Saturday, 26 February 2011

Are we broken?

Often I see assertions by transgendered individuals (crossdreamers included) that we are not defective, but rather we are simply subjects of natural variation. The problem with that argument is that natural variation is not automatically either neutral or beneficial to the individual in question. It is indiscriminately random. Beneficial variations can potentially give an individual advantages over others, such as with high levels of attractiveness or intelligence, or it can be detrimental to the individual, such as being born with a deformity or poor vision.

I think the reason people are so quick to claim that gender dysphoria is not a defect is because people don't like to feel inferior. They don't like to feel as though the universe has simply dealt them a bad hand, as it would mean that their strength of identity is challenged and that, however unwanted, other's pity of them might be justified.

I tend to look at natural variation and ask the question "is this variance detrimental or beneficial to the individual's ability to play out the physical role that evolution has designed us for as a species?" I can't help but think that this affliction that which we crossdreaming and otherwise transgendered individuals have to deal with does not serve any useful physical purpose whatsoever and whilst we can try to adapt and deal with it in our own way, I can't think of any true benefit that it affords us that might otherwise help me to see it as a neutral, if not beneficial, variation from the norm.

If it weren't for the fact that I have spiritual beliefs focussing on countless reincarnations as a vehicle to the continuing development of one's higher spiritual self, I would hard pressed to see myself as anything other than a momentary random defect in the ongoing generational waves of evolution.


  1. Hm. Happiness aside, it is possible to make the argument that crossdreaming is an evolutionary adaptive strategy.

    Crossdreamers are often sensitive to the needs of women, and when women look for a steady and kind father for their kids (as opposed to an exciting lover), a crossdreamer may fit the bill.

    Since most crossdreamers keep their crossdreaming secret (at least at first), many of them get kids. There is no reason to believe that the reproductive rate of crossdreamers is lower than for the male population at large.

    So, if homosexuality makes evolutionary sense (and even Blanchard believes so), crossdreaming definitely does. Maybe we could be understood as a parallel to Roughgarden's "morphs"?

    The fact is that nature does not adhere to the simplistic struggle for perfection found among most evolutionary scientists. Nature is messy and loves variation -- even us.

  2. I agree with what Jack says above. One thing I would add is that in our current social environment where economically sucessful women have more choice in mating partners than ever crossdreamers may in fact have an evolutionary advantage over non-crossdreamers.