Saturday, January 26, 2019

CDC botches important trans youth study - badly

“We are probably mere hours away from the Christian-Right establishment echoing this inaccurate nonsense.”
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Friday, the Center for Disease Control published a paper titled: Transgender Identity and Experiences of Violence Victimization, Substance Use, Suicide Risk, and Sexual Risk Behaviors Among High School Students — 19 States and Large Urban School Districts, 2017. An error has already generated confusion, perhaps intentional confusion.

Jana J. Pruet at The Blaze offers: CDC: Percentage of teens who identify as transgender has more than doubled since 2014. Defender of the Faith and trans obsessed Dr. Michael K. Laidlaw chimes in to explain the crackpot theory of rapid onset gender dysphoria offered by Dr. Lisa Littman. I am pretty sure that gender dysphoria is not contagious.

Pruet's headline is actually correct. In effect the CDC is claiming that 1.8% of high school students included in the study are transgender. Except that Ms. Pruet lacked the intellectual curiosity to explore why the number is so high.

Turns out that the inaccuracy — and it is inaccurate — was caused by the question that was asked:
BOX Transgender pilot question — Youth Risk Behavior Surveys, 10 U.S. states* and nine large urban school districts,† 2017

Some people describe themselves as transgender when their sex at birth does not match the way they think or feel about their gender. Are you transgender?

A. No, I am not transgender

B. Yes, I am transgender

C. I am not sure if I am transgender

D. I do not know what this question is asking

* Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

† Boston, Massachusetts; Broward County, Florida; Cleveland, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; District of Columbia; Los Angeles, California; New York City, New York; San Diego, California; and San Francisco, California.
Technically, the word “transgender” is an umbrella term. However, what the study question really asked is whether or not students had some degree of gender dysphoria. We are probably mere hours away from the Christian-Right establishment echoing this inaccurate nonsense.

Only a small percentage of youth who experience gender dysphoria go on to become transgender. It presumably correlates to the severity of the condition. Aside from the confusion that this creates they have undermined their objectives.

The percentage of kids who experience “Violence Victimization,” for example, is going to be artificially low because the overwhelming majority of those who claim to be transgender are not presenting as the opposite of their natal sex. Only those who do present as trans or are gender nonconforming are likely to experience violent victimization.

Aside from the opinions of the general public there are now numerous legal issues surrounding transgender accommodations in public schools which are based on how students present. It is vitally important for society to have a uniform understanding of the differences among youth who are gender dysphoric, gender nonconforming and transgender.

I have notified the CDC and the lead author of my concerns. I have copied Dr. Kristina R. Olson at University of Washington and leader of the TransYouth Project.

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