Despite claims in popular culture and media about sexuality and gender identity not being related, a new study has found there is no scientific evidence to support the beliefs.
A report published Monday in the journal The New Atlantis refuted transgender claims that people can have a gender identity that is the opposite of their assigned sex. The report was co-authored by Arizona State University professor of statistics and biostatistics Lawrence S. Mayer and Johns Hopkins University Medical School professor of psychiatry Paul McHugh.
“Examining research from the biological, psychological, and social sciences, this report shows that some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence,” the report stated.
“The hypothesis that gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex — 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,” the authors noted.
Addressing children specifically, the report stated that only a “minority of children who experience cross-gender identification will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood.” Further, the authors noted there is no scientific evidence to support the value of “interventions that delay puberty or modify the secondary sex characteristics of adolescents,” and said they were “alarmed” by some of the interventions being practiced.
The report stated:
“An area of particular concern involves medical interventions for gender-nonconforming youth. They are increasingly receiving therapies that affirm their felt genders, and even hormone treatments or surgical modifications at young ages.
“But the majority of children who identify as a gender that does not conform to their biological sex will no longer do so by the time they reach adulthood. We are disturbed and alarmed by the severity and irreversibility of some interventions being publicly discussed and employed for children.”
The authors noted that “nearly all children ultimately identify with their biological sex.”
“The notion that a two-year-old, having expressed thoughts or behaviors identified with the opposite sex, can be labeled for life as transgender has absolutely no support in science,” they added.
Contrary to popular opinion, the authors also found that “the idea that people are ‘born that way’—is not supported by scientific evidence.”
“While minor differences in the brain structures and brain activity between homosexual and heterosexual individuals have been identified by researchers, such neurobiological findings do not demonstrate whether these differences are innate or are the result of environmental and psychological factors,” the report stated.
Mayer dedicated the work on the report “to the LGBT community, which bears a disproportionate rate of mental health problems compared the population as a whole.” He added, “We must find ways to relieve their suffering.”
“Above all,” Mayer noted, “I dedicate it to children struggling with their sexuality and gender.”
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