The peer-review process is consistently failing to stop bad scholarship on gender medicine.
No policies are more fraught right now than those involving gender transition and children. That makes it all the more important that research on the issue be grounded in the best science, giving policymakers the insight they need to do what’s right. Yet the opposite is happening: the peer-review process, designed to ensure research quality, is failing.
Consider the recent study, “Anti-transgender rights legislation and internet searches pertaining to depression and suicide,” published in December 2022 in PLOS One, a high-impact multidisciplinary journal. The authors claim to show a link between the passage of “anti-transgender rights” legislation and Google searches for “depression” and “suicide,” which could be proxy measures of mental-health distress. They assert that “the passage of a single [anti-trans] bill led to around a 13 to 17 percent increase in the volume of searchers for the word ‘suicide’ within that state” and that “that for every anti-transgender bill passed in a week, there was about a five percent increase in searches for the word ‘depression.’”
Read more at City Journal.
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