The year 2013 marked the removal of “gender identity disorder” from the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5. The disorder was reclassified as “gender dysphoria” and moved out of the section on sexual disorders and into a new category of its own. All of this was done to be “less stigmatizing” to people claiming to be transgender. Of course, that reasoning makes one wonder why anything should be considered a “disorder” if we don’t want to stigmatize people. What makes transgenderism so different that it requires special protection of its sufferers’ feelings when other well-known conditions like autism spectrum disorder do not?
Justifiers of this political move would point to two Dutch studies which form the foundation of so-called “gender-affirming care” for minors. These studies found that children with gender dysphoria who receive hormone therapy and genital-mutilating surgery have improved overall mental health. Unfortunately for the left’s narrative, a report by the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine soundly debunked these two very flawed studies.
The report, titled “The Myth of ‘Reliable Research’ in Pediatric Gender Medicine”, could be summarized in two primary points which highlight how these Dutch studies would not stand up to the rigors of modern scientific publishing standards. First, the studies exhibited an extraordinary amount of selection bias. The initial pool of 196 participants was narrowed down to 70 to remove any child who did not have a healthy family life or who had other developmental problems. However, those without healthy families and experiencing psychological turmoil leading up to the gender dysphoria make up an overwhelming majority of those seeking hormonal and surgical treatment.
Second, these studies did not implement the controls which lend considerable academic integrity to modern scientific research. The children and families in the Dutch studies received ongoing psychotherapy throughout the process, which is probably a good thing considering the unnatural torment they were going through. However, that begs the question of whether the surgery caused the change or the therapy. Either way, the unscientific nature of these biased studies prove that no doctor should be claiming that there is a scientific foundation for the genital mutilation of minors.