A controversial ex-surgeon general, fired by President Bill Clinton after recommending children be taught how to masturbate, now has released a report advocating the incorporation of transgendered people into the U.S. military, and contending that a 40 percent attempted suicide rate and 43 percent burden of “additional psychiatric diagnoses” constitute no reason to exclude them from America’s armed forces.
The report comes from the Palm Center at San Francisco State University, a sex issues-oriented think tank, and concludes that as people understand more now today about sexual deviation, there “is no compelling medical reason” for the U.S. military to bar transgenders.
The study also suggests Barack Obama could bypass Congress and order the change himself.
Joycelyn Elders, who helped lead the study team, served only a brief period as the U.S. surgeon general under President Clinton and created multiple controversies with her sexually charged recommendations.
She ultimately was fired for saying at a conference about masturbation, “I think that is something that is a part of human sexuality, and it’s a part of something that perhaps should be taught. But we’ve not even taught our children the very basics. And I feel that we have tried ignorance for a very long time, and it’s time we try education.”
She later explained that she meant students should be taught that masturbation is a natural part of human sexuality. She also had talked of legalizing drugs.
The study released by her team said allowing transgenders to serve openly in the military, and in fact, supporting them by paying the costs of body-altering surgeries, would “advance a number of military interests.”
It’s unfair that the military still requires discharge for transgenders, the report found, citing the fact that the American Psychiatric Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition” no longer classifies the condition as a disorder.
Taxpayers should provide “cross-sex hormone treatment,” “medically necessary gender-confirming surgery” and “continuity of care,” the report advocated.
A report from CBS noted that U.S. allies Australia, Canada, England and Israel all allow transgenders to serve in their militaries, but also quoted Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a Department of Defense spokesman, affirming there “are no plans” to change existing policy and regulations “which do not allow transgender individuals to serve in the U.S. military.”
Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, which also opposed allowing open homosexuality among the military ranks, has argued the military’s goal is to defend the country, not serve as a giant social experiment.
“This is putting an extra burden on men and women in the military that they certainly don’t need and they don’t deserve,” she told CBS.
The report said the think tank is funded in part by a $1.3 million grant from Jennifer Pritzker, a billionaire former Army lieutenant colonel who came out as transgender.
Elder’s report notes that court testimony has stated the military could have the burden of “medical maintenance to ensure their correct hormonal balances and continued psychological treatment and that the Army would have to acquire the facilities and expertise to treat the endocrinological complications which may stem from the hormone therapy. The Army might well conclude that those factors could cause plaintiff to lose excessive duty time and impair her ability to serve in all corners of the globe.”
However, the report dismissed such statements by noting that “scholars have been unable to uncover any documentation on the history of the rules or the reasons why they were enacted.”
But the premise of the latest edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” that the transgendered condition — which frequently leads affected individuals to amputate healthy body parts — is now normal, has raised eyebrows.
WND Managing Editor David Kupelian recently documented the back-story to the psychiatric association’s official about-face on transgenderism in “Amputating healthy organs the new normal”:
“Being transgender no longer a ‘mental disorder’: APA,” announced NBC News, along with other major news outlets:
The American Psychiatric Association has revised its “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” and it no longer lists being transgender as a mental disorder, among other changes announced this past weekend.
Transgender people will now be diagnosed with “gender dysphoria,” which means emotional stress related to gender identity. “Gender identity disorder” had been listed as a mental disorder since the third edition of the DSM more than 20 years ago.
In an interview with The Advocate, APA member Jack Drescher explained the new revision, saying, “All psychiatric diagnoses occur within a cultural context. We know there is a whole community of people out there who are not seeking medical attention and live between the two binary categories. We wanted to send the message that the therapist’s job isn’t to pathologize.”
One organization that successfully lobbied for the change, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, reports that it …
conducted a consensus process in order to make recommendations for revision of the DSM diagnoses of Gender Identity Disorders. … The [work group] recommended changing the diagnosis to one based on distress rather than on identity, on which the current diagnosis is based. Hence, they proposed changing the name of the diagnosis from Gender Identity Disorder to the more accurate and less pathologizing Gender Dysphoria …
“There was consensus,” the group reported, “that a transgender identity is not pathology. Gender variant individuals are not inherently disordered; rather, the distress of gender dysphoria is the psychological problem.”
“If that sounds confusing,” wrote Kupelian, “it gets worse: A report in the peer-reviewed journal ‘Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry’ uses academic lingo and tortured multicultural logic to rationalize why there’s nothing at all wrong with people who want to cut off healthy breasts and genitalia in pursuit of ‘gender transition’”:
As a diagnostic category, gender identity disorder remains problematic with ongoing debates concerning etiology, definition and ethics of treatment. Inherent in the current DSM definition is a Western model of the relationship between sex and gender which epitomizes the tension existing between essentialist and constructivist accounts of gender development. This model determines that gender-aberrant behavior and gender variation are, by definition, pathological, and reinforces a binary gender model. Studies of non-Western cultures reveal variations in models of gender and in the understanding of gender deviance. Cultures vary in their definition of gender roles and show varying degrees of tolerance for atypical gender behaviors and gender change. An understanding of cultural context is important in the clinical assessment of atypical gender development and challenges current models of sex and gender.
“Translation,” said Kupelian: “If you think there’s something wrong with people who want to amputate parts of their body, you’re intolerant, biased in favor of Western culture and hung up on the outdated notion that there are just two genders. If you were more multiculturally enlightened, you would realize it is just your own prejudice and narrow frame of reference that is the real problem here.”
Elder’s report noted that besides incredibly high numbers of attempted suicides, studies also have found “transgender service members report poor mental health,” as well as “elevated rates of suicide, risk for HIV infection, exposure to trauma, ” and other major health challenges.
“Despite such data,” the report said, “arguments based on mental health are not convincing rationales for prohibiting transgender military service …”
In fact, said the report, “Empirical data suggest that many non-transgender service members continue to serve despite psychological conditions that may not be as amendable to treatment as gender dysphoria.”
It continued, “Despite its legitimate need to screen out individuals suffering from mental illnesses that would impair their service, the Defense Department allows those with manageable conditions to enlist and serve. For psychological conditions that fall short of schizophrenia, autism, and other serious illnesses, military regulations strike a thoughtful balance between these two goals. In contrast, Defense Department regulations that govern service by transgender personnel, who frequently do not suffer from distress, make no such distinction, banning all transgender individuals who seek entrance into the military and requiring the automatic discharge of all transgender personnel.”
Among the options that should be available surgically, the study notes, include scrotoplasty, phalloplasty or metoidioplasty, orchiectomy, vaginoplasty and more, estimating that taxpayers might be compelled to pay for hundreds of the $30,000 procedures annually.
Moreover, nearly 30 percent of such surgical patients end up with complications that later require additional treatment, the study said.