Tuesday, February 06, 2018

The Sense of Being Transgendered


A few years ago a young man I knew was troubled, and engaged in attention-getting behaviors (cutting, suicidal, etc.). One day I went to his Facebook page and saw he announced himself as a woman. He got a lot of attention. In his case, I think there are reasons to believe that his was a misdiagnosis, rooted in a mental disorder.

One can't take one instance like this and hastily generalize to apply to all transgendered people. But it seems reasonable to believe that, given the current attention, some will misdiagnose themselves.

This is for the open-minded, people who value reading all sides of an argument.

I'll summarize the main points in "Transgender Surgery Isn't the Solution," by Dr. Paul McHugh, former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

McHugh writes...

  • The felt sense of being transgendered is a mental disorder in two ways: 1) the idea of sex misalignment is mistaken because it does not correspond with physical reality; and 2) it can lead to grim psychological outcomes.
  • The transgendered live with the disordered assumption is that "the individual differs from what seems given in nature—namely one's maleness or femaleness."
  • Psycho-social conflicts or problems will not be resolved by changing one's appearance.
  • The transgendered hold to the idea that the "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."
  • Psychiatrists have the right to 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."
  • Controlled and follow-up studies reveal problems with the transgender movement and support for it. "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."
  • John Hopkins University was the first to conduct "sex reassignment surgery." They studied "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." (But, apparently, Johns Hopkins has changed its mind - see here.)
  • This was a wise decision. "A 2011 study at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden...  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."
  • "At the heart of the problem is confusion over the nature of the transgendered. "Sex change" is biologically impossible. People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women. Claiming that this is civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder."
See also...

And...  surprise, surprise...  McHugh's analysis is under attack. For example, see herehttp://www.advocate.com/commentary/2015/12/15/scary-science-johns-hopkins-university, and here. Just google "McHugh transgender" to see more.

In America it is very, very dangerous to wonder and question. Smells like fascism, "1984," The Gulag Archipelago, "Animal Farm."