Johns Hopkins Research: No Evidence People Are Born Gay or Transgender
The scholars also investigated potential links between transgender identity and neurological differences. While some studies found brain-activation patterns associated with transgenderism, the report found that "these studies do not offer sufficient evidence for drawing sound conclusions about possible associations between brain activation and sexual identity or arousal. The results are conflicting and confusing."
Mayer and McHugh argued that "the question is not simply whether there are differences" in brain patterns, but "whether gender identity is a fixed, innate, and biological trait, ... or whether environmental or psychological causes contribute to the development of a sense of gender identity in such cases."
The researchers concluded that there is not enough evidence to come to firm conclusions about the causes of gender identity. "There are no serial, longitudinal, or prospective studies looking at the brains of cross-gender identifying children who develop to later identify as transgender adults," and the "neurological differences in transgender adults might be the consequence of biological factors such as genes or prenatal hormone exposure, or of psychological and environmental factors such as childhood abuse, or they could result from some combination of the two."
The report also found that gay and transgender people are at elevated risk for a variety of mental health risks, including anxiety disorders, depression, substance abuse, and suicide. The transgender rate of lifetime suicide attempts is estimated at 41 percent, compared to under 5 percent for the overall population.
Mayer and McHugh also disputed the argument that these mental health disorders are caused by social stressors like discrimination and stigma. While they found some evidence for this widely proclaimed "social stress model," it ended up being "limited, inconsistent and incomplete," and it is not yet "a useful tool for understanding public health concerns."
Indeed, the report even found evidence that transgender "treatments" may actually do mental harm. "Compared to the general population, adults who have undergone sex-reassingment surgery continue to have a higher risk of experiencing poor mental health outcomes," Mayer and McHugh wrote, citing one study that "compared to controls, sex-reassigned individuals were about 5 times more likely to attempt suicide and about 19 times more likely to die by suicide."
When asked about likely criticism from liberals and conservatives, Mayer said he suspects critics will claim the report was only issued to serve the biases of his co-author McHugh. McHugh has spoken out against transgenderism in the past, but the study was emphatically not intended to merely back up his ideas.
"Every line in this I either wrote or approved of," Mayer told The Christian Post. "There is no bias either way. The bias is just towards science."
"I think we get into these very high volume battles, particularly in this current environment," the author explained. "When science supports our position, sometimes it is better to tone down a bit. In other words, conservatives have been highly critical of the report too already because it didn't support this or didn't support that. The idea is that let the science speak and then see how they respond to it."
Science is neither conservative nor liberal, but it does provide many reasons to be skeptical of the LGBT narrative.