The American Journal of Psychiatry (AJP) printed a rare and important correction this month. A study claiming to be the “first total population study of transgender individuals with a gender incongruence diagnosis” was published in the October 2019 AJP titled “Reduction in mental health treatment utilization among transgender individuals after gender-affirming surgeries: a total population study.” Seven letters to the editor from 12 authors, myself included, resulted in a data reanalysis and subsequent correction statement that no improvement was demonstrated with surgical treatment. Now for the setting and major points of my team’s published letter.

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Conscience rights are constitutional priorities as well as professional and personal necessities for free people, and these enjoy strong and historic support from the legislature, executive branch and judiciary. They are worth defending, especially when misrepresented and misunderstood.

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Per Alliance Defending Freedom: “Freedom of conscience means you are free to carry out your moral duty without fear of government coercion or punishment.”

Also, it need not be faith-based to count. Conscience is conscience, and these rights protect our atheist colleagues as they do us. Canadian philosopher Edward Tingley explains that conscience rights protect those who object to the norm of what even a majority thinks is right, and they apply when (1) a cogent claim can be made that (2) grave wrong is done. The claim of wrong needs only to be serious and defensible.

Conscience rights exist precisely to protect someone who disagrees with majority consensus. They specifically protect unpopular opinions. The objection needs only to be serious and defensible.

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British general practitioner Sally Howard wondered in The BMJ, “…the significant majority of children do resolve their gender ID in favour of their natal sex by adulthood. Where is the advocacy for the mental health needs of that majority?” Where, indeed.

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The “Parent Resource Guide: Responding to the Transgender Issue” is a just-released project of the Minnesota Family Council available gratis at www.GenderResourceGuide.com. Print copies can be purchased as well.
It is endorsed by organizations right (Heritage Foundation and Family Policy Alliance), center (Kelsey Coalition and Parents of ROGD Kids) and left (Women’s Liberation Front). Their stated common concerns are the “negative consequences that result when society regards bodily sex as irrelevant,” and the belief that “public schools should never feel pressured to force boys and girls to sacrifice their bodily privacy, promote unscientific theories about human biology, or celebrate ideas that place young children on a path to chemical sterilization or cosmetic ‘gender confirmation’ surgery.” I was honored to be one of many who were invited to help shape its content.

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Scapegoating the Church for LGBT Suicide and Stigma

Health statistics for people who identify as GLBTQ+ are recognized as poor compared to the general population. Finding causation for those negative statistics in stigma and the religious groups that allegedly promote it is the ideological zeitgeist. California Assemblyman Evan Low just introduced non-binding resolution ACR-99 Civil rights: lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people, which states, “The stigma associated with being LGBT often created by groups in society, including therapists and religious groups, has caused disproportionately high rates of suicide, attempted suicide, depression, rejection, and isolation amongst LGBT and questioning individuals;” and it isn’t the only time “religious groups,” “pastors” or “religious leaders” are mentioned in the text condemning “conversion therapy.” It’s conceptual and factual error and ultimately hurts sexual minorities. Blame shifting does that.

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Intersex: What It Is And Is Not May 2, 2019

Intersex is a colloquialism for what is more formally titled Disorders of Sex Development (DSD). Per psychiatrist Karl Benzio in an article published in Today’s Christian Doctor in 2015: “Intersex – People who have anatomy that is not considered typically male or female or have anatomy not matching their genetic sex of XX or XY. Most come to medical attention because healthcare professionals or parents notice something unusual about their bodies or puberty or fertility isn’t normal, but some are not known until death/autopsy.”

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Disappointment, Rejection and Betrayal, and Reasonable Expectations February 28, 2019

My senior pastor instructs that successful Christian living—I would add “or any successful life”—requires being prepared for the inevitability of disappointment, rejection and betrayal. Expectation is not fixation but preparation. The aim is not to sour you on life, but to bullet proof you a bit from its down side and to recognize the prize God provides through it.

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Merry Christmas: A Physician’s Take December 27, 2018

Luke’s gospel gives the most complete and careful detailing of the setting, annunciation, gestation and birth of Christ, as one would expect from a person of medicine. In this week’s blog post, Dr. Andre Van Mol explores the gospel account of Christ’s birth.

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The Future Today July 2, 2018

Early this year Dr. Andre Van Mol found himself transitioning from 23 years of solo family practice to employment by a big company, which is enough change for any season. Then came the request to help small teams fight big bills in his state capital of Sacramento, California.

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A few landmines are lurking in the field of our state’s educational laws. California Education Code 51931 “definitions” section details that only “medically accurate” information can be taught. Seemingly fair enough. Also, Code 51933 states: “(4) Instruction and materials shall not reflect or promote bias against any person on the basis of any category protected by Section 220.

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There are three bills pending in the California Assembly that beg your attention and action. They clearly seem intended to stand as national models. Dr. Andre Van Mol provides a brief on these bills, followed by talking points regarding their problems and where to lodge your protests.

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by Andre Van Mol, MD

A 2016 article in the journal Demography asserted that health outcomes for children raised in either same-sex or different-sex married homes were about the same. Sociologist D.P. Sullins published a 2017 article in the same journal noting inadvertent but crushing mistakes in the measures for the 2016 paper, namely that the data taken from the National Health Interview Survey, administered by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), misclassified 42 percent of the sample’s same-sex married partners as opposite-sex.

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Mistaken Identity: There is No Straight or Gay October 26, 2017

Satan attacks identity, striving to separate us from who we are made to be. Mistaken identity is costly. In this week’s The Point blog, Dr. Andre Van Mol explores the concept of mistaken identity, the false identity of GLBT, and how it makes a difference in both medicine and science.

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Opponents of therapy for minors—and ultimately anyone—wanting to overcome undesired same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria have feverishly worked to enact bans against what is pejoratively labeled “conversion therapy.” Change therapy—be it called reparative therapy, sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) or the more recent nomenclature of SAFE-T (Sexual Attraction Fluidity Exploration in Therapy)—has been in the cross-hairs for years, as I wrote about here, and the false claims against it have registered with the public and legislatures alike.

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Christianity versus science is a popular false dichotomy promoted to the aggravation of believers as well as non-believers with an eye on history. Add to that the assertion that the church provided the Dark Ages? There were no Dark Ages. It’s a myth.

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A study in last month’s Social Science & Medicine reported not being able to replicate the results of Columbia University study showing a shorter life expectancy for LGBT individuals who face prejudice. In this week’s blog, Dr. Andrè Van Mol says it’s another case of non-reproducible results broadcast globally to ideological ends.

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A 50-foot reproduction of the entry arch to the Temple of Baal went up in London this year and is soon to be in New York City. Yes, that Baal, the Canaanite “Lord” of fertility, rain and agriculture, thus wealth. Baal worship involved ritual sexual activity, sacred prostitutes of both sexes and infant sacrifice (see Jeremiah 19:5; Deuteronomy 12:31; Deuteronomy 18:9-10; and 2 Kings 23:7).

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