The New York Times’ coverage of the St. Louis gender-medicine scandal puts a too-friendly gloss on damning facts.
There is no doubt that testosterone has an anti-anxiety and energizing effect in the short to medium term. Combine that effect with copious social support and "affirmation" and it's not surprising that a lot of these kids (mostly girls who want to be boys) feel better in the short term. Ten years from now it's going to be a whole other story. The guy who originated frontal lobotomies for psychiatric disorders won the Nobel Prize in 1949. You'd think we would eventually learn to be more cautious in with irreversible procedures in medicine.
NYT is far from unusual in its treatment of so-called "gender affirming" medical alterations of secondary sex characteristics. Every news item I've seen or heard recently about the efforts in some state legislatures to restrict such treatments for minors has featured a testimonial from an enthusiastic parent as to how the troglodytes in the legislature are preventing their child from accessing the "life saving" treatments. There is, of course, not one word about the teenage experts on TikTok coaching the kids in how to threaten suicide, much less about the systematic evidence reviews that have resulted in the recent restrictions on such treatments in European health care systems. I hesitate to attribute malice where ignorance is a sufficient explanation; but the persistence of the journalists' omission of any coverage of the developments in Europe is certainly degrading my trying to assume the journalists' good faith. At some point, the omission of such important and well-known evidence does indicate intentional propaganda, not good faith reporting.
The entire “gender affirming care” movement is logical fallacy wrapped in logical fallacy. On one hand we can’t define what a woman is, yet on the other, a man who feels that he’s a woman must change his body to match what we can suddenly define as a woman’s body. Feelings are much more mutable than the human body, yet we reach for the scalpel.
I thought the NYT article was a very good sign. The rats may not be leaving the sinking ship quite yet but they are making their way to the deck and casually checking out the exits.
It's patent medicine fraud. Victims of patent medicine were actively recruited to give testimonies about the supposed efficacy of quack cures. We have passed this way before.
The author of the trans propaganda, Azeen Ghorayshi, is the prototypical NYT "journalist". Pronouns on her LinkedIn profile. Worked at Buzzfeed for 7 years. Went to UC Berkeley where she researched fruit flies, on her website she chortles that she is "fairly certain I’ve watched more fly sex than you".
Here are more examples of cringe "elites" flexing on LinkedIn: https://yuribezmenov.substack.com/p/how-to-flex-on-linkedin-cringe-contest
Compelling, thoughtful, and thought-provoking as usual. Thank you for this interesting analysis. Sincerely, Frederick
Nice to know their are people who are focused on science, not ideology - whether far left or far right!
"Few deny that many individuals are genuinely satisfied with the results of their hormonal or surgical transition."
Count me among the "few". When someone suffering from a delusion about themselves, who has been coached by their online peers on what to say in order to get the supposed solution they have become obsessed with, whose fragile self-image is utterly dependent on believing that doing what they are doing is helping them, is then asked afterward whether they are happy with it, their response is approximately as valuable as the response anorexics give when asked whether they feel good that they have gotten thinner. Are the anorexics genuinely satisfied by starving themselves?
A case study in subtle propaganda. Which I define as writing that supports a conclusion that was reached prior to reporting. (In this case, that this type of medical intervention does more good than harm) Honest reporting investigates the points of view out there in the world, not just the one in the reporter’s head.
I was pleasantly surprised by the NYT article, although I suppose this is a case of meeting lowered expectations. I felt that Ghorayshi was fair, and wasn't out to discredit Reed, which definitely would NOT have been the case two years ago. Back then, the NYT would have produced a hit piece on Jaime Reed, and concluded that Kids Know Who They Are.
I think the tide is turning, and not a moment too soon.
The New York Times appears to belatedly be making a stealth approach to restoring its journalistic integrity by trading such absurdities as sex "assigned at birth" to babies "identified" as girls (apparently a much trickier task than any of us, anywhere, throughout recorded human history, ever imagined). Lord knows how long it will take them to return to simply describing girls as girls and boys as boys. I am holding my applause.
The NYT is drawing a lot of activist fire for its increasingly better quality journalism on transgender issues. It may still skew positive on some questionable points, but the direction is welcome. A couple of years ago they wouldn't have even commissioned a piece about the allegations around this clinic.
Gender ideology is prominent locally in medical systems. It is pervasive on every level, to the point that medical staff are boxed into ideological compliance whether or not they are in agreement.
I recently referred a friend to a physician I trust, and the friend, who is politically conservative, called me to report with some concern that the doctor I sent her to is a "they/them." I was very surprised, because the physician has been pregnant a couple times within the past four years, is relatively socially conservative and is a not into healthcare fads. I subsequently learned that, within the large system where the doctor works, the physicians don't necessarily write their own bios. They just give their facts to whomever is assigned to create the doctors' online profiles. If the doctor declines to provide "pronouns" when asked for them by the writer, the writer uses "they/them" when referring to the doctor.
This practice is regarded as a matter of common courtesy among many members of Gen Z and slightly older people. They are normalizing among themselves the social requirement that everyone be given a pronoun that makes a statement about that person's gender, or their lack of knowledge thereof. I think that the level to which these young people are in the drivers' seat of the gender movement is underestimated, or at least is not mentioned much by authors critical of the gender ideology and its relationship to gender affirmative care. Young people are the ones who demand that medical schools be converted into centers for studying and applying critical theory activism. Older and temporarily more powerful people are exploiting the idealistic, moralistic fervor as well as the confusion of young people caught up in critical theory activism, but the younger generations of Americans are in the leadership of woke medical activism.
I hate seeing, thinking, and saying this, but the people who are now Gen Z will be taking over officially pretty soon as well as actually, as they already are. It looks like the students entering medical schools in the U.S. may not be learning much medicine soon. I support and participate in the effort to turn this dreaded trajectory around, but that probably won't happen unless a critical mass of Gen Z turns away from their stated objectives to impose the gender ideology on everyone.
"The current influx of trans-identified youth, primarily girls with no previous gender-related distress, symbolizes a fresh patient group exhibiting a new and as-yet-unstudied form of gender dysphoria. "
It's called undiagnosed autism and social contagion.
"But if we’d be hesitant to accept these testimonials about how qigong cured some people’s energy imbalance, then why are many political progressives so quick to accept similar testimonials from minors who claim their mind-body imbalance was corrected after undergoing sex-trait modification procedures? Why is such testimony taken as definitive proof of these procedures’ benefits? Ideology couldn’t possibly be the reason—right?"
So-called "gender medicine" is a form of social justice activism rooted in gender identity ideology. So yes, trans "allies" who are desperate to "save trans kids" are predisposed to accept testimonials from children as proof that medical interventions work.
I submit the reason most of the general public acquiesce to claims about gender medicine is because they do not understand the difference between testimony and evidence. Specifically, they do not know that, in the words of the author, "comprehensive long-term-outcomes data and controlled experiments" are required in order to determine whether it was the medical intervention that brought about the successful outcome (is it effective?) and whether the benefits of the treatment outweigh the known risks (is it safe?).
Given the sorry state of science education in the US today, the public can be forgiven for its ignorance. Reporters on the health and science beat cannot.