I don’t pretend to fully understand the finer points of Lynn’s investigations, but her summary alone speaks volumes in a way even I can understand:
Summary and Findings:
The APA Task Force Report on Gender Identity and Gender Variance [APA08 – PDF here] greatly underreports the prevalence of “gender identity disorder” by a factor on the order of 10 to 20.
The underreporting of GID prevalence derives from a deliberate misuse of clinical definitions and a failure to mention known calculation errors in sources.
The unreasonably low prevalence numbers are given to three significant figures in the Report, as if they were precisely accurate – while failing to mention well-known sources of estimation error.
The Task Force then dismisses recent work by Olyslager and Conway that had exposed large errors in earlier studies by calling that work a “minority position” – as if a scientific analysis must be certified by a majority vote, rather than judged on its merits.
The Task Force further dismisses the work of Olyslager and Conway by insinuating that citation by “transgender activists” somehow reduces its validity – while failing to cite it themselves.
Finally, the Task Force fails to mention recent scientific studies that report far higher-levels of GID prevalence than does their Report.
The point Lynn makes is that the Task Force has apparently deliberately misrepresented GID prevalence by equating “the prevalence of ’sex reassignment’ as being ‘the prevalence of transsexualism’”.
The shift in meaning in [Bakker93 – PDF here] led to confusion for many decades. After all, most people want an answer to the question “How likely is it that someone might experience gender dysphoria?” The far smaller counts of “sex reassignments” answer a different question.
Key members of the APA Task Force were well aware of the true meaning of the [Bakker93] results, because Olyslager and Conway had exposed it in a presentation at the WPATH 2007 Symposium [Olyslager&Conway07 – PDF here]. In particular, members Zucker and Lawrence (WPATH’s experts in GID prevalence and responsible for revising that section in the 7th Ed. of the SOC) were quite familiar with [Bakker93] and with its deconstruction by [Olyslager&Conway07].
It thus appears that the Task Force knowingly misrepresented the results of [Bakker93] by referring to “sex reassignment” numbers as numbers for “gender identity disorder” – thereby making intense gender dysphoria appear to be far less prevalent than it actually is.
It really is quite disturbing that an organisation with such power would misrepresent the facts around such a debilitating condition, with all the consequences that such a course of action had, and has, on the lives of so many people. And why? For what purpose? I just don’t understand.
ETA: The whys and wherefores of this bugged me enough to email Lynn directly. She sent an interesting reply, which included the comment, “Hope this information is helpful to you. Please do pass it on to your friends and contacts too” – so here’s Lynn’s take on it:
Who might be responsible for this falsification?
It appears that the APA Task Force relied on Ken Zucker and Anne Lawrence for the section on prevalence. Zucker and Lawrence are considered WPATH’s ‘experts’ on prevalence, having been assigned responsibility for the revision of that section in the 7th Edition of the SOC. Furthermore, Zucker presented the exact same numbers for GID prevalence at the WPATH 2007 Symposium as presented in the APA report.
Why do the prevalence numbers matter?
Factors of 20 are important. By maintaining the old misimpression that fewer than 1 in 10,000 people experience gender dysphoria, the APA creates an illusion that it is an extremely rare “disorder”. If people were aware that gender dysphoria is experienced by at least 1 in 500 people, transgenderism would increasingly be seen for what it is – a natural variation in gendering. Furthermore, by maintaining the illusion that gender dysphoria is incredibly rare, gender-repartists such as Zucker can assure parents that it’s extremely unlikely their gender-variant child will become “transsexual” and suggest that all the child needs is some minor gender-repairs.
I think you can see why and how this happened. It all points to Zucker and Lawrence, who are principal figures in the “old-guard” psych community that has long demonized transwomen. Zucker in particular runs a gender-reparatist clinic in Canada, and is well-known for forcing young GID children to accept their birth gender.
For more on Zucker and Lawrence, see the following pages:
Previous, related posts on this blog (most recent first):
- Trans task force report for American Psychological Association is out
- Zucker to Speak At Royal Society of Medicine Conference
- WPATH Clarification
- With God on Our Side
- Crazy love
- Still mad: more on DSM-V/Zucker/Blanchard
- Mad as hell