Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 476–480 | Cite as

Dreger on the Bailey Controversy: Lost in the Drama, Missing the Big Picture

  • Margaret NicholsEmail author
Peer Commentary

Dreger describes herself as an historian, a bioethicist, and a “queer activist.” In this essay, she fails at all three. She has described the Bailey controversy myopically, without placing it in its larger sociocultural context. She ignores the history of queer activism and its relationship to psychiatry. She is particularly oblivious to changes in the emerging transgender movement. The transgender community, and the professionals who work within it, are in the midst of a revolution, but Dreger hasn’t noticed. Under a veneer of neutrality, Dreger has aligned herself with the conservative rearguard of professionals, not realizing that changes in the field are already rendering much of that rearguard obsolete. Shocked by some of the tactics, she has missed the symbolic significance of the uproar over TMWWBQ. As transwoman Herman (2007) put in her critique of Dreger’s paper: “To focus on the overzealous response of some trans activists is to miss the bigger picture—that transsexuals are...


Gender Dysphoria Pedophilia Transsexualism Gender Identity Disorder Trans People 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Personal GrowthHighland ParkUSA

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