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Durably reducing transphobia: A field experiment on door-to-door canvassing

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Science  08 Apr 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6282, pp. 220-224
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad9713

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  • RE: "Durably reducing transphobia: A field experiment on door-to-door canvassing" by David Broockman, Joshua Kalla

    Is it reasonable to ask if a transgender person in the early 21st century has actually become a member of the opposite sex? I think society regards asking this as a lack of compassion. Nevertheless, I'm curious about the science. Most transgenders are born male and decide to become female - so I'll talk about those.

    It's certainly true that a male who takes estrogen and antiandrogens for years will have his thoughts and feelings feminized. And this, along with surgeries, can make him look feminine. But at the risk of unintentionally upsetting all the transgender people out there, I wonder what would happen if they mailed some of their body's cells to a lab for genetic testing. Surely the test must reveal that they still have the genes of a male. If they didn't, they could throw away their estrogen.

    It's impossible to fully transition with today's limited medical technology. Referring to TV's long-running soap "The Bold and the Beautiful" and its transgender character Maya - in future decades, medical technology will doubtless become capable of changing the genes in every cell. This will allow Myron (Maya's name at birth) to choose a female genetic profile, and to truly be Maya.

    Science of the 22nd century might even allow a future Maya to travel back into the past and get born as a girl* - as long as her birth didn't change the number of female births known for the desired location and pe...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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