Get PJ Media on your Apple

The PJ Tatler

Former Johns Hopkins Psychiatrist: Transgender Surgery Isn’t the Solution

Doctor says that medical intervention for transgendered children comes close to child abuse.

by
Paula Bolyard

Bio

June 13, 2014 - 6:00 am

A former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital has written an explosive editorial at the Wall Street Journal saying, “Policy makers and the media are doing no favors either to the public or the transgendered by treating their confusions as a right in need of defending rather than as a mental disorder that deserves understanding, treatment and prevention.” Dr. Paul McHugh, the former chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, challenges the notion that sex-reassignment surgery is good for transgendered persons and provides statistics to back up his assertions.

You won’t hear it from those championing transgender equality, but controlled and follow-up studies reveal fundamental problems with this movement. When children who reported transgender feelings were tracked without medical or surgical treatment at both Vanderbilt University and London’s Portman Clinic, 70%-80% of them spontaneously lost those feelings. Some 25% did have persisting feelings; what differentiates those individuals remains to be discerned.

We at Johns Hopkins University—which in the 1960s was the first American medical center to venture into “sex-reassignment surgery”—launched a study in the 1970s comparing the outcomes of transgendered people who had the surgery with the outcomes of those who did not. Most of the surgically treated patients described themselves as “satisfied” by the results, but their subsequent psycho-social adjustments were no better than those who didn’t have the surgery. And so at Hopkins we stopped doing sex-reassignment surgery, since producing a “satisfied” but still troubled patient seemed an inadequate reason for surgically amputating normal organs.

McHugh has some strong words for parents who decide to treat their young children for gender disorders:

Then there is the subgroup of very young, often prepubescent children who notice distinct sex roles in the culture and, exploring how they fit in, begin imitating the opposite sex. Misguided doctors at medical centers including Boston’s Children’s Hospital have begun trying to treat this behavior by administering puberty-delaying hormones to render later sex-change surgeries less onerous—even though the drugs stunt the children’s growth and risk causing sterility. Given that close to 80% of such children would abandon their confusion and grow naturally into adult life if untreated, these medical interventions come close to child abuse. A better way to help these children: with devoted parenting.

Dr. McHugh explains the fundamental nature of the problem:

At the heart of the problem is confusion over the nature of the transgendered. “Sex change” is biologically impossible. People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women.

He notes that transgendered advocates are so powerful that they have persuaded several states, including California, New Jersey and Massachusetts to pass laws making it illegal for psychiatrists, even with parental permission, to attempt to restore natural gender feelings to a transgender minor, despite data that shows many of these children can and do lose their transgendered feelings. He called on his fellow psychiatrists to challenge the “solipsistic concept that what is in the mind cannot be questioned.”

In addition to writing for PJ Tatler and PJ Lifestyle, Paula also writes for Ohio Conservative Review, and RedState. She is co-author of a new Ebook called, Homeschooling: Fighting for My Children’s Future. She is a member of the Wayne County Executive Committee. Paula describes herself as a Christian first, conservative second, and Republican third.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (14)
All Comments   (14)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
I would not take anything that John’s Hopkins Medical Center had to say not even with a grain of salt they tried "conversion" repairative therapy with disastrous results perhaps some may remember David Reimer was born in 1965 in Winnipeg, Manitoba he was horribly disfigured in a circumcision gone bad the Dr.s in Manitoba took it upon themselves to complete gender reassignment surgery "sex change" told his parents that their he is now a she. Then comes along John’s Hopkins Medical Center and Dr. John Money who claimed that they can make David think and feel HE was a SHE a female a Girl this worked for a while but not as they thought he understood that he was a victim of medical malpractice and tried to live with others decisions only later as an adult BLOWING HIS BRAINS out in a parking lot in his car! so yeah John’s Hopkins Medical Center you can blow me!
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
In fact, that sorry episode confirms experimentally that the brain determines your gender. What's between your legs only usually and not causatively coincides with your gender.

That means what medical intervention to bring what's between your legs to coincide with the brain is the very best possible treatment.

McHugh is abjectly, objectively wrong.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't agree with you TomDPerkins. I had a friend while growing up who subsequently underwent transgender surgery. Before he was a strange, slightly disturbed individual with bouts of depression. Now, the few times I've seen him/her since, he/she continues to be a strange, slightly disturbed individual with bouts of depression. I don't think the surgery improved his/her mood or feelings at all.

The simple truth is many people are depressed and mentally ill, and some of those people have a "grass is greener on the other side" mentality that causes them to pursue this surgery. Then they get the surgery and they are still depressed and mentally ill. The problem is in the head, not the body. McHugh is right to point that out.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, there's two ways of looking at this. Let's look at this guy's record and other public pronouncements.

"McHugh, after all, is the man whose report to the court in one case stated that a defendant's harassing phone calls were not obscene -- including the call that detailed a fantasy of a 4-year-old sex slave locked in a dog cage and fed human waste. At least eight men have been convicted of sexually abusing Maryland children while under treatment at the "sex disorders" clinic McHugh runs at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine -- abuse the doctors did not report, citing client confidentiality. When Maryland law was changed to require that doctors report child molestation, the clinic fought it and advised patients on how to get around the law. The memo to patients suggested that molesters report their pedophilic activities to their lawyers, who could in turn tell staff; attorney-client privilege would then protect the molesters from being reported. This memo was fully approved by the boss -- Dr. Paul McHugh"

But maybe despite such ideas, and being the Vatican's former advisor on sexual matters, he may have come to his conclusions honestly, without prejudice.

From his article "Psychiatric Misadventures":
"This interrelationship of cultural antinomianism and a psychiatric misplaced emphasis is seen at its grimmest in the practice known as sex-reassignment surgery. I happen to know about this because Johns Hopkins was one of the places in the United States where this practice was given its start. It was part of my intention, when I arrived in Baltimore in 1975, to help end it."

OK, so he admits it was verdict first trial afterwards. But could he be right despite that? That there's zero evidence of any biological causation?

A sex difference in the human brain and its relation to transsexuality. by Zhou et al Nature (1995) 378:68–70.
"Our study is the first to show a female brain structure in genetically male transsexuals and supports the hypothesis that gender identity develops as a result of an interaction between the developing brain and sex hormones"

We've known this, from autopsies, PET and MRI scans for nearly 20 years. Hence the AMA, APA etc positions on it. But as that is "against his religion", McHugh must pretend it doesn't exist, that it *can't* exist, just as he continues to say there is no evidence of pedophilia in the Church.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh yes I remember those studys in the seventies if I remember correctly a child from the early study's killed himself due to the so called "re partitive therapy" continue to today Transgender adults were today's children Transgender adults live with a 46% higher suicide rate compared to gender congruent people. I should know I had one choice transition or DIE I attempted suicide a number of times all verifiable in my 800 pages of medical records. I suffer from a mental disease true enough its major sever clinical depression not because I am Transgender its because of the negative stereo type placed upon myself the many other adults and now on the Transgender children. There is an easy solution to end the ignorance just ask a real Transgender person or look at the pertinent modern up to date information available via the internet!
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
The couple of transgender people I've met were still quite obviously crazy and twisted as can be, and it's really easy to think the crazy and twisted came first and the surgery fixed absolutely none of it and in fact locked much of it in place.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is totally correct. It's monstrous for a doctor to listen to the ravings of a mentally ill teenager, then use those ravings as evidence that the teenager's body should be surgically deformed beyond recognition.

If a mentally ill person said they wanted to get a leg chopped off so they could get a peg-leg to look more like a pirate, should a surgeon actually go along with this?

NO! Obviously the mentally ill patient should instead be sent to a psychiatrist.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Happy as I am that straight people should live as they choose and gay people should live as they choose, I can't find the same position on transgender.
If people are actually confused about whether they feel like they can live with their own bodies, that's clearly a disorder. It may have roots in many factors, but it can't really be healthy.
If a person who feels sexually confused wears garments of the other sex or takes on lifestyles commonly associated with the other sex, I support that individual's right to choose clothing, vocation, name, etc. But confusion itself is a problem, not a right of some kind.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't ever try to confuse anyone in the LGBT community with facts. Not interested thank you very much. We have our agenda and we're sticking with it.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Gheystoppo will not be pleased with the good DR.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Facts don't matter to the Geystoppo; they operate on feelings. This doctor, even though he is right, will be railroaded by the left and a judge somewhere will say he is incompetent to be a doctor and bar him from practicing.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Howdy Tommy and Arthur
There is a gaystapo, I grant you. It's loud and obnoxious and even expensive to some who won't kowtow to it.
It's just about as ugly as the anti-gaystapo once was and occasionally still is. I call a pox on "xx-stapos" generally.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Madness doesn't respect normal society, normal society is made to respect madness, as if insanity is a black guy in the old Jim Crow South. If someone claims to be neither a man nor a woman and I scoff at that, I'm a bigot. I say I know the difference between a river and a tree and in any event, a river and a tree don't care what I think. They'll continue to be a river and a tree.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Reality is a bit more complex than you seem to think... see http://www.usrf.org/news/010308-guevedoces.html for example.

I'll wait.

Or maybe this might aid understanding.


Sexual Hormones and the Brain: An Essential Alliance for Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation Garcia-Falgueras A, Swaab DF Endocr Dev. 2010;17:22-35

The fetal brain develops during the intrauterine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the first two months of pregnancy and sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy, these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in extreme cases in trans-sexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.

You're right in one respect - reality wins in the end, opinions don't matter, facts do. The problem is not so much what people don't know though, as what they know that just isn't so. McHugh's just one example.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All

One Trackback to “Former Johns Hopkins Psychiatrist: Transgender Surgery Isn’t the Solution”