The transgender suicide myth exposed

Michael Cook at MercatorNet has highlighted research which has been used to advance a narrative on treating gender dysphoria, but which fails the test of being reliable, independent and credible research. In other words, ‘advocacy research’ designed to push their own narrative. Here’s a summary of his excellent expose……

“…Jack Turban, a psychiatrist specialising in transgender children at Massachusetts General Hospital, says that it is “dangerous” to forbid “gender confirmation surgery” for young people.                 But what proof is there that trans kids will commit suicide? As it turns out, notwithstanding the importance of this statistic, very little. Turban is a co-author of two recent papers in medical               journals which attempt to prove that transgender kids feel less suicidal if they embark on transition from one sex to another. Neither of them is convincing….

  1. “The first was published in JAMA Psychiatrylast September. It claims that there is an association between “gender identity conversion efforts” and “increased odds of lifetime suicide attempts”. However, as other doctors pointed out, Turban’s statistics are methodologically flawed. For one thing, they are based on a convenience sample — a group of people who are easy to contact. In this case it was 27,715 people recruited from LGBT+ organisations who responded to an on-line survey conducted in 2015 by the National Center for Transgender Equality. The authors of the survey were all trans activists and none was a scientist or a doctor. The study in JAMA Psychiatryalso failed to control for comorbid psychiatric illness — a key predictor of suicidal tendencies. Suicidal ideas could have been due to other mental health issues, like depression or autism. Furthermore, it recruited people who identified as transgender, rather than people who suffered from gender dysphoria. As one critic pointed out, “The number of persons who at one point suffered from GD but no longer do far outnumbers those who have persistent and consistent GD and thus identify as transgender.”
  1. “Turban’s other paper has similar problems. It was published earlier this month in the leading journal Pediatrics. He told readers of the New York Timesthat he had found that “access to puberty blockers during adolescence is associated with lower odds of transgender young adults considering suicide”. His message was that doctors who prescribe drugs which suppress the onset of puberty are wiser than doctors who adopt a “wait and see” approach. Delay in satisfying the kids’ demands could end in suicide… None of the journalists appears to have read the fine print, apart from Malcolm Clark, a Twitter gadfly of trans activism and co-founder of the LGB Alliance. He zeroed in on Table 3, which compares transgenders who had puberty blockers and transgenders who never had them. These figures are amazing. The percentage of people who thought about suicide and actually made a plan to do it in the past 12 months is nearly the same for people who had puberty blockers (55.6%) and for those who did not (58.2%). Nearly the same! So were the blockers really helpful?
    It gets worse. The percentage of people who thought about suicide, made a plan and attempted suicide were higher for those who had blockers (24.4% versus 21.5%).
    And worse again. The percentage of people who attempted suicide and were hospitalised in the last 12 months was DOUBLE for those who had blockers (45.5% versus 22.8%).
    How could Turban and his colleagues possibly massage their data to conclude that puberty blockers prevent suicide? By focusing on results from lifetime thoughts about suicide and suicide attempts. Those are higher for people who did not have puberty blockers. But memories of a whole lifetime are bound to be foggy; memories of the past 12 months will be sharper and more accurate.

    “Let’s sum up the case for the prosecution. Turban takes his data from a survey conducted on-line by trans activists who recruited respondents on LGBT websites. Dodgy.
    He finds that the rate of hospitalisation after a suicide attempt is twice as high amongst people who had puberty blockers. Gobsmacking.
    And so … trans kids need puberty blockers to keep them from committing suicide. Illogical.

The Sunday programme on TVNZ recently tried to push this same narrative.
Watch our fact-check on this issue
There are a whole lot of facts that concerned parents and confused children are not being told as the pro-transgender narrative is pushed in the media.