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The other side of sex-change surgeries

question-6-7-2015It was a media celebration as former US Olympian Bruce Jenner, 65, announced his transformation from a man to a woman. Now going by the name of Caitlyn, you may have seen Jenner’s photo featured on the front page of Vanity Fair.

But a few weeks back, Psychiatrist Paul McHugh dumped cold water on the process of changing sexes. It may not be as life-changing as it first seems. McHugh published his thoughts in a Wallstreet Journal article.

McHugh was the former Psychiatrist in Chief at Johns Hopkins University which was one of the first hospitals to tackle “sex-reassignment surgery” back in the 1960s. Because of its early entrance in this field, the university had a unique opportunity to study the results of these sex changes. It was this study in the 1970s that caused the University to stop sex-change surgeries.

What the university discovered is that though most people were satisfied with the physical change, the operation being a success, it did not resolve the underlying psychological issues, such as depression, that caused these people to want the change in the first place.

Since this was the reason the sex-change operations were being done, it did not make sense to do surgeries if they were not solving the problem.

McHugh said the university’s conclusion was confirmed by a 2011 study conducted by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute. The 30-year study tracked 324 people who had received sex changes. It discovered that within ten years, the emotional issues the people were experiencing that led to the sex-reassignment were now stronger.

Disturbingly, the study also found that the suicide rates among people who had sex-reassignment surgery was nearly 20 times higher than the average population. Though some may blame this higher rate on a lack of acceptance of people who changed their sex, McHugh believes the sex change operation did not resolve the psychological conflict these people were experiencing

McHugh said:

“At the heart of the problem is confusion over the nature of the transgendered. “Sex change” is biologically impossible. [emphasis added] People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women.”

Curiously, McHugh does not look upon it as gay issue and even as he was going through his transition to a woman, then Bruce Jenner stated he was not a homosexual.

In an article on Public Discourse author Walter Heyer, now a Christian, shared his personal experience with sex reassignment surgery. He did it twice. Once to become a woman who he lived as for eight years, then a second time to revert back to a man.

Heyer wrote:

“The surgery fixed nothing—it only masked and exacerbated deeper psychological problems.

The beginnings of the transgender movement have gotten lost today in the push for transgender rights, acceptance, and tolerance. If more people were aware of the dark and troubled history of sex-reassignment surgery, perhaps we wouldn’t be so quick to push people toward it.”

He admitted that shortly after his first sex change, he experienced a freedom even euphoria about his decision, but it didn’t last. Even though he had all the cosmetic surgery to look like a woman, Heyer realized inside he was still a man.

Heyer has since written books on this issue and started a website He says he has received hundreds of emails from people who are regretting their decision, some within a few months of their sex-reassignment surgery.

Listen to Walter Heyer’s story below:

Read more:

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