You Mean There Actually Are Differences In the Brain. aka “That’s a No Brainer”


Recently, there was a news story from Methuen, MA where a 4th grade girl left school for spring break as Phyllis and returned to school as Phillip. This event sparked controversy with the parents of the other children attending the school. This story intrigued me; however, not for the issues that many parents had with the incident.

“Most parents who called, however, simply wanted to know which bathroom the child uses, according to Littlefield, who said he told them the youngster uses a separate bathroom, and people say, ”Oh, wow, that’s cool.”"

On local talk radio stations in the Boston area there were many serious and not so serious discussions regarding this topic. Still, when first hearing about the story I had only one thought. Then after reading the article again, one thought came to mind; and one phrase jumped off the pages. No, it was not the obvious thinking of how the other children would react or adapt. It was not how or whether the school properly prepared the other parents to deal with and discuss this issue with their own children. Its was not even where Phillip would now go to the bathroom.

The phrase that hit me was a quote from Dr Spack:

”In many cases they went on to live a life that was a sham, getting married and having children,” said Spack, one of the few pediatric endocrinologists in the country who specializes in gender identity and intersex issues. ”They go through a difficult time of depression coming to grips with the fact that their body doesn’t match their brain.”

“Their body does not match their brain”. Suddenly I was reminded of my recent post about Lawrence Summer’s comments and the firestorm it created. In turn, I thought about of a couple of great posts from Wizbang about Summer’s situation here and here. The fact that the President of Harvard University could get into so much trouble for his opinion which are apparently based on scientifically is disturbing.

Now, we are presented with the same facts in the Methuen transgender story. There are differences in the brain that account for the obvious differences between men and women. There have been other studies and opinions on brain differences suggesting the same. Men and women are different from one another. These innate differences impact us in many ways. Is it so hard to accept or at least debate the possibility that each gender may have their own strengths and weaknesses? There are many scientists who think so or are at least willing to create a discussion on the topic rather than walk out of the room.

There are obviously differences between the sexes, that is not debatable. We are told in the Methuen case that “their body does not match their brain”. Yet Summer’s comments were considered heresy.

Added to OTB’s Beltway Traffic Jam

Posted March 7, 2005 by
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