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Research shows gender dysphoria caused by trauma, which should be treated rather than entrenched through transitioning

(39 Posts)
stumbledin Tue 03-Dec-19 14:11:22

I've sort of simplified the research that has just been published, but it seems to be saying what has been obvious to just about everybody.

ie that disphoria is a response to "trauma" (ie not just an actual incident but the difficulties many adolescents experience). So it is completely wrong to confirm that disphoria by confirming it through medical treatment. Rather than the source of the trauma needs to be found and resolved.

And there is no such thing as the brain having a sex.

Have seen a number of news paper reports which all say slightly different things. Here is one

And I think this is the actual research article

The worry is of course that even though it is the conclusion of a researcher (ie not just "terfs" being reactionary) so many people have invested in the myths about gender that I suspect it will be ignored.

Its not just the big pharma companies who are making millions, but all those governments, schools, companies and charities, who wont want to admit that they have been taken in.

How do we reverse the tide?

Even articles exposing how cultish the campaign has been, working under the radar, trying to capture young people, haven't really make that much impact. Maybe in 20 or 30 years there will be a Panorama exposé - but think of the damage in the mean time.

OldCrone Tue 03-Dec-19 14:21:22

This is a link to the full article - published in an open access journal.

BarbaraStrozzi Tue 03-Dec-19 14:27:33

Placemarking so I can have a read later when I have time.

pemberlyshades Tue 03-Dec-19 14:29:59

Place marking so I can read after work- sounds promising

NeurotrashWarrior Tue 03-Dec-19 14:32:01

Will read later.

I suppose its whether our young people are being effectively 'traumatised' by entrenched gender stereotyping and misogyny.

They way young girls who develop breasts early are treated I'm not surprised it drives many to bind.

NeurotrashWarrior Tue 03-Dec-19 14:34:40

The abstract makes an awful lot of sense especially in regards to similar issues people with autism struggle with.

Goosefoot Tue 03-Dec-19 14:36:42

I think even for young people who are pretty average in their experiences, the changes of adolescence can be very difficult to integrate. Many teenagers are trying to integrate all kinds of things, isn't that what is behind so much of the experimentation with clothes, personas, and so on? All of which we consider normal for most teens. Some personalities also just seem to have an easier time than others.

I think most people believe this and the only thing that has really convinced them otherwise with trans stuff is what seems to be the scientific and medical establishment backing.

BickerinBrattle Tue 03-Dec-19 15:08:25

This doesn’t surprise me at all. Gender identity “confusion” is one of the symptoms of borderline personality disorder, and feminists argue that disorder itself is often actually a trauma response.

HorseWithNoYawnsToGive Tue 03-Dec-19 15:21:32

At last!

stillathing Tue 03-Dec-19 15:26:12

I suppose its whether our young people are being effectively 'traumatised' by entrenched gender stereotyping and misogyny

I think this is plausible. For girls the scrutiny, early sexualisation, the way in which your breasts appear to make you public property, along with the implicit threat of violence for disobedience. For all that one might (rightly) suppose it is easier to be a boy, there is far less personality /gender expression allowed in younger boys than in younger girls. The smallest deviation gets a boy comments designed to bring him back to within an acceptable range of "normal'. And that might be just from well meaning friends and adults.

Trauma involves lack of agency and I think because girls and boys are children this fits. And more than that, the pressures to conform to stereotypes (and be rejected if they don't?) come from within their homes and schools, the environments that are supposed to be safe and nurturing. So it's a bit like the trauma of growing up with emotional abuse. It can be difficult for an affected individual to see objectively because they have no other experience of love. Hurt and anger that should be directed at the persecutor is instead directed at the self.

Gibbonsgibbonsgibbons Tue 03-Dec-19 15:28:37

Finally! Back later to read fully

Kantastic Tue 03-Dec-19 15:34:04

The process of discrediting the researcher by any means necessary has already begun. I hope the poor sod had some idea what he was letting himself in for and is prepared for it.

NotTerfNorCis Tue 03-Dec-19 15:40:13

Ereshkigal Tue 03-Dec-19 15:53:07

Also placemarking to read study later.

TheProdigalKittensReturn Tue 03-Dec-19 16:13:13

Thanks for this. Anecdotally I've seen lots of reports of childhood sexual abuse from "old school" gay transwomen too, so I knew it wasn't just the girls.

KettlePolly Tue 03-Dec-19 16:42:47

Trauma is caused by lack of agency yes absolutely and that's why we have all these entirely crap but understandable coping mechanisms springing up in adolescence where the individual grabs control back - like eating disorders where you can absolutely control what goes in your mouth, self-harm where you are choosing to be the one doing the damage, transitioning where you are controlling how the world treats you...

It's so bloody intuitive that it would be so much better to just address these traumas - whether monumental traumas or the normal ghastly trauma of being an adolescent, and find and encourage coping mechanisms which are healthy and which do not harm our/our children's health and bodies.

NeurotrashWarrior Tue 03-Dec-19 16:52:27

Given the initial research was done comparing trans women's brains (or those wanting to be a TW) to women's brains, what research has been done on what a (someone wanting to be) trans man's brain looks like?

Goosefoot Tue 03-Dec-19 19:35:41

what research has been done on what a (someone wanting to be) trans man's brain looks like?

The las time I heard this discussed that group was so tiny there weren't any appropriate brains to deal look at. But that might be changed now.

NeurotrashWarrior Tue 03-Dec-19 21:29:22

Yes. As the opening part of this research says that the TW brains resembled the women's brains.

Was there comparison with gender non conforming women? And how do trans men's brains compare with men's?

Smallblanket Tue 03-Dec-19 21:54:19

I haven't read anything shouting as much common sense for a very long time - from the conclusion to the paper:

Current treatments can involve invasive
surgeries and potentially irreversible modifications (such as the possibility of becoming sterile).

Given the high need to improve outcomes related to the distress, depression, anxiety, and suicide associated with gender dysphoria, the significant burden associated with current treatments, and the role of dynamic activity in multiple functional networks, we both urge caution to the clinical community in moving forward with irreversible procedures and express urgency to the research community to identify more effective treatments without irreversible effects

donquixotedelamancha Tue 03-Dec-19 22:35:38

It's all pretty hypothetical. It's suggestions of mechanisms based on existing research, rather than proving anything new. I'm not a neuroscientist, so I don't know how credible the model is. The bloke has good credentials but limited prior research impact.

We should avoid overstating the significance of this.

Ideally the TRAs will forget about it because having it politicised would make answering the questions this paper asks harder.

donquixotedelamancha Tue 03-Dec-19 22:38:47

As the opening part of this research says that the TW brains resembled the women's brains.

I've read this before but it was talking about very specific structure, not the whole brain. It was also quite limited sample size and didn't eliminate cross sex hormones as a cause.

TheProdigalKittensReturn Tue 03-Dec-19 22:43:56

It's a bit like when evopsych dudes claim that sexist cultural traditions in humans are clearly natural and just meant to be because something something beetles.

Kantastic Tue 03-Dec-19 22:54:14

Given the initial research was done comparing trans women's brains (or those wanting to be a TW) to women's brains, what research has been done on what a (someone wanting to be) trans man's brain looks like?

Check this reference from the paper. I've read it before - it debunks the notion that transwomen have "female brains" even in a trivial way, by controlling for sexual orientation. Turns out that what those studies that TRAs find so "validating" actually found out is that male-attracted transwomen have brains like gay men. Female-attracted transwomen do not, nor do they have brains "like women." There is a brain difference in the AGP subgroup but not in the direction of femininity.

That's all I retained from reading it, but it compared straight and gay women with transmen too.

Burke SM, Manzouri AH, Savic I (2017b) Structural connections in the brain in relation to gender identity and sexual orientation. Sci Rep 7:17954.

OldCrone Tue 03-Dec-19 23:17:32

As the opening part of this research says that the TW brains resembled the women's brains.

Even if that is true, all it means is that the 'female' attribute (whatever it might be) can also be present in males, so is not an exclusively female attribute. It doesn't mean that a female brain can be found in a male body.

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