The testosterone guinea pigs aren’t being recruited

After reading a bunch of medical horror stories resulting from the anabolic steroid (aka testosterone) doping of East German female athletes in the 1970s-80s, I scoured the web for solid information about testosterone’s effects on FTMs today. I found very sparse published research. There is one meta-analysis of 16 studies looking at 651 FTMs for cardiovascular risks (link below) that concludes:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2265.2009.03632.x/abstract

Very low quality evidence, downgraded due to methodological limitations of included studies, imprecision and heterogeneity, suggests that cross‐sex hormone therapies increase serum triglycerides in MF and FM and have a trivial effect on HDL‐cholesterol and systolic blood pressure in FM. Data about patient important outcomes are sparse and inconclusive.

[for the non-scientists reading this, it means the few studies that even qualified for the meta-analysis were fatally flawed]

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Ok then, I thought. Given the lack of published evidence, obviously FTMs are now being actively recruited into research studies looking at the physiological effects of “T” – right? This is a giant research need. What with the huge increase in women transitioning, there should be plenty of subjects out there.

The go-to place to find active, world-wide research studies is:

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/home

All you have to do is enter your search terms/keywords. As you can imagine, search terms like “prostate cancer” return thousands of results. I figured there should be a least a few dozen on testosterone’s effect on transitioning women.

I spent 45 minutes entering every conceivable combination of search terms, including: transgender testosterone, FTM testosterone, female-to-male testosterone, transsexual testosterone. I found one German study,  “Observational Study on Metabolism and Psychopathology in Transsexual Patients,” which should be a very interesting one to read once results are published, but it’s not about health effects of testosterone.

Apart from that? I found five. Not a single one was looking at possible adverse effects of testosterone. There is some basic science looking at testosterone and serotonin transporters, but nothing, nothing about T’s health effects.

Try searching clinicaltrials.gov yourself. See if you have better luck than I did ferreting out any significant research on this mass, uncontrolled chemical/pharmaceutical experiment currently being trialed on young women. I’ll be interested in hearing about any studies.

Meanwhile,  I guess the guinea pigs have to just keep on keeping on.

Jackie wants evidence

But Jackie will no doubt be demonized as a transphobe.

http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2014/01/transgender-teenagers-medical-transition

Breast binders are a common early step for females transitioning to male, but they come with health risks.

Dr. Ralph Vetters, who treats transgender teens at the Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center in Boston, says binders make breathing more difficult, increase the risk for lung infections and, “by compressing the breasts, they can cause a sort of fibrosis. Scars may be a word for it. It hurts.”

‘Looking For Certainty Where It Doesn’t Exist’

What feels like a sudden burst of interest in transgender medical treatment leaves many parents dazed and confused. 

“I don’t know if I’m just being the ignorant mother who’s saying, ‘Dammit, not my kid,’ ” Jackie says, slapping her leg. “I’m delighted for Nate to be a boy if we’re sure. But I’m totally torn about it.”

Jackie wants evidence, some research that will tell her what Nate’s life and health might look like in 20 years.

So much has changed in my life since I was a teenager,” says Nate’s dad, Tom. “I never wanted to have kids. I didn’t even think I wanted to get married.”

So how, Tom wonders, can Nate be sure he won’t regret beginning testosterone as a teenager? 

Within months of starting weekly shots or a daily cream, Nate’s vocal cords would get longer and thicker, giving him a deeper voice. He would see new facial and body hair, all permanent changes. And the increased testosterone in Nate’s body might make him infertile.

Even if you stop taking it, there are things that don’t change,” Tom says, throwing up his hands. “I also don’t think they know everything they think they know about hormones and how they affect bodies — and will these kids all develop cancer?”

There is no indication that long-term hormone use increases the risk of cancer for transgender men or women, but there’s very little rigorous research. However, transgender men and women do face an increased risk of heart disease, Vetters says.

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The MDs quoted in this surprisingly skeptical piece (about a year old) from WBUR Boston–docs who have been in the trenches with kids and teens who have gender dysphoria–have taken LOTS of heat recently;  Zucker and Drescher in particular have been demonized by transactivists.  And I wonder how much hate Nate’s parents have absorbed.

Honeymoon’s over: the truth about transition

I have just received the go-ahead from this blog’s author, truth-about-transition, to link to it. Why did I ask permission? This is Tumblr, after all. Reblogging and linking are our bread-and-butter.

But the material collected here is sensitive. It is a catalog of reblogs, of FTMs discussing–sometimes agonizing over–problems they are encountering with their transition. Some are celebrating various aspects of their transition.

These folks–some, but not all of whom are hurting–aren’t the enemy. Please don’t hate on them.   truth-about-transition acknowledged that they would like the extra traffic my reblog might bring, and it is important stuff they are bringing to light.

I struggle sometimes with what to post and not post. In many ways, I subscribe to the belief that, if you post publicly on the Internet, you’ve given tacit approval to share what you posted.

But these are kids, at least some of them. And of course, that’s what my blog is all about: what is happening to kids.

Thanks in advance for being respectful. But feel free to reblog or otherwise share a link to this important site.

Research evidence: most gender dysphoric children grow up to be gay or lesbian

(If they aren’t railroaded into “transition,” that is):

anonymous asked:

Hi, would you be able to give a link to resources/studies that say that a significant proportion of children who experience gender dysphoria / think they are the other sex / however you want to word it end up being okay with their biosex and turn out lesbian, gay or bisexual as they enter their teens and/or adulthood? I’ve always pondered on whether that would be the case with children who are so quickly assigned a trans identity, so it would be really interesting to see some research on it!

 

No, you don’t “care” about my child

So I have figured out a few things vis-à-vis the few (and they have been few, so far) people who personally attack me, claiming they only do so because they ”care” about my child. By “attack” I mean character assassination, not respectful debate.

First, they believe without an iota of doubt that there is such a thing as a “male” or “female” brain. And one’s male or female brain absolutely must dictate what sort of body it is attached to. Second, they believe that even a toddler innately knows which brain they have. When that child says “I feel like a girl” or “I feel like a boy” that subjective experience is objective reality, and no one—no one—has the right to question it. Ever. The only viable option is to support their assertion with all that modern medicine and pharmaceutical products can supply. Even questioning this orthodoxy amounts to child abuse.

The people who vomit their bile on me believe a child’s self-professed gender is as hard-wired and as objectively indisputable as their left elbow. They fervently believe this even if said child is of the age where they are also saying they are –or they wish they were–a dog or a tractor or Spiderman or a princess.They don’t think gender is a social construction. They don’t believe life experiences might mold a child’s idea of gender. No, the gender cake was already baked while they were in the womb. So if a kid is referred to and treated as the opposite gender–by parents, teachers, doctors, psychologists–from the time they’re 2 years old, if they’re on puberty blockers, if they are indoctrinated that this means they are “transgender,” those years of experience won’t have ANY influence on whether they choose to medically transition later. No pressure at all! Case closed.

For all their supposed knowledge of neuroscience, they never seem to have read anything from the decades of research pertaining to pediatric brain development, the years of childhood make-believe, of confusion of fantasy with reality…the relatively new knowledge that the frontal lobes of the brain—judgment, decision-making, awareness of future consequence, impulse control, self monitoring–don’t develop until age 25. None of that has any bearing on theGender is Set in Stone at Birth dogma.

And their ideology is as impervious as granite. It’s all nature, no nurture. To these people, 15 years of a girl being told she is actually a “he” couldn’t possibly influence a biological girl (oops, I mean, “assigned female at birth”) to move on to medical transition when she’s older, even if, actually, she’s a girl who would have grown up to be a lesbian (which is what statistics say usually happens) if she had just been left alone to figure it out on her own.

The transactivists are not interested in any research that could cast doubt on their hypothesis . They only want to cherry pick studies that claim there is a male or female brain. Even though THOSE studies have been disputed, and generally have a subject base consisting mostly of trans people who’ve alreadytransitioned and been on hormones for years. And, of course, the conclusion they draw from those flawed studies is that the brain dictates the body it’s attached to, period. Hell, I even saw someone crowing about an article touting head transplants in the future for trans people. Cut off your “male” or “female” head and attach it to a donated body of the opposite sex! Problem solved.

I’ve mostly engaged in civil dialogue online. I came here in the first place because there aren’t many people raising the questions I am, from the perspective of a parent who cares enough to dig deeper, and I want that point of view to be heard. And I want other lefty parents like me to have a place to go where they aren’t dismissed as ogres and transphobes. Where they aren’t told that–simply by questioning, by expressing doubts–they are personally responsible for the suicides of troubled teenagers.

In my short time here, I’ve learned a ton about what it is really like to have gender/physical dysphoria, to have the intense desire to transition to the other sex. I respect that experience. I’ve talked with people who have medically transitioned, and I’ve adjusted my views based on things they tell me. I’ve been humbled; I’ve learned, and I’ve opened a few minds myself. I’m doing this in good faith, and most other people seem to be doing the same. Those of us who are running “serious” theme blogs have a purpose outside entertainment. We feel like we have something important to say. Disagreements I’ve had are generally respectful. I have zero interest in making enemies of people I don’t even know. I have better things to do with my time.

But, like anywhere else on the Internet, there are a few haters. Because I am running a blog which dares to question the trans orthodoxy, I occasionally get drive-by vitriol, usually from kids who are angry at their own parents. I get told I am a terrible mother, an abuser even, of my daughter (except they always say “son” based on the sparse personal information I’ve shared here, if they’ve even read that, which I doubt).  Apparently my “son” is exactly the same as all the other “sons” out there, despite the suddenness of all this, and how it only arose after a short time of binging on certain Internet snack bars .

They claim to “care” about my child, they are “scared” for her, they are “worried” for her; they automatically assume it’s “him” because remember—if anyone, anywhere simply says they might be trans, then that is the word of god from on high. It is sacrosanct.

I’m not naïve or stupid. I knew venturing onto Tumblr would be—let’s say, a rough and tumbl ride at times—and I’m not going to let myself be destroyed by the words of an angry or unhinged stranger online. Haters gonna hate.

But I will say this to those few shit-throwers:

You don’t know me. You don’t know my family. You don’t know my daughter—hell, call her my son, I don’t care. You don’t have the slightest idea where we are in this process. You are clueless about what kind of parent I am. And most importantly: You do not “care” about my child. You don’t “worry” about her. You’re not “scared” for her. I’m the one who is doing that. Your feigned “caring” is just a way to lash out at someone who is daring to raise questions about a dogma you have imbibed, and it bothers you. You don’t want anyone upsetting your apple cart.

I’m not changing my Ask box policy. If you send me hate, you go straight to the trash bin. All you’ll get is the chance to briefly spew your cyber-bile onto a stranger. If that floats your boat, knock yourself out. But it won’t make me shut up. Most of all, don’t flatter yourself that you “care” about my child, so you might as well let go of that little self-aggrandizing delusion.

And to the ones who scream “Unfollow me!!!!” (which I invariably do): Did it ever occur to you that following a blog is sometimes a way to learn something new? Just something to consider.

President Obama, how is this not anti-gay conversion therapy?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4345542/

In a study of pre-pubertal male and female children with gender dysphoria followed-up approximately 10 years later, only 27 percent of children with gender dysphoria remained gender dysphoric at follow-up [10]. Of those individuals who no longer expressed gender dysphoria at follow-up, a significant portion (all female and half the male participants) expressed a non-heterosexual sexual orientation [9]. Thus, gender concerns in neurotypical children prior to puberty may represent a developmental process related to both gender and sexuality for many individuals. 

…Facilitating an exploration of sexuality seems especially pertinent given recent findings that most children with gender-related concerns eventually identify with their natal gender following puberty and frequently adopt homosexual or bisexual identities [19]. It is possible that individuals with ASD may experience similar trajectories in their gender narratives, but potentially follow a different timeline than normally developing individuals owing to reduced social interaction and fewer opportunities to explore their sexual identity.”

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While this article is specifically about autism and gender identity, it cites multiple research studies that confirm, once again, that MOST children who question their gender in childhood end up as gay or bisexual if left alone. Also, socially immature/isolated kids, or kids with ASD, probably need even longer to figure out who they are, which makes a good argument that dysphoricadolescents and even young adults with social anxiety or other similar issues should not start medical transition, as they too often do.

On April 8, 2015 the New York Times reported that President Obama has called for an “end to conversion therapy for gay and transgender youth.”

Somebody explain to me, please: If most children–especially girls–resolve gender dysphoria and grow up to be non-heterosexual adults (and study after study corroborates this finding), how is childhood “gender reassignment” not proactive conversion therapy to prevent adult homosexuality

Given these findings, why do doctors, psychologists–and increasingly, compliant parents–assign gender non-conforming children as trans until proven otherwise?

And can it even be “proven otherwise” if they spend their entire childhoods  being told, and treated as if, they are actually the opposite sex?

Your thoughts, President Obama?

So, do your kid a favor. Unplug them.

Parenting advice from a detransitioned woman.

http://nymeses.blogspot.no/2014/07/advice-for-parents-of-teen-girls-and.html

“For me, I first really discovered F2T transition on the internet.  I made lots of trans friends through the internet.  I learned about F2T “passing guides” on the internet. I bought my first chest binder on the internet. I got lots of positive feedback loops from other transitioning adolescents on the internet (including them saying things like “your parents just don’t understand/don’t support you, you can sue them if they don’t give in” etc).  I saw my first dose of F2T pornography on the internet.  I found a doctor that I could go see to give me hormone treatment on the internet….

“In closing, this trend is going to have a devastating impact on today’s youth about 10 years down the road.  These things are not very well studied, and we are/were their guinea pigs.  Be a role model, be a mentor, but most of all, don’t be afraid to be a parent.  Don’t allow yourself to be bullied into this.  This is your child’s health that is being played with, and your child’s health is not a game – it is life or death.”

Arterial stiffness and high blood pressure in female to male transsexuals

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18834347

“The systolic and diastolic blood pressures in FTM transsexuals treated with androgen were significantly higher than those in untreated FTM transsexuals…

Conclusions: Long-term and high-dose administration of androgen is likely to cause increased arterial stiffness in FTM transsexuals.”

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There is a honeymoon period when a person first transitions. The honeymoon is what many gender nonconforming teens see on YouTube. Information about long term health effects, and doubts about transition (expressed by FTMs themselves) is out there–but you have to hunt for it.

They’re on their own

I have been spending time reading the thoughts and experiences of FTMs in their teens and early 20s, in their own words, on their own Tumblr blogs. In many cases, once past the initial euphoria of transition, I’m seeing a lot of despair, a lot of “this isn’t how I thought it would be.” Dysphoria continues for quite a few, and side effects from “T” are frightening and upsetting to a lot of young people (things like head hair loss, high blood pressure, and internal pain).

What strikes me most is how FTMs have been abandoned in many ways by the medical profession, and how all they can really do is share their experiences and try to figure things out with other FTMs. This abandonment is not because their therapists and doctors don’t care. Most of them care very much. These professionals aren’t ogres. They have prescribed medical transition because that is the treatment that is currently seen as the answer to dysphoria.

But because there are no good, long-term, controlled studies with a large number of subjects on this massive psychiatric-medical experiment, there is a lot that just isn’t known about the longer term experience of girls/women transitioning to FTM. For this reason, many FTM-run Tumblrs act as peer therapy hubs, where they try to advise each other the best they can. When doubts are raised about transition, though, it seems to be taboo to even mildly suggest that detransition might be considered. Mostly they reassure each other that whatever the issue (including serious reservations and regret), anyone who has started transition is truly trans and it is all a normal part of the experience.

Ethical issues raised by the treatment of gender-variant prepubescent children

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25231780

“…gender dysphoria in childhood does not inevitably continue into adulthood, and only 6 to 23 percent of boys and 12 to 27 percent of girls treated in gender clinics showed persistence of their gender dysphoria into adulthood.”

 Cognitive-professional dissonance: So tell me again WHY little kids are being put on puberty blockers and called by their “preferred pronouns”? Trans until proven otherwise, despite the odds?