Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity – Research Results

D. Research Results

Dr. Paul McHugh, “Surgical Sex,” First Things, November 2004. – McHugh is currently University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His department at Johns Hopkins was the one which had originally proposed sex-change surgery for transsexual infants. However, after conducting empirical studies to test the theoretical claims supporting such surgery, it became clear that they did not. He concluded that the problem was one better treated by psychiatry. This article addresses sex-reassignment surgery in general, without differentiating explicitly between intersex and transgender patients. He is now criticized by the transgendered community for not acknowledging what it believes is scientific proof of the biological basis of gender.
McHugh is a Catholic and is acknowledged as an authority on transgenderism. He was one of the chief contributors to the guidelines on transgenderism published by the Congreation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2000.
“For children with birth defects the most rational approach at this moment is to correct promptly any of the major urological defects they face, but to postpone any decision about sexual identity until much later, while raising the child according to its genetic sex. Medical caretakers and parents can strive to make the child aware that aspects of sexual identity will emerge as he or she grows. Settling on what to do about it should await maturation and the child’s appreciation of his or her own identity.”

Mayer and McHugh, “Sexuality and Gender,” New Atlantis, Fall 2016. – Dr. Lawrence Mayer, scholar in residence in the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University and professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University, has been a full-time tenured professor for more than 40 years. He has held appointments at Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, Arizona State University and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and School of Medicine, among other institutions of higher education. The focus of his career has been to learn how statistics and models are employed across disciplines, with the goal of improving the use of models and data analytics in assessing issues of interest in the policy, regulatory, or legal realms.
Dr. Paul McHugh is 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.
Mayer was inspired to co-author the report after initial research stirred grave concerns about the LGBT community “which bears a disproportionate rate of mental-health problems compared to the population as a whole … We must find ways to relieve their suffering.” He gives special attention to children struggling with their sexuality and gender.
The report “offers a careful summary and an up-to-date explanation of many of the most rigorous findings produced by the biological, psychological, and social sciences related to sexual orientation and gender identity.”
“When the research touches on controversial themes, it is particularly important to be clear about precisely what science has and has not shown. For complex, complicated questions concerning the nature of human sexuality, there exists at best provisional scientific consensus; much remains unknown, as sexuality is an immensely complex part of human life that defies our attempts at defining all its aspects and studying them with precision.”

Joan Desmond, “Sexuality and Gender,” National Catholic Register, August 2016. (accessed 16, 2017) – A good summary of Mayer and McHugh’s article.

Sabra L. Katz-Wise, “Sexual fluidity in young adult women and men: associations with sexual orientation and sexual identity development,”:Psychology & Sexuality, Volume 6, 2015. (accessed 16, 2017) – This research investigated sexual fluidity and sexual identity in sexual minority young adults, ages 18–26 years … Sexual fluidity in attractions was reported by 64% of women and 52% of men, with 49% of those women and 36% of those men reporting sexual fluidity in sexual identity.

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