A primary emphasis at Spiritual Friendship is the experience of navigating sexual identity in light of one’s Christian identity. Another topic that is often a part of cultural discussions of sex and gender is Gender Dysphoria. It is not the same thing as sexual identity, but the topic of Gender Dysphoria and the increased visibility of gender variant persons has raised questions related to how Christians engage a most complex topic and be Christ in a meaningful way to those who are navigating gender identity concerns.
I was recently invited to speak on the topic of Gender Dysphoria at Calvin College in the context of the Sexuality Series held there. The talk is based on a book that is forthcoming from InterVarsity Press Academic. In this talk I define key terms, discuss prevalence and presentation, as well as some of the discussions surrounding etiology and resolutions. I also introduce three competing frameworks people rely upon in these discussions: the integrity framework, the disability framework, and the diversity framework. These are presented with reference to an integrated framework that may be useful to Christians interested in meaningful engagement and care.
In any case, here is the link to the recent talk, Understanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Transgender Issues in a Changing Culture.
Mark Yarhouse is Professor of Psychology and the Hughes Endowed Chair at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA, where he directs the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity. He can be found on Twitter@markyarhouse.
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Thanks Mark, I found your content and tone very helpful. This is how I have been approaching the topic: https://moreenigma.wordpress.com/tag/trans-identity/
It seems like often people with an integrity framework are saying, “All that matters is the biological body you were born with,” while people with a diversity framework are saying, “All that matters is how you feel inside.” To me it seems that both of those are really important. I do think the fact that sometimes there’s a mismatch is a result of the Fall. Does an integrated framework encourage gender dysphoric people to embrace both the biological body body they were born with and the gender they identify with inside, and say, “You’re made in God’s image just the way you are”?