An academic has challenged a decision by Bath Spa University to refuse him permission to research trans regret.
Psychotherapist James Caspian wanted to study people who had undergone ‘sex-change’ operations only to later regret their decision and seek to reverse their transition.
His research proposal was rejected by the university for being “politically incorrect”. Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, he said: “I was shocked but immediately knew I was in the eye of a storm”.
Caspian believes that his case demonstrates that the fear and sensitivity surrounding trans issues is stifling public debate and preventing them from being “critically examined”.
He said, “it was something people didn’t want to talk about”.
The academic was first stirred to research ‘detransitioning’ following a discussion with a surgeon who informed him of the number of reversal surgeries that he had recently carried out.
His interest was enhanced when he was approached by young women online who told him they had been injected with male hormones and undergone double mastectomies, only to later change their minds.
“policy and law is being made without due consideration of solid research and scientific reviewed evidence”James Caspian
Just last week, Caspian was contacted by a woman who had surgery to make her look more masculine after being sexually abused as a child. She later realised that this had been “a terrible mistake” used to escape the trauma she had faced.
Caspian highlighted that no professional who had worked with this woman had attempted to delve into reasons why she may have wanted to transition.
He said he was worried for the safety of this woman and others like her, saying he has “urged them to contact somebody who can counsel them and support them emotionally”.
“We need to hear from these people. This needs to be critically examined.”
Medics are being cowed into silence, says Caspian: “I hear many doctors, psychiatrists and clinicians very worried about what is happening and will openly say in private they can’t say anything because they might get sacked.
“What is happening is policy and law is being made without due consideration of solid research and scientific reviewed evidence.”
In October a group of 54 academics wrote a letter to The Guardian, outlining their concerns about “the suppression of proper academic analysis and discussion of the social phenomenon of transgenderism”.
They said, “it is not transphobic to investigate and analyse this area from a range of critical academic perspectives”.
Caspian’s barrister is attempting to secure a judicial review into the decision by Bath Spa University to ban his proposed self-funded research on people who have regretted having sex-change surgery.
On Wednesday it was announced he had lost his appeal.
It was the third time the academic had attempted to secure a judicial review for his research.