Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Aug 4, 2020 / 11:00 am
The authors of a 2019 study which claimed so-called gender-transition surgery may improve the long-term mental health of recipients have issued a correction, nearly a year after publication. The authors now say they found “no advantage” to the mental health of those who received gender-transition surgery.
In October of 2019, the American Journal of Psychiatry published a report on the rates of mental health treatment among recipients of gender-transition surgery and hormone therapy. The report was entitled “Reduction in Mental Health Treatment Utilization Among Transgender Individuals After Gender-Affirming Surgeries.”
On Saturday, the authors of the study—Richard Bränström, Ph.D., and John E. Pachankis, Ph.D., issued a correction, saying that “the results demonstrated no advantage of surgery in relation to subsequent mood or anxiety disorder-related health care.”
The 2019 AJP report had originally claimed that, among persons who had received gender-transition surgery, the number of mental health treatment visits declined over time. Persons diagnosed with gender incongruence are at higher risk of mental health disorders, the report said; around six times more likely to seek treatment for a “mood and anxiety disorder” than members of the general population, and “more than six times as likely to have been hospitalized after a suicide attempt.”
However, the study had claimed that among those who had received gender-transition surgery, the “increased time since last gender-affirming surgery was associated with reduced mental health treatment.”
This, the 2019 report concluded, “lends support to the decision to provide gender-affirming surgeries to transgender individuals who seek them.”
That conclusion has now been reversed.
Ryan Anderson, the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation, wrote on Monday that the correction was needed.