Last month, Britain’s National Health Service made major news when they announced that they were banning the use of puberty blockers for children, except for those enrolled in a tightly regulated clinical trial. The decision was made after an independent review found there were “significant uncertainties” surrounding the long-term effects of these drugs, which had previously been touted as totally reversible.
I really appreciated this episode. But I will say I'm running out of patience with the Left. I come from the Left and I did the nuance dance for a long time. I feel like it's a Churchill vs. Chamberlain situation. Are you going to be able to adequately explain to young people whose testicles and breasts have been removed, whose sexual function is non-existent that you just didn't want to be associated with the "right wingers" and their transphobia? I don't either but I also understand that they have no problem stepping in and protecting children. Why doesn't the Left? Why is everyone so concerned about how they will be perceived?
Is there an overarching principle with which to understand the social changes we are now experiencing? Perhaps social media is the revolutionary technology that the printing press once was. The transfer of information, crowd-shaming, and outraged self-righteousness can now be transmitted with viral stealth. This immediacy leaves little time to distill visceral impulses into insightful illuminations. So many mouths talk before they think. Roberts Rules of Order simply do not work in our current social discourse.
I have been a psychiatrist for over thirty years. I belong to the bridge generation: those classically trained to appreciate the subtleties and nuances of the dynamics of human behavior and the growing body of scientific literature describing the neurochemistry which determines mood, temperament, and intellectual prowess. The desired verity of the science as it develops is held in question by collusion with the vested financial interests of industries such as pharmaceuticals and cannabis. It is increasingly hard to trust or believe in any purported expert or thought leader. The debates are a cacophony of vitriol and sophistry.
When Ideology Corrupts Medicine__and How One Reporter Exposed It is another brilliant Honestly podcast discussion. Over the last decade, I have quietly seen many children led by the trans cultural revolution into biological and surgical interventions to further overt late onset gender dysphoria. The wrath of trans activists has come down upon multiple thought leaders and academics, and anyone who notes the absence of mathematically sound settled science is threatened with loss of career or livelihood. We are witnessing the censorship of academic freedom, as evidenced by the woke inquisition’s response to Dr. Lisa Littman’s concept of rapid onset gender dysphoria, ROGD (Is she still at Brown?). We have allowed trans activist to own the narrative when there should be respect debate and discussion. The demand to validate every assertion of trans identity has its own characterological underpinning. A macroscopic lens on this debate would concur with the points made in this podcast that the great majority of the gaggle of ROGD has relevant co-morbidities. The question that should be asked whenever there are multiple psychiatric co-morbidities is whether there an organizing umbrella diagnosis to explain the cooccurrence co-morbidities: developmental trauma, borderline personality disorder, autism, and social contagion can all be underlying conditions which cooccur with ROGD; all of these conditions share the condition of identity diffusion. It is noteworthy that borderline personality disorder is rarely diagnosed as it is considered sexist and pejorative. To suggest that ROGD may stem identity diffusion from any of these other diagnoses can be tantamount to admitting bias, transphobia, or even hatred, when in fact the very rage of such an accusation may actually be a group endorsed distortion. To disagree is to be transphobic and hateful. I am relieved that some on the left can agree with some on the right over rational issues that she not be politicized. We should be addressing social contagion as the process to identify and contain.
I read this reporter’s book and it is very informative. If you want to learn more about this subject I highly recommend it.
Book ordered. This interview was perfectly timed for me as I almost just broke my relationship with my daughter (19) this weekend by not agreeing to adopt preferred pronouns for her friend. I wondered if I would capitulate when it happened. I knew it was coming and I know the consequences for me personally are almost unbearable. But I held to my principles and my beliefs and used compassion to prevent the rift, for now. It's the dogmatic approach of "agree with me or else" that I can't support. I can respect her views, as long as it's not being demanded of me that I change my behaviour to go against my beliefs. I ask of her that she respect my views, too. That's how civil society works.
Several times towards the end of this enlightening conversation, the guest and host both expressed uncertainty of how the medical establishment in the UK and US could get so far away from scientific merit. To me it's easy to see - ideological uniformity in academia which lets a monolithic political/social viewpoint take hold. Once you remove any opposing viewpoints in a group, I think it's natural for that group to become more extreme in their views. We in a world where is my ideological foe believes something, the truth must be 180° opposed to whatever they say. It's embarrassing in its hubris and ignorance.
Absolutely fantastic interview - Hannah is extraordinarily well-educated on this topic, presents things in a very objective way, and reminds us that this is a medical issue, and the importance is even greater because we are talking about treating children. She is BRILLIANT!
Thank you. The journalist you interviewed used guarded and polite language when describing the pediatric-Trans pathway. She refers to the patient “assessment”. That word refers generally to the process of capturing patient information. It also refers to a specific psychological questionnaire tool that is specifically named in the patient medical record. Examples are: CANS, ANSA, ASI, etc. There is no tool to capture “Trans”. That means doctors have no method for separating Trans patient from non-Trans, other than patient stating “I am Trans”. Not a problem for autonomous adults who are entitled to decide on body modification. Both AG Garland and AG Bonta (CA) have my Dec 2022 letter stating the above. Both APA and NIMH violated their own standards in allowing treatment for a pediatric condition that cannot be captured.
This was a very informative and interesting podcast. Thank you Bari.
Loved this episode. It clarified for me the simplicity of how a puberty blocker works. It is a hormone blocker. It is clear that a man who goes through puberty as a male will always have physical advantages over a woman after transitioning. It should be a no brainer to exclude these trans women from women's sports. And it is clear that the lifetime complications of using them through puberty for either sex should be avoided at all costs. What are the odds the recipient will be happy with their choice? 1 in 100? Thank you for this interview.
I have a technical problem with these wonderful podcasts. At a point they simply stop. I can't get them to start again other than at the beginning. Eventually I just give up. A shame.