In 1989, when the Gender Identity Development Service (Gids) at London’s Tavistock Clinic opened, it received two referrals in its first year of operation. As Dr Polly Carmichael, current director of the service, observes, it was considered a career-limiting option for a clinical psychologist to specialise in the field of gender identity in young people – there weren’t enough patients. That is not how it has turned out. Last year, 1,400 children under 18 were referred to Gids, double the number the year before. Of these 1,400, nearly 300 were under the age of 12, with some as young as three years old.
The reasons for this exponential increase are obviously complex. One factor seems to be a huge shift in awareness of transgender individuals in wider culture. The attention paid to Caitlyn Jenner in America, and Kellie Maloney here; a transgender actor, Riley Carter Millington, playing a transgender role in EastEnders; the historic tragedy of the story told in The Danish Girl and the many public controversies about respect for trans rights have all informed this awareness.
In Washington D.C. for a National Prayer Breakfast, Cardinal Robert Sarah has escribed gay marriage as “poison” and attacked transgender rights as a form of ideological colonialism.
“[T]hrough a demonic ‘gender ideology,’ a deadly impulse that is being experienced in a world increasingly cut off from God through ideological colonialism.”
Cardinal Sarah, is an African, as am I by origin. I leave aside here his lamentable disregard for the Catechism’s plain instruction that homosexuals (and, by extension, transgender people) should be treated with “respect, compassion and sensitivity”. Instead, I simply draw attention to the cardinal’s woeful ignorance of our continent’s history, of the the nature of colonial ideology – and of basic biology. Continue reading Gender and “Ideological Colonialism”
Transgender children who are allowed to present their gender identity and change their names have good mental health outcomes, according to a study released on Friday and hailed as “crucially important”.
The study, published in the March issue of the journal Pediatrics, shows the positive impact family support can have on the lives of transgender children, a group long hidden from public view.
Researchers found normal levels of depression and only slightly elevated anxiety levels in transgender children who were supported by their families.
Such support included the use of pronouns that matched the child’s gender identity, calling them by the name of their choosing and, often, and allowing them to change their hairstyle and clothing to reflect their identity. Such children are also known as “socially transitioned” children.
Right from the start, my objection to so-called “conversion therapy” and the “ex-gay” movement, has been simple: it amounts to misleading advertising. I have no objection to those wishing to offer religious counselling to gay people who find it a struggle to live in accordance with their religions belief – but to call it “conversion” is deceitful. It is now widely accepted that one’s sexual and affectional orientation is deeply ingrained (possibly even within the womb), and simply cannot be changed. Even the “ex-gay” leaders themselves have now acknowledged it.
Now, an American court has ruled (unanimously) that so-called “conversion therapy” amounts to consumer fraud
After three weeks of trial, a New Jersey jury reached a quick verdict in the case against JONAH, a Jewish ex-gay organization sued under the state’s consumer fraud laws. The jury unanimously found against JONAH on all counts, meaning it will have to pay upwards of $25,000 in damages to the clients and their families for undergoing ex-gay therapy. Continue reading New Jersey Court: “Conversion Therapy” is Consumer Fraud/
Of course, we knew this: my daughter Robynn says of gay parents “I recommend them” (aHEM!) – but still good to have it confirmed in a major meta – analysis of all available academic research: . “Same-sex couple adoption doesn’t have any negative effect on children”
A 2013 study addressed the question directly, evaluating the outcomes of adoptees less than 3-years old who had been placed in one of 56 lesbian and gay households since infancy. It was a fairly small sample size, but the study found no significant associations between parental sexual orientation and child adjustment. In other words, no downside related to same-sex adoption was reported. The same can be said about this new study.
Now, a new study conducted by University of Colorado Denver research found that children of same-sex parents experience ‘no difference’ in terms of social and behavioral outcomes to children of heterosexual couples. The study examined thousands of peer-reviewed articles referencing same-sex parenting for patterns in citation of work by other researchers. Jimi Adams, an associate professor in the Department of Health and Behavioral Studies at CU Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences wanted to review all existing literature on the issue, and see if a consensus was reached. By the time he reached the 1990s, a consensus was already starting to develop, and by the time he reached 2000, he discovered that researchers had reached ‘overwhelming’ consensus on the issue. Basically, virtually all researchers reported that same-sex parenting is just as fine as opposite sex parenting, but they just weren’t aware of each other’s results.
A new review of research by the Australian Government’s Institute of Family Studies has found that kids who are being brought up in families headed by gays and lesbians do as well as their heterosexually parented peers
24 JANUARY 2014 | BY ANDREW POTTS
The Australian Institute of Family Studies has released a report on the well being of children raised by gays and lesbians and found they did just as well as those raised by heterosexual men and women.
The Australian Institute of Family Studies is the Australian Government’s key research body in the area of family well being and provides an evidence base for developing policy supportive of the well being of families in Australia.
The report was authored by Dr Deborah Dempsey – a Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the Faculty of Life and Social Sciences at Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology.
‘Research to date considerably challenges the point of view that same-sex parented families are harmful to children,’ the report found.
‘Children in such families do as well emotionally, socially and educationally as their peers from heterosexual couple families.’
‘Some researchers have concluded there are benefits for children raised by lesbian couples in that they experience higher quality parenting, sons display greater gender flexibility, and sons and daughters display more open-mindedness towards sexual, gender and family diversity,’ the report found.
- Yet Another Study Validates Same-Sex Parenting (bilerico.com)
- Same-sex parents ‘more caring’ (adelaidenow.com.au)
- Study: LGBT-Affirming Schools Yield Lower Suicide Rates (advocate.com)
Research shows that gay relationships are “happier and more positive” than straight ones.
The popular perception that gay relationships don’t last is not surprising, but it’s a myth. We all know that same – sex relationships face difficulties not encountered by our opposite – sex counterparts, arising from some measure of public disapproval, hostility or active discrimination or even violence, and from the greater difficulties in arranging the emotional and legal support of family and community in marriage ceremonies and contracts. So the misperception that our relationships are fragile, and the companion allegation often heard from our opponents that gay men are doomed to unhappiness, is not surprising – but is contradicted by the evidence.
The latest study to show this result comes from the UK Open University, widely reported this week in the British press. This research, based on a survey of 5000 people, including in-depth follow – up interviews with 50 of the participants, examined much more than just the sexuality of the couples, which explains the headline of the report in the Independent:
The key to a happy relationship? Be gay. Or childless. Or make tea
Gay couples are likely to be happier and more positive about their relationships than heterosexuals, according to a major study by the Open University published today
However, they are less likely to be openly affectionate towards each other – holding hands in public, for instance – because they still fear attracting disapproval.
The study of 5,000 people – 50 of whom were later followed up with in-depth interviews – aimed at finding out how modern couples keep their relationships on track through life’s difficulties.
It found that simple things – like making a cup of tea in the morning and taking it up to them in bed – were the most treasured by couples as examples of intimacy rather than more dramatic gestures such as declaring “I love you”.
It was on the relative happiness of people within different types of relationships that the survey threw up the most interesting insights into modern day life, however.
“LGBQ participants (lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer) are more generally positive about and happier with the quality of their relationship and the relationship which they have with their partner” the research concludes.
“Heterosexual parents are the group least likely to be there for each other, to make ‘couple time’, to pursue shared interests, to say ‘I love you’ and to talk openly to one another.”
- Large UK Study Finds That Gay Couples Are Happier Than Straight Couples (slog.thestranger.com)
- Same-Sex Couples Happier Than Straight Couples: Study (bilerico.com)
- Study: Gay couples more likely to be happy and positive than straight couples (pinknews.co.uk)
- Study Finds Gay Couples Are Happier, Less Likely To Display Public Affection (towleroad.com)