This podcast is an audio repository of Florence Ashley‘s scholarly writing on trans law, bioethics, and more!
The clinical irrelevance of ‘desistance’ research for transgender and gender creative youth
Florence Ashley. “The Clinical Irrelevance of ‘Desistance’ Research for Transgender and Gender Creative Youth” (2021) Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
Abstract: In recent years, the suggestion that over 80% of trans and gender creative children will grow up cisgender has been strongly criticized in the academic literature. Although concerns over the methodology of these studies, known as desistance research, has shed considerable doubt regarding the validity of the reported number, less attention has been paid to the relevance of desistance research to the choice of clinical model of care. This article analyzes desistance research and concludes that the body of research is not relevant when deciding between models of care. Three arguments undermining the relevance of desistance research are presented. Drawing on a variety of concerns, the article highlights that “desistance” does not provide reasons against prepubertal social transition or peripubertal medical transition, that transition for “desisters” is not comparably harmful to delays for trans youth, and that the wait-and-see and corrective models of care are harmful to youth who will grow up cis. The assumed relevance of desistance research to trans youth care is therefore misconceived. Thinking critically about the relationship between research observations and clinical models of care is essential to progress in trans health care.
‘X’ Why? Gender markers and non-binary transgender people
Florence Ashley, “‘X’ Why? Gender Markers and Non-Binary Transgender People” in Isabel C. Jaramillo Sierra and Laura Carlson (eds.), Trans Rights and Wrongs: A Comparative Study of Legal Reform Concerning Trans Persons, Ius Comparatum - Global Studies in Comparative Law Series, Springer, 33–48
Jurisdictions increasingly recognize ‘X’ as a legal gender marker alongside ‘M’ and ‘F’, offering an alternative to those whose gender identity falls outside or in excess of the man/woman dichotomy. This chapter explores the justifications and limitations of ‘X’ as a gender marker, arguing that it does not place non-binary people on an equal footing to men and women since it serves as a single, catch-all option for a wide range of non-binary identities. The chapter the explores the possibility of expanding the availability of gender markers to reflect the full diversity of non-binary people but suggests that it would be rejected as absurd due to the ongoing role of gender markers in preserving cisnormativity. It concludes that abandoning gender markers may be the only fully inclusive option. For gender liberation to come within reach, we must imagine a future without gender markers.
(Link to paper)
The continuum of informed consent models in transgender health
Florence Ashley, Colton M St. Amand, G Nic Rider, “The Continuum of Informed Consent Models in Transgender Health” (2021) Family Practice
Using the ‘Informed Consent Model’ (ICM), clinicians prescribing hormone therapy to trans patients do not require a letter from mental health professionals attesting to their gender identity and/or gender dysphoria. Despite their prevalence and history in North America, ICMs remain poorly understood by medical professionals and are often treated as a monolithic concept. This article surveys the differences between ICMs along a continuum ranging from Strong ICMs to Weak ICMs to No-Letter Models.
(Link to article)
Corriger nos pratiques : les approches thérapeutiques pour intervenir auprès des enfants trans examinées dans une perspective juridique
Florence Ashley, « Corriger nos pratiques : les approches thérapeutiques pour intervenir auprès des enfants trans examinées dans une perspective juridique » dans Jeunes trans et non binaires : de l’accompagnement à l’affirmation (Montréal: Éditions Remue-Ménage, 2021), pp. 89–102
Dans cet article, j’applique le droit de la responsabilité et de la déontologie professionnelle aux approches thérapeutiques vis-à-vis des jeunes trans et créatif·ve·s dans le genre. J’explique que sous ces régimes légaux, l’approche correctrice (qui vise à prévenir les identités trans) sont fort à penser illégales alors que l’approche de l’attente vigilante (qui vise à délayer la transition sociale et/ou médicale) se rapproche de plus en plus de l’illégalité puisqu’elle est fondée sur des raisonnements cissexistes. Seule l’approche trans-affirmative respecte tant l’esprit que la lettre du droit de la santé.
(Lien vers l'article)
Recommendations for institutional and governmental management of gender information
Florence Ashley, “Recommendations for Institutional and Governmental Management of Gender Information” (2021) 44:4 NYU Review of Law & Social Change 489–528
Gender information management is becoming an area of increased concern and tension in recent years due to the parallel rise of trans visibility and the increase of government surveillance. With this Article, I aim to provide a structured and principled analytical framework for managing gender information in a manner that is responsive to different institutional contexts. Part I sketches the ethical considerations and principles which guide my recommendations. Whereas ethical considerations are the values which underlie my recommendations—the why—the proposed principles provide us with conceptual tools to bridge the why, when, and how of gender information management. Part II explores four different contexts in which gender information should be gathered and recorded and makes recommendations specific to each of those contexts. These four contexts are: administrative records, special programs, aggregate assessment, and research. Part III sketches how and what—when justified under the recommendations—gender information should be requested, recorded, and recounted.
(Link to paper)
Trans reparative 'therapy'
Florence Ashley, “Reparative Therapy” in Abbie Goldberg & Genny Beemyn (eds), The Sage Encyclopedia of Trans Studies, vol. 2 (Thousands Oakes, CA: SAGE Publications, 2021) 713–717
Trans reparative therapy is an umbrella term for sustained efforts that seek to discourage behaviors associated with a gender other than the one assigned at birth and/or promote gender identities that are aligned with the person’s gender assigned at birth. It is predicated on the view that being transgender or markedly gender nonconforming is pathological and that transitioning should be avoided if at all possible. Reparative therapies are known by many names: conversion therapy, reparative practices, the corrective approach, the psychotherapeutic approach, and the pathology response approach. Different terms highlight different aspects and subtypes of reparative therapy. This entry addresses the practices’ current social context, the differences and similarities between reparative therapy targeting sexual orientation versus gender identity, the defining features of contemporary approaches, the practices’ harmfulness and unethicality, and the legal regulation of reparative therapy.
(Link to paper)