Author’s Note: None of the following is intended to be a personal attack on any person of any gender identity or sexual orientation: gay, lesbian, transgender, or other. The Catholic Church and Human Life International view all such persons with the love and respect natural in accord with their human dignity. This article is directed only towards examining the origins of an ideology that seeks to legitimize the application of potentially harmful behavior or mentality to children, marriage, family and society as a whole.
What Is Gender Ideology?
An ideology is a system of beliefs and values which forms the basis for a type of thought, be it political, economic, social, or otherwise. But harmful ideologies attempt the justification of a perverse vision by the dominant elites, in order to present and support certain policies or agendas.
Gender ideology consists in denying that the differences between men and women have natural and biological foundations. Instead, this thinking proposes that these differences are the fruit of a social and cultural construction. It alleges that society and culture impose their respective roles on men and women, none of which corresponds to natural differences between the sexes.
From this erroneous start its adherents affirm that sex itself is biological, but gender identity is what a person decides to adopt. Therefore, there may be a number of different “genders,” the list potentially as extensive as the number of people inhabiting the planet.
Origins of Gender Ideology
Gender ideology has arisen in the last century owing to attacks on the relationship between biological sex and gender identity.
1. Alfred Kinsey
One factor that gave rise to this anthropological deconstruction–indirectly but really–was the sexual ideology of Alfred Kinsey, a doctor of zoology and entomology.
Kinsey is often referenced erroneously as the father of sexual education in the US and in the rest of the world. Kinsey and his colleagues conducted unethical sexual experiments, both in adults (who were interviewed about their sexual behaviors) and in children (who were sexually manipulated and recorded). As a result of these “studies,” Kinsey favored the existence of ”sexual outbursts” ranging from heterosexuality, to bisexuality, to homosexuality–with other perversions in between, including pedophilia.
Kinsey died in 1956, but in 1964 his colleagues established the U.S. Sexual Information and Education Council (SIECUS). By 1970, SIECUS and Planned Parenthood (see below) had already convinced the government to establish their questionable views in the sexual programs of some public schools. In 1981 Kinsey’s colleague, Wardell Pomeroy, went off a figurative cliff, publishing the book “Boys and Sex” in which he actually spoke favorably about bestiality (sexual relations with animals).
2. Dr. John Money
John Money, professor of psychology and sexology at Johns Hopkins University until 2006, was one of the most prominent of these sexologists who redefined “gender” to mean “social performance that indicates an internal sexual identity.”
As early as 1955, Money had coined another euphemism: “the role of gender.” Money proposed that if a child was uncomfortable with his sex, his parents should treat him as if he were the opposite sex. That concept led to a very sad case of transsexualism, under the direction of Money himself, in which a child ended up committing suicide when he reached adulthood. Like Kinsey, Money was favorably disposed to pornography and pedophilia.
Money’s work helped convert the term “gender” into an ideological concept. Before the 1950s, the term “gender” applied only to grammar and not to people. (Languages that are based on Latin categorize nouns and their modifiers as masculine or feminine, and for this reason we still refer to them as having a gender.) However, the uses of the terms “sex” and “gender” changed during the 50s and 60s because certain sexologists, including Money, realized that their agenda in favor of sex change could not be defended enough with the use of the words “sex” and “transsexual”. From a strictly scientific perspective, human beings have sex and sexual differences that are genetically determined: XX for women, XY for men. No sexologist can in fact change a person’s genes through hormones and surgeries. The change of sex is objectively impossible.
The solution that presented itself was to take the term “gender” and infuse the word with a new meaning applicable solely to the identities of individuals. These sexologists essentially invented the ideological foundation they needed to justify the treatment of transsexualism through surgery by calling it “gender.”
3. Pro-Choice Feminism
This feminism emerged in the USA in the 1960s, driven by the publication of the book “The Feminine Mystique” by the feminist archetype Betty Friedan. She stated that motherhood presented an obstacle for the equality of women with respect to man and the modern development of society. The problem that constituted this “biological burden” had to be solved by means of contraception and abortion, and in time, lesbianism.
By 1969, feminists had achieved the establishment of a Chair in “Women’s Studies” at the University of San Diego, California. By the 1970s, the propagandists of extremist feminism had established the misleading term “gender” in their elitist jargon.
This linguistic history clarifies that the term “gender” is not and has never been a biological or scientific entity but rather a socially and politically invented concept. Though fabricated, this understanding currently dominates mainstream medicine, media and the academic world.
Modern Promoters of Gender Ideology
Both American and international organizations continue to actively support gender ideology.
1. The Former Obama Administration
Shortly after taking office, former President of the United States Barack Obama declared himself in favor of homosexual marriage. In addition:
- Under his direction the Department of Education ordered public schools to accommodate transsexual students, on pain of losing federal subsidies.
- He supported LGBT groups wanting to impose “Transsexual Awareness Month” in schools, as well as favoring the installation of bisexual restrooms.
2. U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child
Outside the U.S., the first promoter of gender ideology is the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990). Although it has very good articles in defense of minors, there are also others implying that children have autonomy equal to that of adults.
At the Beijing Conference on Women (1995), the U.N. coined the terms “gender perspective” and “gender equity.” Although in none of its multiple appearances in the final document, these ambiguous terms are equated with “various forms of family,” or families made up of two homosexuals or two lesbians.
3. The Organization of American States
The Organization of American States (OAS) is another supranational entity dedicated in recent times to promote misguided gender bias.
Already in 1994, the OAS launched the gender concept in its “Convention Against Violence Against Women,” an otherwise laudable endeavor. In 2009, the OAS proposed the inclusion of the “gender perspective” in all social programs, both hemispheric and national. The Secretary General, Luis Almagro Lemes, is in favor of abortion, homosexual “marriage” and the legalization of marijuana—all of which he considers signs of “progress.”
Finally, the OAS issued a communiqué by which it requires the countries of its hemisphere that have not legalized homosexual marriage to do so. Implicit in this requirement is also the order that the LGBT ideology be implemented in all educational, health and cultural institutions of society.
4. Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood
Margaret Sanger, founder of abortion giant Planned Parenthood, was a New York activist who promoted eugenics (the belief in a “superior” race), as well as contraception, abortion and sexual liberty. Today, the directors of Planned Parenthood follow her legacy. They promote the LGBT ideology in their programs of sexual education, even against the wishes of concerned parents.
The international conglomerate formed by Planned Parenthood, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), also promotes the LGBT agenda around the world. This includes Latin American countries with the approval of their interested governments.
Response: Concern and Compassion
There is no doubt that when a culture loses faith, the next thing it loses is moral reason. To restore an objective moral standard, one must turn to the doctrine of the Catholic Church, with its basis on natural law.
The Catholic Church approaches questions of gender and sexuality with a motherly concern and compassion. She recognizes that those who struggle with these questions face a very real and difficult daily life.
However, while she supports and pursues methods of alleviating this overwhelming suffering, the Catholic Church cannot condone methods which ignore moral, scientific and social truth or responsibility. One such method is gender ideology, which is the logical result of the liberalization of sexual relations and the consequent degradation of gender, sexual identity, marriage and family in the collective consciousness. Its origins come from questionable and erroneous programs and policies. Its continuation rests on mistaken and misguided attempts to normalize such suffering rather than heal it.
The Catholic Church calls for a restoration of traditional gender, marriage, family and sexual identity in pursuit of personal healing, scientific responsibility and social morality.
This article by Don DeMarco has its sources in the dossiers Vida Humana Internacional, HLI Spanish. We highlight the excellent article by Lic. Marlene Gillette-Ibern, Esq., Legal Advisor of VHI. It is also based on the excellent statement of the American College of Pediatricians entitled “Gender Dysphoria in Minors,” which we at Human Life International had the honor of translating into Spanish at the request of the directors of that institution. The reader should not confuse this school with the American Academy of Pediatrics, whose board, unfortunately, has accepted the ideology of “gender.”