Tag Archives: Gender Identity Disorder

A closer look at gender-reassignment surgery and psychological disorders

Lets take a closer look at a puzzle
Lets take a closer look at a puzzle

This article on The Public Discourse by Walt Heyer (H/T Katy), a form transgender woman, was tweeted to me multiple times, so I have to write something about it. It talks about the research on transgender people and the outcomes of gender-reassignment surgery.

Here is the part I thought captures the theme of the article:

Studies show that the majority of transgender people have other co-occurring, or comorbid, psychological disorders.

A 2014 study found 62.7% of patients diagnosed with gender dysphoria had at least one co-occurring disorder, and 33% were found to have major depressive disorders, which are linked to suicide ideation. Another 2014 study of four European countries found that almost 70% of participants showed one or more Axis I disorders, mainly affective (mood) disorders and anxiety.

In 2007, the Department of Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, committed to a clinical review of the comorbid disorders of the last 10 patients interviewed at their Gender Identity Clinic. They found that “90% of these diverse patients had at least one other significant form of psychopathology . . . [including] problems of mood and anxiety regulation and adapting in the world. Two of the 10 have had persistent significant regrets about their previous transitions.”

Yet in the name of “civil rights,” laws are being passed at all levels of government to prevent transgender patients from receiving therapies to diagnose and treat co-occurring mental disorders.

The authors of the Case Western Reserve University study seemed to see this legal wave coming when they said:

This finding seems to be in marked contrast to the public, forensic, and professional rhetoric of many who care for transgendered adults . . . Emphasis on civil rights is not a substitute for the recognition and treatment of associated psychopathology. Gender identity specialists, unlike the media, need to be concerned about the majority of patients, not just the ones who are apparently functioning well in transition.

As one who went through the surgery, I wholeheartedly agree. Politics doesn’t mix well with science. When politics forces itself on medicine, patients are the ones who suffer.

Let’s connect the dots. Transgender people report attempting suicide at a staggering rate—above 40%. According to Suicide.org, 90% of all suicides are the result of untreated mental disorders. Over 60% (and possibly up to 90% as shown at Case Western) of transgender people have comorbid psychiatric disorders, which often go wholly untreated.

Could treating the underlying psychiatric disorders prevent transgender suicides? I think the answer is a resounding “yes.”

The evidence is staring us in the face. Tragically high numbers of transgender people attempt suicide. Suicide is the result of untreated mental disorders. A majority of transgender people suffer from untreated comorbid disorders—yet against all reason, laws are being enacted to prevent their treatment.

The article looks at different research and different scholars to make the case that just granting the people gender-reassignment surgery without trying to see what else might need fixing first is a mistake. A mistake that often results in suicides. We are not helping people who need help when we just take their desires at face value, without asking other questions.

Articles on The Public Discourse tend to be long and detailed, but this one is a must-read, because the topic is timely, and we should all have some sort of response ready when this topic comes up.

Ben Shapiro will press charges against transgender Zoey Tur

Conservative radio show host and author Ben Shapiro went on CNN and got grabbed and threatened repeatedly by a transgender guest.

The story is here from Breitbart News.

Excerpt:

Breitbart Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro and transgender reporter for Inside Edition and helicopter pilot Zoey Tur engaged in a heated debate over Caitlyn Jenner and transgenderism during which Tur threatened to send Shapiro home in an ambulance on Thursday’s “Dr. Drew On Call.”

[…]Pinsky then argued that ABC did a good job getting viewers, which is the point of an awards ceremony. Pinsky continued, “In terms of the science behind gender disphoria, you’re very familiar with that, Zoey. It’s not about the…chromosomes within our nuclei.” Tur responded, “We both know chromosomes don’t necessarily mean you’re male or female.” And “you have a thing like Klinefelter’s syndrome. So, [turning to Shapiro and touching his shoulder] you don’t know what you’re talking about, you’re not educated on genetics –.” Shapiro asked if the discussion was supposed to be on genetics and asked, “What are your genetics, sir?” Pinsky said to Tur, “I’d stay away from the genetics and back to the brain scans.”

Tur then said to Shapiro, “You cut that out now, or you’ll go home in an ambulance.” Shapiro responded, “That seems mildly inappropriate for a political discussion.” Oduolowu said that, to be fair, Shapiro was being rude, to which Shapiro answered, “I’m sorry, it’s not rude to say that someone who’s biologically a male is a male.” Tur stated, “You just called me a ‘sir.’”

If you watch the video, Tur grabs the back of Shapiro’s head in a rather menacing manner.

I listened to hour 1 of Ben Shapiro’s Friday radio show, and he said that Tur threatened him again – telling him he would be waiting for Shapiro in the parking lot.

As if that wasn’t enough, there’s this threat to “curb-stomp” Shapiro on Twitter:

Transgender Zoey Tur threatens to curb-stomp Ben Shapiro
Transgender Zoey Tur threatens to curb-stomp Ben Shapiro

One thing for sure – he certainly didn’t appear to be very feminine or ladylike, grabbing the back of Ben Shapiro’s head and threatening to beat him up.

In case you are wondering what curb-stomping is, Breitbart News explains:

Curb-stomping is a heinously violent street practice where the victim is forced to bite the corner of a cement street curb before the assailant stomps on the victims head.

[…]Curb-stomping is a practice made infamous by American Nazi skinheads.

Ben Shapiro is Jewish.

That’s a serious threat. And yet people on the panel all talked about tolerance, and none of them thought anything of what Tur said to Shapiro.

If you listen to hour 1 of the Friday show, Shapiro says twice that he intends to press charges against Tur. The video was already turned over to the police by the time he was on air. He has to press charges because it’s wrong to say things like that to people just because you disagree with them. I really recommend listening to that hour of the radio show, to hear Ben’s full thoughts on the whole transgender issue. It’s sometimes helpful to hear someone speak about these issues with common sense, and that seems to be in short supply on the politically correct left these days. They talk about tolerance and diversity but there isn’t any tolerance and diversity unless you agree with them, and even celebrate them.

UPDATE: Mainstream media reacts to Shapiro-Tur altercation by blaming Shapiro:

Salon: Ben Shapiro tries — and spectacularly fails — to humiliate trans woman Zoey Tur:

Mediaite: Ben Shapiro and Transgender Reporter Get Heated on HLN

HLN(!): The moment this transgender debate got heated

The Wrap: Transgender Journalist, Breitbart Editor Nearly Come to Blows During Caitlyn Jenner Debate

Well, there’s consistency for you.

Adult children of gay parents testify against same-sex marriage at Supreme Court

Marriage and family
Marriage and family

This story is from the Washington Times. (H/T William)

They write:

Six adult children of gay parents have filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court to dissuade the justices from legalizing same-sex marriage, citing their childhood experiences.

The group and their attorney — David Boyle of Long Beach, California — were in Washington on Friday to visit congressional offices and meet with scholars and advocacy groups. Mr. Boyle and five of the adult children sat for a short interview with The Washington Times.

“We don’t have childhoods,” said Dawn Stefanowicz, who grew up with two brothers in a chaotic world dominated by their gay father and his many lovers.

“There were no safe boundaries in my home,” said Denise Shick, who explained in her amicus brief how her transgender father spied on and fondled her, stole her clothes and tried to step into her shoes because, as a girl blossoming into womanhood, she was the very thing he wanted to be.

Robert Oscar Lopez, founder and president of the International Children’s Rights Institute, noted that judges often have asked attorneys if gay marriage “harms” anyone. The answer to that question is in the briefs and other publications, said Mr. Lopez, who was raised by his lesbian mother and her partner. He filed a brief with colleague B.N. Klein, who grew up with her lesbian mother and her partners.

The briefs reveal children’s struggles with gender confusion, pressures to conform to gay values and attitudes, and feelings of isolation and sadness without being able to talk about those things with anyone.

The inconsolable longing for the “missing” parent is another common theme.

“When you have kids, all of a sudden it hits you,” said Mr. Lopez, who reconnected with his biological father in his late 20s.

If the Supreme Court “rules to redefine marriage, it rules to redefine parenthood as well,” Katy Faust and Heather Barwick wrote in a joint brief.

The women, who both grew up with loving lesbian mothers, said they realized gay marriage is wrong for kids when they saw their husbands interact with their children.

“Adult desires do not trump child rights,” Ms. Faust said.

There’s “no reason to write out of civil code the need for a mother and a father,” she said. “This court must either side with adult desires or side with children’s rights. But it cannot do both.”

Indeed – that is the issue. It’s a conflict between adult selfishness and children’s needs.

I found a very moving long-form essay at The Public Discourse by one of the women mentioned in the news story above.

Denise Shick writes:

What was your biggest concern when you were nine years old? Was it trying to memorize your multiplication tables? Was it that the school cafeteria might serve your least favorite vegetable at lunch? Perhaps it was something more serious; perhaps your parents were talking of getting divorced. My biggest concern at age nine was how to keep my daddy’s secret, the one he revealed to me as we sat alone on a hill near our home. In a sense, I lost my dad that day, when he told me he wanted to become a woman.

[…]His confessions left me confused and hurt. After all, I just wanted a dad who would love and cherish me, who would make me feel special as a daughter. I felt rejected and abandoned by my own father. By the time I was eleven, my dad had begun to abuse me emotionally and sexually. Even so, I continued to keep my dad’s secret locked away, deep down in my heart.

My dad created a home environment that made me feel as if I was walking on pins and needles. His resentment over my possession of what he so deeply desired for himself—a woman’s body—turned into anger and abuse. As his desires intensified, he began to borrow my clothing. Many times I discovered my underclothes and tops under bathroom towels, or in the attic—often in places I had not been. I learned to organize my clothes just so, in order to know if he had been in my dresser drawers. When I confirmed that he’d worn an article of my clothing, I simply could not bring myself to ever wear that item again.

As an adolescent, I had to be careful about how I dressed. I always had to ask myself how he would react to my outfit. Would it make him so envious that he’d “borrow” it (without my consent, of course)? I began to hate my body. It was a constant reminder of what my father wanted to become. When I began to wear makeup, I had to block out the images I had of him applying makeup or eye shadow or lipstick. He was destroying my desire to become a woman.

I looked elsewhere for comfort. Attending school dances and overnights at friends’ homes gave me opportunities to seek some emotional escape through alcohol. Even on school days, a friend and I sometimes met in a school restroom to share bottles of Jack Daniel’s. I desperately tried to fit in, but the truth is I was hurting.

I was so hungry to have my father’s love and attention that I tried to fill that void in other ways. I had thirteen boyfriends in seventh grade alone. I also tried, futilely, to soothe my hurting heart with alcohol. By age fifteen, I was struggling with my own sexuality and gender. I began to seriously consider taking drugs, but God had another plan.

I really recommend reading her essay from top to bottom if you want to understand the same-sex marriage issue. The guy who rescues her from her father (and the mother who chose to marry him) is an absolute hero, in my opinion.

Anyway, back to same-sex marriage. The last time we redefined marriage, we removed the presumption of permanence by allowing any spouse to end the marriage for any reason, or no reason at all. We were told by two left-wing constituencies – the feminists and the trial lawyers – that no-fault divorce would have a neutral or even a positive effect on children. Well, we now know that this was a pack of lies. The feminists wanted to destroy the “unequal roles” of marriage, and the trial lawyers wanted to get rich from divorce trials. The primary losers was the generation of children whose parents divorced instead of working out their problems. Now, the same social engineers are at it again with same-sex marriage. I hope we win this one, but since we elected Barack Obama, we lost two picks on the Supreme Court. Without those two picks, we don’t have much hope.

Why are insurance costs going up?

Well, one reason why is because the costs of elective treatments are being covered now, and that means that the costs for them are being distributed to everyone else.

Here’s the leftist Washington Post to explain.

Excerpt:

Aetna this week announced it will start covering gender reassignment surgery next year for federal workers on the insurer’s plans. And the company said it will begin rolling out this coverage to many of its commercial plans over the next couple of years.

For years, many health insurance plans have denied coverage for gender reassignment benefits. But with the medical community recognizing gender identity disorder as a diagnosable condition, there has been a growing acknowledgement recently among employers and policymakers that insurers need to be covering these treatments, which otherwise can carry prohibitive costs.

Regulators in eight states and the District of Columbia now ban discrimination against treatments for gender reassignment. In the past four years, the number of large employers covering sex reassignment surgery in their health plans grew from 49 to 340, including at 28 percent of Fortune 500 firms, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

This year, the U.S. government has weighed in considerably. In May, Medicare reversed a decades-old ban on covering gender reassignment surgery in response to a 2013 lawsuit. Advocates said the Medicare decision could put pressure on more insurers to ensure equal benefits for transgender Americans, who make up 0.3 percent of the adult population.

[…]Without insurance, the out-of-pocket costs for gender reassignment vary greatly. Some people may only need hormone therapy, which costs hundreds of dollars a year. The cost of surgery, for those needing it, could be tens of thousands of dollars.

The Washington Post is very much in favor of making this “covered”.

Now when I think of health insurance, I think of car insurance. With car insurance, you pay when there is an accident. The collision is unexpected, but it is covered. But it is increasingly the case with health insurance that elective treatments are called “health care”. I think the trend is that the number of these treatments will increase as more and more of these elective surgeries get added to the mandatory coverages. And if you look at other countries, IVF (some provinces of Canada) and breast enlargements (UK) are covered.

I certainly don’t want to pay for any of these “coverages” but as these treatments become mandatory coverages, I will be paying for them. Even if I don’t use them. My premiums will go up so that other people who do use it can have it without having to pay for it.

Psychiatrist Paul McHugh explains the troubles with transgender activism

In the Wall Street Journal.

Excerpt:

The transgendered suffer a disorder of “assumption” like those in other disorders familiar to psychiatrists. With the transgendered, the disordered assumption is that the individual differs from what seems given in nature—namely one’s maleness or femaleness. Other kinds of disordered assumptions are held by those who suffer from anorexia and bulimia nervosa, where the assumption that departs from physical reality is the belief by the dangerously thin that they are overweight.

With body dysmorphic disorder, an often socially crippling condition, the individual is consumed by the assumption “I’m ugly.” These disorders occur in subjects who have come to believe that some of their psycho-social conflicts or problems will be resolved if they can change the way that they appear to others. Such ideas work like ruling passions in their subjects’ minds and tend to be accompanied by a solipsistic argument.

For the transgendered, this argument holds that one’s feeling of “gender” is a conscious, subjective sense that, being in one’s mind, cannot be questioned by others. The individual often seeks not just society’s tolerance of this “personal truth” but affirmation of it. Here rests the support for “transgender equality,” the demands for government payment for medical and surgical treatments, and for access to all sex-based public roles and privileges.

With this argument, advocates for the transgendered have persuaded several states—including California, New Jersey and Massachusetts—to pass laws barring psychiatrists, even with parental permission, from striving to restore natural gender feelings to a transgender minor. That government can intrude into parents’ rights to seek help in guiding their children indicates how powerful these advocates have become.

How to respond? Psychiatrists obviously must challenge the solipsistic concept that what is in the mind cannot be questioned. Disorders of consciousness, after all, represent psychiatry’s domain; declaring them off-limits would eliminate the field. Many will recall how, in the 1990s, an accusation of parental sex abuse of children was deemed unquestionable by the solipsists of the “recovered memory” craze.

You won’t hear it from those championing transgender equality, but controlled and follow-up studies reveal fundamental problems with this movement. When children who reported transgender feelings were tracked without medical or surgical treatment at both Vanderbilt University and London’s Portman Clinic, 70%-80% of them spontaneously lost those feelings. Some 25% did have persisting feelings; what differentiates those individuals remains to be discerned.

We at Johns Hopkins University—which in the 1960s was the first American medical center to venture into “sex-reassignment surgery”—launched a study in the 1970s comparing the outcomes of transgendered people who had the surgery with the outcomes of those who did not. Most of the surgically treated patients described themselves as “satisfied” by the results, but their subsequent psycho-social adjustments were no better than those who didn’t have the surgery. And so at Hopkins we stopped doing sex-reassignment surgery, since producing a “satisfied” but still troubled patient seemed an inadequate reason for surgically amputating normal organs.

It now appears that our long-ago decision was a wise one. A 2011 study at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden produced the most illuminating results yet regarding the transgendered, evidence that should give advocates pause. The long-term study—up to 30 years—followed 324 people who had sex-reassignment surgery. The study revealed that beginning about 10 years after having the surgery, the transgendered began to experience increasing mental difficulties. Most shockingly, their suicide mortality rose almost 20-fold above the comparable nontransgender population. This disturbing result has as yet no explanation but probably reflects the growing sense of isolation reported by the aging transgendered after surgery. The high suicide rate certainly challenges the surgery prescription.

We seem to have this popular idea in our culture now that the loving thing to do in every case is to just affirm whatever anyone feels like doing. Want to have sex-reassignment surgery? No problem. Want to be surgically altered to look like a cat? No problem. Want to have an amputation because you don’t like your arm? No problem. Want to have taxpayer-provided heroine injected by nurses? No problem. Want to adopt a lifestyle that involves having risky sex with hundreds of unprotected partners? We’ll wave a rainbow flag for you. Want to get drunk and have sex before you (and they) have even graduated high school? Here are free condoms and free abortions to fix anything that might go wrong.

The really, really bad thing that we must never, ever do, apparently, is to tell someone “it’s wrong”.

I am really struggling to understand why telling people NOT to do things that are bad for them is a bad thing. I set boundaries on myself to keep myself out of trouble. Why can’t I let other people know what they are? Why do I have to pay taxes so that other people can afford to do risky and/or immoral things that I would never do?