Firt up, we find Cardinal Pole going off on a half baked dismissal of transsexuality: A Herald Letter On "Trans" Matters:
In a nutshell it’s this, apparently, judging by MgS’s approving quotation of it:
In Schizophrenia, there may rarely be delusions of belonging to the other sex. Insistence by a person with Gender Identity Disorder that he or she is of the other sex is not considered a delusion, because what is invariably meant is that the person feels like a member of the other sex rather than truly believes that he or she is a member of the other sex.
(her bold type and italics,
MgS highlights the part before the comma, but it’s the part after the comma that I find remarkable: G.I.D. is not a delusion because its sufferers feeeeeeeeel, not think, that they belong to the opposite sex. Got it.
Few things in the world irritate me more than some half baked attempt to quote me by taking things completely out of context. The quoted phrase Cardinal Pole references is in fact a direct quote from the text of the DSM IV-TR category for Gender Identity Disorder.
That particular point is key to addressing the often-heard "it's a delusion" argument from a variety of sources who are critical of actually providing transsexuals (in particular) with the only known effective treatment available.
Clinical delusion is quite distinct from the symptoms that are descriptive of delusion. Particularly key is recognizing that transsexuals are usually very, very aware of the reality of their situation. They fully understand that their biology is at odds with their emotional sense of themselves.
From the eMedicine article on Delusional Disorder, is the following very important paragraph:
Patients usually have little insight and impaired judgment regarding their pathology. Police, family members, coworkers, and physicians other than psychiatrists are usually the first to suspect the problem and seek psychiatric consultation. Seeking corroborative information, when permitted by the patient, is often crucial.
This is an important differentiation between clinical delusion and transsexualism. The transsexual is quite conscious of their status at all levels. There is no lack of insight or impairment of judgment involved.
In fact, if one spends any amount of time paying attention to the clinical literature relating to transsexuals, it quickly becomes clear that the attribution of delusion is at best ill-informed, if not simply the product of downright sloppy thinking.
I've addressed the myriad problems that "gender as pure construct" reasoning suffers from in numerous other posts on this blog.
In parting, I leave Cardinal Pole with the following thought, in direct response to his intellectual dishonesty and typically circular reasoning: