And now, a rebuttal of one of Dr. McHugh’s supporters


Anorexia, veritable, BDD, believed, biased studies, biological set up, brain sexuality, Chester Schmidt, children, restorative, Dana Beyer, delusional, denial, feelings, delicate, FTM, GCS, Gender Identity, Gender Identity Clinic, gender incongruence, gender non-binary, genitalia, GRS, to what degree others see us, human brain, identity, in utero differentiation, Intersex, John Money, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins News-Letter, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Jon Meyer, Karolinska Institute, learning, male-female spectrum, masculine, mental freedom from disease, MTF, obsession, Paul McHugh, peer re-examine, persistence, physical body, physical features, giving, real life test, rejection, Schizophrenia, information, sexual differentiation, SRS, success rates, change of form, Transgender, transgender discrimination, Transition, Transsexual, unbiased studies, Wall Street Journal, wrongness

Nearly couple years ago, I wrote a rebuttal to a Wall Street Journal Op Ed fire-arm by Dr. Paul McHugh. It continues to have existence one of the most frequent investigate items and reads on my position. About two weeks ago, someone supportive of Dr. McHugh well-informed a comment worthy of reply. And respond I have!

Here is the unedited comment. The link to my original station is contained in the first place along the side of:

Marshall commented on My rebuttal to Dr. Paul McHugh’s Wall Street Journal Op Ed

On June 12, 2014, an Op Ed article by Dr. Paul McHugh was highly critical of the prevailing trends in the handling protocols …

You say: …”wherefore 25% of those tracked in the Vanderbilt and Portman studies would persist in having transgender ‘feelings’. Could it have existence that the subjects know who they are?”

It’s hostile more likely that, as with other psychiatric provisions like Anorexia, the “feelings” are simply wrong. There’s no reason to give credit to transgender is different from the large other conditions whose root symptom is the same: a ideal rejection of the physical reality. This is a huge problem for the “transgender at the same time that identity” movement and why it relies forward emotion-based justifications like the some you make that the earnestness and “realness” of the transgender “identity” separates it from other delusional stipulations. Yet patents with other conditions like BDD and schizophrenia are candid as convinced that their perception is in truth real. Transgender has no corner up~ the body realness.

Moreover, the thought that someone be able to actually know what the other form relative to sex feels like makes no more meaning than someone knowing what another sort feels like because you can’t continued something you aren’t. Whatever actual observation there is is entirely the conclusion of BEING that thing, not imagining it.

Whether SRS is more excellent than psychotherapy or hormone therapy or a combination… knowledge just doesn’t have enough premises for consensus, but again – when transgender is viewed in the break of day of similar delusional conditions, the essence of altering the physical body to sudden the mental perception is dangerous. You wouldn’t indulge one Anorexic by administering liposuction. SRS has distressing drawbacks and potential complications and is the no other than treatment that’s essentially irreversible. Science doesn’t still have a cure for transexual – in that place may not even be one – we upright don’t know. But the deficit of a cure doesn’t way SRS is the best treatment, nor that those who make acceptable against it like Dr. McHugh are abroad to get transexuals. Someone truly partial in helping transexuals accepts the science over the emotion.

paul-mchughFinally, brain studies cozen nothing to refute the fact that gender is purely a biological construct. Schizophrenics, Anorexics and the masses with BDD all have have been shown to consider brain abnormalities which, while potentially treasure in assisting treatment, don’t make good the reality of their delusions.

And here is my reply:

Hi Marshall,

First of altogether, your comparison of transgender to anorexia (or the again general BDD) shows how little you comprehend the nature of transgender.  No cause of distress how thin anorexics become, even to the instant of skin and bones, they continue obsessed with losing weight.  Many testament continue to see themselves as overweight uniform when dangerously underweight.

Transgender people, in c~tinuance the other hand, are all moreover aware of the reality of our bodies. Some of us may recoil from them, but we acknowledge them.  Often, we extend the opposite direction and enhance the features of the gender assigned at birth in an striving to cure.  For example, each MTF will grow facial hair and/or be ~ed a muscular, athletic build.  That is totally opposite what an anorexic would do.  It is totally repugnant what your assertion would predict.

We are beneath no delusion as to what our faces see like, how much hair we consider, what our breasts look like and the kind of our genitalia is comprised of.  That cognizance is very real and accurate.  And be it what it may each one of us chooses to behave, we do it knowing that the physical transformation isn’t perfect.  But it all but always helps. 

What we try to do is deny our intellectual reality, not our physical one.  But grant that we live long enough, that essay will inevitably be in vain.  Furthermore, formerly we reach the point where we take rise physical transformation to our innate inflection for sex identity, it is a rare declension-form when we don’t reach a grade of relative satisfaction.  Yes, we get the common human trait of defective to look attractive to others.  But obsession by continually becoming more feminine (in the subject of discussion of an MTF) or more male (in the case of an FTM) is sparse and it isn’t a peculiarity confined to transgender people.  We be favored with certainly read of cisgender people who endure surgery after surgery to look like Barbie or Ken or their preferred movie star.

Transgender isn’t in such a manner much a matter of our corpse being wrong, but our conviction that our minds are not oblique.  Yes, we transform for our have sense of what we want to mien like.  But just as abundant, we transform so that others command identify us consistent with the individual we are inside.  It isn’t enough that I know that I am child-bearing. I want others to see me during the time that female, too.  Fortunately for me, that seems to have ~ing how everyone sees me.

In my condition, I was in denial of in what plight feminine (or at least androgynous) I was in complexion.   As to how interesting I am, others may judge (my Links page has a link to my Flickr serving-boy).  But when I tell the million that one of my reasons wherefore I waited so long to transition was concern that I couldn’t take heed female enough, most of them are incredulous.

I also find your argument forward this point somewhat disingenuous.  First of the whole of, if we didn’t transform physically at all (at least in our presentation), the trustworthiness. of our gender identity would have ~ing severely questioned.  Second, many the multitude in our culture are unhappy by their appearance and go to several lengths to do something about it: everything from diet and take ~, to body sculpting and body fabric to plastic surgery to supplements (ranging from the soft to the extreme).  When the vulgar do these things in a health-giving way, there is nothing wrong with it.  When it becomes each obsession or is taken to ~y extreme, then there is indication of a psychological amount ~d.  Similarly, some obsessive people may subsist transgender, but most transgender people are not obsessive near appearance.

To compare transgender brains through schizophrenic brains, as you then progress to do, is not only double-minded, it is insulting.  The brain abnormalities in schizophrenics comprehend significantly lower amounts (up to 25% not so much) of gray matter, particularly in the worldly or frontal lobes, and significantly humble levels of activation in the medial frontal cortex and the inferior parietal cortex compared to mentally of a sound constitution people.  It is these erratic deficiencies that cause the problems that schizophrenics receive with hallucinations and dealing with truth.

On the other hand, the so-called abnormality of transgender brains is that multiform studies have shown that transgender nation tend to have brains more like their native gender than their gender assigned at creature.  But these brains all lie within a male-female spectrum.  So except you are claiming that either staminate brains or female brains are somehow deficient or diseased in and of themselves, your general contents doesn’t bear up to search.

You state that it is not in posse for someone of one gender to understand what the other gender feels.  On sur~ value, I can accept that mention for the sake of discussion. But that time you take it someplace beyond facts in proof.  You have made the postulate that every person’s gender identity fustiness automatically be consistent with their genital heap of skin and bones, and that anything else is “wrong”.  What is this based in successi~?  How do you propose to substantiate this to be so? 

You are mindful, are you not, that the brain and the genitalia are differentiated at unlike stages of fetal development?  Why is it in such a manner difficult to conceive of the potentiality that in a small percentage of cases, the infant. received predominantly testosterone at one of those stages and predominantly estrogen at some other?  And if anatomy automatically determines gender identity, then what gender are Intersex people?  Are they automatically non-binary?  Some are and some aren’t.  Are they automatically correspondent with the predominant characteristics?  Some are and some aren’t.  What about vulgar herd who have both XX and XY?  What near people who have neither?  What answer the purpose you do with people who give permission to from various hormone based syndromes?  The be based line is this: how can you justice the wrongness of someone’s sex identity without knowing either their material or mental situation?

True, I require no idea what the other form relative to sex feels like.  That “other gender” since me is the male gender.  By inherent power of having spent a great deal of time in men’s simply spaces (athletic team locker rooms, guild dorms, men’s ministry meetings, men’s bathrooms), I wish a pretty good idea of which men are likely to do.  But I be in possession of little clue as to why they perform things the way they do and for what cause it feels for them when they translate it.  I generally felt like every interloper at men only gatherings, only I am now right at home in women’s Bible study or women’s excepting that social gatherings. 

Now as remoter as your statement about lack of prove: seriously?  I can easily attain to at least hundreds of people who transitioned to live a auspicious, satisfying life in their innate inflection for sex.  Undoubtedly many more are fortunately living post-transition out of the men eye.  And in the 2011 Karolinska Institute study that Dr. McHugh misconstrues, he blithely ignored the preponderance of patient satisfaction with the results of shifting that includes surgery.  Isn’t that single in kind of the goals of treatment, that the patients are satisfied with the results?  Furthermore, he totally ignored the Institute’s deduction: inadequate follow up care for establish-GCS transgender patients impedes progress in their make known-operative mental and emotional health.

Meanwhile, at which place is the parade of transgender commonalty who have been “cured” ~ the agency of methods espoused by Dr. McHugh?  Surgery at the same time that a possible treatment for transgender lower classes is no more than 85 years advanced in years and extremely rare until 50 years ~ne.  For the vast majority of that time, greatest in quantity mental health professionals were treating transgender patients in the general officer manner endorsed by Dr. McHugh: psychotherapy and pharmacology to essay to rid the patient of their transgenderism.  And there are still doctors using these methods.  Where are in that place success stories?  Surely they aren’t wholly in stealth mode.  There should exist thousands more than those reported through those who transition to their organic gender.  Their absence shows that there was no significant success with these methods at what time they were the mainstream practice and in that place is no significant success with these methods after this.

For a moment, let’s imagine we are talking cancer in preference than transgender.  If faced by two possible treatments, one with a result rate comparable to those who physically transform in some way, shape or form, the other with a success rate comparable to methods espoused ~ means of McHugh and others who still come that methodology, you would be a idiot not to choose or recommend the in the ~ place method in a heartbeat.  And I be disposed tell you unequivocally that if familiar stigma against transgender people was a action of the past, that success reprimand would soar much higher.

We after this have two studies, one in Ontario and the other in the State of Washington, that bestow a high correlation of life prosperous issue for transitioning youth with a elevated degree of parental support.  If transgender were merely a delusion, should such a correlation endure?  In fact, shouldn’t supporting a fraud be more harmful?  That’s that which you and McHugh are claiming, none?

And we now have a more appropriate grasp of why many gender variant youths drive back back to their birth-assigned sex.  Those who are exploring and experimenting through gender roles before puberty overwhelmingly contribute to revert.  But those who precursory to puberty know with confidence that their inherent gender identity is incongruent with their genitalia overwhelmingly accompany to persist in their transgender identity with a view to life.  But when you lucid the two groups together to be in possession of a larger sample size, it gives the incorrect impression that most transgender children come back and that there is no augur of which children will persist.  The experimenters and explorers should not have ~ing considered part of the transgender peopling.

I can accept that gender is innocently a biological construct: once we element of a product in that the human brain is one organ and biological part of the human visible form.  In fact, it could have ~ing reasonably argued that the brain to have ~ing the most significant sexual organ in the dead ~.  Where do attraction, desire and arousal break ground, in the genitals or in the brain?

Furthermore, whether or not transgender gender identities were so “wrong” and “delusional”, on that account one could not expect to provide very many successful post-transitional transgender vulgar herd, certainly few who could handle careers that invite for mental acuity.  And in addition there are many transgender people who are community professors in both the arts and sciences, crowd who have high level positions (and some with PhD’s) in STEM fields, acute ranking military officers, airplane pilots, monetary professionals, salespeople, successful entrepreneurs, high ranking direction officials, attorneys, medical doctors, architects, and the inventory goes on.  (My professional and individual accomplishments were mentioned in my origin blog post about Dr. McHugh’s Op Ed, and be possible to also be found on my LinkedIn serving-boy.)  Considering the discrimination that chiefly of us faced during and for transition, this is a remarkable inventory.

Marshall, you keep going back to basing gender identity on feelings rather than enlightenment.  So how do you be assured of your gender identity?  (For the reason of the post, I am going to assume that Marshall is male name with apologies if I be in possession of misgendered Marshall.  I ask that whereas this section is read, the reader lieutenant the appropriate gender term for their place.)  Do you feel male?  How finish you know that is the habitude males feel in general?  Do you be delivered of discussions with other males at the golf deportment, bar, office, locker room or men’s organization meeting?  (I am trying to picture that discussion!  I’ve been in those types of situations sundry times and never once did I attestation such a discussion.)

Or do you assume this is to what extent males feel because of what you escort when you look between your legs and for the reason that your parents, teachers, etc. told you that you are a lad and you blindly accepted it?  Or maybe you answered a series of questions of the same kind with part of a test (if like a test exists) to accurately assess your sex and it came out “male”.  If so a test existed, I took it and it came completely “female” would you then take . my female gender identity as unalloyed?

Well, I can offer a example: the real life test.  I bring forth been presenting as the female that I be aware of myself to be for a scanty over 3½ years now.  I regard dealt with four distinct test groups: those who knew me under the jurisdiction transition; those who I met back transition to whom I have come out; those who only know me to the degree that Lois to whom I have not draw near out; strangers in public.

The wide majority (sometimes 100%) of every any of these groups see me viewed like female.  I have had nay negative moments from strangers.  People who be the subject of been willing to stay in my life accept me as female, although some had to beat their prejudices first.  About 30 the vulgar who I have come out to in my just discovered church accept me as female, like well as the dozens more who I be seized of not come out to.  More than pertaining to physics characteristics are involved here, although they serve.  But it is also mannerisms, address patterns, body language, fashion sense, comportment and a host of little things that clue a somebody as to whether they are commerce with someone male or female.  I am prosperous and happy over an extended time sentence .

Even more important, mentally living viewed like a female is authentic and with reference to something else effortless compared to having tried to act like a stay for decades.  For the ut~ part I pulled off the charade and ~t any one ever accused me of essence effeminate.  But inside, it was frequently a struggle to be something I’m not.

In my antecedent blog post, I never accused Dr. McHugh of substance out to get transsexuals or transgender vulgar herd.  What I accuse him of is having one agenda, for whatever his reason, and that it leads to serious science.  A neutral scientist desire seek to test a hypothesis ~ the agency of designing an experiment or study that is during the time that unbiased as possible to come up through a valid result and then having it look closely reviewed.  McHugh is on register as having sought his position at Johns Hopkins in ingredient so that he could shut the floor the Gender Identity Clinic.  He promoted a study that would bring into view the desired result. 

I now quote from the Johns Hopkins News-Letter, a narration written by Rachel Witkin on May 1, 2014:

In 1979, SBCU [Sexual Behaviors Consultation Unit] Chair Jon Meyer conducted a study comparing 29 patients who had the surgery and 21 who didn’t, and concluded that those who had the surgery were not greater degree adjusted to society than those who did not take the surgery. Meyer told The New York Times in 1979: “My corporal feeling is that surgery is not fitting treatment for a psychiatric disorder, and it’s unblemished to me that these patients possess severe psychological problems that don’t business away following surgery.”

After Meyer’s study was published, Paul McHugh, the Psychiatrist-in-Chief at Hopkins Hospital who at no time supported the University offering the surgeries according to [Chester] Schmidt, bar the program down.

Meyer’s study came about a study conducted by [John] Money, what one. concluded that all but one confused of 24 patients were sure that they had made the unswerving decision, 12 had improved their occupational rank and 10 had married for the foremost time. [Dana] Beyer believes that officials at Hopkins virtuous wanted an excuse to end the program, in the same state they cited Meyer’s study.

A 1979 New York Times thing also states that not everyone was convinced by Meyer’s study and that other doctors claimed that it was “gravely flawed in its methods and statistics and draws unwarranted conclusions.”

However, McHugh says that it shouldn’t be surprising that Hopkins discontinued the surgeries, and that he tranquillize supports this decision today. He points to Meyer’s study considered in the state of well as a 2011 Swedish study that states that the risk of suicide was higher for the public who had the surgery versus the vague population.

Beyer, however, cites a study from 1992 that shows that 98.5 percent of patients who underwent masculine-to-female surgery and 99 percent of patients who underwent belonging to-to-male surgery had no regrets.

“It was clear to me at the time that [McHugh] was conflating sexual orientation and the veritable physical act with gender identity,” Beyer uttered.

As I stated in my preceding post, it is also clear that McHugh errs horribly ~ the agency of comparing the histories of transgender patients with the general population.  The compare is invalid due to the overwhelming impairment that we face in society.  Marshall, try existing for a couple of years by what most out transgender people external part: higher murder victim rates, higher gull of violence rates, rampant job judgment, significantly higher incidence of UIT’s for the reason that most of us rather “clutch it in” than risk using national bathrooms, significant rates of discrimination in basic freedom from disease care including outright refusal to procure any care at all (2% of transgender the many the crowd report having been assaulted at therapeutic facilities), frequent rejection by family, haunt rejection by one’s faith common … I submit that it is a open attestation to the mental health and support of transgender people that so numerous of us have achieved any good luck at all after transitioning to live in our inherent gender.  Yet we have achieved to a great distance more than the bare minimum.

You saw that “science doesn’t even now have a cure for transexual [sic]”. The prove is in and mounting. We don’t urgency a cure. We just need to be believed. 

They that sow in tears shall receive in joy. – Psalm 126:5

God bless,


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