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Almost Everything the Media Tell You About Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Is Wrong

A major new report, published today in the journal The New Atlantis, challenges the leading narratives that the media has pushed regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.

Co-authored by two of the nation’s leading scholars on mental health and sexuality, the 143-page report discusses over 200 peer-reviewed studies in the biological, psychological, and social sciences, painstakingly documenting what scientific research shows and does not show about sexuality and gender.

The major takeaway, as the editor of the journal explains, is that “some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence.”

Here are four of the report’s most important conclusions:

The belief that sexual orientation is an innate, biologically fixed human property—that people are ‘born that way’—is not supported by scientific evidence.

Likewise, the belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex—so 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.

Only a minority of children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood. There is no evidence that all such children should be encouraged to become transgender, much less subjected to hormone treatments or surgery.

Non-heterosexual and transgender people have higher rates of mental health problems (anxiety, depression, suicide), as well as behavioral and social problems (substance abuse, intimate partner violence), than the general population. Discrimination alone does not account for the entire disparity.

The report, “Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences,” is co-authored by Dr. Lawrence Mayer and Dr. Paul McHugh. Mayer is a scholar-in-residence in the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University and a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University.

McHugh, whom the editor of The New Atlantis describes as “arguably the most important American psychiatrist of the last half-century,” is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and was for 25 years the psychiatrist-in-chief at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. It was during his tenure as psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins that he put an end to sex reassignment surgery there, after a study launched at Hopkins revealed that it didn’t have the benefits for which doctors and patients had long hoped.

Implications for Policy

The report focuses exclusively on what scientific research shows and does not show. But this science can have implications for public policy.

The report reviews rigorous research showing that ‘only a minority of children who experience cross-gender identification will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood.’

Take, for example, our nation’s recent debates over transgender policies in schools. One of the consistent themes of the report is that science does not support the claim that “gender identity” is a fixed property independent of biological sex, but rather that a combination of biological, environmental, and experiential factors likely shape how individuals experience and express themselves when it comes to sex and gender.

The report also discusses the reality of neuroplasticity: that all of our brains can and do change throughout our lives (especially, but not only, in childhood) in response to our behavior and experiences. These changes in the brain can, in turn, influence future behavior.

This provides more reason for concern over the Obama administration’s recent transgender school policies. Beyond the privacy and safety concerns, there is thus also the potential that such policies will result in prolonged identification as transgender for students who otherwise would have naturally grown out of it.

The report reviews rigorous research showing that “only a minority of children who experience cross-gender identification will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood.” Policymakers should be concerned with how misguided school policies might encourage students to identify as girls when they are boys, and vice versa, and might result in prolonged difficulties. As the report notes, “There is no evidence that all children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior should be encouraged to become transgender.”

Beyond school policies, the report raises concerns about proposed medical intervention in children. Mayer and McHugh write: “We are disturbed and alarmed by the severity and irreversibility of some interventions being publicly discussed and employed for children.”

They continue: “We are concerned by the increasing tendency toward encouraging children with gender identity issues to transition to their preferred gender through medical and then surgical procedures.” But as they note, “There is little scientific evidence for the therapeutic value of interventions that delay puberty or modify the secondary sex characteristics of adolescents.”

Findings on Transgender Issues

The same goes for social or surgical gender transitions in general. Mayer and McHugh note that the “scientific evidence summarized suggests we take a skeptical view toward the claim that sex reassignment procedures provide the hoped for benefits or resolve the underlying issues that contribute to elevated mental health risks among the transgender population.” Even after sex reassignment surgery, patients with gender dysphoria still experience poor outcomes:

Compared to the general population, adults who have undergone sex reassignment surgery continue to have a higher risk of experiencing poor mental health outcomes. One study found that, compared to controls, sex-reassigned individuals were about five times more likely to attempt suicide and about 19 times more likely to die by suicide.

Mayer and McHugh urge researchers and physicians to work to better “understand whatever factors may contribute to the high rates of suicide and other psychological and behavioral health problems among the transgender population, and to think more clearly about the treatment options that are available.” They continue:

In reviewing the scientific literature, we find that almost nothing is well understood when we seek biological explanations for what causes some individuals to state that their gender does not match their biological sex. … Better research is needed, both to identify ways by which we can help to lower the rates of poor mental health outcomes and to make possible more informed discussion about some of the nuances present in this field.

Policymakers should take these findings very seriously. For example, the Obama administration recently finalized a new Department of Health and Human Services mandate that requires all health insurance plans under Obamacare to cover sex reassignment treatments and all relevant physicians to perform them. The regulations will force many physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers to participate in sex reassignment surgeries and treatments, even if doing so violates their moral and religious beliefs or their best medical judgment.

Rather than respect the diversity of opinions on sensitive and controversial health care issues, the regulations endorse and enforce one highly contested and scientifically unsupported view. As Mayer and McHugh urge, more research is needed, and physicians need to be free to practice the best medicine.

Stigma, Prejudice Don’t Explain Tragic Outcomes

The report also highlights that people who identify as LGBT face higher risks of adverse physical and mental health outcomes, such as “depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and most alarmingly, suicide.” The report summarizes some of those findings:

Members of the non-heterosexual population are estimated to have about 1.5 times higher risk of experiencing anxiety disorders than members of the heterosexual population, as well as roughly double the risk of depression, 1.5 times the risk of substance abuse, and nearly 2.5 times the risk of suicide.

Members of the transgender population are also at higher risk of a variety of mental health problems compared to members of the non-transgender population. Especially alarmingly, the rate of lifetime suicide attempts across all ages of transgender individuals is estimated at 41 percent, compared to under 5 percent in the overall U.S. population.

What accounts for these tragic outcomes? Mayer and McHugh investigate the leading theory—the “social stress model”—which proposes that “stressors like stigma and prejudice account for much of the additional suffering observed in these subpopulations.”

But they argue that the evidence suggests that this theory “does not seem to offer a complete explanation for the disparities in the outcomes.” It appears that social stigma and stress alone cannot account for the poor physical and mental health outcomes that LGBT-identified people face.

One study found that, compared to controls, sex-reassigned individuals were about five times more likely to attempt suicide and about 19 times more likely to die by suicide.

As a result, they conclude that “More research is needed to uncover the causes of the increased rates of mental health problems in the LGBT subpopulations.” And they call on all of us work to “alleviate suffering and promote human health and flourishing.”

Findings Contradict Claims in Supreme Court’s Gay Marriage Ruling

Finally, the report notes that scientific evidence does not support the claim that people are “born that way” with respect to sexual orientation. The narrative pushed by Lady Gaga and others is not supported by the science. A combination of biological, environmental, and experiential factors likely account for an individual’s sexual attractions, desires, and identity, and “there are no compelling causal biological explanations for human sexual orientation.”

Furthermore, the scientific research shows that sexual orientation is more fluid than the media suggests. The report notes that “Longitudinal studies of adolescents suggest that sexual orientation may be quite fluid over the life course for some people, with one study estimating that as many as 80 percent of male adolescents who report same-sex attractions no longer do so as adults.”

These findings—that scientific research does not support the claim that sexual orientation is innate and immutable—directly contradict claims made by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in last year’s Obergefell ruling. Kennedy wrote, “their immutable nature dictates that same-sex marriage is their only real path to this profound commitment” and “in more recent years have psychiatrists and others recognized that sexual orientation is both a normal expression of human sexuality and immutable.”

But the science does not show this.

While the marriage debate was about the nature of what marriage is, incorrect scientific claims about sexual orientation were consistently used in the campaign to redefine marriage.

In the end, Mayer and McHugh observe that much about sexuality and gender remains unknown. They call for honest, rigorous, and dispassionate research to help better inform public discourse and, more importantly, sound medical practice.

As this research continues, it’s important that public policy not declare scientific debates over, or rush to legally enforce and impose contested scientific theories. As Mayer and McHugh note, “Everyone—scientists and physicians, parents and teachers, lawmakers and activists—deserves access to accurate information about sexual orientation and gender identity.”

We all must work to foster a culture where such information can be rigorously pursued and everyone—whatever their convictions, and whatever their personal situation—is treated with the civility, respect, and generosity that each of us deserves.

COMMENTARY BY

Ryan T. Anderson

Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation, where he researches and writes about marriage, bioethics, religious liberty and political philosophy. Anderson is the author of several books and his research has been cited by two U.S. Supreme Court justices in two separate cases. Read his Heritage research.

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Pittsburgh Not Paris: And That’s The Way We Like It

President Donald Trump withdrew from Obama’s anti-American Paris Climate Agreement saying, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” 

The Paris Accord was one of many anti-American agreements made by the most lawless anti-American president ever to hold office.

Obama is a Globalist whose “hope and change” for America was/is the destruction of American democracy and sovereignty in favor of socialism and internationalism.

Oama’s anti-American Paris agreement was another attempt to internalize laws in preparation for an internationalized world and imposition of one-world government ruled by the globalist elite. Obama joined the Paris Agreement in 2016 without Senate approval, pledging to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) explains,

“The Agreement endangers America’s capacity for self-government. . .It empowers one administration to make  legislative commitments for decades to come, without congressional authorization, and regardless of the outcome of future elections.” 

Of course it does. That was Obama’s purpose and was his intention for his globalist legacy Hillary Clinton. The unexpected defeat of Hillary Clinton threw Obama’s eight year Globalist march into disarray. No matter. True to his radical Leftist training, Obama followed mentor Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and reconstituted himself as the leader of the “resistance” movement to overthrow our Constitutionally elected President Donald Trump.

President Donald Trump is an unapologetic America-first nationalist and the single greatest obstacle to one-world government in the world today. In spite of intense lobbying efforts from globalist corporations, globalist green lobbyists, globalist U.N. bureaucrats, infamous globalists like Al Gore, and even some family members, Trump recognized the Paris Accord as a very bad deal for American sovereignty and jobs and he kept his campaign promise to withdraw.

Staying in a bad deal for “diplomatic” reasons is absurd. Donald Trump was elected precisely because he does not play diplomatic political games. Trump is an anomaly in politics because he actually means and does what he says.

Surrendering control of the Internet to the United Nations was another one of Obama’s anti-American effort to internalize laws in preparation for an internationalized world and imposition of one-world government ruled by the globalist elite. 

The Obama administration surrendered American control of the internet to Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) without getting Congress approval, another example of Obama executive overreach. Assigned names and numbers refers to the Domain Name System (DNS) on the Internet which is how a specific web address, the Uniform Resource Locator (URL), connects to the correct server and opens a specific website. All of the information including names, numbers, and any other data that DNS needs to do get to the specific website is stored in one central file known an the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).

Before the surrender ICANN’s function was to oversee how web addresses on the Internet were passed out and to regulate the IANA. Now, ICANN formally owns the IANA. It is not difficult to see how internationalizing the operation of the Internet could be used to help the globalist elites impose one-world government by manipulating information or access to information worldwide.

Obama surrendered United States technical management of the Internet to ICANN which is a global organization of governments around the world. ICANN includes a Government Advisory, which has representation from 111 states around the world, including 108 UN members and the Holy See, the Cook Islands and Taiwan. Many of these governments are anti-American and pro-globalism.

In the sixties Americans openly criticized Communist countries for propagandizing their citizens with exclusively government controlled information – we prided ourselves on our freedom of speech and open access to information. In the 21st century after 9/11 Americans openly criticized Islamic countries for propagandizing their citizens with exclusively government controlled information – we prided ourselves on our freedom of speech and open access to information. Obama’s surrender of Internet control to ICANN makes it possible for the United States to lose our freedom of speech on the Internet – Obama sacrificed American interests to the international community he supports.

Ted Cruz has argued that online freedom is now in jeopardy and that authoritarian governments who are members of ICANN can inhibit freedom of speech on the Internet. Cruz observes, “foreign governments and global corporations will have an increased voice within ICANN moving forward,” which can allow them to censor speech.

It is no surprise that the giant globalized technology companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Cloudflare and Yahoo all support a more globally controlled Internet – of course they do. These giant corporations are run by Globalists whose businesses are global and whose self-interest is in internationalizing the world for greater profits and marketshare. They are using a business profit prism not a human rights prism for policy decisions even though their owners talk of humanitarianism, altruism, social justice, and income equality.

There must be no confusion between global trade and Globalism. Global trade is simply the sale of goods around the world between nations. Global trade can be fair or unfair among nations. If the New World Order of one-world government is imposed then global trade will be a meaningless concept because there will be only one nation, one marketplace, and one government.

Globalism and the New World Order has been romanticized and dishonestly marketed as the international system that will provide the world with income equality and social justice. Songs have been written about Globalism. John Lennon’s “Imagine” is the globalist anthem. Consider its lyrics:

Imagine

John Lennon

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Lennon’s lyrics clearly describe a Utopian New World Order of peace and harmony. So far so good. The problem with Lennon’s dreamscape as the anthem for Globalism  is that it has no relationship to objective reality. The essential quality of dreams is that they are not encumbered by time, space, gravity, people, or any other consideration in objective reality. Dreams are the epitome of subjective reality.

In objective reality all groups large and small have some organizing principle. Families, communities, states, countries – the larger the group the more important the organizing principle becomes.

Lennon’s dreamscape is not encumbered by an organizing principle even though the world is the largest conceivable group. The New World Order most definitely has an organizing principle even if John Lennon does not sing about it. The left-wing liberals singing John Lennon’s song are imagining their own personal dreams of one internationalized world at peace in harmony with all people of the world equal in every way. The problem is their imagined universe has nothing whatsoever to do with the reality of one-world government imagined and described in unapologetic chilling detail by elitist aristocrat Lord Bertrand Russell in his 1952 book The Impact of Science on Society.

Russell’s one-world government is a binary socio-political system of the ruling few and the enslaved population whop serve them. The left-wing liberals, progressives, and anarchists lobbying for Globalism are the useful idiots unwittingly advocating for the regressive return to a master/slave society of tyranny.

Globalism is a very old song being sung anew by the naive Left and the laughing globalist elite who have successfully duped them.

Americans who wish to preserve their national sovereignty and individual freedoms understand Pittsburgh is the priority not Paris – and that’s the way we like it!

RELATED ARTICLES:

Trump Withdraws U.S. from Paris Climate Accord

Trump’s EPA Chief Backs Approach to Science That Could Upend the Global Warming ‘Consensus’

The Global Warming-Climate Change Scam: One of the Great Soviet/Russian Deceptions

EDITORS NOTE: Here is KC & The Sunshine Band singing their 1975 hit single That’s The Way (I Like It):

COUNTDOWN: The Top 5 Lies of the Left

American political liberaldom relies heavily on empty canards, name-calling and scare tactics to stay alive and shut down opposition.

There are few if any deep and penetrating debates on major topics that drive the politics of the left. They simply will not allow it. So they create fictitious arguments (the nice way of saying lies.)

With that in mind, here are a few major shibboleths of at least the activist left which verge on the incredulous, but which are used regularly and magnified by the sympathetic media megaphone.

No. 5 Lie: Border security is racist

If you believe that America should act like most every other country in the world and protect its borders, you’re a racist.

If you believe that America should have the authority to let in who it wants to and keep out who it wants to like most every other country, you’re a racist.

If you believe America should know who is here and who is coming and going like most every other country, you’re a racist.

This stems from candidate Donald Trump running on a campaign to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to stop the millions of illegal aliens (that is the actual, legal term) from crossing back and forth like it was a state border.

This quasi-open border is the result of an unholy alliance between businesses that want cheap labor and Democrat political interests that see future Democratic voters and a play to current Hispanic voters. And it is the issue that Trump claimed in order to peel away blue-collar Democratic voters.

The left rarely tries to argue the merits of open borders, because most Americans oppose that. So they devolve to the thought-free name-calling of racism because, you know, Mexicans are brown and therefore opposing them, or anyone else, breaking into our country illegally is racist.

No. 4 Lie: Asking questions is science denying

Speaking of science and politics, the inquisitive, independent thinkers among us are now considered anti-science — if they are asking questions about the degree and causes of climate change today.

Yes, while it is obviously the antithesis of actual science, which involves continually asking questions, forming hypotheses, testing, re-testing based on results and so on, this tactic now is employed to shut up any opposition to the climate change political agenda.

The data seems to suggest modest warming since the mid 1800s and there seems to be a connection between carbon in the atmosphere, trapped greenhouse gases, and global warming.

But if you question the data because of a series of scandals revealing how leading climatologists have conspired to alter older data creating cooler temperatures to suggest more rapid warming now, you are a denier.

If you question the degree to which human activity is impacting climate change by pointing out a nearly two-decade pause while carbon emissions continued to increase, you are a denier.

But these and many others are reasonable questions. That we are not allowed to ask them without being labeled flat-earthers suggests this is a lot more about politics than about science.

No. 3 Lie: Men can be women can be men, or whatever

One of the most mind-boggling absurdities foisted on us by the modern liberal is that a person’s sex is dependent on what they think it is. Any “assignment at birth” is an arbitrary constraint to who that person really is.

So, if a person has one Y chromosome and one X chromosome and they have the full package of penis and scrotum, it is not arbitrary to call them male. That person is a man. That is actual science.

But the left — in true full science denial — says those physical realities can be trumped by a person’s feeling. If that person feels like a woman, then they are a woman trapped in a man’s body and they should be allowed and encouraged to dress like a woman or have full-blown surgery to become a woman. And they should be allowed to use women’s bathrooms, locker rooms and showers — even though they are a man.

Until just the past few years this was considered a psychological condition that should be treated. But now, the left celebrates children as young as four years old being encouraged to be the sex they are not.

One could reasonably call that child abuse.

No. 2 Lie: Hate speech is not free speech

No less a luminary than former Vermont governor, DNC chairman and Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean tweeted out this past week that “Hate speech is not protected by the first amendment.”

dean tweet hate speech

The internet blew up over such a ridiculous statement. Even PolitiFact and media organs called him to task. But the thing is, his tweet got 700 retweets and 1,400 likes. Dean actually doesn’t have that big a Twitter following, meaning the tweet got strong traction among those following him.

Too many on the left, most particularly those on college campuses, view hate speech practically as any speech with which they disagree. Of course, many of these same campuses actually have speech codes and “free speech zones” with the overt meaning that outside the zone is not for free speech.

The unfortunate truth is that many college liberals, trained by professorial liberals, think that they should be able to shut down speech they do not appreciate or agree with. They have safe spaces and mainstream American views can be shouted down and pushed out with threats and actions.

These people leave the campuses today and in a generation will be leaders in the nation. It matters. The radicals running campuses know this.

No. 1 Lie: It’s not about innocent life, but reproductive freedom

And coming in at number one in our countdown is the oldie but definitely not goodie, the abortion non-debate.

Increasingly, science (which worldview seems to be anti-science here?) is showing that by every objective definition the baby in the womb is indeed a human, with the inherent rights of a human, within a few weeks of conception. From brainwaves to heartbeats to pain reaction, a person. Science continually pushes this obvious definition earlier and earlier.

But the left forces the debate to revolve around women’s rights. Not the 50 percent of female babies aborted — not those would-be women — but adult women who should have the right to kill their unborn baby at any point in a pregnancy for any reason they deem. Period. This is the classic Planned Parenthood position on choice.

Because abortion is conflated with birth control, it is called a reproductive “right” on the order of getting a contraceptive device or even pap smears and mammograms — anything except actually talking about whether we should condone the often wanton taking of an innocent human life. Any restrictions on abortion therefore are restrictions on a woman’s access to healthcare. See how much you can get away with when you refuse to call something what it is.

Oh and coat hangers. Don’t forget coat hangers.

But there is an encouraging side to this falderal. All of this avoidance on major issues means that conservatives actually have the stronger cases. Otherwise, liberals would not avoid the debate. We just need to be courageous enough to make those cases over and over and over.

RELATED ARTICLE: Conservatives Fight for Free Speech at a Far-Left College

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Revolutionary Act. Click here to subscribe to the Revolutionary Act’s YouTube channel!

Cut Down on Synthetic Antibiotics and Go Natural With Turmeric

Just like tomatoes can help to maintain a good skin tone and avocados can fight aging, turmeric can be applied on different parts of the body to promote wound healing. You can make a turmeric paste; apply it on the affected area to accelerate healing. We’ll show you how.

How to make turmeric for wound healing

You’ll need two things to make this work for you: some ground turmeric and a bandage. Start by mixing two (2) tablespoons of ground turmeric with water to make a thick paste. Make sure your hands are clean when applying the paste on the affected area. Don’t expect the dough to appear like cream. Once you’ve used the paste on the wound, cover it with your choice of a bandage. Leave it for about 12 hours. You can repeat this process for 3 to 4 days.

How turmeric promotes wound healing

Turmeric has an active phytochemical that is known as curcumin. Curcumin is the responsible ingredient for relieving inflammation and alleviating pain. This potent compound is also known to aid in healing in many different ways. First, it has high antibacterial properties. Any bacteria that are found on the skin can be eliminated when you apply turmeric paste. Turmeric reduces the risks of the wound getting infected and slowing down the healing process.

Secondly, curcumin also helps the blood to clot. It will ensure the wound doesn’t continue bleeding so that it heals faster. Last but not least, curcumin treats the skin around the wounded area. You will experience minimal, if any scarring, after treating the area with turmeric.

Even though you can get all these benefits from chemical-based creams, turmeric offers the benefits of natural ingredients. Introducing chemicals in your skin, especially a wounded area can have adverse side effects. These chemicals may travel to the bloodstream and get to your organs. You can use turmeric as a topical medication and stay away from any of those side effects. These are just some of the benefits of turmeric that you can get.

Extra tip

When turmeric is mixed with coconut oil, as opposed to water, it offers you more anti-bacterial benefits and further accelerates healing. You can even apply the turmeric paste as a face mask or cream if you are suffering from scarring or redness on your skin. Prepare the turmeric paste with coconut oil and leave it in your bathroom. You can use it a few times a week to keep your skin young and healthy.