Updated: Oct 12, 2020
The American Journal of Psychiatry (AJP) has released a correction to a 2019 Swedish study whose primary conclusion was that individuals who claim to be transgender experience mental health benefits following gender-affirming surgeries.
Dr. Andre Van Mol of the American College of Pediatricians, endocrinologist Dr. Michael Laidlaw, and psychiatrists Dr. Miriam Grossman and Dr. Paul McHugh, in an article in Public Discourse noted the authors of the original study retracted its conclusion after numerous requests for a reanalysis of the data led to the corrected findings.
What led to the retraction of the study’s conclusion? The problem of “irreproducibility.”
The Public Discourse writers observed the Swedish study researchers only used three outcomes to measure follow-up care: prescriptions for antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, healthcare visits for mood or anxiety disorders, and post-suicide attempt hospitalizations. But the study overlooked key data sets 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? These omissions suggested cherry-picking data in order to obtain the desired results," the doctors observed.
Another Swedish study from 2011– one described as “perhaps the best of its kind” found that when followed out past ten years, the group of participants with “reassigned” sex had NINETEEN TIMES THE RATE OF COMPLETED SUICIDES and almost THREE TIMES the rate of DEATH and IN-PATIENT PSYCHIATRIC CARE due to any cause, when compared with the general population.
The assessment is huges, especially coming from Dr. McHugh, in particular. He is the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, responsible for ending sex reassignment surgeries at Johns Hopkins Medical School in the wake of a study that found patients undergoing the surgeries showed no improvement in their mental or social health.
They decried the way in which faulty studies are often cited by transgender industry advocates as evidence why parents should allow children and adolescents to take puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, and even have transgender surgeries such as double mastectomies:
These experiments are beyond reproducibility problems: they are ethical failures by which doctors cause long-term harm to children and adolescents, all based on political activism supported by faulty science.
“Our team believes that many of the pro-transition studies we have read fare no better,” the Public Discourse authors concluded.
“Fad medicine is bad medicine, and gender-anxious people deserve better.”