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Number 50 ~ Fall 2016

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Lawrence S. Mayer, M.B., M.S., Ph.D. is a scholar in residence in the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University and a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University. Paul R. McHugh, M.D. is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and was for twenty-five years the psychiatrist-in-chief at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including, most recently, Try to Remember: Psychiatry’s Clash over Meaning, Memory, and Mind (Dana Press, 2008).

Editor’s Note: Questions related to sexuality and gender bear on some of the most intimate and personal aspects of human life. In recent years they have also vexed American politics. We offer this report — written by Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer, an epidemiologist trained in psychiatry, and Dr. Paul R. McHugh, arguably the most important American psychiatrist of the last half-century — in the hope of improving public understanding of these questions. Examining research from the biological, psychological, and social sciences, this report shows that some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence. The report has a special focus on the higher rates of mental health problems among LGBT populations, and it questions the scientific basis of trends in the treatment of children who do not identify with their biological sex. More effort is called for to provide these people with the understanding, care, and support they need to lead healthy, flourishing lives.

Front Matter


Executive Summary

Sexuality and Gender


Part One: Sexual Orientation

Part Two: Sexuality, Mental Health Outcomes, and Social Stress

Part Three: Gender Identity