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An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self (Part One)

March 22, 2020

Interviewer: Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Numbering: Issue 22.A, Idea: Outliers & Outsiders (Part Eighteen)

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Web Domain: http://www.in-sightjournal.com

Individual Publication Date: March 22, 2020

Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 3,916

ISSN 2369-6885

Abstract

Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson founded Hawkeye Associates. Carey Linde founded Divorce for Men (Law Offices of Carey Linde). They discuss: some qualifications; transgender identities and transsexual identities; dominant orientation of the psychological community; historical perspective on the issue; the current social and political context in Canada now; the impacts of these social and political contexts on conversations around transgender identities and transsexual identities; the position taken by Mr. Linde impressing Dr. Robertson; confusion of the public on terminology; and the psychological science definition of the self in relation to transgender identities and transsexual identities.

Keywords: Carey Linde, Divorce for Men, Hawkeye Associates, Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson, psychological science, self, Transgender, Transsexual.

An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self: Founder, Divorce for Men (Law Offices of Carey Linde) & Founder, Hawkeye Associates (Part One)[1],[2]

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Let’s begin with some open statements, not on general but, on relevant expertise in these areas. On transgender identities and transsexual identities, what are the relevant areas of expertise or qualification, or professional experience, for each of you?

Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson: I know Carey primarily from newspaper reports, and I admire him for taking an unpopular and public stand while representing a father who argued his daughter should wait until she was 16 before transitioning into a male form. I know none of the actors in this case and therefore I cannot comment as a psychologist on any of their motivations, but the public discussion demonstrated, I think, confusion over terminology and a hardening of positions that sometimes trumped reason. I would like to hear Carey’s views on this.

My own area of expertise within psychology is the self, and I have a book coming out on that subject this fall. Transwomen volunteered to become research participants in two research projects I conducted: one on mapping the self and the other on the stigmatization of men. In one case the subject had a series of bad experiences with males, and ze viewed short hair as a sign of evil. Another subject had a series of bad experiences with women, but both viewed themselves to be part of a third gender separate from men or women so the term “transgender” was not really appropriate in their cases. I have also worked with trans people in my private practice, and I have a personal interest in this area. My cousin and I were raised together as kids and ze transitioned when ze was in his fifties. I think of my cousin as a “her” when remembering her in female form, but as a “him” in his present male form. I suspect this tells you more about me than him, but I suspect I am probably normative on this point.

2. Jacobsen: To define terms scientifically, psychologically, and colloquially, what are transgender identities? What are transsexual identities?

Carey Linde: For a person feeling their gender is different from their sex assigned at birth they can adopt 3 degrees of transitioning:

  1. They can adopt an opposite gender name, assume the clothes and hairstyle and outward manifestations of the opposite sex. Perform and present as if the opposite sex. This is called social transitioning.
  2. After a period of time and psychological if not psychiatric counselling, and a medical determination that the person suffers gender dysphoria, or perhaps not, the person can receive opposite sex hormones. This is called hormonal transitioning.
  3. After further counselling and medical attention, a person can undergo genital reassignment surgery. Women desiring to be men, will have double mastectomies. The term transsexual is currently narrowing to describe this 3rd stage.

Robertson: I am going to disagree with Carey a little here, although I acknowledge he is using politically correct definitions, and probably the definitions that are used in court. The idea that sex is assigned at birth is just silly. Human infants are born with penises or vaginas (some are intersex but they are a vanishingly small percentage). We do not assign the sex, but we notice and name the difference.

There is a stronger argument that we assign gender at birth. The term “gender” was appropriated from the study of grammar in English speaking countries during the 1960s to represent learned roles, behaviours and associations associated with sex: we teach girls to act as girls and boys to act as boys. What we have learned since then is that much of what we thought was learned with respect to personality, behaviours and even interests is innate, and that men’s and women’s brains are different in some ways. An excellent primer on this is Steven Pinker’s classic The Blank Slate.

The fact that we are not “blank slates” does not mean we are all the same. Both women and men exhibit a large spectrum of behaviours with considerable overlap with the result that it is a mistake to overgeneralize and say “this is what men are like” or “this is what women are like.” A problem with the concept of gender; it tends to lead to just that. At one time people who were cross-dressers, or were “masculine” women and “feminine” men still retained their biological sex identification. Now many are considering themselves “transgender” without any intention of changing their sexual characteristics. I read a newspaper account of a biological woman who is having a child and wants to be named as the child’s father. You can see that the concept of gender is actually restricting diversity by suggesting to people who do not adhere to what are now considered gender norms for that sex are not really of that sex, and that gender trumps sex. The term “transsexual” is more objective. A person who has completed hormonal and surgical sex change has now changed their sex, and we can see that this is so.

3. Jacobsen: Dr. Robertson, what seems like the dominant orientation of the psychological community – across schools of psychological thought – on the question of heritability of general intelligence, personality, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity, inasmuch as a consensus exists on these areas of ongoing research?

Robertson: It’s nature and nurture. Twin studies, for example, suggest that intelligence is .80 heritable. Similarly, the “big five” personality traits including extroversion, neuroticism, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness are not only highly heritable, but are predictive of voting patterns. Sex is 99.7% heritable if we define sex by one’s genitalia. In identical twin studies, 52% of gays whose twin was gay were also gay. Gender is not heritable by definition if we view gender as learned behaviour distinct from sex. Sex linked characteristics are heritable and may vary with individuals. We build our gender identities to accommodate our biology from a menu provided by society. That menu is changing.

4. Jacobsen: To take a historical perspective, what are some of the oldest substantiated cases of transgender and transsexual identities known in the anthropological records?

Linde: Here I have to plead lack of time at this moment to get into detail. There are numerous web sites treating this subject. Historians and even archeologists have and are reporting presumed evidence for trans people through out history, either as individuals or segments of societies. I have just started listening to an Audible book Transgender History by Susan Stryker. It canvases the history from colonial USA to present.

Robertson: Cultures indigenous to North America often had a category of “two-spirited” people who dressed and took on many of the roles of the other sex, but also had special roles assigned to them. The role of male “two-spirited” people among the Cree, for example, was to break up fights and negotiate peaceful behaviours. Here we have the example of people of the male sex, dressing like women, taking on female roles such as making pemmican, but also doing more dangerous work as peace officers. This could be interpreted as a third gender and supports the idea that transsexual people probably existed in Neolithic societies prior to recorded history.

5. Jacobsen: To set a tone for expectations of some interpretations and misinterpretations of the responses, even the questions, for the interview with the two of you, what is the current social and political context (or are the current social and political contexts) for Canadian society now? 

Linde: Again, I feel the need to refer to the extensive existing opinion on this. It depends on who you ask. SJWs thinks the future looks great, despite the continuing struggle to get there. Gender critical feminists (TERFs) see unmitigated disaster. Take your pick.

Having said that, it is a mugs game trying to make any statement about how “regular” citizens of Canada think. Mainstream media bias has kept what little is reported almost exclusively supportive of the SJW warriors. It is my sense that the majority of Canadians, for instance, do not agree with the idea of trans women (men to most) in protected women’s spaces.

Robertson: I think Canada is a tolerant society compared to most in recorded history. We have encouraged people from minority cultures to maintain their cultures and languages, we have enshrined aboriginal rights in our constitution, we have even taken down statues of the founding father of the country because his memory offended some people. These accommodations are rare in human history and have only occurred during the modern era. I think overwhelmingly most Canadians support social justice, but we may have differences on what that means. 

When Carey is talking about social justice warriors, in this context, he must be talking about the activists in the transgender movement who attempt to prevent people whose opinions they abhor from speaking in universities and libraries. But what he misses, I think, is that the gender critical feminists are also social justice warriors. They are directly descended from the radical feminists who were and continue to be almost androphobic in their fear of men as oppressors of women. We are asking these women to share their safe spaces in bathrooms to women’s shelters to people who have penises.

I agree with the transactivists who say this fear is often overblown. Most men define their gender role as protecting women, not oppressing them. Further men who identify as women would be expected to be less likely to assault those that they wish to emulate. Having said that, some men are a threat to women, and the subjective and fluid nature of gender allows such men to declare themselves to be women so as to gain predatory access.

I agree with Carey that most Canadians do not want men or women with penises in protected women’s spaces. I see a coalition forming that would have been unthinkable just ten years ago. The radical feminists and the traditional women represented by organizations such as Real Women agree on this issue. This coalition could spell disaster for some of the people I care about deeply.

6. Jacobsen: How does this social and political context (or do these social and political contexts) impact the conversations on transgender identities and transsexual identities?

Linde: If by “conversations” you mean two or more people in rational polite discourse, there is none, zero, squat. No one is talking to any one of the opposite belief. The gender critical feminists regularly invite participation from the trans warriors. None accept.

A further unknown is to what extent can it be said the ANTIFA led demonstrators who show up to shut down the symposiums of gender critical feminists represent anyone other than themselves?

Robertson: I love my cousin. I watched her battle recurrent major depression for decades and since he transitioned he has been depression-free. He was able to transition, and thousands like him, because we live in a relatively tolerant society with people who see the social justice of it. But in an outright battle between a feminist-traditionalist alliance and the transactivists, I can see many of these gains being lost. I agree with Carey that no one is talking to each other, but we need to begin this dialogue, and soon.

For my contribution to this dialogue, I would like to propose we discard the language of transgenderism. In the first place, the idea of transgender is binary, and this restricts us from considering the possibility that there may be three, four, or even more genders. Second, the idea of gender is subjective. Cross-dressers, female impersonators and people who simply prefer what they see as the normative behaviours of the opposite sex can call themselves transgender. I see nothing wrong with that except gender cannot be allowed to trump sex. In Vancouver, we have seen a transwoman complain to a human rights tribunal that a gynecologist refused to examine zer male genitals. If you believe the precept of genderism that male and femaleness is a matter of cultural preference, you can see the logic of this, except that gynecologists have no training in working on male genitalia. But the structure of transgender ideology is rife with such contradictions.

I prefer the concept of transsexualism. If a person believes that they were born into the wrong body, then it is therapeutic that they change their body. Once a person has transitioned to the body of their preferred sex, then they should have no problem occupying the spaces of that sex. We can negotiate special protections for those in the process of transitioning. What of the people who have no interest in changing their sex? Well, in a tolerant society you can live as a man or a woman in any way you desire as long as you do not pose a threat to others. I think by focussing on transsexualism we can reach compromises in the interests of all sides.

7. Jacobsen: In question 1’s response, Dr. Robertson references a case by you, Mr. Linde. He was impressed by the courageous position taken on a father of a 16-year-old child. He could not comment on it. You could comment on it. What were the details of this case, Mr. Linde? Dr. Robertson, what was the more impressive position taken by Mr. Linde?

Linde: The client had a 14-year-old child identified as female at birth. In grade 7 the school gave the child a male name without telling the father. He found when reading the year book and found a male name under the photo of his child.  I grade 8 the school moved the child along the treadmill leading to a trans pro psychologist and to the Gender Clinic at a local hospital. The clinic advised the parents the child was going to receive puberty blockers and opposite-sex hormones. The father objected and the matter ended up in court.

The 2 lower court judgments and the decision on the appeal of those 2 judgments can be seen at

https://divorce-for-men.com/resources/social-justice-identity-politics/vancouver-14-yr-old-trans-gendering/

Robertson: I think I said that the father, in this case, wanted his progeny to wait until ze was 16 to commence her biological sex change, but he lost the case. There are potential arguments on both sides of such cases. On the one hand, adolescence is a time of exploration with respect to sexuality. Given this, the request of the father seems prudent; however, an alternate conclusion could reasonably be reached where the child is suicidal. Unfortunately, there are websites coaching children of 12 or 13, or even younger, on how to appear suicidal so as to convince professionals and courts that a sex change is necessary. Complicating the issue is the fact that post-transition youth also have a higher than average suicide rate. There are psychological reasons why a child might make the determination that they were “born in the wrong body,” and if I understand this case correctly, the father’s fear was once his daughter began to transition into his son through hormonal blockers, the transition would be a fait accompli. We need a societal conversation on these issues, but, to date, the conversation has been rather one-sided with people who question transactivist orthodoxy “deplatformed” or silenced. What I appreciated about Carey’s stand is that he presented an unpopular position on an issue where discussion has been repressed. I do not know what the professional fall-out has been for him, if any, but I imagine the pressure was immense.

8. Jacobsen: Dr. Robertson, you mentioned the confusion of the public in terminology. What confusions were present in this case? Mr. Linde, what sparked original interest in the aforementioned case? Also, to the two of you, did the case come to a resolution?

Linde: I came aboard on the case because I felt the father had not been treated fairly in the whole mishmash. Also, I objected to the manner in which the court was denying the father freedom of expression.

The appeal court allowed the hormone treatment to remain but broke open speech freedom a little bit. Most importantly it established that misuse of pronouns and name could not be family violence. The court ducked the issue of the best interest of the child stating that was up to the doctors. It strongly implied the doctor had to look at a lot more than merely the child’s felt gender wish.

Robertson: I think the term “transgender” is the source of much of this confusion. The federal legislation giving human rights protection to “gender identity” was ill-thought out and added to the confusion. As we have seen, gender is learned behaviours associated with sex-roles. Identity is how we choose to define ourselves, and that can change over time. But much public policy conflates this with the assumption that gender is somehow innate. For some purposes in the public arena, gender is learned; for others, it is a synonym for sex, and which rule is applied seems arbitrary. This confusion leads to poor decision making.

9. Jacobsen: Dr. Robertson, how does the psychological science definition of the self link to the issues here on transsexuality and transgenderism?

Linde: Above my pay grade.

Robertson: As I said in response to a previous question, the psychological consensus is that we are a product of both nature and nurture.  In my academic writing, I have argued that the self is a culturally evolved structure that has come to give definition to our species. The very name we give ourselves “homo sapiens” suggests we are rational and volitional. But to exercise these potentialities, we need to have them embedded in our self.

The self is not entirely a cognitivist structure. Years ago Demasio suggested there existed an emotive “feeling of me.” Further research has identified differences between the male and female brain, and such research supports the idea that at least some transsexuals were indeed “born in the wrong body,” with regard to the structure of their brains. We also need to recognize, however, that there are other possible routes to transsexuality. A further complication is that homosexuals also often exhibit this cerebral variation as do some heterosexuals.

In the end, however, we develop a kind of mental map of who we are, and we act as though the self-identifiers in that map are true. I present the self-map of a transwoman in a book that will be published by University of Ottawa Press this fall. Not unsurprisingly, the self-map includes two clusters – male and female. The memes ze placed in the male cluster were all things ze did not like about herself including being bald, mortal, old, depressed and self-defeating as well as being male. The memes in the feminine cluster included being creative, sensual, hopeful, intellectual and a writer. Ze pictured a war going on within this self between masculine and feminine sides; however, this is surely wrong. The male side had no consciousness capable of making war, it was merely the repository of unwanted characteristics. For example, “self-defeating” referred to the subject’s habit of ensuring failure when on the brink of success. Ze said, “no testacles will benefit from my success.” The essential components of our evolved self including volition, uniqueness, productivity and social interest were all on the female side. It was a war like a person is making war on nature when he, she or ze mows the lawn. In keeping with that metaphor, ze had zer testes removed during the course of our interviews.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Founder, Divorce for Men (Law Offices of Carey Linde). Founder, Hawkeye Associates.

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 22, 2020: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/linde-robertson-one; Full Issue Publication Date: May 1, 2020: https://in-sightjournal.com/insight-issues/.

Appendix II: Citation Style Listing

American Medical Association (AMA): Jacobsen S. An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self (Part One) [Online].March 2020; 22(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/linde-robertson-one.

American Psychological Association (APA, 6th Edition, 2010): Jacobsen, S.D. (2020, March 22). An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self (Part One)Retrieved from http://www.in-sightjournal.com/linde-robertson-one.

Brazilian National Standards (ABNT): JACOBSEN, S. An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self (Part One). In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A, March. 2020. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/linde-robertson-one>.

Chicago/Turabian, Author-Date (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott. 2020. “An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A. http://www.in-sightjournal.com/linde-robertson-one.

Chicago/Turabian, Humanities (16th Edition): Jacobsen, Scott “An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal. 22.A (March 2020). http://www.in-sightjournal.com/linde-robertson-one.

Harvard: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 22.A. Available from: <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/linde-robertson-one>.

Harvard, Australian: Jacobsen, S. 2020, ‘An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self (Part One)In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, vol. 22.A., http://www.in-sightjournal.com/linde-robertson-one.

Modern Language Association (MLA, 7th Edition, 2009): Scott D. Jacobsen. “An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self (Part One).” In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 22.A (2020):March. 2020. Web. <http://www.in-sightjournal.com/linde-robertson-one>.

Vancouver/ICMJE: Jacobsen S. An Interview with Carey Linde and Dr. Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson on Transgender Identities, Transsexual Identities, Current and Historical Orientations, and Psychological Science Definition of the Self (Part One) [Internet]. (2020, March 22(A). Available from: http://www.in-sightjournal.com/linde-robertson-one.

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