Monday, May 06, 2024

No Good Research Supports Gender Affirmation

CNN reports:
Gender-affirming care is medically necessary, evidence-based care that uses a multidisciplinary approach to help a person transition from their assigned gender – the one the person was designated at birth – to their affirmed gender – the gender by which one wants to be known.
Such opinions have made their way into court decisions, such as this 86- federal appeals court opinion on a N. Carolina case.

These terms do not mean what they appear to mean. You expect "medically necessary" to me that there is some medically demonstrable need for the treatment. That is not the case. All the term means is that insurance should pay.

And "evidence-based" suggests that there are scientific studies supporting the treatment. But there are no good studies. The evidence is anecdotal.

Reporter Jesse Singal reports:

The New England Journal of Medicine published a highly anticipated study called “Psychosocial Functioning in Transgender Youth after 2 Years of Hormones.” The research team has spent years following a cohort of kids who have been administered puberty blockers or hormones at four participating clinics. In this study, they reported on how the kids who went on hormones did over the two-year span following the start of that process. The participants filled out surveys every six months on issues pertaining to their mental health, gender dysphoria, and so on. According to the authors, the kids showed key improvements two years later. “Our results provide a strong scientific basis that gender-affirming care is crucial for the psychological well-being of our patients,”
This sounds scientific, until he reveals that the study only showed self-reported improvement in 2 of the 8 preregistered measures.

England has backed off these treatments, as dangerous for minors. See the Cass Review, which is generally pro-LGBTQ, but cauthions about low-quality studies.

I say it is pro-LGBTQ because it says on p.150:

11.5 Whilst the Review’s terms of reference do not include consideration of the proposed legislation to ban conversion practices, it believes that no LGBTQ+ group should be subjected to conversion practice.
It takes the position that therapies may be used to affirm LGBTQ+ status, but not to help a patient be straight or normal. Why would it say this? It was just supposed to review what services work and what don't. So it would be reasonable to review studies on whether the services work, but just to say it should not be done is an extreme pro-LGBTQ+ opinion, not backed by evidence.

It is true that the major medical and psychological organizations have endorsed gender-affirming treatments, and maybe you want to trust the experts, but these same organizations lied to us repeatedly during the covid pandemic.

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