2004/07/30/Sex changes are not effective

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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