Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 70(1) February 2020

Book Review

The New Normal: The Transgender Agenda
by Dr Lisa Nolland, et al. Wilberforce Publications

Reviewed by Dr Pravin Thevathasan.

Book CoverGender ideology is the secularist notion that individuals can decide their gender for themselves irrespective of their biological sex. It is quite a bewildering notion and this excellent book will help us untie the knots.
In a chapter that was especially helpful, Doctors Rick Thomas and Peter Saunders explain that in the pursuit of an ideology, science has been left behind. Science tells us that we are male and female. Science beautifully complements the Biblical description of created humanity. Very rarely, people are born with an intersex condition. They should not be confused with the trans-gendered, whose biological sex is not in doubt but who feel emotionally as if they are in the wrong body. And so we have the phenomenon of Hollywood celebrities telling us they are pan-sexual. There are activists who were born male, dress as female and claim to be sexually attracted by teenage girls. You can have as many inclinations as you like, a veritable buffet of choices.

Gender dysphoria is associated with an increased prevalence of psychiatric disorders including suicidal behavior. What is really noteworthy is that the studies are coming from countries whose people are very accepting of sexual diversity, including Sweden. 

Why do some people develop gender dysphoria? Causation is multi-factorial. But it is noted that children may experience gender dysphoria while growing up and in most cases it goes away naturally. 

Another chapter examines the lives of people with same sex attraction. Is it a case of nature or nurture? In many cases described, it would appear that these persons have experienced a series of negative events in their childhood and, in some cases, sexual abuse. Stephen Fry is not mentioned, but his Wikipedia entry makes for interesting reading. After reading this brilliant work, one is left with the notion that the ideology has departed from science. Sexual difference is biological. Gender is a mental state, a sort of proposal put forward by secularism. How ought Christians to respond to this challenge? It is persuasively argued that we are more than our sexual inclinations. We have all fallen short. We are all dysphoric in some way, all flawed individuals. Our true identity is in Christ and that is what ultimately matters.