Monday, August 6, 2018

Michelle Cretella has an illogical retort to every bit of research she does not like

As research increasingly proves her wrong, Dr. Cretella gets more, … creative.
Michelle Cretella
Michelle Cretella appeared on The World Over which airs on the Global Catholic Network
Hate group leader Michelle Cretella (American College of Pediatricians) has not been a licensed physician for a number of years. Unlicensed, she is relieved of continuing education obligations — and it shows. Cretella is a garden variety Defender of the Faith™. She attempts to merge a belief system with science while no blender known to mankind has sufficient power to make an amalgam of the two.
Monday, according to Charlie Butts who writes for American Family Association (another anti-LGBT hate group):
Yet another study claiming transgenders are born that way is being discredited.

A study conducted in Spain is suggesting there's a biological basis for transgender identity. It involved a single MRI done on the brains of 42 transgender people of both born genders.
Poor Charlie. According to a January, 2016 article in Scientific American: “Imaging studies and other research suggest that there is a biological basis for transgender identity.” The article, which Butts cites, describes more than one study. I recommend reading the full article. Snippets include:
Spanish investigators—led by psychobiologist Antonio Guillamon of the National Distance Education University in Madrid and neuropsychologist Carme Junqu Plaja of the University of Barcelona—used MRI to examine the brains of 24 female-to-males and 18 male-to-females—both before and after treatment with cross-sex hormones. Their results, published in 2013, showed that even before treatment the brain structures of the trans people were more similar in some respects to the brains of their experienced gender than those of their natal gender.
The above begs the question: Are people transgender (in response to gender incongruity) because they have, to some extent, opposite-sex brains or have their brains changed in response to being transgender? Both are possible.
In a study published in 2014, psychologist Sarah M. Burke of VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam and biologist Julie Bakker of the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience used functional MRI to examine how 39 prepubertal and 41 adolescent boys and girls with gender dysphoria responded to androstadienone, an odorous steroid with pheromonelike properties that is known to cause a different response in the hypothalamus of men versus women. They found that the adolescent boys and girls with gender dysphoria responded much like peers of their experienced gender. The results were less clear with the prepubertal children.
Scientists want to know why. Were the results less clear with younger children because their experience is of shorter duration? Another explanation might be found in the fact that gender dysphoria resolves in many younger children before they become transgender (once they are in sufficient distress to transition they very rarely desist). Intellectual curiosity in normal people stimulates questions; a desire to know more and a desire for explanations.

This kind of study is important, says Baudewijntje Kreukels, an expert on gender dysphoria at VU University Medical Center, “because sex differences in responding to odors cannot be influenced by training or environment.” The same can be said of another 2014 experiment by Burke and her colleagues. They measured the responses of boys and girls with gender dysphoria to echolike sounds produced by the inner ear in response to a clicking noise. Boys with gender dysphoria responded more like typical females, who have a stronger response to these sounds. But girls with gender dysphoria also responded like typical females.
I have many questions which include getting Kreukels' hypothesis regarding the response of girls. Have they repeated this study on children who have transitioned, particularly trans boys?

Michelle Cretella has all the answers (with some help from Charlie Butts). She knows the answers, not from experiments, but from the teachings of the Catholic Church which she uncritically accepts as inerrant:
But Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians, says that's not how science works. She argues that numerous studies already prove a person's brain is changed if they live a certain way or behave a certain way.

“For them to prove that the brains of transgender-identifying people are different, they would have to do a study that looks at hundreds and hundreds of infants … and follow that one set of infants into adulthood,” she explains.

Nevertheless, Cretella has said in the past that the transgender movement has “gained legs” in the medical community and the culture “by offering a deeply flawed narrative.” The Spanish study, she says, is no different.
It's all one big conspiracy designed to frustrate ultra-conservative Christians. The person who claims “that's not how science works” has never published peer-reviewed research to a respected academic journal. Moreover, there is insufficient information in the Scientific American article to know how the subjects have lived.

I don't presume to have the answers but the Spanish study had consistent results before and after cross-sex hormones. I do not know which brain structures they analyzed and I have not seen a comparison of development by age — and neither has the struggling Cretella.

Real scientist explain that “sex differences in responding to odors cannot be influenced by training or environment.” Moreover, the only person offering a “narrative” is Dr. Cretella. I doubt that she has even read these studies in full.

On top of that Cretella is limiting reliability to a study of her design without ever having published research. It doesn't concern her that, without comparable academic credentials, she is competing with world-class academics in the field of sexuality. She does not offer a competing hypothesis or a study design to prove her assertions. While she is certain of everything, she seeks to cast doubt on peer-reviewed research.

It is getting more than a bit silly for a trained medical doctor to say “that is red” every time she is presented with something blue. Her certitude is inconsistent with good science. Doubt is an essential ingredient in critical thinking! As I said, she wants others to have doubts.

Furthermore, where is the evidence to the contrary? Cretella is asserting indirectly that gender dysphoria results from environmental factors? Bad parenting? What exactly would make a child insist that they are the opposite gender? If that is true then where is the research demonstrating that some kind of therapy rendered a group of people free of their distress?

I place two objects on a table while saying “one, two [pause].” I place two more objects on the table while saying “three, four. Eureka! Two plus two equals four.” Cretella is saying that the methodology is flawed because we all know that the answer should be five. She provides no evidence to support her contention because it is based on faith, not scientific study based on evidence.

More importantly transgender people are not part of a movement. Nor have they adopted a common ideology. They are people who have in common an underlying medical condition. It can be objectively diagnosed through symptom analysis. Cretella gets even stupider:
“Bottom line, if transgender behavior and feelings were hardwired, they would have to be hardwired in DNA from fertilization,” she continues. “And if that were the case, a hundred percent of identical twins would match for their gender identity – and that is not the case by any means.”
Cretella has made the exact same argument about gay people. It is moronic. For starters identical DNA does not mean identical epigenome or even identical subgenome. Moreover, each successive birth changes the mother's hormones. This article on an identical twin study is a good read. It pertains to sexual orientation but the science would apply to sexual identity.

Furthermore, Cretella offers no hypothesis why identical twins raised in the same home by the same parents might have different gender identities. She offers no explanations for environmental differences. Don't epigenomic differences make much more sense?

A 2017 article by ACpeds is titled: College President Speaks on Transgender Ideology. It offers a remarkable picture of what Cretella wants to convince people of (including the notion that there is a “transgender ideology”). She cites a twin study by Dr. Milton Diamond without a link. She refers to her “footnote 19” when there are no footnotes. Describing Cretella as a college president is a bit pretentious. No? It makes no more sense then her arguments based on religious apologetics.

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