If the Finnish study is correct

Wait what? Tranz kidz aren’t at greater risk of suicide if they don’t wreck their bodies? But we were assured they are!

A new study challenges the common assertion that gender-dysphoric youth are at elevated risk of suicide if not treated with “gender affirming” medical interventions. If it’s true, it ought to have a seismic impact on the accepted medical approach to gender-confused youth.

Reported in the BMJ, the study examines data on a Finnish cohort of gender-referred adolescents between 1996 and 2019, and compares their rates of all-cause and suicide mortality against a control group. While suicide rates in the gender-referred group studied were higher than in the control group, the difference was not large: 0.3% versus 0.1%. And — importantly — this difference disappeared when the two groups were controlled for mental health issues severe enough to require specialist psychiatric help.

In other words, if I understand correctly, some adolescents who are gender dysphoric may have other mental health issues that nudge them into suicide.

In other words: while transgender identity does seem to be associated with elevated suicide risk, the link is not very strong. What’s more, the causality may not work the way activists claim.

As in, not “lack of gender fiddling–>elevated suicide risk” but “mental health issues–>gender dysphoria and elevated suicide risk.”

The association between gender dysphoria and mental illness is well-documented by both providers of “gender-affirming care” and trans advocacy groups and clinical psychology research. But one less well-evidenced claim, based on this association, is that these difficulties are caused not by being transgender, but by the political and social stigma associated with it. Gender dysphoria, we are to understand, is not in itself a mental health issue. What causes mental health issues in transgender youth — up to and including suicide — is the wider world’s rejection of their identity, and of the metaphysical frame of “gender identity” as such.

Which looks like not so much a medical or mental health explanation as a tactic. “Give me what I want or I’ll kill myself,” to put it concisely.

But if the Finnish study is correct, this whole rhetorical, legislative, and medical edifice may be built on sand. If the elevated risk of suicidality in trans youth disappears when you control for other psychiatric difficulties, this suggests strongly that trans youth are not more at risk due to transphobia or invalidation, but due to the well-documented fact that gender dysphoria tends to occur in people who are disturbed and unhappy more generally.

Horse and cart as opposed to cart and horse.

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