Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Meet Dr. Karl Benzio, "Christian Psychiatrist"

Dr. Karl Benzio
“Christian Psychiatrist” Dr. Karl Benzio is not board certified and has not been board certified since 2008. Moreover, he runs a drug addiction facility in Pennsylvania. That doesn't stop him from weighing in on transgender issues at American Family Association's “news” site. These Christian crackpots will say just about anything to make science conform to scripture. With an “MD” after his name, this one is fucking dangerous!

According to Benzio (the edits are at the source):
From a psychological standpoint, we see [such treatment] as a person's ... maladaptive coping mechanism to deal with underlying hurts, stressors, losses that have happened early in their life.

Really? How many transgender patients has this guy seen in, say, the last ten years? And if it is just a trauma issue, how many has he cured?

There are many theories about why people are transgender but the general consensus is that most transgender people are born with a predisposition to being transgender that was formed prenatally. Gender identity is usually fully developed by the age 6 at which point it becomes virtually impossible to influence. If any of my trans readers (and I know of a few) take exception to this explanation, please let me know.

It gets worse. According to the site:
In fact, he cites a 30-year study of men and women who have had the surgery. "Over time they found that there was a higher death rate, a higher suicide rate, a higher suicide attempt rate, and increased psychiatric issues of depression and in-patient care for those who have had sex-reassignment surgery," Benzio explains.
He isn't specific but I would bet that he is referring to a study of 324 sex reassigned persons in Sweden from 1973 to 2003. The conclusion of the study is that greater follow-up care is required of post-operative transgender people (in contrast to not doing the surgery, the inference that Benzio is looking for). This represents a deliberate confusion of correlation and causation. I have only read the abstract and I am unaware of the time distribution. Safe to say that during the entire study period transgender people were objects of considerable disapproval and denigration. Dr. Benzio remarkably wants to perpetuate this discrimination by essentially claiming that transgender people don't exist.

If that paragraph is familiar it is because I wrote it about another Christian crackpot in January. These people just recycle the same bullshit. They do so because of their incurious constituency that doesn't ask the tough questions.

According to a more current German study provided by NIH, 90.2% of male to female surgical patients, five years out, said their expectations for life as a woman were fulfilled. For sure there are some issues with the sample (as disclosed in the abstract) but it sounds far more logical.

Then, of course, we get to the real issue: The Christian/Republican/Conservative obsession with where transgender people get to pee:
But according to the psychiatrist, it's not just those struggling with gender issues who have to worry about what it's called. The battle is being waged in America's public schools in the debate over who gets to use what bathroom and locker room. Benzio says if you give up the name, you've already lost the battle.
Transgender citizens have it tough enough. They don't need imbeciles like Benzio making things more difficult. 

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