Populist responses to J. Michael Bailey’s exploitative “controversies”
Parenthetical page numbers in the article refer to Bailey’s The Man Who Would Be Queen and are quoted in Appendix 1.
Angelou, Maya (1978). Still I Rise. And Still I Rise. Random House.
Arendt, Hannah (1963). Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Reprint 1992, Penguin Classics.
Armstrong, Jane (2004). The body within: The body without. The Globe and Mail, June 12.
Toronto psychologist Ray Blanchard, one of Canada's leading -- and most controversial -- gender experts, argues the transgendered movement is rife with delusion. "This is not waving a magic wand and a man becomes a woman and vice versa," he says. "It's something that has to be taken very seriously. A man without a penis has certain disadvantages in this world, and this is in reality what you're creating."
Bagemihl, Bruce (1997). Surrogate phonology and transsexual faggotry: A linguistic analogy for uncoupling sexual orientation from gender identity. In Queerly Phrased: Language, Gender, and Sexuality. Anna Livia, Kira Hall (eds.) pp. 380 ff. Oxford University Press.
A particularly revealing example of the heterosexist and generally biased reasoning of medical professionals can be found in the language used to categorize and pathologize transsexuality. Clinical studies and definitions have traditionally employed a confusing terminology in which, for example, a female-to-male transsexual who is attracted to women is labeled a "homosexual transsexual," while a female-to-male transsexual who is attracted to men is labeled a "heterosexual transsexual." In other words, the point of reference for "heterosexual" or "homosexual" orientation in this nomenclature is solely the individual's genetic sex prior to reassignment (see for example, Blanchard et al. 1987, Coleman and Bockting, 1988, Blanchard, 1989). These labels thereby ignore the individual’s personal sense of gender identity taking precedence over biological sex, rather than the other way around. With this clinical terminology, people can be conveniently described as "escaping" a stigmatized homosexual identity when they become involved with members of the opposite sex following reassignment (erroneously assumed to be “the norm”). The myth of the heterosexual imperative and the primacy of biology is thereby reasserted and rebuttressed, while the transgressive status of all transsexuals is trivialized.
Bailey, J. Michael (1999). Commentary: Homosexuality and mental illness, Archives of General Psychiatry, October, vol. 56, no. 10, 876-880.
Bailey, J. Michael (2000). Transsexualism: Women trapped in men’s bodies or men who would be women?
Bailey, J. Michael (2003a). The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism. National Academies/Joseph Henry Press.
See Appendix 1 for cited quotations.
Bailey, J. Michael (2003b). Book controversy question & answer.
Bailey, J. Michael (2003c). Identity politics as a hindrance to scientific truth. Paper presented at International Academy of Sex Research conference, July 19.
Blanchard, Ray (1991). Clinical observations and systematic studies of autogynephilia. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 17(4), 235-251.
Brill, Stephanie and Rachel Pepper (2008). The Transgender Child. Cleis Press.
Conway, Lynn (2003). An investigation into the publication of J. Michael Bailey's book on transsexualism by the National Academies.
Dean, Laura, et al. (2000). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender health: Findings and concerns. Journal of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, 2000.
Dreger, Alice (2008). The controversy surrounding The Man Who Would Be Queen: A case history of the politics of science, identity, and sex in the internet age. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 37:3, pp. 366-421.
Dreier, Sarah and Kevin Anderson (2003). Prof's book challenges opinions of human sexuality. Daily Northwestern, April 21.
“A lot of people think there is something weird about (being an autogynepheliac) and it is a narcissistic blow," Bailey said. "I am very sympathetic to transsexuals. I like these people, except for the people who hate me -- they scare me. […] I am not rejecting the claims (of transsexuals) for no reason," he said. "There is good scientific research that says you should believe me and not them."
Evelyn, Just (1998). Mom, I need to be a girl. Walter Trook Publishing.
Feinberg, Leslie (1996). Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman. Beacon Press.
Freund, Kurt, et al. (1983). The courtship disorders. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 12:369-79.
Greenberg, Aaron, and J. Michael Bailey (2001). Parental selection of children's sexual orientation. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Aug;30(4):423-37; discussion 439-41.
Heller, Jean (1972). "Syphilis Victims in the U.S. Study Went Untreated for 40 Years" (Associated Press), New York Times, July 26, 1972: 1, 8.
Herrnstein, Richard, and Charles Murray (1994). The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. Free Press.
Hill, Darryl B., et al. (2006). Gender Identity Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence: A Critical Inquiry. pp. 7-34. In Dan Karasic and Jack Drescher (Eds.) Sexual and Gender Diagnoses of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM): A Reevaluation. Haworth Press.
Zucker and Bradley believe that reparative treatments (encouraging the child to accept their natal sex and associated gender) can be therapeutic for several reasons. They believe that treatment can reduce social ostracism by helping gender non-conforming children mix more readily with same sex peers and prevent long-term psychopathological development (1.e., it is easier to change a child than a society intolerant of gender diversity). Reparative therapy is believed to reduce the chances of adult GID (i.e., transsexualism) which Zucker and Bradley characterize as undesirable. Thus, “nipping” gender disorder “in the bud” holds a promise of an easier life for the child in adulthood, something that resonates with some parents.
Intersex Society of North America (2006). Consortium on Disorders of Sex Development.
James, Andrea (2000). Internet article on transsexualism. Personal email to J. Michael Bailey, May 3.
James, Andrea (2003a). Categorically wrong? A Bailey-Blanchard-Lawrence clearinghouse. Transsexual Road Map.
James, Andrea (2003b). Need your number. Personal email to Anne Lawrence, April 18.
When criticized for a deliberately offensive satire including Bailey’s kids, I replied, “It's how he's treating my kids.”
James Andrea (2003c). Gay, straight, or Bailey: J. Michael Bailey’s very personal crusade against bisexuality. Transsexual Road Map.
James, Andrea (2004). A defining moment in our history: Examining disease models of gender variance. Transsexual Road Map. Reprinted in Transgender Tapestry issue 110, 2006.
Krasny, Stuart (2007). "Transgender Theories." Forum with host Michael Krasny, KQED 22 August.
Bailey: “I… Not only does ‘Danny’ exist, but I am… I have several informants who keep me apprised of his development, and now he’s a happy, out gay man, as I predicted in the book. And I would say that both the critics in the studio there, either have not read my book, or they are lying about it.
Bailey: You know, I don’t see how this campaign of defamation requires me to open up my entire personal life to everybody, so—
Bailey: Everything that I’m willing to say about my personal life I’ve already said, and you should probably be asking Alice Dreger"
Lawrence, Anne (1998). “Men trapped in men’s bodies:” An introduction to the concept of autogynephilia.
Among transsexuals, autogynephilia is not quite respectable as a topic for discussion. For one thing, many transsexuals have a passionate dislike for the Clarke Institute, and tend to dismiss out of hand any findings that have come from it. Therefore Blanchard's ideas are not often talked about; and when they are raised, they tend to get shouted down. Shame is undoubtedly another deterrent. It is probably just too threatening for many transsexuals to admit that they have had autogynephilic fantasies, and especially to admit that autogynephilic sexual desire may have been one of their motivations for seeking sex reassignment surgery. People are understandably reluctant to admit to having a paraphilia -- more popularly known as a perversion. Most transsexual women want to be seen as a “real women,” and it is widely understood that paraphilic arousal is almost exclusively confined to men. Transsexuals who admit to autogynephilic arousal may not be seen as “real women” -- and may not even be seen as “real” transsexuals!
Lawrence, Anne, and Sember R (2001). Not to cure: A conversation about health, gender and sexuality. Journal of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, Volume 5, Number 1, March 2001, pp. 27-29(3).
“When I deliberately reach for a sexually exciting image, I often think back to myself as a gender dysphoric adolescent, and the most sexually exciting thing I can imagine is the possibility of transforming my body at that young age.”
[author’s comment: That doesn’t sound like Blanchard’s “misdirected heterosexuality,” it sounds like redirected pedophilia.]
LeVay, Simon, and Sharon Valente (2003). Human Sexuality. Sinauer Associates.
Lostracco, Marc (2008). But for today I am a boy. Torontoist, May 9.
Mautner, Stephen (2003). [Untitled open letter], June 24.
The Joseph Henry Press (JHP), publisher of Bailey’s book, is an imprint of the National Academies Press engaged in publishing books on science, engineering, and medicine for popular audiences. JHP books are individually authored works, each carrying a notice that the opinions expressed are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Academies. JHP follows clear decision rules for selecting books for publication and for scientific review of manuscripts. The work in question was reviewed as a well-crafted and responsible work on a difficult topic, reflecting one approach to a legitimate avenue of scholarship and research.
Money, John (1990). Gay, Straight and In-Between: The Sexology of Erotic Orientation. Oxford University Press.
Ordover, Nancy (2003). American Eugenics: Race, Queer Anatomy, and the Science of Nationalism. University of Minnesota Press.
Pickstone-Taylor, S.D. (2003). Children with gender nonconformity. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 42, 266.
Raymond, Janice (1979, reprint 1994). The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male. Teachers College, Columbia University, New York; Editions du Seuil, Paris.
Roughgarden, Joan (2003). Psychology lecture lacks sensitivity to sexual orientation. The Stanford Daily, April 25.
Bailey was introduced as “controversial,” someone whose work has important implications for law, medicine and social policy and as a successful teacher whose courses feature “Transsexuals stripping after class.” (First big laugh.) The initial photographs included a male-bodied child wearing her mother’s shoes, when the second round of laughter erupted. A female-bodied child was then shown in male clothes and quoted as saying she “wanted a penis,” again producing laughter. In another example, an older child in a clinical setting was given the choice of toys and chose a doll and a wig. She was quoted as saying, “I hate my hair,” greatly amusing the audience.
Roughgarden, Joan (2004). The Bailey affair: Psychology perverted.
Spiegel, Alix (2008). Two families grapple with sons’ gender preferences. All Things Considered, NPR, May 7.
Surkan, K (2007). Transsexuals Protest Academic Exploitation. In Lillian Faderman, Yolanda Retter, Horacio Roque Ramírez, eds. ''Great Events From History: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Events, 1848-2006.'' pages 111-114.
TransYouth Family Allies [TYFA] (2008). Education through understanding: A guide for supporting transyouth and their families.
Willems, Wim (1997) [Don Bloch translation]. In Search of the True Gypsy: From Enlightenment to Final Solution. Routledge. See chapter 5, Robert Ritter (1901-51): eugenist and criminological biologist, pp. 196 ff, and Annex 5 and 6 summarizing Ritter’s work in defining “gypsies” into two types.
Wilson, Robin (2003). ‘Dr. Sex.’ Chronicles of Higher Education. June 20, 2003.
Wyndzen, Madeline H. (2008). A social psychology of a history of a snippet in the psychology of transgenderism. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 37:3, pp. 498-502.
Zucker, Kenneth J. et al. (2002). Gender-dysphoric children and adolescents: A comparative analysis of demographic characteristics and behavioral problems. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Vol. 7, No. 3, 398-411.
v For Drew/Kate
[author comment: Bailey renders his children’s names as if dedicating this to one (trans) person who uses both a male and a female name]
3 After Danny Ryan became a proficient walker, not much more than a year old, he ventured into his mom’s closet. He came out with a pair of strappy heels and struggled to put them on.
16 In the spring of 1996 Leslie Ryan came to my Northwestern University office to seek yet another opinion. Jennifer, Danny’s sitter, was a student in my human sexuality class and was working in my laboratory on studies of sexual orientation.
30 [Kenneth] Zucker thinks that an important goal of treatment is to help the children accept their birth sex and to avoid becoming transsexual. His experience has convinced him that if a boy with GID becomes an adolescent with GID, the chances that he will become an adult with GID and seek a sex change are much higher. And he thinks that the kind of therapy he practices helps reduce this risk.
31 The central difference between Zucker and his critics on the left is that Zucker believes that most boys who play with girls’ things often enough to earn a diagnosis of GID would become girls if they could. Failure to intervene increases the chances of transsexualism in adulthood, which Zucker considers a bad outcome.
52 I think of my own daughter and cannot imagine her deciding to be a boy, even if I lied to her and told her that she was born one.
69 My son was 10 years old when we began our dance study. One day I explained what we were studying, and I asked him why I might expect to find a high rate of gay male dancers. He immediately answered, “Because dancing is feminine, and gay men tend to be feminine.” I was pleased by his answer, which was also mine.
69 Another anecdote involving my son:
70 When he was 10 years old, we were sitting in a theater waiting for the movie to start. A man behind us was speaking, and my son leaned over and said, “Dad, there’s someone for you to study.” My son knows that I study sexual orientation, and this was his way of suggesting that the man sounded gay.
75 Although their data are less scientific, gay men share [Kurt] Freund’s skepticism. They have a saying:
76 “You’re either gay, straight, or lying.” In contrast, many women are bisexual; perhaps most are, at least in their sexual arousal patterns.
116 Heterosexuality is a paradigmatic evolutionary adaptation. The desire to have sex with members of the opposite sex helps people have sex that might result in offspring. The number of healthy offspring one leaves is perhaps the best indicator of evolutionary success.
Homosexuality is evolutionarily maladaptive. I think this is an undeniable fact, although gay-positive people (and I am one) tend to cringe when they hear words like these. “Evolutionarily maladaptive” sounds like an insult, but it isn’t one.
133 Recall gay men’s skepticism about men who claim to be bisexual. (“You’re either gay, straight, or lying.”) My lab has been trying to find bisexual men by studying men’s erections to male versus female sexual stimuli.
138 If a gay man wants to attract straight men, he should imitate a woman. If he wants to attract gay men, he must stay a man.
141 I see Kim for the first time, on the stairs, dancing, posing. She is spectacular, exotic (I find out later that she is from Belize), and sexy. […] It is difficult to avoid viewing Kim from two perspectives: as a researcher but also as a single, heterosexual man.
168 Autogynephiles are not “women trapped in men’s bodies.” (Anne Lawrence, a physician and sex researcher who is herself a postoperative transsexual, has called them “men trapped in men’s bodies.”) Homosexual transsexuals, so naturally feminine from early on, can make this claim more accurately, but as we shall see, it is not completely true even of them.
176 [Ray] Blanchard’s ideas have not yet received the widespread attention they deserve, in large part because sex researchers are not as scholarly as they should be and so don’t read the current scientific journals.
187 Blanchard thinks that a significant number of men who want she-males are “partial autogynephiles”—they are primarily aroused to the image of themselves as she- male. Blanchard says that the men are not gay but are more like “scrambled up heterosexual men.” The transsexuals I know who worked as she-male prostitutes confirmed this. “There was nothing gay about those men,” said one, who knows plenty about gay men.
207 One problem with [Paul] McHugh’s analysis is that we simply have no idea how to make gender dysphoria go away. I suspect that both autogynephilic and homosexual gender dysphoria result from early and irreversible developmental processes in the brain. If so, learning more about the origins of transsexualism will not get us much closer to curing it.
214 Looking at Danny, it was difficult to imagine him wearing high heels and a dress. He looked good as a boy—if an unusually formally dressed one. When the family friend’s daughter showed up, she told him how handsome he looked, and he beamed. This was not a girl in boy’s clothing.
As we congregated in the hallway, I watched Danny interact. Shy at first, he whispered quietly to his sister. Then someone asked him about Convocation. He cocked his head back dramatically, threw his forearm across his eyes and said, “I thought it was entirely too long. Must they read every single name?” His word choice was obviously unusual, for an eight-year-old boy, and his speech style was precise and somewhat prissy. This was not a typical boy, either.
A few moments later, Danny said: “Mummy, I need to go to the men’s room.” I am certain that as he said that, he emphasized “men’s” and looked my way. And off he went, by himself. At that moment, I became as certain as I can be of Danny’s future.
232 [from the Index]
Common lies and deceptiveness of, 172-176