A stunning new report on sexuality and gender exposes the shaky science behind the LGBT “born that way” narrative and the push to label young kids as “transgender.” The report comes as the health-care industry, pressured by the Obama administration, imposes new protocols pertaining to “sexual orientation and gender identity” grounded in faulty science and often dismissive of parents’ rights and children’s well-being.
The report, “Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological and Social Sciences,” is co-authored by two psychiatric experts affiliated with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Paul McHugh and Dr. Lawrence Mayer. Published byThe New Atlantis (a journal of technology and society) and dedicated to “the LGBT community” and “children struggling with their sexuality and gender,” the report aims to prompt further research to help provide the LGBT population with “the understanding, care, and support they need to lead healthy, flourishing lives.”
“This report is about science and medicine, nothing more and nothing less,” the lead author, Mayer, writes. A “sober assessment of the science” led the authors to decry the “great chasm” between “public discourse” and “what science has shown” about sexual orientation and gender identity, particularly among children. Indeed, the report indicates that many of our prevailing cultural narratives and health-care practices regarding the LGBT population have little or no sound scientific basis.
Here Are the Key Findings
The full report deserves to be read in its entirety. Several years in the making, it’s a careful, nuanced analysis of the weight of scientific evidence on sexual orientation, gender identity, and LGBT mental health. The report doesn’t shrink from findings perhaps more palatable to progressives than conservatives or vice-versa, and the authors are quick to point out existing gaps in the research. They conclude with a call for more high-quality research and “an ongoing public conversation regarding human sexuality and identity.”
That said, the report’s conclusions clearly challenge many progressive LGBT talking points. Major findings are summarized below. (Note: all quotations are from the report.)
“Born that way” is a myth. “The understanding of sexual orientation as an innate, biologically fixed property of human beings—the idea that people are ‘born that way’—is not supported by scientific evidence…Genes constitute only one of the many key influences on behavior in addition to environmental influences, personal choices, and interpersonal experiences.”
Sexual orientation is fluid, hard to measure, and has multiple dimensions. The view that “homosexuality or heterosexuality is in any given person unchangeable and determined entirely apart from choices, behaviors, life experiences, and social contexts…is not a view that is well-supported by research…Sexual orientation may be quite fluid.” An “ambiguous” term, “sexual orientation” may refer to one or more measurable dimensions: “attractions, behaviors, identity” and “belonging to a certain community.”
Further research should assess correlations between childhood sexual abuse and sexual orientation. Non-heterosexuals are two to three times as likely as heterosexuals to have experienced childhood sexual abuse.
Non-heterosexuals are at “elevated risk” for mental health problems and suicide.Compared to the general population, non-heterosexual sub-populations have an “elevated risk for a variety of adverse health and mental health outcomes,” with “nearly 2.5 times the risk of suicide.” “[T]he rate of lifetime suicide attempts across all ages of transgender individuals is estimated at 41%” (compared to under 5 percent in theoverall U.S. population).
Social stigma and stress are incomplete explanations for poor mental health.“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.” Further studies are needed.
Science does not support de-linking gender identity and biological sex. “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.” Brain studies “do not provide any evidence for a neurobiological basis for cross-gender identification.” read more at: http://thefederalist.com/2016/08/23/report-debunks-born-that-way-narrative-and-transgender-label-for-kids/