New Study on ‘Sexuality and Gender’ Shakes Assumptions About Transgenderism


The New Atlantis recently published a study, Sexuality and Gender, that is sure to earn its authors a place on the secular media hit list.

The study and paper weren’t produced by amateurs, but by Lawrence S. Mayer, MB, MS, PhD and Paul H Hugh, MD.

Dr. Hugh is the University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He was the psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital and has served as a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics.

Dr. Mayer is a scholar in residence in the Department of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University.

He has been published in peer-reviewed journals. His publications include articles in The Annals of Statistics, Biometrics, International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, American Journal of Political Science, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Statistical Association and the American Journal of Public Health.

I listed these men’s credentials because the conclusions they reached in their research fly in the face of the political narratives that have been put forward by one side of the culture wars. I expect them to be attacked, and I also expect anyone who cites their work to be attacked along with them.

What have they said that’s so worthy of such attacks? Basically, (and it’s a long article that you should read yourself) they debunk several claims in the public narrative about the causes of homosexuality. One apple-cart that they overturn is the “born that way,” explanation for how people develop same-sex attractions.

There is nothing inflammatory per se in what the authors conclude. It is, rather, pretty much what we all have surmised: there are most likely a number of causes that lead to the development of homosexuality, and no one really knows at this point what all of them are. However, the “born that way” narrative does not bear out, at least as a sole explanation.

The authors also address the question of mental health and homosexuality. Their conclusion is that homosexual people suffer from higher rates of mental health problems than their counterparts in the larger community.

Again, it is not possible to say whether these mental health problems are part of an overall mental health dynamic that results in homosexuality, a result of homosexual behavior, or a reaction to prejudice and discrimination that individuals encounter because of their sexuality. It’s a chicken and egg thing, just like the question of what “causes” same-sex attraction.

This research also shows that “gender reassignment surgery” does not result in improved mental health outcomes for those who undergo it. It raises the issue of the high rate of suicide in people who say they are transgender.

The authors don’t say this, but I would guess that the poor mental health results of gender reassignment surgery are mostly due to the fact that it is a barbaric and mutilating procedure that has more in common with yester-years’ pre-frontal lobotomies than legitimate medical practice. I believe quite strongly that this procedure is an abuse of people who have serious untreated mental health issues.

The paper also addresses the new medical trend of “treating” children who profess confusion about their gender. According to this research, “only a minority of children who experience cross-gender identification will continue to do so into adolescence and adulthood. There is little scientific evidence for the therapeutic value of interventions that delay puberty or modify secondary sex characteristics of adolescents.”

Yet children are being subjected to high dosages of hormones to accomplish this precise medically dubious outcome. This is more a means of legitimizing political narratives than any desire to help children.

Simply put, these are draconian medical procedures with life-long health consequences. They are barbaric and mutilating. They entail dosing otherwise healthy people with dangerous levels of synthetic hormones for the rest of their lives.

The damage this “treatment” does to the bodies of the people who undergo it is impossible, given our knowledge today, to fully comprehend. But it must be enormous. That alone could exacerbate depression and other mental health problems

Our society is in a big rush to force unwelcome changes on the populace in order to accommodate fantastical claims by “transgendered” people. Many of these societal changes would be harmful to girls and women.

But on top of that, the actual scientific evidence suggests that these trendy, but barbaric medical treatments are physically and psychologically harmful to people who suffer from this malady.

For centuries, doctors have pledged to “First, do no harm.” It’s time to get back to that.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of


About Author

Pro Life Democrats are, as they say in Oklahoma, as rare as hen's teeth. That makes Rebecca Hamilton a rare find indeed. When Rebecca left her 18-year career in the Ok Legislature last November, she had more seniority than any other member of the legislature. In the 1980s, Rebecca experienced a knock-you-down-in-middle-of-the-road conversion experience that changed her from pro abortion to pro life. Before her conversion, Rep Hamilton had advocated for legal abortion in the legislature. Before her first election in 1980, she was the Oklahoma Director of NARAL. She left office after 3 terms when she had her first baby and was a full-time stay at home Mom for 16 years. She was re-elected to office in 2002 and spent the next 12 years passing pro life legislation. Rebecca is the author of the bill that broke the 30-year logjam on pro life legislation in Oklahoma. She passed the bill ending elective abortions in state hospitals. Rebecca also passed a resolution calling Congress to begin hearings on an amendment to the United States Constitution defining marriage as between one woman and one man. Because of her pro life work, Rebecca came within a razor thin vote margin of being publicly censured by the Oklahoma State Democratic Party at the 2007 statewide party convention. Rebecca blogs at Patheos at Public Catholic where she writes at the intersection of faith and public life.


  1. Two caveats, I think, are essential.

    First, the correlation between homosexuality and various forms of psychic disorder seems manifestly to be significantly lower than it was half a century, even a quarter century ago. It’s not unreasonable to wonder whether that decline is due to the experience of greater social acceptance. In which case it would be reasonable to expect it to be a trend line that will continue toward even lower correlation.

    Secondly, there’s the question of the heterosexual control group to which homosexuals are compared. I’m not familiar with recent data, but at least as of a decade or so ago there was a significant gap between the emotional well-being of (a) married persons and (b) unmarried persons. Wouldn’t the correct control group be heterosexual unmarried persons. And if that comparison is made, does the correlation lessen? Disappear entirely? Or even reverse? And doesn’t new inquiry suggest itself? Namely, whether the contrast between married and unmarried heterosexuals have any parallel in the same contrast in homosexual persons.

    What these authors’ research says is quite interesting. But, like much such research, what it doesn’t say significantly diminishes its value.

  2. Einstein or Stephen Hawking could have written the study and it would still be blasted like this one will.

    Doesn’t fit the narrative, so it will be discredited; ironically, by the same people who yell “science” all the time.

  3. I never reconciled the dichotomy between “born this way” and “gender fluidity”; i.e. I cannot choose to be homosexuality, (orientation to a behavior is innate) but I can choose to be a man or a woman (biology is somehow subjective and the objective reality of one’s s*x at birth is,malleable)

    Not weighing in on either-haven’t read the study cited-just pointing out the inconsistency.

  4. Wendell Bernard on

    The article, like the alleged study, lacks meaning. What exactly is being said? Apparently it is too unpalatable a notion to explicitly state…That gay or transgender people are not determined to be so by genetics, that it is a choice. Therefore, one can only presume, it is permissible to pass judgement, perhaps even discriminate against them.

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