Did California state prisons perform unethical medical experiments on transgender women in 1987?

Zinnia JonesOver the past few years, I’ve made a regular habit of seeking out and compiling nearly any published research that’s relevant to trans people and our well-being in society. Often I focus specifically on the medical side of the transgender experience, looking into the past and present of which treatments are available to us and their physiological and psychological effects. Some of it provides useful insights into details of transness that not many people are aware of; much of it is repetitive, redundant, or mundane.

Very rarely, I find something horrifying. Continue reading

Posted in Endocrinology, Ethics, Health care, History, Politics and law, Transgender medicine, Transphobia and prejudice | 2 Comments

Lisa Littman cites Edwards-Leeper & Spack (2012) in her “rapid onset gender dysphoria” study – but did she read it?

Zinnia JonesLisa Littman’s now-notorious study on an alleged new “rapid onset gender dysphoria” condition occurring in adolescents as a result of “social contagion” (Littman, 2018) has already received extensive criticism, including but not limited to her reliance on only secondhand reports from parents recruited from anti-trans communities and the absence of any evaluation of the youth who are now being diagnosed from afar with this hypothesized condition. In several instances her analysis reveals an ignorance of or disregard for existing literature on trans youth and gender identity, in areas such as the course of trans identity development and disclosure to family, the prevalence of gender-dysphoric symptoms in adolescents, the history of the trans community’s engagement with medical gatekeeping, and the disproportionate occurrence of depersonalization disorder in untreated gender dysphoria. Continue reading

Posted in Family, Gender dysphoria, Trans youth, Transphobia and prejudice | Tagged | Leave a comment

Use of puberty blockers in transgender girls, effects on genital tissue development, and vaginoplasty options


Background and description of the issue

GnRH analogue medications such as Lupron, Decapeptyl, and Supprelin LA have been in use since the early 1990s to halt natal pubertal development at Tanner stage 2 or 3 in transgender adolescents with persistent gender dysphoria (de Vries & Cohen-Kettenis, 2012), and entered wider usage in clinical practice in the 2000s. Following the administration of blockers, adolescents who elect to continue transitioning will later receive cross-sex hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgeries as desired.

One concern raised with increasing frequency in recent years involves the effect of early intervention with puberty blockers on genital tissue growth in adolescent trans girls, and the impact on their future options for vaginoplasty surgery. Because construction of the neovagina typically involves primarily using the penis and scrotum as a source of genital tissue, underdevelopment of these organs may leave little material available for this method of vaginoplasty, potentially necessitating alternative approaches to this surgery using other methods. Continue reading

Posted in Endocrinology, Outcomes of transition, Surgery, Trans youth, Transgender medicine | Leave a comment

Large study of trans people in the Netherlands shows growing numbers seeking treatment, low regret rates

Medical transition by trans people, its prevalence and demographics, and rates of regret of treatment are perennial subjects of public curiosity and media controversy. With unfortunate frequency, this has taken the form of scaremongering that depicts the growing numbers of trans people presenting for treatment as an almost literal epidemic: the British press now routinely resorts to baseless alarmism and conspiracy theories characterizing the rise in trans youth as resulting from nefarious efforts at “tricking” cis youth into believing they’re trans, a transparent relabeling of the ugly accusations of recruitment leveled at the gay community in decades past. Accompanying such fears are predictions of mass waves of regret to follow, as large numbers of supposedly misdiagnosed individuals come to realize they were cisgender after all.  Continue reading

Posted in Health care, Outcomes of transition, Regret and detransition, Statistics and demographics, Trans youth | 1 Comment

Transgender depersonalization testimonies around the web, 2018

Throughout numerous articles, I’ve covered many aspects of the experience of chronic depersonalization among trans people, a condition of persistent feelings of unreality or having “no self” that’s especially common in untreated gender dysphoria. Symptoms of depersonalization disorder are wide-ranging and can include (Sierra et al., 2005; Fagioli et al., 2015):

  • Disturbances in sense of self: Feeling “robotic”; a sense of seeing oneself from the outside or being an observer of oneself; lacking a sense of ownership over one’s body as if it does not belong to oneself
  • De-affectualization: Emotional numbing; not “truly” feeling emotions when expressing them; a sense of having an empty head or having no thoughts at all, or as if one’s thoughts have a life of their own; not experiencing pleasure or displeasure at the taste or smell of things; detachment from the sense of pain
  • Derealization: Feeling detached from one’s surroundings; seeing the world as colorless, lifeless, or flat; a sense of being unreal
  • Disruptions in sense of time, memory, and perception: Objects appearing smaller or far away; a sense of not being present in one’s own memories of life; feeling that recent events took place long ago

Continue reading

Posted in Awareness building, Depersonalization, Gender dysphoria, Psychology and psychiatry | 1 Comment