Dreger on the Bailey Controversy: Lost in the Drama, Missing the Big Picture
- 159 Downloads
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...
KeywordsGender Dysphoria Pedophilia Transsexualism Gender Identity Disorder Trans People
- Bayer, R. (1987). Homosexuality and American psychiatry: The politics of diagnosis. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Carey, B. (2007, August 21). Criticism of a gender theory, and a scientist under siege. New York Times, pp. S1, S6.Google Scholar
- Dreger, A. D. (2007, June 20). Liberty and solidarity: May we choose children for sexual orientation? Bioethics Forum. Retrieved September 24, 2007 from http://www.Bioethicsforum.org/science-gaydar-homosexuality-prenatal-selection.asp.
- Herman, J. (2007, September 4). Why the Bailey controversy won’t die soon. Advocate.com. Retrieved September 12, 2007 from http://www.advocate.com/exclusive_detail_ektid48612.asp.
- Karasic, D., & Drescher, J. (Eds.). (2005). Sexual and gender diagnoses of the diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM). New York: Haworth Press.Google Scholar
- Lev, A. I. (2004). Transgender emergence: Therapeutic guidelines for working with gender-variant people and their families. New York: Haworth Press.Google Scholar
- Rochman, S. (2007, November 20). What’s up, doc? Would removing transgender from the list of mental disorders do more harm than good? The Advocate, pp. 32–35.Google Scholar