I’ve blogged about this before, but it bears repeating.
An influential study on the value of treating gender-dysphoric patients with gender-affirming care has been corrected, not retracted, after the authors admitted flaws in their research.
The study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, initially claimed that gender-affirming care led to significant improvements in mental health outcomes. However, after widespread criticism and a 10-month review, a major correction was issued.
The corrected conclusion states that there was no improvement in mental health after surgical treatment.
According to this critical reading of the study in Public Discourse, the study’s original results were significantly altered when proper statistical methods were applied. Additionally, the limited data collection (only one year of data) would result in worse findings with better data.
The corrected research now suggests, at best, no improvement in mental health outcomes for patients receiving gender-affirming care. Some research even indicates that such care can lead to worse outcomes over time, with anxiety, depression, and suicide rates 19 times higher than the general population.
The correction undermines one of the pillars supporting the claim that puberty blockers, hormones, and gender reassignment surgeries improve mental health in patients.
The major flaws in the study, including an extremely biased population and a high rate of loss to follow-up required a correction. The revised statistical analysis, even with this biased sample, found no benefit in providing puberty blockers, hormones, or surgery to gender dysphoric patients.
One issue was the significant loss to follow-up; many patients who participated in the study were considered “lost,” leaving researchers with an unreliable data sample. Additionally, the authors only measured three outcomes and overlooked key data, such as completed suicides and other healthcare visits, potentially related to gender-affirming treatments.
Sounds like cherry-picking data to obtain desired results.
The Public Discourse article also references a 2011 study from Sweden, which analyzed 324 patients who underwent sex reassignment over thirty years. This study found that when followed for more than 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.
Finally, the article discusses the delay in publishing critical letters regarding the study, and the resulting correction that revealed no advantage to surgery for the subject population. The authors of the original study admitted that their conclusion was too strong, which contributed to the momentum for gender-affirming treatments that may not actually provide benefits.
I’d say that correcting “too strong” is not nearly strong enough. Bodies were mutilated. Young people were sterilized. But studies like this were used to provide the pretext that allowed Professional Medical Associations like WPATH to elevate these dangerous treatments, that provide NO BENEFIT, as our latest, “wisest” “standards of care.”
A Great Reckoning is coming. I hope and pray.
The Problem is in the Mind. Not The Body.