When headlines manipulate the readers:

Gender identity specialists accuse psychology body of ‘contributing to fear’

What are gender identity specialists? What is gender identity? What kind of thing is gender identity? How are specialists in gender identity trained? What do they know? Why can’t they make it make sense?

Some of the most senior gender identity specialists in the UK have accused their professional body of “contributing to an atmosphere of fear” around young people receiving gender-related healthcare.

What is “gender-related healthcare”? In what sense is it health care? In what sense is it not experimentation on children and adolescents?

More than 40 clinical psychologists have signed an open letter to the Association of Clinical Psychologists UK in protest at the organisation’s recent position statement on the provision of services for gender-questioning children and young people.

What do they mean by “services”? Who is defining them as “services”? Is it a “service” to mutilate people’s genitals and/or breasts? What does “gender-questioning” mean? How is it different from “gender identity”? Why was the term changed without explanation?

They say they believe there was a failure to properly consult experts in the field or service users, resulting in a “misleading” statement that “perpetuates damaging discourses about the work and gender-diverse identities more broadly”.

What makes people “experts in the field”? What exactly is “the field”? What is “the work”? What does “gender-diverse identities” mean? Is it the same as “gender identities” and “gender-questioning”?

The co-organisers of the letter, Dr Laura Charlton, who worked at GIDS from 2014 to 2020 and is now clinical lead at the Leeds Gender Identity Service, and Dr Aidan Kelly, who worked at the service from 2016 to 2021 and is now principal clinical psychologist at the Nottingham Centre for Transgender Health, said that the letter was particularly significant because it was the first time that these practitioners, who share many decades’ worth of experience, had come together in public to express their concerns.

Yes but experience of what? Can we be sure it’s not experience of credulous affirmation of a new and highly questionable ideology?

“We acknowledge that there were some valid concerns about the GIDS service, not least the significant waiting times, but we take issue with how it is now being portrayed. This is the first time that so many specialists working within UK gender services have come together to speak out about their portrayal, often by people who do not share our specialist knowledge.”

But what is the “specialist knowledge”? Is it really knowledge? Is it more a collection of assumptions? Is it like specialist knowledge of infectious diseases or specialist knowledge of homeopathy?

11 Responses to “Specialists”