Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Artificially Induced Gender Dysphoria in Alan Turing?

There has been some speculation on the cause of Alan Turing's death mainly because of his past connections with the espionage industry and his strong attitude towards life in general. Those who believe that the cyanide poisoning was accidental are probably not clear about the effects of the "therapy" delivered by the church influenced British law.  This aspect that has also not received sufficient attention by writers on Alan Turing (AT) primarily because they simply do not understand it.

In SEP  we find this "This work was interrupted by Alan Turing's arrest in February 1952 for his sexual affair with a young Manchester man, and he was obliged, to escape imprisonment, to undergo the injection of oestrogen intended to negate his sexual drive. He was disqualified from continuing secret cryptological work. His general libertarian attitude was enhanced rather than suppressed by the criminal trial, and his intellectual individuality also remained as lively as ever."

The last part is probably not accurate and Andrew Hodges  (his biographer) seems to be over generous there or simply has failed to read hidden problems.

Stilbestrol, in 1952, was a synthetic estrogen whose potential serious side effects were unknown, dosage information poorly understood and severe overdosing (to more than 100x required dose) was the norm. We can safely assume that almost all of AT's estrogen receptors were consistently saturated for a period of one year during the "therapy".

A nice rule of thumb in hormone replacement therapy for sex-change is that "fitter you are better will be the response". In case of AT, the response was apparently strong as he had real, permanent breasts (not fat) capable of lactation in a year of synthetic estrogen based HRT. The 'chemical castration' part may have been strong enough to stop production of testosterone completely/near completely (apart from  causing permanent atrophy of testes) after cessation of the therapy. Further the tissues of genitals would have become feminized, their operational semantics changed and probably would have had a neo-vagina hanging outside the body just at the cessation of therapy. We can only speculate about other issues from the limited data available including splinters of male supremacist views of some of his ardent fans.

Alan Turing identified as a bisexual/gay man and this is implicit in his letters. On the gender spectrum he identified almost as a cis man. So all of the feminization and the deficiency of testosterone would have caused severe gender dysphoria with spells of depression (accompanied possibly by suicidal tendencies). (The link on gender dysphoria is to an all inclusive perspective as that is more appropriate here). Turing had no language to express his problems in clear terms and his efforts at articulation was certainly messed up with by his Jungian therapist. But he had a strong mind with a positive approach to life and therefore tried to suppress the dysphoria by trying not to think about it and carry on with life. Normal people are not likely to share very personal problems unless they have no options and know that others can possibly be helpful.  

So we have proved that (
do supply the easy missing steps in the proof),

Theorem:  "Alan Turing committed suicide because he could not cope with the artificial gender dysphoria induced on him by the British law. The coping problem was aggravated by Jungian misguidance". 


Insufficient description of problems due to reservations induced by the patriarchy/intersectionality  possess the potential to aid oppression of other LGBTIQ communities and individuals.   


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frances said...

"Further the tissues of genitals would have become feminized, their operational semantics changed and probably would have had a neo-vagina hanging outside the body just at the cessation of therapy. "

I've never seen this backed by any published findings. Not once.

However, there is clearly a connection between sex hormones levels & serotonin regulation. Having the 'wrong' hormone for one's receptors would clearly result in distorted serotonin levels and thus problems with sleep, mood, digestion, immune/autoimmune and other systems.

A. Mani said...

I am not seeing how you are reading the quoted statement. For generalities see elsewhere

Homologous tissues have similar receptors and so the effects are pretty much expected. There is plenty on receptors in trans women too.

E.g J Histochem Cytochem 2004 52: 355
DOI: 10.1177/002215540405200306

Then we have results and anecdotal accounts with YMMV tag in pre-ops trans women on HRT for

1. wet as a vagina effect.
2. multiple orgasms
3. ability to grind/ hump pillows
4. inability to have/sustain erections by 6 months of HRT.
5. Time required for permanent atrophy of gonads

Yes as far as serotonin related research is concerned, trans and cis woman belong to the same class and males to another class. 'right' hormone is relative this classification. :

e.g Brain Struct Funct
DOI 10.1007/s00429-012-0492-4
(has references to other work too)