Public Discourse 13 September 2020
Family First Comment: Wow! The truth is starting to come out – at last….
“The American Journal of Psychiatry has issued a major correction to a recent study. The Bränström study reanalysis demonstrated that neither “gender-affirming hormone treatment” nor “gender-affirming surgery” reduced the need of transgender-identifying people for mental health services. Fad medicine is bad medicine, and gender-anxious people deserve better.”
The American Journal of Psychiatry has issued a major correction to a recent study. The Bränström study reanalysis demonstrated that neither “gender-affirming hormone treatment” nor “gender-affirming surgery” reduced the need of transgender-identifying people for mental health services. Fad medicine is bad medicine, and gender-anxious people deserve better.
A major correction has been issued by the American Journal of Psychiatry. The authors and editors of an October 2019 study, titled “Reduction in mental health treatment utilization among transgender individuals after gender-affirming surgeries: a total population study,” have retracted its primary conclusion. Letters to the editor by twelve authors, including ourselves, led to a reanalysis of the data and a corrected conclusion stating that in fact the data showed no improvement after surgical treatment. The following is the background to our published letter and a summary of points of the critical analysis of the study.
A Crisis of Irreproducibility in Psychology and Medicine
It has been an open secret for some time that there is a crisis of irreproducibility of scientific studies in medicine and other fields. No less a figure than the Director of the NIH, Dr. Francis Collins, wrote that, “the checks and balances that once ensured scientific fidelity have been hobbled. This has compromised the ability of today’s researchers to reproduce others’ findings.” For example, the National Association of Scholars reports, “In 2012 the biotechnology firm Amgen tried to reproduce 53 ‘landmark’ studies in hematology and oncology, but could only replicate 6 (11%).” In 2015 an article was published in Science in which there was an attempt to replicate 100 studies from three well-known psychology journals in 2008. In the original studies, nearly all had produced statistically significant results, whereas in the study replications, only a little over a third produced similar significant results.
Perhaps nowhere in medicine and psychology is this problem of irreproducibility worse than in studies of people who claim to have a mismatch between their sex and their internal sense of being male or female.
When we first analyzed the study last October, it was obvious that it had major shortcomings. Dr. Van Mol led our team—which includes endocrinologist Michael Laidlaw, child and adolescent psychiatrist Miriam Grossman, and Johns Hopkins professor of psychiatry Paul McHugh—to summarize our findings into a compact, 500-word letter to the editor. We were not the only clinicians to question the study’s legitimacy. A total of seven letters, all critical of the study, were published on August 1, including our own. The editors included a response from the original authors, and they explained why it took ten months to publish the letters.
Overlooked were key data of completed suicides; healthcare visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations for the litany of other medical or psychological diagnoses potentially related to gender-affirming treatments. Such information was available through Sweden’s multiple registry databases, so why not use it?
When followed out beyond ten years, the sex-reassigned group had nineteen times the rate of completed suicides and nearly three times the rate of all-cause mortality and inpatient psychiatric care, compared to the general population.
Nearly all of the detransitioners I spoke with are plagued with regret. . . . They possess a startlingly masculine voice that will not lift. . . . They live with slashes across their chests.
READ MORE: https://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2020/09/71296/