The End of Gender: Debunking the Myths About Sex and Identity in Our Society
By Dr. Debra Soh
I studied journalism in college and briefly worked as a news reporter in both television and print before leaving the field due to sexual harassment. I preface with that because I am educated and trained to be unbiased, to seek out multiple angles for every narrative, and to never take “no” for an answer. Of course, my experience studying, training and working in media occurred 15+ years ago and a lot has changed in how the media accurately portrays and reports truth versus reality.
I am an unashamedly outspoken conservative follower of Christ who intentionally prays every day to live my life actually following the ways and wisdom of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I feel that in order to practice what I preach I must be purposefully studying God’s Word, daily, while also engaging in and with culture. Ya know, living in the world rather than of the world, navigating what is actually rooted in the Word instead raised from the world.
I have my own beliefs, opinions, thoughts and experiences that are supported by my personal study of scripture and interpretation received from accredited biblical scholars. Still, my journalistic mind is curious to other ideologies, particularly when it comes to the increasing tension surrounding the topic of gender. I desire to know what the actual science is so I can present it alongside my biblical worldview and Christ-centered foundation.
This is why I wanted to read and review, The End of Gender: Debunking the Myths About Sex and Identity in Our Society by Dr. Debra Soh. [For the Christian perspective on sex and gender, see my reviews of God and the Transgender Debate and Embodied.]
I was introduced to Dr. Soh in early Fall 2020 when she was a guest on The Megyn Kelly Show podcast. (A few weeks later, I encountered her again as a guest on the Christian podcast, Relatable with Allie Beth Stuckey). I was immediately captivated by Dr. Soh’s insight on the trend of transgenderism along with her stance on the issue of gender. Her interview was fascinating to me because Dr. Soh is a sexologist and neuroscientist who identifies as a liberal atheist, a non-traditionalist, and a gay-rights supporter. By most cases and purposes, Dr. Soh and I are on opposite sides of the political and spiritual aisle and yet, her scientific research and intensive professional career have led us to a common place in the so-called gender debate.
Understanding the real science behind sex and gender could put the entire gender debate to rest. However, as Dr. Soh so brilliantly demonstrates throughout The End of Gender, true science is grounded in rigorous research, the scientific method (to eliminate bias and confounding variables) and quantitative (numbers-based) methods. Dr. Soh worked in the field of sex research and sexology and relates her disciplines to biology, psychology, neuroscience and medicine. This is so interesting to me because the opposition to her field of science-based sex research is gender studies. Gender studies (and other similar disciplines, like women’s studies), bases its perspective on qualitative methods such as interviews and accounts of personal experience.
Gender studies is not a scientific discipline. You could say, gender studies is the study of emotions, feelings, or experiences that pertain to an individual or individuals who share common reactions or outlooks. In my opinion, anything that is not scientifically rooted or theologically sound is fleeting – it blows in the winds of trend or change and is not permanently affixed to a set foundation.
If you read my reviews of God and the Transgender Debate and Embodied, then you would also find this little nugget quite intriguing – The science depicted in ALL of these books is EXACTLY THE SAME.**
Or, maybe not.
Besides a detailed clarification of the most commonly used words in accordance with gender, Dr. Soh also tackles the hot-button issues and popular misconceptions of:
- Nature versus nurture
- The male brain versus the female brain
- The variety of multiple genders
- Gender-neutral parenting
- Gender dysphoria in children
- The neuroscience behind transgenderism
- Gender as a so-called social construct (also described as gender being on a spectrum)
- Sexology and social justice working together for good
- And more…
I admire Dr. Soh’s work and her willingness to stand up against the mob and fight for the science behind gender. She thoroughly uses research, statistics and interviews to communicate a message that is both scientific and objective even though the result is not of popular opinion and does not fit into a certain narrative. While I do not agree with some of her stances on gender (specifically, her support of those actively living homosexual lifestyles as well as consenting adults transitioning gender, amongst other things), I do appreciate her commitment to accurately, honestly and courageously document SCIENCE.
I highly recommend The End of Gender alongside God and the Transgender Debate and Embodied for anyone who is seeking to learn more about this topic or who desires to genuinely understand. My personal opinion is that these books work together to equip you to unconditionally love and support those who are caught in the middle of this gender debate or those who may be suffering from genuine gender dysphoria. If you think about it, how can you truly love, comfort, relate or assist anyone if you have no idea what they are going through or where or how their struggle began?
As a closing remark, the topic of gender is very touchy right now and attempting to find creditable resources for factual information is nearly impossible. Dr. Soh knows this. Likewise, I have found this to be true in my own Google searches.
And at the end of the day remember whose side you are on – both God and science.
*I am not a scientist nor am I a political activist, therefore, I’m not going to pretend to be. However, in order to present to you some of the information you’ll acquire from reading The End of Gender, I am broadly discussing some of the pertinent themes.
**I intentionally read the Christian perspective on gender prior to reading the science-based, secular viewpoint because at the end of the day I know God and science are on the same team. Moreover, there would be no science without God because God created science. I feel it is always valuable to receive multiple sources of information before coming to a conclusion, however, the basis of my conclusion will forever be rooted in God’s Word. So help me, God.
***The views and opinions expressed in this review are my own. I have not received any payment, position or privilege for promoting this book. Any endorsement is of my own doing.