Archives for posts with tag: GID

After reading Dean Spade’s article, Resisting Medicine, Re/modeling Gender, I was particularly interested in his discussion of Gender Identity Disorder. I had read a little about GID in previous gender classes, but they way in which he approached/analyzed it interested me.Gender Identity Disorder is known to occur within children at an early age and has the potential to carry on into adulthood. When children are believed to have GID, this involves “…childhood participation in stereotypically gender inappropriate behavior” (Spade, 24). This seems pretty straightforward; a boy with GID will gravitate toward playing with dolls and will avoid being aggressive, while girls will gravitate toward playing with trucks, wearing boy clothes, and will avoid playing with dolls ect.

So yes, people know that GID exists in children, but I wanted to find some opposing viewpoints of individuals about how they think that GID reveals itself in children.

While researching for various opposing beliefs, I happened to come across an episode of the Dr. Phil show that was dedicated entirely to the debate about children with Gender Identity Disorder. Of course Dr. Phil had parents on this episode whose children were “gender confused,” but he also had a psychiatrist and researcher who were able to contribute to the conversation and offer their own opinions and views about the topic.

The psychiatrist, Dan Seigel, believes that children are born in a certain way, and it’s not just their genitalia that constitute whether they are a girl or a boy. He strongly asserts that a child’s brain is on a different scale than one’s genitalia, and that a child’s brain may get a different gender identity despite their visible genitalia. He also makes an effort to point out that even though our society creates gender roles that are so black and white, our brains are on completely different scales/spectrums, which is what allows GID to occur in children. To further elaborate on Seigel’s position, I’ll let him do the talking:

(Speigel begins talking around the 4 minute mark)

In contradiction to Seigel, Dr. Phil then introduces a researcher, Glenn Stanton, who works for a Christian-based organization called “Focus on the Family.” Stanton specifically studies gender as a social phenomenon, or social construction. In other words, he is interested with how the parents play a role in the shaping of a child’s gender. It’s evident that he disagrees with Seigel’s claims, and believes that parents are the ones who should be held responsible for guiding their children into their appropriate gender. In other words, he looks at children as being a blank canvas, but with genitalia, and it is up to the parents to paint the appropriate onto their children, based on reproductive organs. And again to further elaborate, I’ll let Stanton do the rest of the talking:

(Stanton begins talking around the :41 second mark)

Both men obviously have very different opinions on how, and why, children obtain GID, but their juxtapositions mirror very similar arguments around the notion of Nature vs. Nurture. Seigel very deeply roots his research in the influence of nature upon GID in children, where Stanton takes the nurture route. Regardless, both men have valid and intriguing points, but it’s ultimately up to the parents of these children to decide how their Gender Identity Disorder will be handled.

-Aubrey Merrell

In class we talked about the new National ID that might pop up sometime in the future. I hadn’t really heard anything about it so I decided to investigate it. It stems from the Real ID Act that was adopted back in 2005 that would allow the DMV to link up to all the other DMV’s around the nation. This would allow police officers to have quicker access to anyone’s driver license records no matter what state they come from. This would also make it a lot easier for police to detect card theft. However, not all States have complied with this ID Act. Right now in Indiana we have what is called the Secure ID. To get it you must present your birth certificate, SSN, prove you are legally in the US, and reside in Indiana. Essentially, its a “more secure” driver license, whatever that means. I could find little information on the actual DMV website for the state of Indiana explaining why the new ID was needed, what was actually on it, and what benefits it provided. All they included was what was needed to obtain the new ID and how to get it. I thought it was interesting that not even an image of the new ID was on the website, which leads me to assume it is the same as the driver licenses that are issued. However, this is probably not the case. Other websites have said the Real ID stores and scans personal information such as your Social Security number and birth certificate information. Sounds a little dangerous right? Carrying all this information around in your back pocket.

Now there is another card in the works, a National ID card. It’s sort of a Social Security card on steroids. While right now its not supposed to have nay personal information on it, this could easily change. What is to stop it from containing private information, medical information, or tracking devices. Also, because its supposed to be universal what would stop it from being required to get medicine, or receive treatment?

It is especially important to think about the implications of a National ID card after reading Dean Spade’s essay. While the process to receive hormones or surgery is already difficult, a National ID card would make this an even more complicated process. To be considered transsexual by the medical community requires individuals seeking surgery or hormones must conform to the diagnostic criteria for a GID diagnoses (Spade 25). Only once they have attained the notes from their doctors proving their sex can they change their sex on official documents or legally change their name (Spade 26).  The addition of a National ID card would make this process even more difficult. Not only would it be one more document to change, but it is probably a much more difficult and time consuming document to change. Also, if the card does contain personal information, such as medical information, a transsexual individual’s private medical information would be visible for anyone who can scan for it. Lastly, if this card is required to get hormones or receive surgery and for some reason they don’t have it, its lost or stolen, then they don’t have access to their hormones or their surgery could be pushed back.  While this card is meant to provide protection it in many ways limits and causes hindrances on peoples lives, especially transsexuals.

By Kristy Wilson