Social Theorist and Philosopher

The Violence of Postmodern “Gender Identity” Medicine


Heather Brunskell-Evans, Ph.D., is a writer and retired professor of political philosophy and social theory. She has written extensively about pornography and prostitutions as forms of sexual violence. Recently she has explored the ethics of postmodern ‘gender identity’ medicine and its deleterious impact on children and young people. Her most recent book is Transgender Body Politics: Spinifex Press.

The medical “transition” of children with “gender dysphoria” is increasingly normalized in North America, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Although each country has specific national gender identity development services, the rationale for prescribing hormone treatment is broadly similar. A minority rights paradigm underpinned by postmodern theory has gained traction in the past 10 years and has been successful in influencing public policy, the education of pediatricians, endocrinologists, and mental health professionals. In this view, any response other than an affirmation of the child’s claim to be the opposite sex or “born in the wrong body” is understood as a denial of their human rights to have their “outer” body match their authentic “inner” self. The postmodern paradigm has brought about a concomitant shift in the classification of the patient from a child who suffers “gender dysphoria” to a child who is “transgender”. Yet the practice of putting children on a medical pathway brings severe, life-long consequences including bone/skeletal impairment, cardiovascular and surgical complications, reduced sexual functioning, and infertility. Examination of postmodern “transgender” health care reveals it is rarely expert, evidenced-based or objective but on the contrary, is highly politicized and controversial. Although the High Court in the United Kingdom has ruled those children 16 years and under cannot consent to hormone treatment, several lobby groups, as well as the NHS Tavistock and Portman Hospital Trust Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS), have been granted legal permission to challenge the ruling. With the example of the United Kingdom, I demonstrate that if the appeal is successful, children’s rights to protection from bodily and psychological harm will continue to be abused by the postmodern social justice paradigm which, in the very name of upholding children’s rights, violates them.


Heather Brunskell-Evans (2021) “The Violence of Postmodern “Gender Identity” Medicine,” Dignity: A Journal of Analysis of Exploitation and Violence: Vol. 6: Iss. 3, Article 8. DOI: 10.23860/dignity.2021.06.03.08

The Violence of Postmodern “Gender Identity” Medicine

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