Dr. Keith Ablow Denies any Biological Evidence of Gender Dysphoria

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Keith Ablow

Keith Ablow

Dr. Keith Ablow, is a psychiatrist, and a television commentator who has made a practice of diagnosing celebrities he has never met; and who has recently denied the existence of any biological evidence supporting the diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

This is the same man who called Michelle Obama overweight [1] and later went on to attack female panelists on Fox and Friends by telling them they needed to lose weight [2].

Dr. Ablow would do well to remember his medical ethics.

  • Respect for autonomy, which gives the patient has the right to refuse or choose their treatment.
  • Beneficence the principle that the practitioner should act in the best interest of the patient.
  • Non-maleficence your traditional “first, do no harm”
  • Justice which requires a physician to make decision of who gets what treatment in the bounds of fairness and equality.

Not to mention

  • Respect for persons which holds that the patient (and the person treating the patient) have the right to be treated with dignity.
  • As well as Truthfulness and honesty.

In this situation Dr. Albow stated, “I don’t believe we have definitive data (although many psychiatrists with very impressive credentials, who seem to mean well, assert that we do) that any male or female soul has ever in the history of the world been born into the wrong anatomic gender.

Let me put that more clearly: I am not convinced by any science I can find that people with definitively male DNA and definitively male anatomy can actually be locked in a cruel joke of nature because they are actually female.”

The question then becomes, “What kind of evidence is there for a biological basis behind Gender Dysphoria?

Well, Dr. Ablow, it turns out there’s a lot. Here’s some information to clarify the current state of Transgender research.

1. “There is also evidence, albeit clinical, for a role of testosterone in the sexual differentiation of the human brain, in particular in inducing male gender role behavior and heterosexual orientation.”Julie Baker, Focus on Sexuality Research, 2014

2. “…We conclude that there is sufficient evidence that EDCs modify behavioral sexual dimorphism in children, presumably by interacting with the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis.” Winneke et al, Environmental health perspectives, 2013

3. “Gender-dependent differentiation of the brain has been detected at every level of organization–morphological, neurochemical, and functional–and has been shown to be primarily controlled by sex differences in gonadal steroid hormone levels during perinatal development.” Chung and Wilson, European Journal of Physiology, 2013

4. “Gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender), sexual orientation (hetero-, homo-, or bisexuality), pedophilia, and the risks for neuropsychiatric disorders are programmed into our brain during early development. There is no proof that postnatal social environment has any crucial effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.” Swaab and Bao, Neuroscience in the 21st century, 2013

5. “Testosterone, estrogen and dihydrotestosterone are the main steroid hormones responsible for the organization and sexual differentiation of brain structures during early development.” Serkan Karaismailoğlu; Ayşen Erdem, Journal of the Turkish-German Gynecological Association, 2013

6. “In human males, we show that variation in fetal testosterone (FT) predicts later local gray matter volume of specific brain regions in a direction that is congruent with sexual dimorphism observed in a large independent sample of age-matched males and females from the NIH Pediatric MRI Data Repository.” Lombardo, et al., The Journal of Neuroscience, 2012

7. “Testosterone measured in infancy predicts subsequent sex-typed behavior in boys and in girls.” Lamminmäki, et al., Hormones and Behavior, 2012

8. “The finger length ratio between the second and fourth digits in transgender men was significantly lower than in female controls in the right hand in this study. 2D : 4D showed a positive correlation with GIS score. Because 2D : 4D influences are assumed to be established in early life and to reflect testosterone exposure, our results suggest a relationship between GID-FtM and perinatal testosterone.” Sasaki, Tsukamotoa, and Horie, The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2012

9. “…growing evidence shows that testosterone exposure contributes similarly to the development of other human behaviors that show sex differences, including sexual orientation, core gender identity, and some, though not all, sex-related cognitive and personality characteristics.” Hines, Annual review of neuroscience, 2011

10. “There is strong evidence that high concentrations of androgens lead to more male-typical behavior and that this also influences gender identity. “Jürgensen, et al., Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2010

11. “However, when the process of genital development and of brain sexual development does not match the same sex, females with a male brain and vice versa can arise. These transsexual people have problems with their gender identity and have the conviction of being born in the wrong body.” Worrell, Master Thesis, Faculty of Medicine, Universiteit Utrecht, 2010

12. “In this study, more than 150 individuals with confirmed or suspected prenatal diethylstilbestrol (DES) exposure reported moderate to severe feelings of gender dysphoria across the lifespan.” Kerlin, Paper prepared for the International Behavioral Development Symposium, 2005

13. “Secondly, as predicted twin girls where one displayed gender dysphoria had a more masculine pattern of cerebral lateralization, than non-transgender girls. These findings support the notion of an influence of prenatal T on early brain organization in girls.” Cohen-Bendahan; Buitelaar; van Goozen; and Cohen-Kettenis, Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2004

14. “It thus appears conceivable that due to local hormone dependent changes during development at least some areas of the brain may follow a different course than the genitals during the process of sexual differentiation. A partial or even complete brain-body sex reversal may eventually be the result.” Kruijver, Dissertation, Faculty of Medicine, University of Amsterdam, 2004

15. “Results support the notion that the gender identity is related to the sex steroid-driven sexual differentiation of the brain, and that certain genetic variants of three of the genes critically involved in this process, may enhance the susceptibility for transsexualism.” Landén, Doctoral Thesis, University of Gothenburg, 1999[3]

This is a small sample of the data available if you but look for it, Mr. Ablow. If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion: try and remember your medical objectivity, for just one moment, and do your research before making these types of statements in the future. While you are at it, do the transgender community a favor, and call Paul McHugh and invite him to take part in on your little study group.

Set aside your Fox News approved dialogue and strive to enlighten yourself. Try and remember that you’re a doctor first and a Fox News commentator second.

References

1. Chasmar, Jessica. “Fox’s Keith Ablow: Michelle Obama ‘needs to drop a few’”. The Washington Times. Retrieved November 21, 2014.

2. Scarry, Eddie. “Fox’s Keith Ablow Tells Female Co-Hosts They Could Stand to ‘Lose Five Pounds’, Shouting Ensues”. Mediaite. Retrieved November 21, 2014.

3. Tannehill, Brynn. (03-19-14). “Do Your Homework, Dr. Ablow.” Huffington Post. Retrieved 7 June, 2015.

 

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About Author

Wynternight is the nom de plume of an Alaskan woman who loves the long, cold, and dark Alaska Winters. She's a fan of movies, music of all kinds and by all kinds she means metal, and various TV shows. She writes fantasy, sci-fi, and horror fiction of dubious quality and hopes to figure out what she wants to do when she grows up. Right now she works as a nurse, which she enjoys, but would much rather make a living as a black metal vocalist and guitar player.

8 Comments

  1. If we hold him to his exact phrasing, “born into the wrong anatomic gender”, I think Dr Ablow is correct.

    Before you cut me down, have a think about it.

  2. Someone who diagnoses people he has never met sounds more like a Fox News hack than a real doctor. Anyway, all those references are to actual evidence and he’s a psychiatrist. The two don’t go together very well.

  3. It should not come as a surprise that Dr. Blowhard was the protege of Dr. McHugh at Johns Hopkins. Both are noted for their far right wing and transphobic stances, frequent citations of discredited studies and refusal to accept the current consensus of the APA re: gender dysphoria, from which both “doctors” were asked to leave due to their radical (and wrong) views. Neither currently practices medicine in favor of being talking heads on FOX News as “legitimization” of hatred for LGBT people.

  4. I believe there may be a genetic or hormonal reason for gender dysphoria, but I half way agree with Dr. Ablow. (cough cough…I don’t really agree with how he presents himself as some authority) There is no conclusive evidence for it. Someday they will find it, I believe it is there. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence of the role of hormones in utero. The other studies are good but are they overwhelmingly convincing? In my opinion, no.

    It is enough for me to know that I have Gender Dysphoria. To hang my hat on a genetic marker really doesn’t do a lot for me. It’s nice to have a reason, but it doesn’t change anything.

    It’s a set up to argue on medical terms. For every study put out showing a link, the other side will put one out showing there isn’t.

  5. Anecdotally on the other side of this it shows that exposure in utero can have effects physically and mentally. If this is true, why not GD too.

    “But men who have relatively long ring fingers are thought to have been exposed to high levels of testosterone in utero, and this has been linked to aggression, athleticism, sexuality, intelligence, and even the ability to trade high-stakes stocks. It has also been linked to a higher risk for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, prostate cancer and arthritis.”

  6. Lakegirl28117 on

    Poll: Who would use him as their doctor? I am betting our informal poll would suggest that he has no one here that gives him any credibility – which, for an “expert” witness, is the death knoll on the stand.

  7. Hullo from Oz!
    Not a member yet: an old but sensitive dude.
    Didn’t think much of Dr Ablows comments!
    Good luck with your inner feelings/ views
    Paul~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Melbourne-

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