The ramblings of an Eternal Student of Life
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Saturday, April 30, 2016
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Philip Tetlock is a professor and researcher at the at the University of Pennsylvania, and his specialty is a combination of psychology and political science. One of Tetlock’s noted concepts is called “integrative complexity“, which is the degree to which a person’s thinking and reasoning integrates and acknowledges a wide variety of perspectives and possibilities regarding an important issue. Tetlock’s research shows that American politicians whose positions and speeches demonstrate a LOW level of integrative complexity tend to be more successful. I doubt if Donald Trump is included in the research behind Tetlock’s conclusion, but Trump sure does nail the point home!! The fine art of looking for the complex truth and the middle ground in an increasingly complex world is increasingly being disregarded in the way that we now choose our leaders and make our societal decisions.

With that in mind, I would like to take a look at the recent controversy about tran-gender rights especially with regard to use of public rest facilities. I’m going to assume that the reader is familiar with the current situation whereby certain local governments have triggered a political dust-up by responding to demands from LGBT activists that public bathrooms which are designated by sex (i.e., the great majority of restrooms, given that unisex restrooms are a fairly recent social development) be available for use on the basis of psychological identification of sex, and not exclusively upon the user’s biological sex. The recent case in point was in Charlotte NC, which enacted ordinances saying that all sexually-designated restrooms in town that are available to the public (whether in a government facility or in a private establishment like a store or restaurant) can be used based on “identity” and not on the biological sex at birth. This would assure that a trans-gendered person would not get into trouble by using the rest room of the sex that they identify with, as opposed to the sex of their birth (and usually the sex of their bodies, barring a sex-reassignment operation, which around 25 to 30 percent of transgendered people obtain).

That move triggered the State of North Carolina to enact a law blocking such local actions, and specifying that all sexually assigned public facilities will be used based on sex of birth. Other states and towns are now trying to enact similar laws.

So it looks like the LGBT activists have poked at a political hornets nest. In Houston, a trans-friendly bathroom ordinance was passed by the City Counsel, but negative reaction caused them to put it up on a public referendum, and the “gender identity and not sex at birth” bathroom rule thus got flushed (sorry, I couldn’t resist at least one bit of puerile bathroom humor). A lot of people on both sides of this issue have been riled up about it. I see a lot of opinion articles about it on my favorite web sources, and the one thing that they all appear to agree on is that the issue is very simple and there is a clear answer to it. Unfortunately, there is a lot of disagreement over what that simple answer is.

To liberals, this is a simple matter of human rights, of sweeping away regressive attitudes from the past to redress the wrongs and hurts that society has unfairly and needlessly inflicted on one of it its minority groups. To the more conservative traditionalists, this seems totally absurd — there are darn good social reasons why public restrooms are the way that they are, and if some small minority of people wish to express their sexual identity in a manner that runs counter to what their body says about them, well, they had better make arrangements ahead of time regarding the need to go when out in public (such as adult diapers like Depends? Which I will probably be using before too long . . .). Because the potential harm to the general public from eliminating the “sex of the body” rule for public restrooms outweighs the hurt and inconvenience that is experienced by trans-genders when they can’t go into the rest room where they would be more comfortable.

Hmmmmm. It appears to me that there is a clear lack of integrative complexity on both sides of this controversy.

In my own search for “IC”, I’m now going to ponder the matters of trans-sexuality and public restrooms. Let’s start with trans-gender people. I must admit that I have just about no experience with anyone who is trans-gender. Many years ago I was a member of a liberal Episcopal church parish, and for a little while there was a middle-aged trans-woman who showed up at the eucharists now and then. She and I never had any occasion to talk, although I recall hearing her say something a few times at a discussion session. To me, she basically looked like a man with longer hair who wore pastel coats and had long painted fingernails.

There was one other time that a trans-person was “on my radar”, but way at the edge. In my earlier days, I had a listing on a dating web site, and I was listed as a male looking for female companionship (ah yes, looking for love in all the wrong places). One of my respondents (and there weren’t very many) over the handful of years when I used this site (without any luck, as it turned out) seemed a little “funny”. She had a feminine name, but something about her pictures . . . not quite right. She didn’t say much in her note to me, and included sort-of a warning, along that lines of “I’m a lot to put up with”. I decided to Google her identity name (you know, something like “eyesoflove909”), and I found a hit with the same name on a chat site for trans-gendered individuals . . . I decided not to respond.

Thus, it appeared to me on first blush that trans-genderism is mainly a matter of middle-aged guys dealing with mid-life crises, that it’s mostly a matter of psychology. And the celebrated Bruce to Catlyn Jenner affair didn’t do much to make me see it differently. From that perspective, it seemed difficult for me to develop much empathy and sympathy for the “gender identity” bathroom rule, given that it would allow uncomfortable bathroom situations to occur in the real world of people who sometimes behave poorly or inappropriately or downright nasty (e.g. voyeuristic men who lurk in female restrooms and who can’t be removed once they say that they possess female gender identity; OR a gang of tough young women who want to hang out next to the men’s urinals — the new bathroom ordinances provide no way to determine gender identity outside of what the person says it is, there is no “look the part” rule). Sexually assigned restrooms became a social custom in the past for good reasons, somewhat akin to the modern demands for “safe spaces” on college campuses. Men’s and women’s rooms are “safe spaces” for both women AND MEN, physically AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY. Why take the risks of violating that custom and eliminating that “safety” in order to accommodate the wishes of a very small segment of the population who are acting in a way that might be a questionable response to an inner psychological conflict?

But, in the name of integrative complexity, I decided to dig a bit further. Maybe I’m just not up to speed on trans-genderism. So, I did some research, and I will now share it. An academic demographer estimates that transgender people make up about 0.2 to 0.3 percent of the American population. A recent survey of about 3,500 transgender people indicates that about 75% of them were male at birth. The median age of survey respondents was about 35 to 37, which is roughly equal to the overall US median age of 37.6.

The prevailing theory among experts regarding the cause of transgender identity used to be psychological and social, but that viewpoint is now rejected. Experts now focus on biological causes, given recent studies showing indicating that gender identity is largely set before birth. These causes may involve a mix of genetic factors and the conditions in the womb. I.e., while the fetus is developing, gender is influenced at two major stages by hormones from the mother, which are triggered by the genes of the fetus. If the fetus has the XY gene set up, male-oriented hormones trigger the development of a male body; the XX set up triggers hormones that sculpt a female frame.

At a later stage, another surge of hormones influences the brain’s development; this process is also sexually oriented, male vs female. Usually, the male-oriented brain hormones follow the XY-triggered hormones that set up the male body. But it is possible that something in the mother will occasionally affect this process such that the fetus gains a more typically female brain structure despite having a male body (and vice-versa for female bodies with male brain development). Another possibility is that the fetus will have a condition that makes it less sensitive to developmental hormones, which can also throw the body / brain hormone combo out of whack. Some recent brain scanning studies indicate that many transgendered people have a brain structure that is more typical of their identified gender than of their biological birth gender, supporting the natal hormone theory.

Some experts also feel that defects in post-partum bonding and early child rearing may be contributing factor to gender identity disorders. However, on-going hormonal balances in the body are not different for transgender people versus normal people, and thus a hormone therapy could not be used to reverse the transgender identity in childhood or adulthood. Transgender people are known to have a very high suicide rate. A suicide survey indicates that 41% of transgender people make an attempt at suicide at some point, versus about 4.5% for the general population.

Many experts feel that the high suicide rate stems from confusion, social isolation and frequent expressions of disapproval or discomfort from family members and other peers, as well as the prejudice that is experienced in the workplace and in other public settings. A survey of 6,450 transgender people said that 53% reported being harassed or disrespected in a place of public accommodation (including bathrooms).

OK, so I was wrong in thinking that transgender expression is mostly an aging male phenomenon in response to unhappiness with life (although Catlyn Jenner is still not off the hook — there could still be goats among the sheep, and Jenner may be one of those goats; to paraphrase John 1:46, “The Kardashians! Can anything good come from there?”). It certainly is arguable that most transgender people did not “choose” in any way to have a mental affinity for a sex different from what they were born with, and that society in its lack of understanding makes their life quite unpleasant, sometimes even unbearable. Would allowing them to use the bathroom in which they feel more comfortable help them? Would it significantly reduce their suicide rate? One study indicates that having a supportive parent and experiencing low levels of trans-gender hate cuts the suicide rate by around 2/3.

If that is the case, then the problem is really more of a human understanding and social behavior problem than a bathroom problem. I can accept the argument made by LGBT activists that when tran-gender people are forced to use their biological-sex bathroom, they are often in danger of harassment by other users given that they may be expressing their gender preference via their clothing, hairstyle, jewelry, etc. But once again, this is more of a human problem than a bathroom problem; even with a pro-trans bathroom law, they can still experience harassment outside the bathroom (and might get some bad vibes from others using their identity-sex bathroom, given that tran-gender folk still retain their old bodies, which sometimes give them away; e.g. large shoulders, big hands, square facial features and facial hair on a man).

I have expressed my suspicions that if governments go along with the gender-identity rule for public restrooms which are presently sexually assigned (i.e., not unisex), there will be occasional trouble that otherwise might be avoidable. E.g., men claiming to be transgender can gain access to women’s rooms for unhealthy or even dangerous reasons. LGBT activists claim that this will not happen (even though they acknowledge that there are many bad apples out there, as evidenced by the harassment that they experience). They cite the fact that at least 17 major school districts have adopted the gender identity rule but maintain separate boys and girls rooms, and yet report no problems from this.

This is certainly significant, especially since the 17 districts include some major urban areas, i.e. Seattle, Spokane, Portland, Denver, Boston, Minneapolis, St. Paul, DesMoines, Bridgeport CT, Paterson NJ, and Elgin IL. And yet — is a junior high or high school bathroom during a school day the same situation as a restroom in an urban fast food restaurant or bus station at 10PM at night? If there were to be any abuses of the gender ID rule in a school, it could easily be reported to a vice principal who would immediately find and reprimand the offenders, and report their transgressions to their parents. It is not as easy to discourage abuses in a bus station. So I’m not entirely relieved by the optimism generated amidst the bathroom progressives because of the school experience.

Let’s ask another question about the bathroom freedom movement — what has the public opinion response been? Who seems to be doing better in convincing the masses about how restrooms should be used? A 2014 survey by CBS News said that 59 percent of Americans believed that transgender individuals should use the restroom of their birth sex, while 26 percent were OK with self-determination of restroom use.

Has this changed in the past two years? An on-going poll on the debate.org website currently indicates a 60% agreement that transgendered individuals should be forced to use the restroom of their birth sex, while 40% disagree. Hmmm, not too much different from the CBS survey. A late March 2016 YouGov poll showed a bit more ambivalence: 39% agreed that the law should require usage by birth sex, while 37% disagreed. Beginning in March and going on throughout April, Reuters has run a similar poll repeated on a daily basis. Their results are quite interesting. The rolling average of the past 5 days was first reported on April 13; it said that 35% of respondents supported the biological birth sex rule for bathroom use, while 46% agreed with the chosen identity rule. However, a few days later the results flipped and by April 19, the bio-sex rule came in at 46.6% and the chosen identity rule was down to 37.7%. As of April 29, the bio-sex was at 46.5% and chosen identity was back at 37.6%.

It’s hard to say what caused this flip, although interestingly the starting numbers were close to the late-March YouGov results. Some commentators claim that the activist push for pro-transgender bathroom laws have backfired by hardening public opinion, although the 2014 CBS poll indicates that public opinion wasn’t very favorable even before the Charlotte and North Carolina state laws hit the front page. Reuters still optimistically notes that young people are much more favorable to pro-transgender bathroom laws . . . although younger people for much of recorded history have been quite liberal and generally become more conservative as they age. I myself don’t yet see why it will be terribly different for today’s Millennials. The Reuters article also notes that women in general favor pro-identity bathroom laws by 44 to 39 percent. To highlight this point, the article quotes a women who is a proclaimed Donald Trump supporter from New Jersey. She feels that transgendered people should have “equal rights” so long as they “are dressed as male or female according to the bathroom where they are going”. Hmmm, so far, the pro-transgender bathroom laws have not included such a requirement. It would probably be thrown out in court for being too ambiguous and impractical to enforce.

I fully agree with the notion that public awareness and acceptance needs to be raised relative to transgendered individuals, despite their relatively small numbers. But I can’t help but wonder if the activists have started in the wrong place with the bathroom laws. It really seems like they’ve opened a Pandora’s box. From an integrative complexity point of view, the transgender bathroom use question is a real toughie, with legitimate concerns on both sides. It’s not a clear moral issue as with the racially segregated schools and buses and bathrooms of the 1950’s and early 60’s. It might do more good to get normal men to accept the presence of transgendered biological males in men’s bathrooms than to force laws on the public that allow those transgendered males to avoid such normal men.

About the only possible compromise to this bathroom quandary would be to outlaw or phase out sexually assigned bathrooms and go to all unisex bathrooms. That would cost millions of dollars (which could otherwise be spent on schools, roads, medical research, global warming mitigation measures, etc.), and could discourage many private businesses such as gas stations and shopping malls, and cash-strapped transit agencies, from providing bathrooms at all. So in sum, the trans-gender bathroom issue is terribly complex and awfully hard to integrate. And one final note on how confounding the whole trans-gender question is. I noted above the growing evidence that trans-genders are like gays in that their conditions are shown to be biologically induced at a very early age and not psychologically induced thereafter. But even that is not without its contradictions. I.e., you would think that if trans-sexuality is imprinted by some combination of genetics and conditions in the womb, then a large percentage of identical twins should both be trans-gender. And yet. . . . a recent study put that number at 33 percent for male twins and 23% for female twins.

Is there any chance that we can call a cease fire on the bathroom wars for now? Perhaps this is not a situation where a new law is the best remedy. I am against any law restricting public restrooms to biological sex, and also against laws requiring bathrooms to be open to identified gender. NOT that the latter type of law does not have noble motives. It’s just that sometimes, law is too strong a medicine, it has too many undesired side-effects. I’d say that we need to bring the public along in terms of understanding trans-genderism, and encouraging voluntary accommodation for such individuals. Either a gender identity bathroom law OR a sex-of-birth restriction law will likely have negative side-effects that set back this cause, and will ultimately delay full social acceptance and recognition for trans-gendered individuals.

◊   posted by Jim G @ 11:13 pm      
 
 


  1. Jim, I must say you have done a job I did not think could be done, and a very good one too. I also admit this shows how behind the times I am; but I plead old age and let it go at that. Your explanation of “Integrative Complexity” is excellent and your application of this concept to bathroom use by Trangendered individuals is excellent, if not unique also.

    While I agree with you almost totally, there are a few little points I might “talk about” here.

    I do agree with you that most trangendered individuals (male to female) DO tend to LOOK more like men than women with all the secondary male characteristics that are not completely changed by hormonal treatments. But that is not anything the person can change either. Yet, if the brain is telling and individual “he” is a woman; then who cares what a person looks like? Every person has his/her own unique “how they look” that cannot be changed. (True, plastic surgery these days is a booming business because of all the people using it. I must say I never understand that, really; going under general anesthesia is by definition a life-threatening thing. I keep asking myself: Why don’t these men and women who decide they don’t like their face or nose or hips or butts or any other thing on their bodies give some tho’t to it before they simply so willingly and with little tho’t “go under” just because they don’t like a particular thing on their bodies. But I digress.)

    Yes, there is often something “man-ish” about males who trangender to female; but the bottom line as I see it is: Who cares what a person looks like? “What kind of individual is that person?” should be the real question. And as to Caitlyn Jenner being a “Kardashian”; she isn’t: She’s a “Jenner”.

    I would like to address the concern you have about “voyeuristic men who lurk in female restrooms”: From the little I know about this topic, I think a man who wants to “lurk” in a woman’s bathroom WILL find a way to do so. They may simply hide in a stall and come out when they know a woman is alone in the room. I’ve used a lot of women’s bathrooms over my lifetime. At one time I remember there was a “unstated rule”: Check each stall door that is closed when you come in; there may be a man hiding in there. Sometimes there was. But then men who wanted to “lurk” caught on that all women had to do was simply look in the space under the door and they would be given away as hiding there; so they took to standing (crouching?) on the stools, hoping they would not be seen. (Continued P.2)

    Comment by Mary S. — May 1, 2016 @ 3:02 pm

  2. (Continued) Soon after that notes went up if a stall was “out of use”. Admittedly, that note could be a ruse used by a man in a woman’s bathroom. So at this point, as far as I know, it’s simply do what must be done and leave.

    Here I might add that of the transgendered people I’ve seen in female bathrooms, they have that policy big time: Do what must be done, and leave quickly. I’ve not seen one such person “hang around”, talking makeup or clothes, or anything. They want to use the facilities, wash their hands, and they are out of there.

    I might mention that I think that individuals who look like men but have longer hair and wear pastel coats and have long painted fingernails (as you describe) are more likely “cross dressers” than transgendered individuals, unless a trangendered individual is newly “trying on” the female outward persona and doesn’t know much about how to dress early on. For the most part, I’d go with “cross dressing”, which is a MUCH different phenomenon than transgender.

    The percentage of suicide rates (I believe it was 40%) among those who perceive themselves of a different gender than their body is a completely and totally sad, sad, sad number. How terribly sad that these people could simply not BE who they were, the way they were. Terribly sad in these days. This statistic indicates to me that most likely transgendered individuals are a much larger group than one thinks initially.

    I also must take some issue with the point about “bonding and early child rearing”: Once again, this is psychology’s “go to” reason for anything that “goes wrong” with a person: Got to be the MOTHER’S fault. I’ve been there/done that with a child close to me, for whom I had responsibility, who is a person with a serious and life-long “difference” in how that individual perceives the world. Bruno Bettelheim was notorious (back when) for “blaming the mother”; I went thru that; and I refuse to accept it in ANY case. There certainly are mothers who do not properly bond with their child(ren), I’ve known several such individuals who have had that misfortune. YET, they turned out OK, one might say. Those who have some “difference” from what society considers the norm (and who knows if that norm is ‘right”? Another question, which makes me digress; so I will leave it.) often simply ARE the way they ARE. Nobody can change them (at this point in time anyway). What is wrong with simply ACCEPTING the individual as he/she is? (Continued p. 3)

    Comment by Mary S. — May 1, 2016 @ 3:03 pm

  3. (Continued) It seems our last three generations (I think I mentioned I come from a generation not even named, it was so long ago) tend on the one hand to be able to “integrate complexity” (my words here) only with who/what they are more familiar and/or may “like” and not find “strange”. What is different, strange, perhaps unlikeable is quickly NOT “integrated in its complexity” and rejected.

    Another thing I might disagree with is that I think that it IS a “clear moral issue” to deny trangendered people a “place to use the facilities”. I lived thru the time and places when/where “Colored People” were not allowed to drink water from white people’s fountains, when they could not sit next to a person on a bus, when they were not allowed to use white people’s bathrooms. I guess that was a lesson to me, and I learned to NOT LIKE IT at all.

    Lastly, and I simply cannot understand this point: Most men I’ve talked to about this topic seem to be OK with a woman to man transgender; they have little, if anything to say about that. BUT a MAN wanting to be a WOMAN! What kind of nonsense is THIS!???? Somehow a lot of men seem dismayed by a man wanting to become a woman. Seems to me that this shows the disparity and “how much better” most men consider maleness than femaleness.

    Lastly, let me repeat: While you know I’ll disagree with you when I think I should, you have done a terrific job in using the concept of Integrative Complexity when discussing transgender in general and transgendered individuals using bathrooms in particular; you also used the concept in terms of the individual him/herself—another great job. A spectacular job, Jim! MCS
    P.S. Your explanation of the changes the embryo . . . to fetus must make to become male (and the baby even after he is born), while necessarily short here, is also an excellent job. I’ve disagreed with you strongly on some things in the past; this I cannot help but say you did a great job. MCS

    Comment by Mary S. — May 1, 2016 @ 3:03 pm

  4. Mary, thanks for your interesting and thoughtful comments, as always. I very much appreciate your “great job, Jim” accolade. But then you added some footnotes and qualifications to your accolade. What’s good for the goose etc., so in a like fashion, I will now add my own footnotes and qualifications regarding your comments. As to men going into women’s restrooms and causing an unpleasant situation, you say “I think a man who wants to ‘lurk’ in a woman’s bathroom WILL find a way to do so”. It’s interesting that you didn’t comment on my female disturbance hypothesis, but what you said also applies when you reverse the sexual assignment — a woman who wants to lurk in a men’s room can also find a way to do that. Nonetheless, I totally agree with what you say. And I totally disagree that this is at all relevant to the point that I am making.

    The important thing is that at present, the owner of the property on which the restroom is situated has the legal right to order a man creating an uncomfortable situation in a women’s restroom, or a women creating an uncomfortable situation in a men’s restroom, to leave. At some point, the man or woman in question might even be arrested on a misdemeanor charge (and thus subject to a fine, not prison time). But under a transgender protective restroom ordinance such as was enacted in Charlotte, the owner could NOT order the men or women to leave, and their behavior would need to become much more aggressive before they could be charged with misdemeanor and removed. Given that people who are a bit unbalanced in the head and have anti-social tendencies are more likely to do things that will entertain themselves while disturbing others if there aren’t any consequences, I believe that you could reasonably expect an increase in the number of bathroom disturbance incidents once an “identity rule” is in place.

    We admittedly don’t have any relevant “test tube” situations to go on; me and the others who are concerned about such situations could be wrong; perhaps the unbalanced and anti-social people out there just won’t care much about an open season on bathroom lurking. Perhaps they will be content with other ways of being unbalanced and anti-social — such as continuing to harass trans-gendered individuals who publicly express their sexual identity. When you work in law enforcement however, as I do, you tend to realize that unbalanced and anti-social people take advantage of any and all possible ways to exploit and interfere with everyday social customs, and the less that you try to stop them, the more often they do it. Thus my suspicion that a gender identity rule for bathroom use, however well intended, will have unintended negative social consequences. And thus my contention that in order to form a fully “integrated” viewpoint of the complex issue of how society presently treats trans-gendered individuals, you will need to directly address my point, and not try to waive it off by implying that it doesn’t make a difference.

    As to your belief that men generally express disdain for males who manifest a feminine gender identity while not expressing any disdain for females who express male gender identity . . . I suppose you are implying that the men of today still believe that masculinity is so superior to femininity that it is understandable for a woman to try to want to become a man, whereas a man wanting to “step down” to an inferior type of being must be crazy, in the mind of a typical man. You are painting with a rather broad brush here. Nevertheless, let’s recall the statistic that I cited regarding the frequency of male-to-female versus female-to-male transgenderism. Basically, there are 3 male to female situations for every female to male situation. And given the overall rarity of transgenderism (less than 1 in 200 people), most men and women are going to be more familiar with the male to female situation. Most of the cases that have become publicized involve biological men, now including Caitlyn nee-Bruce Jenner. So, perhaps the lack of male expressions of disdain for female-to-male situations is more a function of their rarity? And also, a woman dressing like a man is a good bit less conspicuous than a man dressing like a women in our society. And actually, I don’t totally agree with you that men never express disdain for women trying to be like men. I certainly have known or seen and heard men expressing disdain for women who take on too masculine an appearance. NOT that I condone such behavior (and NOR do I condone any expression of disdain for male-to-female transgenderism); but your theory that male disdain for feminine gender expression by biological males is good evidence of continuing widespread sexist attitudes on the part of men could be resting on shaky ground.

    Oh, and point of fact about the biologically male person that I recall from the Episcopal parish — you seem to think that this might have been more of a cross-dressing situation and less of a trans-gender situation. However — I do clearly recall the person in question making comments that identified herself as transgender. And as you say, cross-dressing is very different than trans-genderism. One big difference for biological males is that the cross-dressers are often interested in “maximum female” sartorial expression, e.g. high heel shoes and tight clothes and such. The person that I recall was more “female casual” in appearance, and stuck mostly to sneakers while in church. So, I’m going to need to disagree with your second-guessing me here.

    So, I’m glad that you thought I did a great job and I likewise think you did a very good job with your comments. But you have also expressed your reservations about my great job, and I in turn have just expressed some counter-reservations about your reservations. And if you have counter-counter reservations, well, that’s what this open forum is for! Much respect to you, as always, and I appreciate your respect for me and my views. Jim G

    Comment by Jim G — May 2, 2016 @ 9:24 pm

  5. Jim, Sorry I missed the main point you were making in a particular point in the discussion.

    A question about your “CHARLOTTE” point where the opposite gender IS allowed in a bathroom: You then go on to state: “ Given that people who are a bit unbalanced in the head and have anti-social tendencies are more likely to do things that will entertain themselves while disturbing others if there aren’t any consequences, I believe that you could reasonably expect an increase in the number of bathroom disturbance incidents once an “identity rule” is in place.” I’m surprised that you get from trangendered people in bathrooms to “unbalanced in the head” and “anti-social tendencies” regarding the same transgendered individuals. Maybe this is a 2nd time I’m missing the point. But, if nothing else, the juxtaposition of discussing transgendered people in a bathroom and quickly going to “unbalanced” and “anti-social tendencies” is a juxtaposition that seems too close to me.

    Regarding your next paragraph, i.e., if I’ve counted right, the 3rd paragraph: Let me put it simply: Not only do I IMPLY, but let me say I definitely THINK that “it doesn’t make a difference”. If that’s “waiving off” your point, then I guess I waive off your point. But WORSE: I am not sure here that I KNOW what your point is: That you have a particular inclination to suspect people because you work in law enforcement? Let me hope that this addresses your point: My attitude and approach to ANY individual who is not a threat to others is to simply accept them until there is evidence from them that they are somehow a danger to other people and society must be protected from them. I’d hasten to add that a person need not murder someone else before I’d take notice; there are many lesser kinds of ways a person may exhibit anti-social tendencies that may be harmful to people that would indicate society must be protected from them. (I’m still not sure if I’ve addressed your point, but it’s my best shot.)

    As to your next point: You are most assuredly right. When it comes to statistics and me, it’s a lost cause—for the most part. I don’t like ANY kind of numbers, never have, never will (I’m too old at this point). So, regretfully, I have to say that any time you quote statistics to me, I tend to think in my mind, “get on with it, I don’t care about these numbers”. This is NOT to say that YOU are wrong; it’s to profess my own lack of ability in anything having to do with numbers. To further explain the “for the most part” in the first sentence of this paragraph, I do not mean that I canNOT “do” arithmetic; I can and do when necessary. It’s that I don’t WANT to. Anything more complex than arithmetic is hopelessly lost on me and will remain so due to the fact that this gray-haired old lady simply does not WANT to. (Continued p.2)

    Comment by Mary S. — May 3, 2016 @ 2:48 pm

  6. (Continued) And lastly, Jim: I’m sorry that you read my comment as more critical and disagreeing with you than it was praise of you. I did not set out to criticize you; I sincerely meant, with no reservations, that you brought to my attention the whole concept of Integrative Complexity that I had no clue about. Not that I’d have rushed out to study it. By this time surely you know, that I can become interested in something, pursue it for quite some time to reach a particular goal I may have in mind for myself; after that, somehow I’m on to something else. I’ve always been able to become interested in almost ANYTHING: (well, except numbers [my poor father never got over my serious numerical lack]; even the simple arithmetic involved in paying bills is a burden to me—tangentially (as usual with me) it’s probably because I see the money flying out the window). My tangent has gone on too long, so let me repeat: I can become interested in ALMOST anything until I reach my goal; but my interest can, not only wane, but often simply die after I’ve reached my goal. (Numbers are not my only serious lack; any form of creativity is another lost cause with me. But I digress again. This should show you that I CAN “do” logic; but don’t care to; it’s more interesting to let my mind “float” around and see what relates to what tho’t may be occupying my mind at the moment. (Another serious lack on my part.)

    HOWEVER, let me add—and here again, I put this at the end ONLY because it comes to my mind at the end, and once again, it’s tangential? Or is it? The serious disagreements you and I have had now and then over the years have never spoiled a good discussion between us—something that seems sorely lacking in today’s society. (Donald Trump coming to mind here. Maybe it’s the Millennials. And I become interested in the tangents again; so I will stop here with this tangent.) Let me express, once again, that I sincerely meant to compliment you on your ability to find the answer to the question you were wondering about. Integrative Complexity seems to be another topic that could be very useful and helpful in today’s society; we need a lot more of it. I never tho’t you’d find such a good and useful general answer to your main question/concern and apply it so well and usefully.

    Frankly, I was tempted to simply write such a short paragraph stating the above; then I tho’t perhaps a few comments would be of interest. Sorry if they backfired on my intent. And I’m sure here again, I’ve mentioned this or that you may find critical of you. Let me say emphatically that the EMPHASIS, as I see it, is on your finding Integrative Complexity and applying it so well. MCS

    Comment by Mary S. — May 3, 2016 @ 2:48 pm

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