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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Break it down for me?

979 replies

TortiousTortoise · 20/01/2018 22:16

Hi all, I am fairly new to the discussion on the impact that transwomen are having on women generally and I want to more fully understand the issues (been trying to talk to my husband about it and am struggling to articulate it).

I feel so awkward writing about this as I definitely don't want to come across as sounding horrible about transpeople, I just want to understand.

Also there are a lot of acronyms being thrown about. Can anyone help me out?

OP posts:
Helleofabore · 18/10/2022 13:08

"The interim findings of The Cass Review are likely to have significant consequences for children with gender dysphoria and for their families, as well as for those who commission and run gender identity development services. It is the view of the Association of Clinical Psychologists UK (ACP-UK) that an evidence-based framework will be required to ensure that regional services are able to offer appropriate and timely care to this vulnerable group. We offer a number of reflections which we believe are crucial to that process."

It finishes with:

"In summary, it is the view of ACP-UK that all interventions for this very vulnerable group be grounded in evidence-based practice. Accountability, data collection, evaluation and routine clinical best practice will be vital if the new services for gender dysphoric young people are to be fit for purpose."

LifeInAHamsterWheel · 18/10/2022 21:24

Thank you for your continued updates on this thread @Helleofabore it's so useful & informative.

Helleofabore · 19/10/2022 17:23

Horrific. This could also go into the 'it never happen's thread'

Hospital refuses to operate on sex attack victim after she requests all-female care because she fears mixed sex facilities are unsafe for women

-The patient - a sex assault victim - had requested all-female facilities due to concerns over mixed areas

-She was stunned when someone she believed to be a transgender male opened door in pre-op assessment

-It prompted her to complain and make a request for all-female nursing care at Princess Grace Hospital

-The hospital then cancelled the surgery, claiming it was 'protecting staff from discrimination and harassment'

-Women's rights campaigners have savaged the hospital's act, branding it 'a movement of misogyny in heels'

-Hospital said requests for 'single sex care' were particularly challenging, citing the 'diversity of colleagues'

334bu · 30/10/2022 13:10

Another possible side effect of cross sex hormones.

334bu · 17/11/2022 21:55

6ft 5 male sex offender prisoner attacks male prisoner and is then transferred to female prison.

vivariumvivariumsvivaria · 18/11/2022 18:50

334bu · 30/10/2022 13:10

Another possible side effect of cross sex hormones.

That's interesting. I heard that a trans man who is vocal and was involved with Yogakyarta who I don't want to name, has been less visible of late because of MS affecting mobility.

RoyalCorgi · 18/11/2022 19:00

vivariumvivariumsvivaria · 18/11/2022 18:50

That's interesting. I heard that a trans man who is vocal and was involved with Yogakyarta who I don't want to name, has been less visible of late because of MS affecting mobility.

Doesn't seem to be a secret - it's mentioned here:

vivariumvivariumsvivaria · 18/11/2022 19:42

Oh dear. What are we doing?

Helleofabore · 26/11/2022 14:16

Some small wins in Australia.

From Bernard Lane who now has he own substack…

”A potential test case involving an Australian gender clinic has settled with an expert witness abruptly withdrawing a recommendation of puberty blockers for a child of primary school age.”

”The Family Court trial featured several expert witnesses who informed the judge of the increasing concern about the safety of puberty blocker drugs and the European shift away from medicalised gender change for minors, according to multiple sources.”

”After 10 days of proceedings in a closed courtroom, the dispute between the child’s parents was settled earlier this month, with an injunction preventing any transgender hormonal treatments until the child is 16 years old. The injunction also prohibits any change of the child’s name or gender in official records before age 16.”

334bu · 26/11/2022 14:18

Great news.

Helleofabore · 29/11/2022 17:45

The rebuttal of Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport ‘Transgender Women Athletes and Elite Sport: A Scientific Review’ has been released.

Here is the original:

here is the rebuttal:

"When Ideology Trumps Science: A response to the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport’s Review on Transwomen Athletes in the Female Category"

Cathy Devine, Emma Hilton, Leslie Howe, Miroslav Imbrišević, Tommy Lundberg, Jon Pike

Independent Scholar; University of Manchester; University of Saskatchewan; Open University (UK); Karolinska Institutet

29 November 2022

This is good reading for anyone who wants some background. Although it is a long read.

Some highlights:

"Descriptive accounts tell us how things are. Normative accounts tell us how things ought to be. To answer the question: ‘is it fair for TW to compete in female sport?’ we need both."


"For example, the anonymous authors claim evidence showing that male advantage is lost after one year of testosterone suppression, while the two papers cited in support of this statement explicitly argue that male advantage is retained well beyond one year of suppression. In fact, a recent cross-sectional study (Mobilia Alvares et al, 2022) measuring the perfor- mance of transwomen suggests that the advantage may be maintained after 14 years of testosterone suppression." (p. 4-5)


"The Range Argument rests on a misunderstanding of fairness in sport. The same misunderstanding lies behind the repeated claim that it is wrong to compare TW with male athletes (‘cis’ men), and that they should be com- pared with female athletes (‘cis’ women). The difference is between the two conceptions of fairness in play: the ‘Advantage’ conception and the ‘Range’ conception. The Advantage view justifies our current categorisation into male and female sport, and so justifies the existence of women’s sport. The Range view does not justify the existence of women’s sport: rather, it would prescribe a sports category defined on the basis of some metric or set of metrics as a substitute for women’s sport – for example, tall sport and short sport. On the Advantage account of fairness, what matters is male advan- tage, so the appropriate comparison is between Transwomen and males to see whether there is retained male advantage. On the Range view, what mat- ters is whether TW are in the range of female athletes, so this prescribes that the appropriate comparison is with female athletes. This leads to the result that some TW metrics are within the female range. But the same objection applies: what matters is the removal of male advantage, not whether some males are (for example) shorter than some females." p 5-6


"Sports categories do not exist to account for undertraining and poor fitness; there are plenty of opportunities at the recreational level for TW to join other equally under- trained and unfit males." p 7

Also on p 7

"The CCES write in the conclusion of their Executive Summary (9): ‘There is no firm basis available in evidence to indicate that trans women have a consistent and measurable overall performance benefit after 12 months of testosterone suppression.’ If that really were the case, then the inclusion of TW would not be prudent. Suppose it turns out that they do have a sig- nificant advantage over women (which is actually the case), then, having included TW would have been unfair (and unsafe) for women. The pruden- tial principle is this: if we lack conclusive evidence, but a change of policy could lead to bad outcomes, then we should not implement such a policy – until we have such evidence. The paper equivocates between three claims: that there is no evidence of advantage, that there is no advantage, and that there is advantage (but fairness must be traded off against inclusion). This is deeply confused, but we note here that absence of evidence does not support a policy of including possible male advantages in female sport."


"Furthermore, what is supposed to happen once we have achieved ‘rep- resentative levels’ of participation? Should we then resurrect the fairness criterion and exclude all TW? With zero participation, we would have to open the female category again for TW, and this ‘game’ (close, open, close, open) could go on forever." p 8


"The other view is to say that, because the sociocultural disadvantages faced by TW are ‘special’ and differ fundamentally from the disadvantages of other athletes, sports authorities should accede to the demand that they be included in female sport. On this line of argument, inclusion of TW in female sport is not fair, but is an act of solidarity with them. This justifica- tion, though, must attend to the opposite claim: that because inclusion is not fair, it amounts to an act of animosity towards female athletes." p 10

Page 12 & 13 bring in sex testing and how olympic women athletes were all in support of it but that it was ignored.

And how sexism is rife.

"Similarly, the voices of black elite female athletes from the Global South without these XY DSDs/VSDs, are ignored in the name of anti-racism, in fa- vour of advocacy for athletes who do have them. This completely disregards the black elite female athletes without these congenital conditions from the Global South, who are well represented in, for example, elite athletics, and depend on female categories and the World Athletics DSD regulations for their success"

Helleofabore · 01/12/2022 15:10

Scottish Prisons

‘She Was Just Like A Lassie’: Analysing The Views of Cis-Women In Custody About Their Experiences of Living With Transgender Women In The Scottish Prison Estate

Matthew Maycock, 14 September 2021

The latest official figures indicate a fall in the average number of women in custody between 2011–12 and 2016–17, followed by a relatively static female average prison population of under 400 women since 2016–17 (Scottish Government 2020). At the time of ethical approval for the study (May 2019), there were 379 women in custody in Scotland, equating to 4.6% of the prison population, located in five prisons2 across Scotland. In May 2019 there were 17 transgender people in custody.

A very biased report. But some comments such as:

She’s been caught having sex and stuff in here, and I think that’s wrong. Well, supposedly, she had stopped taking her medication for a bit and, supposedly, something had happened.

There’s a transgender [wo]man (Susan). He worked in work party. His views were totally wrong. He wanted to be in this hall because he wanted to have sex with loads of lassies.

And it’s been like...aye. And it’s been like, well, wait a minute, you’ve still got that strength and whatever. You’re still acting like a man here. Like trying to get like authority over you.

She was never female before until she hit [name of prison] and then decided that she wanted to be a woman because she couldn’t handle it. I think she puts a lot of it on.

Several participants discussed transgender people who had transitioned in custody, but who had reverted to their birth gender following release. For example, Isla below outlines her acceptance of a transgender woman (Ruth) in her hall, reflecting on the hurt that this caused given the efforts she and other prisoners made to accept and welcome this person:

We treated that lassie (Ruth) as female. I treated that lassie with the greatest respect. And I always said that, what do you need? And then when Janice came back and told us that, after she got lib, it really kind of…it hurt. It hurt us, because we tried to help her, we tried to make her feel welcome. I felt personally she was a man wanting an easy escape from the male estate.

Ella shared similar experiences about different transgender people she had got to know while in custody. This for Ella resulted in a wider scepticism about the transitions of transgender people in custody:

The last one to get out, back living as a man. The one before that got out, back living as a man, while he was in the hall, was telling people, I’m stopping taking my medication because I can’t get a hard on. I’ve not a problem living with trans people, it’s living with people who are manipulating the system and pretending to be trans.

Helleofabore · 15/12/2022 09:23

A poll done for The Times by YouGov about the Scottish Government’s gender reform is a very clear indication that the majority of people don’t agree with ‘self ID’ in Scotland. It does reflect the attitudes towards Self ID generally though in the UK.

“Lowering the age threshold was the measure that met the greatest resistance in the poll, with 66 per cent opposed. This included 63 per cent of SNP voters, 67 per cent of Labour voters and 75 per cent of Liberal Democrats, despite all three parties backing the bill at Holyrood.”


“There was widespread opposition to shortening the time limit, with 59 per cent against the plan, 21 per cent in favour and 20 per cent unsure.”

I will post the link to the data if it gets released.

RhannionKPSS · 15/12/2022 10:58

There is an article in The Spector which is quite chilling about having young people in Scottish Parliament. There is already a “ Youth Parliament “ but this article is about the main Parliament.
My country is an embarrassment under the SNP/ Greens

Helleofabore · 15/12/2022 12:10

This reply has been withdrawn

This message has been withdrawn at the poster's request

Helleofabore · 15/12/2022 12:35

July 28, 2020

Association of Media Coverage of Transgender and Gender Diverse Issues With Rates of Referral of Transgender Children and Adolescents to Specialist Gender Clinics in the UK and Australia

Ken C. Pang, PhD Nastasja M. de Graaf, MSc; Denise Chew, MD;

Is media coverage of transgender issues associated with referrals of transgender and gender diverse (TGD) children and adolescents to specialist gender services?

In this serial cross-sectional study across an 8-year study period during which more than 5000 TGD young people were referred to 2 pediatric gender clinics in the UK and Australia, a significant association was found between weekly referral rates and the number of TGD-related items appearing within the local media 1 to 2 weeks beforehand, for the UK only in week 1 and for Australia only in week 2.

An increase in media coverage of TGD-related topics over recent years was associated with an increase in the number of TGD young people presenting to 2 gender clinics on opposite sides of the world.

However, we are also mindful that others have speculated that increased media content (specifically via social media) might act as a double-edged sword or a means of social contagion, whereby some individuals erroneously come to believe through exposure to such media that their nonspecific emotional or bodily distress is due to gender dysphoria and being TGD

This study has limitations. Our data provide evidence of an association between relevant media stories and clinical referrals of TGD young people but, given the nature of the study design, no indication of causation. Moreover, our study weighted each media item equally (despite likely differences in reach and accessibility) and was unable to quantify actual levels of media exposure among referred patients. Another limitation is that this association might not generalize to other services. After all, the RCHGS and GIDS were chosen for this study because they are publicly funded, do not charge attendance fees, and provide the only specialist pediatric gender services within their respective regions, thus ensuring that their referral data are likely to be relatively comprehensive and complete accounts of clinical demand within each catchment area; most other pediatric gender clinics will not share these same characteristics. Another important limitation of our study is that it only examines traditional forms of media and does not include social media, which are a very important source of information as well as a critical means for finding support and fostering connectedness and community among young people, including TGD adolescents.32-35 Social media were not examined in our study given the difficulties of readily accessing such information across time, but in the future, collaborations with relevant social media companies, such as Facebook, might allow us to address this gap.

Helleofabore · 15/12/2022 12:43

A good wrap up of current status here.

Gender-Affirming Treatment of Gender Dysphoria in Youth: A Perfect Storm Environment for the Placebo Effect—The Implications for Research and Clinical Practice

Alison Clayton. 14 November 2022


In the last decade, there has been a rapid increase in the numbers of young people with gender dysphoria (GD youth) presenting to health services (Kaltiala et al., 2020). There has also been a marked change in the treatment approach. The previous “common practice” of providing psychosocial care only to those under 18 or 21 years (Smith et al., 2001) has largely been replaced by the gender affirmative treatment approach (GAT), which for adolescents includes hormonal and surgical interventions (Coleman et al., 2022). However, as a recent review concluded, evidence on the appropriate management of youth with gender incongruence and dysphoria is inconclusive and has major knowledge gaps (Cass, 2022). Previous papers have discussed that the weaknesses of the studies investigating the efficacy of GAT for GD youth mean they are at high risk of bias and confounding and, thus, provide very low certainty evidence (Clayton, 2022a, b; Levine et al., 2022). To date, however, there has been little discussion of the inability of these studies to differentiate specific treatment effects from placebo effects. Of note, the term “placebo effect” is no longer used to just simply refer to the clinical response following inert medication; rather, it describes the beneficial effects attributable to the brain-mind responses evoked by the treatment context rather than the specific intervention (Wager & Atlas, 2015). This Letter argues that the current treatment approach for GD youth presents a perfect storm environment for the placebo effect. This raises complex clinical and research issues that require attention and debate.

Sections include:

A Brief Introduction to the Gender-Affirming Treatment Model for Children and Adolescents with Gender Dysphoria

Risks of Gender-Affirming Medical and Surgical Treatments

A Recent Example from Medical History of the Dangers of Medical Advice Based on Weak Evidence: The Iatrogenic Tragedy of Prone Infant Sleep Position and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Gender-Affirming Treatment for Youth with Gender Dysphoria: A Perfect Storm for Placebo Effect

Overstatement of the Certainty of Benefits and Under-Acknowledgment of Risks

The Dangers of an Exaggerated Suicide Narrative

An Excessively Negative Portrayal of the Previous Standard and Current Alternative Treatment Options

Clinicians’ Media and Social Media Promotion of Gender Affirmative Treatment

The Exclusive Promotion of Gender-Affirming Treatments within Child and Adolescent Gender Clinics


In conclusion, this Letter has noted that although GAT for GD youth lacks a rigorous evidence base, it is undertaken as routine medical treatment in a strongly placebo effect enhancing environment. It is within this environment that research into its effectiveness is being undertaken. One consideration raised by this relates to clinical practice: When does such a strongly placebo effect enhancing environment meet optimal clinical practice standards? When, if at all, does it veer into the territory of unethical practice that involves deception and undue influence? This Letter has also highlighted that such a placebo effect enhancing environment presents grave problems for research (particularly non-DBRCT research). It seems unlikely that the current research being undertaken in this field will be able to untangle benefits that are due to the placebo effect from those due to the interventions’ specific effectiveness. Thus, especially given the adverse risk profile of the hormonal and surgical interventions, it may be that yet again well-intentioned physicians are engaging in medical practices that cause more harm than benefit (Clayton, 2022b). The research and clinical conundrums presented in this Letter have no easy answers. However, as a first step, there is an urgent need for more awareness of the placebo effect and for rigorous and thoughtful debate over how best to proceed in research and clinical practice in this area of medicine.

Helleofabore · 15/12/2022 12:51
Helleofabore · 15/12/2022 12:55

Link for the Clayton paper above with apologies

Helleofabore · 16/12/2022 11:59

For those who deny there is an issue with males who are in female prison estates.

Toronto court involving a female prison officer.

The issue on appeal was whether the worker had entitlement to benefits for PTSD and, if so, under which WSIB policy.

By way of background, the worker claimed that while working as a corrections officer, she developed a mental stress injury of PTSD, resulting from being assigned to a mental health watch on December 16, 2019, in which she was responsible for monitoring a transgender inmate on suicide watch on a closed circuit camera. She claimed that the assignment was not manageable for her because of her own childhood trauma, which she advised the employer and the union of. However, she had to continue in the assignment for the duration of her shift and extra hours afterwards. She began missing time from work on December 19, 2019 and was diagnosed with PTSD on January 2, 2020.


The worker testified that she told her manager that she was not comfortable watching this inmate on camera and that she was not familiar with all the protocols for transgender inmates. In her view, it should have been a male officer watching the inmate. She told her manager that she would take any other assignment as she was not comfortable with this assignment. Her manager told her she had to take the assignment and they would try to get someone to switch out with her. At one point she saw the inmate go to the bathroom, but the inmate covered the camera and therefore she had to call officers right away as she could not see if the inmate was head-banging or trying to tie something around her neck. The officers went down and found that the inmate had covered the camera to go to the bathroom even though the worker had already seen her do this many times.

The worker testified that she asked a few managers to switch her out of the assignment but it had to be a female officer monitoring the inmate as this was required by the protocol. This was the first time in Canada that an inmate identifying as female with external genitalia was on camera and no policies were yet in place for this.

The worker testified that she became more and more anxious and felt traumatized by being forced to watch this inmate and by being unable to leave. She asked for help from her manager and to be taken off the post a number of times. She was so upset that she divulged that she had been sexually abused in childhood to her manager. However, her manager told her she could lose her job or be reprimanded if she left the post. The manager told her she would ask the female officers to switch with her, as the monitoring on camera had to be done by a female, but the manager did not call her back.

The worker testified that she was supposed to work a 9 hour shift, from 2:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. However, she had no relief for a break to go to the bathroom or for supper as she could not leave her post unless someone came to relieve her. Other officers brought her in food but would not relieve her for a break. When the next manager came on and her shift ended, the manager told her that he had asked two female officers to replace her but one went home sick and the other refused the assignment. She was therefore ordered to stay until someone else was able to relieve her. Therefore, she ended up remaining on the post until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning.

This woman won her case for compensation for her PTSD retrauma.

Helleofabore · 16/12/2022 12:02

sorry, Just to emphasise the pertinent part of that court document:

The worker’s job was to sit in “the bubble” observing the inmate on a CCTV camera, in a small, dark office, and record what was happening every 15 minutes, including when the inmate went to the bathroom or masturbated, was eating or sleeping. She was in a small dark room watching the monitor, working in an area by herself, with another officer on the other side managing the controls.

including when the inmate went to the bathroom or masturbated is the wording. Not 'if' but 'when'. This inmate masturbated knowing a woman was watching.


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DameMaud · 16/12/2022 12:20

Helleofabore · 15/12/2022 12:55

Link for the Clayton paper above with apologies

You're a one woman research machine @Helleofabore !
This would be good on the recent sex matters thread we've been discussing on too I think as it backs that up?
The link for this one didn't take me to the letter though.
I'll try to find another way. You've done enough for today!
Sooooo glad I found Mumsnet

Helleofabore · 16/12/2022 12:22

I am a woman who doesn't trust her memory Dame so if I can find it, everyone else should be able to find it too ... But it becomes so handy to see what is published and how things move on and then sometimes go backwards.

RethinkingLife · 16/12/2022 20:58

DameMaud · 16/12/2022 12:20

You're a one woman research machine @Helleofabore !
This would be good on the recent sex matters thread we've been discussing on too I think as it backs that up?
The link for this one didn't take me to the letter though.
I'll try to find another way. You've done enough for today!
Sooooo glad I found Mumsnet

It's a faff but if you put the title of the paper into Scholar Google, it will give you 3 options. Select the Springer one and it will take you to the letter which is open access.

This might work - if it doesn't then enter the title into the Scholar Google search box.,5

Gender-Affirming Treatment of Gender Dysphoria in Youth: A Perfect Storm Environment for the Placebo Effect—The Implications for Research and Clinical Practice

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