One of the most significant findings in a recent survey by KFF/Washington Post on transgender persons is not even discussed in the Washington Post (WAPO) news story on the poll.
The 2517-word story, published May 5, covers just about every aspect of the 26-page survey except for the issue of mental health. It is hard to believe this was an oversight.
(The survey calls transgender persons “trans” for short; this explains the adoption of this term in this account.)
• When asked about their childhood, 81 percent of all adults surveyed said it was either a very happy or somewhat happy time; only 53 percent of trans respondents answered this way.
• Only 13 percent of adults said that growing up as a child or teenager they had an alcohol or drug use problem. The figure for trans persons is more than double, 29 percent.
• When it comes to serious mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, 32 percent of adults said they had such problems growing up. For trans adults the number is an astonishing 78 percent.
Respondents were asked how often they felt in the past 12 months about several emotional conditions. Here are the results.
• Lonely: 21 percent of adults answered always/often; 45 percent of trans answered this way.
• Hopeful: 50 percent of adults reported always/often, but only 29 percent of trans felt this way.
• Depressed: 22 percent of adults admitted to depression, but almost half, 48 percent, of trans confessed to being depressed.
• Anxious: The figure for adults was 31 percent; for trans, it was 56 percent.
• Happy: 59 percent of adults said they were happy, but only 40 percent of trans said they were.
When trans persons were asked about abnormal behaviors, the results were predictable.
• Engaged in self-harm: For adults, the number is 3 percent; it is 17 percent for trans.
• Suicidal thoughts: 16 percent of adults, and 43 percent of trans, said they thought about killing themselves.
Why didn’t WAPO mention any of this in its news story?
The conventional wisdom, as entertained by elites, is that any mental health problems that trans persons have is a result of discrimination. But that is not what the survey suggests.
• When those who identify as trans were asked if they had ever been refused health care from a health care provider, or someone else working in a health care setting, 82 percent said “no.”
• When asked if they had been denied a job or a promotion, 78 said they had not.
• When asked if they had ever been evicted or denied housing, 86 said “no.”
It is not societal rejection of trans males and females that is at the root of their problem—their problem lies deep within themselves. They are unhappy, lonely, depressed persons who are more likely to engage in self-destructive behaviors. That’s not normal. Their mental health problems are a reflection of their sexually confused status. They need help.
It must also be said that public policy should no more be driven by accommodating mentally disturbed trans persons than it should be driven by accommodating everyone else who has a mental disorder. It is one thing to reach out to such persons; it is quite another to restructure society in a vain attempt to rescue them.
One more thing. WAPO is intellectually dishonest to ask respondents if they agree that gender is assigned at birth. Gender is no more “assigned” than sex is.
Gender is a sociological term that refers to the roles that society considers to be appropriate for males and females. In other words, the current usage of gender is inaccurate—what is called gender is really the sex of the person.
Moreover, our sex is never “assigned” by anyone. It is exclusively determined by our father, and it is evident at the time of conception, not birth. It is anti-science to argue otherwise.