Sexuality and Gender – A Special Report

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Sexuality and Gender – A Special Report

I think this report is essential reading here at the beginning of 2017. I don’t say that lightly. Given the pressing nature of these and related subjects, and given the ongoing politicization and social threatenings, being ignorant of reigning academic, psychological, and political claims, as well as their critics, is to do a disservice to ourselves and others. Here is the online blurb (borrowed from their website) by the editor of The New Atlantis:

Questions related to sexuality and gender bear on some of the most intimate and personal aspects of human life. In recent years they have also vexed American politics. We offer this report — written by Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer, an epidemiologist trained in psychiatry, and Dr. Paul R. McHugh, arguably the most important American psychiatrist of the last half-century — in the hope of improving public understanding of these questions. Examining research from the biological, psychological, and social sciences, this report shows that some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence. The report has a special focus on the higher rates of mental health problems among LGBT populations, and it questions the scientific basis of trends in the treatment of children who do not identify with their biological sex. More effort is called for to provide these people with the understanding, care, and support they need to lead healthy, flourishing lives.

Preview Video

A preview of this edition of the journal may be viewed in the following video:

Table of Contents

The full table of contents for the special report is below:

Preface 4
Lawrence S. Mayer

Executive Summary 7

Sexuality and Gender
Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences
Lawrence S. Mayer, M.B., M.S., Ph.D. and Paul R. McHugh, M.D.

Introduction 10

Part 1: Sexual Orientation 13

Abstract 13
Problems with Defining Key Concepts 15
The Context of Sexual Desire 19
Sexual Orientation 21
Challenging the “Born that Way” Hypothesis 25
Studies of Twins 26
Molecular Genetics 32
The Limited Role of Genetics 33
The Influence of Hormones 34
Sexual Orientation and the Brain 39
Misreading the Research 41
Sexual Abuse Victimization 42
Distribution of Sexual Desires and Changes Over Time 50
Conclusion 57

Part 2: Sexuality, Mental Health Outcomes, and Social Stress 59

Abstract 59
Some Preliminaries 60
Sexuality and Mental Health 60
Sexuality and Suicide 66
Sexuality and Intimate Partner Violence 70
Transgender Health Outcomes 73
Explanations for the Poor Health Outcomes: The Social Stress Model 75
 Discrimination and prejudice events 77
     Stigma 79
     Concealment 81
     Testing the model 82
Conclusion 85

Part 3: Gender Identity 86

Abstract 86
Key Concepts and Their Origins 87
Gender Dysphoria 93
Gender and Physiology 98
Transgender Identity in Children 105
Therapeutic Interventions in Children 106
Therapeutic Interventions in Adults 108

Conclusion 114

Notes 117

Download the PDF

So, without further delay, I strongly advise that you access the PDF of the special report here and begin reading it right away (taking ample time along the way to understand and digest what you’re reading).


I am so impressed by the special report noted above that I aim to add this publication to our reading list for the upcoming advanced worldviews course at the Oxford Study Centre. You can see the other texts (yet still not all of our readings, as many are articles or chapters or excerpts) we’ll be reading here.