Weekly Reality Report
June 11, 2023
What is the Weekly Reality Report?
The Weekly Reality Report is published every Sunday morning for paying subscribers and includes a roundup of the previous week’s articles on Reality’s Last Stand, a reading list of summarized interesting opinion pieces from around the web, relevant news headlines to keep you informed, and a special Moment of Zen designed to inspire or confuse.
Medical Journal’s False Consensus on ‘Gender-Affirming Care’ | Leor Sapir & Colin Wright
In an article for the Wall Street Journal, Leor Sapir and Colin Wright, both Fellows at the Manhattan Institute, examine a complex issue around transgender health and research censorship. The authors begin by discussing a recent Florida law blocked by federal court, which forbids sex-change procedures for minors under 18. They note that while American medical associations may lean towards allowing these procedures, there is contrary evidence from European health authorities and publications like the British Medical Journal. The crux of the problem, according to the authors, is that American judges require a mechanism to assess these diverging scientific authorities, particularly since the entities tasked with ensuring access to high-quality research are failing to meet their mandate.
Sapir and Wright proceed to discuss a controversy surrounding the retraction of a paper from the Archives of Sexual Behavior, published by Springer. The contentious paper, authored by Michael Bailey and Suzanna Diaz, analyzed rapid onset gender dysphoria (ROGD) based on survey responses from over 1,600 parents. Their findings suggested that children's sudden identification as transgender could be influenced by social media and peer groups, contradicting widely accepted narratives of innate and immutable transgender identities.
The authors argue that pressure from activists led to the paper's retraction, citing an alleged lack of participant consent for publication in a scholarly journal as justification. This case is presented as symptomatic of a broader issue wherein research contradicting the prevailing consensus on gender transition is suppressed, compromising the integrity of the scientific process and hindering the advancement of human knowledge.
Don’t Take Pride In Promoting Pseudoscience | Colin Wright
For Queer Majority, Colin Wright, an evolutionary biologist and Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, discusses the shift in LGBT politics and the growing narrative challenging the binary concept of biological sex. He argues that these narratives, often based on pseudoscience, have significant implications, such as men who identify as women competing in women's sports, and the application of puberty blockers and gender-affirming treatments to young individuals. As Wright points out, these shifts undermine women's rights and affect the health of children, calling for a grounding in reliable science instead of transient political ideologies.
Wright critiques a piece written by ecologist Ash Zemenick, which argues against the binary perspective on biological sex. Drawing on his background in evolutionary biology, Wright deconstructs Zemenick's arguments, clarifying the difference between sex and gender, the binary nature of sex, and the basis of defining sex. Wright argues that while gender, defined by social roles, behaviors, and expressions, may be fluid, sex is determined by the capacity or potential to produce a certain type of gamete - sperm or eggs - thereby making it binary. Wright refutes Zemenick's assertions about intersex conditions, sex chromosomes, hormones, and gametes, emphasizing the importance of clear, scientifically accurate communication and education. He warns against the spread of pseudoscience, urging a return to evidence-based discussion and policy-making.
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