2004/07/30/Sex changes are not effective
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- when: 2004/07/30
- author: David Batty
- source: The Guardian
- topics: sex reassignment surgery/misrepresentation
- link: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2004/jul/30/health.mentalhealth
- title: Sex changes are not effective, say researchers
- summary: “There is no conclusive evidence that sex change operations improve the lives of transsexuals, with many people remaining severely distressed and even suicidal after the operation, according to a medical review conducted exclusively for Guardian Weekend tomorrow.” This article misleadingly represents what is known about the effects of SRS, and the headline is an outright lie.
The essential points for understanding why this article is misleading:
- The study in question involved a review of only double-blind trials involving sex reassignment surgery (SRS)
- It is not possible to ethically conduct double-blind SRS studies, for multiple reasons...
- There is no placebo for SRS; the patient will always know whether they've had it or not.
- Simply withholding treatment from half the patients leads to high suicide rates in those patients
- ...therefore none have been conducted.
- Therefore there will never be evidence which satisfies this criterion.
- There are reasonable ways to study the question scientifically, however:
- long-term study: measure the quality of life of SRS recipients before and after surgery
- demographic-corrected: measure the quality of life of SRS recipients after surgery and compare them to the average quality of life of transsexuals before surgery
- self-evaluation: ask transsexuals after surgery whether they feel better
- 2014-08-02 A commentary on the 2004 ARIF study and the Guardian article "Sex changes are not effective, say researchers" (major source for the above analysis)
- 2018-03-05 [L..T] Sex Change: Physically Impossible, Psychosocially Unhelpful, and Philosophically Misguided "Modern medicine can’t reassign sex physically, and attempting to do so doesn’t produce good outcomes psychosocially. Here is the evidence." Article presents evidence to the contrary, ignores it, and repeatedly concludes that selected ideologues are prima facie correct.