A forthcoming judicial review later this month in the High Court will decide whether a British university was right to refuse permission for a researcher to study people who regret changing gender.
James Caspian, who was refused permission to research so-called ‘detransitioning’ at Bath Spa University because it would be ‘politically incorrect’, says increasing numbers of people who have undertaken transition to another gender want to reverse it. Since the university’s decision in 2017 to refuse his research, he has been approached by fifty people seeking to reverse their transition.
The psychotherapist has been approached by patients who said: “I’m not the other sex, I shouldn’t have done this.”
Although so-called gender dysphoria affects only a tiny amount of people, the psychological disorder has hit the headlines recently because of the very young age of some people wanting to change their biological gender.
The university initially approved his research, but then cancelled it after an ethics committee at the university warned that “a potentially ‘politically incorrect’ piece of research carries a risk to the university. Attacks on social media may not be confined to the researcher but may involve the university.”
The psychotherapist, who enrolled for a master’s degree at Bath Spa, said: “A win would be a victory for freedom of speech in academia and for people to feel they can research…any controversial subject without fear of being vetoed.”
Mr Caspian said people who wanted to ‘detransition’ had undergone hormone treatment or surgery and typically regretted it two to five years later. Most were in their early twenties.
Of course, young people make mistakes all the time, but such mistakes are usually something they can easily reverse. But undergoing drastic surgery to remove or alter their reproductive organs just because of sexual confusion is an enormous mistake that can have life-changing consequences.
For some young people sexual confusion is a part of growing up, but rather than undertake radical treatment, surely it is better just to wait and allow matters to settle one way or the other.
In the late seventies, the Tom Robinson Band released a song which was meant to illustrate the lead singer’s sexual defiance against the morals of the age. Tom Robinson (no, not that one!) is now happily married (to a woman) and has fathered two children.
‘There’s nowt so queer as folk!’