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Why did three journals reject my puberty-blocker study? Trans children deserve to know the facts

(Guy Smallman/Getty Images)


February 12, 2024   7 mins

What happens during puberty? And what happens if we try to stop it? It’s one of the most fraught questions of our time. Given its significance and the vulnerability of the people it involves, you might be surprised to learn that there have been more studies assessing the impact of puberty blockers on cognitive function in animals than humans. Of the 16 studies that have specifically examined the impact of puberty blockers on cognitive function, 11 have been conducted in animals. And most found some detrimental impact on cognitive function when the researchers gave these drugs to mice, sheep or monkeys.

The sheep studies were particularly interesting as they used twin lambs, administering the puberty blockers to only one in the pair. More than one year after stopping the medication, the sheep who had taken the puberty blockers had still not “caught up” with their untreated siblings in their ability to complete a test of spatial memory. It can, however, be fairly argued that we can only extrapolate so much from the abilities of sheep to remember the way through a maze of hay bales. It is really the studies in humans that are of most interest to those considering prescribing or taking these drugs.

Yet such studies are hard to come by. There are only five that have looked at the impact of puberty blockers on cognitive function in children, and only three of these have looked at these effects in adolescents given the medication for gender dysphoria. In one of these studies, the researchers didn’t measure how well the children were doing before they administered the drugs, so it is difficult to know whether the subsequent difficulties they had on a strategy task could be attributed to the medication. A second study established an excellent baseline, and the researchers employed a gold-standard measure to test the cognitive abilities of the children in the programme before they started the puberty blockers.

Unfortunately, they didn’t re-administer these tests to assess the impact of the medication, but chose instead to report how many of a subset of these children completed a vocational education and how many completed a higher vocational education years later. No outcomes at all were reported on 40% of the children who started out in the study. The final study, however, was beautifully designed: the researchers assessed IQ prior to the administration of puberty blockers and regularly monitored the impact of the treatment over 28 months on a comprehensive battery of cognitive tasks. The results were concerning and suggested an overall drop in IQ of 10 points which extended to 15 points in verbal comprehension. But regrettably, this was a single case study, and while alarming, the conclusions we can draw from one person’s experience are limited.

Last year, I wrote a paper to summarise the results of these studies. The paper explained in relatively simple terms why we might think that blocking puberty in young people could impact their cognitive development. In a nutshell: puberty doesn’t just trigger the development of secondary sex characteristics; it is a really important time in the development of brain function and structure. My review of the medical literature highlighted that while there is a fairly solid scientific basis to suspect that any process that interrupts puberty will have an impact on brain development, nobody has really bothered to look at this properly in children with gender dysphoria.

I didn’t call for puberty blockers to be banned. Most medical treatments have some side effects and the choice of whether to take them depends on a careful analysis of the risk/benefit ratio for each patient. My paper didn’t conduct this kind of analysis, although others have and have judged the evidence to be so weak that these treatments can only be viewed as experimental. My summary merely provided one piece of the jigsaw. I concluded my manuscript with a list of outstanding questions and called for further research to answer these questions, as every review of the medical literature in any field always does.

As a scientific paper, it was not ground-breaking — reviews rarely are. But by summarising the research so far, I thought it would serve as a convenient resource for the numerous authorities currently examining the efficacy of these treatments. It also provided key information for parents and children currently considering medical options. Every patient needs to be aware of what doctors do and do not know about any elective treatment if they are going to make an informed decision about going ahead. Doctors have a duty of candour to provide this.

“Doctors have a duty of candour.”

I was surprised at just how little, and how low quality, the evidence was in this field. I was also concerned that clinicians working in gender medicine continue to describe the impacts of puberty blockers as “completely physically reversible”, when it is clear that we just don’t know whether this is the case, at least with respect to the cognitive impact. But these were not the only troubling aspects of this project. The progress of this paper towards publication has been extraordinary, and unique in my three-decades-long experience of academic publishing.

The paper has now been accepted for publication in a well-respected, peer-reviewed journal. However, prior to this, the manuscript was submitted to three academic journals, all of whom rejected it. “Academic has paper rejected from journal” is not headline news. I have published many academic papers and have also served on the editorial boards of a number of high impact scientific journals. I have both delivered and received rejections. In high-quality journals, many more papers are rejected than accepted. The reasons for rejection are usually a variation on the themes that the paper isn’t telling us anything new or that the data is weak and doesn’t support the conclusions that the authors are trying to draw. In a paper that is reviewing other studies, reasons for rejection typically include criticisms of the ways the authors have looked for or selected the studies they have included in their review, with the implication that they may have missed a big chunk of evidence. Sometimes the subject of the review is too wide, too narrow or too niche to be of value to the wider readership.

While imperfect, anonymous peer review remains the foundation of scientific publishing. Theoretically, the anonymity releases reviewers from any inhibitions they may have in telling their esteemed colleagues that, on this occasion, they appear to have produced a pile of pants. When it works well, authors and editors receive a coherent critique of the submitted manuscript, with reviewers independently highlighting — and ideally converging — on the strengths and weaknesses of the paper. If done sloppily, or if the reviewers have been poorly selected, the author may be presented with a commentary on their work that is riddled with misunderstandings and inaccuracies. Requests for information already provided are common, as are suggestions that the author include reference to the anonymous reviewer’s own body of work, however tangential to the matter in hand. I have been on the receiving end of both the best and worst of these practices over the course of my career. However, I have never encountered the kinds of concerns that some of the reviewers expressed in response to my review of puberty blockers. In this case, it wasn’t the methods they objected to, it was the actual findings.

None of the reviewers identified any studies that I had missed that demonstrated safe and reversible impacts of puberty blockers on cognitive development, or presented any evidence contrary to my conclusions that the work just hasn’t been done. However, one suggested the evidence may be out there, it just hadn’t been published. They suggested that I trawl through non-peer reviewed conference presentations to look for unpublished studies that might tell a more positive story. The reviewer appeared to be under the naïve apprehension that studies proving that puberty blockers were safe and effective would have difficulty being published. The very low quality of studies in this field, and the positive spin on any results reported by gender clinicians suggest that this is unlikely to be the case.

Another reviewer expressed concerns that publishing the conclusions from these studies risked stigmatising an already stigmatised group. A third suggested that I should focus on the positive things that puberty blockers could do, while a fourth suggested there was no point in publishing a review when there wasn’t enough literature to review. Another sought to diminish an entire field of neuroscience that has established puberty as a critical period of brain development as “my view”.

In a rather telling response, one of the reviewers used religious language to criticise the paper. They argued that the sex-based terms I had employed to describe the children in the studies — natal sex, male-to-female, female-to-male — indicated a pre-existing scepticism about the use of blockers. They suggested that the very presence of these terms would cause people who prescribe these medications to “outright dismiss the article”, and went on to say that by using these terms the paper was “preaching to the choir” and would do a “poor job of attracting new members to the fold”. However, the most astonishing response I received was from a reviewer who was concerned that I appeared to be approaching the topic from a “bias” of heavy caution. This reviewer argued that lots of things needed to be sorted out before a clear case for the “riskiness” of puberty blockers could be made, even circumstantially. Indeed, they appeared to be advocating for a default position of assuming medical treatments are safe, until proven otherwise.

Yet “safe and fully reversible” can never be the default position for any medical intervention, never mind a treatment that is now deemed experimental by authorities in Europe and the UK. Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence, and the only extraordinary evidence here is the gaping chasm of knowledge, or even apparent curiosity, of the clinicians who continue to chant “safe and completely reversible” as they prescribe these medications to the children in their care. It is not the job of a scientific paper to “bring people into the fold”; it is the job of clinicians to understand the evidence base of the treatments they offer and communicate this to the patients they are treating.

I sincerely hope that any arrest in brain development associated with puberty blockers is recoverable for young trans and gender diverse people, who are already facing significant challenges in their lives. I would welcome any research that indicates that this is the case, not least for the significant insights that would present to our current understanding of puberty as a critical window of neurodevelopment in adolescence. Puberty blockers almost invariably set young people on a course of lifetime medicalisation with high personal, physical and social costs. At present we cannot guarantee that cognitive costs are not added to this burden. Any clinician claiming their treatments are “safe and reversible” without evidence to back it up is failing in their fundamental duty of candour to their patients. Such an approach is unacceptable in any branch of medicine, not least that dealing with highly complex and vulnerable young people.


Sallie Baxendale is a consultant clinical neuropsychologist and a professor of clinical neuropsychology at University College London.

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Samantha Stevens
Samantha Stevens
5 months ago

They are making too much money off these lifetime patients to want to hear about the human cost. It’s the opioid evil all over again, but with children

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago

You wonder if it’s occurred to them that one day the wind will change and they’ll lose everything in lawsuits or go to jail. Or both (let’s hope).

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Uhuh, how is that lawsuit against Tavistock coming? Are there even 100 people signed on yet, let alone 1000?

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

It will be the insurance companies that provide the professional indemnity insurance to these butchers who pull the plug on the whole thing.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

No they will not, because the lack of the lawsuits you think are inevitable not support that result.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

There are plenty of law suits in gestation, the problem is who to put in the dock – the psychologist that believed the ideology, the endocrinologist that prescribed the hormones or the surgeon who carried out the mutilation?
When the dam does burst that’s when the panic will begin.

Jane Awdry
Jane Awdry
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

How can there be a lack of lawsuits that someone thinks are inevitable? You can’t cite a lack of something that is in the future, inevitable or not.

Jane Awdry
Jane Awdry
4 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Certainty again. So fragile..

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

They already have in Australia

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
5 months ago

Whilst what you say about money may be true for the pharmaceutical companies, I do not believe it is true for those who are prescribing these potentially highly dangerous drugs. Sadly I believe they are ideologically driven and it is therefore unclear just how much evidence that the drugs are doing real harm as opposed to having very real potential to do serious harm it is going to take for them to realise that what they are doing is completely against all medical ethics and all principles of evidence based practice. It is very clear that the so called experts in the field (collectively WPATH and EPATH) have been completely captured by the ideology. When they do talk about the harms that are being done their concern is not for the children harmed but the harm that information does to the ideology. They justify what they are doing as being a lesser harm to a non existent (if those with gender dysphoria got the proper psychological help they really need) suicide risk. Yes not only do they claim safe and reversible with no evidence it is true and some lamentably limited evidence the reverse is true, they claim the treatment they are giving is life saving!
Fortunately authorities, who have effectively been asleep at the wheel whilst these lunatics have been running the asylum, are beginning to wake up all over the world, however this monster is a like the multi headed hydra and I fear a lot more children will be harmed before full sanity is restored.
The Tories are definitely guilty of being asleep at the wheel but are waking up. It remains to be confirmed in a Labour manifesto but it appears that Kier Starmer and the majority of his party are on the side of the ideologues and their attendant clinical lunatics!

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

“. It is very clear that the so called experts in the field (collectively WPATH and EPATH) have been completely captured by the ideology.” <– The only evidence you have of that is that you disagree with them.
“(if those with gender dysphoria got the proper psychological help they really need)” <– There were 50+ years running where that is what psychiatry did, and in all the time they never did any good. In the last over 20 years, your “big idea” was abandoned, gender affirming care adopted, and transgender people were actually helped with their problem.
There are over 40 years of evidence that puberty blockers cause no such problems as you and Baxendale claim they, and over 20 years of evidence they do not do so when used for gender dysphoria.
There is no part of the side effect reporting system which is not in effect for puberty blockers — they are never exempt from it.
You will not cite any facts which back up any of your claims.

Jane Awdry
Jane Awdry
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

You make claims about “40 years of evidence” which you back up with nothing and then say to someone else “You will not cite any facts which back up any of your claims”.
Do so yourself. And from an independent source with no ‘trans’ agenda.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago

And your complaint against the rest of the UK’s socialist medicine is what, then?

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
5 months ago

Making victims is very profitable for the governmental medicinal complex.

Andrew Morgan
Andrew Morgan
5 months ago

I wonder if these reviewers actually recognize their own cowardice or if they’re so deluded they actually believe they’re in the right? Worth a study in itself I’d say.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Morgan

They are 100% convinced they are correct. I watched this recently on YT: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qAqNCo7RTWI

There are no disturbing visuals, but it does make for grim listening.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

God, that’s terrifying. Dr Mengele with purple hair. These people have lost all sense of morality.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Terrifying to you, but what is terrifying to you is the idea people you think are subhuman scum might be happy instead of miserable — as your moral vanity dictates.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

No-one thinks of you as sub-human scum, however, your comments here do seem confused and emotive. Whatever point you’re trying to make is clouded by your insistence that any who disagree with you must be hopelessly evil and morally bankrupt.
I think most people here are scared of this stuff, but that doesn’t make them evil. None of this transgender stuff seems to be about the healthy sexual development of children, but more about medical procedures and the money surgeons can make from them. For instance, what is the purpose of gender nullification?

https://cranects.com/non-binary-surgery/#:~:text=Genital%20nullification%2C%20Nullo%2C%20or%20Eunuch,to%20any%20genital%20nullification%20procedure.

Who in their right mind would want this for themselves or their children?

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

“No-one thinks of you as sub-human scum” <– Unquestionably you do — you think medical care for our issue can be with moral correctness on your part in doing it, delayed or denied altogether.
“Whatever point you’re … and morally bankrupt.” <– Except for the fact you and your ilk here are attempting to force some boys to have breasts and deep voices and you are attempting force some girls to have beards and deep voices — and quite so many of you have obvious glee at that prospect. Yes, your lot are morally bankrupt and evil.
“I think most people here are scared of this stuff, but that doesn’t make them evil.” <— I didn’t say their being “scared” did. Their willful ignorance and the harm they are willing to do and see done in their name does.
“None of this transgender stuff seems to be about the healthy sexual development of children” <– Utterly without excuse for you to claim that, other than falsely — conclusorily.
“but more about medical procedures and the money surgeons can make from them” <– No more evidence to that than is about any other part of medicine — and in fact less, as the satisfaction rate for gender affirming care is so high compared to other areas of medicine.
“For instance, what is the purpose of gender nullification?” <– At a guess the happiness of the minuscule fraction of people who develop no particular gender at all while in utero.
Of course, merely that fact you are on the other side of this means you deny gender exists physically, or you imagine it is always the same as the sex of a person (with quite ugly implications on your part for visibly quite intersex people).

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

“No-one thinks of you as sub-human scum” <– Unquestionably you do — you think medical care for our issue can be with moral correctness on your part in doing it, delayed or denied altogether.
I would hope no one here genuinely thinks of any other person as sub-human. Accusing people of that is a veiled accusation of being a Nazi. I would hope most have sympathy for those who suffer from gender dysphoria. Virtually everyone here disagrees with your gender ideological beliefs. The category for this non belief in gender ideology has been termed “gender critical” and it is a protected belief under the equality act 2010 – Thanks to the bravery of Maya Forestatter and other since. Most here believe that medical care for gender dysphoria (like any other condition which needs medical intervention) needs to be evidence based and not ideologically driven, even WHO, who many thought had been captured by gender ideology, highlights the uncertainties and additional thought required for people under 19 (I would say under 25).
“Whatever point you’re … and morally bankrupt.” <– Except for the fact you and your ilk here are attempting to force some boys to have breasts and deep voices and you are attempting force some girls to have beards and deep voices — and quite so many of you have obvious glee at that prospect. Yes, your lot are morally bankrupt and evil.
Forcing boys to have periods and grow breasts would be entirely evil, as would taking away a girl’s ability to have children. Whilst no medical procedure can make boys have periods – that is something that is exclusively part of female physiology during a stage of women’s lives, boys can be made to grow breast through the introduction of female hormones. Your statement is based totally on your ideological belief that people can literally be born in the wrong body. Nobody else here believes that, no matter how much ideologues like you scream it. What most here believe is that gender dysphoria is a mental health issue where people feel distress because they FEEL they are in the wrong body, but are not literally in the wrong body. The evidence is that in the majority of cases GD resolves itself over time and as there is no reliable way to determine whether it will or it won’t, the best thing to do is wait and see, whilst properly supporting the GD sufferer with ALL their mental health issues. There is growing evidence that societal pressures are increasing the incidence of young girls in particular developing GD – Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria. It is important to reverse this trend (and definitely not affirm all who walk through the door claiming they were born in the wrong body) as it is leading to harm to the girls and distracting resources from those who have a more deep rooted mental health issue around their “gender identity”. Your ideology denies GD is a mental health issue but relies heavily on psychiatrists / psychologists in the early stages of “gender affirmative care” how bizarre why would you have these people involved in something that has nothing to do with mental health? WHO caved into pressure and reclassified it as a sexual health issue so it can be treated like syphilis!
“I think most people here are scared of this stuff, but that doesn’t make them evil.” <— I didn’t say their being “scared” did. Their willful ignorance and the harm they are willing to do and see done in their name does.
A lot of people do not fully understand a lot of the nuances and issues, largely because ideologues do not want them to and make up all sorts of weird obfuscating language. There are a lot of parents who are very scared their child will come to harm as a result of all this and they will be put in a horrible dilemma. Ideologues deliberately seek to keep parents in the dark. The more places where open discussion of these issue can occur the better. You would like to shut down all discussion that does not align with your ideology – in this you are king Cnut.
“None of this transgender stuff seems to be about the healthy sexual development of children” <– Utterly without excuse for you to claim that, other than falsely — conclusorily.
It is really really really simple, sex (both the category and the act) is about reproduction. Natural healthy sexual development is about boys and girls going from a developmental state where they cannot reproduce to one where they can. It is very sad when for natural (diseases etc are natural) this does not happen and the adults who should be able to reproduce cannot. Most here would support medical interventions to help them. Puberty blockers, cross sex hormones and ultimately surgery are all about preventing that natural healthy development and once past a certain point, the effect is irreversible and they are infertile. Do you still have the ability to produce sperm and therefore father a child or have you mutilated yourself to a point where that is no longer possible – is that part of why you are so keen to make other go down a similar path? “None of this transgender stuff seems to be about the healthy sexual development of children” – there is no seems about it. That is exactly what it is all about and all the ideological guff is about distracting from that key point. The bottom line is “gender affirming care” IS CONVERSION THERAPY
“but more about medical procedures and the money surgeons can make from them” <– No more evidence to that than is about any other part of medicine — and in fact less, as the satisfaction rate for gender affirming care is so high compared to other areas of medicine.
I covered this in a post above – yes there is a money motive within the overall “industry” that benefits from the ideology, but it is principally about the ideology for most of the individuals involved in the “industry”. As far as the satisfaction rate is concerned, the answer is exactly the same as the answer to are PBs safe and reversible – nobody knows for sure because the studies have not been done and ideologues are largely responsible for preventing the studies in the first place and then suppressing the results of any that do not accord with the ideology. This aspect is one of the most cult like aspects of the whole ideology. The d**e is starting to break on this and ideologues are running out of fingers to stick in all the leaks.
“For instance, what is the purpose of gender nullification?” <– At a guess the happiness of the minuscule fraction of people who develop no particular gender at all while in utero.
“At a guess”??!!! I thought you knew everything with absolute certainty. Personally I would not even want to hazard a guess at exactly what drives these extremely ill people to such extreme lengths.
Of course, merely that fact you are on the other side of this means you deny gender exists physically, or you imagine it is always the same as the sex of a person (with quite ugly implications on your part for visibly quite intersex people).
Actually I think there are a range of views here from gender exists separate to sex but sex is immutable and in certain circumstances the overriding factor. This is the baseline gender critical belief that is protected by law. All the way to gender is just another word for sex to make it easier to distinguish when you are taking about the category and when you are talking about the act. Personally I see gender as a collection of personality traits that are a subset of a persons overall personality. I see gender ideology as having muddied the waters so much on the subject that the concept of gender is no longer of any positive benefit.

Jane Awdry
Jane Awdry
4 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

“People who develop no gender in utero…”
No one develops gender in utero. Their sex is determined via the XX or XY chromosomes with which they are born. ‘Gender’ is just another word for stereotyping and we can all mess about with presentation without requiring validation from the rest of the world.
And being born truly ‘intersex’ is very rare. It is a distressing condition for those who anre dealing with it and in almost every case they would wish to be clearly one sex or the other. Your assumptions about their experience are toweringly arrogant. You do not speak for them.

Sacha C
Sacha C
4 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Talia advocates for child abuse with gusto.
He thinks it’s ok to cause lasting damage to their bodies and brain development by giving them drugs that make him feel better about himself.
Pretty sub-human.
Pretty scummy.

People can identify dress or do whatever they like, but using lies to advocate for lifelong harm against vulnerable children; and the loss of women and children’s spaces due to a complete lack of realism and self-importance is low grade. Really low grade.

Enough is enough, predatory men take enough space and energy.

Go away, be trans, leave the children alone with your pseudo-science.

And leave pubescent girls’ breasts alone. Talia you know nothing about puberty development in girls, hating your breasts is a normal part of development. Extremely normal. Normalising doctors kindly offering to cut them off is SICK. Really sick. Stop fetishising your ideas of sad little boys with boobies.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Yep, ‘subhuman scum’ is a perfectly apt way to describe people inflicting genital mutilation and untested drug regimes on small children.

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Talia, if you were really happy with your position then you would posit that there should be no surgery mutilation or drugs until adulthood,

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

playing the victim are we Talia? When all else fails.

jane baker
jane baker
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Is “being happy” the Big Deal in life?

Jane Awdry
Jane Awdry
4 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Oh please.. it would make a five year old happy to be able to fly but we don’t toss them over a cliff to satisfy the fantasy.
And playing the victim is your own special vanity project, no one else’s.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

“They are 100% convinced they are correct.” <– Because they are. There has not in over 70 years been any evidence to the contrary of gender affirming care.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Apart from the growing number of detransitioners. Growing evidence of osteoporosis, cancers and developmental problems. All of which have been reported.
This is a great document that pulls a lot of the threads together.
https://www.realityslaststand.com/api/v1/file/3854a9b7-9143-457a-8d52-9baeef819761.pdf
Where is the positive evidence it is safe, rather than all the we don’t have enough evidence it is not safe because we have deliberately discouraged people from looking at it?
Why do you think more and more authorities around the world, who have been asleep at the wheel on this issue until now, are waking up and looking at the evidence objectively and concluding it is at best weak in support of what is being described as gender affirming care? A social contagion of transphobia is no doubt going to be your answer.
The FACT is that there is no positive evidence to support the mutilation of children to satisfy an ideology and it is all just ideologues making completely unsubstantiated claims. Sallie’s paper on puberty blockers is just one of many examples of where this has happened.

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

that is total unadulterated nonsense. There are a significant number of cases where children have ‘changed their mind’ and these clinics are being taken to court. I feel sorry for you, instead of living the life God gave you, you want to pretend that you are normal; reality says you are not; dysphoria says you are not; my eyes when I look at your breasts (even after surgery) says you are not.

Jane Awdry
Jane Awdry
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

WTF is ‘gender affirming care’? Gender doesn’t need ‘affirming’. It’s just stereotypes & presentation. And sex, being immutable, doesn’t need affirming either. It just is.

What you are pleased to call ‘care’ appears to be cutting off bits & adding fake bits & pumping in cross-sex hormones. And wearing lipstick. If you think that’s what ‘being a woman’ is you’re shinning up the wrong tree. And needing to be validated all the time by everyone suggests a certain insecurity about the validity of their position. As well they might be. AGP & fetishist transvestites may dress up as fancy ladies if they want. Who cares? It’s fun. But truly dysphoric people need help to adjust their misperception, not a surgeon’s knife to attempt to achieve the impossible. In any case most TIMs don’t do ‘bottom’ surgery at all. Why would they remove the organ that provides the ‘euphoria’?

As for ‘trans’ children – no child should ever be encouraged by ideologically captured adults to make decisions that they are not mature enough to make. We don’t let them drive, operate heavy machinery, smoke, take drugs, vote, get married etc because they’re not experienced enough to understand long-term consequences. That takes maturity and it is known that the frontal lobes of the brain are not fully developed until the age of about 24. Smashing stereotypes is great – it’s been done throughout time.

Pretending biological reality doesn’t exist is a giant leap backwards in the ongoing understanding of science.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

I suggest you google “Lupron adverse side effects.” Lupron is a popular puberty blocker and is also used for a variety of medical reasons: prostate cancer, precocious puberty, chemical castration and endometriosis. Visit the support forums of victims of this “life saving “ drug. I’m talking about teeth falling out, osteoporosis, fractures, joint pain so severe some women are wheelchair bound, brain fog, hair loss, and much more. If the drug is ruining so many lives, why is it so great for gender confused children? Do a little research and you’ll understand what Scandinavian countries and the U.K. know and that’s why they have quit using blockers.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Morgan

I recognize the deceit and stupidity of the person submitting the paper right off — the reviewers did too.

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Morgan

exactly like anorexia

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago

I’m shocked I tell ya. Just shocked – the scientific process has been corrupted by politics. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out that interrupting puberty is fraught with danger. Maybe I’m wrong, but isn’t puberty one of the most crucial development periods in a person’s life? The evidence should be overwhelming before anyone contemplates such a treatment.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

So you think Flat Earthers should be published in geology journals, and if they aren’t it “corruption by politics”? You are more stupid and evil than I thought.
“The evidence should be overwhelming before anyone contemplates such a treatment.” <– It already is, as links (as of this date) 15 through 22 here prove:
https://taliaperkinssspace.quora.com/People-are-born-transgender-they-are-not-mentally-ill-it-is-no-paraphilia-it-is-a-physical-birth-defect-no-more-a-men

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

The truth is: “No large-scale studies have tracked people who received gender care as adolescents to determine how many remained satisfied with their treatment as they aged and how many eventually regretted transitioning. The studies that have been done have yielded a wide range of findings, and even the most rigorous of them have severe limitations.”
Even sensible WPATH members agree:
“We cannot carry on in this field that involves permanently changing young people’s bodies if we don’t fully understand what we’re doing and learn from those we fail,” said Edwards-Leeper, the clinical psychologist and WPATH member. “We need to take responsibility as a medical and mental-health community to see all the outcomes,”
Why are there no decent studies?
“Dr Laura Edwards-Leeper [co author of WPATH guidelines] says the backlash researchers face is is one reason why they are reluctant.” Ie exactly what has been reported here and in many other instances where the harassment has been far worse.
What of the studies that do exist:
“a small assortment of studies to guide clinicians in this emerging field of medicine. The results of these studies suggest a wide range of possibilities for rates of detransitioning, from less than 1% to 25%. The research provides even less certainty about the incidence of regret among patients who received medical treatment as minors. And the studies have serious drawbacks.”
https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-transyouth-outcomes/

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

Talia has no response to this of course.

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Hi Talia; good to get your perspective. I was just interested to know
1.If people are born transgender, why do they need pubery blockers?
2. If they do cause harm would you not want to know?

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Peter F. Lee

“1.If people are born transgender, why do they need pubery blockers?” <– Because some people are born transgender, some of those people should have puberty blockers — because a man does not usually want to have breasts and a period, and a woman does not want to have a beard and a deep voice.
“2. If they do cause harm would you not want to know?” <– I already know they do not.
You will have no more honest a reply than you already have had.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

“I already know they do not.” The interrogators of Galileo could have said exactly the same. I don’t know what you are, but you are NOT a scientist.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

Imbecile, the side effect reporting database is evidence there is no problem — ignoring it and how it works is evidence you are no scientist.

Rosemary Throssell
Rosemary Throssell
4 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

As a dog breeder I recommend my new owners wait until their puppy reaches maturity before considering spay/neuter. Why? Because recent studies show the irreparable damage caused by cessation of hormones. It is not rocket science.

jane baker
jane baker
5 months ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

Galileo was NOT prosecuted by the Church because he said the world was round or whatever it was he said,elite intellectual people already knew that in ancient times and many Byzantine churches have huge mosaics of Jesus Pantocrator holding The World in his hand,and it’s a round ball. The Vatican has its own astronomy department even back then. They knew all that stuff but they knew that ideas that Galileo and others were fomenting would destroy the society of that age and bring in misery and suffering,who needs more of that. They were right too.
Don’t know about the rest of Europe but when Henry VIII “privatized” the Church in Englsnd he took away at a swipe the whole welfare system many poor relied on. A dole of bread from the Abbey every day. Medical help of a sort.
Work as a labourer on church land.
And monks turned out to beg. It was horrible. Imagine if our current government just stopped paying out all money in whatever form that now is in many cases the sole income people rely on. Just like that. Thats what it was like. That is why they were resisting Galileo and his sort,trying to hold back the flood.

Gordon Beattie
Gordon Beattie
4 months ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

She is most definitely rude and unpleasant

Sacha C
Sacha C
4 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Beattie

Talia is a man.
She is inappropriate here.

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
4 months ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

Of course he is not! He is a deluded man who thinks he is a woman. If they weren’t so hateful and arrogant, one ought to feel very sorry for them.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

This entire thread is captured by this Talia Perkins, an activist convinced, as are most of her kind, that her own views constitute unfalsifiable knowledge.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

Not the way you think — you have yet to falsify anything I have cited.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
4 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

You have yet to establish the factual accuracy, or even good-faith sincerity, of anything you have claimed on this board.
Unless you are just an especially unfunny troll, you are only hurting your own cause.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
5 months ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

The irony is that as much as TP stamps and shouts that transgenderism isn’t a mental illness, TP’s behaviour on here says otherwise. Crack on TP!

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

The irony is you not realizing that saying that you are trying to force some boys to have breasts and periods and to force some girls to have beards and deep voices is a perfectly factual, fair, and accurate summarization of your intent.

John Moss
John Moss
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

No one is forcing boys to have breasts or periods. No one could, because that’s not a function of male biology! You apparently believe that people could change their actual sex. This is absolute nonsense.

Jane Awdry
Jane Awdry
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

A human with breasts & a vagina is a female. A human with facial hair & a p***s is a male. Happening to ‘feel’ otherwise does not change the reality of that. It shows a misperception of reality.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

This whole “forced to go through puberty” thing is a bridge too far. This was not a thing until ten years ago. Why wasn’t it an issue before?

Rob N
Rob N
5 months ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

Just to clarify for those who do not have the time or energy to read all the comments TP makes it clear he is a ‘he’.

Sacha C
Sacha C
4 months ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

Talia is a man.
She is inappropriate here.

Sacha C
Sacha C
4 months ago
Reply to  Phil Rees

Talia is a man.
She/her is inappropriate here.

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

you mean they do not like the way they are?
You do not know transgenderism is a dysphoria like anorexia. Someone suffering from anorexia believes they are fat, even though they are a bag of bones and will probably die of malnuitrition. Transgenderism is similarly a dysphoria, although there is no physical condition. You cannot tell someone they are suffering from a dysphoria with transgenderism, just as someone who will die of anorexia believes that they are fat.

Jane Awdry
Jane Awdry
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Certainty is a dangerous position to take when it comes to experimental medicinal practices..

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Surely if they are born transgender then they would not have breasts and periods etc. would they?

Barry Ellington
Barry Ellington
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

“‘2. If they do cause harm would you not want to know?’ <– I already know they do not.
You will have no more honest a reply than you already have had.”
Your disingenuity and lack of scientific rigor here is self-evident. No amount of semantic dancing can cover it over. So you are left, one reply down, to resort to pejoratives and, further down, to strawmen.
It’s a hell of a problem when you make truth your adversary.

Mistress Maral
Mistress Maral
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

thats an opinion with zero science backing it up: how do you know they are born transgender? what is your definition of transgenderism and how do you measure it at birth? you sound more like a gender studies undergrad than someone who with a science background.

Sacha C
Sacha C
4 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Talia have YOU had puberty blockers?
And YOU know they DO NOT cause harm…?

I hope you do not communicate with any young people, especially vulnerable young people questioning their identity. You are dangerous with the lies you are spouting about things you do not know about (NOBODY knows full picture as there hasn’t been adequate research).

Honestly, the harm done to sexual development of some children with blockers is unbelievable at a time when they’re not even allowed to consent to a tattoo! Doctors destroying healthy bodies and making children infertile.

Talia, I really hope you understand the potential danger of your views and stay the hell away from young people you dangerous man. Dr Mengele’s little helper you are, medical experimentation on the vulnerable.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Peter F. Lee

Talia’s attitude on this matter is virtually a direct analogue of what happened in the Thalidomide scandal:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thalidomide_scandal
A drug being used on patients that it had not been tested on caused over 10,000 dead or severely deformed babies across the globe. However when concerns began to be raised at least something was done fairly quickly as there were no ideologues blocking the concerns from being discovered or reported.
How many 10s of thousand of children are going to end up deformed by this insanity? Puberty blockers are just the first step on a medical path that few can get off of before it is too late.

G M
G M
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

“So you think Flat Earthers should be published in geology journals,”

If someone could scientifically prove that the earth was flat, then yes, it should be published.

True science should be open to all viewpoints and we should be able to freely, openly debate and discuss them.

Jane Awdry
Jane Awdry
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Protests too much methinks…

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Nothing like quoting your own paper; for validation?

A J
A J
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Here’s a study of the harm caused by Lupron to women who were given it to halt early puberty or to increase their height. This predates Lupron’s use in kids with gender dysphoria, so it can’t be accused of being anti-trans. Yet it includes women with bone thinning, fractures, joints replacement and seizures in their twenties, after taking Lupron for a couple of years.

https://www.statnews.com/2017/02/02/lupron-puberty-children-health-problems/

Adrian Matthews
Adrian Matthews
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

I just looked through the articles on Quora in the link you sent Talia. I couldn’t find one that related to any research on the effects of puberty blockers on developing adolescent brains. If you are correct that there are no risks associated with Puberty blocker use ‘off lable’, why have a significant number of European Countries e.g. Finland and Sweden and France (hardly know for being bastions of cultural conservatism) required that the their use be restricted to use in a research context? The answer has to be along the lines of what Sallie has argued in her article – there just isn’t the evidence base to give them a clean bill of health. Cass came to the same conclusion.

Mistress Maral
Mistress Maral
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

If flat EARTHERS follow the scientific method, explain the experiment, describe the data and make conclusions based on it, and that data is better described by a flat earth than a round earth, as long as all the steps are scientifically rigid, the results should be published.

Ian Smith
Ian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

If transgender people are born that way why is it that they should seek to change their bodies (with drugs and surgery) rather than changing their minds? Their bodies were born that way just as much as their minds. Why is one more correct than the other? Actually would it not be better to bring the mind into harmony with the body without mutilating the body?

Sacha C
Sacha C
4 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

“The primary limitation of this study was that it included only 30 subjects”…
Oh but don’t forget the bit about the females rats humping other rats (that was my favourite bit, the trans rats, because human and rat identities are the same…).

Did the trans-rats display any AGP characteristics or were they all ‘true trans’.

Talia, “Overwhelming evidence” when the report didn’t even have enough money to sequence the genomes.

Talia is a man who genuinely believes they are a woman, so I’m not really sure if trying to have a discussion about biology with Talia is worthwhile for anyone at all. Apologies for hurting feelings but we’re discussing science and biology here.

Readers, Do follow Tahlia’s link, the ‘scientific study’ and associated comments do more to rubbish themselves than anyone else ever could.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

It’s the progressive way. Seeing as the human brain continues to develop until about 24, maybe they should follow the science and stop committing mass child abuse with such practices.

Huw Parker
Huw Parker
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Isn’t there also an earlier oxymoron at the heart of the argument that puberty blockers provide gender dysphoric children with ‘time to think’? If puberty blockers suspend not only sexual but also cognitive development, then they will likely hinder the development of the very faculties that would be required to facilitate the successful application of that ‘time to think’ in the first place.

Jürg Gassmann
Jürg Gassmann
5 months ago

Thank you

Nik Jewell
Nik Jewell
5 months ago

The peer reviewers may be anonymous to the submitting author, but they are not anonymous to the journal. I (charitably) suggest that therein lies the self-censorship.

Arkadian Arkadian
Arkadian Arkadian
5 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

That is an interesting take. I wonder what Sallie thinks about it.

2 plus 2 equals 4
2 plus 2 equals 4
5 months ago
Reply to  Nik Jewell

An alternative explanation is that the journals saw the subject matter and sent the article for review by gender-woo-woo academics.

e j
e j
5 months ago

Excuse me, trans children?

Jane Awdry
Jane Awdry
5 months ago
Reply to  e j

Exactly. It’s a nonsense phrase. What are these children ‘transitioning’ to? Lizards? The far side? The Heavyside Layer?

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Jane Awdry

“It’s a nonsense phrase.” <– To a deliberately ignorant imbecile. Transgender is an adjective, not a verb.
“What are these children ‘transitioning’ to?” <– To presenting an living as members of that sex opposite that of their birth, in the usual case, because that is what is consistent with how their gender developed while in utero.

Jane Awdry
Jane Awdry
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

‘Gender’ doesn’t ‘develop in utero’. Sex develops in utero. People may live however they wish when it comes to how they present themselves. I thought we’d smashed all these stereotypes way back in the 60s. You seem to want them back.
You will I hope notice that most people on this forum to not resort to ad hominem abuse & childish taunts. If you can’t engage in civil discourse, go back to X.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
5 months ago
Reply to  e j

The phrase means that they were “born this way”, the fictional notion about gays – there actually is no evidence that gay sexual interests are “born this way”. With trans, the evidence is nonexistent. But it provides the justification for surgical removal of the breasts of 12 YO girls.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Biologists like Brett Weinstein will not say there’s definitive proof, but will say, at least with regards to male homosexuality that ‘at least for males, there is likely to be not very much choice, because the switch will have been flipped very early . . . We don’t need a gay gene’.
So ‘born this way’ is not a fiction as regards particularly male homosexuals.
It’s on the way to becoming fact.

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

I think we are talking here about ‘Transgendered Children’. This is a completely different condition to homosexuality. Transgendered have latched onto the LG community to try to get recognition; it is a completely different polarity. Gay men do not rape female prisoners.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Peter F. Lee

“Transgendered have latched onto the LG community” <– People who are transgender have existed for as long as gay people have.
“Gay men do not rape female prisoners.’ <– They do as much as transgender people do.

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

lie lie and lie again. Talia, its unbecoming. Homosexuals do not reside in female prisons.
You are like a little girl;boy; I just imagine you stamping your feet and crying when you do not get your own way’. Obviously you will say anything, valid or not, to try to prove your point. Hopefully this will be an Eureka moment for you.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
5 months ago
Reply to  Peter F. Lee

Paul was talking about gays, and saying ‘born this way’ was fictional.
I was pointing out that the science is basically getting there on the ‘switch being flipped’ for males very early in-utero. So we are ‘born this way’, if you like.

Dennis Roberts
Dennis Roberts
5 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

Until fairly recently I thought this had been settled ages ago. Then I read there was still substantial uncertainty in how male homosexuality develops. Good to know it’s getting there though, it’s a fascinating subject that will no doubt advance knowledge in other areas.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
5 months ago
Reply to  Dennis Roberts

Some people wanted there to be a gay gene, others didn’t because of a fear that eventually someone would decide it was a good idea to attempt to ‘remove’ that gene.

I was always suspicious because in biology, this isn’t the sort of thing that is going to arise from one gene anyway.

Dennis Roberts
Dennis Roberts
5 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

I vaguely recall that when I was young (maybe late 80s?) there being a shift from homosexuals believing there was an event or events that ‘made them gay’ (which would be considered homophobic now) and being quite vehemently opposed to homosexuality being genetic, to accepting the idea that it was genetic, or at least intrinsic somehow. Which is why I was surprised to read it isn’t settled, but as you say thinking about it more it is bound to be complex.

Is my memory about correct? Or was I just seeing one small part of the debate? What interests me about that now is how people were able to move to a different belief when the facts changed, which people seem unable to do today.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

It is a biological fact or it is not — “official” recognition does not change reality. That there were many genes variably contributing to the likelihood of someone being gay was something I first learned in Omni magazine over 40 years ago. This is nothing new.

jane baker
jane baker
5 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

That’s because lots of men like rough dirty sex but as most women don’t like that,and even a lot of prostitutes,well not for a £5 a go,so they have to get it off each other.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Paul, there are about 60 some genetic variants now known which contribute towards the likelihood of someone desiring to engage in or engaging in homosexual activity. I have already linked to a small sample of the work which demonstrates a genetic basis for someone being transgender. Why do you even bother disputing it without your having any evidence against the validity of the information at those links I have already provided?
There is a reason I call you a liar — it is because you willfully continue to state things you have not merely have no excuse to believe is true, but have good reason to know are false.

Jane Awdry
Jane Awdry
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Wanting to present as the opposite sex in a stereotypical way is a personality trait, not a sexuality or sexual preference. Debbie Hayton is an example of an AGP man who accepts that his fetish is about getting off on dressing ‘like a woman’ (whatever that is – most TIMs look like grotesque parodies of an over-sexed female)
If only all fetishists were so honest.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

From my observation and understanding, there are a few genuine cases of people feeling they were born in the wrong body, so to speak. The rest are jumping on the bandwagon. The fact that transgender seems to be suddenly so prevalent seems rather suspect.

e j
e j
4 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

There’s no such a thing as being born in a wrong body. Those few ‘genuine persons’ are not different from the rest of ‘non genuine ones’. Once we ‘affirm’ this delusion of ‘few genuine cases’ everything else falls apart: same sex spaces: women’s prisons, sports, rape shelters, etc.

jane baker
jane baker
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

About 15 years ago on BBC Any Questions(radio) one of the panel declared(she was female),”I chose to be Gay for Ideological Reasons”.
This woman said thus loudly,proudly and in a challenging tone of voice and it wasn’t even relevant to the subject being discussed. No one is born this,that or anything. We have choice and agency all our life.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  e j

Yes. No one has ever been “made” into a transgender person.

John Moss
John Moss
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Maybe because there’s no such thing? As you say it’s an adjective. It’s an identity at odds with reality. It’s also an identity forged by one’s imagination. Because, if we’re honest, it’s clear that no man or woman will ever be able to fully understand or know what it feels like to be a member of the opposite sex.

Jane Awdry
Jane Awdry
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

If I feel I’m a bird & want to live in a tree & throw myself into the air in the vain hope that I will fly, am I a ‘trans avian’ person?
Or would that just be silly?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
5 months ago
Reply to  Jane Awdry

That’s exactly how it sounds bro

Glynis Roache
Glynis Roache
5 months ago

Ms Baxendale  was remarkably restrained in the way she did no more than point out flaws in the methodology of all but one of the few studies on humans. Puberty blockers? I needed beta-blockers after reading about them. Did the people conducting those studies actually call themselves scientists? They’ve rendered scarce and consequently important research on precious children virtually useless. We are constantly told to trust the science. How can we if it has degenerated/ been corrupted to this extent?  I can’t imagine what Ms Baxendale must really be feeling …
As for the reviewers … words fail me! But thank you to Unherd for publishing this and I just pray that Ms Baxendale gets support from scientists who put procedure above personal preference/prejudice. 

2 plus 2 equals 4
2 plus 2 equals 4
5 months ago

“Why did three journals reject my puberty-blocker study?”

Because they are in thrall to a cult and have abandoned reason in favour of magical thinking.

Everything else is window dressing.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago

The best things in life are free
but you can keep ’em for the birds and bees
I want money, just gimme money

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
5 months ago

Amusing how activists in all fields love to quote “peer-reviewed studies” to support their views as if peer review had not been largely discredited.
https://www.vox.com/2015/12/7/9865086/peer-review-science-problems

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
5 months ago

They don’t know what peer reviewed means and count on most of the general public to be similarly ignorant. People act as if those two words are a confirmation of a paper’s research and conclusion when they are nothing of the kind. They mostly affirm that the maths are correct and that methodology used was passable.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

You don’t know what peer reviewed means — because you are rejecting it’s results when you don’t like them.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Says the person who was caught out not even knowing how academic publishing worked. Dear oh dearie.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

Your assertion is not evidence.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

As you haven’t deleted your post, the evidence is above 😉

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

No, it is not. What there is is evidence you are factless, child abusing troll.

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Which is everybody’s right, dear Talia, especially when one is met with such a paucity of medical science evidence.
What does happen during puberty?…….one of the most critical periods of a person’s development.
I believe that there should be zero medical drugs or procedures associated with Gender manipulation until well after puberty.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Peter F. Lee

There is no paucity to the medical science evidence. The assertion there is is solely the creation of politics.
“I believe that there should be zero medical drugs or procedures associated with Gender manipulation until well after puberty.” <– Which is you admitting you want to force some girls to have beards and deep voices, and you want to force some boys to have breasts and a period.
And on the basis of nothing and in the fact of the facts which are exclusively contrary of your views.

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

No my dear, It is you who want to force boys with male genitalia to be girls.
To quote you :
“So, you, on the basis of nothing, and in the fact of the facts (what ever that means) which are exclusively contrary of your views”
is this the PB’s talking?

Dennis Roberts
Dennis Roberts
5 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

The other day you wrote the following about peer review – “What it is NOT is a stamp of agreement on the research that was reviewed. It’s little more than deciding that the research methodology was viable and that the maths are correct. That’s it. There is nothing about the term which says or even implies that the reviewers agree with the conclusions drawn”

The article above states – “The reasons for rejection are … that the data is weak and doesn’t support the conclusions.”

So it appears to be you that has musunderstood peer review, at least if the author of this article is to be believed, as the conclusions have to be supported by the data. That implicitly means the reviewers think the conclusions are supported by the data presented, otherwise the paper would be rejected.

jane baker
jane baker
5 months ago

It’s the same as Blind Trusts,Pay Review Panels and Independent Enquiries. It all sounds very fair until you find out who is on these panels. One is the subjects Sister In Law,one is his Aunt,one is a mate of his Best Friend,another one went to the same Oxford College and also belonged to the Drama Group,oh thats his wife’s sister,that’s his cousin,who knew.

David Jory
David Jory
5 months ago

When politics is involved science suffers. It is used as a tool to affirm pre-conceptions. Other examples include climate studies and Covid.

jane baker
jane baker
5 months ago
Reply to  David Jory

Scientists are no longer disinterested seekers after truth,if they ever were,they are now technicians and apparatchiks for the super wealthy,to do their bidding.

Rob N
Rob N
5 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

No need to slur all scientists. Just make it ‘too many scientists…’ and not many could disagree.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
5 months ago

What happens during puberty? And what happens if we try to stop it? It’s one of the most fraught questions of our time. — It’s also a question that would have branded the person asking it as crazy if asked ten years ago, back when people understood what “woman” meant. But here we are.
The journals cited here, like many others caught up in TheScience(TM), have been ideologically captured. We have med schools in the US that adopts language that is wholly at odds with basic biology, and there is no shortage of shrill voices eager to tell us that “people” get pregnant and that men’s rooms should have tampon dispensers.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

What happens during … what “woman” meant.” <– The question is a falsehood, because it is not intended or ever observed, that puberty is stopped. Not ever yet in over 40 years has that been observed to happen, neither is it the intention. That it is delayed is the sole intention when used for gender dysphoria or precocious puberty, and the sole effect in sum seen — the one”side effect” when used for gender dysphoria is generally held to be a net positive, up to 5cm extra height, and as little as 0cm extra growth.
It is known what woman means, it means a person’s neural sexual dimorphism developed in a 50%+ any pattern towards that associated with femininity. That is the only definition consistent with all facts, including those people with other variances of birth which social conservatives already admit is a woman. You lose, because you lie to make “special pleadings”.
“The journals cited here, like many others caught up in TheScience(TM), have been ideologically captured.” <– Except the only ideology here is yours. You ignore facts you don’t like for the sake of it, as I have demonstrated over and over.
“We have med schools in the US that adopts language that is wholly at odds with basic biology,” <– No, we do not. Basic biology is not what you want it to be, it includes all the people you don’t want admit exist — because of your ideology.
“and there is no shortage of shrill voices eager to tell us that “people” get pregnant and that men’s rooms should have tampon dispensers.” <– People do get pregnant. Transgender men are also people, and generally have wombs which might support a pregnancy. That most men’s toilets have tampons may be silly, but 1 in about 300 people is a transgender man, even though you don’t want to admit it.

John Moss
John Moss
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Transgender men are women. That’s why they can get pregnant. They are woman living life as men, not actual men. And a woman living life has a man who wants to get pregnant and have a baby is really just playing dress up. This is a person with no idea what it feels like to be a man.

jane baker
jane baker
5 months ago
Reply to  John Moss

Except when they actually get ordered to the front line of battle with the prospect of hand to hand fighting and a bayonet in the guts.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  John Moss

And, in truth, transgender women don’t know what it feels like to be a woman.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

OMG, a pregnant, biological woman claiming to be a man, made pregnant how?

0 0
0 0
5 months ago

There is a saying in academic medical publishing when it comes to meta analyses and systematic reviews which I’m sure you’re familiar with: garbage in = garbage out.

Jane Awdry
Jane Awdry
5 months ago

Puberty is THE major transition that all humans make in their lives as they move from immature child to mature adult.

Precocious puberty is sometimes put on a delay because it is an anomaly & can be upsetting for a young child. When the natural age is reached it can then be allowed to proceed because the child is still young enough, both physically and mentally, for the body to pick up & proceed naturally. Subverting a natural physical process at or around the usual natural time, because of mental misperception in a child, is ghoulish.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Jane Awdry

Indeed there is sound evidence that when used to treat precocious puberty the drugs are safe and reversible – that had to be proved before they were licenced in the first place. The problem is they are being used outside the scope for which they were originally licenced without redoing the research.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

There is NO evidence that they are reversible. That’s the whole point of this article. And many of the persons for whom they were prescribed have life-long poor results – osteoperosis/osteopenia, issues with cognition.
Puberty blockers are a bad choice in ANY case.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

“There is NO evidence that they are reversible.” <– All of the evidence is they are 100% reversible. You have no evidence to the contrary.
“And many of the persons for whom they were prescribed have life-long poor results – osteoperosis/osteopenia, issues with cognition.” <– Every word of that is a lie, you will be unable to support your claims with any evidence whatsoever.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

How can you ‘reverse’ the effects of drugs which, by their very definition, truncate the natural timeline of puberty? At the very least, these poor children have lost years of normal development from childhood into adulthood, and at worst, their physical, emotional and cognitive development has been damaged for the rest of their lives. Add to that the physical mutilation of their bodies and we can foresee how this scandal is going to end.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark Cornish

Mark — imbecile — they accomplish no such truncation and never have, neither is that their definition.
“At the very … going to end.” <– We do already know how this will end — the same way it has ended for 20 years now.
In a regret rate now under 1%.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

You don’t help your cause,Talia, by being insulting. On the contrary

Rob N
Rob N
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Refusing to admit that you are/were wrong does not mean you don’t regret.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark Cornish

How can you reverse the effects of the drugs? What’s done is done.

Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

LIAR!

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

There is evidence that when a child begins puberty too young, eg at age 7, blocking it until it should start is a good thing to do as puberty will then continue as it is supposed to (ie the effect is reversible). That is what the drug was developed for.
There is no evidence that using them on people who have or are just about to start puberty at the normal time produces effects that are reversible. A large part of the reason why that is is because the studies have not been done, but also taking puberty blockers almost invariably leads to further medical steps to cosmetically change the bodies sexed appearance ie there are very few who have reversed out of the course they are put on when they start the first medical step.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

“There is no evidence that using them on people who have or are just about to start puberty at the normal time produces effects that are reversible.” <– Yes, there is. Simply the fact there are no side effects above baseline in the population using them as youth for any reason, including gender dysphoria, is that evidence.
For it not to be evidence, you would have to show the drugs involved are exempt from that system. They are not.
“but also taking puberty blockers almost invariably leads to further medical steps to cosmetically change the bodies sexed appearance ie there are very few who have reversed out of the course they are put on when they start the first medical step.” <– Which is only evidence of the accuracy with which those further steps are recommended, as the regret rate to what you claim is so inevitable is so low.

Rob N
Rob N
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

It could be argued that a child starting puberty at 7 is completely natural as long as it was not caused by outside/environmental pollution.

The problem, from what I understand, is largely the social confusion/interaction. All sorts of unusual human development are completely natural eg Down’s, even if most people would consider them undesirable.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

There is nothing “experimental” to off label use, and it is common throughout medicine. There is nothing of such use which permits the side effect reporting system to be evaded — and there is no evidence of side effects there when used for youth for either precocious puberty or gender dysphoria.
For over 20 years for gender dysphoria and over 40 years for precocious puberty.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Please provide links to either clinical trials which show the effects are reversible when they are given to adolescents as opposed to precocious puberty. Or better still to where an appropriate licencing authority has reviewed the evidence presented that they are safe and reversible in that use and licenced them for the purpose. If you cannot do that then provide links to all the studies Sallie has overlooked in her paper.
If you cannot do any of those then you have to admit there is no evidence to support the safe and reversible claim, as opposed to saying there is no evidence they are not safe and reversible – Sallie’s whole point is the evidence that they are not safe and reversible is extremely weak.
Evidence based medicine requires positive evidence and a lack of evidence cannot be taken as evidence of lack.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

“Please provide links to either clinical trials which show the effects are reversible when they are given to adolescents as opposed to precocious puberty.” <– I cite the fact no side effect occurs above baseline in the whole of the side effect reporting system, and that you won’t find any such. For you to have a point, you have to show puberty blockers are exempt from the side effect reporting system — and they are not.
“Sallie’s whole point is the evidence that they are not safe and reversible is extremely weak.” <– The evidence they are not safe and reversible is nonexistent. That’s my point.

Jacqui Denomme
Jacqui Denomme
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

I tried to report a side effect to a medication and it was next to impossible. Where I live you have to go through your doctor. There is a lot of red tape and they are very busy and disinclined to report a side effect of a medication they have prescribed, attributing the symptoms to other things so this argument holds no water with me.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Jacqui Denomme

“I tried to report a side effect to a medication and it was next to impossible. Where I live you have to go through your doctor. There is a lot of red tape and they are very busy and disinclined to report a side effect of a medication they have prescribed, attributing the symptoms to other things so this argument holds no water with me.” <– And yet, your anecdote does not change the fact the side effect reporting system exists, works, and for example resulted in so popular a medication as Vioxx was pulled for rare side effects.

Hmm. Sounds more like you think you know better than your doctor.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Good so you admit you are using lack of evidence as evidence of lack, rather than there being any positive evidence of the sort that would be required to back up the claim that PBs are safe and reversible to sufficient level of proof to satisfy any licencing authority.
I am not going to argue with you about PBs being used in treating GD for 20 years, even though I thought it was more recent than that. In 20 years there should be absolutely stacks of positive evidence that they are safe and reversible and the truth is, as you admit, there is none.
There is however weak evidence that they are not safe (Sallie summarises it in her paper). The reason why the evidence is weak is because decent researchers don’t want to do the research, because of the grief they get. At least following the Jo Phoenix case, those in this country may now be more confident, but it is still going to take years before the evidence is completely clear one way or the other. As the benefits of taking PBs are dubious at best and the potential risks are so severe, the precautionary principle should be applied in exactly the same way as it would in any other medical scenario. We should not be waiting another 5-10 years to be sure they are not safe and not reversible. Fortunately more and more authorities around the world see it this way and are putting a stop to the totally irresponsible ideologically driven insanity.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

How could drug trials be done for PBs? How would they get enough of the appropriate people to do it? Third world countries?

Rob N
Rob N
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Of course they are not reversible. What is done is done. The effects of the puberty blockers MAY cease upon stopping medication but that does not make them reversible.

Nothing is reversible if time is relevant.

James A
James A
4 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

“ The evidence they are not safe and reversible is nonexistent. That’s my point.”
This is similar to the point the author makes, which is why she urges further study.
If you’re so convinced there are no side effects, surely you’d be in favour of more research to remove further doubt?

Rob N
Rob N
5 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

Sorry but you are wrong. If they are reversible then a 9yr old girl put on them for 2 years would, when she stops taking them, be as advanced in puberty at 11 as she would have been if she had never taken them.

We cannot, yet, reverse time and so anything which delays something is not reversible.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Jane Awdry

“Subverting a natural physical process at or around the usual natural time, because of mental misperception in a child, is ghoulish.’ <– Demonstrate what rate of “mental misperception” is involved.

jane baker
jane baker
5 months ago
Reply to  Jane Awdry

I was an immature child,now I’m an immature adult,aged 69,I feel like Paul MacCartneys Fool on The Hill,very insightful song. I live in a parallel universe. Reading all this stuff I could almost say,”what fools these mortals be”.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
5 months ago

I probably have more opportunity to put these things before an international field of biologists than most people.
When I raised the ‘reversible’ issue at a dinner in Beijing, the response was eye-rolling and incredulous laughter.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

“I probably have … and incredulous laughter.” <– A literally meaningless anecdote.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Are you indeed hoping that if cognitive impairment is encouraged by this treatment, that you will have more people at your own level to discuss stuff with ?

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

You have no hope discussing this at my level, you know no relevant facts.

Paul Thompson
Paul Thompson
5 months ago

The conclusion that we can draw from the LACK of evidence is simple:
1) Puberty is and always has been a part of normal development
2) Changing normal biological pathways and processes has consequences
3) Without full knowledge of the consequences, the interruption is simply an experiment
These parents, who are stupidly going along with their children, are performing a monstrous experiment on their own children.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

“The conclusion that … their own children.”
And the tens of thousands of people who have been given these drugs for any reason are in the side effect reporting database and there is no evidence there of any problem occurring above baseline. The use of these drugs is not a matter of experiment, when given to youth under the circumstances where they are now in use.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Yeah, cause having osteoporosis and walking around with a cane at 20 years old is completely fine. Seek help, Talia. I know you’re mad you didn’t get to take puberty blockers and “unfairly” went through NORMAL male puberty but this is extremely experimental off-label use. There’s a reason why girls with precocious puberty are only supposed to be on it for 6-12 months AT MOST. The side effects are crippling and debilitating. You have no idea what you are talking about and you are part of the reason why kids and parents are blindly accepting the “settled” science when it is anything but.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago

“Why did three journals reject my puberty-blocker study?”
Without question, a priori, because it was horses–t. You could publish it anywhere. There are a lot of “we exist to abuse LGBTQ people” organizations which would publish it for free.
I know they’d publish it.
You are only a grifter trying to profit from the rejection.
Flat Earther’s get rejected too.
The fact is puberty blockers have been in use for over 40 years with no observed side effects occurring above baseline. So link to your work, go ahead.
Let the picking apart of your BS begin!
Or are you only a lying grifter and coward?

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Talia, do you even understand what the concept of ‘academic publishing’ involves ?
Getting it published by a political organisation, no matter how worthy its goals, doesn’t mean a thing.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

I know there is no aspect to academic publishing of printing any “work” which is so obviously deceitfully derivative — merely repeating already observed flaws in the work of others. Baxendale’s horses–t is only worthy of political publication because it is only a political diatribe.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
5 months ago
Reply to  Talia Perkins

Thank you. In case there was any doubt that you’re totally nuts.
Or just working for UnHerd, of course.

Talia Perkins
Talia Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

Dismissal without evidence is really all you and your sort have — I already knew that.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
5 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

He posts on Quora too.