(Psephizo) Ian Paul: How should we respond to this transgender moment?

Chapter Seven steps back from the specific issue of transgender, and looks at questions of gender and culture. Anderson does an excellent job of looking at the wider debates about gender, and against them develops a case for seeing (socially constructed) gender as connected with (though not always determined in form by) biological sex.

Gender is socially shaped, but it is not a mere social construct. It originates in biology, but in turn it directs our bodily nature to higher human goods. A sound understanding of gender clarifies the important differences between the sexes, and guides our distinctly male or female qualities toward our well-being (p 149).

This seems to me to be a much more robust and persuasive position, with much wider appeal, than the idea that we are male and female for the theological reasons that the Bible tells us this is the way God made us. We actually know we are male and female because that is what science tells us—and Scripture gives a theological significance to this physical reality.

The final main chapter looks at policy question in the United States, and his conclusion notes that the public are not all persuaded by the claims of transgender activists, so this ‘transgender moment’ might pass—though it will need courage for all sorts of people in public life to make a stand for the truth and the evidence that we have.

If you want a comprehensive, readable, evidence-based case for questioning the assumptions of this transgender moment, then Anderson’s book is for you. I think it must be essential reading for anyone engaging in the sexuality debate, in the Church of England and elsewhere.

Read it all.


Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture