Saturday, January 10, 2009

Do These People EVER Read?!?

I see that the wingnuts have picked up on this article in New Scientist which describes the recently release draft guidelines for Endocrine Treatment of Transsexual Persons.

Says Wingnut Daily:

"The Endocrine Society has published guidelines advising that children as young as 12 be offered puberty blocking drugs to 'buy time' for a gender change."
And comes now an International Endocrine Society to claim there are "transsexual children as young as 12."


But how do these simple Society members prove who is a "transsexual"? A child says he or she "feels" like another sex!

Yet, this Endocrine Society has no statistical data or other evidence of early-witnessing wife or spousal battery or of sexual abuse, battery, or neglect of these children who claim to be in the wrong body.

Of course, if the idiot that wrote the Wingnut Daily article bothered to do even a smidgin of research, she would have realized that the authors have spent a great deal of time with the WPATH Standards of Care - and in fact, a lot of the guidance in the Endocrine Society's guidelines closely echoes the relatively cautious approach to dealing with non-adult transsexuals.

This comes as no big surprise, since not only is WPATH a sponsor of this work, a sizable number of its authors are also affiliated with WPATH. (Big surprise there - WPATH has been the primary organization for professionals working with transsexuals for thirty years).

I find it quite hilarious that the first thing that comes out of Wingnut Daily's writers is the accusation that transsexualism is somehow caused by some form of parental malfeasance. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Transsexuals come from all kinds of backgrounds. Some have been abused as children, but when so many are obviously from well adjusted, normal family situations, it seems spurious indeed to try pinning blame on the parents.

The Society, based on wholesale ignorance and the arrogance that commonly accompanies educated ignorance, would drug children "to postpone puberty and make it easier for them to change sex at the age of 16 if they still want to."

Really? Actually, a quick perusal of the bibliographical notes in those guidelines makes an awful lot of references to papers that I have read at one time or another on the subject, and a lot more papers (some 8 pages worth of bibliographical notes!) This is hardly "working from wholesale ignorance", especially not when WPATH (formerly HBIGDA) has been around since 1979, and professional investigation of transsexuals started in earnest with Harry Benjamin in the 1950s.

Further, the treatment guidelines do acknowledge where the amount of available evidence is weaker, and I would presume that there would be ongoing revision, just as the WPATH SOC have evolved over time. There is a rather interesting coding scheme which is described on pages 38/39 which is used to highlight the authors' assessment of the strength of the supporting evidence - which I find very interesting indeed.

Even those who believe in transsvestism admit that "transsexualism persists into adulthood in only 20 percent of boys who show signs of distress in childhood."

Hoo boy - where to start with this bunch of ignorant nonsense? First of all, cross dressing (often referred to incorrectly as transvestism) is not the same think as transsexualism. Second, the 20% persistence number is based on a study that Dr. Robert Green performed in the 1980s. What the great unknown here is what the outcome for Green's subjects would have been if the option to transition without 'double puberty' had been available - in other words had they been able to transition as part of their adolescence, what would the outcomes have been? In reality, only long term follow-up of Dr. Spack's patients will provide any real insight into this question.

Moreover, like the STD vaccines inflicted on innocent children by order of the State, no long-term, scientifically viable trials (30 years or more) have ever been documented that prove the harmlessness of these chemical insults to children's brains, minds and bodies.

Well, if we were talking about indefinite use, I might agree with this. We aren't. At most we are talking about a few years, and then either using cross-sex hormones or allowing nature to take its normal course.

Unlike what many people seem to be inferring from the mere existence of these standards, we are not talking about making this option available 'on demand'. The Endocrine Society has tied its recommendations quite closely to WPATH's SOC, and requires appropriate corresponding diagnosis from mental health specialists with appropriate backgrounds.

But then again, I suppose it is worth remembering that in the fetid minds of Wingnut Daily's writers, there is no such thing as a transsexual - all the evidence to the contrary not withstanding.

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