The London Guardian, normally a booster of liberal thought, reports this morning that British scientists warn that transgendering — the act of surgically changing the sex of a person — has no evidence of efficacy and that up to one-fifth of all sex-change patients commit suicide:
There is no conclusive evidence that sex change operations improve the lives of transsexuals, with many people remaining severely distressed and even suicidal after the operation, according to a medical review conducted exclusively for the Guardian.
The review of more than 100 international medical studies of post-operative transsexuals by the University of Birmingham’s aggressive research intelligence facility (Arif) found no robust scientific evidence that gender reassignment surgery is clinically effective.
It found no evaluation of whether other options, such as long-term counselling, might help transsexual patients or whether their gender confusion might lessen over time without treatment. The potential complications of taking sex changing hormones and undergoing genital surgery, which include deep vein thrombosis and incontinence respectively, were not thoroughly investigated either.
One physician disputed the report by saying that one-fifth of untreated transsexuals commit suicide anyway. However, all that demonstrates, according to the data uncovered by this review, is that the surgical option has no overall benefit on psychological states. If one-fifth commit suicide without surgery, and one-fifth commit suicide after surgery, and all of the available information shows that patients still remain deeply unhappy after the operation even if they’re not suicidal, any reasonable scientist would conclude that the procedure was ineffective.
Ah, but that’s the real issue: reason has little to do with transgendering issues. For the last 40-odd years, the psychiatric and medical communities have dispensed with reason and embraced political correctness, as our guest on the Northern Alliance Radio Network, Steven Rhoades, detailed in his book on gender politics, Taking Sex Differences Seriously. In other words, the Arif review determined that politics has trumped science in transgendering, and that research has been carefully tailored to meet predetermined results. It’s so bad that some call proper research models “unethical,” which would only be true if they withheld proven medical treatment from a control group:
Urological surgeon James Bellringer, who has performed more than 200 sex changes over the past four years, claimed that trying to carry out research that involves studying a control group of transsexual patients who were denied hormones and surgery would be unethical.
Mr Bellringer, who works at the main NHS gender identity clinic at Charing Cross hospital in west London, said: “I don’t think that any research that denied transsexual patients treatment would get past an ethics committee. There’s no other treatment that works. You either have an operation or suffer a miserable life. A fifth of those who don’t get treatment commit suicide.”
Why the problem in allowing the scientific method to determine the efficacy of transgendering? The GLBT lobby has become poweful beyond its numbers in terms of media and academic influence, and any notion that transsexualism is anything other than a plumbing problem begs the conclusion that the problem has a significant psychological component, rather than physiological. Apparently, the possibility of that conclusion has kept researchers from doing an honest job of evaluating these procedures. It’s time to insist on proper studies based on science and not political correctness.