Wednesday, September 12, 2018

When religion becomes an anti-trans OBSESSION

Jane Robbins
Jane Robbins of American Principles Project presumes to have the knowledge and training of a medical professional
Wednesday, Jane Robbins writes: U.S. Doctors Are Performing Double Mastectomies On Healthy 13-Year-Old Girls. Ms. Robbins is a fellow with the American Principles Project. APP, founded by Robert P. George, has a considerable anti-LGBT advocacy record. Ms. Robbins is obsessed with attempting to marginalize transgender people, presumably on behalf of the Catholic Church.

The subtitle of Robbins' tirade reads:
Thirty-three of these girls were under 18 at the time of surgeries a taxpayer-funded researcher is studying to validate transgenderism. Two were only 13 years old, and five were only 14.
To support her claim, Robbins cites the abstract of a study: Chest Reconstruction and Chest Dysphoria in Transmasculine Minors and Young Adults — Comparisons of Nonsurgical and Postsurgical Cohorts.

So, I purchased the study which is published to JAMA Pediatrics. The two 13-year-olds represent a mere 1.5% of the study. More importantly they would not have developed breast tissue had they been on puberty blockers and girls with gender dysphoria (trans boys) experience considerable distress with the development of breast tissue. The study included 68 post-surgical and 68 non-surgical participants.

Of the participants who had surgery only one expressed regret “sometimes” and he was over the age of 18. Ms. Robbins did not read that part.

“Dr.” Robbins has more medical advice:
Sometimes this dysphoria doesn’t appear until adolescence, and often little or no psychological evaluation is done to determine the underlying cause of the teenager’s desire to mutilate her body. But these doctors are willing to give her what she thinks she wants. And your federal tax money is paying for research to validate this gruesome treatment (see here and here).
The “here and here” are posts to The Federalist and Witherspoon Institute's blog. Ms. Robbins is wed to the notion that there is an underlying psychological cause to gender dysphoria (rendering the condition curable through talk therapy). That theory (emanating from the Vatican) is entirely unknown to medical science. It bears mentioning that trans youth and youth with gender dysphoria receive a considerable amount of counseling. Robbins does not approve of the counseling that they receive.

The grant money for this research did, in fact, come from the National Institute of Child Health (part of NIH) and the study does, in point of fact, conclude that chest surgery should be evaluated on the basis of need rather than chronological age. Serious complications were very rare and regret near zero. The outrage expressed by Robbins would only be relevant to people who believe the Vatican prelates over medical science. If I had a kid with gender dysphoria I know what I would do.

This study that Robbins does not like is not crackpottery. It is peer reviewed and published to possibly the most respected pediatric academic journal in the world. So thanks for the cite, Ms. Robbins. I learned a thing or two.

Sexuality is neither a philosophy nor a doctrine and none of this research supports Ms. Robbins' religious views.

In fact, Ms. Robbins and her ilk might actually create the need for this procedure by delaying or withholding puberty blockers and not accepting the severe distress that gender dysphoria creates. It is no more valid than allowing a child to die by denying a necessary blood transfusion due to religion superstition.

Robbins' diatribe continues:
Reasonable people would be mystified, if not repelled, by the statements and actions of a leading researcher into transgender treatment. In a study funded by a $5.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), researchers including Dr. Johanna Olson of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles are supposedly evaluating use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones on dysphoric children.
The study that Robbins cites is titled: The Impact of Early Medical Treatment in Transgender Youth. Rational people are not “repelled” by medical science that does not conform to religious dogma. Rational people are not “mystified” by pediatric medical research. According to the study:
This multi-center study will be the first in the U.S. to evaluate longitudinal outcomes of medical treatment for transgender youth and will provide essential evidence-based data on the physiological and psychosocial effects and safety of treatments currently used for transgender youth.
If any of Robbins' religious dogma turns out to be supported by science then this study will demonstrate the relevance. Why would she object? She objects because she realizes that the evidence-based outcome will be just the opposite. She wants to suppress the truth if it conflicts with her belief system. I am “mystified”by Robbins' lack of logical objective thought. Robbins is a graduate of Harvard Law. Fundamentalist religion makes otherwise smart people profoundly stupid.
…the study is fundamentally skewed toward the conclusions transgender activists desire: it contains no control group of subjects who will be spared these drugs, and will expire after five years, long before many negative effects may surface.
Right. Sure. Ms. Robbins knows more about medical research than the professional investigators. Not treating a child according to best practices in order to create a control group is called child abuse. Robbins is just making excuses for a study of children she does not approve of because of her religious views. Those mythical activists are everywhere. What was that about “reasonable people?”
These design flaws aren’t surprising. Olson dismisses the possibility that gender dysphoria could be caused by psychological disturbance, claiming the only “mental health issue” related to gender dysphoria “comes from the way that the outside world responds” to the confused youth.
Robbins' dislike does not constitute a design flaw. Exactly who is “confused?” Robbins cites research that she does not like. Where are the cites to support the idea that gender dysphoria is caused by underlying psychosis?

I cannot respond to this entire polemic but she does try to introduce research that she like. She goes on to write:
As Olson and colleagues urge extreme medical treatments for confused children, they stubbornly ignore billowing red flags about the psychological problems that prompt demand for such treatments. One such flag is the increasing occurrence of “rapid onset gender dysphoria.” ROGD means the sudden occurrence of gender dysphoria during or after puberty, in the patient who demonstrated no previous signs of dysphoria. Frantic parents have been reporting in recent years that their teenagers, usually girls, have announced out of the blue that they are “trans” and demanded accommodations and transitioning treatment.
So-called ROGD is supported by one study published to a substandard journal with relaxed peer review. Its sampling method is absurd. That is not just my view but that of professionals who have commented at the journal. The article has not been withdrawn but is now under editorial review (which constitutes after-the-fact peer review).

Robbins continues with the irrelevant study for another 900 words. Even were the study valid (it is not), there is no evidence to support the implication that children with ROGD are receiving puberty blockers or hormones. In fact, the sampling was done entirely from parent participants at anti-trans websites. Those parents refuse to treat their kids.

This verbose jeremiad comes to a welcome end:
That such reckless researchers are allowed access to vulnerable children is shocking. That there are so many of them is tragic. That their activities are financed with tax dollars is scandalous. But welcome to the new world of agenda-driven research. How many lives will be destroyed before sanity revives?
Ms. Robbins is projecting. Attempting to torture medical science to conform to ancient chronicles of dubious provenance is “agenda-driven.” Unlike religion, science is underpinned by evidence. Robbins does not like the evidence that has been found or the evidence that is likely to be found. Robbins chooses this worldview in order to supposedly go to heaven when she dies. It is all rather silly and the silliness is confirmed by her nonsensical utterances.

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