Welcome to my blog, a place to explore and learn about the experience of running a psychiatric practice. I post about things that I find useful to know or think about. So, enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How Does This Help?

In yesterday's NY Times, there's an Invitation to a Dialogue about Gender Identity, by Jack Drescher, with a request for responses from readers by tomorrow.

Dr. Drescher writes about Coy Mathis, a 6-year-old, born a boy, now identifying as a girl. He discusses Gender Identity, and the fact that it is unclear what, if anything, to do with or for young Coy, or similar children.

He admonishes, "Currently experts can’t tell apart kids who outgrow gender dysphoria (desisters) from those who don’t (persisters), and how to treat them is controversial."

And finally, he offers some advice:

I would advise parents to learn all they can about the different approaches so they can understand the limitations and how they are sometimes guided by personal beliefs about gender rather than by good research data. 

Is this supposed to be helpful? How? What kind of dialogue does the Times expect this to generate?

It's like saying, "No one knows what to do, so as the expert, I'm advising you to educate yourselves." What's the point of being an expert?

I'm not implying Dr. Drescher ought to know what to do, or that parents ought not to educate themselves. But if your best advice is, "Study up!", then you don't need to write about it in the Times.

So why am I writing this post? Not sure. Maybe it's to point out the hype anything related to DSM-5 gets. Or maybe I'm annoyed by the final blurb:

The writer, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, served on the D.S.M.-5 Workgroup on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders. He is co-editor of “Treating Transgender Children and Adolescents.”

Oh, so that's the advice! If you want answers, buy my book!

An unpaid ad in the NY Times.

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