The former psychiatrist in chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital is pouring rain on the Bruce Jenner “Call Me Caitlyn” parade that’s sure to have the former Olympic athlete’s cheerleaders steaming.
Not only does Dr. Paul R. McHugh consider changing sexes “biologically impossible,” he thinks being what is popularly called “transgender” these days is actually a “mental disorder.”
McHugh, who has authored six books and at least 125 peer-reviewed medical journal articles, made the statements in a piece he penned for the Wall Street Journal that argued surgery is not the solution for patients who want to live life as the opposite sex.
Such people, he wrote, suffer from a “disorder of assumption” in believing they can choose their sex.
He also cited a study that said transgendered people who have reassignment surgery are 20 times more likely to commit suicide than non-transgendered people, according to CNS News.
While the Obama administration, Hollywood and major media such as Time magazine promote transgenderism as “normal,” McHugh wrote, said Dr. McHugh, these “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.”
“This intensely felt sense of being transgendered constitutes a mental disorder in two respects. The first is that the idea of sex misalignment is simply mistaken – it does not correspond with physical reality,” McHugh wrote. “The second is that it can lead to grim psychological outcomes.”
The transgendered person’s disorder, said Dr. McHugh, is in the person’s “assumption” that they are different than the physical reality of their body, their maleness or femaleness, as assigned by nature. It is a disorder similar to a “dangerously thin” person suffering anorexia who looks in the mirror and thinks they are “overweight,” said McHugh.
This assumption, that one’s gender is only in the mind regardless of anatomical reality, has led some transgendered people to push for social acceptance and affirmation of their own subjective “personal truth,” said Dr. McHugh. As a result, some states – California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts – have passed laws barring psychiatrists, “even with parental permission, from striving to restore natural gender feelings to a transgender minor,” he said.
The pro-transgender advocates do not want to know, said McHugh, that studies show between 70% and 80% of children who express transgender feelings “spontaneously lose those feelings” over time. Also, for those who had sexual reassignment surgery, most said they were “satisfied” with the operation “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,” said Dr. McHugh.
The former Johns Hopkins chief of psychiatry also warned against enabling or encouraging certain subgroups of the transgendered, such as young people “susceptible to suggestion from ‘everything is normal’ sex education,” and the schools’ “diversity counselors” who, like “cult leaders,” may “encourage these young people to distance themselves from their families and offer advice on rebutting arguments against having transgender surgery.”
Dr. McHugh also reported that there are “misguided doctors” who, working with very young children who seem to imitate the opposite sex, will administer “puberty-delaying hormones to render later sex-change surgeries less onerous – even though the drugs stunt the children’s growth and risk causing sterility.”
Such action comes “close to child abuse,” said Dr. McHugh, given that close to 80% of those kids will “abandon their confusion and grow naturally into adult life if untreated ….”
He went on to write that changing sexes is impossible and that what transgendered people actually do is “become feminized men or masculinized women.”
While there are scientists who disagree, it is important to question whether health professionals, politicians and the media are doing more harm than good by enabling people who believe they were born the wrong sex to go to such extremes.
For millennia, the first rule of Western medicine has been summed up as “do no harm.”