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Crossdreamer Sidebars is a support blog for Crossdreamers.com, a site devoted to crossdreamer and transgender issues.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Autogynephilia Theory is in Violation of Basic Research and Health Care Ethics

There can be no doubt that the autogynephilia theory and Ray Blanchard and J. Michael Bailey's research  on transgender people are in violation of fundamental ethical principles of both science and patient care.
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By reducing the identity of trans women to being men suffering from a sexual perversion or effeminate gay men trying to seduce straight men, the researchers are basically camouflaging sexist stereotypes  and transphobic beliefs as science.

By doing so they are not only invalidating the identities of transgender people. They are also contributing to the continuous marginalization of trans people by giving trans-phobic bullies arguments that can be used to harass them,

Indeed, this is exactly what we see right now: The autogynephilia theory is nearly exclusively referred to by anti-LGBT activists from the extreme religious right and so-called "trans-exclusionary radical feminists".

Below I have included some paragraphs from documents discussing the ethics of health care and research on humans.

As I see it, the autogynephilia theory is in violation of all these basic principles.

"7. Medical research is subject to ethical standards that promote and ensure respect for all human subjects and protect their health and rights.

8. While the primary purpose of medical research is to generate new knowledge, this goal can never take precedence over the rights and interests of individual research subjects.

9. It is the duty of physicians who are involved in medical research to protect the life, health, dignity, integrity, right to self-determination, privacy, and confidentiality of personal information of research subjects. The responsibility for the protection of research subjects must always rest with the physician or other health care professionals and never with the research subjects, even though they have given consent."

"Sexologists shall respect and uphold the dignity of those receiving their professional services."

"A member respects the client’s personality, experience and dignity. This means sensitivity to individual differences that are based on client’s age, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnic and cultural origin, language, religion, functional level, education and socioeconomic status. A member is also aware of the limitations that her/his own background might cause in these matters.

A member strives to be unbiased towards the client’s values, way of life and ideology. It is important to identify the impact of one’s own values, emotions and motivations on the client relationships, and one should always pay special attention to using neutral and respectful language when client is contacted via telephone, email or internet."

"A physician shall be dedicated to providing competent medical care with compassion and respect for human dignity and rights.

1. A psychiatrist shall not gratify his or her own needs by exploiting the patient. The psychiatrist shall be ever vigilant about the impact that his or her conduct has upon the boundaries of the doctor–patient relationship, and thus upon the well-being of the patient. These requirements become particularly important because of the essentially private, highly personal, and sometimes intensely emotional nature of the relationship established with the psychiatrist.

2. A psychiatrist should not be a party to any type of policy that excludes, segregates, or demeans the dignity of any patient because of ethnic origin, race, sex, creed, age, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation."

"3.01 Unfair Discrimination 
In their work-related activities, psychologists do not engage in unfair discrimination based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status or any basis proscribed by law.

3.03 Other Harassment 
Psychologists do not knowingly engage in behavior that is harassing or demeaning to persons with whom they interact in their work based on factors such as those persons' age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language or socioeconomic status.

3.04 Avoiding Harm 
Psychologists take reasonable steps to avoid harming their clients/patients, students, supervisers, research participants, organizational clients and others with whom they work, and to minimize harm where it is foreseeable and unavoidable."

"Guideline 1. Psychologists understand that gender is a non‐binary construct that allows for a range of gender identities and that a person’s gender identity may not align with sex assigned at birth. 

Guideline 2. Psychologists understand that gender identity and sexual orientation are distinct but interrelated constructs. 

Guideline 4. Psychologists are aware of how their attitudes about and knowledge of gender identity and gender expression may affect the quality of care they provide to TGNC people and their families. 

Guideline 5. Psychologists recognize how stigma, prejudice, discrimination, and violence affect the health and well‐being of TGNC people."

Hippocrathic Oath (original version 5th century BC, modern version used by many physicians today)

(Modern version, extract:)

"I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow. I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug. I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty.

Above all, I must not play a God. I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick. I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm."

American Psychoanalytic Association Position Statement on Attempts to Change Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, or Gender Expression.

“As with any societal prejudice, bias against individuals based on actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression negatively affects mental health, contributing to an enduring sense of stigma and pervasive self-criticism through the internalization of such prejudice.

Psychoanalytic technique does not encompass purposeful attempts to ‘convert,’ “repair,” change or shift an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Such directed efforts are against fundamental principles of psychoanalytic treatment and often result in substantial psychological pain by reinforcing damaging internalized attitudes.”

More on autogynephilia.

(Updated Sept 15 2015, Hippocratic oath added)

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