Welcome to Gender Analysis

Gender Analysis is a web series launched in 2014 exploring transgender science and life experiences in depth, and revealing the many insights to be found at their intersection. We take a closer look at fields such as sociology, public health, psychiatry, cognitive science, and more, weaving these diverse perspectives into a deeper understanding of gender-related phenomena. Gender Analysis goes beyond the 101s to educate both trans and cis viewers on some of the most fascinating dimensions of our lives – and the pressing issues we face in society.

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New episodes of Gender Analysis are published several times a month and are backed by our generous supporters on Patreon. Want to learn more? Check out our instant index for a quick introduction to the wide range of topics we cover:

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Gender dysphoria Self-discovery
How hormones work Bathroom bills
Finding a doctor Treatments for trans youth
Passing Sexuality
Transness and autism Paul McHugh
Regret and detransition Sex chromosomes
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CMA against Florida: Catholic Medical Association members Hruz, Van Meter, and Lappert have worked with Alliance Defending Freedom since 2017 to develop a group of anti-trans expert witnesses

Paul W. Hruz, Quentin L. Van Meter and Patrick W. Lappert, three principal actors in the Catholic Medical Association’s anti-LGBT capture of Florida’s state health agencies, were in attendance at meetings in 2017 with the right-wing Alliance Defending Freedom to assemble “expert” witnesses for legal arguments against trans rights and healthcare. In its initial 20 April 2022 press release, the Florida Department of Health cited as its first source Hruz’s article in the CMA’s religious-medical journal The Linacre Quarterly (Hruz, 2019), inaccurately describing it as a “systematic review” when it was actually a four-page wall of text. CMA members Van Meter and Lappert provided expert report Attachments E and F to Florida AHCA/Medicaid less than a month later on 17 May. In Kadel v. Folwell, recently decided in favor of coverage of gender-affirming care for North Carolina state employees, Hruz and Lappert described their meetings with the ADF (Deposition of Paul Hruz, 29 September 2021, and deposition of Patrick Lappert, 30 September 2021). Continue reading

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Catholic Medical Association members wrote a majority of Florida Medicaid’s anti-trans expert reports. Last year, CMA declared a faith-based commitment against approving of any transition care.

Declaration of Mario Dickerson, executive director of the Catholic Medical Association, 4 November 2021, in American College of Pediatricians et al. v. Becerra et al.

The Catholic Medical Association (CMA) is a right-wing advocacy group claiming a membership of about 2,500 Catholic doctors and other healthcare professionals in the United States (Declaration of Mario Dickerson, 4 November 2021). Previously, CMA described being gay as “preventable and treatable” (“Homosexuality & Hope”, 2009), opposed bans of anti-gay conversion therapy, opposed legal marriage equality, claimed abortion is “not healthcare”, denied abortion could ever be medically necessary, promoted “abortion pill reversal”, argued for Catholic religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccine mandates, and opposed medical transition treatments.

Since April 2022, Florida healthcare agencies have made ongoing efforts against transition care, with the involvement of “experts” from anti-trans groups like the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine (SEGM), Genspect, and the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) hate group. However, the CMA and its related groups are an even more extensive source of influence in the Florida anti-trans process and in wider political, legal, and religious action against gender-affirming care in the US healthcare system:

  • In April 2022, the Florida Department of Health’s “Treatment of Gender Dysphoria” guidelines cited a “systematic review” by CMA member Paul W. Hruz in the CMA’s journal The Linacre Quarterly; his article was not a systematic review. Three of the five expert reports against transition treatment provided to Florida AHCA/Medicaid were by CMA members: Attachment E by Quentin L. Van Meter (also the president of ACPeds), Attachment F by Deacon Patrick W. Lappert, and Attachment G by G. Kevin Donovan. Additionally, CMA member Patrick Hunter was appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis to the Florida Board of Medicine in June 2022 as AHCA advanced its exclusion of transition care from Medicaid.
  • In August 2021, CMA and ACPeds filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Health and Human Services (American College of Pediatricians et al. v. Becerra et al., 2021) in which their respective leaders, executive director Mario Dickerson and president Quentin L. Van Meter, used identical language claiming their members would not endorse any standards of care supporting transition. Dickerson of the CMA filed his declaration on November 4, citing various Catholic doctrinal statements from the Vatican and the Diocese of Arlington, while Van Meter of ACPeds filed his declaration five days later and omitted any reference to Catholic beliefs. Michelle Cretella, former president of ACPeds, is also a member of CMA, and ACPeds may serve largely as a secular front for CMA.
  • Because this is an absolute faith-based commitment by CMA and its members, Florida AHCA/Medicaid’s choice of CMA members to contribute three of five expert reports was a guarantee that a majority would not approve of our transition care in any way. These CMA members made no efforts to recuse themselves from this process or to disclose their prior commitment that they would ultimately always find against transition treatment regardless of the process. This effort led to the advancement of a rulemaking process against transition care by the Florida Board of Medicine by a 14-1 vote on August 5, and Medicaid’s exclusion of coverage for transition care starting on August 21.
  • CMA and its “allied organization” the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) operate a credentialing pipeline with the University of Mary’s “master’s in bioethics” program, inviting professionals from any field (“including professionals and specialists from centers for biomedical and biological research, universities, and government institutions involved in shaping public policy”) to attend brief seminars and complete online modules to receive a “certification in healthcare ethics” for $3,450. This can be converted to an MS in bioethics following additional courses at University of Mary. Patrick Hunter of the Florida Board of Medicine has no experience working with trans youth or adults, and received an MS in bioethics from the University of Mary in 2020. He now testifies that he holds an “advanced degree in bioethics” (Declaration of Patrick Hunter, 1 May 2022, in Eknes-Tucker v. Ivey), while other recipients of this degree clarify it is a “master’s degree in Catholic bioethics from the University of Mary in North Dakota, in association with the National Catholic Bioethics Center” ( Jane Doe 1 in Doe et al. v. Board of Regents of the University of Colorado et al.).
  • The importance of developing a stable of anti-trans experts with the credentials to testify as expert witnesses was discussed by CMA members Hruz, Van Meter, and Lappert at a 2017 meeting hosted by the anti-LGBT Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) (Deposition of Paul W. Hruz, 29 September 2021, and deposition of Patrick Lappert, 30 September 2021, in Kadel v. Folwell). Lappert, too, has no experience diagnosing or treating gender dysphoria and did not begin offering anti-trans expert testimony until after this meeting.
  • The NCBC has developed extensive theological arguments for why social and medical transition are “always morally evil” and “never morally permissible”, and facilitating anyone’s transition is “cooperation with evil” (Furton et al., 2021). Even if transitioning were found to be unambiguously beneficial to trans people, NCBC contends it is still always unacceptable because it is contrary to their interpretation of Catholic teaching; the NCBC has argued against Catholic healthcare organizations that do find transitioning to be morally permissible under Catholic belief (Harrison, pp. 56-57, 68-69 in Furton et al. 2021). Their staff work with Catholic Church dioceses to enforce anti-trans policies in Catholic hospitals and facilities via “Catholic identity” contracts and agreements, including regular audits conducted by an NCBC “survey team” as part of an “ethics review” (Deposition of Gail P. Cunningham, 14 April 2022, and deposition of Father Louis Asobi, 11 April 2022, in Hammons v. University of Maryland Medical System et al.). The NCBC issues reports about Catholic healthcare facilities to local bishops and other Catholic leaders, and Catholic hospitals appear to use spreadsheets to track “gender transition diagnoses” for auditing.
  • NCBC policy for hospitals mandates misgendering and deadnaming even trans patients who have had a legal name change, as well as routinely discontinuing HRT for trans patients admitted to any Catholic facility to avoid cooperating with “evil” (NCBC, “Transgender Issues in Catholic Health Care”, February 2017). Because 1 in 6 US hospital beds are in Catholic hospitals, this is an ongoing threat to the health of any trans person who may have a medical emergency near such a facility.

Catholic Church doctrine on trans people and transitioning, explained and enforced by the Catholic Medical Association and the National Catholic Bioethics Center, provides a clear roadmap for banning all forms of gender affirmation at all ages in any state that allows these groups to take control of trans healthcare. This is an unchanging position based on a religious belief and a faith commitment, and all members of the CMA and NCBC can be presumed to hold an absolute opposition to gender-affirming care regardless of evidence. Continue reading

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Florida’s anti-trans expert Dr. Quentin L. Van Meter was discredited on trans youth care in court, believes trans people are “delusional”, and promotes anti-gay conversion therapy

Summary and key points

Dr. Quentin L. Van Meter, a pediatric endocrinologist practicing in Atlanta, Georgia, has served in leadership roles at the anti-LGBT American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) hate group since 2008.

  • During his time at ACPeds, the group has published a number of position statements and legal filings against acceptance of LGBT youth, against same-sex parenting and adoption, and in support of anti-gay conversion therapy.
  • Van Meter has a history of providing expert reports and declarations in a variety of court cases, almost universally in opposition to transgender rights and healthcare. His testimony includes claims that gay students are harmed by being affirmed as valid, trans students are harmful to those around them and cause “social contagion”, and no trans youth or adults should ever medically transition.
  • He has stated during depositions that he is specifically hired to testify against gender-affirming care, and that his use of the term “child abuse” to describe transition is actually for the purpose of “emphasis” and “attention”.
  • Van Meter was selected by Florida AHCA/Medicaid in May 2022 to provide an expert report (Attachment E) against gender-affirming medical care, which was then incorporated into the June 2, 2022 “Generally Accepted Professional Medical Standards Determination on the Treatment of Gender Dysphoria” Medicaid report describing transition care as “experimental and investigational” and “not proven safe or effective”.

Dr. Van Meter’s report was submitted to the Florida Board of Medicine in July 2022 for a Board of Medicine hearing this Friday, August 5. The Florida Department of Health’s petition for rulemaking (pp. 870-877, 1112-1113) includes a proposal to: Continue reading

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Dr. Stephen Levine and the Plot to Police America’s Gender (part 2)

< Previously: Dr. Stephen Levine and the Plot to Police America’s Gender, part 1.

How Steensma et al. can’t support Levine’s claim that social transition causes persistence.

Zinnia JonesPersistent gender dysphoria into adolescence is not rare, including in Steensma et al.

Steensma et al. (2013) is the only source of any clinical evidence that is cited in support of Levine’s claim – that allowing social transition in childhood is an action that directly causes a greater likelihood of persistence of gender dysphoria in an individual than if they had not socially transitioned. Do the findings of Steensma et al. reflect Levine’s model of this supposed influence on child gender identity development? Largely, no. The authors report a limited model involving multiple factors that remain uncertain in their predictive value, let alone their causal influence or the possibility of actual intervention. It is the very opposite of the model of certain causation Levine describes in his testimony on these findings. Continue reading

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Dr. Stephen Levine and the Plot to Police America’s Gender (part 1)

In case after case, an anti-trans expert witness promotes the same baseless theory: permitting social transition for trans youth will prevent them from later adopting a cisgender identity. But his own sources reveal how implausible that is.

Zinnia JonesPsychiatrist Dr. Stephen Levine, chair of WPATH’s standards of care committee from 1997-98, has long been a preferred expert witness for state corrections departments defending against lawsuits from trans inmates seeking medical transition care. His evaluations of incarcerated trans patients nearly always recommend against surgical care, frequently contradicting the findings of other clinicians and unduly sexualizing trans women by terming their gender an expression of sexual fetishes. In the past few years, he’s also begun offering testimony in a number of cases involving trans youth and laws regarding their participation in school sports, use of their name and pronouns in schools, access to gender-affirming medical care, and protection from anti-trans conversion therapy.

In these cases, Levine repeatedly advances a tenuous chain of reasoning for why adults recognizing a trans child’s social transition by correctly gendering them is an actual act of harm to them, likely to influence the course of their gender identity development away from the cisgender outcome he considers more desirable – a form of unnecessary medical treatment enacted by unqualified faculty and others. He argues that the personal choice of social transition, the non-medical element of transgender expression such as adopting a certain name and pronouns, haircut, and style of presentation, is an essentially medical decision first requiring informed consent to be obtained. And in his estimation, truly informed consent – for so much as social transition only – could be impossible to obtain even from a child’s parents, or from an adult trans person themselves. Continue reading

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