Study Finds No Scientific Basis for Transgenderism
Aug 24, 2016 by Raven Clabough
The Left often likes to use science — or rather, a modified version of science — in arguments related to atheism, evolution, abortion, climate change, etc. But just how it will deal with a new scientific study on transgenderism remains to be seen. According to a new report published in The New Atlantis journal, transgenderism — the latest hot button social justice “ism” — is not supported by science.
The report was co-authored by former Chief of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University Dr. Paul McHugh and Arizona State University Professor of Statistics and Biostatistics Lawrence Mayer. They concluded that “gender identity” is not separate from biological sex.
“Examining research from the biological, psychological, and social sciences, this report shows that some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence,” the report prefaced.
“The hypothesis that gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex — that a person might be ‘a man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’ — is not supported by scientific evidence,” stated the researchers.
This is not exactly groundbreaking news to those who exercise common sense, of course. Simply because an individual purports to identify as something doesn’t make it true, particularly if it is biologically impossible. It does not take a scientific study to confirm that a person who identifies as a horse, for example, is not a horse, or one who identifies as a chair is not in fact a chair. But the study should provide some weight to the common sense approach to transgenderism, while simultaneously exploding the beliefs of some social justice warriors who may have difficulty reconciling this scientific study with their own sense of reality.
The New Atlantis report is sure to provoke some controversy, as it challenges a number of theories that have been readily accepted by the general public in recent years, including what the authors dub the “born that way” hypothesis: “The notion that homosexuality or heterosexuality is in any given person unchangeable and determined entirely apart from choices, behaviors, life experiences, and social contexts.” According to the authors, that view is not “well-supported by research.”
The authors also take issue with the criteria found in the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) for diagnosis of gender dysphoria in children, and the interventions used in the treatment of gender dysphoria despite the lack of scientific evidence behind them.
At particular issue for the researchers is how transgenderism is being foisted on America’s youth, as the scientists note that most children outgrow gender confusion, and efforts to advocate transgender acceptance are sure to create further confusion. “Children are a special case when addressing transgender issues. Only a minority of children who experience cross-gender identification will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood,” the report stated.
“There is little scientific evidence for the therapeutic value of interventions that delay puberty or modify the secondary sex characteristics of adolescents, although some children may have improved psychological well-being if they are encouraged and supported in their cross-gender identification,” wrote the researchers. “There is no evidence that all children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior should be encouraged to become transgender.”
The report argued that enabling acceptance of transgenderism through medical intervention is particularly harmful. “An area of particular concern involves medical interventions for gender-nonconforming youth. They are increasingly receiving therapies that affirm their felt genders, and even hormone treatments or surgical modifications at young ages,” the authors observed.
These sentiments are similar to those found in a position statement released by the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) on March 21 entitled “Gender Ideology Harms Children,” in which the writers observed that any policies that foster the belief that gender dysphoria is anything beyond a psychological problem are in fact harmful.
The authors of that position statement made several scientific observations, including that human sexuality “is an objective biological binary trait.” Children who use hormones to attempt to mimic a sex that is not their own have a number of dangerous physical and mental risks, the position statement advised, adding that “conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful” can be classified as child abuse.
According to The New Atlantis study, in fact, conditioning anyone to accept impersonation of the opposite sex via surgery or chemical influences is harmful. The authors observe that adults who choose to have sex-reassignment surgeries have “a higher risk of experiencing poor mental health outcomes.” They cite a study that found that sex-“reassigned individuals were about 5 times more likely to attempt suicide and about 19 times more likely to die by suicide.”
Interestingly, PJ Media did a piece earlier this week on some of the real-life victims of what it dubbed the transgender “cult.” These” victims” were encouraged to embrace their gender confusion in their youth and are now living with the repercussions of those decisions. “I am a real, live 22-year-old woman, with a scarred chest and a broken voice, and five o’clock shadow because I couldn’t face the idea of growing up to be a woman. That’s my reality,” Cari Stella confessed in a YouTube video. “Gender was done to me, gender was traumatizing to me, I don’t want anything to do with it anymore,” she declared. She admitted, “When I was transitioning, I felt a strong desire — what I would have called a ‘need’ at the time — to transition.”
Stella now contends that her transition only made things worse. “It can be damn hard to figure out that the treatment you’re being told is to help you is actually making your mental health worse. Testosterone made me even more dissociated than I already was,” she said.
Stella is a prime example of an observation made by the authors in The New Atlantis study. They wrote, “The potential that patients undergoing medical and surgical sex reassignment may want to return to a gender identity consistent with their biological sex suggests that reassignment carries considerable psychological and physical risk.” The report ultimately concluded that politics and culture have been far too influential in the understanding of transgenderism and LGBT-related mental health problems, and encouraged individuals to take a more scientific approach to these issues.
The researchers wrote, “While there is much controversy surrounding how our society treats its LGBT members, no political or cultural views should discourage us from understanding the related clinical and public health issues and helping people suffering from mental health problems that may be connected to their sexuality.”
They readily admitted that better research is required to determine the best ways to help lower the rates of poor mental health outcomes in the LGBT community, but noted that despite the scientific uncertainty behind sexual orientation and gender identity, “drastic interventions” continue to be prescribed and delivered to patients.
In June, McHugh noted that despite the lack of biological or physical basis for sexual identity, scientists struggled to persuade others that transgenderism is a psychological disorder because “there is a deep prejudice in favor of the idea that nature is totally malleable.”
The authors of the article welcomed “spirited responses” to their report, and it is likely they will be barraged with exactly that.
Scholars who smashed ‘born that way’ hoax to be ‘punished’
Experts fear for authors behind landmark study
It’s an analysis rooted in science, but it’s likely to create a political firestorm. And the first shots have already been fired.
Liberals are already criticizing a landmark study on gender and sexuality. Authors Lawrence S. Mayer and Paul McHugh of Johns Hopkins University found no evidence for the “born that way” theory and warned against putting children through a “transgender” transformation.
In response, Samantha Allen at the left-wing site the Daily Beast sneered at McHugh’s involvement in the study in a piece titled, “The right’s favorite anti-LGBT doctor strikes again.”
She bemoans the “predictable far-right lovefest” and questions McHugh’s expertise.
“The Washington Examiner and other conservative media outlets would have you believe that McHugh’s statements on LGBT issues are significant because he is a ‘prominent psychiatrist,’” she smirks, using scare quotes.
McHugh is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and was for 25 years the psychiatrist-in-chief at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Experts warn such criticism is likely only the beginning.
“The researchers who have dared to publish this study have tremendous courage,” professor Paul Kengor told WND. “They have basically committed professional suicide. The forces of ‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity’ among the LGBTQ brigades will now harass and demonize these researchers with the vitriolic sexual-gender McCarthyism they have mastered. They destroy any critics and dissenters. The researchers have committed heresy in the church of secular progressivism. They will now be punished.”
Kengor, the author of “Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage,” said the study challenges the homosexual lobby’s entire agenda. Therefore, he argues, the counterattack will be vitriolic and swift.
“If this research is indeed accurate, then its implications would be profound,” he told WND. “The nature redefiners and fundamental transformers on the progressive left badly want to reinvent everything from marriage and sexuality to gender and unborn life. Any data by any serious researcher that stands in the way of their grand project will be treated with great hatred.”
Carl Gallups, a pastor, talk-show host and author of “Be Thou Prepared: Equipping The Church for Persecution and Times of Trouble,” said the study is a victory for “reality.” He stresses he has no problem respectfully relating to people who identify as homosexual or transgendered.
However, he does have a problem with being told such behavior is normal. And he says the persecution of dissenters is likely to increase, regardless of the facts.
“The problem I do have is with the politically correct insanity that insists the rest of us call ‘normal’ what clearly has never been the ‘norm’ at any time in history, nor in any culture,” he told WND. “I, along with millions of other Americans, also have a problem with the radical homosexual agenda insisting that our culture actually celebrate the anomaly. And that same radical agenda continually lobbies to pass laws, and issue edicts, mandating the acceptance of it – regardless of one’s cultural and faith-based beliefs – under penalty of criminal and civil law.
“Now, once again, in this latest study, the world is faced with reality. Real scientists, medical doctors, and psychological professionals have yet again concluded, and published for peer-review, that homosexuality and transgenderism are absolutely not connected to genetic markers. Once again the hard science, and the obvious historical facts, are staring us in the face. If the gay lifestyle is not a matter of genetic predisposition, then, logically it would have to be predominately a matter of choice – or a learned behavior.”
Gallups said although he is a man of faith, he believes it is the homosexual lobby that bases its actions on feelings and wishful thinking rather than objective reality.
“I am certain the radical agenda’s outrage will be imminent,” he warned. “And, more than likely that indignation will be based upon appeals to feelings, ‘fairness,’ what ‘should be,’ and what is now the ‘new norm’ – rather than to the observable, demonstrated, repeatable, and falsifiable scientific truth. Predictably, they will attack the messenger, rather than dealing with the facts of the message.”
Gallups does not fear only for researchers Mayer and McHugh. He believes Christians as a whole are being targeted, a theme of his book, “Be Thou Prepared.”
“I think it is no small coincidence that the vast majority of today’s radical homosexual movement actively engages in attacking and contorting the truths of God’s Word regarding this matter,” the pastor told WND. “For it is in this Word that we discover our Creator’s true plan for marriage, home, family and the sexual identification of human beings. Homosexuality and transgenderism are never celebrated, in any fashion, in the Word of God. Indeed, they are soundly condemned as an atrocity of God’s truth regarding the foundation of humanity and civilization itself. Yet, the opportunity for God’s love, healing and forgiveness is also held out from the hand of our Creator.
“This issue is truly something spiritual, emotional and psychological … rather than something mandated by DNA. The sooner our nation can come to terms with this fact, the sooner we can reach a balance of decency and sanity. If we continue down the path of ignoring the facts that right in front of our face, the quicker our national demise will be.”
Michael Brown, a WND columnist and talk-show host, has written a number of books on the topic of homosexuality, including the recent “Outlasting the Gay Revolution.” As a longtime observer of how the homosexual lobby operates, he says what will happen to the researchers of this study is predictable.
“How will gay activists respond?” he asked rhetorically. “They will shoot the messengers. Watch and see. We’ve seen the pattern for years.”
Brown said the homosexual lobby uses personal attacks to discredit any individual or group that disagrees with their agenda or presents evidence that contradicts their claims. Once the ad hominem attacks take effect after circulation by the media, the homosexual lobby can safely dismiss critics, calling them “discredited” even when they are nothing of the sort.
Brown specifically identified the far left Southern Poverty Law Center as a key part of the process. The supposed civil rights organization has labeled a number of well-respected, pro-family groups as “hate groups” for opposing homosexual marriage, including the Family Research Council and the American Family Association. In 2012, the Family Research Council was attacked by Floyd Lee Corkins, who said he picked the FRC as a target because it was listed as an “anti-gay” group by the SPLC.
Brown defended the credentials of authors Mayer and McHugh and dismissed claims they were politically motivated right-wingers. Instead, Brown claimed these “formidable scholars” are the ones being targeted by politically motivated activists.
However, Brown said ultimately “the truth will triumph.”
“In ‘Outlasting The Gay Revolution,’ I say we need to keep propagating the truth until the lies are dispelled,” Brown told WND. “We need to follow the truth wherever it leads. Those who want to know the truth need to study this report. And those choosing to shoot the messengers will only hurt themselves in the end.”