Author Topic: A case of free inquiry moving science closer to the truth  (Read 387 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Mornac

  • Hero NewsRaker
  • *****
  • Posts: 19754
  • Liked: 701
  • Karma: +72/-187
  • Self-absorbed promethean neopelagian
    • View Profile
A case of free inquiry moving science closer to the truth
« on: January 08, 2018, 06:14:27 PM »
Report refutes LGBT ‘born that way’ theory Study from researchers at Johns Hopkins University dispels popular myths about sexual orientation

Theresa Farnan and Mary Rice Hasson
8/22/2016

According to a new report, scientific evidence fails to support the “born that way” theory of sexual orientation. In addition, there is “no evidence” that “all children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior should be encouraged to become transgender,” the findings state.

The report, “Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences,” is co-authored by Dr. Lawrence Mayer and Dr. Paul McHugh, both of Johns Hopkins University, and published in The New Atlantis, a journal of technology and society. While Mayer, an epidemiologist trained in psychiatry, insists that the “report is about science and medicine, nothing more and nothing less,” it is expected that, in light of the “great chasm between much of the public discourse and what science has shown,” the findings will generate intense pushback from cultural voices that advocate for LGBT-affirming policies. Emboldened by court victories and federal executive actions following the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage, activists have depicted their efforts to further LGBT civil rights as grounded on settled science.

But, as Mayer and McHugh, a leading psychiatrist, make clear, the science is far from settled. The authors reviewed the findings of hundreds of peer-reviewed studies on gender and sexuality, and their conclusions challenge some of the popular cultural myths that surround questions of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Myth 1: Science proves that homosexuality and other forms of sexual orientation are biologically based (the “born that way” theory).

The authors reviewed several possible explanations for the “born that way” hypothesis, including genetics, exposure to prenatal hormones and neurobiological differences. They argue that science is not settled when it comes to understanding the origins of sexual attraction, sexual desires and sexual behaviors. In fact, the authors note, a scientific explanation of “sexual orientation” is problematic because the term “sexual orientation” means widely different things — sexual desire, sexual attraction, patterns of sexual behavior — to different people and therefore is hard to measure accurately.

In addition, by presuming that sexual orientation is rooted in genetics, researchers or clinicians may miss other relevant factors — including, for example, childhood physical or sexual abuse, which is experienced in disproportionately high numbers by nonheterosexuals. Moreover, if nonheterosexual desires, preferences and behavior were indeed biological, one might expect them to remain fixed throughout a person’s life. Instead, “there is now considerable scientific evidence that sexual desires, attractions, behaviors and even identities can, and sometimes do, change over time.” Adolescents especially exhibit fluidity of sexual desire, although the authors note “opposite-sex attraction and identity seem to be more stable than same-sex or bisexual attraction and identity.”

Myth 2: Social stress from stigma and discrimination is the root cause of the poor mental health of persons identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Removing social stress, by normalizing nonheterosexual behaviors, will resolve these issues.

The “social stress” model proposes that stigma and discrimination directly cause the numerous mental health issues disproportionately found in the nonheterosexual population. The report identifies several shortcomings of the social stress model: Scientific evidence for the social stress model is limited, the parameters of social stress (what it is, what it means) are vaguely defined, and the model itself “does not put forth a complete explanation for the disparities” in mental health “between nonheterosexuals and heterosexuals.” In addition, the social stress model is unable to “explain the mental health problems of a particular patient.” They conclude that, “The social stress model probably accounts for some of the poor mental health outcomes experienced by sexual minorities, though the evidence supporting the model is limited, inconsistent and incomplete.” They recommend “more high-quality longitudinal studies” to assess the model’s usefulness.

Myth 3: A transgender person’s gender identity does not match the person’s sex at birth, so the transgender person is “trapped in the wrong body.”

The new report strongly counters this transgender myth. “The hypothesis that gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex — that a person might be ‘a man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’ — is not supported by scientific evidence.” A variation of this myth argues that a transgender person has, for example, a “male brain,’’ but a woman’s body. After reviewing studies of neurobiological differences in the brains of transgender persons, the report’s authors state that “all interpretations, usually in popular outlets,” suggesting that brain differences between transgender people and others are “the cause” of being transgendered are “unwarranted.”

Myth 4: Early transitioning, using medical treatments like puberty blockers, is the best way to treat transgender children.

The study’s authors emphatically reject this myth as not only unfounded in science but also potentially harmful to children. “The notion that a 2-year-old, having expressed thoughts or behaviors identified with the opposite sex, can be labeled for life as transgender has absolutely no support in science.” Moreover, Mayer and McHugh warn, “An area of particular concern involves medical interventions for gender-nonconforming youth. They are increasingly receiving therapies that affirm their felt genders and even hormone treatments or surgical modifications at young ages. But the majority of children who identify as a gender that does not conform to their biological sex will no longer do so by the time they reach adulthood. We are disturbed and alarmed by the severity and irreversibility of some interventions being publicly discussed and employed for children.” Because of the “scientific uncertainty” over treatments in children and the “lack of reliable studies on the long-term effects,” the report’s authors “strongly urge caution” toward such “premature” and “drastic” interventions.

The report by Mayer and McHugh challenges current cultural myths surrounding gender and human sexuality, but their primary purpose in writing the report is concern for the well-being of transgender and nonheterosexual individuals. Many of these individuals have been promised — by cultural narratives if not physicians — that social affirmation of their chosen gender or sexual orientation will improve their lives and even resolve their psychological issues. The data, however, proves that this is not true. Mental health statistics paint a sobering picture of the mental and physical health challenges facing transgender and nonheterosexual persons. According to the report, members of the nonheterosexual population, compared to members of the heterosexual population, have approximately:

— 1 1/2 times higher risk of anxiety disorders.

— Twice the risk of depression

— 1 1/2 times the risk of substance abuse.

— Nearly 2 1/2 times the risk of suicide.

Transgender individuals fare worst of all, with lifetime suicide rates estimated at 41 percent; those who underwent sex-reassignment were about five times more likely to attempt suicide and about 19 times more likely to die by suicide.

Mayer and McHugh’s report contradicts the conventional, highly politicized narrative that “transitioning” and “coming out” will solve the problems of nonheterosexuals or gender-dysphoric children. In fact, these experts argue, nonheterosexual and gender-dysphoric persons deserve better than being steered into life-changing decisions and radical treatments on the basis of faulty science. They deserve compassionate care rooted in sound scientific evidence.

Theresa Farnan, PhD, is an adjunct professor at Franciscan University in Ohio. Mary Rice Hasson is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

Source

Offline SpaceCadet

  • Hero NewsRaker
  • *****
  • Posts: 1148
  • Liked: 235
  • Karma: +8/-1
  • NewsRaker
    • View Profile




Offline SpaceCadet

  • Hero NewsRaker
  • *****
  • Posts: 1148
  • Liked: 235
  • Karma: +8/-1
  • NewsRaker
    • View Profile

Offline SpaceCadet

  • Hero NewsRaker
  • *****
  • Posts: 1148
  • Liked: 235
  • Karma: +8/-1
  • NewsRaker
    • View Profile

Offline SpaceCadet

  • Hero NewsRaker
  • *****
  • Posts: 1148
  • Liked: 235
  • Karma: +8/-1
  • NewsRaker
    • View Profile
Re: A case of free inquiry moving science closer to the truth
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2018, 08:07:59 PM »
I could keep going..,

Offline SpaceCadet

  • Hero NewsRaker
  • *****
  • Posts: 1148
  • Liked: 235
  • Karma: +8/-1
  • NewsRaker
    • View Profile
Re: A case of free inquiry moving science closer to the truth
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2018, 08:15:08 PM »
I've discussed McHugh here previously.  He is a well known enemy (maybe not too strong a word) to the LGBT community.  He's free to think what he thinks, but it doesn't help anyone who is living with it.

Offline hurricanehook

  • Hero NewsRaker
  • *****
  • Posts: 6245
  • Liked: 1405
  • Karma: +48/-53
    • View Profile
Re: A case of free inquiry moving science closer to the truth
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2018, 08:48:57 PM »

this is just wrong in so many ways.
the parents of this child should heed these
words of advice from the article:


“The notion that a 2-year-old, having expressed thoughts or behaviors identified with the opposite sex, can be labeled for life as transgender has absolutely no support in science.” Moreover, Mayer and McHugh warn, “An area of particular concern involves medical interventions for gender-nonconforming youth. They are increasingly receiving therapies that affirm their felt genders and even hormone treatments or surgical modifications at young ages. But the majority of children who identify as a gender that does not conform to their biological sex will no longer do so by the time they reach adulthood. We are disturbed and alarmed by the severity and irreversibility of some interventions being publicly discussed and employed for children.” Because of the “scientific uncertainty” over treatments in children and the “lack of reliable studies on the long-term effects,” the report’s authors “strongly urge caution” toward such “premature” and “drastic” interventions.
Sometimes I think it's a shame,
When I get feelin' better when I'm feelin' no pain

Offline SpaceCadet

  • Hero NewsRaker
  • *****
  • Posts: 1148
  • Liked: 235
  • Karma: +8/-1
  • NewsRaker
    • View Profile
Re: A case of free inquiry moving science closer to the truth
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2018, 10:55:55 PM »

this is just wrong in so many ways.
the parents of this child should heed these
words of advice from the article:


“The notion that a 2-year-old, having expressed thoughts or behaviors identified with the opposite sex, can be labeled for life as transgender has absolutely no support in science.” Moreover, Mayer and McHugh warn, “An area of particular concern involves medical interventions for gender-nonconforming youth. They are increasingly receiving therapies that affirm their felt genders and even hormone treatments or surgical modifications at young ages. But the majority of children who identify as a gender that does not conform to their biological sex will no longer do so by the time they reach adulthood. We are disturbed and alarmed by the severity and irreversibility of some interventions being publicly discussed and employed for children.” Because of the “scientific uncertainty” over treatments in children and the “lack of reliable studies on the long-term effects,” the report’s authors “strongly urge caution” toward such “premature” and “drastic” interventions.

I think this is very poor parenting.  This is just entertainment, but drag shows tend to be highly sexualized.  It's similar to the parents who dress up their little girls in a very sexual manner and put them in beauty pageants.

Regarding McHugh's comments, I get so tired of rebutting him, and Kenneth Zucker, over and over.  Zucker is another one, and he actually got shut down by the organization he was working for a couple of years ago.  At any rate, young children are not being surgically altered, at least not in the US nor in any other major Western country I can think of.  The standard age is 18 and there are people who would like to get it done a little earlier that can't get a surgeon to do it.  In a few special cases, it has been done at 17, or even 16, but that's rare.  I think there may have been one teen in Germany a few years who got a doctor there to do it for her at like age 13, but I'm not certain about that without doing a little research and have never heard of another case nearly that young.

The standard practice is to put the kid in therapy, for a variable number of years.  If the condition seems persistent, doctors may choose to put the child on puberty blockers as the child approaches puberty, to buy additional time to wait and see what happens without irreversible changes taking place due to natural causes.  This can be done indefinitely while psychologists continue to work with the child and if resolved, the puberty blockers can be discontinued and the child will progress through puberty naturally at that time.

Only if the condition persists well into the teen years, does the child then often get put on cross hormone treatment to begin puberty as the opposite gender.  This step does carry often irreversible changes, and so is taken carefully, after much consideration over a period of years, with that knowledge.  Then at 17 or 18, if the child and family desire it, surgery may happen.  But not all trans people choose to have surgery.

The comment about trans kids reverting by adulthood was the result of a single flawed study that included such a wide range of children, like boys who picked up a doll even once, or girls who played with trucks, that the majority of the subjects of the study never were trans.

Online Mornac

  • Hero NewsRaker
  • *****
  • Posts: 19754
  • Liked: 701
  • Karma: +72/-187
  • Self-absorbed promethean neopelagian
    • View Profile
Re: A case of free inquiry moving science closer to the truth
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2018, 11:40:19 PM »
I've discussed McHugh here previously.  He is a well known enemy (maybe not too strong a word) to the LGBT community.  He's free to think what he thinks, but it doesn't help anyone who is living with it.
--You sound like someone who believes that there should be barriers to freedom of inquiry and that there is dogma in science. That the scientist must not be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. When you posted that quote from Oppenheimer the other day, I thought you were endorsing it. Apparently you were condemning it. Guess I misunderstood. I am one who believes that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress and that it is more important now - in an era when liberals want all tongues which do not recite liberal dogma to be shackled - than at any other time in history. 

Offline SpaceCadet

  • Hero NewsRaker
  • *****
  • Posts: 1148
  • Liked: 235
  • Karma: +8/-1
  • NewsRaker
    • View Profile
Re: A case of free inquiry moving science closer to the truth
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2018, 11:44:43 PM »
--You sound like someone who believes that there should be barriers to freedom of inquiry and that there is dogma in science. That the scientist must not be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. When you posted that quote from Oppenheimer the other day, I thought you were endorsing it. Apparently you were condemning it. Guess I misunderstood. I am one who believes that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress and that it is more important now - in an era when liberals want all tongues which do not recite liberal dogma to be shackled - than at any other time in history.

You are an unmitigated asshole.

Online Mornac

  • Hero NewsRaker
  • *****
  • Posts: 19754
  • Liked: 701
  • Karma: +72/-187
  • Self-absorbed promethean neopelagian
    • View Profile
Re: A case of free inquiry moving science closer to the truth
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2018, 11:51:02 PM »
You are an unmitigated asshole.
--Call me any name you wish. Those are my beliefs and 'm standing by them.

Online RealityHasALiberalBias

  • Hero NewsRaker
  • *****
  • Posts: 8370
  • Liked: 851
  • Karma: +26/-39
  • NewsRaker
    • View Profile
Re: A case of free inquiry moving science closer to the truth
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2018, 12:37:39 PM »
You are an unmitigated asshole.

He's also an attention whore.