Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Troubling Cowardice of Trans Ideology

This is a great piece, from Meghan Murphy, "How have we let scientific study become hate speech?":

The growing trend in young people suddenly deciding they are “in the wrong body” and must “transition” to the opposite sex is alarming. It means that more and more kids are being sent down a path of drastic body and life changes. The consequences of getting this wrong could not be more serious. Study after study has shown that a majority of youth who claim to have gender dysphoria do not continue to experience this in adulthood. Yet the puberty blockers and the hormone treatments given to ‘trans kids’ eventually lead to permanent sterilisation. And yet as the trend takes hold, the attempts to shut down public debate also grow stronger – which is just as alarming.

Last month, Brown University assistant professor Lisa Littman published a paper looking at this “rapid-onset gender dysphoria” in adolescents and young adults. Through surveying the parents of these teens, she found that this sudden onset of “gender dysphoria” was taking place in peer groups in which one or more friends became gender dysphoric at the same time. In other words, this seemed to be kids following trends.

From the 256 surveys Littman collected, she found that a large majority of these youths were female (82.8%), and 41% had identified as non-heterosexual prior to identifying as transgender. Almost two thirds had also been diagnosed with at least one mental health disorder or neurodevelopmental disability before they claimed to have gender dysphoria.

One might deduce, based on this evidence, that these (mainly) girls were not, in fact, transgender, but lesbians and/or struggling with other mental health issues. And crucially, that these factors should be explored before leaping to start “transitioning” — a process that eventually involves a lifetime of hormone treatments and a series of complicated surgeries.

These facts, though, have been deemed unspeakable. Those who dare question the concept of gender identity itself — that is that one can have, say, a male body, but be truly a woman ‘on the inside’ — are treated as blasphemers and bigots, viciously harassed, attacked, and even fired from their place of work.

Dr. Kenneth Zucker is a case in point. A sexologist and psychologist who ran the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) in Toronto for more than 30 years, he was fired after trans activists mounted a smear campaign against him. Zucker’s ‘crime’ was to suggest that rather than immediately start children who think they have gender dysphoria on the transition process, perhaps we should first try to “help children feel comfortable in their own bodies.” Zucker himself was not actually opposed to the transition process — if the dysphoria of the youth he was working with persisted, Zucker would support them in their path to transitioning.

But simply acknowledging that desistance happens was apparently unacceptable. Over 500 professional clinicians and academics signed a petition in support of Zucker, arguing that his dismissal was “politically motivated” and that this should “stand as a warning to any clinical researcher who is or considers working at the CAMH: In the event of a conflict with activists for a fashionable cause, the CAMH might well sacrifice them — and the individuals and families they serve in their clinics — for some real or imagined local political gain.” But the damage was done. Zucker had been fired, and his reputation tarnished...