NYT Accidentally Shows Why Sex Changes Are So Dangerous

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
Font Size:

The New York Times profiled a study which cites research suggesting that sex changes are not an effective treatment for gender dysphoria.

A study published Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that trans people in Denmark had 7.7 times the rate of suicide attempts and 3.5 times the rate of suicide deaths of the non-trans population. The study, which was conducted by analyzing the health records of more than six million people over the span of four decades, dealt with individuals aged 15 and over.

“The findings, published on Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, come at a charged political moment in the United States, where Republican lawmakers across the country have enacted laws targeting sexuality and gender identity, restricting drag performances, bathroom use for transgender people and gender-related medical care,” the Times reports. (RELATED: Transgender Former State Rep Arrested For Child Sex Crimes Has History Of Arrests)

“Elevated rates of all-cause mortality among transgender individuals have also been reported in studies from Sweden and the United States,” the JAMA study notes, citing a 2011 study that found that patients’ risks for death actually increased after they received sex changes.

“Persons with transsexualism, after sex reassignment, have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behaviour, and psychiatric morbidity than the general population. Our findings suggest that sex reassignment, although alleviating gender dysphoria, may not suffice as treatment for transsexualism, and should inspire improved psychiatric and somatic care after sex reassignment for this patient group,” the 2011 study found.

The study, which was conducted with 324 transgender individuals from 1973 to 2003, also found that “[t]ranssexual individuals were at increased risk of being convicted for any crime or violent crime after sex reassignment.”

Many studies used to justify sex-change treatments for minors have fallen under scrutiny in recent years. Dr. Jack Turban, for instance, was forced to issue multiple corrections to a much-touted article from Psychology Today, which claimed to prove that “gender-affirming medical care improves mental health for trans youth.” A sentence was added to several of the studies Turban mentioned in the article, explaining that the studies’ own authors did not believe that sex-change procedures necessarily improved the mental health of trans-identified youth.