Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

By: CHRIS ENLOE | May 01, 2023


Image source: YouTube screenshot

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy gave NBC News anchor Chuck Todd a basic lesson in biology on Sunday on the issue of biological sex. During an interview on “Meet the Press,” Todd questioned Ramaswamy on his position that affirming gender confusion in children and teenagers is not compassionate, but “cruelty.”

“What makes it compassionate to pass a law that denies a parent making their own health care decision for their kid?” Todd asked.

Pointing out that many that laws already exist limiting what minors can do with their bodies — such as purchasing and consuming tobacco — Ramaswamy told Todd, “I think it’s perfectly legitimate to say that we won’t allow genital mutilation or chemical castration through puberty blockers for the purpose of transition.”

That’s when Todd invoked biology.

“You’re calling it that. But how do you know it’s that? Are you confident that you know that gender is as binary as you’re describing it?” the NBC News anchor pressed.

“I am,” responded Ramaswamy.

“Are you confident that it isn’t a spectrum?” Todd followed up. “Do you know this as a scientist?”

Ramaswamy, in fact, stated that his confidence is rooted in his background as a scientist. He is a Harvard-education biologist and a Yale-educated lawyer.

“There’s two X chromosomes if you’re a woman. An X and a Y — that means you’re a man,” he said.

Full Ramaswamy: GOP has to ‘be the party of free speech and open debate’

In response, Todd claimed — without citing any actual evidence — that “there’s a lot of scientific research out there that says gender is a spectrum.”

Ramaswamy responded to Todd’s appeal to authority by appealing to an actual medical authority. He explained that the accepted handbook for mental disorders, the DSM-5, includes “gender dysphoria.”

“Gender dysphoria for most of our history, all the way through the DSM-5, has been characterized as a mental health disorder,” Ramaswamy told Todd.

“And I don’t think it’s compassionate to affirm that. I think that’s cruelty,” he added of the idea that gender is a spectrum. “When a kid is crying out for help … let’s be compassionate and get to the heart of that rather than playing this game as though we’re actually changing our medical understanding for the last 100 years.”

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