Friday, March 2, 2018

Okay Mr. Mainwaring - Give us your medical recommendation

Doug Mainwaring
Doug Mainwaring posing as a medical practitioner
Doug Mainwaring is yet another orthodox Catholic promoting Ryan T. Anderson's oblivious tome about gender dysphoria. The Church and its supporters are bizarrely preoccupied with the minuscule population of transgender people in a way that is almost comparable to their obsession over marriage equality.

Mr. Mainwaring, by the way, is a gay man who chooses not to have gay relationships in order to conform to Church doctrine. His book report is titled: “‘When Harry Became Sally’ reveals inconvenient truths about transgenderism.”

We need to first understand what the word “truth” means to a pious Catholic. Truth means the state of being compliant with the teachings of the Church. If Church teachings are different from, say, scientific fact then Mr. Mainwaring will accept the Church version of things. He might even try to prove why the scientists are wrong. It is an amazingly indulgent thought process to convince yourself that evidence is outweighed by faith. The arcane takes precedence over the pragmatic. I concede that it is something that I will never understand. They redefine the concept of evidence as well. Bear with me. I will get to that.

We begin with Doug's excellent adventure
Walt [Heyer] and I were in Hong Kong to address a symposium at the University of Hong Kong concerning what is at stake regarding the twin cultural threats of transgenderism and same-sex marriage, now looming in the cosmopolitan – but still deeply rooted-in-tradition – city state.
One wonders who paid the bill for these two rather nutty people to spread violets and joy across Asia. One ex-trans and the other ex-gay or …, something. I really have no idea.

Call me a skeptic:
During those 10 days, it seemed like every time Walt pulled his iPhone out of his pocket he had a new text or email from someone, somewhere in the world who had had second thoughts about “transitioning,” and was now desperately searching for help to undo the harm they had done to body and psyche.
Heyer has a new website for “Walt Heyer Ministries” This is in addition to his Change Regret enterprise. According to PayPal, the donations he seeks go to The funny thing is that I cannot find his telephone number anywhere, let alone a listing for his cell.

I am sure that there are others like Heyer. People who transitioned in middle age and never should have done so in the first place. Heyer is also conflicted by faith.

But let's get to the book report:
…more than 40 percent – 40 percent – of those who identify as transgender will attempt suicide at some point in their lives. That’s a statistic you probably haven’t heard before, and with good reason: Progressives controlling mainstream media don’t want you to hear anything negative about transgenderism.
Let's talk about suicide. It is not easy being transgender due to societal pressures and the religious BS promoted by folks like Anderson and Mainwaring. However people with social and family support are 82% less likely to attempt suicide. Conversely, young people without parental support are, according to another paper, 13 times more likely to attempt to kill themselves.

So the first thing that we need to accept is that we who are not transgender can directly alter the propensity for self-harm by trans people. This is particularly true when it comes to young people. They need parents. They do not need priests telling them that they are going to Hell.

Secondly, according to the experts, the suicide rate is probably higher for people who do not transition. Let me rephrase that a bit. At least two studies demonstrate that younger people with gender dysphoria who socially transition have levels of depression and anxiety that are close to those of the general population. Take away the stress and the potential for self-harm decreases accordingly.

Anderson and Mainwaring are exploiting suicide to promote a religious agenda. If we listen to the religious cranks, the suicide rate is likely to increase among young people. And what exactly are they offering as an alternative? One thing that is always absent from their blatherings is a link to a peer reviewed study of some form of therapy to address gender dysphoria. There isn't one.

So Dr. Mainwaring, what is your recommendation? What? You think that some version of conversion therapy is effective? Based on what exactly?
Transgenders are not the group of happy, smiling, newly minted guys or gals that the media would have you believe our transgender moment is producing. And that is precisely the point of Anderson’s book: He reveals the stark contrast between the cloying, sunny picture that transgender activists want you to see with the real picture, supported with an array of inconvenient scientific reports, statistics, and personal testimonies about transgenderism.
Again, we need a definition. According to Mainwaring and Anderson a “scientific report” is a paper authored by a Defender of the Faith which is not published to a respected journal and is not subjected to peer-review. The fact that the author might not have applicable training and experience is irrelevant to the term “scientific report.” As long as the author is sufficiently devout, voila it's science. It is the kind of thinking that we expect from the Taliban.
Most important, Anderson’s truth telling can help tens of thousands of men and women, boys and girls –– and their parents, swept up in the world’s current transgender moment, to avoid making choices that often lead to doing tragic, irreversible harm to body and soul.
By doing what exactly? See the definition of truth, above. I still don't see any recommendation supported by peer-reviewed research.

Here is a bit of unintentional real truth:
Throughout his book, Anderson relies on the landmark work of Dr. Paul McHugh and Dr. Lawrence Mayer. McHugh is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who for 25 years was the psychiatrist-in-chief at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Mayer, M.B., M.S., Ph.D., is scholar-in-residence in the Department of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University and a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University.
Yes — Anderson does rely on McHugh and Mayer. Calling their work “landmark” is almost comical. They did a literature review (in contrast to original research). Then they published the results to what amounts to a pretentious Catholic blog. Obviously, their output was not subjected to peer review. McHugh has not practiced medicine in nearly two decades (he is 87 or 88). Mayer is a bright guy but his specialties do not include gender dysphoria. Literature reviews are prone to selective observation and Mainwaring thinks that this is “landmark work” because it conforms to Church dogma.
In a nutshell, through the work of McHugh and Mayer, readers learn that the vast body of scientific evidence tells a different story from the one most of us hear repeatedly: Transgenderism is not a matter of genetics.
I see that I have to offer a definition of evidence. In the real world, evidence means the facts supporting the validity of a proposition. In Mainwaring-world and Andersonville, evidence means conjecture in support of Church doctrine. And by the way, it is impossible to prove a negative. Mainwaring should understand that. No one really knows what causes gender dysphoria (tarnsgenderism is the wrong term). It seems to affect people across a broad spectrum of backgrounds and families. Billionaire, Jennifer Natalya Pritzker is transgender for example. A literature review cannot prove that gender dysphoria is not genetic.

But I have another question. So what if gender dysphoria is not genetic? That has no bearing on the care and treatment of individuals. What this is really all about is the determination of Christian conservatives to assert that gender identity is a choice. It is the same bullshit that they have peddled about gay people for decades. Framing it as choice means that it can be addressed through talk therapy or, more likely, something like the Courage Ministry. Where is the evidence?
The only thing that science actually tells us is that we are born either male or female: undeniable, irrefutable biological and psychological truth. We are either men or women.
That is a lie because science also tells us that gender is a separate construct from natal sex. See definition of truth above.
Perhaps the greatest harm inflicted by the promoters of transgenderism is on children who show signs of gender dysphoria. Parents are nowadays led to believe that the only way to prevent their gender-confused child from committing suicide is to allow them to begin to transition while they are young.
First off “gender-confused” is religious-speak. No practitioner calls people with gender dysphoria confused. Secondly, who are these promoters? Is Mainwaring suggesting that the clinicians who treat pediatric gender dysphoria are involved in a malicious conspiracy to misinform parents? Mainwaring doesn't really know what parents are “led to believe.” I think that the dedicated and highly trained doctors who actually do work with these kids know more than Mr. Mainwaring — or the Church — or the pope himself.
What parents aren’t being told is that 80 percent to 95 percent of children who express gender dysphoria will naturally grow out of it and come to identify with their bodily sex if natural development is allowed to proceed.
How the hell does he know what parents are, or are not, told? Now we are up to 95%. The desistence rates are based on studies that a) aren't necessarily applicable and; b) 40 years old and more. According to the research, once a kid starts demanding to transition they are unlikely to change.

In the final analysis every child is different. Parents with their children need to discuss treatment and outcomes with doctors who are specialists in this area and who they trust. I emphasize the word doctors in contrast to priests, bishops or the deeply devout. It is not a religious issue and should not be treated as such.

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