Transgenderism’s Scientific Legitimacy Crisis

Published January 12, 2023

The Washington Examiner

On day one of his administration, President Joe Biden signed an executive order ostensibly aimed at “preventing discrimination” on the basis of “gender identity,” a term that has gained more prominence in recent years.

Yet modern claims about gender identity — nonbinary genders, gender fluidity, and even a gender “continuum” with undefined and unlimited genders — conflict with biology and science.  


There are supremely rare — only about 500 observed cases in history — chromosomal mutations in which a person is bornwith male and female chromosomes and/or tissue.  But the rare occurrence of hermaphroditism obviously does not justify manipulating a healthy person’s sex to match his or her “gender identity.” Rare inborn chimeric disorders notwithstanding, science knows no other categories of humans (or any other mammals, for that matter) other than male and female.  

Indeed, the largest available Transgender Medicine “textbook” — even with its bloated, nonmedical, idiosyncratic chapters (“Legal Issues for Transgender Individuals” and “Spiritual care of Transgender Persons”) is still well under 500 pages and the physical size of a typical novel. In contrast, one cardiovascular medicine textbook is over 3,400 pages long as a full-sized 12.5-by-10-inch textbook — so big that has to be published in two volumes.  

Today, almost every academic medical school , most prominent U.S. professional medical organizations, and the Biden administration are fully advocating both drugs and major surgeries, including the removal of healthy tissue and organs, in children, adolescents, and adults. Planned Parenthood makes it easier than any medical insurance company does, advertising ” gender euphoria ” services with drugs prescribed and delivered after a remote 30-minute telehealth session starting at $59 a month.  

The problem is that they all ignore the fundamentals of biology and make unsubstantiated claims without the conclusive, long-term clinical safety findings otherwise required for all other types of medical or pharmacological interventions.  

Today’s Orwellian demands on physicians include “rejecting the evidence of your eyes and ears,” insisting that people mustconform their language to accommodate a person’s chosen gender, not their actual sex. But the science is clear: A person’s sex, as female or male, is indelibly designated at the moment of conception when an egg is fertilized with either an X or Y sperm cell. Following conception, the divergent development pathways of male versus female are immediate, substantial, and diverse, right down to the level of cellular DNA. And these divergent pathways will endure throughout an individual’s lifetime.  

Every single healthy nucleated cell in the human body has 46 sex-specific XY chromosomes (denoting male sex) or XX chromosomes (denoting female sex). These nucleated cells in turn have sex-specific functions that guide their development and biological function.  Biological sex is more than just “skin deep” — it persists down to a microscopic cellular level, designated within every one of the 100 trillion (or so) cells in the human body .  

It is always possible, through cosmetic changes, to make someone appear more male or female. But it is impossible to alter sex in humans, no matter how many gallons of hormones you give them and no matter how many surgeries you perform on them. 

One doesn’t have to be a specialty-trained Food and Drug Administration drug safety expert (as I am) to know that using pharmacology to fight the inborn biological programming of trillions of gender-specified nucleated cells in the human body is going to have medically serious and physiologically devastating consequences . The FDA has warned that puberty-blocking “therapy” can cause life-threatening brain swelling, headaches, vomiting, a host of visual disturbances (including blindness), and/or tumor-like masses in the brain in a recent labeling update.  

Even as the term “transgender” gains a foothold in the modern vernacular, polls show that more people believe gender identity is assigned at birth. This trend runs counter to other once-controversial topics, such as same-sex marriage, on which public opinion has swung dramatically in favor .  

Humans are born (not assigned) either male or female. No amount of self-perception, self-identification, or “affirmation” can ever change that.  

Science dictates a commitment to the biology-based male (XY) and female (XX) genders despite whatever politically correct narrative that contravenes. 

David Gortler, Pharm.D. FCCP is a Scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center whose work focuses on the non-partisan and non-political, scientific and technical oversight and accountability of the U.S. Health and Human Services, (HHS) with an emphasis on oversight and accountability of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a means to advance and improve America’s public health.

Photo by benjamin lehman on Unsplash

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