While the news cycle is hyper-focused on COVID-19, many people missed the recent conclusion of a controversy in the academic world regarding gender theory.
The origin of the controversy stems back to October of last year when two researchers – Dr. Richard Bränström of the Swedish Karolinska Institute and Dr. John Pachankis, director Yale’s LGBTQ Mental Health Initiative – published an article in The America Journal of Psychiatry regarding the effects of “sex reassignment” surgery on the mental health of individuals suffering from gender dysphoria.
Data for the study came from the Swedish Population Register, which is one of the world’s largest longitudinal surveys, as it involved 95% of the country’s population. Of the 9.7 million people whose records were in the register, 2,679 had been diagnosed with gender dysphoria between 2005 and 2015. Of those 2,679, 1,018 had undergone various steps of “sex reassignment surgery.”
The essay claimed that so-called “gender-affirming” surgeries had a positive impact on gender dysphoric people, as they reported an 8% annual decline in mood and anxiety disorders after the surgery. Naturally, those results promoted the notion that “sex reassignment” surgery was somehow beneficial.
In the aftermath of the study, however, notable academics questioned its integrity. One of these was Mark Regnerus, professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin and a senior fellow of the Austin Institute. In an article published by The Public Discourse, he slammed the authors’ interpretation of the data, “[I]f a mere three additional cases among these 19 had sought mental health treatment in 2015, there would appear to be no discernible overall effect of surgery on subsequent mental health. The study’s trumpeted conclusion may hinge on as few as three people in a data collection effort reaching 9.7 million Swedes, 2,679 of whom were diagnosed with gender incongruence and just over 1,000 of whom had gender-affirming surgery.”
Prof. Regnerus explained, “In this study, the NNT [Number Needed to Treat] appears to be a staggering 49, meaning the beneficial effect of surgery is so small that a clinic may have to perform 49 gender-affirming surgeries before they could expect to prevent one additional person from seeking subsequent mental health assistance.”
In other words, the study fails to demonstrate how invasive “gender affirming” surgery that destroys the biological integrity of human beings is efficacious.
“That the authors corrupted otherwise excellent data and analyses with a skewed interpretation signals an abandonment of scientific rigor and reason,” lamented Regnerus. In this case, he said, the study was crafted to favor “activist groups seeking to normalize infertility-inducing and permanently disfiguring surgeries.”
Following such solid criticism, Dr. Bränström and Dr. Pachankis were forced to issue a formal correction of their work. Although it took nearly a year, the two academics were compelled to confess that, “the results [of the study] demonstrated no advantage of surgery in relation to subsequent mood or anxiety disorder-related health care visits or prescriptions or hospitalizations following suicide attempts.”
Given the backgrounds of the two researchers, it’s no surprise that they would have an interest in using their academic paper to promote one of the most radical aspects of gender theory – physical mutilation – especially since Dr. Pachankis seems to have made a career in LGBT issues.
Be forewarned: There is an active and pervasive culture of conforming academic studies with the narrative promoted by the avant-garde agenda of the Cultural Revolution.
However, despite all of the pressure and influence of radical revolutionaries in academia, the success that Prof. Regnerus and others achieved in getting the two authors to issue a correction highlights an important point: Those who fight for the truth can attain victory.
Resistance is not only possible but yields good results.