This is something that needs proving Owen, not assuming

Despite the transformation of attitudes because of the work of LGBT activists, LGBT people are still exposed to homophobia and transphobia from the earliest of ages. A society that still fails to accept LGBT people as genuine equals causes much higher levels of mental distress among LGBT people, along with its grimmer symptoms: alcohol and drug abuse, even suicide.

Which way does the causality run?

No, I don’t know either but that is what has to be shown, we cannot just assume it.

37 comments on “This is something that needs proving Owen, not assuming

  1. More of the usual Gay line – “Give me what I want or I will hurt myself”.

    The sensible response is to say Go right ahead.

  2. Ah, but if it is causal the other way, it is society’s responsibility to adjust itself so that a correcting effect is in place. There is no personal responsibility any more and they are doing their best to stamp out personal choice.

  3. “A society that still fails to accept LGBT people as genuine equals…”

    Society has no problems accepting them as equals. It just has a problem calling a surgically-mutilated man a woman. And vice-versa.

  4. > from the earliest of ages

    Quite. It’s a playground taunt. Not sure if badgering adults is going to fix that.

  5. Julia M: three categories, male, female, confused.
    I am really not interested in who puts what, where or with whom, unless I am an involved party. I also am deeply bored by endless droning on about sex and imaginary gender of whatever qwerty. So, Owen, STFU, it’s your PRIVATE life!

  6. @Ljh – exactly! As the late Mrs Patrick-Campbell so succinctly put it “what people do in the privacy of their bedrooms is their own affair, as long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses”.

  7. I can get the Ls, and the Gs, no problem.

    The Ts – whatever, I don’t think I know any.

    But what’s with the Bs? Society generally expects you to stick to one partner at a time in some kind of established relationship based on fidelity. So if they go with the opposite sex, they are (as far as society is concerned) straight. If they go with the same sex, they are L or G. So how do they want to express their B-ness? What exactly do they want us to approve to accommodate them? Swinging?

  8. Pogo – “As the late Mrs Patrick-Campbell so succinctly put it “what people do in the privacy of their bedrooms is their own affair, as long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses”.”

    We are so past that option. We are now in the “having sex with the horses and throwing you in jail for a hate crime if you object” stage.

    Presumably the next stage is that old Bob Hope joke – you better get out before it becomes compulsory.

  9. I imagine that being vociferously and permanently aggrieved might lead to much higher levels of mental distress.

  10. Adrian,
    I’m not sure that “B” necessarily means “at the same time”. Surely it’s possible to be monogamous but inconsistent with gender?

  11. I see the Americanism ‘butthurt’ has gayned traction to describe such people. Does anyone know its philological origins?

  12. Would be good if a member of the Northern Ireland Cakemakers Union turned up on set for the next Owen Jones TV appearance and rammed a cake, with two icing sugar men on top shagging each other, into his face with some comment like:

    We don’t like it shoved into our faces, do you?

  13. Good point Tim.

    Actually critical thinking which investigates background assumptions, looks at data from different angles and doubts the idea that we can be certain about things and is open to changing probabilities gets confused with ‘critique’ thinking. Which is just a persuasive narrative that criticises the status quo.

    I noticed many people who confuse being left and a rebel with genuine scepticsm and critical thinking.

    It’s basic stuff but no one seems to care if you try and talk about things in that way.

  14. @Bravefart: more to the point the Cakemakers Union should formally write to Owen Jones asking him to write an article in praise of heterosexual Christian marriage for which they are prepared to pay his going rate per word. Then when he refuses, report him to the Equality Commission for religious and sexual hatred.

  15. “much higher levels of mental distress among LGBT people”

    I wonder what the difference in mental illness rates between a gay man in his 20s (ie one who has grown up in today’s tolerant society) and a straight man are? Not a fat lot I’d guess.

    But the difference in mental illness rates between a ‘cis’ man and a man who believes he’s a woman and prepared to cut his cock off to prove it? Well, one’s 100% for starters…

  16. MC,
    Even if there is a difference, it still doesn’t prove causality.

    Compare past with present: The few people who dared to “come out” in the 1950s were more likely to be mentally ill than the larger number who do so today, simply because you’d have to be mad to come out in the 1950s. Today there are fewer negative consequences, hence more well-adjusted people come out.

    Selection effects are not the same as causation.

  17. I believe it was the Scouse plonker Paul O’Grady (the one who threatened to leave the country if we voted Leave) that said, “Most people haven’t a problem with gays per se, but rather what we do.” I suppose he was suggesting that some people will always have a problem celebrating “what homosexuals get up to behind closed doors.” And I suspect it is this that Owen Jones is alluding to.

  18. ״So how do they want to express their B-ness?״

    By choosing from a wider selection of potential partners and enjoying more kinds of porn.

    ״What exactly do they want us to approve to accommodate them? Swinging?״

    Some do, but most are serial monogamists. They don’t want more than the G’s and the L’s from the general population. They would like potential partners to not freak out about their being B.

  19. Just noticed something:

    “LGBT people are still exposed to homophobia and transphobia from the earliest of ages.”

    Now hold on. I was barely functional for the first couple of years, being a baby. Not particularly bothered about girls for several after that ‘cos puberty hadn’t kicked it yet.

    Am I just being pendantic, or is that sentence of Owen’s a load of sweaty bollocks with a side order of steaming bollocks and bullshit relish?

  20. synp

    They don’t want more than the G’s and the L’s from the general population. They would like potential partners to not freak out about their being B.

    I don’t get that.

    A bisexual woman is looking for anyone but G? Which means her biggest choice is going to be straight blokes (rather than minority L or other B).

    And I can’t imagine most straight blokes being unduly fussed either about a B woman if she’s into him?

  21. “LGBT people are still exposed to homophobia and transphobia from the earliest of ages.”

    “Now hold on. I was barely functional for the first couple of years, being a baby. Not particularly bothered about girls for several after that ‘cos puberty hadn’t kicked it yet.”

    No, but I’d bet you knew from a very early age (not two years old, but likely six) that “fag” (or whatever you local equivalent is) was a bad word, because it denoted horrible people. So if you later grew up and turned out to be one of those horrible people, you would get a case of bad feels.

    “Am I just being pendantic, or is that sentence of Owen’s a load of sweaty bollocks with a side order of steaming bollocks and bullshit relish?”

    Answer is somewhere in the middle. “Internalized homophobia” is a real thing, but people get over it.

  22. @PF

    At the risk of over-generalizing, it’s mostly women. Lesbians want their partners to be “gold-star lesbians” (never been with a man), and straight women are very wary of dating bisexual men.

    Men of all kinds usually don’t care that much.

  23. “No, I don’t know either but that is what has to be shown, we cannot just assume it.”

    Quite right. It’s not hard to find out that it has, though.

    http://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-015-1867-2

    Among trans Ontarians, 35.1 % (95 % CI: 27.6, 42.5) seriously considered, and 11.2 % (95 % CI: 6.0, 16.4) attempted, suicide in the past year. Social support, reduced transphobia, and having any personal identification documents changed to an appropriate sex designation were associated with large relative and absolute reductions in suicide risk, as was completing a medical transition through hormones and/or surgeries (when needed). Parental support for gender identity was associated with reduced ideation. Lower self-reported transphobia (10th versus 90th percentile) was associated with a 66 % reduction in ideation (RR = 0.34, 95 % CI: 0.17, 0.67), and an additional 76 % reduction in attempts among those with ideation (RR = 0.24; 95 % CI: 0.07, 0.82). This corresponds to potential prevention of 160 ideations per 1000 trans persons, and 200 attempts per 1,000 with ideation, based on a hypothetical reduction of transphobia from current levels to the 10th percentile.

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19361653.2014.910483

    Initial multivariate analysis of variance indicated that the transgender respondents, when compared to the cisgender respondents, reported significantly higher family rejection, lower social support, higher loneliness, higher depression, lower protective factors (PANSI-positive) and higher negative risk factors (PANSI-negative) related to suicidal behavior, and were less certain in avoiding sexual risk behaviors. Multiple regression analysis indicated that the exogenous variables of family rejection, social isolation, and loneliness were significant predictors of both transgender and cisgender adolescents’ reported levels of depression, suicidal thinking, and sexual risk behaviors. The implications of these findings are discussed.

    http://transpulseproject.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Impacts-of-Strong-Parental-Support-for-Trans-Youth-vFINAL.pdf

    We used the 20-item CES-D scale designed to measure depressive symptomatology in the general population. The presence of depressive symptoms (CES-D16) was significantly related to whether trans youth had parents supportive of their gender identity and expression. A clear difference emerged with depressive symptoms reported by only 23% percent of those with supportive parents in contrast with 75% of those whose parents were not strongly supportive.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17135115

    In multivariate logistic regression analysis younger age (<25 years), depression, a history of substance abuse treatment, a history of forced sex, gender-based discrimination, and gender-based victimization were independently associated with attempted suicide.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19568976

    Gender-related abuse (psychological and physical), suicidality, and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., text revision) major depression were retrospectively measured across five stages of the life course using the Life Chart Interview. Among younger respondents (current age of 19-39), the impact of both types of abuse on major depression was extremely strong during adolescence and then markedly declined during later stages of life. Among older respondents (current age of 40-59), the impact of both types of abuse on major depression was strong during adolescence and then marginally declined during later stages of life. The effects of both types of abuse on suicidality were weaker but more consistently observed across the life course among both the younger and older respondents.

    http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/AFSP-Williams-Suicide-Report-Final.pdf

    Respondents who experienced rejection by family and friends, discrimination, victimization, or violence had elevated prevalence of suicide attempts, such as those who experienced the following:
    Family chose not to speak/spend time with them: 57%
    Discrimination, victimization, or violence at school, at work, and when accessing health care
    • Harassed or bullied at school (any level): 50-54%
    • Experienced discrimination or harassment at work: 50-59%
    • Doctor or health care provider refused to treat them: 60%
    • Suffered physical or sexual violence: — At work: 64-65% — At school (any level): 63-78%

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20461468

    Mental health-related quality of life was statistically diminished (P < 0.05) in transgendered women without surgical intervention compared to the general female population and transwomen who had gender reassignment surgery (GRS), facial feminization surgery (FFS), or both. There was no statistically significant difference in the mental health-related quality of life among transgendered women who had GRS, FFS, or both. Participants who had FFS scored statistically higher (P < 0.01) than those who did not in the FFS outcomes evaluation.

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08964289.2015.1028322?journalCode=vbmd20

    This study assessed individual (ie, internalized transphobia) and structural forms of stigma as risk factors for suicide attempts among transgender adults. Internalized transphobia was assessed through a 26-item scale including four dimensions: pride, passing, alienation, and shame. State-level structural stigma was operationalized as a composite index, including density of same-sex couples; proportion of Gay–Straight Alliances per public high school; 5 policies related to sexual orientation discrimination; and aggregated public opinion toward homosexuality. Multivariable logistic generalized estimating equation models assessed associations of interest among an online sample of transgender adults (N = 1,229) representing 48 states and the District of Columbia. Lower levels of structural stigma were associated with fewer lifetime suicide attempts (AOR 0.96, 95% CI 0.92–0.997), and a higher score on the internalized transphobia scale was associated with greater lifetime suicide attempts (AOR 1.18, 95% CI 1.04–1.33).

  24. @BraveFart, February 2, 2017 at 10:35 am

    +1

    @Jim, February 2, 2017 at 11:13 am

    +1

    @Theophrastus, February 2, 2017 at 9:49 am
    “three categories, male, female, confused.”
    Not quite. It’s: male, female mentally ill.

    -1

    Until you’ve known a real TG who prayed to God every night from primary school <7 yrs old to wake up opposite sex you can't conceive how mentally debilitating being in body of wrong sex is.

    Then some time in teens, you dress as you want and parents say stop or leave home.

    Mental health problems – guaranteed.

  25. Since Tim’s apparently not paying attention to his moderation queue, I’ll try again.

    “No, I don’t know either but that is what has to be shown, we cannot just assume it.”

    Quite right. It’s not hard to find out that it has, though.

    http://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-015-1867-2

    Among trans Ontarians, 35.1 % (95 % CI: 27.6, 42.5) seriously considered, and 11.2 % (95 % CI: 6.0, 16.4) attempted, suicide in the past year. Social support, reduced transphobia, and having any personal identification documents changed to an appropriate sex designation were associated with large relative and absolute reductions in suicide risk, as was completing a medical transition through hormones and/or surgeries (when needed). Parental support for gender identity was associated with reduced ideation. Lower self-reported transphobia (10th versus 90th percentile) was associated with a 66 % reduction in ideation (RR?=?0.34, 95 % CI: 0.17, 0.67), and an additional 76 % reduction in attempts among those with ideation (RR?=?0.24; 95 % CI: 0.07, 0.82). This corresponds to potential prevention of 160 ideations per 1000 trans persons, and 200 attempts per 1,000 with ideation, based on a hypothetical reduction of transphobia from current levels to the 10th percentile.

  26. More here…

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19361653.2014.910483

    Initial multivariate analysis of variance indicated that the transgender respondents, when compared to the cisgender respondents, reported significantly higher family rejection, lower social support, higher loneliness, higher depression, lower protective factors (PANSI-positive) and higher negative risk factors (PANSI-negative) related to suicidal behavior, and were less certain in avoiding sexual risk behaviors. Multiple regression analysis indicated that the exogenous variables of family rejection, social isolation, and loneliness were significant predictors of both transgender and cisgender adolescents’ reported levels of depression, suicidal thinking, and sexual risk behaviors. The implications of these findings are discussed.

  27. … and again…

    http://transpulseproject.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Impacts-of-Strong-Parental-Support-for-Trans-Youth-vFINAL.pdf

    We used the 20-item CES-D scale designed to measure depressive symptomatology in the general population. The presence of depressive symptoms (CES-D16) was significantly related to whether trans youth had parents supportive of their gender identity and expression. A clear difference emerged with depressive symptoms reported by only 23% percent of those with supportive parents in contrast with 75% of those whose parents were not strongly supportive.

  28. And they kept on looking, and finding the same answer.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19568976

    Gender-related abuse (psychological and physical), suicidality, and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., text revision) major depression were retrospectively measured across five stages of the life course using the Life Chart Interview. Among younger respondents (current age of 19-39), the impact of both types of abuse on major depression was extremely strong during adolescence and then markedly declined during later stages of life. Among older respondents (current age of 40-59), the impact of both types of abuse on major depression was strong during adolescence and then marginally declined during later stages of life. The effects of both types of abuse on suicidality were weaker but more consistently observed across the life course among both the younger and older respondents.

  29. Yes, there is a relationship between the whole of society, including your own family, bullying a person and them suffering depression and suicide. Surprise.

    http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/AFSP-Williams-Suicide-Report-Final.pdf

    Respondents who experienced rejection by family and friends, discrimination, victimization, or violence had elevated prevalence of suicide attempts, such as those who experienced the following:
    Family chose not to speak/spend time with them: 57%
    Discrimination, victimization, or violence at school, at work, and when accessing health care
    • Harassed or bullied at school (any level): 50-54%
    • Experienced discrimination or harassment at work: 50-59%
    • Doctor or health care provider refused to treat them: 60%
    • Suffered physical or sexual violence: — At work: 64-65% — At school (any level): 63-78%

  30. And treatment helps.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20461468

    Mental health-related quality of life was statistically diminished (P < 0.05) in transgendered women without surgical intervention compared to the general female population and transwomen who had gender reassignment surgery (GRS), facial feminization surgery (FFS), or both. There was no statistically significant difference in the mental health-related quality of life among transgendered women who had GRS, FFS, or both. Participants who had FFS scored statistically higher (P < 0.01) than those who did not in the FFS outcomes evaluation.

  31. I could go on, but there comes a point where we have to accept that the outrageously counterintuitive conclusion might actually have some faint possibility of being conceivably true. Yes, if you bully and persecute a person unmercifully 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for years on end, telling them they’re sick, a pervert, a deviant with no more right to live on God’s clean Earth than a weasel, it can make them depressed and prone to mental health problems. And those problems occur a lot less often if they’re not bullied.

    I’m sure the bullies will still not be convinced. But I suspect the bullies have mental health problems of their own.

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08964289.2015.1028322?journalCode=vbmd20

    This study assessed individual (ie, internalized transphobia) and structural forms of stigma as risk factors for suicide attempts among transgender adults. Internalized transphobia was assessed through a 26-item scale including four dimensions: pride, passing, alienation, and shame. State-level structural stigma was operationalized as a composite index, including density of same-sex couples; proportion of Gay–Straight Alliances per public high school; 5 policies related to sexual orientation discrimination; and aggregated public opinion toward homosexuality. Multivariable logistic generalized estimating equation models assessed associations of interest among an online sample of transgender adults (N = 1,229) representing 48 states and the District of Columbia. Lower levels of structural stigma were associated with fewer lifetime suicide attempts (AOR 0.96, 95% CI 0.92–0.997), and a higher score on the internalized transphobia scale was associated with greater lifetime suicide attempts (AOR 1.18, 95% CI 1.04–1.33).

  32. @NiV, February 4, 2017 at 10:35 am

    +1

    Thanks for doing the reseach Tim W didn’t and calling out Theophrastus et al

    The ex-chap I know underwent all you mention:
    “bully and persecute a person unmercifully 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for years on end, telling them they’re sick, a pervert, a deviant, a freak with no more right to live on God’s clean Earth than a weasel”

    Plus the threat “if you ever … make-up … skirt … again you will be thrown out”

    I was under the impression Tim W and most here are “live and let live” Libertarians. Is this assumption wrong?

  33. “Plus the threat “if you ever … make-up … skirt … again you will be thrown out””

    That’s one of many things that can happen. It doesn’t always. Throwing kids out is generally a last resort – parents usually resort to other sorts of discipline first.

    The TGs I know learnt very early on to hide what they were. It avoids a lot of trouble, but the psychological effect is like being a spy living undercover far behind enemy lines in a totalitarian state. Having to constantly police everything you say and do, living in constant fear that someone will discover your secret and of the horrible consequences if you’re caught, is a level of stress few adults can stand up to for long, let alone kids. Especially when you’re entirely alone in the world, with no friends of family you can trust, and not even properly understanding what’s wrong with your life. Worse is the self-hatred, if you come to believe what they tell you about it.

    Even without the threats of beatings or abandonment, even the simple fact of having someone you can talk to openly about it, some place you can relax your guard, makes a huge difference.

    “I was under the impression Tim W and most here are “live and let live” Libertarians. Is this assumption wrong?”

    Some are. Some aren’t. There’s more of a libertarian vibe here, and almost everyone here pays it lip service. But there is also a brand of authoritarian who becomes selectively liberal when authoritarians of a different school start replacing them, and suppressing their beliefs in turn.

    There are the remnants on the right of what I tend to call the ‘Mary Whitehouse’ crowd (although you could call it the ‘Rigsby’ or ‘Alf Garnett’ tendency , as well), who have somewhat old-fashioned attitudes to women, gays, blacks, and foreigners generally. Opposed to them are the new authoritarians of the Social Justice Warrior camp on the left, who look out for the shifting tides of society’s sympathy, and pick formerly oppressed groups to hide behind, that authoritarians the right can be reliably trusted to kick up about. They then blacken the name of the right generally by pointing to the haters of the right, and arguing that authoritarian repression – loss of free speech, loss of freedom of belief, freedom of association, and so on – is necessary to protect the weak against the authoritarian racists, sexists, homophobes, and so on. The first group they used in this way, of course, was the poor working classes.

    I try to argue that the SJWs are not the same people as the groups they hide behind, and that to attack the latter while ignoring the former is a self-defeating strategy – falling into the trap set for them. But all they can see is that I oppose their own authoritarian desires.

    Libertarianism is all very nice in theory, they say, but it’s not popular with the public and isn’t going to win any elections, so everyone has to pick sides between the opposing authoritarian camps. And if you’re not with us, you’re against us.

    So they’re liberal on things like smoking, drinking, prostitution, junk food, drugs, taxes, government, and trade. But they’re authoritarian on abortion, non-hetero sexual behaviour, and foreigners.

    But that’s normal for people. (Which is why libertarians don’t get elected.) There is at least some prospect of persuading some of them here, now that they’re on the losing side, that proper libertarianism is probably the best compromise they’re going to get.

  34. @NiV

    Good post and informative.

    Probably time to end discussion as others have moved on to newer threads.

    Feel free to email me, some googling will reveal.

    Cheers

    Pcar

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