This is amazing. The public relations firm Mediasource, representing the American Society of Plastic Surgeons issued a glowing and newsworthy press release this week titled “Gender Confirmation Surgeries Rise 20% in First Ever Report”.
“ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – For the first time, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is reporting on the number of gender confirmation surgeries in the United States. ASPS—the world’s largest plastic surgery organization—found that more than 3,200 transfeminine and transmasculine surgeries were performed in 2016. The procedures can include anything from facial and body contouring to gender reassignment surgeries.”
The press release went on to cite Chicago plastic surgeon Dr. Loren Schechter(*):
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to gender confirmation,” said Loren Schechter, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon based in Chicago. “There’s a wide spectrum of surgeries that someone may choose to treat gender dysphoria, which is a disconnect between how an individual feels and what that person’s anatomic characteristics are.
Access to gender confirmation procedures has improved in recent years. In just the first two years of collecting data, ASPS found the number of transgender-related surgeries rose nearly 20 percent from 2015 to 2016. “In the past several years, the number of transgender patients I’ve seen has grown exponentially,” said Dr. Schechter. “Access to care has allowed more people to explore their options, and more doctors understand the needs of transgender patients.”
(*Regular readers will remember Dr. Schechter as the business associate of psychologist Randi Ettner and her husband, who provide dubious and highly paid “diagnosis” and supporting testimony for convicted male murderers who wish to obtain prison funded “sex changes” and subsequent transfer to women’s facilities.)
Anyway, Reuters ran with the story and it took off internationally.
“Gender Confirmation Surgeries on the Rise in US” read the headlines. “US Gender Confirmation Surgeries Up 19% in 2016, Doctors Say”.
Media outlets stuck with the same narrative that ASPS/Reuters provided: Surgeries to alter sex characteristics showed a 20% annual increase, likely due to increased media exposure of transgender issues, the removal of Medicare’s blanket ban on coverage, and increased insurance coverage of such procedures under the Affordable Care Act. Some news outlets added testimonials from satisfied customers who felt reborn after surgical procedures.
CBS News used commentary from Gearah Goldstein, a late-transitioning self-employed activist dedicated to medicalizing gender in children and eliminating private sex-segregated facilities for girls in public schools. Goldstein described his psychological relief after undergoing facial feminization surgery performed by Dr. Schechter. New York Magazine’s science writer Jesse Singal tweeted Goldstein’s testimonial as evidence of the efficacy of cosmetic facial feminization surgery for men who identify as transgender.
Washington Post science writer Amy Ellis Nutt, who believes that identification with a sex role, or “Gender Identity”, is a biological process that occurs in utero, used a rebirth testimonial from 74 year old Denee Mallon: “When I woke up from surgery, I felt a certain sense of peace and tranquility.”
Business Insider quoted HRC press officer Sarah McBride (formerly Tim McBride):
“Sarah McBride, a press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign agreed the data is novel and important, adding that “there’s been a real dearth” of statistics about the transgender community until recently.”
Articles quoted various supporting statistics directly from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons survey. Business Insider placed some of the data into a helpful graph. Have a look at the findings:
Even a cursory glance at this “supporting data” reveals that these numbers are meaningless. Equal numbers of male facial feminization and female facial masculinization procedures?! Nonsense. Only a hundred or so mastectomies or breast augmentations?! Only fifteen genital surgeries recorded nationally by the ASPS?! What exactly is being measured here? Not much.
Elizabeth Nolan Brown at Reason.com writes a detailed breakdown of the problem with the ASPS survey and conclusions:
Retraction Watch also covered this story:
You can read the original (now retracted) Reuters story at NBCNews, which is still running the story with the following notice:
“Editor’s Note: Reuters has withdrawn this story because of questions surrounding the data supplied by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.”
Have transgender related surgeries increased by 20% in the past year? We have no idea. They could have spiked by over 300% (insert any figure). Or they could have dropped as more genderists adopt a “non-binary” belief system (or for whatever reason). We just don’t know.
But that won’t stop the international media from pushing the narrative, uncritically, with fake data supplied by the medical gender industry.
Indeed, as of today they are still reporting it.