“En Retard”

So there’s a new discussion about “biology,” you say? “A man is a man, and a woman is a woman, that’s just common sense,” as British prime minister Rishi Sunk put it in a vile speech?

In the context of their convention in 2023 the British Conservative Party is lamenting the “denial of biology” in “scientific research.”

Similarly, in the lead-up to the Swiss national elections in 2023, the right-wing Swiss People’s Party—known for its controversial and polarizing stances—is also criticizing  denial of biology.

Though neither party provides further detail, their assertions seem to relate to the medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria (coded as 302.85 in the DSM-5 as of 2013, and as HA60 in the ICD-11 as of 2021). There are no indications suggesting they would relate to anything else.

The statements from both parties leave room for interpretation, but one would primarily associate them with the phenomenon currently known as gender dysphoria. The original diagnosis was termed “transsexuality” in the DSM-3 as of 1980 and in the ICD-10 as of 1992.

Curiously, the diagnosis was recognized as early as 1977 in the ICD-9. It’s unclear why a contentious, more political than scientific, public debate over transsexual and transgender individuals is only erupting roughly 50 years after the initial medical recognition. Some people seem to be looking backward rather than forward—or “en retard,” as the French might say. Moreover, this phenomenon was known long before its official medical recognition.

(redacted with GPT-4)