LIFEalerts – LGBTQ+ Issues

LGBTQ+ Issues

UK – Research Review is sceptical of medical treatment for gender dysphoria

The biggest controversy in medicine at the moment is the appropriate treatment of children with gender dysphoria. Transgender advocates claim that puberty blockers are important for their mental health and that the treatment effects are reversible. However, a preliminary study by the UK’s National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has found that the science supporting this view is of low quality. The reason the low quality was because All of the studies in the review of the literature were flawed. They were all uncontrolled observational studies, which are subject to bias and confounding; they had relatively short follow-up; most of them did not report comorbidities (physical or mental health); most of the studies were poorly reported and used a confusing variety of scoring tools and methods.

In relation to body image and psychosocial impact, says NICE, the results “are of very low certainty”. “Studies that found differences in outcomes could represent changes that are either of questionable clinical value, or the studies themselves are not reliable and changes could be due to confounding, bias or chance.” The NICE study also found that certainty of the impact to improve mental health and quality of life by using gender-affirming hormones on depression, on anxiety, on quality of life, on suicidality and self-injury was all “very low”. BBC, Bioedge, NHS Evidence 1, NHS Evidence 2

UK – Fundamentally flawed report by LGBT used to ban talk therapy dismissed

The 2020 Conversion Therapy & Gender Identity Survey was produced by Stonewall, Mermaids, GIRES, LGBT Foundation and the Ozanne Foundation. These LGBT lobby groups are trying to put pressure on the Government to ban so-called conversion therapy but the report has been dismissed as “fundamentally flawed”. Michael Biggs, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Oxford, said the report lacks credibility. Prof Biggs pointed out that the 20-page report was produced without the involvement of any credible social scientist, and that the study’s cohort was “not sampled from a defined population, as in a proper scientific survey”.

He continued: “Out of a total 1504 responses to the survey, only 51 respondents had undergone ‘gender identity conversion therapy’. Of these, 8 ‘felt it worked completely’. Therefore, the survey identified only 43 people who reported negative experiences. This number is surely a slender basis on which to propose new legislation.” Respondents were recruited online by the same organizations that are campaigning for legislation and the pamphlet does not provide the questionnaire completed by the respondents, as is standard in scientific research. Prof Biggs said: “No objective criteria are provided to define transphobia; the epithet apparently serves to exclude responses that contradicted the legislative agenda of the organizations funding the research.” The report’s definition of conversion therapy is extremely broad and covers everything from “‘severe physical and sexual violence’ including rape”, to “voluntary counselling by an NHS psychotherapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist”. Prof Biggs pointed out that acts of sexual violence are “abhorrent”, but are “already serious crimes, and so legislation is not required to outlaw them”. Prof Biggs concluded: “In sum, then, the research reported in the pamphlet has little, if any, scientific value. It reinforces the impression that the proposed legislation is motivated by the desire to further institutionalize gender ideology rather than the need to address a real social problem.” More

UK – Doctors risk patient safety by confusing sex and gender

In a new study published in the British Medical Journal, indicates that Doctors who deliberately confuse sex and gender could be putting patients at risk of being given “ineffective” or “inappropriate” treatments. Senior medical researchers from the University of St Andrews say the significance of biological sex is being ignored by some medical practitioners, which can result in male or female-specific treatments being offered to the wrong people.

Dr Margaret McCartney, of the University’s medical school, said: “There are many instances of sex and gender being confused by the research community and society more broadly. “Unless we identify and count categories correctly, we will end up with errors which serve all populations poorly, including minority populations.” The warnings come as the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said the evidence of clinical effectiveness and safety of giving cross-sex hormones to people who wish to ‘change sex’ is of “very low” quality. More

South Africa – Home Affairs adds third gender to Identity Documents

Gender activists have welcomed a move by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to take into account the wishes of transgender, non-binary (neither male or female) and intersex people in allocating identity numbers. According to the draft, the DHA aims to introduce a National Identity System (NIS), in order to guard against identity theft and to digitise identity management. All information about the identity of citizens and non-citizens in South Africa will be stored on the NIS. Included in the draft policy are options for ID numbers to take into account transgender, non-binary and intersex people. The DHA, which is responsible for these changes, plans to consult with LGBTQ+ communities on its proposal. It will take a few years for any changes to take place, as recommendations move through the consultation towards legislation and implementation. But, “the identity number will change to accommodate the LGBTIQ community,” confirms Sihle Mthiyane, the Department of Home Affairs head of policy and strategy who is responsible for planning the new system. QZcom, Businesstech