Wednesday 11 February 2015

An article that might contribute to more teenage suicides

Heya everybody,

A friend of mine has pointed out an article in the “Federalist” called “Here’s What Parents Of Transgender Kids Need To Know”. The article is written by Walt Heyer, who maintains a website about sex change regret. I don’t know much about this person – he seems to have been falsely diagnosed with gender dysphoria, changed gender roles and had sex reassignment surgery only to be later reverting back to his old male gender role, being diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder. Well, the article has attracted 112 comments so far, so I thought it merits a response.

Walt Heyer quotes two studies that didn’t find a link between a few specific gene sequences they researched and gender dysphoria. From this body of evidence he concludes – wait for it! – that “your child was not born in the wrong body”. Clearly, this person has malicious intent (I know – “never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence” – but surely nobody could be this stupid?).

Science is researching pathways that can lead to transsexualism, and certain specific gene sequences have been ruled out. That’s great – it narrows down possible causes. What it does not do is prove that there is no biological cause of transsexualism. The most likely explanation is hormonal influence in the womb. For some sound science, see my pages listing studies on the causes of transsexualism, listing 135 scientific articles.

On the question of whether transsexual people have been born into the wrong body or not, have a look at my “What is transsexualism” reference pages, listing 78 scientific articles, including 26 studies that find brain structures of transsexuals resembling those of their experienced gender. Here is just one example, showing that transsexual “children possess certain sex-atypical functional brain characteristics and may have undergone atypical sexual differentiation of the brain”.

PS: Have you heard of the web service called “donotlink”? It lets you link to websites without improving their search engine status, and can be used for sites containing scams, pseudoscience, misinformation, alternative medicine, conspiracy theories, racist or sexist blog posts, etc.

PPS: The studies mentioned in the article by Walt Heyer are listed on my other references pages – I try to collect and publish all scientific articles about transsexualism to allow readers to see what the scientific status is. Collecting and citing only articles that support a certain point of view is dishonest.

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