Gender dysphoria: Distress associated with incongruence between one’s biological sex and one’s psychological and emotional gender identity.
Intersex: Conditions in which a person is born with ambiguous sex characteristics or anatomy – chromosomal, gonadal or genital
Sex: Person’s biological make-up
Gender: Roles and behaviours typically associated with masculinity and femininity
When someone doesn’t think they identify with what society thinks females/males should be like and things they do. Eg. Girls that don’t like to wear dresses, boys that don’t like to play sports.
1. The integrity framework
This view emphasises the sacred integrity of maleness and femaleness in creation, and the importance of their complementarity. One’s biological sex is an immutable and essential aspect of one’s personhood and to tamper with it is a denial of something sacred.
2. The disability framework
This view recognises the fallen nature of our world and sees gender dysphoria as an example of things not being the way they were meant to be. It portrays dysphoria not as an immoral choice but as a non-moral, mental health disability in which sex and gender are not in alignment, to be addressed with compassion.
3. The diversity framework (mainstream view)
In this view transgender issues are seen as something to be celebrated and honoured as part of normal human diversity. Its more strident proponents wish to blur the distinctions between sex and gender, recasting both as outdated social constructs.
Gender is binary view (disability & integrity framework):
1. To reduce gender dysphoria and align gender to sex, either try to change biological sex or psychological treatment or counselling aimed at altering their sense of gender identity to conform to their biology
2. But changing sex through surgery and hormones is only superficial, for some people it doesn’t change underlying issues, makes gender dysphoria worse. In giving so much attention to changing a person’s body to bring the two in line, not enough effort will be given to helping the person alter their gender perception to fit their biological sex, which will remain unaltered by surgery.
3. Gender dysphoria can be made worse with overlapping mental-health troubles (depression or anxiety) or past traumas – these should be addressed first before thinking about physical reassigning treatment that are almost permanent “If I had been put on hormone therapy when I didn’t have my identity settled, and who I was settled, and my emotions settled, it would have been crazy.”
4. Social gender stereotypes are also a main cause of the problem. The bible says that males and females are different and complementary, especially in marriage, church leadership. But in other behaviour the bible does not support most other gender stereotypes:
Proverbs 31 She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night.
(and other verses)
Paul is not telling a wife that she should stick with ‘housework’, but rather that she should be responsible for a household, which in many cases would include helping to run a business or support her husband in his trade.
We should want to see godly men and women who are comfortable being who they are. They should feel free to express their personalities and callings in lots of ways and not be restricted to limited stereotypes.
A way to help people with gender dysphoria is to show them that while God created male and female and they do have differences, most gender stereotypes are not biblical and not true, they don’t have to change sex to do things like housework or car racing.
5. The Fall distorts ‘both the physical experiences and the cultural expressions of gender’. But the good news at the heart of the Christian message is that God is a redeemer, graciously restoring something of his marred image in those who turn to him, and working through them lovingly to restore something of the brokenness in society. Ultimately, his promise is that all of creation will be fully restored in the new heaven and new earth. Identity is not found in gender but in Christ.
6. Encourage a dysphoric person to consider strategies to resolve their dysphoria in keeping with their birth sex. However those coping strategies may prove unsuccessful and some people may then wish to seek relief from their dysphoria through crossgender identity behaviour, hormone treatment and even reassignment surgery. Where possible, less radical and permanent strategies – for example, changes in name or mode of dress rather than pharmacological or surgical intervention – will be less damaging and therefore preferable.
7. If physical reassignment is decided on after thinking about it seriously, psychological, social, physical, sexual, occupational, financial, and legal implications need to be discussed.
8. Society’s view is similar to the Christian view, that gender stereotypes should not be encouraged especially in terms of tasks that are done, instead of roles. Only that society mainly tries to solve this problem by saying that gender is fluid, so there are many many genders and so there are many gender stereotypes that the different genders follow. But Christians say that gender is binary, but most gender stereotypes are unbiblical so boys can play with Barbie dolls, girls can be CEOs etc. Only things like males should lead in the family and household (leading with love and without exploitation and other sinful behaviour) are based on the bible.