Exposing the Left’s Dogmatism on Sexual Orientation and Gender

The essay below written by Janice Shaw Crouse summarizes a study released last week in the The New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology and Science that deals with the politicization of sex and gender over the last few decades in Western culture. The study “follows three years of lengthy, thorough work studying, analyzing and summarizing nearly 200 peer-reviewed studies beginning in 1950 and continuing to the present date.”

Crouse writes:

Quite obviously, ideology has overpowered research in numerous areas of individual and public well-being. It is equally obvious that there’s a huge disconnect when faulty claims about sexuality and gender are used to enact public policy that does not foster health and wellbeing and when there is a huge chasm between generally-accepted beliefs and what scientific findings show.

We’ve failed people who need understanding as well as support and help in order to lead healthy, productive lives. Pushing ideology serves the selfish goals and ambitions of those pushing the falsehoods rather than serving those who need help to get their lives on track in order to flourish.

View The New Atlantis study.

Source: The American Spectator

Exposing the Left’s Dogmatism on Sexual Orientation and Gender

A breakthrough report restores the primacy of scientific evidence.

By Janice Shaw Crouse

There’s a quote attributed to Ronald Reagan, “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.” It’s also that so many of those things that they know that “aren’t so” lead to bad policies based on those lies and distortions.

Take, for instance, the recent Supreme Court decision making same-sex marriage legal, overturning the vote of 31 states that had previously voted against it. That SCOTUS decision was based on the belief that science had established sexual orientation and gender identity as innate characteristics. Mainstream media had inundated the public with numerous arguments and feature stories about the problems faced by those individuals who, they said, cannot change their “inherent and unchangeable identity.” Those who seek to help individuals who are not happy with their perceived identity as LBGT have been subject to public and professional harassment, discrimination, ridicule and scorn. To assert that there’s no research basis for the position that sexual orientation is innate is an invitation to be dismissed as uninformed and cause for angry claims, without evidence, that people “are born” LGBT.

Now The New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology and Society released yesterday a whole issue focused on “Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences.” The journal, published since 2003, has earned a reputation as “the nation’s premier journal of science, technology, and ethics.” Its editor, Adam Keiper, is equally well respected as a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

Released internationally, this issue is a landmark report that follows three years of lengthy, thorough work studying, analyzing and summarizing nearly 200 peer-reviewed studies beginning in 1950 and continuing to the present date. This journal does not take a position in regard to the current controversies over these issues; instead, it identifies nearly 20 issues needing more research. Ironically, the study was prompted by an array of “enduring public health concerns.” Most importantly, it clearly identifies some pivotal findings in the biological, psychological, and social sciences.

  • First, the journal reports that scientific evidence does not support the belief in sexual orientation as an “innate, biologically fixed human property.” Put simply, the assertion that people are “born that way” is not supported by peer-reviewed scientific studies.
  • Second, the journal reports that no scientific evidence points to gender as an innate, fixed characteristic independent of biological sex. In other words, there is no such thing as “a man trapped in a woman’s body” or “a woman trapped in a man’s body.”
  • Third, there is no evidence in the peer-reviewed research literature to support the idea that children who behave in gender-atypical ways will inevitably continue that behavior and, thus, should be encouraged to become transgender through hormone therapy or surgical alternation. Quite simply, a girl wearing jeans and playing with trucks or a boy who enjoys playing dolls with his sister will not inevitably grow up gender-confused and needing to be guided toward transgender identity.
  • Fourth, discrimination — as a single factor — does not account for the fact that research establishes: non-heterosexual and transgender people have higher rates of mental health problems and far more behavioral and social problems than the general population. For instance, they are far more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and violence.

The Johns Hopkins University authors of the report are outstanding professors. Lawrence S. Mayer, M.B., M.S., Ph.D., is a scholar-in-residence at the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins and is a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University. Paul R. McHugh, M.D. is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and was, for twenty-five years, the psychiatrist-in-chief at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

The facts are heart-rending: LGBT persons have higher rates of mental, behavioral and social problems. LGBT persons are 2 to 3 times more likely to have suffered childhood sexual abuse. LBGT persons have 2.5 times more risk of suicide than the general populations. Transgender individuals are almost 10 times more likely to attempt suicide. Individuals who have undergone sex-reassignment surgery are 5 times more likely to attempt suicide and a staggering 19 times more likely to succeed.

We’ve failed people who need understanding as well as support and help in order to lead healthy, productive lives. Pushing ideology serves the selfish goals and ambitions of those pushing the falsehoods rather than serving those who need help to get their lives on track in order to flourish.

Quite obviously, ideology has overpowered research in numerous areas of individual and public well-being. It is equally obvious that there’s a huge disconnect when faulty claims about sexuality and gender are used to enact public policy that does not foster health and wellbeing and when there is a huge chasm between generally-accepted beliefs and what scientific findings show. The two authors of this new research are not pushing an agenda; they are calling for honest, dispassionate research that will benefit those confused by these issues. Nobody benefits when ideology prevails over scientific research — least of all, those who are the subjects of the studies whose problems so often are swept under the rug of leftist certainty about “things they don’t know.”

Janice Shaw CrouseJanice Shaw Crouse, a speechwriter for the first President Bush, is the author of Children at Risk and Marriage Matters.

Comments

  1. James Bradshaw :

    “For instance, [non-heterosexual and transgender people] are far more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and violence.”

    First of all, let’s not make the common error of lumping gender dysphoria and homosexuality together: from a psychological perspective, they’re not really related. One has to do with how one perceives oneself, the other more about one’s attractions. Some gay men are hyper-masculine, actually. There’s a bit of contention within the “LGBT” community regarding this.

    In terms of substance abuse, I’m not sure what the writer is suggesting. Does choosing to act out on one’s gender or sexual impulses make one more likely to engage in dangerous behaviors, or does simply having these orientations mean that one will necessarily be more prone to engage in drug abuse and the like? If the latter, there’s really nothing one can do, is there? One can choose one’s behavior, but we can’t choose our involuntary and innate drives and desires. They are what they are.

    “Quite simply, a girl wearing jeans and playing with trucks or a boy who enjoys playing dolls with his sister will not inevitably grow up gender-confused ”

    Amen to that, but doesn’t this imply that parents should be less rigid about enforcing traditional gender roles? After all, a boy who prefers cooking and crafts to bikes and wrestling will still most likely grow up to be heterosexual. Yet, when I read the parenting advice of some conservative Christians (the books of James Dobson of Focus on the Family come to mind), it seems that many want boys to be coerced into football and “manly” endeavors and for girls to be encouraged to learn how to sew and iron. This is probably counter-productive and more likely to lead the child to wrongly conclude that they’re not the “right” gender.

    • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

      James, did you read the study? Or are you just commenting on the summary?

      • James Bradshaw :

        The summary.

        But I tried to sift through the study itself, and it appears to be as inconclusive as the summary. It acknowledges that social stigma may be the cause of some of the dysfunctional behavior of some gay men and women but that it’s not the only reason. It then declines to say what those other reasons are (or did I miss them?). Its point is that “Gay folks are more likely to be messed up”.

        Okay. That may be true, but now what?

        Honestly, I’m wary of statistical studies because they’re often misused, and they often see cause where there is only correlation. I could point to the fact that blacks account for a disproportionate percentage of the prison population. But what do we make of it? It is possible that blacks are simply penalized more frequently and harshly for the same crimes committed by whites. It’s also possible that there are very specific cultural factors at play in the US that don’t exist in other countries (such as the prevalence of gangs within some communities).

        I didn’t see the study as egregiously biased in any way. I’m just unclear on what it was trying to assert should be the approach in clinical or social terms.

        Do we insist that reparative therapy be the only form of treatment acceptable by the psychiatric community, or do we instead seek to remove the social stigma surrounding homosexuality? Do we treat homosexuality or gender identity disorder as purely a reactive (and negative) response to some other life event (such as abuse or molestation) or is it more fundamental than that?

        As a side note, I will say that I absolutely agree that there is an unfortunate willingness on the part of those in education (teachers, advisors, etc) to error on the side of permissiveness in regards to transgender identity issues. Part of it is the success of the far Left in labeling anyone who dissents as unthinking bigots. It’s a real problem, because the reality is that true gender dysphoria is exceedingly rare. Many (perhaps the majority) of individuals who experience this as youths grow out of it. Meanwhile, the various forms of medical intervention used in “treating” such people is invasive, risky and sometimes irreversible. Anyone medical or psychological professional who pushes this on minors should have their license revoked.

        • Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

          It’s ironic isn’t it that the “in the closet” accommodation where homosexuality was tolerated in ways that did not allow for activism created a physically healthier environment for the homosexual than the full-throated acceptance that Gay INC demands of everyone today?

          For that reason it was better to keep homosexual activists away from children, especially teens although today that cat is clearly out of the bag. Social stigma against same-sex behaviors has been successfully demolished but disease rates, suicide rates, etc. continue to increase. “Toleration” has moved to legal enforcement which means these rates will probably go even higher. The diseases are endemic to the life style and cannot be attributed to anything else but the behavior for much longer.

          • wholeheartedly agree with your stance Fr. Hans. This article made me think of a conversation I had with an individual a couple of years ago who hit the point home about liberal overreach.

            Imagine if they can prove that an unborn child has a proclivity toward homosexuality. Similar to current testing like Downs Syndrome and Trisomy 18. Does the woman have the right to an abortion because she doesn’t want a child who is homosexual?
            It’s compelling that they can’t find scientific evidence supporting the “born this way” argument. Because even if they did, would the community as a whole be made even worse off by their own ideologies?

        • Forgive me for being late to the game on this but I shared James’ uncertainty about what the study’s point. But taking another look at it, it seems to be a compiling of the data of several decades’ clinical experience that makes no “therefore” claims. I think the study is valuable since Johns Hopkins was, if I remember correctly, one of the very first institutions to enter the gender re-assignment market, and a number of providers there are now simply sharing results.

          I am NOT a mental health professional, but I did work in a mental health facility for several years in an administrative role, and the DSM IV was fairly new. Some people had primary and other diagnoses from the era of the DSM III, and it seems that homosexuality was seen as a co-occurring disorder very often. I leave it to the mental health experts, but what comes out of Johns Hopkins of late regarding the sexual alphabet and progressivism’s relentless “normalization” suggests that the older approach might have been on to something. Yes, this means treating many or most of the LBGTQ’s predilections as disorders, but if they are disorders, and if the data compiled in this study is correct, then it would seem to be a good deal more humane to allow, at the very least, doctors and clinicians to approach them as such.

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