March 06, 2018
In the whirlwind few years since Caitlyn Jenner turned the culture debates on their head, many on the far Left have been so busy pushing radical transgender policies that they haven't stopped long enough to consider the consequences for the people they're claiming to help. Fortunately, scientific research has.
New research, the Washington Times reports, is screaming "Stop!" to the forces of political correctness carrying on Barack Obama's agenda. In the journal JAMA, experts from Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine are leading more people to urge caution in this rush to trans-friendly policies. Despite what the sexual extremists might say, there's absolutely no conclusive evidence that procedures like gender reassignment are actually helping people. (Even Obama's CDC admitted as much in 2016.)
Even so, the authors point out, there's been an almost four-fold increase in the number of patients diagnosed with a gender identity disorder. Despite the rapid growth rate, though, the overall numbers remain small, with only 4,118 gender reassignment surgeries being performed in the United States in a 15-year period. That's only about one in every 56,000 Americans over the age of 18 (according to the 2010 census). It ought to lead us all to ask why our culture is being turned upside down to appease the desires of such a tiny number of troubled individuals!
FRC's own Peter Sprigg has studied the effects of these surgeries extensively and knows that sometimes the treatments that promise the most help actually harm patients more. While the LGBT lobby and others want us to encourage this fantasy that gender is a choice, the effects of that thinking can be devastating. And Swedish researchers would be the first to say so.
In their "'robust' study, the consequences of gender reassignment surgery are startling, and appear to be uniformly negative. They encompass not only higher rates of mental illness (as indicated by psychiatric hospitalization) than in the general Swedish population, but higher rates of physical illness -- cancer ("neoplasm") and heart disease -- as well."
"Most shocking of all, however, was the rate of completed suicides -- which was over 19 times higher than in the general Swedish population. Transgender activists often insist that the reason gender reassignment surgery is 'medically necessary' is in order to prevent the suicides which might otherwise occur among those who identify as transgender but are frustrated in their desire to surgically alter their bodies. Yet the Swedish study shows that extraordinary rates of suicide persist after surgery."
At a time when courts are actually stripping parents of custody for refusing to rush their teenagers into these dangerous procedures, it's time to stop and consider what's actually best for the people struggling with this confusion. Children, in particular, are being sucked into a world where "feelings" are the new biology, and it's destroying them. According to the American College of Pediatricians, gender ideology is child abuse. After all, they point out, as many as 98 percent of gender-confused boys and 88 percent of gender-confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty. That hasn't stopped a loud and vocal minority from pushing people of all ages on a dangerous and irreversible path.
"There is some evidence that surgical techniques have improved, resulting in fewer or less serious physical complications after such surgery," Peter explains. "Unfortunately, there is no evidence that such procedures achieve their ultimate goal, which is an improvement in the overall mental health of person who identifies as transgender. In other words, this increase is driven almost entirely by ideology, not by scientific evidence the procedures are ultimately effective."
For more on what you can do on this important topic, check out Peter's new publication, "How to Respond to the LGBT Movement."
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.