Former John Hopkins professor Paul McHugh co-authored a paper which claimed that there is no evidence that people are born gay or transgender. This study was trumpeted by several religious right and anti-lgbt publications even though others were quick to point out how its credibility is damaged by the motivations its publishers and authors.
One party which did this was The Daily Beast. In a short, but straightforward article, The Daily Beast called out McHugh and revealed his long history of anti-lgbt bias:
There is plenty of evidence to show that this isn’t McHugh’s first anti-LGBT rodeo. In 2006, he was quoted as saying that sexual abuse in the Catholic Church was the result of “homosexual predation on American Catholic youth,” as GLAAD noted. Four years later, he filed an amicus brief supporting California’s same-sex marriage ban, arguing that “sexual orientation is, in part, a choice.”
In 2014, McHugh wrote a widely-cited anti-transgender op-ed for the Wall Street Journal that contradicts position statements from several major medical organizations including the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association. Most recently, in the spring of 2016, he helped write a position paper for the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), a small Gainesville, Florida-based organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center has called “an anti-LGBT hate group.”
That position paper called health care for trans youth a form of “child abuse.” “It may be an intrinsic problem of American psychiatry to fall into a craze or cult-like misdirection once a decade,” McHugh previously told The Daily Beast about his involvement with that ACPeds paper. “Transgenderism seems to be this decade’s version.”
So it’s no surprise to see McHugh’s name crop up yet again in connection with another round of headlines questioning LGBT identities. In their new paper, McHugh and Mayer express skepticism over the concept of “sexual orientation,” writing that “we may have some reasons to doubt the common assumption that in order to live happy and flourishing lives, we must somehow discover this innate fact about ourselves that we call sexuality or sexual orientation, and invariably express it through particular patterns of sexual behavior or a particular life trajectory.”
The Daily Beast article then goes through a long process of featuring statements and work of several more legitimate medical bodies who refute McHugh's position, including the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the World Professional Association of Transgender Health.
All in all, it's an article which our community should remember because we know how the anti-lgbt industry operates. Regardless of any refutation, we will be seeing and hearing them cite McHugh continuously.
Meet The Doctor Social Conservatives Depend On To Justify Anti-Transgender Hate
Paul McHugh - GLAAD Commentator Accountability Project