Talk of “sex change” is a scientific misnomer, argues philosopher Ryan T. Anderson in a recent article, since it is impossible to change someone’s sex by bombarding them with hormones or performing cosmetic surgery on them.
A person can pretend to be a member of the opposite sex, Dr. Anderson notes, but it will never be more than play-acting since one’s biological sex is a physical reality outside the individual’s control.
“Modern science shows that our sexual organization begins with our DNA and development in the womb, and that sex differences manifest themselves in many bodily systems and organs, all the way down to the molecular level,” Anderson writes.
Because biological sex is a result of genetic makeup, determined by chromosomal configuration, medicine cannot turn a girl into a boy.
“Cosmetic surgery and cross-sex hormones can’t change us into the opposite sex,” Ryan writes. “They can affect appearances. They can stunt or damage some outward expressions of our reproductive organization. But they can’t transform it. They can’t turn us from one sex into the other.”
According to Dr. Lawrence Mayer of the Department of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, science is not on the side of the transgender movement.
“Scientifically speaking, transgender men are not biological men and transgender women are not biological women. The claims to the contrary are not supported by a scintilla of scientific evidence,” he said.
So contrary to the claims of activists, sex isn’t “assigned” at birth, and therefore it can’t be “reassigned,” Anderson writes.
In his 2018 book When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment, Anderson argues against the modern ideology that people can become members of the opposite sex just by willing it, while also documenting the grave harm that can come to people—especially children—because of transgender ideology.
Sex “is a bodily reality that can be recognized well before birth with ultrasound imaging,” he writes. “The sex of an organism is defined and identified by the way in which it (he or she) is organized for sexual reproduction.”
After all, Anderson contends, what else does it even mean to say that a person is “male” or “female”? If “gender identity” is unrelated to your sexual makeup, the labels make no sense whatever.
“That organization isn’t just the best way to figure out which sex you are; it’s the only way to make sense of the concepts of male and female at all. What else could ‘maleness’ or ‘femaleness’ even refer to, if not your basic physical capacity for one of two functions in sexual reproduction?” he writes.
There simply is no spiritual existence of “maleness” or “femaleness” unrelated to the physical body, since that is where sexual differences reside.
Whereas transgender activists will often speak derogatorily of “biological sex,” this is the only kind of sex there is.