Tuesday, 13 April 2010

The Psychopathology of “Sex Reassignment” Surgery

The Psychopathology of “Sex Reassignment” Surgery : Assessing Its Medical, Psychological, and Ethical Appropriateness, R.P. Fitzgibbons, P.M. Sutton, D.O’Leary , National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 9.1 (Spring 2009): 97–125.
Is it ethical to perform a surgery whose purpose is to make a male look like a female or a female to appear male? Is it medically appropriate? Sexual reassignment surgery (SRS) violates basic medical and ethical principles and is therefore not ethically or medically appropriate. (1) SRS mutilates a healthy, non-diseased body. To perform surgery on a healthy body involves unnecessary risks; therefore, SRS violates the principle primum non nocere, “first, do no harm.” (2) Candidates for SRS may believe that they are trapped in the bodies of the wrong sex and therefore desire or, more accurately, demand SRS; however, this belief is generated by a disordered perception of self. Such a fixed, irrational belief is appropriately described as a delusion. SRS, therefore, is a “category mistake”—it offers a surgical solution for psychological problems such as a failure to accept the goodness of one’s masculinity or femininity, lack of secure attachment relationships in childhood with same-sex peers or a parent, self-rejection, untreated gender identity disorder, addiction to masturbation and fantasy, poor body image, excessive anger, and severe psychopathology in a parent. (3) SRS does not accomplish what it claims to accomplish. It does not change a person’s sex; therefore, it provides no true benefit. (4) SRS is a “permanent,” effectively unchangeable, and often unsatisfying surgical attempt to change what may be only a temporary (i.e., psychotherapeutically changeable) psychological/ psychiatric condition.
One for the reference library. Just to show how bad an EPIC FAIL can be here. It would take me months - literally - to refute each of the errors. Or I could just tell them to read my blog, and follow up the hyperlinks to the referenced articles.

SRS mutilates a healthy, non-diseased body.
One with cross-sexed neuro-anatomy, to make it consistent. I think the authors would consider any woman with male genitalia unhealthy be definition.

Such a fixed, irrational belief is appropriately described as a delusion.
Except by, you know, psychiatrists, as there's a technical definition that GID doesn't meet, no matter how much the authors may wish it did.

it offers a surgical solution for psychological problems such as a failure to accept the goodness of one’s masculinity or femininity, lack of secure attachment relationships in childhood with same-sex peers or a parent, self-rejection, untreated gender identity disorder, addiction to masturbation and fantasy, poor body image, excessive anger, and severe psychopathology in a parent.
It's all the parents fault. Right.....

It does not change a person’s sex; therefore, it provides no true benefit.
Apart from you know, keeping them alive.

SRS is a “permanent,” effectively unchangeable, and often unsatisfying surgical attempt to change what may be only a temporary (i.e., psychotherapeutically changeable) psychological/ psychiatric condition.
Even though not a single case has shown itself to be "psychotherapeutically changeable" in over 60 years. It must be because, well, just because. God says so. Just not in Scripture.

And anyone who engages in treating these people... must be mad. Literally psychopaths, according to the authors.
Are therapists who evaluate such persons too willing to take these claims at face value? Sander Breiner, in an article titled “Transsexuality Explained,” points out such a misperception is in itself a psychological problem:
The authors manage to quote extensively Blanchard, Bailey, McHugh and also Janice Raymond. I didn't think it would be possible to reconcile such wildly different viewpoints, whose only commonality is transphobia. But they did.

They even managed to regard Zucker as being a great healer of transsexual children. What they don't say - what they may not even be aware of - is that he considers them "healed" if they're turned Gay, rather than being straight transsexuals.

Read it and weep.

13 comments:

Austen said...

Another day, another terribly droll attempt to redefine transition as a Bad Idea. Yawn.

I wonder, sometimes, if these people have ever talked to a transgender person, let alone voluntarily shared the same air as a trans person. I would hazard a guess as to say "no."

Vene said...

Using their definition of "do no harm" makes all types of surgery unethical. After all, you have to cut somebody to do it, cutting people is harmful, therefore, all surgery is a violation of medicine.

I won't deny that srs has risks, I won't deny that it is the cutting of healthy tissue, but the benefits of it are greater than the damage caused by the surgery. Because it does more good than harm, it's ethical.

Zimbel said...

I don't know... the end of page 123 is pretty convincing to me:

"A flyer produced by a student group at the University of Massachusetts Amherst,
lists attitudes condemned as transphobic, including
• Assuming that everyone is either male or female
• Continuing to use inappropriate gender pronouns for someone after being
corrected or calling someone “it”
• Believing that transgender people cannot be “real women” or “real men”
• Considering transsexuality to be a mental illness or disorder
• Expecting all transgender people to be transsexual and want to transition completely
or at all.
• Believing that transgender youths cannot be trusted to make decisions
about their gender identities."

Although I can't locate their source, most of the resources I can find at the given link are pretty good.

Too bad the rest of this paper isn't up to the quality of that reference. Once the authors of this paper graduate middle school, their work will hopefully improve. After all, someone with, say, a high school degree shouldn't be making such basic factual errors as are repeated throughout this paper, and I'd hope that they wouldn't undermine their own arguments, make obviously logical fallacies, or make nonsensical statements - which they appear to do, repeatedly.

Nicole said...

This is from the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly right?

The same organised crime syndicate currently in every newspaper front page headline because of child sexual abuse?

And these are the same fraudsters that say that transsexual people are suffering fixed irrational beliefs and are delusional after what they've been peddling for thousands of years?

Anonymous said...

Obviously these individuals have not read and understood what is in the Bible.

In the old testament, to be a Male member of God's chosen people (in other words a Jew), a man must be circumcised. There is nothing wrong with this foreskin but it is being removed because it is God's requirement.

In the New testament, Matthew 19:11-12 (New International Version) 11Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage [a]because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."

Here even Jesus accepts that his Father's perfect body can be surgically altered.

prof m i said...

I xeroxed this at a library and paid $4.50 US for that. What a
misuse of money. THis paper is such garabe and there are so many errors. I was thinking of writing a response letter to the editor. But there is so much junk in the article they published that it just isn't worth the time to try to correct it.

Imogen said...

Catholic Bioethics - now that's a contradiction in terms right there. I used to believe in religious freedom, but not anymore.

Julie Moriarty said...

This is just another attempt to distract the attention away from the real problem the RCC is facing, their pedophile priests.

William Donahue, president of the Catholic League of America, appeared on Larry King and claimed the priests were not criminals but rather simply engaging in homosexual behavior because the boys were "post pubescent".

When asked to give the age a boy becomes post pubescent, Donahue replied "11 or 12". Then he went on to defend the pope and all the archbishops who covered up the crimes.

So when a group such as this judges or condemns anyone or anything, they have no credibility. They need to stop worrying about telling others how to live and start cleaning their own house.

robbi cohn said...

Paul McHugh has been associated with similar National Catholic endeavors and shares a similar relationship as Zucker, if not more pronounced.

also...another National Cathlolic Bioethics piece was the subject of a recent Des Moines Register article:

" DesMoinesRegister - IA,USA

National views

John Haas, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, said that transgendered people have a psychological disorder, and that surgery to change one's gender is offensive to God.

His independent organization, which directly follows the teachings of the Catholic Church, promotes "human dignity in health care and the life sciences."
"We would say this is a gravely disordered act, an assault upon God's creation, an act of mutilation that renders an otherwise healthy body
dysfunctional, " Haas said. "There can be surgical interventions to
heal, cure or overcome pathologies to save lives. If it doesn't hold
to those ends, the church holds them to be acts of mutilation."
Haas said transgendered people who have had sexual reassignment
surgery should not receive communion in the church unless they have repented."


http://www.desmoinesregister. com/article/20100110/NEWS/1100335/-1/ENT06/Searching-their-souls-Can-church-include-transgendered

Queers United said...

Is it ethical for these "christians" to question another persons identity and decision? NO.

http://queersunited.blogspot.com

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Consider me ignorant, Zoe, but why would you see it necessary to argue with an article from National Catholic Bioethics which, even if written in 2009, looks to me (granted, an ignoramus) as if it was written about a hundred years ago?

Zoe Brain said...

Snoopy - because it's being quoted as the "latest and greatest" Scientifically credible evidence by those opposing human rights for such as I. And my son.

Dita Bach said...

Here is the link to the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute article proclaiming this 'research' to be "NEW" as of June 16, 2011. http://www.c-fam.org/publications/id.1883/pub_detail.asp