to be the nice wife of a scientist (and perhaps help a bit with the menials of research for a career, and even the less menial stuff when the kids go to school?-not completely sarcastic here). The Left is to blame for obscuring the realities of intelligence and the sixtiesy, “self-realization” part of hedonism, the Right for the more vulgar consumerist part and rampant moneyism, and to a point for contributing to the social arena an intramajoritarian anti-intelligence value scale (up with the Bible, trailer park, and Jock-o-rama) along the Left’s more inclusive egalitarianism and biodenialism, while libertarians are happy with any nonsense that seems to go along with their state-allergic utopianism.

    PS there is though a strange meritocracy in Idiocracy. President Camacho in 2505 seems to be the smartest guy around-a true Butt-Head among Beavises, huh huh.

  22. human_progression says:

    Couple of points from a free market point of view:
    -a strict free market interpretation of , let’s start with, for example living space, is that even if that becomes an issue, it makes no sense to be fearful of the bottom people taking your space: because they don’t have the buying power to compete with you. Thus you will see the poor huddled in their shack houses, or living as “cage dwellers” in Hong Kong while those that are richer, let’s say fitter, will always outdo the poor. This will also eventually restrict the means for reproduction of the poor, or the unfit. You need resources to support your kids or to have the faith to make them, and as those resources run thin something eventually limits that activity.
    *(those with altruistic tendencies may support the poor in their existence or their pursuit of reproduction – the main thing is to get the government out of ensuring equal results to everyone)
    -the same principle applies to any other limited resource: food, gas, etc. There is no reason to limit them by government power as the price will do the same thing when it really becomes a problem.
    -but as Henry George once said about Malthus: (non-exact quote) “when the number of foxes increases, the number of hens decreases. When the number of people increases the number of hens increases”. It is a matter of faith but I believe, as many libertarians, that the availability of resources ….

    -Ok I actually wondered a bit off here, sorry, back to the insane:
    *well yes, the insane just are not too fit either, so why should we be worried about anything they do on average? Surely they can’t build a missile silo, I don’t think. Surely no one hires them for that work even if you don’t label them early on as unfit people: climbing your way with your career to any position of making decisions requires a working brain. This is essentially the free market way of screening the unfit out of any successful activity. You wont meet the mentally unfit in the investment business or that of computer science.
    *as for them reproducing for example: why care about that? Same arguments as the poor reproducing, it doesn’t matter in the end, let them exist.
    *the tendency of the market to screen out unwanted individuals based on price goes to other areas of life as well; public space of Aspen vs public space of Bronx, one is safer because it is not accessible to low wealth, low income individuals.
    *so the missile silos and the insane felt a bit far fetched but the same principles apply: they won’t get hired, won’t get the money to get the skills, and so on.
    *they shouldn’t get the resources to be candidates of husbands for the most valuable women etc.

    -“educated women need to reproduce”. I suppose from my perspective either the educated women need to agree to reproduce as individuals, or if you think, like the people here probably do, that women are more easily affected by environmental factors in their life choices, then it should be easy for the high IQ men to do a bit of better job of actually convincing them to get the babies earlier on. It’s all up to you.
    But I feel that a free market society would actually remove some of the mechanisms that contribute to the low amount of babies by intelligent women:
    *basically women these days get educated a whole lot but I don’t see them doing that in a free market society where you pay for the skills you want to buy, and I don’t see them getting the kind of licensed jobs in the high female sectors of (medicine, law, teaching, academia, politics) in a pure free market society: this should give you time to impregnate them while they are young, make them more dependent on you since you as a man of high talent should earn more.

    -so the last thing: I believe that there is plenty of living space and other resources in the world. We can build higher structures, build on the seas if need be, underground. Public sector regulation is the main hurdle of the cities expanding for example, has been since for ever.

    -the Chinese should, could, spread to Africa, Siberia. Westerners too. There is only the governments of those places to stop this from happening. The safety of these groups cannot be guaranteed as long as the safety of those areas is out of hands of the new comers. A free market global system without government would allow this, or just one where, if we assume states existing, an overseeing strong state would ensure that colonialists in a distant country not be compromised by brutes or their the failure of their corrupt government .. French in Mali.

    -so the free market society is the ultimate “reproduction of the fittest” scenario if only the fittest choose to reproduce. A free society would from my perspective provide the fittest with the best option to make that choice.

    • misdreavus says:

      I actually took the time to read your entire post. And now I deeply regret doing so.

      • Anonymous says:

        (I’m the Mike Judge fun from above) Libertarians: Unsane utopian fanatics, with no understanding of, or sympathy for, humans and their desires, which in the libertarian mind are infinitely bendable and totally expendable towards the creation of the libertarian utopia, which is converting the whole human experience into a “perfect market”, which they are in a position to consider not only desirable, but even possible, thanks to a quasi-religious mindset where free market is the virtue that tramps all others into virtual irrelevance, and there should be no compromise in the pursuit of virtue for its own sake, which ought to lead to the perfectly virtuous situation because things can’t be otherwise-a kind of inverse “naturalistic fallacy”, where the “ought” can’t possibly be unattainable, or else how could it be an “ought”?; a libertarian is someone who would oppose all restrictions on immigration not due to a sympathy for the would-be immigrants paired with some lack of understanding of certain issues, but because that would simply be the right thing to do. Libertarians have this in common with postmodernists, that to someone inexperienced, quotes from them would feel taken out of context to create straw-man arguments, yet are more stupid within context.

      • human_progression says:

        Well give some arguments, one. I’ll keep it shorter.

  23. erica says:

    To Anon at 10:04:
    “So what if they want to mutilate themselves? Are you saying that their own bodies do not belong to these individuals?”

    If they are independently wealthy and can pay for all the treatment and surgeries themselves, I say okay with mutilation but not okay with using my tax dollars. Prisoners CA penal system are arguing right now for us to pay for their reassignment surgery and the subsequent treatments and guys like Dammiano are, you watch, about to try to accommodate them.

    Even someone who isn’t in the penal system but who uses my insurance carrier would drive up my health insurance costs should the carrier have to cover the expenses of such “treatment.” Members of the Obama admin are already maneuvering to try to force carriers to cover such reassignment surgery. Saw some article about it a few months back.

    Nope. Pay for the mutilation yourself and I’m okay with it.

    • Anon says:

      Who pays for it (and I almost entirely agree with you) is different question from should it be allowed at all. So far tone of this conversation is that they shouldn’t be allowed to do this at all, because it isn’t moral (disagree) or is Darwinian madness (agree) and shouldn’t be allowed (disagree).

      So why am I worried about this, and don’t just take human_progression’s point of view “they won’t compete with me because they won’t have buying power”? Because society has a way of enforcing normality, and this isn’t just a slippery slope argument, once we let society dictate what we can and cannot do with our bodies (for the sake of stopping one or another madness) we will be under dictatorship of majority in all aspects concerning body. I strongly expect (or maybe hope) to see humanity moving past natural evolution within my lifetime, the last thing I want to happen is for majority telling me that enchantment surgery X or gene therapy Y is just like that time we prohibited gender reassignment surgery because it is too close to cutting off a good arm on a whim.

    • erica says:

      “Because society has a way of enforcing normality…”

      Well, we used to, but you have noticed that lately Western society has been “enforcing deviancy” or at the very least, forcing society to ignore the differences between the typical and the atypical, the normal and the abnormal.

      Yours and my non-responsibility for paying for such reassignment procedures will be (has) been challenged by the Left and other crazies. I’m glad you agree with me that we ought not be forced to fund such things (and, I presume you agree that no doctor should ever be forced to perform such procedures), but the other side argues that such positions are “economic oppression”–that only the rich can afford such expensive surgeries and that, therefore, all of society should share the costs.

      • albatross says:

        Erica:

        Western society still has plenty of mechanisms to enforce normality. Monday morning at the water cooler at work, try out your favorite three racist jokes, and (if you work in an organization much like the one I work in), you’ll become acquainted with a number of them. Similarly, at your kids’ next sporting event, try starting some political discussions from the perspective that, whenever we get hit by a terrorist attack, we’ve got it coming as payback for our evil actions overseas. Again, you will become acquainted with a number of the still quite effective ways that normality is enforced. A great deal of the anti-racism and anti-sexism and now anti-homophobia movements is based on bringing that same machinery to bear to stamp out certain expressed opinions, actions, jokes, etc.

        What gets enforced changes over time. More interestingly, I think, as the society becomes more centralized (fewer private tyrannies in favor of one great big top-down one), the decision of what norms get enforced also becomes more centralized, more subject to a power struggle at the top, and often a lot less in tune with local conditions and beliefs.

      • erica says:

        “More interestingly, I think, as the society becomes more centralized (fewer private tyrannies in favor of one great big top-down one), the decision of what norms get enforced also becomes more centralized, more subject to a power struggle at the top, and often a lot less in tune with local conditions and beliefs.’

        Absolutely. The three networks and the NYTimes and WaPost are, in essence, one big mush of group-think. They have the mics and the megaphones. Average Joe hears their point of view (note the singular “point”) on the hour and half hour on his way to work five days a week. Even if he only watches ESPN on his tv set, he gets the same group think. Not even sports allows escape from the Right Way to Think.

        My point was that, to use your thought, Central Command tells us what is normal, what isn’t. What is acceptable, what isn’t. What we should think. What we ought not think. Of course, sometimes their motives are transparent; other times, they’re obscure. Central Command doesn’t want diversity of thought at all, of course, just acquiescence to The Right Way.

        A connected society can easily become tyrannical. You can successfully tell most people what to think.

  24. Smeagol says:

    I think you’d be a fan of the show “Modern Family”

  25. Noname says:

    Pregnancy is a production process.When male fetus has not testosterone,the production process is broken!So homosexuality is an illness.

  26. Jim says:

    How does all this relate to Michael Jackson?

  27. Jim says:

    To human_progression

    The Sentilinese kill strangers. If they were libertarians I guess that they would allow unlimited immigration. If so they would have vanished long ago.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, then they ought to have vanished long ago. How dare they value their stupid existence more than conforming to “perfect market” values? Unfortunately, people are too often imperfect, freedom-hating critters unworthy of existence. What we need is a strong dictatorship perfectly committed to liberty, to hold a stick over human imperfection. I am confident people will literally buy into this scheme when government stops polluting the world with its existence. Otherwise you couldn’t possibly have a perfect world, and how could the world possibly not have been made perfectly perfectible, huh huh?

      • Toddy Cat says:

        Personally, I always have thought that, all other things being equal, free markets were an efficient and low-cost way to allocate resources. I never thought that people would end up worshipping the damned things, like a bunch of Adam Smith Cargo-Cultists.

        • gcochran9 says:

          Speaking of, it must be time to organize the other side of the Cargo Cult. We would take contributions and use them to rain down Spam, Lucky Strikes, and Jeeps upon the Melanesians.

  28. Toddy Cat says:

    Well, it beats invading them in order to liberate their women and build democracy, and it might actually make someone richer and happier, unlike most government programs. Where do I send my Spam?

  29. Anthony says:

    There is a strain of thinking among the gay community that transexuals really ought to just get over themselves and accept that they’re gay, rather than undergo extensive hormonal and surgical treatment to deny their true nature. Of course, it’s politically incorrect to express this, but it still gets expressed.

    • misdreavus says:

      “There is a strain of thinking among the gay community that transexuals really ought to just get over themselves and accept that they’re gay, rather than undergo extensive hormonal and surgical treatment to deny their true nature.”

      No, there sure isn’t! Come on, think harder. Coming out as a “lesbian” wouldn’t have done Dave Reimer a bit of good.

      • gcochran9 says:

        Get Henry to talk about John Money.

      • misdreavus says:

        Re: John Money, what a sick a**hole. Why wasn’t this charlatan hauled away to a nice barbed-wire motel somewhere in handcuffs and ankle chains? He would have liked the extra attention — I like to imagine a few “private therapy sessions” with a tattooed cellmate named Jim-Bob or Rasheed would have been the perfect coup de grace for a prolific career in iniquity.

        I can understand being deluded, and I already am mentally ill, but I draw the line somewhere at “play acting” sex with little children and showing them pornographic images. That is just not for me. No way Jose.

  30. Henry Spencer Ashbee says:

    Re: John Money, there will always be a certain number is sick a**holes in any society. But not every society promotes people like that to be respected experts in their fields, as Money was for many years. He’s not the only example. That’s a sign of quite extreme decadence.

  31. diana says:

    I’ve read that the incidence of schizophrenia has declined in modern society, while the incidence of autism has increased. I believe that the former can be explained by the fact that in the past conditions we would have diagnosed as schizophrenia are now not. One of them is transsexualism.

    They are simply schizophrenic. They are suffering from a thought disorder. Nothing will cure their disease. Giving them surgery, etc., is enabling them. This enabling allows them to function for a while but sooner or later the act comes to an end, as all acts to, and there will be hell to pay. A lot of them end up killing themselves.

    I wonder whether the rise of transsexualism will kill the gay rights movement. A lot of gay guys were pink skirt wearing princesses when they were little but their parents tried to force them into a conventionally masculine mode. Their compromise was to be what we call “gay.” Now that there is no such pressure to force gender atypical boys into masculinity, will this result in more frank transsexuals, and less gays? I wonder. We shall see.

    • misdreavus says:

      A lot of gay guys were pink skirt wearing princesses when they were little but their parents tried to force them into a conventionally masculine mode. Their compromise was to be what we call “gay.” Now that there is no such pressure to force gender atypical boys into masculinity, will this result in more frank transsexuals, and less gays? I wonder. We shall see.

      Gender-atypical behavior during early childhood does correlate with homosexuality, but it only explains a small portion of the variance by adulthood. In either case, there is a difference between acting effeminate and wanting to be female. Quentin Crisp loved to dress in flamboyant outfits with pink scarves, but I doubt all the money in Kensington Palace would have convinced him to make the grand switcheroo to a pink crevice.

      I think it is safe to assert that the vast majority of all gay men, everywhere, are totally disinterested in cutting off their penises. The increased public acceptance of mutilated men and women will hardly change their minds.

  32. diana says:

    Oops, meant to write “as all acts do.”

    The gay rights movement will certainly result in some very strange things. Norman Tebbit, the British Conservative politician (who served in Thatcher’s cabinet in the early 80s) said that gay rights could lead to a lesbian Queen being artificially inseminated. The left laughed at him but it is certainly one possibility. I think that having a gay king, with his “husband”; reproducing via reproductive prostitution (“surrogacy”) is the more likely.

    I would love to see this happen, not because I am by nature a wrecker, but because I think that bringing crazy ideas to their logical conclusion is the best – the only – way to teach people the error of their ways.

    • Toddy Cat says:

      “bringing crazy ideas to their logical conclusion is the best – the only – way to teach people the error of their ways”

      Looks like you’re going to be getting your wish…

  33. SFG says:

    Wasn’t there a theory about PCBs being endocrine disrupters? The case of Christine Jorgensen only came about shortly after their introduction… Dump an estrogen-looking molecule into the environment and you might screw up in utero sexual differentiation.

    It would be a lovely example of an unwanted truth…the Left won’t want to admit their precious trannies are crazy and the Right won’t want to admit industrial pollution is behind it rather than sin…

    • Sharon says:

      Oh, I agree that it is possible that environmental pollutants could well be a factor for some transgenders. But in the end, they are all still making a choice to behave as the opposite gender. But behaving and believing they are the opposite gender doesn’t make it so.

  34. I think you’re missing a lot of evidence that transgender is pretty darned neural. All those cases of intersex children whose intersexuality is hidden up at birth, who then independently decide they must be the wrong sex and become transgender later in life suggest that there really is such a thing as some brain switch that determines what gender people think they are. And since people are bringing up amputees here, the analogy to other forms of brain-body mis-mapping seem highly relevant. Also a bunch of neuro-imaging studies (whatever those are worth) confirming some differences. If we have to use words like “crazy”, I think it’s fairer to reserve them for more psychiatric imbalances that cause global coping problems and not a pretty localized oddity of neural wiring that leaves them high-functioning if their one idiosyncracy is tolerated.

    I also think it’s uncharitable to accuse transgender people of lying about their gender or even of being mistaken about their gender. They don’t actually *lie* – most of the transgender people I know will freely admit that they have XX or XY genotype or whatever, or use words like “male assigned at birth”. Their argument – and I think it’s a good one – is that words do not perfectly reflect an underlying physical reality – for example, Pluto was originally a planet and then not a planet, and this fact didn’t change Pluto but was an effect of what was most convenient to describe it. In the same way, terms like “man” and “woman” refer to a lot of different things – genetics, physical appearance, hormones, neural wiring, thought processes, and social role. If someone has male genetics, but has altered themselves to be female in appearance, takes female hormones, has female neural wiring as described above, has female thought processes as a result of that wiring, and prefers a female social role, they’re ambiguously between male and female, in the same way Pluto is ambiguously between planet and not-planet. And since they seem to have an interesting mental condition in which is is psychologically very painful to them if they’re called male, we might as well resolve that fundamental ambiguity by erring on the side of niceness and calling them female.

  35. Anonymous says:

    If getting people to play along with pretending that you’re a girl helps you spend more time hanging around the girls, that might just help you slip one of them the willy.

    It happens in some other species.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Show me a transgender and I’ll show you an indoctrination victim. Gays usually have liberal parents. It turns out that you can “catch” homosexuality from the ink in the Washington Post! At Columbia U, girls look down upon men who are so close-minded that they aren’t even bi. Hard to argue for biomechanics when you are staring one of the trendiest and most powerful social movements in modern times.

  37. Genie says:

    Anything that depends on daily hormone injections, ultimately, does not change anything, in a realistic way — because of this: stop the daily hormone injections — and the beard, deep voice, etc. go away.

  38. Kjersleif says:

    Who cares, really? So what, some people want to be other people. Some men like to fuck other men. Some men like to be fucked by other men and so forth..
    Everything should be legal for no reason. Fuck purpose. Fuck justice. There is no honor in this world. There are no commandments to be kept. Do whatever you want for any reason.

  39. Dipitty Do says:

    Oh, for goodness sakes. At the very least, you of all folks should realize that a large % of trans folks actually have some kind of intersex condition. One person I know over-produces androgens; another is XXY. A third has no condition that I know of, but truly acts and think more like members of the opposite sex than their own.

    None of these people is crazy. Someone with Klinefelter’s has every legit reason to feel like they don’t particularly fit into one gender or another. So does someone with a hormonal imbalance. So does someone who has just always fit in better with one gender than another.

    Given that most people I meet don’t divulge their full medial history, (nor does everyone even know their own slate of conditions,) I would rather just accept people at their word and respect their claims about themselves than start making judgments that might be totally wrong.

    (My sample size here is small [n=3 folks I’ve known for a decade or two], but that’s probably more than most of the folks speculating here.)

    Either way, I suspect that historically, being trans (or gay) wasn’t as much of a fitness-hit because SRS didn’t exist, and families expected their children to get married and make babies whether they liked each other or not. In an age when demographic success had more to do with money than popping out fifteen babies, that may have been doable, though it might lead to the proliferation of otherwise unusual traits.

  40. Mark F. says:

    Deirdre McCloskey isn’t really “passing” very well, but “she” seems to be happy to have had the hormones and plastic surgery and to run around in female clothes. More power to “her,” it’s simply a more extreme form of the plastic surgery many people get to feel better about themselves. In any case, there is no “cure” for this condition.

    • gcochran9 says:

      I myself would only wish more power to someone who decided to ‘be’ a velociraptor (and act accordingly).

      Just asking for trouble, I suppose, but why it is considered so cool to cheer on a nut mutilating himself?

      But that’s part of a larger puzzle. There is nothing very complicated about the truth behind low academic/etc performance in some populations – they’re just not very smart. But the reaction of liberals – (cultural ‘liberals’, not George Meany) – now that’s strange. Arguably they’re the strangest people on Earth.

      • gcochran9 says:

        Once upon a time there was a science-fiction story entitled “Name Your Symptom”, in which most of the population was nuts, just like today, and in which somatic treatments were used, just like today. if a guy was afraid of being struck by lightning, he wore a lighting rod on his head for the rest of his life. Someone with a mother complex had a small hearing-aid-like device in his ear that played a recording of his mother’s voice saying “It’s all right, everything’s all right, Mommy loves you..” In severe cases they had to burn a three-dimensional smiling mother image into his corneas.

        Exuberantly crazy – but not as crazy as Deirdre McCloskey.

      • JayMan says:

        “But the reaction of liberals – (cultural ‘liberals’, not George Meany) – now that’s strange. Arguably they’re the strangest people on Earth.”

        Well, they’re not WEIRDOs for nothing.

      • Mark F. says:

        McCloskey says “she” is happy about “her” transformation. Do you think “she” is lying? I’m not exactly “cheering” it on, but it does not really concern me that much.

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