Johns Hopkins Researchers Warn Against Drastic Transgender Decisions Involving Children

Mayer and McHugh found that homosexual and transgender people are at higher risk of mental problems, including anxiety disorders, depression, substance abuse, and suicide. Their rate of lifetime suicide attempts is estimated at 41 percent, compared to under 5 percent of the overall population.

LGBT activists argue that the mental health problems result from societal pressure and discrimination against gays and transgenders. The researchers did find "evidence, albeit limited, that social stressors such as discrimination and stigma contribute to the elevated risk of poor mental health outcomes for non-heterosexual and transgender populations."

Nevertheless, Mayer and McHugh insisted that the evidence for this "social stress model" is "limited, inconsistent and incomplete." It is not yet a "useful tool for understanding public health concerns."

The Johns Hopkins University report attacked the central thesis of transgender identity as unscientific. "The hypothesis that gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex — that a person might be 'a man trapped in a woman's body' or 'a woman trapped in a man's body' — is not supported by scientific evidence."

The report found that studies comparing the brain structures of transgender and non-transgender individuals have only shown "weak correlations" between brain structure and cross-gender identity. Even these correlations "do not provide any evidence" for a neurobiological basis for transgenderism.

So, not only is it inadvisable for children to pursue cross-sex treatments, but the very idea behind transgenderism does not stand up to scientific investigation. The science on transgender issues is still incomplete, but this study confirms one thing: the cultural rush to embrace an identity at odds with biological sex is not, as commonly claimed, based on science.

This provides yet more reason to tread carefully on these issues, especially when dealing with minors. Children under the age of 18 should not be pressured — and should not be allowed to pressure their parents — into making life-altering decisions on gender.