A new study calls into question the political narratives surrounding trendy treatments for people who say they are transgendered, in particular the unethical practice of dosing children with powerful hormones to suppress their normal physical development.
I wrote this post about it for CatholicVote.
The New Atlantis recently published a study, Sexuality and Gender, that is sure to earn its authors a place on the secular media hit list.
The study and paper weren’t produced by amateurs, but by Lawrence S. Mayer, MB, MS, PhD and Paul H Hugh, MD.
Dr. Hugh is the University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He was the psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital and has served as a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics.
Dr. Mayer is a scholar in residence in the Department of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University.
He has been published in peer-reviewed journals. His publications include articles in The Annals of Statistics, Biometrics, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, American Journal of Political Science, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Statistical Association and the American Journal of Public Health.
I listed these men’s credentials because the conclusions they reached in their research fly in the face of the political narratives that have been put forward by one side of the culture wars. I expect them to be attacked, and I also expect anyone who cites their work to be attacked along with them.
What have they said that’s so worthy of such attacks? Basically, (and it’s a long article that you should read yourself) they debunk several claims in the public narrative about the causes of homosexuality. One apple-cart that they overturn is the “born that way,” explanation for how people develop same-sex attractions.
There is nothing inflammatory per se in what the authors conclude. It is, rather, pretty much what we all have surmised: there are most likely a number of causes that lead to the development of homosexuality, and no one really knows at this point what all of them are. However, the “born that way” narrative does not bear out, at least as a sole explanation.
The authors also address the question of mental health and homosexuality. Their conclusion is that homosexual people suffer from higher rates of mental health problems than their counterparts in the larger community.
Again, it is not possible to say whether these mental health problems are part of an overall mental health dynamic that results in homosexuality, a result of homosexual behavior, or a reaction to prejudice and discrimination that individuals encounter because of their sexuality. It’s a chicken and egg thing, just like the question of what “causes” same-sex attraction.
This research also shows that “gender reassignment surgery” does not result in improved mental health outcomes for those who undergo it. It raises the issue of the high rate of suicide in people who say they are transgender.
The authors don’t say this, but I would guess that the poor mental health results of gender reassignment surgery are mostly due to the fact that it is a barbaric and mutilating procedure that has more in common with yester-years’ pre-frontal lobotomies than legitimate medical practice. (Read the rest here.)