What Is Gender Reassignment Surgery? A Medical Assessment With A Biblical Appraisal -- By: Craig Kline

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 020:1 (Spring 2015)
Article: What Is Gender Reassignment Surgery? A Medical Assessment With A Biblical Appraisal
Author: Craig Kline


What Is Gender Reassignment Surgery? A Medical Assessment With A Biblical Appraisal

Craig Kline

David Schrock

Craig Kline | General Surgeon
Southwestern Medical Clinic
St. Joseph, Michigan

David Schrock | Assistant Editor
The Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Seymour, Indiana

Introduction

The subject of gender reassignment has overrun major media over the last few years, gracing the cover of TIME magazine,1 commanding a 2-hour special on CNN,2 and headlining articles in many leading newspapers such as the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.3 Christians will be increasingly confronted with the topic of gender reassignment, and will be challenged to look at this subject (and more importantly the persons who undergo such treatments) with compassion and truth rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is important to recognize the wide range of treatments currently available for persons with “gender dysphoria”—the term used for individuals who report psychological distress over the asymmetry between ones perceived gender identity and his or her biological sex. We take up this technical subject because Christians have a growing need to grasp the diversity of these treatments, perceive their limitations, and appreciate their ever-widening application in our modern world. In a sentence, the majority of this article will introduce the subject of gender reassignment surgery, including the medical

risks involved. It will close with some biblical and pastoral reflections on how Christians might think about these procedures and more importantly how we might minister to men and women who desire to change their gender through medical technology.

What This Article Does Not Discuss

There are many medical conditions framed in our sexual identification and function as humans. Such conditions could arise from inherited genetic defects, failures of normal tissue growth during fetal development, or as the unintended result of physical trauma or other medical conditions acquired after birth. This article will not discuss the attempts of patients, their parents (in the case of children), or health professionals to restore the perceived original, God-authored design of our bodies (including our sexuality and sexual functioning) through hormonal therapies, medical treatments, or surgical procedures.4 Ra...

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