Modern day thinking on transgenderism has created a minefield for young people exploring their sexuality
Prompted by her estranged father's announcement that he had undergone gender reassignment surgery, Susan Faludi undertook a thorough investigation of transgenderism (Saturday Review, June 11).
She concludes there are a "range of reasons why a human being might feel they are in the 'wrong' body". It follows, she says, that, despite desires to avoid offence and confrontation, we should not accept their own self-diagnosis without question. Faludi believes there are two basic origins for these ideas: eroticism and a range of possible deep-seated psychological reasons.
It is true that what Faludi calls "sexual fetishism" is often in the forefront of transgenderism. One has only to think of the sad 'pin-ups' of Caitlyn Jenner.
Whatever psychological reasons there may be, the stronger influence appears to be the modern prevalence of transgender publicity and propaganda. Rather than springing from within, ideas of "gender dysphoria" are clearly often provoked from without. No wonder young people find it so hard to resist cultural and peer pressure.
An older lady once confided in me that, as a child, she strongly wished she had been a boy. She is extremely thankful that these modern ideas were not even thought of in those days.
The idea that one can "self-identify" is another trap. Despite the concrete, objective, physical evidence that (apart from a very few cases) humans are born male or female, we are urged to subjectively make a decision on what we want to be.
Facebook has had to admit that their 58 (or is it 71?) options are not enough, saying that subscribers can "add their own". Faludi shows that it is impossible to separate gender from birth-sex. May we all continue to lovingly guide our children into accepting and rejoicing in their God-given manhood, or womanhood, and helping them to go on to develop naturally.
Dundonald, Co Down